Things That Go Bump Stock in the Night


Paddock1Stephen Paddock bump fired the National Rifle Association into showing their true gun control agenda. Wayne LaPierre will gladly assist the gun-grabbers of the world, who happen to occupy both sides of the political aisle, if it means he can keep his position as King of Gun Rights and the donations flowing in from poor suckers he has bamboozled into believing he is on their side. The days of Neal Knox are long gone, and any hope of the NRA protecting the true reason for the Second Amendment died with him.

You soft-hearted types, who have trouble wrapping your heads around dispassionate after-action analyses of facts, may want to skip the next section or two. Go sit with the women and fret a while.

Listening to the audio of the Las Vegas shooting, two thing struck me. Naturally, the first was the high rate of fire. Under stress, even a moderately trained person can shoot himself dry surprising fast, but the booger hook working the bang switch tires quickly. Fatigue overtakes adrenaline with the first magazine swap, and most people come down from peak twitch pretty fast. The continued high rate of fire clued me in to a few things.

Pay attention to the pattern of fire. There were distinct pauses, but the spacing of each report sounded off. It didn’t jive with the reports of “automatic gunfire.” However, I couldn’t put my finger on the reason.

Stephen Paddock strikes me as the sort who enjoyed having his guns more than using them. Based on the crime scene photos, his firearms were pristine. Anyone who carries a gun or uses them on a regular basis knows they wear and have a tendency to get beat up. Finishes dull. They wear in a predictable pattern. Guns that are actually used also tend to carry big, ugly scratches and gouges taken out of them from being dropped occasionally. It happens. Working guns look they were dragged behind a truck and run over by a tractor. You can trust a man with a beat-to-Hell gun because it’s just a tool to him.

Stephen Paddock was a Mall Ninja, who bought his way unto being able to lay down a base of fire.

By comparison, Omar Mateen, the Pulse nightclub shooter in Orlando, killed forty-nine people versus Stephen Paddock’s fifty-eight. The vast majority of carnage in both instances occurred in the initial ten to fifteen minutes. The big differences were in the number wounded and the number of rounds expended.

In Orlando, the active shooter portion was ten to fifteen minutes, before he barricaded himself in a bathroom with hostages and didn’t fire a shot during negotiations. He initially exchanged fire with an off-duty police officer doing security duty, but things didn’t really start to turn against Omar Mateen until several more good guys showed up with guns. Funny how that works.

Pistols are for emergency use until you can get your mitts on a long-gun and get to work.

Stephen Paddock picked a great shooting position, but it was a lousy escape position. His options were through a door into a hotel hallway, down thirty-two floors, and out one of a limited number of exits on the ground floor or out a window about four hundred feet above the pavement. He definitely would not have survived option number two, but it would have been fun to watch.

Omar Mateen had a better chance of getting out of the Pulse nightclub alive. Several hours of negation was a three hour window, during which time he could have surrendered. His chances still weren’t good, but a negotiated surrender increases the odds of survival over the chaos of an assault. However, once the SWAT team initiated the rescue by blowing a hole in the bathroom wall, there weren’t many ways for the operation to end that included Mateen seeing the sun rise.

SWAT guys are the sorts who enjoy winning. They expect to come out on top in an operation, and woe be unto any who get between them and the goal. Botching the wall breach by not blowing a big enough hole to fit through is as infuriating as it is embarrassing.

Nobody may ever know how many rounds Stephen Paddock expended, but so far, the number two thousand is being thrown about. That may be a number put out by politicians to gin up public appetite to ban bump stocks, but let’s accept it, for the sake of argument.

That is some piss poor shooting. He was hosing that crowd down and relying on 22,000 people being crammed together butts-to-nuts. Stephen Paddock could have achieved a much higher death tally with a conventional firing method, or at least, some trigger control on his bump stock. He was a rank amateur.

Has anyone besides me noticed the conspicuous lack of disciplined, well-trained, mentally healthy, non-drug addled perpetrators of mass shootings?

Full-auto fire is conducted with controlled, aimed three to five round bursts. What is heard on the recordings is a man who does not have a firm grasp on how to run his weapon system. There was no skill, discipline, or commitment to craft. It seems like a last hurrah in a come-to-life game of Call of Duty by a rage-filled man bent on suicide, but who lacked the guts to do it himself absent the pressure of the police closing in on him.

By definition, the insane don’t act rationally. That can be an advantage once the shooting starts because of the gaps left to exploit by the responders. Then again, shooting up a crowd of strangers at a concert is highly irrational, in the first place. Just crazy enough to initiate the shooting is actually worse, in this case, than being nuts to the point of not being able to effectively plan and carry it out.

These shooters occupy a sweet spot on the spectrum of crazy where they are rational enough to concoct a plan and put it into action, but, luckily for everyone, not rational enough to understand the fix when their skills suck. So, just like a lot lazy, but perfectly sane and law abiding, shooters, the Stephen Paddocks of the world attempt to purchase their skill set.

You don’t improve your shooting by hanging crap off the gun. You get better by running rounds through it until parts break.

Fast is great. Accurate is greater. But living to testify in front of the Grand Jury is greatest, so I’m not too picky about how I get there. For my money, the best gunfight would more accurately be described as a “shooting” because the other guy wouldn’t get any rounds off in my direction. Hell, if I had my druthers, the other asshole wouldn’t even know the fight had begun.

Mrs. Cunha has a strict policy that I return from my adventures alive, and preferably, without any additional scars.

Based on the number of weapons in the room with him, Stephen Paddock did seem cognizant of the tendency for heat and gunk to render a weapon inoperable. I suspect the plan was to use a variant what old timers called a New York Reload; drop the gun that doesn’t go “bang” anymore and pick up one that does.

Fair fights are overrated. The objective is to win.

Some reports indicate Stephen Paddock had recently been prescribed diazepam, typically used for anxiety, muscle spasms, and seizures. This doesn’t mean he was taking the drug, so toxicology tests will be interesting. There is evidence to suggest that benzodiazepines, such as diazepam, can lead to aggressive behavior.

It’s also coming to light that he was a drunk and a fan of cocaine. The guy definitely liked to party and weekend-long video poker benders don’t sustain themselves. With all three of these things possibly going on inside his body at once during the shooting, it’s no wonder he sucked at his task.

Then again, bat-shit crazy is a thing, and that may be the only reason discovered. Life is full of unanswered questions.

What is not an unanswered question is what to blame in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting.

A single, solitary man named Stephen Paddock is to blame.

Bump stocks, assault rifles, and silencers are no more to blame for the loss of life in Las Vegas than tall buildings, country music concerts, or hammers. To believe otherwise is to abandon any pretense of personal accountability and turn society over to voodoo practitioners. An item’s existence neither influences its wielder nor creates an impure heart. A hammer that builds a house can just as easily be to put to use crushing a skull. It’s the workman who chooses to put the tool to use; whether that purpose be good and creative or twisted and evil.

With a moderate degree of skill and a milling machine (or a high degree of skill and access to a file and drill press), an ambitious home machinist can turn out a fully functioning and aesthetically pleasing boom stick, which is completely legal, as long as it meets AFT length requirements, is semi-auto only, does not fire from an open bolt, etc. Throw in plans downloaded from the internet, and the production process speeds up a whole bunch.

