Friday, 17 March 2017

Geopolitics, ‘diversity’ and the modern janissaries

In a world of globalised market states, internal dynamics will impact geopolitics in strange and dangerous ways. So what should we make of “diversity”? It appears the entire social structure of both Western Europe and the US revolves around this topic, and it is easy to see why: Everywhere that there is argument, there is an unresolved opportunity to rule.

Of course, we are all human. My perspective on the world is very different from most people. But I prefer to respect their experiences, rather than regard their culture as an inferior, ignorant version of mine regardless of whether they share my skin colour, language or passport. Issues which seem to concern progressives quite a bit.

It's pretty clear what's going on with this whole "diversity" experience, as far as I can tell. It is an attempt, so far successful, by one strand of the Anglo-American tradition to create a janissary class and eradicate the last remnants of its traditionalist competitors and achieve total domination. In order to understand “diversity,” we have to unpack the thinking of today’s elites.

First, the basics. "Diversity" and "multiculturalism" are simply the modern descendants of the Puritan tradition, which evolved into "Nonconformism" in Britain and "Unitarianism" or "Transcendentalism" in the US. This finally mutated into the Progressive political movement, which controlled the US and UK before WWII and conquered the world as a result of that war. This movement is now the culture of the global transnational elite.

But keep in mind, this movement now asking you to be "multicultural" and "diverse" is coming to you with blood dripping from its lips after ripping apart its enemies last century, and it's asking for a kiss.

The key to the riddle of "diversity" is that the traditions progressivism is destroying are all real, such as Christmas, whereas the ones it esteems are largely invented, such as Kwanzaa. Of course, I’m not saying diversity is a method of social control. Its goal is to heal “deep spiritual wounds” and to correct the evils of the past, such as segregation, lynching and inappropriate lawn ornaments.

If you wonder about "diversity," try this experiment at home:

1: go to your local shops. Buy four or five different flavours of ice cream.
2: Scoop large chunks of each flavour, chosen randomly, into the blender. Don’t turn the blender on.
3: observe
4: turn the blender on for 15 seconds.
5: ask yourself the following question. Were the contents of the blender more "diverse" before, or after, step 4?

Ice cream aside, one of the most notable real-world achievements of this philosophy of government was the destruction of Eastern Europe, which was once a vibrant patchwork of multicultural diversity. The doctrine introduced the same kind of violence into Mitteleuropa that it brought to Iraq in 2003.

It's easy to forget these days that "democracy" and "nationalism" are basically the same thing. At least, that’s how Woodrow Wilson understood it. How can you have democracy without nationalism? You can't. Anyone who wants to argue the Nazis were not a typical expression of democratic thug politics, sees a strange nuance of translation between "Demos" and "Volk."

In my opinion, upper class "professionals" are extremely classist and status-conscious. The best indicator of this class are those who use the word “we” when referring to “government.” Their egalitarianism is thoroughly bogus. But their non-racism and antiracism is genuine.

By the way, "class" (caste) isn’t about one’s tax bracket. It is about status, prestige and power. Nor does caste in the West depend on lineage. It mainly depends on where a person went to university.

Almost all the West's levers of power are controlled by progressive aristocrats, but they are outnumbered. This class is always looking for children of the underclass it can plausibly recruit and train as professionals. Case in point: “affirmative action.” This cements the alliance between the two classes, and directs attention away from its unnatural and essentially military nature.

Unfortunately, the phrase "my people" has two meanings in English. There is a whole other traditionalist culture in Western society which sees the world very differently from progressive elites and isn't suffering from some kind of rural mental retardation. It simply doesn’t have power.

The top rank of social status in the western world today is conferred by, and only by, intellectual competency and achievement, preferably involving some association with the arts, sciences or public policy. Wealth confers no rank, and wealth in the absence of personal achievement is downright embarrassing.

Ottoman janissaries
No one, for example, gains any status by being the son of a successful car dealer. Some people might think they have status by driving a fancy car or something, but that's actually because they have no status at all (in the broader societal sense). No amount of “bling” is enough to make an underprivileged pharmaceutical merchant welcome at cocktail parties, or to admit him to Oxford.

