The Matters w/ Matt: Never With The Saints Surrounded

Every Wednesday: I never fail to be disgusted with advice columns. I am unsure why they still get paid to do what they do. As always, I am in awe when it comes to awful examples like Dear Prudence and Dear Abby. The columnists seem to get rewarded for giving you bad advice. I think that people get terrible advice from them. I don’t blame anyone that calls advice column responses garbage. I use my postings to correct these responses and help society by being an utmost asshole, (as always, a hat tip to Aaron Clarey at Asshole Consulting).

Consider this piece from Ask Amy’s column (courtesy of Arcamax) from April 6, 2021:

(Dear Matters):

Dear Amy: My husband and I recently had our DNA tested.

We knew people can uncover unexpected relationships, but I wish we had thought about how to cope with this before we took our tests.

Amy, both of us have discovered that we have half-siblings.

My father had two children with another woman while I was in junior high.

My husband’s father had a child with a close family friend while his mother was pregnant with him.

Both of us are trying to understand this without the ability to ask our fathers (deceased), and without any deep understanding of what was happening at the time.

The last thing we want to do is ask our mothers, who are quite elderly.

Please caution your readers to consider, before submitting their DNA, what their own feelings and actions will be if they find out something shocking.

My husband and I agree that we are glad we know, but it has been difficult — particularly because all of these half-siblings really don’t want to meet or know us.

My question to you is — should we tell our siblings? They may want to know, but we are not sure.

As we have found out, once you know something, you can’t unknow it. Additionally, we know that eventually as more family members do their DNA, they may also learn about this.

What to do?

– BW

(Dear BW):

Yes, talk to your siblings. (A lesson to all, be honest with your kids. Family is no joke).

Another lesson being that you can be a parent and not be a saint.

Speaking with a sibling should not be about the titillating nature of a parent’s indiscretion but about an opportunity to learn more about your family. It could a good thing. Take the risk.

But you should all be alerted to the fact that this could be a sore spot for them too. Opening up old wounds connected to deceased family (that people had their minds made up about already).

Tread lightly and lean toward taking it to the grave.

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I don’t imagine that I will have a shortage of emails to answer. I would love to start doing this for anyone that sends me an email. If this is you; email us at freemattpodcast@gmail.com

If you hate advice columns; I don’t blame you. If it isn’t soft people giving advice; it is someone trying to justify acting like an insensitive asshole. Till next week.

https://www.arcamax.com/healthandspirit/lifeadvice/askamy/s-2498911-p1

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Democrats Hoping to Unionize Entire Sectors of Economy at Once (reblog)

Watch the jobs disappear. Plenty of places where the union jobs arent a plenty.

Seen the workplaces fold faster for unionized workplaces than for non-unionized. I imagine that I could find a link to that study.

Getting the government involved isnt a good idea. Ive seen them get their noses stuck in contracts before and it hurts everyone’s ability to make coin.

When you hang out with the government hog, expect to smell like bacon.

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Sean Higgins • 

Democratic lawmakers will push to have entire sectors of the economy unionized, a practice called “sectoral bargaining,” when Congress reconvenes next year. The idea behind it is that because the Democrats’ allies in the union movement have struggled to maintain their numbers, Congress can help by passing a law declaring that anybody working in a particular industry is automatically part of a union. The workers themselves won’t, it seems, have any say in this.

Virginia Democrat Bobby Scott, chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, is pretty upfront about it in “The future of work: How Congress can support workers in the digital economy.” The document is a set of policy recommendations for the coming year his committee released earlier this week.

“Collective bargaining in the United States is limited by the fact that it typically occurs only at the level of individual firms of employers, and not across industries or sectors,” the report stated. It noted that non-union companies “lack an incentive to raise wages to compete with unionized employers.” That’s a roundabout way of saying that the higher costs associated with unionization can harm a business in a competitive industry.

Scott’s solution is to unionize all of the companies so that the competitive edge from not having a union doesn’t exist. “Many countries have facilitated collective bargaining on the sectoral level where representatives of workers and employers in a given industry bargain over wages and standards throughout that industry.”

The committee report tries to frame this as a positive for businesses. They will no longer have to worry about setting wages because they won’t have control over them anymore. “Centralized bargaining benefits employers and employees by removing wages from competition, enabling employers to compete over the quality of their products or services.”