What mental defect afflicts gun grabbers?

If our ambitious machinist of moderate skill loads plans downloaded from the internet into his CNC milling machine, turns out a functioning BAR, and tests it out by shooting up the nearest grammar school, exactly what would gun grabbers want to ban?

Manufacturing a full-auto firearm is already illegal.

One option is to put firearms blueprints on par with child pornography by criminalizing its possession, dissemination, and creation. That is a moral equivalency I’m sure hoplophobes would be glad to defend and, I’m sad to say, most Americans would let pass without comment.

There are simply too few Americans hogging out their own AR receivers or having AK Bending Parties. The fact that most people reading this article have no idea what I’m talking about in the previous sentence, much less have ever participated in either activity, lends weight to the statement.

Perhaps, just like bump stocks, gun grabbers would prefer to go after the tool, instead of the man who employs it? The government could create a registry for CNC machines and license their operators. That way, they could keep tabs on every machinist in the United States and have a database from which to begin investigations on the off chance one whacked out loser out of 330 million people decided to go rogue with his weekend workshop project.

A type of bump stock called a bump board can be made with a length of board and a nail. Running a loop of 550-cord through the trigger guard and around your shoulder gets the same rate of fire as a bump stock. There is an old technique using a shooter’s thumb through the trigger guard and a belt loop that yields the same result.

Knowing how to do something is lightyears away from putting it to an evil purpose. Twisted minds and wicked hearts cannot be controlled by regulating objects.

Honestly, what surprises me is that we have so few Las Vegas type shootings.

Lawmakers, on the left in particular, but ever increasingly on the right, are more than willing to slowly suffocate every right we possess. It’s not just gun rights, but rights in general. However, firearms and any piece of gear that puts the average citizen on par with the average government actor strikes fear in politicians’ hearts because deep down in their souls, politicians know they possess the capacity to become tyrants.

As part of the Washington political establishment, organizations such as the National Rifle Association are loath to admit the Second Amendment was instituted to give the citizenry the ability change the government in the event it became tyrannical.

We are far from any such situation, and it’s a horrifying thought. However, much like mutually assured destruction through nuclear weapons during the Cold War, it kept both sides sober and honest. The prospect of having to put the threat into action encouraged everyone to keep talking to work out their differences.

The NRA long ago abdicated its mission statement of protecting firearms rights in favor of being the public relations firm for friendly, well-dressed sport shooing enthusiasts, who are too upper-middle class to entertain the notion that our descendants might possibly, one day in the distant future, run out of political options and be forced, with heavy hearts, to dismantle what our ancestors so painstakingly created.

But, hey, as long as the dues money keeps rolling, so the NRA Board of Directors don’t have to get day jobs and Wayne LaPierre continues to be invited on television and to all the Washington parties, the National Rifle Association is totally willing to play political patty-cake with our God-given rights.

To preserve their rock star lifestyles and social clout, the NRA has come out in favor of regulating bump stocks.

A small, ferocious mutt makes a better attack dog than a friendly, dopey behemoth.

As such, I would advise anyone serious about protection of the Second Amendment support more aggressive and ideologically pure champions. They are smaller organizations and may not carry the same clout in Washington, but they also aren’t buddy-buddy with those who would strip us of our rights.

Here are my favorites:

Gun Owners of America

National Association for Gun Rights

Jews for the Preservation of Gun Ownership

I’m not saying to quit the NRA in protest for them being pansies. They won’t care what you have to say. What I am saying is to let your membership expire and put that money where it will be used to protect your rights, instead of political deal making with people who have no qualms about marginalizing you and dictating what freedoms you may maintain.

And before some Liberal asks, the answer is a resounding “yes.”

Every one of those fifty-eight lives is worth sacrificing for the right to have a bump stock. So is mine. So is yours. So is everyone’s. That’s the nature of rights. They transcend the individual.

The more important question is why aren’t you willing to protect those rights?

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Farmer Tax Revolt


Taxation4Libertarians popularized the phrase, “Taxation is theft.” I think it’s closer to Strong-arm Robbery with a firearms possession enhancement, but the Libertarian version fits on coffee mugs and bumper stickers better.

All taxation carries the implied threat of government force. If you don’t believe me, try not paying any income taxes for a while. The letters will be relatively polite, at first, with phrases such as “We noticed” and “Please remit,” and become progressively more aggressive. Ignore the Tax Man’s love notes long enough, and you will discover men with guns breaking down the front door of your house to drag your off to jail.

Local government collecting property taxes may be less aggressive Caesars demanding what is theirs, but liens against property, which must be satisfied prior to any sale, will sooner or later result in the Sheriff, a man who not long ago came to you begging for his current job, evicting you from your home. He’s got a gun, too. As well, as the authority to drag you out kicking and screaming. So ultimately, local government isn’t any better than the Feds, other than he is easier to vote out of office. At least, I get to directly pick my executioner on the local level.

Government needs money to function. My complaint is they function entirely too much.

Long ago, I adopted the “Philosophy of No.” It’s based on my experience as a parent and human ATM for people with neither skills nor jobs.

Taxation2Whenever a ballot initiative appears asking for power over me or more money, the answer is not only “No,” but “You manage the money I’ve already given you so poorly, I refuse to give you any more to squander.”

It’s a lesson in tough love and money management that most any parents have to mete out sooner or later.

Rather than allow one half of the population to extort money out of the other half, I have a better plan. Run the government via GoFundMe campaign. Imagine a government funding mechanism where every voter was able to put his money where his mouth is. Everything from local projects to entire federal departments would limited to what citizens voluntarily gave.

If providing clean syringes to drug addicts is important to you, there is a fund to which you can contribute. Alternately, don’t like the War on Drugs, don’t contribute to the DEA. Want a border wall? There’s a fund for that, too.

Sometimes, before resorting to force, lower levels of government will resort to guilt trips for enforcement.

The county I live in has something called a Wheel Tax. The state calls it the altruistic-sounding Vehicle Privilege Tax, just in case somebody forgets who serves whom in this relationship.

Taxation1They get away with hiding this bit of extortion by not listing it as a line item on the state registration, but requiring the serfs to present themselves at the local government palace, where a court functionary doles out stickers bearing the county name. From my experience, the punchline to “How many civil servants does it take to hand out a sticker?” is three; one of which is the County Commissioner. I nearly pooped myself when informed the privilege of owning a vehicle in my county was reckoned to be worth sixty-one dollars per vehicle.

“And what all do I get for my contribution to the Wheel Tax?” I asked the clerk, suspecting I knew the answer.

“It pays for the upkeep of the county roads,” said the clerk, not breaking stride on the smacking of the wad of Hubba Bubba in her maw.

“Really?” I said, raising my eyebrows. “Have you seen the county roads around here? A crew was out at my place two days ago and they missed every third pothole.”

“You can always move to town and live on a state road,” said Hubba Bubba.

“You’ve got a hellova way to handle life’s problems,” I said. Hubba Bubba’s face hardened. I could hear Mrs. Cunha shepherding the kids out of the Assessor’s office into the hallway. She knows I’m not one to pass up a fight, and nearly two decades of experience has taught her they come hard, fast, loud, and messy.