Of course, white people of the traditionalist persuasion are not saints. In the past their skin colour supplied them with privileges. And if you offered the privileges again, I'm sure they would take them. Similarly, if you offered the Hohenzollerns the crown of Prussia back, I'm sure they'd take it. But that's no reason to worry about the second coming of Kaiser Bill.

Instead, these days, as the US election just discovered and Europe is about to see (hopefully not too harshly) lower-caste white people are dangerously discriminated against, in favour of a rapidly-expanding class of minorities who will soon become the majority. These newcomers are being used transparently as a janissary caste by the ruling progressive elite.

The movement for diversity is a naked elite power play. And whether their skin is white, black, green or purple, nobody appreciates discriminatory treatment. The fact that lower caste white people in the US and Europe submit to this power play is a consequence of their present powerlessness. If that changes, a lot of things will change with it.

If that change occurs – an unlikely possibility but certainly not impossible – this discriminatory stick will be used against the elites. After all, the line between a "native" and a "nativist" is awful thin. If I were a progressive, I'd think pretty hard about how to get that ring off of my finger and throw it into Mt Doom. Because rings do tend to change hands.

I have no desire at all to see violence. I have zero cultural affinity with the kinds of people who might vote for Donald Trump. In fact, if they came to power – actual power, not this present parliamentarian farce – I would think really hard about finding a quiet hillside somewhere. So I raise my voice against progressive “diversity” only because their irresponsible and narcissistic policy leads us closer every day to exactly this violence.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Today I learned nothing

Isn’t it funny when women complain to the HR department or other authorities? Sure, they might have been groped but all it sounds like is: “oh no the patriarchy is oppressing me. Quick, help me patriarchy!”

My friend told me a story. Apparently her girlfriend was invited to a corporate box to watch some silly sports game but all she saw was a drunk manager grope one of her colleagues. Fuming, she left the box early and the next day complained to the human resources department. For some reason, the girlfriend feels powerful and pleased with herself. But I don’t see the achievement.

First, it’d be silly to blame the environment of the corporate box. People often say the way men “do business” is different to the way women do business. But I don’t think that’s true at all. It’s really all about having agency and initiative.

I’m generalising a bit here, yet the goal for many women in business is the relationship, rather than to use relationships as a lead up to a transaction. Men build relationships in order to get the transaction. But the mistake is to think of this as two ways of doing business. It’s actually just the right way and the wrong way. Transactions are the whole point of business. If you want to build a relationship, go out for coffee.

The whole point of wooing clients at a corporate box is to pick their pocket, but if you’d rather those events weren’t about ulterior motives, you can’t then complain when revenue falls. It’s not about feminine vs masculine business processes. It’s about doing business. That’s it. Business is always and everywhere about convincing others to give you their money. Business doesn’t have morals, ethics or a sex. It is a process, like science. Anyone can do it. The only answer is to comport yourself to this reality, not to warp it to your ideal.

The real problem is there are people who want to get more money from the job and people who want the job to pay them more money. They are not the same person. And I’m going to risk the blowback to say the latter is generally female. But hold on there, buddy, this has nothing to do with sex or gender. Those are media-sanctified talking points. It’s about mindset.

Another girl I know quipped on International Women’s Day about the notoriously elusive “gender pay gap.” I mentioned how that’s not just illegal (women can’t be paid less than male counterparts for the same job) it’s also scientifically illiterate (she failed to correctly read the data). Her response was “well, I was only paid $35k when I started at [current job], whereas [colleague dude] was paid $40k.” To which I responded: “did you ask for more money?” And she said something about how her age and experience meant she couldn’t really be expected to do this.

