So Twitter has decided to crack down on "neo-Nazis and extremists" with a set of new policies that go into place on December 22nd. In part,
"You also may not affiliate with organisations that - whether by their own statements or activity both on and off the platform - use or promote violence against civilians to further their causes."
Makes you wonder, as freelance journalist Tim Pool did, whether that means anyone affiliated with Antifa will be banned. It continues,
"You also may not use your username, display name, or profile bio to engage in abusive behaviour, such as targeted harassment or expressing hate towards a person, group, or protected category."
The policy also bans "hateful images of symbols." I suspect this will include not just the swastika, but also Pepe the frog.
While "abusive behavior" and "targeted harassment" merit action, what exactly does "expressing hate" toward a "group, or protected category" mean? Does saying "men commit more crime than women" count as hate? Or are men not a "protected category." Does saying "blacks commit more crime than whites" count as hate? I would suspect so, even if one offers a detailed explanation as to why, say the War on Drugs and collapse of the black family.
It also leads me to ask a question I have in many other places (here, here, here and here); why do communists get a free pass? Presumably, Antifa would be banned for advocating violence (although I would be shocked if that happens). But what about just run-of-the-mill commmies?
If advocating for a hateful ideology such as fascism of Nazism gets you banned. Then so should advocating for communism. You may think it sounds nice but just doesn't work. But if you've ever met a communist, you'll realize that most of them are filled with hate; hate for capitalists, America, the West, whites, men, Christianity, in some instances Jews and, of course, their own miserable existence, etc.
While Nazism is repugnant, a free society tolerates the expression of repugnant views. Good ideas can and must beat bad ones. To say otherwise means you believe that censorship and authoritarianism are required. And those are two terrible ideas. Thus, in the battle ideas, you've already lost.
This is why communists should be allowed to preach their filth. But so should fascists. And if you're going to flush the brown, flush the red while you're at it.
Or I should say, at least in part.
The media is telling us that the horrific shooting in Texas that took 26 lives had "no racial or religious motive." CNN tells us he had a "row with his mother-in-law." Well there you go, he obviously had no religious motive whatsoever!
Except, as CNN also tells us, "But Kelley's mother-in-law was not inside the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs when Kelley sprayed the congregation with gunfire."
If he had a "row with his mother-in-law," why not just shoot her? Why shoot up a church full of innocent people?
Well, it obviously has something to do with the fact that he was a disturbed individual with a history of domestic abuse who had been in a mental institution and dishonorably discharged from the military. But being unstable is basically a prerequisite for mass shooters.
Kelley hated Christians. He made no effort to hide this. His Facebook page had multiple atheist accounts listed who was described by his peers as a "militant atheist." One person noted “He was always talking about how people who believe in God we’re stupid and trying to preach his atheism.” Indeed, it wasn't just his mother-in-law that he had a row with, he "spent the months before his attack 'starting drama' with strangers on Facebook."
If some guy had been talking about how much he despised Islam and how stupid Muslims were for months on and end and then shot up a Mosque, would anyone say he didn't do it for religious reasons because he had a "row with his mother-in-law."
Perhaps that "row" was the trigger to set him off. Perhaps he hated all religion and it just happened to be a church that was nearby. Perhaps. But it is beyond obvious that his victims were targeted, at least in large part, because they were Christians.
My latest post on BiggerPockets discusses the similarity between how to quit smoking and how to improve your life and business.
The key: Enjoy the path.
I describe how I quit smoking with Allen Carr's great book The Easy Way To Stop Smoking. For any smokers out there, I highly recommend the book. Carr basically flips the "quit smoking" script by focusing not on the downsides but on the fact that all the "upsides" are illusions. For example, the excuse of "I smoke because I'm bored" doesn't make sense because, well, smoking is boring!
Basically, Carr teaches you to "enjoy the path" to quitting smoking and it works remarkably well.
The same goes for almost everything else in life. Goals are great, but if they are your obsession, you will always live in a "pre-success failure." I go into much more detail in the article. Check it out!
After the horrific shooting in Las Vegas, it would seem the Left's second biggest concern (behind gun control, which is completely understandable) is calling this guy a terrorist.