“County Commissioner’s right there,” said Hubba Bubba, pointing to a nervous looking man in a white shirt and blue tie standing at the end of the counter, whom I didn’t vote for in the last election and bore a striking kinship resemblance to Hubba Bubba. She had tired of my shit quickly, and didn’t get paid enough to deal with me.

“That is what a lot of people do,” said The Commish.

“God, no. Then I’d really be steamed, having to pay for something I don’t use,” I said. “At least, this way, I can kid myself into thinking I’m paying for the road in front of my property.”

“Well, you’re getting more than just roads,” said The Commish. “That’s only about a third of it.”

“What’s the other forty dollars go for?” I said.

“Drug abuse and battered women,” said The Commish.

“Put me down for a case of each,” I said. “I’ve got a big weekend planned and I want to get my money’s worth.”

Altruism with other people’s money is neither noble nor commendable.

Charity is a social good. Once bills and family obligations are met, everyone should endeavor to help those in their community who are in need, however you define “community.” Whether defined by geography, religion, ethnicity, occupation, or nature of the need, pick one or two and do what you can to relieve the want of a brother. The choice is entirely up to you, the giver, as is whatever benefit your derive from the charitable act. It’s a win-win for everyone that is best enacted personally, directly, and freely.

Taxation3Charity through forced redistribution of resources is theft, just the same as if a government bureaucrat slipped a debit card out of your wallet while you napped. I bet people would scream bloody murder if tax bills were payable in time and physical effort instead of cash.

I resent locally imposed taxes slightly less than the further removed ones levied by the state and federal governments because of the higher levels of accountability. Send your secretary out to run interference all you like, Mr. Elected County Official. Our kids attend the same school and there isn’t but one Piggly Wiggly in town. I’m not above asking in a loud voice why you can’t make time for a constituent who voted for you.

It doesn’t matter if that’s a lie. He won’t know one way or the other. Even if he does, the people listening won’t, and that is the important part. The damage will still be done.

I suffer a from genetic disorder called “lack of shame.”

Since the school bus my property taxes pay for is The Lord of the Flies on wheels, Mrs. Cunha and I build our lives around a twice-daily journey to the far side of town to three (now, thankfully, two) schools. I tell myself it is quality time with the kids, but it’s a lie. The more time, money, and energy I expend making up for the shortfalls of government schools, the more attractive home schooling becomes.

The two-a-day trek takes us right past the county government building. The very same building of the sticker standoff with The Commish and his Girl Friday, Hubba Bubba.

I structure my life in such a way as to avoid taxes whenever legally allowable. No less an authority than Learned Hand, the judge most quoted by the Supreme Court, said in Helvering v. Gregory way back in 1934, “Any one may so arrange his affairs that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which will best pay the Treasury; there is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes.”

Don’t hate the player. Hate the game. – US Second Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Learned Hand

I had spent days plotting revenge for the blood money I was unable to dodge because of our need for a truck on the farm, when the burrito from lunch decided Elvis was ready to leave the building. It seems giving the only Mexican restaurant in town another chance after its fourth closure by the Health Department was not the best of ideas.

Navigating the town square, a required lap around the county government building to make it from one end of town to the other, a sheen of sweat beaded my forehead, as I searched for a port to shelter against the brewing storm. Not surprisingly, parking was ample. Of the three dozen or so storefronts that ring the outside of the road encircling the county government building, all but four are vacant, and the buildings that house them in such bad repair they will likely never be rented or sold.

I slid out of the passenger seat of the truck (what can I say? Mrs. Cunha likes driving the truck, too), and penguin-walked my way into the building’s basement, where I knew there to be a public toilet.

We need to get out of here before the Sheriff shows up. What I did in there was a crime.

Mrs. Cunha was appalled at the brazenness of my decision that afternoon. She patiently waits in the truck virtually every day since, as I stride into the county government building, folded newspaper tucked under one arm, to conduct my business in the public lavatory. Apart from the occasional puzzled looks from the few building occupants, I draw no attention, create no ruckus, perform no vandalism, damage no property, and leave no unreasonable mess. I make use of a public bathroom during business hours in a taxpayer funded edifice of the county in which I am both a taxpayer and a resident.

It may not be possible to fight City Hall and win, but for anyone willing to sit down, bare assed on a public toilet, the power to subvert is as close as a roll of toilet paper.

Call me Rosa Parks on the Porcelain Throne.

 

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Tranny Factories


trannyTransgender suicide rates are ten times the overall population. Does sexual reassignment surgery cure mental disorder or has medical science made life worse through medical mutilation?

Bradley Manning, who changed his stage name to “Chelsea” to further his career as a professional malcontent and attention whore, has at least two suicide attempts under his belt that keep his male genitalia company on those long winter nights when nobody wants anything to do with him because he’s a nut-job. Actually, that might be three attempts, since the case can be made that a hunger strike is close enough to a suicide attempt to count.

This clown can’t even succeed at offing himself.

Reviewing Bradley Manning’s entry on Wikipedia, chosen for review because the site is overflowing with Leftists and Liberal bias, leads to the conclusion that Bradley made a habit of throwing tantrums when he failed in life. Whether pulling a knife on his step-mother during an argument about his not finding a job, taking running jumps at walls when his step-brother took the Manning name, leaving college after failing an exam, or overturning a table in response to an Army supervisor disciplining him, rash and violent reactions were the young man’s preferred method of dealing with frustrated objectives. His suicide attempts in prison were continuations of the pattern of throwing hissy fits.

Little Lord Fauntleroy Bradley Manning isn’t the only prima donna to have a meltdown when life refuses to play the requested tune. Transgenders kill themselves at a rate an order of magnitude greater than the overall population; greater than forty percent versus a smidge under four percent. The Liberals, who establish what can only be described as Tranny Nanny Organizations, would have you believe the astronomical suicide rate of transgenders is the result of combinations of bullying in school, familial rejection, societal genders norms, and butterflies flapping their wings in the Amazon rain-forest in 1921.

For a group that wants to portray themselves as tough and brave, trannys sure seem emotionally fragile.

The faith-based belief that God created only two genders in all but the most primitive of life forms is disregarded by those who worship at the altar of science, so the argument has to be made imperfectly by putting it into terms the heathens will understand. It’s not easy because they are society’s version of a petulant child shouting at his parents that they are not the boss of him.

Because sex chromosomes only come in two flavors, XX-for women and XY for men, there are literally only two ways to combine them on a fifty-fifty basis. In the rare case of a third sex chromosome, a third sex not possible. It’s a new sex variant in the same way being born with a sixth digit is a new class of human being. The fancy word is polydactyly and occurs at the same rate as XXY-chromosomes (one in five hundred versus between one in seventeen thousand to one in fifty thousand, depending on the exact sex chromosome defect).

Trannys are going to have to do better than an extra pinky before they get their own X-Men movie.

While on the subject of genes, what few twin studies exists show a concordance rate of thirty-nine percent of both identical twins being transgender. So, even sharing the exact set of genes, if one twin decides to literally switch sides and play for the other team, there is a sixty percent chance the other twin won’t.

These studies performed by Leftist institutions, desperate for transgenderism to be an immutable quality, such as race, color, or ethnicity, still fall flat in the claim that transsexuals are “born this way.” Based on identical twins being, by definition, genetically identical, the expectation would be to have a concordance rate of one hundred percent. Twin studies involving those separated at birth show massively higher rates of far more ephemeral outcomes, such as choice of musical instruments, career fields, and pets they own.