Do you see? Where did she get this idea? Who told her that if she is X or Y, then her agency to take control of her life/salary is negated? Who cares where she heard this, why did she believe it? If her male colleague is being paid $5k extra, and she knew about it, why didn’t she demand the company pay her the equivalent? Was it “institutional sexism” or the “patriarchy”? Or is this all better explained by the entirety of her life being told time and again that “women don’t initiate dating,” “women should attract men,” etc? Don’t you think these messages are different to males told to “get” a girlfriend or “learn the game”? It’s not sexism, it’s a constant self-denial of your own freedom and agency to do something about the situation in which you find yourself.

I saw the same mindset with another girl I worked with. She thought our boss would just know how good she is with a camera, somehow, rather than going out of her way to temporarily work longer hours to take more photos, or spend her weekends taking photos or even create a 20-page document about how an in-house photographer would increase the bottom line.

When she asked what was going wrong, I said her mindset assumed passivity until someone else acted. She also wants to marry eventually but gets frustrated when she’s attracted to a guy but he doesn’t approach/initiate. GO AND TALK TO HIM!!! I wanted to yell. But I was talking to an empty chair.

Back to the corporate box. I’m not saying colleagues should grope each other. And if a woman feels uncomfortable, something should be done. But don’t negate even more of your agency by letting the “authorities” deal with it. She’d be better off taking control of her sexuality to ensure any male action is a reaction to something she consciously initiated.

In other words, she needs to realise that power requires understanding that not only do women control the sex, men are sexually weak. Unfortunately, she’s learned that women should be demure and refuse sexual advances or inappropriate groping. Where did she learn this? It wasn’t from men. Males want women more open sexually. This lesson can only have come from other women. But she should pause to ask whether those women (usually older, less attractive, afraid of losing their important/rich/strong male partners to younger females) really have her best interests at heart.

Here’s something to do next time you discuss sexual assault with a younger female: rather than concentrate on what that girl should do if she’s being groped, she should explain what to do when other girls are groped. This allows her to stop believing she is always acted upon and compels her to think about how she will act in a situation that really demands action. No more giggling awkwardly. No more staying quiet. No more suggesting that girls should “dress more conservatively.” She should bring the wrath of Minerva down on that man. She should phone every woman she knows and demand they come here right now with sticks and knives, or at least grab a deodorant can and a lighter and set the bastard on fire.

So what if men are in “their territory” at a corporate box and wanna get their grope hands out. What does territory mean here? It means we’re not talking about sexism, we’re talking about power. You can’t make power disappear, your only choice is to control how it flows and to whom it flows. Someone’s going to have it, don’t you think it should be you? If men have carved out a territory, then women should carve it back. And no, you can’t ask human resources to help. Grab the deodorant can, it’s time to realise how free you really are.

Sure, you might get punched and it’s pretty scary to stand up. But that's kind of the point. I grant you it's safer to giggle and let boys be boys. Do you want power or the trappings of power? I wasn't at this particular groping but I guess the corporate box is a “sexist” environment. My point is: so what? Why didn't the women stop it anyway? If it’s a “sexist” culture, wouldn’t that make the women want to stick together more? Why is the first decision to complain to the authorities about a gender pay-gap or groping? Where did she get this idea?!?

Friday, 10 March 2017

International Women's Day - a rebuttal

I think we’re doing a good job of creating equality now. How fast do you hope for things to change? Look at what’s happened for women since 1970. It’s changed so fast people can’t even keep up.

However, it’s not obvious this change has been particularly good for women. The case could be made that these changes were good for society, but the birth rate has plummeted. Maybe you don’t care about that because there are too many people on the planet already. The point is, it isn’t easy to figure out when something is working properly.

One thing is for sure, the countries which have extended rights to women most comprehensively are flourishing economically. And there does seem to be a causal relationship.

But women have paid a major price for this. The lives of those who occupy the middle class or lower have essentially fallen apart because marriage is now restricted to the rich. That’s also something to think about for those who think marriage is an oppressive patriarchal institution. Ok, then why are only the rich people getting married? Are they oppressing themselves? I don’t think so.

Women in the lower socioeconomic strata are suffering badly. They generally have terrible jobs in retail where there isn’t a steady schedule, the pay is terrible, they have kids to take care of and become easy targets for useless predatory males. This is perhaps 40% of the female population. Anyone reading this is probably part of the cognitive and economic elite, so these sorts of things don’t really touch you the same way they touch other people.