After all, in a murder spree that almost only killed white people, it's proof that white people are, as Feministing writer Mahroh Jahangiri eloquently put it " white men are terrorists.white men are terrorists.white men are terrorists.white men are terrorists. whites are the biggest terrorists."
These seem to be pretty standard sentiments, even if the whole "white men are terrorists" meme is mostly wrong.
Indeed, an old friend of mine noted on Facebook that this was a white terrorists attack and the only reason it wasn't called as such was "white privledge." Again, I'll note almost only white people were killed.
But the thing is, "mass murder" and "atrocity" are not the same thing as terrorism. Terrorism has a definition. And it is as follows,
"noun: terrorism. The unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims."
If it's not political, it's not terrorism. It doesn't matter how bad it was. So Dylan Roof committed terrorism whereas Adam Lanza did not, even though Lanza killed more.
And unless you believe ISIS, we have no idea what this guy's motives were.
We definitely should have a discussion on guns and mental health, but for the love of God leave the race baiting aside.
My new article at BiggerPockets is up on how to make a low-pressure sales pitch when introducing yourself to someone new, someone who could be a potential client, colleague or investor.
First, I describe the "elevator pitch" which real estate investor Dave Lindahl notes needs three things,
Next, I discuss the "nutshell resume" which Leil Lowndes notes in her book How to Talk to Anyone is to "let a different true story roll off your tongue for each listener."
So for example,
“Don’t say ‘[real]estate agent.’ Say ‘I help people moving into our area find the right home.’"
This way of communicating can be extremely effective. You just never know who may be important to you when you meet them. This technique lets the person know you may be of importance to them and can act as a springboard to a more useful conversation.
I go into much more detail in the article. Check it out!
I have struggled all my life with getting out of bed. I tend to hit the snooze button several times and waste at least a half hour if not a full hour each morning trying to get up.
Think about how much a waste this is. Even if it's just a half hour, this extra "rest" doesn't actually help. You aren't getting any more sleep, or if you are, just a few seconds nodding off. It's just wasted time.
Over a year's time, it will mean you will have wasted 7.6 days just trying to get up. Over a 70 year lifetime, that amounts to 532 days, or a year and half down the drain.
I've tried all sorts of things, from goals about getting up X times per week, to practicing getting up quickly, to setting the alarm on the other side of the room. None of it works, at least for me, and I think the reason is it puts all the focus on the last step (getting out of bed) and not the first one.
I've become a huge fan of Scott Adam's systems-approach to life, which I've written about more here. Screw the goals and make systems. I.e. instead of losing 20 pounds, make a goal to go to the gym each day. You don't have to work out, but you have to show up. Usually, when you're there (have taken the first step), you'll go ahead and just work out.
So I've taken the same approach to waking up. Make my system just to take the first step. I have to do the following each morning:
- I wake up to music, and I have to leave it on.
- I have to take a big drink of water (you wake up dehydrated, which is one reason you are tired).
- I have to turn my night lamp on.
Add to this I have the guideline of keeping my eyes open, although I can cheat on that if I want. I've thought about adding lying up on one of those pillow back rests or actually spraying myself in the face five times with a water fan like the one's people have at sporting events.
Regardless, I haven't needed those yet. As you'll notice, I have not goal here. I can stay in bed as long as I like. The only thing I demand from myself are the first steps; the things that will make me substantially less tired. Then maybe I'll surf the Internet on my cellphone a little. All these things start to bring me to life, whereas lying on my back with my eyes closed just delays the process.
By the time I get to the shower, the job is basically done. And I usually finish it with just a blast of cold water which will wake you up real, real fast.
Systems are great and can be applied to all sorts of areas in your life. This is just one, but it's huge. Since I've started doing it, I am consistently getting up within 10 minutes of my alarm going off. I'm basically saving myself a year of life!
In my latest article for Mises.org, I take on not just the "mathiness" of modern economics, but the fact that they tend to get so much wrong. Or as Christopher Nolan put it once, “Take a field like economics for example. [Unlike physics] you have real material things and it can’t predict anything. It’s always wrong.”