You would think the amputation of existing genitalia and plastic surgery to construct the opposite would rest on evidence a little more solid that what is cheerfully accepted for concordance in hobbies.

The Tranny Mongers have an answer to that. The discussion of results explains away the lack of correlation as being environmental.

Say what?

So, when the Born This Way model is not supported by science, the cause of transgenderism reverts back to the way mom and dad raised you. Got it. It’s their fault.

What mom and dad screwed up, a little medically approved butchery is sure to fix. An August 2016 study by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center reported that thirty percent of transgender youth reported at least one suicide attempt, forty-two percent a history of self-injury, such as cutting, and a higher frequency of suicide attempts among transgender youth dissatisfied with their weight.

As mentioned above, the overall suicide rate for transgenders is a touch above forty percent. What should make people think is that the suicide rate does not go down any appreciable amount post-surgery. If lopping off the twig and berries and installing a fun-zone (or vice versa) solved all the life problems of trannys, why isn’t the post-surgery suicide rate closer to the under-four percent of the general population?

Bodily mutilation does not solve mental disorders.

Were a psychiatrist to examine a patient who said the neighbor’s dog was instructing him to kill people, the doctor would treat the auditory hallucinations, rather than hand the patient a loaded pistol, shrug his shoulders, and say, “Do what you gotta do, buddy.” However, that is exactly what happens with transsexuals. Gender Dysphoria (because the old Gender Identity Disorder made it sound like people who felt they are the opposite sex visiting a psychiatrist had something wrong inside their head) is the only psychiatric condition that is self-diagnosed by the patient and treated by surgical intervention.

An August 2014 study from Tehran Institute of Psychiatry (admittedly, the land of forced sexual reassignment surgery for homosexuals, but the most recent study I could find and in line with older studies) found that two-thirds of participants, all persons requesting sex reassignment surgery, had at least one psychiatric condition paired with, and that contributed to, Gender Dysphoria; major depressive disorder, specific phobia, and adjustment disorder being the three most common, in order of occurrence.

None of those things sound like something good to have. I also have it on pretty good authority that they can be managed quite effectively with courses of treatment that do not include changing the foundation of the patient’s identity.

We know antidepressants reduce suicides by twenty percent. Could we try the Happy Pills before taking a scalpel to Mr. Happy?

Sex reassignment surgery regret is a real thing. Of course, there are people who are never content no matter how many good things happen to them. They exist, but hopefully should have been weeded out of the sex reassignment surgery pipeline before going under anesthesia.

As early as 1979, Dr. Charles Ihlenfeld, after six years studying under pioneering transsexual researcher Dr. Harry Benjamin and three years treating over five hundred people with cross-gender hormones, concluded that eighty percent of people seeking sex reassignment surgery should not do it, and the remaining twenty percent would only find a temporary reprieve from their unhappiness.

This was long before any actual studies were conducted, so it’s the best evidence available. It’s anecdotal and doesn’t meet study standards, but at least, it’s an opinion from someone with an undeniably qualified background from which to speak.

More recently, but still fairly dated, is Dr. Chris Hyde of University of Birmingham who “found no robust scientific evidence that gender reassignment surgery is clinically effective.” Current studies to put numbers on the actual regret rate of sex reassignment surgery don’t seem to attract sufficient academic interest or government money to mount any studies. The possible funders likely know exactly what they will find, and it doesn’t jive with the current Liberal narrative.

Tennis champ Rene Richards, born Richard Raskind, deeply regrets his sex reassignment surgery. Writer Mike Penner regretted his so deeply that he joined the “Forty-One Percent Club” by committing suicide in 2009, even though he had transitioned back to a man after a year of writing at the pinnacle of Gonzo Journalism as Christine Daniels. Wait Heyer, never finding the promised Nirvana that came with transitioning into a woman, transitioned back to his original sex and became a mental health advocate. Rumor has it that Caitlyn Jenner is so unhappy pretending to be a woman, that he is considering rejoining the world as Bruce.

Go here for a bunch of other sex change regret research I didn’t touch on.

The biology says there is no such thing as a woman trapped in a man’s body, or vice versa, which is much less common. The psychiatric community is beginning to grudgingly admit there are often underlying psychiatric disorders that make the lives of those with Gender Dysphoria suck even more than if they had Gender Dysphoria by itself.

There is no guarantee that curing, or at least, effectively managing, depression, phobias, or adjustment disorder would help even one patient be released from a Gender Dysphoria diagnosis, but it makes a lot of sense to this redneck farmer from Tennessee to see how far you can get with a pill before resorting to a knife.

Who knows? Perhaps up to two-thirds of people with Gender Dysphoria could come to the realization that only the one psychopathy is manageable, as well, or simply not worth going the full measure of sex reassignment surgery.

They could always manage their Gender Dysphoria with some weekend crossdressing and the occasional Casual Encounter ad on Craigslist.

My wild-ass theory is that adults who manifest with Gender Dysphoria fall into one of three categories:

Greener Grass Trannies

The Greener Grass theory has to do with the chronically unhappy. Everyone has encountered them in life. This guy could find a pair of Swedish supermodel twins riding a unicorn that pisses gold coins and craps bacon-cheeseburgers and still not be content with life.

The Greener Grass Tranny may or may not be homosexual, but knows something is not right. Despite all the claims of misogyny and danger in being a woman, the transgender, knowing full well that women have the societal advantage, jump at the opportunity to gain the perks of womanhood. Often, they retain sexual attraction to women, which complicates, rather than simplifies, their lives.

Women who transition into men are generally lesbians who continue having sex with none-to-picky men until their add-a-dick-to-me surgery and assumption of their place in the glorious patriarchy, where they discover being a man isn’t all backyard barbeques and chopping down trees.

Men get injured and killed a lot.

Closet Homosexuals

The biology of men is such that we like sex and plenty of it, with as many partners as possible. The reason that AIDS spread so rapidly, and sexually transmitted diseases, in general, are so widespread in the gay community, is that men are highly promiscuous, as a group. Some men are so randy that once they work through every ugly and fat girl within an hour’s drive of the house, they lower their standards even more and become bisexual.

That sexual drive among homosexual men, who for whatever reasons don’t live life as a gay man, leads to a lot of frustration. Whether it be an aversion to identifying as homosexual or the relative paucity of possible sex partners, how better to have your cake and eat it, too, than becoming a woman? Rather than about ten percent of the male population possibly willing to insert themselves into you, it expands to ninety percent.

The current whining of the transgender community that heterosexual men don’t want to have sex with transgenders is a manifestation of coming face-to-face with the often intransient nature of the vast majority of men’s requirement that the women they bed having been born with female naughty bits.

Attention Whores

Women who crave continual reassurance and positive reinforcement are tolerated by men because they ultimately control access to sex. We don’t like it, but that’s the way it is. Men who behave in the same needy ways are scorned by their peers. They are treated shabbily, and with good cause. Hell, women don’t even dig bitch-ass men.