National polls also show women are unhappier than they were in the 1960s. I think that’s partly because freedom and happiness are not the same thing. They’re not even close. I see young women struggling all the time trying to figure out what to do with their lives. They have no idea how to have a career and a family. And there’s no answer to that, it’s a really difficult problem.

Consider the legal sector. It boasts a lot of extremely high-functioning young women. The message is that these women are being denied access to positions of power as a consequence of prejudice and oppression. This is ridiculous. Human dynamics aren’t caused by the same thing. You can’t take one principle and use it to figure out every problem.

Those law firms cannot keep women. Almost all of them leave. Why? Because these brilliant, conscientious, intelligent women were deadly in school, deadly in university, nailed law school, whipped through their articling and made partner by the time they were thirty. They were on a rocket to the top position. But what do they find when they get there? Eighty-hour work weeks.

That’s something to think about. People think those in power are sitting at home smoking cigars and telling their minions what to do. That’s a caricature. I know lots of people like that and they work all the time. From the second they wake up, to the second they go to sleep. They don’t just casually work in the way you go to the library to study for six hours but really only study for perhaps 30 minutes.

Some of these people are corrupt, sure, but the vast majority are self-made and they’re so efficient and smart you cannot believe it. They work eighty hours a week, and most of them happen to be men. Why is that? Because there is a small number of insane men who will do nothing but work, no matter where you put them. If you helicoptered them into the middle of a forest with an axe, all they would do is run around chopping down trees.

So the issue isn’t why aren’t there more women in positions of power, the issue is why are there any men insane enough to occupy those positions at all.

The relationship between money wellbeing is simple. Once you have enough money to stave off misery (which is lower middle class in our society, maybe a little lower), extra money does not improve your life. The data is very clear on this. So why bother with it?

Well, that’s what the women in law firms think. Most of them by the time they reach thirty are married. Almost all are married to men who make as much money or more because women aim for men four to five years older and equal or higher in socioeconomic status. These women correctly conclude they don’t need more money to be happy.

But we get things backwards so often in psychology and sociology. You have no idea the amount of responsibility that comes with positions of power. Just imagine trying to run a billion dollar corporation. Those things are complicated. Enemies are trying to take you out all the time.

Apple and Samsung torture each other in the courts non-stop. Large corporations handle 200-300 lawsuits at once. And that’s nothing compared to staying on top of new technology, constantly interacting with large customers, travelling all the time to maintain relationships, regulating the politics inside the business, etc. Believe me, it’s no picnic.

If you think, “yeah, but they get a lot of money,” you’re not listening. What makes you think that’s such a good thing? Money frees people from all kinds of constraints, but the data on lottery winners is clear: they’re no happier a year later. If someone dumped a huge amount of money on you, what makes you think you wouldn’t unravel completely?

So these high-functioning women reach thirty and look around. They have made partner or are at the top of their profession. But they ask, what the hell am I doing this for? Why would anyone in their right mind want to be woken up at three in the morning on Sunday by an irate Japanese client demanding they work for the next five hours non-stop to fix this damn problem right now, or he will find someone else to pay $750 an hour to do the job?

Some will say that’s such a masculine form of value and if law firms adopted a more feminine value structure, the problem would disappear. This is nonsense. The reason you get up at three in the morning on Sunday is because if you don’t, there’s some starving associate who’s unbelievably ambitious in New York who will pick up the pieces in two-tenths of a second. It has nothing to do with masculine value structures.

I’m not complaining about women’s priorities. I’m not saying women are wrong. The more I see unhappy women at thirty-five or forty who are neither married nor have children, the more I understand that marriage and family are of primary importance. What the hell are you going to do from the age of forty until the time you’re eighty? Perhaps you’ll go run a company. Well, if you’re one in a thousand, that choice will satisfy. But you better make sure you’re that one in a thousand.