In the article, I discuss Alan Jay Levinovitz' article on "The New Astrology" where he points out that,
"The failure of the field to predict the 2008 crisis has also been well-documented. In 2003, for example, only five years before the Great Recession, the Nobel Laureate Robert E Lucas Jr told the American Economic Association that ‘macroeconomics ... has succeeded: its central problem of depression prevention has been solved’. Short-term predictions fair little better — in April 2014, for instance, a survey of 67 economists yielded 100 per cent consensus: interest rates would rise over the next six months. Instead, they fell. A lot."
But he doesn't seem to draw the proper conclusions, as I note,
"It appears that Levinovitz hasn’t quite grasped the full consequences of the argument he has espoused; namely that because economics models are mostly useless and cannot predict the future with any sort of certainty, then centrally directing an economy would be effectively like flying blind. The failure of economic models to pan out is simply more proof of the pretense of knowledge. And it’s not more knowledge that we need, it’s more humility. The humility to know that 'wise' bureaucrats are not the best at directing a market — market participants themselves are."
So I was fortunate enough to get a piece published in The Daily Caller that expanded upon the argument I made here on my blog last week. In it, I ask the simple question "Why is it wrong to condemn both fascists and communists?"
I note that despite my problems with Trump and the awkwardness of what he said, he was right. Both sides were to blame. And that is obvious.
Yes, not all the protesters were Antifa, but those that were Antifa were predominantly responsible for starting the violence. Antifa is also a transparently communist organization. As I say in the article
"And make no mistake about it, Antifa is a communist organization. Even The Washington Post acknowledges 'Its adherents are predominantly communists, socialists and anarchists who reject turning to the police or the state to halt the advance of white supremacy.' Remember, most in the Alt Right don’t actually call themselves 'fascists.'”
So communists and fascists fought each other in the streets. Yes, the worst violence was done by the fascists, but the communists mostly started it. And the communists have an even longer list of blood baths and massacres than the fascists do.
Communists and fascists are both, to use Hillary Clinton's words, deplorable. Both sides rightly deserve to be condemned. In this instance, Trump was right.
In my latest article for BiggerPockets I spread the gospel of Key Performance Indicators (or KPIs) and how important they are for systematizing and scaling your business (be it real estate or otherwise). As I note the common problem entrepreneurs (and real estate investors) have is something like this,
"...without hard numbers to evaluate how you are doing, you will often have that feeling in your stomach that something is wrong, but you’re not quite sure or at least you’re not quite sure what is wrong. First, you will think that it was your contractor that screwed up, then you will talk to him and then think it was several of the other vendors, such as the painter or electrician. Or maybe it was your real estate agent. Maybe you should sell the property on your own to save the commission. Or maybe that’s a waste of your time and you would still likely have to pay the buyer’s commission."
KPIs can not only help with meauring company perfomance and project performance (such as a flip) but are also great for measuring employees,
"...tracking KPIs also makes it easier to evaluate employees in general. It makes it easier to know who to let go, who to keep, and who to promote. Furthermore, it gives your employees something to aim for which can be very motivating. "
Check it out!
I guess I'm not surprised, but it is really quite baffling how the mainstream press and most of the public has reacted to the events in Charlottesville the other day, particularly President Trump's comments.
Trump had condemned the hate "from many sides" and called for the country to come together as one. Well, the Left threw a conniption fit. Keith Olberman called Trump a neo-Nazi (again) amongst just about everyone else on the Left. A friend of mine on Facebook went so far as to call him a terrorist! For what? A weak comment regarding something other people did?
Trump ended up having another press conference to "call evil by its name" and condemn racism.
But really, was this comment so horrible? Antifa is the main group that was "protesting" the Alt Right rally. And Antifa is an admitted communist group that promotes violence and engages in it all of the time. Does the media (and the rest of the country) really need to have a recap on the sins of communists?
Yes the fascists were horrible, but the communists were just as bad and killed far more, probably close to 100 million.
In a battle between fascists and communists, which side do you pick?
The answer is neither.
Yes, the person who killed that woman with his car was part of the Alt Right, but Antifa started the violence in the first place. Yes, there was obviously "hate on many sides" and it's hard to conclude that those who have a problem with such a statement are anything other than communist sympathizers.
"Every day is a new life to the wise man."
The Righteous Mind
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