Such behavior in men stems from a lack of fathers in families, and its result of boys being raised into manhood by women. As wonderful and necessary as women are, they make piss-poor fathers. Uncles, brothers, step-dads, etc. are poor substitutes for the presence of a biological father, the absolute authority he wields, and his ability to bring righteous fury down upon an uppity teenage boy, who has realized he is physically stronger than his mother and wonders exactly why it is he has to do as she tells him.

“Wait until your father gets home” is the scariest and most powerful phrase a mother has at her disposal. Without the ability to use it, mothers tend to raise self-absorbed, selfish men, who do not think or act beyond their own desires and interests. Mothers then have to negotiate, cajole, and bribe to convince their sons to perform the least of selfless acts that should be ingrained parts of all decent men’s ethos.

Johns Hopkins, pioneers of sex reassignment surgery, stopped performing them about the time Bruce Jenner won Gold because they concluded the practice brought no important benefits.

None of the above evidence is presented to make a case that Gender Dysphoria does not exist or that the concept of gender is biological. Quite the contrary. I am willing to concede both points; Gender Dysphoria exits and gender is a fluid social construct.

Were gender not both fluid and a social construct, the concepts of masculine, feminine, effeminate, and butch would not exist.

Having said that, sex is immutable and determined at conception. Any attempts to alter the situation result in masculinized women and feminized men, who go through a hollow life playacting as a person they are not. No less an authority than Dr. Paul McHugh, Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University and their hospital’s former psychiatrist-in-chief, who has studied transgenders for forty years, flatly states as much in a June 2015 Witherspoon Institute article.

The poor wretches who suffer from bona fide cases of Gender Dystopia, especially as children or adolescents, are suffering from anxiety about the roles and expectations of their respective sex and are attempting to seek refuge from the storm under a different umbrella. They are not so much Greener Grass Trannies as they fail to see, or are unaware of, the downsides of their opposite sex.

Transgenders suffer from a treatable, and often, preventable, mental psychopath. They need not resort to socially approved, medically sanctioned mayhem, which leaves them unable to create a life, in exchange for presenting a counterfeit image to the world. Transgenders are children of God, just like the rest of us. They deserve our pity, rather than our encouragement of their delusion.

No one would offer liposuction to an anorexic or cigarettes to someone suffering lung cancer. So, too, should we not offer sex reassignment surgery to transgenders.

 

3Thank you to every one of my readers for coming back week after week. The content on this website is free to access, but does take resources to produce. Please visit my Patreon account to see what I have in the works and consider becoming a supporter. Patronage will get you additional content, behind the scenes access, goodies not available on the main site, and unique Thank You gifts for support.

L'homme Theroux CoverIf you’d prefer something more tangible in return for supporting my work, please preview my novel L’homme Theroux and consider purchasing it, if you enjoy the sample chapter.

Trump Deports Margaret Cho


panda1American born, LGBT activist and rumored comedienne Margaret Cho has been deported to China in what Cho’s representative calls a misguided and racist miscarriage of human rights by the Trump administration.

Wait a minute. Pandas aren’t Korean. And Margaret Cho isn’t terribly funny, either. So, let me double-check my facts.

The difference between a panda and Margaret Cho is that I would cuddle with a panda after sex…and pandas are funny.

Donald Trump isn’t the first president to fight the treachery of China. You have to go all the way back to Richard Nixon’s visit to China and their white elephant gift of “loaning” the United States two pandas.

The National Zoo in Washington, DC has shipped a three-year-old panda, named Bao Bao, to China. In one of life’s magnificent ironies, Bao Bao the panda is the only instance of the United States exporting something to the Celestial Kindgom.

Expect this panda’s anchor baby to sponsor his family for US citizenship in the next few years.

Bao Bao the pampered panda is traveling by air in a crate the size of a double bed, so he can stretch out and relax, while his personal keeper and veterinarian keep up a constant stream of bamboo over the sixteen-hour, non-stop flight. The last thing you want is an animal that eats thirteen to sixteen hours a day to get cranky from hunger pangs.

I hope I’m reincarnated as a panda. I can’t get my company to pay for business class.

The Chinese are a clever people. They invented gunpowder and silk and noodles and border walls. They invented trickery, too. Their slanty eyes and bucked teeth are a government sponsored cosmetics surgery program specifically designed to get the round-eyes of the world to drop their guard.

panda2What other explanation is there? The damn Chinese tricked the country into establishing a breeding program for their pandas.

Pandas are the vegans of the animal world. These picky sons-of-bitches not only refuse to eat anything besides bamboo, but they’ll only chow down on two of the eighty-six varieties.

If my kids were as picky eaters as pandas, they’d starve.

Pandas are one animal that should have gone extinct years ago. They deserve to die out. Not only because pandas are more difficult to feed than a lactose intolerant, gluten sensitive, vegan albino with irritable bowel syndrome, the furry beasts won’t breed to save their species.

Search the internet all you like. There are only a handful of photos depicting real, live pandas mating, and I suspect they are different angles of the same pair. They’re terrible at it. I found more photos of people dressed as pandas having sex, which was disturbing in itself and something I discourage everyone from seeking out.

It’s easier to get white millennials to reproduce with each other than convincing pandas to get it on.

The San Diego Zoo has three of the remaining dozen pandas in the United States. I assume they are the same trio I never managed to see in the decade I lived in the area. It wasn’t for lack of trying. My family had annual combo-passes to the zoo and Wild Animal Park for at least half that time, so we went frequently to get my money’s worth. Each visit to the zoo included a trip to the panda enclosure, but luck was never with us. Our timing was always bad. The pandas were always at a vet appointment or a field trip or in time-out for biting a zookeeper on the ass.

Until one day, when we caught a break.

Past the signs admonishing visitors not to speak above a whisper on pain of being tasered by zookeepers, Mrs. Cunha and I passed out animal crackers (oh, the irony) and jugs of Bug Juice to the kids to keep them muzzled. In harsh tones and stern looks from video monitors, generic Asians in Mao jackets explained that pandas are sensitive, artistic animals, easily triggered into fits of PTSD by sudden movements, loud farts, and presentation of conflicting opinions.

These snowflake pandas are as bad as Antifa feminists at a Milo Yiannopoulos university speech.

Approaching the rail that overlooked the panda enclosure, our hearts buoyed at the prospect of finally seeing a God-damn panda. What we found was a plywood cutout of a panda holding a sign that read, “Sorry, folks. We’re feeling under the weather.” Clearly, this was a common enough occurrence the zoo people went to the trouble of making a reusable, long lived sign.

I ran down the nearest khaki safari outfit to express my dismay and displeasure at the dearth of pandas in the panda display.

If I had my way, we’d turn every one of those pandas into bathrobes and invite the nearest Chinese embassy to the Panda-B-Q that Sunday.

The perky young, blonde information kiosk confided the pandas weren’t really ill. Ping Pong was heat, so they penned her up with Ding Dong in the hopes a romantic afternoon together would encourage them to start pumping out little pandas. However, I was in luck, because a Panda Cam had just been installed in their little love nest.

panda3After schlepping the kids from the other end of the county to trod an asphalt midway in the summer son, the thought of voyeuring queer pandas in night-vision over the internet in the hopes they do some panda stuff was not high on my bucket list.

Even if I want my kids exposed to panda porn, I’m sure there are more efficient ways.

That’s why the Chinese kick our ass in trade. They take poorly camouflaged cousins to raccoons with the dietary requirements of a kosher anorexic and convince America to create a breeding program for animals so blasé about the survival of their kind they can hardly be bothered to screw.