Of course this is a rigged game! In 1835, the average person lived on $1 a day in today’s money. Those people worked so hard that you can’t even imagine it and all their kids died. Women had a terrible time, but so did men. Life was incredibly hard before we got rich. And we are very rich, even those of you who think you’re poor. If you’re reading this, you’re in the top one-tenth of one percent by historical standards.

You could compare yourself to people richer than you and feel melancholic, but that’s pretty pathetic in my estimation. And it’s certainly historically uninformed.

There’s lots of reasons men are paid more than women that have nothing to do with prejudice. Men are much more likely to be killed in dangerous jobs and they do almost all the outside work. They work on oil rigs in northern Alberta at 40 degrees below freezing to emerge five years later with three fingers missing and all warped. Do you really want to wrestle pipe in the filthy, freezing tundra with a bunch of constantly hungover men?

So I agree, women have it tough. But women also live eight years longer than men. That’s not trivial.  Each sex has its own unfairness to deal with, but to think it’s all a consequence of the social structure is just plain wrong. Have you considered it might be nature itself? This seems to be completely invisible to those on the left side of the political spectrum. Of course you’re oppressed and your life is full of suffering! Obviously. Unjust social structures are only a small part of the problem.

But look where you’re sitting. It’s pretty warm in here. You’re so privileged that you have time to read an article on an expensive machine and not worry about being eaten by tigers. By historical standards, you should be out lifting rocks in a skeletal form standing about 160cm short with no teeth.

It seems like there’s no gratitude for what our society is capable of doing and has already done.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

North Korea: Show of force, or show of farce?

The US intelligence community assesses sometime over the next four years, North Korea will be able to arm an intercontinental ballistic missile with a nuclear weapon. The first thing to know is that an assessment is what intelligence agencies produce when they don’t know something exactly.

Yet this week, the New York Times reports the Obama administration began in 2014 covert cyber-attacks against North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes. The decision was made based on an earlier secret assessment that the traditional continental US missile defence batteries in Alaska and California will only succeed about 44% of the time under ideal conditions.

If the North Koreans do manage to shoot off an ICBM or several, it won’t be in ideal conditions. So the US decided to unleash its cyber forces (put a pin in that, it’s important, but not for this week). The exposure of the cyber-attacks help make sense of why many of Pyongyang’s missiles fall into the sea, but it’s impossible to know if the cyber programme is to blame.

The North Koreans seem to be aware of all this as their launches are once again succeeding. Four missile tests were conducted this week, all of which landed in the Sea of Japan, watched closely by nearby US and South Korean exercising military forces. Donald Trump is only 50-odd days into his first term, and North Korea is already rattling the cages as expected.

China is uncomfortable by the actions of both Washington and Pyongyang, but not so uncomfortable that they will take action to make the North Koreans reconsider. And at this point, with such ideological intransigence in both Washington and Pyongyang, perhaps there isn’t anything that would cause either to reconsider.

US Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper said last year in open testimony how it is perfectly logical and almost inevitable that North Korea will get a nuclear capability. Pyongyang has closely watched what happens to independent-minded countries if they don’t have nuclear weapons. Case in point: Iraq and Libya. It wants nukes for rational reasons – from their perspective.

The missile problem is bound closely to the nuclear. Since Eisenhower’s time, the US has spent $US300 billion trying to figure out how to hit a bullet with a bullet – the anti-ballistic missile system. This is a tough physics problem and nobody has any cures. Cyber-attacks give the US an additional layer of defence to stop the threat at what the Pentagon calls “left of launch,” or before the launch occurs, by interfering with command and control.

Yet there’s no guarantee of success. If the defence fails, a larger military action carries its own dangers. In US military headquarters in downtown Seoul, commanders are never far from Kevlar armour and chemical protective gear because they are within range of thousands of artillery tubes, as are 14 million civilians.

This is a wicked problem, and if there was a diplomatic solution someone would have enacted it by now. From Washington’s perspective, the only option is to continue to slow it down and create enough space for changes within the country. From Pyongyang’s perspective it wants to be left alone to be a traditional monarchy. Nuclear weapons make this option far less digestible, but then again, the US wouldn’t give up its democratic mission if North Korea discarded its nukes tomorrow.