Scott is less clear on how this would be implemented, though the report appears to indicate that whatever union currently covers most of an industry would be given the contract. In cases where multiple unions represent workers in an industry? Well, they’ll work something out.

There is no indication that the workers themselves will have any input on this. In Scott’s vision, they just wake up one day with a union card, told they are now represented by an organization they are not familiar with, and that will be that. The important thing is that the union is themselves will be more powerful.

“Crucial to this emerging issue is promoting high union membership density to protect the effectiveness of sector-wide bargaining and prevent a free-rider problem from emerging,” the reported stated.

This is just one item on a fairly radical wish list, but shows the direction the Congress will try to head in next year.

https://cei.org/blog/democrats-hoping-to-unionize-entire-sectors-of-economy-at-once/

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Using A Crusade To Bring Together Enemies

(1) US and Soviet Union teamed up to free three gray whales trapped in Alaskan ice during Operation Breakthrough.

(2) HRE, under the Hapsburgs, teamed up with a mix of protestants and other catholic “members” to fight against the Ottoman Turks.

(3) During WW1, Russian and Germans joined together to kill wolves that were menacing both armies.

It hurts me to see people snipe at each other. An actual war against evil is one thing, (or at least a battle for resources), but fighting for fighting’s sake seldom has a purpose.

I want people to have a purpose and often it can come in a crusade. (In our lives, we have found actual worthy crusades like ending childhood cancer or ending sex trafficking).

Our enemies, (actual or perceived), may also have this desire to tackle one of these crusades. It makes more sense to combine resources/forces to do so. and fight each other later on. We may have worse enemies on the horizon that might be doing their damnedest to destroy us. (Do not look past their desire to divide their perceived enemies and conquer after they watch the destruction).

I want you to use this information to rethink the idea of fighting someone you have no clear reason to at the time. If possible, find a common reason to defeat another enemy; actual or not.

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Yet Another Report Shows Asset Forfeiture Doesn’t Reduce Crime Or Cripple Criminal Organizations (Reblog)

Policing at a profit, for shiny things or for funding is wrong. It should be about protection of persons or constitutional right to property.

Instead of an incorporation, such as a city or town, I wish the police were acknowledged as employed by tax paying citizens.

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Thu, Dec 17th 2020 11:00am — Tim Cushing

According to the Department of Justice (and countless other law enforcement agencies), civil asset forfeiture is a valuable tool that harms criminal organizations and lowers crime rates. It’s a deterrent they assert actually exists, despite there being no accompanying arrests of these supposed criminals.

I don’t know what criminal organizations are being dismantled at less than $1,000/seizure, but that’s the reality of asset forfeiture. A large majority of forfeitures involve amounts too small to be disputed in court, where legal fees quickly outpace any expected recovery.

That’s how the system “works.” Cops grab what they can and hope the system tilted in their favor pays off. Any incidental effects on crime rates are a bonus. But lowering crime isn’t the focus, no matter what’s asserted by defenders of legalized theft.

And the facts say otherwise. A study released last year showed asset forfeiture has zero effect on crime rates or drug sales. All it does is take cash from people who need it the most, as is borne out by low dollar amounts most frequently seen in forfeiture cases.

Now, another study is confirming the obvious: asset forfeiture enriches police departments… but not the lives of the people they serve. The study had a great data set to work with. Back in 2015, New Mexico outlawed civil asset forfeiture. If cops wanted to take stuff, they had to secure a conviction. If asset forfeiture was the valuable crime-fighting tool New Mexico law enforcement agencies claimed it was, crime rates would be expected to increase. But that’s not what happened, according to the Institute of Justice’s study.

[F]ive years after New Mexico effectively banned civil forfeiture, those fears remain unrealized, according to a new study set to be published on Tuesday by the Institute for Justice, a public interest law firm that has been advocating reforms to forfeiture laws. The predicted rise in crime and drop in arrests has not materialized, according to the study, which is based on analyses of FBI data. Arrest and offense rates in New Mexico, the study found, remained essentially flat before and after the 2015 law went into effect. That’s based on an examination of crime overall, as well as a specific set of offenses: drug possession, drug sales, and driving under the influence. Arrest and offense rates were also consistent with trends in two neighboring states, Colorado and Texas.