If Donald Trump wants to make America great again as much as he claims, he will deport the rest of those alien pandas and their anchor baby cubs. That will teach China. Let them breed their own pandas.

And send Margaret Cho with them, for good measure.

 

3Thank you to every one of my readers for coming back week after week. The content on this website is free to access, but does take resources to produce. Please visit my Patreon account to see what I have in the works and consider becoming a supporter. Patronage will get you additional content, behind the scenes access, goodies not available on the main site, and unique Thank You gifts for support.

L'homme Theroux CoverIf you’d prefer something more tangible in return for supporting my work, please preview my novel L’homme Theroux and consider purchasing it, if you enjoy the sample chapters.

Send in the Clowns


clowns1This week’s clown sighting in the woods behind my children’s grammar school caused a panic induced, district-wide lock-down and a roaming mob of concerned, armed parents, supported by local law enforcement authorities, to scour the county searching for a man in clown makeup.

Reports from witnesses told of the clown doing everything from peeking out from behind a tree, to offering children fee candy from a nondescript, windowless van, to ritually sacrificing a puppy.

Coulrophobia is the fear of clowns.

The only leg-pull in the above description is the exact location. As far as I know, there have been no clown sightings in my end of the Tennessee Valley, but with the scary clown hysteria sweeping the country, I expect to be recruited into an insane clown posse any day.

Hopefully, I won’t go insane in the membrane.

I’ve long held the opinion that eyewitness accounts are the least reliable form of evidence. This is especially true when the witness is also the victim. Pain, adrenaline, shock, and emotional stress screw up perception and the mind’s ability to accurately recall the most basic of details.

Disregard the mountains of research that clearly demonstrate everybody sucks at accurate detail recollection in stressful situations. Ask your favorite cop how often a witness’s description of anything is accurate.

It’s not that they’re lying. They’re just plain wrong.

We labor under a cultural assumption that children are accurate relaters of information and possess astute observational powers. It’s as if we believe children are born with clairvoyance that diminishes as they approach majority.

That’s hogwash. Children are sneaky, devious liars who relish opportunities to embarrass adults by innocently blurting out gems such as, “My baby brother was an accident” or “Mommy and Daddy are buying me a pony for Christmas. They’re hiding all the leather tack gear in the closet.”

You’ll get a pony the day I get peace in this house.

Children are not allowed to make important decisions in their lives precisely because they lack experience, the ability to accurately discern, and a wider contextual understating of the world. In short, they’re ignorant of most things, and to take what they say at face value, without rigorous scrutiny, corroborating testimony, and physical evidence, is parental foolishness.

Now, that I think about it, we should probably disregard the vast majority of what children say because it’s mostly whining. Entertaining their petty grievances and indulging their fantasies only encourages them in their neuroses. Try telling my grandfather there was a clown lurking in the woods. You’d be lucky to only be laughed at. More likely, the response would be, “Then don’t go near it, stupid.”

clowns4Harsh? Perhaps, but still sublime. Somewhere along the line, we decided the only letter’s that should not be appended to a gentleman’s name on his calling card are M, A, and N.

Post-secondary education produces exactly the opposite of what it claims. Today, college only makes people dumber. The same founts of idiocy that have given society safe spaces and trigger warnings, also turn out educators, administrators, and civic officials who will shut down an entire school district on a child’s say so.

Doesn’t anybody besides me remember the McMartin preschool case and how many lives were ruined by false testimony from children?

How many IQ points are sacrificed with each tuition check written?

The creepy clown craze has grown from a few isolated instances of idiots to a full-blown hysteria. Schools are prohibiting clown masks during Halloween. Various local police are arresting people in clown costumes for disturbing the peace, inciting public disorder, or whatever catch-all law their jurisdiction uses to deal with low-grade troublemakers.

Most of the arrests are of teenagers getting their kicks scaring younger kids. It’s deplorable behavior, but pretty much what I’d expect from a teenage boy. Whom I really feel for are the honest-to-goodness, no-kidding, professional clowns, who spend years perfecting their craft, only to see their bookings evaporate. That’s the real crime, destroying someone’s livelihood.

If your age ends in “teen,” it’s an open question as to whether you should be counted as a human being or not.

According to spokesfool Josh Earnest, the White House has consulted with the FBI and Department of Homeland Security about how to handle creepy clowns.

Holy crap. Dig up J. Edgar Hoover because this just became a federal case right up there in magnitude with bank robbery, human traffickers, underage prostitution, child pornography rings, and ISIS trying to cut our heads off.

Since when are assholes in greasepaint such a big problem?

clowns2A quick look around the internet reveals the growing counter-hysteria of videos depicting what can be classified as just deserts for clowns behaving badly. These videos show what I would imagine is a non-professional clown who approaches someone going about his day and behaving in one of those disorderly manners that would earn them arrest by a policeman. Basically, being a jackass.

The person or persons approached, either out of what seems genuine fear or simply not being in a mood to be screwed with, knocks the tar out of the clown.

And I can’t say as I blame them. Most people have no desire to be drawn into someone else’s silliness. If you’re stupid enough to go around antagonizing strangers, don’t be surprised when they express their displeasure strongly.

If you’re gonna be dumb, it helps to be tough.

Here is my wild-assed theory: This whole creepy clown hysteria is a viral marketing campaign spun out of control.

My first thought was the campaign was connected to Stephen King’s IT movie adaptation. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and television mini-series. However, with a release date of September 2017, the timing seems off. Hysterical clown sightings for nearly a year seems to be too long to ask to hold the public’s attention.

Besides, both Stephen King and the film’s distributor, New Line Cinema, are established names with enough budget for a traditional marketing campaign and stand to lose far more than they gain when it foreseeably spins out of control the way it has.

clowns6Just like Youtube, Coca-Cola, and Apple, Stephen Kind and New Line Cinema are such dominant players in their fields with such broad general appeal that avoiding alienation of a segment of society is more important that thrilling and impressing a tiny target demographic; i.e., horror movie fans.

Rob Zombie, on the other hand, is a better candidate for wild accusations. His latest movie, 31, is clown-centric and was released September 16th of this year.

Hummmmmm. Law enforcement types call these things “clues.”

clowns5A well-known, but far from household name, movie maker releases a horror movie set in a circus, chock-full-o’-clowns, right at the same time dumbasses in clown costumes begin making benign appearances standing near trees and skittish, overprotective parents hit the panic button, setting off a national frenzy that makes it to the White House and much of the English-speaking world.

Well played, Rob Zombie. Well played.

Starting November first, bearded men in buckskins and Indians wearing loincloths will begin making public appearances to promote my book, L’homme Theroux and generate pre-release interest in Little Crow’s War, the next installment in the Coureur des Bois series.

What the hell. It worked for that other guy.

 

 

 

3Thank you to every one of my readers for coming back week after week. The content on this website is free to access, but does take resources to produce. Please visit my Patreon account to see what I have in the works for the homestead and consider becoming a supporter, which gets you additional content, behind the scenes access, goodies not available on the main site, and unique Thank You gifts for support.

L'homme Theroux CoverIf you’d prefer something more tangible in return for supporting my work, please preview my novel L’homme Theroux and consider purchasing it, if you enjoy the sample chapters.

Thank God, I’m a Loser


winloss1Losses in life tend to outnumber the wins. Hopefully, the big defeats are few and widely separated, but the little losses, the tiny humiliations and minor ignominies, come along in a steady patter. They are what Hamlet meant when he talked about suffering the slings and arrow of outrageous fortune.

The huge victories like a Powerball jackpot or a Super Bowl championship are elusive things that only happen to other people. The rest of us rednecks, who make up the unwashed masses, have to dial back our expectations and settle for our most jubilant moments to be landing a new job or the birth of a child.

Life is an eighty year long series of kicks in the nuts. The only variable is how long you live.

That bar may have to be set even lower in the future. It won’t be too long before the rest of my children have left the nest, and as ornery as I’ve grown, there aren’t too many employers willing to keep me around for very long. Animal husbandry-related births and discovering the chicken coop wasn’t blown down by a windstorm will have to suffice as moments of triumph from here on out.

I’m willing to take small victories wherever I can. Maybe it’s a function of growing older.

My youngest son has pestered his mother and I to let him play football for the past several years. Our reluctance had nothing to do with the prospect of physical injury to the lad. If I were to tell the truth for a change, the twerp could use a good knocking around by someone not related to him.

Our sticking point was the cost involved just to indulge a teenager’s fantasy of O.J. Simpson touchdowns and Mark Gastineau sacks. My wife and I know the reality more closely resembles a rendition of The Miracle Worker with Helen Keller as captain and the remainder of the squad made up of her less coordinated clones.

I try not to pick on the mentally handicapped, but if the protective helmet fits, I’m gonna point you toward the short bus.

Now that he attends a school with a football team, complete with issued equipment, a coach, and a field to play on, Mrs. Cunha and I relented to Carlos, Jr.’s pleas to become a gridiron warrior.

They are currently sitting on a two and two record, but I’d prefer to see them closer to zero and four.

The desire to see my son lose has nothing to do with my win record in school sports. I had one season each of basketball, football, rugby, and track, where I threw shot put and discus. We went undefeated in rugby, broke even in basketball, and had exactly one win in football.

In a school so small that we only had a varsity track team, and still had trouble mustering enough runners for relay events, I came in dead last in two events every single meet. Each Friday for four months, I had my ass handed to me by kids who had their throwing technique down far better than I did.

My parents, bless their hearts, would ask how I did after every meet. I don’t think they meant to poke at fresh wounds, but I still felt like a loser having to admit defeat, yet again.

Losing might suck, but winning only makes you suck more.

Me and defeat are old drinking buddies. We’ve spent so much time in each other’s company, I’m surprised we’re not engaged. I’ve failed so often and consistently, I plan on failure and am surprised when things don’t go sideways.

I caught the tread of my boot on a door threshold about a week ago and took a tumble down a four-inch step. Even in my creeping middle age, my body still remembers how to take a fall.

Despite tumbling headlong onto cement, I sustained only a bruised toe and a thumb-size scrape on my elbow. The to-go container I was carrying at the time didn’t even pop open. I kept that sucker up out of harm’s way like an infantryman holding his rifle aloft while fording a river.

The little wins in life are the sweetest.

There’s another point to this story of my clumsiness; expect to fail. Then get up and keep moving.

Some of my more recent failures include:

These are only a few of my screw-ups that come to mind from the past year or so, and don’t even touch on the curve balls life throws just because it can. Luckily for me, I’m such an experienced loser that I hardly notice anymore. My kids, on the other hand, could use a little more practice; especially, my youngest son.

Maybe it was the years of holding back while playing board games, so as to not crush their little spirits. Perhaps, I should have let them fall out of a few more trees. God knows, nearly being trampled to death by a milk cow was a defining moment in my young life.

However, a trip to the Emergency Room is a lot more expensive than it was thirty years ago. I suspect my children would be whisked off by Child Protective Services, if they showed up to the Emergency Room as frequently as my brother and I did.

Most families don’t know the Emergency Room nurses well enough to include them on the mailing list for the family Christmas newsletter.

Winning is a great feeling, but it’s not very instructive, in the grand scheme of things. Thinking about it, winning doesn’t even teach how to be a “good winner.” If it did, winning coaches wouldn’t have to remind their little turds to be magnanimous during the post-game high-fives and “good game” lineup.

I spent this summer working Carlos, Jr. like a rented mule. Not only could he not maintain pace with a fat, old man, but he bitched and moaned the whole time. There’s only so much whining about the uselessness of homestead skills I can stand before giving in to the urge to hit him with a shovel. Apparently, sunrise to sunset does not match up with a teenager’s circadian rhythm.

The fatal flaw of teenagers is their tendency to believe in skills and abilities they don’t possess.

Carlos, Jr. showed up to football practice full of more hubris than most fourteen-year-olds. I’ll admit the kid has speed, but that’s about the only natural talent the boy’s got. As near as I can tell, he’s not even in the top half of the team, on an individual skill basis. He also seems to think it’s everyone else’s job to make him shine.

After months and months of disabusing the boy of his notion that wealth and celebrity are a mere bus ride to Hollywood away, the new route to riches and glory is paved with professional sports.

My son is the best player on the team. Just ask, and he’ll tell you so.

Lacking a survey of the team, I can’t be certain, but something tells me they disagree with the boy’s self-assessment. I know a cheap shot and an intentionally missed block when I see one, and so do the coach and Mrs. Cunha, but some lessons can only be taught by a child’s peers.

Hopefully, each bruise and slam into the turf is another of life’s little losses that teaches him how to win with some grace. The cumulative weight of all these little losses has yet to break the ice of understanding, but I’m hopeful. A losing season would hurry that process along.

After two losses in a row, my son became dejected and considered quitting because his talents weren’t employed effectively.

Jesus Christ. It’s always somebody else’s fault, isn’t it?

Judging by his black eye and a bruise pattern that reminds me of a cheetah, I think his reluctance to continue has more to do with the unofficial peer learning process than it does resource mismanagement by the coach.

Mrs. Cunha and I probably took a little more pleasure than we should have when his face dropped at being told he was going to finish out the season. It drooped even farther when informed we expected him to play through high school, as well.

It’s the little losses in life that are most instructive.

 

 

 

3Thank you to every one of my readers for coming back week after week. The content on this website is free to access, but does take resources to produce. Please visit my Patreon account to see what I have in the works for the homestead and consider becoming a supporter, which gets you additional content, behind the scenes access, goodies not available on the main site, and unique Thank You gifts for support.

L'homme Theroux CoverIf you’d prefer something more tangible in return for supporting my work, please preview my novel L’homme Theroux and consider purchasing it, if you enjoy the sample chapters.

Advertiser Friendly Censorship


youtube4The free flow of information from Youtube content providers might be coming to an end; only partly, due to political correctness, but mainly due to the greed of all participants.

Just ahead of the long Labor Day weekend, Youtube began informing content providers that specific videos they have uploaded were demonetized because they violate the Youtube Terms of Service agreement. If the term “demonetization” doesn’t mean anything to you, allow me to explain by way of defining the opposite.

“Monetization” is the Holy Grail of all internet content producers.