Despite there being no link between forfeiture and crime reduction, the DOJ continues to claim the system works. The DOJ likes to point to its biggest seizures — like forfeitures related to high-profile criminal cases involving millions of dollars — as proof the program is essential to the recovery of criminal proceeds to make whole victims of crimes. But the DOJ purposefully conflates criminal and civil asset forfeiture. The former is tied to criminal convictions. The latter occurs without almost zero court examination or adversarial hearings.

Civil asset forfeiture rarely involves millions of dollars. When court costs are far more than what can be recovered, the system allows cops to amass large sums of cash in small increments. That’s the reality of forfeiture: tiny amounts of cash no one outside of law enforcement would assume were the result of criminal activity.

The median forfeiture averaged $1,276 across the 21 states where usable data was obtainable. In most of those states, half of cash seizures fell below $1,000. In Michigan, for example, half of all civil forfeitures of currency were worth less than $423, and in Pennsylvania, that median value was $369.

That’s how we’re crippling massive criminal conspiracies: with cash amounts that wouldn’t even cover a car payment. The median amount in these cases show cops are just shaking down people for the money in their wallets and cooking up a post-seizure justification for taking their money. If it costs $1,000 to fight a $400 seizure, almost everyone is just going to let it go. Then the cops point to the number of unchallenged seizures as “evidence” the alleged perps (who were never arrested or charged) are guilty of criminal activity.

This money is then converted into slush funds for cops — ones that often aren’t subject to additional oversight. Cops pay salaries and make off-the-book purchases of surveillance tech with these funds, secure in the knowledge that their oversight can’t oversee line items that aren’t reflected in local budget books. The more often they get away with this, the more often they feel they can use their power to take cash from people to buy themselves the things they want.

Meanwhile, no one gets any more safety or security out of the deal. Citizens are subjected to shakedowns by officers without any corresponding decrease in crime rates or increase in public safety. Not only do cops become a law unto themselves with forfeiture programs, they shortchange honest citizens whose tax dollars are being wasted on programs designed to pad cop shop budgets.

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20201215/11302445891/yet-another-report-shows-asset-forfeiture-doesnt-reduce-crime-cripple-criminal-organizations.shtml

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New Video: All Your Exes May Not Live In Texas

A short video to talk about not being bitter and learning what you can from your exes.

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Navy Post Note On Drug Operations Or How I Failed The Tryout For War

I felt like a few people in the military were let down. Our first enlistments served as a tryout for actual war worthiness and many of us failed. Some of the biggest failures were those that experienced counter drug operations.

The disappointment of drug operations is that the vast majority of engaged US Navy personnel had been trained in other warfare areas. Even prior to boot camp, we were sold on this idea that we would have the opportunity to harvest the warrior should within us. The reality came at that many of us found ourselves in was that were cogs, unchallenged drones doing pointless jobs. Many of us found ourselves supporting law enforcement operations and LEO goals (counterdrug/migrant) instead of being part of an actual battlegroup.

It made for great copy when we highlighted the multinational efforts and the feel good results, but it failed to explain that the crew had mixed feelings. It failed to highlight that a cross section of the crew were not operating within the platform’s capabilities. The crew, being a mix of technologically leaning combat roles, ship focused operations/engineering personnel, and administrative bodies, found themselves doing a military police job (or a Coast Guard “assistant”).

The irony is that many people I knew joined the Navy to escape the drug game, only to be thrown at it again. A few of us could be called “libertarian”, preferring communities to be engaged in dealing with the “anti proliferation” of drugs. Many of these people want more involvement of parents an community leaders to govern behavior, preferring that the law enforcement entities deal with actual crimes involving people and property crimes, not supposed moral crimes related to personal choice.

I, among a few, felt defeated at the end of my first enlistment due to roughly nine months of counter drug operations. From someone in my senior enlisted chain of command, I learned that the only two types of shipboard deployments for my rating were Persian Gulf and Counter Drug Operations. Neither were appealing. I thought it to be a waste of labor and tax money. It also equated to a man feeling like he failed the tryout for war.