It’s a badge of success for having the ability to generate a reasonably large amount of internet traffic. The content producer’s thoughts and ideas have a broad reach and enough resonance with an audience that people are willing to come back for more.

And a little cash in the producer’s pocket doesn’t hurt, either. As a matter of fact, some folks on Youtube manage to make a living from the cut of advertising dollars their content garners. It’s good work, if you can get it, but posting videos of a buddy and me kicking each other in the nuts seems like a weird way to make a buck.

Besides, my mind wanders into weird places and my vocabulary is entirely too colorful for polite company. Everyone is probably better off that I stick to the written word, where opportunities to edit and rephrase abound. Freedom of speech is great, but getting off a watch-list is a huge pain the ass that I’d rather not deal with.

Writers don’t often get in hot water for what they write. They get in trouble for what they say in interviews.

Luckily for me, I never jumped onto the Youtube bandwagon. I’m a homesteader with a writing problem. Despite owning a picturesque farm and possessing ruggedly handsome good looks, the content I produce doesn’t lend itself well to video. Writing weekly articles, producing novels, making sure the farm doesn’t go to hell, and holding down a regular job keep me busy enough that the thought of plastering my mug all over Youtube blathering on about God-knows-what-all makes me want to curl up into a ball with a bottle of single-malt and a bucket of ice.

youtube3Despite the foot stomping and cries of “censorship” from content providers, there hasn’t been a change in the Youtube Terms of Service. Rather, it’s a combination of Youtube informing content providers that the rules are being enforced and the hubris of the content providers themselves.

 In a similar dilemma, I’m giving serious consideration to abandoning Twitter entirely because I don’t see the return on effort expended as worth it.

Every piece of media produced, whether it be a movie, book, video, novel, article, etc., requires resources to both produce and deliver. Those of us silly enough to believe the things we produce have value to people outside our immediate circle of family and friends undertake the endeavors with varying levels of belief strangers will find out products sufficiently valuable that they will be compelled to reach into their wallets and hand over a couple of dollars.

Every writer, farmer, artist, craftsman, and storyteller since the beginning of time cherishes each laugh, gasp, ooh, and aah at what they produce. Unfortunately, those expressions of enjoyment suffer from a poor exchange rate.

Part of that springs from a generalized idea that everything on the internet should be free. No one is immune from the phenomenon. I’m just a guilty as you are.

Getting me to part with a dollar is as tough as convincing Hillary Clinton to send air cover to Benghazi.

Convincing people to unclench their fists from around their bankroll is never an easy task. Starbucks and Apple seem to have figured out that magic formula, but the vast majority of producers of ephemeral delights don’t have that sort of mojo.

The difficulty in getting people to part with their hard-earned ducketts is compounded when the product is not tangible. How exactly do you value words, sounds, and images?

The goal of radio and television has often been described as keeping the customers attention between blocks of advertisement. Youtube is no different. Neither is Facebook or WordPress (where you are very likely reading this) different. While I don’t receive monetary benefit from the ads you see at the bottom of the page, make no mistake they serve a purpose. That purpose is to cover the costs of delivering the “free” content.

Your mother was right. There is no free lunch.

Believe me when I say that I would happily take a piece of the advertising action, if I could deliver a big enough pool of readers who hang on my every word to quit my day job and concentrate of writing about homesteading full-time. Alas, I don’t.

youtube5While I pretty much suck at what I do, there is an elite strata of content producers who have managed to parlay their popularity into gainful employment. Some have attained their level of success for reasons that elude me, but ultimately, it comes down to eyeballs.

Folks who work in marketing departments probably have fancy words like “demographic reach” or some such made up term to describe the ability the convince a group of people to buy something.

With that in mind, I’m total open to saying your crappy product is the best there is or ever will be, as long as a check is included with the sample product.

Youtube is a refuge for content producers who are unable to marry into money, but are still gold-diggers at heart. Just like politics is Hollywood for the ugly, making a living on social media platforms is like a gentlemen’s club outside the gates of a Navy base.

It’s the very lowest end of a seedy industry with no real hopes of advancement, but it’s a rollicking good time while you’re there because the few rules in place aren’t really enforced.

By now, you may have asked yourself exactly why I care about any of this Youtube fiasco, since I’ve already admitted that I’m neither part of that producer community nor beneficiary of the advertising revenue stream.

Aside from envy due to my lack of success, I have a small dog in the fight. I aspire to make money using a similar model and frequently hold unpopular opinions, which in the marketplace of ideas seems to give license for all manner of personal attacks that have little to do with whatever issue is at hand.

I’ve been called a racist so often that I’ve started to believe there somewhere exists a mural of me and Nathan Bedford Forrest embracing, while David Duke stands in the background wearing a Klan robe, waving a Confederate battle flag, and curb-stomping Martin Luther King, Jr.

Youtube demonetizing videos has less to do with violating Terms of Service than it does with advertisers caring about their image. It’s tough to blame them. Advertisers are ultimately concerned with maximizing the sales of their product and won’t risk alienating any segment of the purchasing public, which is to say, anyone with a dollar in their pocket. Free speech has little to do with it.

youtube2Every time a celebrity gets in some sort of trouble, whether it’s Bill Cosby, Ryan Lochte, or R. Lee Ermy, their corporate sponsors are the first to abandon them. Advertisers are smart enough to understand that consumers aren’t very bright and seem to make sport of product boycotts for the most trivial of reasons.

How many millions of dollars in lost revenue or percentage of lost market share can the right viral boycott cost a Fortune 500 company? None are willing to find out for certain.

In an effort to make themselves attractive to the really big advertising money, Youtube is tightening its definition of “advertiser friendly.” The broad categories of what is not advertiser friendly don’t seem unreasonable:

  • Sexually suggestive content, including partial nudity and sexual humor.
  • Violence, including display of serious injury and events related to violent extremism.
  • Inappropriate language, including harassment, profanity and vulgar language.
  • Promotion of drugs and regulated substances, including selling, and, abuse of such items.
  • Controversial or sensitive subjects and events, including subjects related to war, political conflicts, natural disasters and tragedies; even if graphic imagery is not shown.

That’s easily half of the videos on Youtube, and taken broadly, means an awful lot of people will have videos demonetized, since I’m not even sure Disney content escapes this dragnet. Despite the screams of “censorship,” Youtube isn’t abridging anyone’s free speech. It’s not like they are refusing to bake gay wedding cakes.

Content providers can still post. They just might not get paid for their trouble, which for many of them takes away the incentive. If you make your living creating Youtube videos, Youtube kinda becomes your boss and has the ability to modify the work rules. Your other option is to leave, if the conditions are intolerable. Just as with a regular job, the balancing act becomes one of how much are you willing to give up versus how much you gain.

If you have a better offer, take it. Otherwise, suck it up and adapt to the new rules of engagement, buttercup.

Ultimately, the content providers will calm down from their tantrums and realize this is a good thing. After all the teeth gnashing, content providers who want to step up to the real advertising money will figure out how to play by the Big Boy rules. Those who want to keep doing their thing as always will have to pay a price for exercising their freedom.

Nobody ever said speaking your mind was free of consequences.

Youtube is not in the business of providing a platform for content providers to spout off anything that comes to mind. They are in the business of selling as many ads as they can for the highest price possible. Any content that frustrates that goal will not be rewarded.

 

 

 

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