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What I’m Reading, Listening to, And Concerned About

Reading:

Jon @ Jon Parker Writes comments about exceeding expectations.

https://authorjonparker.com/2021/04/02/commitment-to-exceeding-expectations-is-powerful/

Listening:

Coop @ The Flame Within lends you some great advice; “Unf*ck Your Life”. 

https://anchor.fm/theflamewithin/episodes/Unfuck-your-life-etem9u

Additional Reading:

Aaron Engelsrud, at his eponymous website, presents mindfulness and gratitude commentary from his life.

https://aaronengelsrud.com/

Additional Listening:

Craig @ The Masculine by Design Mancast speaks about the importance of fathers.. 

Concerned:

Could we get any lazier? Don’t answer this.

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The “Mind Viruses” Creating Social Justice Warriors

Questions to ponder after reading this:

(a) To defeat the mind virus production do you just let them collapse under their own weight, to let scientific evolution take its course?

(b) There is no “my truth”. Can we admit, eventually, that there is only “the truth”?


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David Gordon 4/3/21

The Parasitic Mind: How Infectious Ideas Are Killing Common Sense
by Gad Saad. Regnery, 2020
xvi + 240 pages

Gaad Saad, a psychologist who specializes in applying evolutionary biology to the study of consumer behavior, has written a book of great value, and moreover, it is a book that required great courage to write. The book is filled with interesting ideas, and I have space here to mention only a few of them.

What most draws me to the book is that Saad has a philosophical turn of mind, and as such, he is concerned with fashionable attempts to deny the existence of objective truth. He says,

The central focus of this book is to explore another set of pathogens that are as dangerous [as biological parasites] to the human condition: parasitic pathogens of the human mind. These are composed of thought patterns, belief systems, attitudes, and mindsets that parasitize one’s ability to think properly and accurately. Once these mind viruses take hold of one’s neuronal circuitry, the afflicted victim loses the ability to use reason, logic, and science to navigate the world. Instead, one sinks into an abyss of infinite lunacy best defined by a dogged and proud departure from reality, common sense, and truth. (p. 17)

The mental viruses Saad has in mind are to a large extent those that deny that human beings have a biological nature. He says, for example,

Many idea pathogens share one common thread, a deep desire to liberate people from the shackles of reality. Take, for example, the blank slate premise of the human mind. It posits that humans are born void of any evolved biological blueprints and innate individual differences. Our eventual life trajectories are thought to be fully shaped by the distinct environment to which we’ve been exposed. (p. 70)

It is exactly here that Saad has manifested his courage, as the followers of many fashionable movements deny what he affirms and have been quick to boycott and blacklist dissenters. He tells us that the

idea pathogens on university campuses fall into several large categories. Postmodernism posits that all knowledge is relative (no objective truths)…. Social constructivism proposes that the great majority of human behaviors, desires, and preferences are formed not by human nature or our biological heritage but by society, which means, among other things, that there are no biologically determined sex differences, but only culturally imposed “gender roles.” Radical feminism asserts that these gender roles are due to the nebulous and nefarious forces of the patriarchy. Transgender activism purports that biological sex and “gender” are non-binary fluid constructs. Scientifically speaking, postmodernism, social constructivism, radical feminism, and transgender activism are all based on demonstrable falsehoods. (p. 69, emphasis in original)

Saad has placed great stress on the findings, as he takes them, of evolutionary biology, but how do we know these findings are true, and, moreover, so firmly established that resistance to them can be characterized as mental pathology? In a crucial passage, he says that evolutionary theory is supported by “nomological networks of cumulative evidence.” “This approach epitomizes the gift of the human intellect. It is akin to building a jigsaw puzzle. No single piece is sufficient to see the full image but once all of the pieces are placed in their rightful positions, the final pattern emerges clearly” (p. 146).

Saad, it transpires, firmly believes that science is our best means to attain objective truth. “Philosophers have offered many frameworks to define truth. Mathematical proofs, for instance, are axiomatic truthsEmpirical truths, on the other hand, are sought by the scientific method” (p. 143, emphasis in original). Saad’s views about evolution and science merit careful consideration, but my aim here is to present them rather than evaluate them. I would, though, note one problem. When he says that the “scientific method is the universal epistemological framework for understanding the world around us” (p. 57, emphasis added), he is making a statement that he takes to be true, even though it is a philosophical statement and not a scientific one.

In his stress on the objectivity of logic and reason, Saad finds an ally in Ludwig von Mises, whom he cites:

The contemporary progressive mantra considers it laudable to argue that different races, cultures, or religions possess distinct ways of knowing. However, not too long ago, the idea that people of different races or classes possessed distinct ways of thinking and reasoning, was reserved for racists and other miscreants. Ludwig von Mises … coined the term polylogism to capture this exact folly. Mises differentiated between Marxian polylogism and racial polylogism…. Polylogism is an anti-science notion, as Mises well knew…. There is no “black mind” or “white mind,” no “white male way of knowing” or “indigenous way of knowing,” there is only one truth, and we find it through the scientific method. (pp. 59–60)

An objection might occur to some readers, but Saad has an answer to it. Saad says that there is only one way of knowing, not separate male and female ways of knowing, but doesn’t he also, against those he calls radical feminists, emphasize biologically based differences between the behavior of men and women? Saad would reply that there is no contradiction: there are evolutionary reasons for both universal logic and sex-based differences in behavior.

If science is to continue to progress, it is essential that all lines of inquiry be open. This openness ought not to give way to the demands of certain “oppressed” groups that controversial views that hurt their feelings should be banned:

Given that they are so wrong, how do the ideologues defend their idea pathogens? Under totalitarian regimes, the solution is direct. You criminalize if not violently suppress (or kill) any dissenting voices. In the West, the ideological indoctrination is subtler. It is achieved by an ethos of political correctness and best enforced by creating university campuses that lack intellectual diversity … intellectual terrorists instruct generations of gullible students to remain quiet in their classroom seats while they inculcate them with anti-science nonsense. (p. 92, emphasis in original)

The “social justice warriors” have met their match in Gad Saad, and readers will benefit from the many stimulating ideas in The Parasitic Mind.

https://mises.org/wire/mind-viruses-creating-social-justice-warriors

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FreeMatt in Review: 3-29 to 4-2

Instead of listening to people that make money on your misery, take time to listen to something constructive. In the meantime, check out this week’s FreeMatt in Review

What Really Serves Justice?

Two people are killed and a family struggles, but they are not served by the state’s justice system, ponder this in a profound article.

Inhumane Resources: Piss On Your Parade

I had a run in with a feral HR employee on neutral turf. Learn more in this article.

The Matters w/ Matt: Mad Man Makes More Mad

A boyfriend steers a relationship toward rocks but wonders why the tires feel funny, find out more in this Matters w/ Matt.

Men Must Understand Presence and Be Aware Of

Be aware of your presence, it shapes how you are treated and how the future may hold. Learn more in this historically backed piece.

When It Isnt Heartbreak But “Just Medicine”

A redditor strikes to the core with a well written post that I wish that I had seen years ago. Learn more in this article.

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What Really Serves Justice?

I wanted to add this article and present to you a few questions.

In my state, we have often had law makers that have passed laws that were “tough on crime”. This was all well and good in the 90s but it cost the taxpayers a ton. (Then the prisons fell apart, amongst other issues).

The person mentioned in the below article was found to be responsible for taking someone’s life, depriving a family of their loved one and a workplace of workers.

The young man is not a saint. He appears to be a screw up at best. But I would ask you:

Does this man going to jail for a lengthy timeframe serve justice?

Would it make more sense making him do service for the family and finding him counseling?

In three years, he could be a monumental fuck up of a 21 year old.

I am unsure that putting Alabama taxpayers on the hook for his food, jail stay, and terrible healthcare would make the Bramblett’s family whole.

It would make more sense for him to pay restitution and be pushed into finding a job.

The kid seemed lost, according to local sources I knew. I had been in his shoes, I was an exhausted driver full of piss and vinegar. Being lost was often a disadvantage for townies in an university town.

The state, DAs and actors in the legal industry are the one’s that often jump at problems like this. The people actually ask for summary executions or actual rehab at times, instead of prison sentences with no educational programs to reduce recidivism. Our state prisons are evidence of this, the punishment expanding out of simply being imprisoned.

I think that the libertarian idea of letting victims of actual crimes have recompense makes more sense than letting the state have people. I dont think that putting on a show is justice.

Just stew on this. I am for punishing actual crimes but the state often forgets victims and the local community often has better ideas on how to handle things.

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