Keep in mind an awful lot of Pyongyang’s actions is crisis theatre. Its foreign policy looks like it’s been taken from a shampoo bottle: provoke, accept concessions, repeat. Except this time the country is led by a young leader and he’s provoking with more dangerous weapons than just artillery tubes. Add to the mix a new US administration and this looks like in an unpredictable situation.

The US makes discreet concessions because it wants the problem to go away to reduce the probability of war. And tactically, making concessions is probably the correct decision. But the overall strategic effect is to teach the North Koreans they can provoke without consequences.

Yet if North Korea were to genuinely provoke, not simply perform this theatre of missiles landing in the open ocean, a military response wouldn’t necessarily need to be proportional or confined to the location of the original provocation. If anything similar to the 2010 sinking of the corvette ROKS Cheonan re-occurs, the political situation in South Korea almost requires a wider military response.

It’s not clear if this would include the Americans, but Washington would need at least to meter Seoul’s response. Everyone understands this is dangerous and a North Korean response would become deeply unpredictable. But the “international community’s” actions have taught the regime it can provoke without danger. These are the results of not having the guts to deal with a problem early and failing to act like the imperial power the US actually is.

Monday, 6 March 2017

But if the medium is the message, shouldn't you NOT watch television news?

I never read the local news. Never. What's the point? I know there are murders, rapes and creeps nearby as a general concept, but I see no value in knowing the specific cases. And there's great harm in poisoning your mind. My world is not the world in the news, it's in the backyard and the local park. I don't voluntarily watch horror movies either so why would I read this news? At least I know The Exorcist is fake.

The local news isn't real in any important sense. My life doesn't match the lives of people depicted in the news at all. I don't behave the same way or do the same things. Sure, those people are close by, geographically-speaking, but that usually means very little.

There are parts of my city I've never been and will probably never travel to. Not because I avoid those places. I just never think about them. My life and whatever's happening in that suburb are mutually exclusive. It might as well be going on in Dunedin or Manilla, and it does. Whatever happens in those cities has the same effect on my life - none.

The national television news is equally pointless. Individuals have no control over world events and vanishingly small ways of impacting them, so the event's influence on our lives is negligible. Thirty minutes of reading a major newspaper would be better than three hours of television. It won't have all the salacious video, but maybe you don't need to see those pictures. And really, you're better off spending thirty minutes reading material directly important and of immediate use to you.

If it interferes with your life, eliminate it. Focus on things that actually matter to you.

Because once you stop consuming television, two things happen. First, you have absolutely no frame of reference for what people who do watch television talk about or the way they talk about it. Second, your life pretty much reverts to focusing on your local geographic environment (neighbourhood, town, etc.) and the people in your life who may be geographically distant.

The best framework for modern culture is to distinguish geographic distance from psychological distance. Psychological distance explains how we're familiar with things that feel physically closer than things that are geographically closer but unfamiliar or unsettling. It explains the disparities in the feelings of proximity we have with others in online communities compared with the proximity with people a short distance away but culturally distinct.

So a meetup with online friends in another city will probably seem closer (less of a journey), than the yearly trip to the next suburb (much closer, geographically) to visit relatives.

You might say this is all stupid and supports ignorance or that we should watch news critically.

But I cannot disagree with this sentiment more. Television news is mind poison. Of course, everything should be considered critically, but there is nothing redeeming about television news at all. And a litany of things wrong, dysfunctional and dangerous about it. There is no reason to watch. You should read online, read blogs, watch online documentaries and all sorts of other things. I see no reason whatsoever to watch CNN or BBC.

The notion that you can watch television news critically while immunising yourself from it is laughable. Do you really think people can parse, deconstruct, analyse and interpret the flood of out-of-context images, narrative, biases, assumptions, graphics and edits of a 90-second news story, and do so while a subsequent 90-second deluge plays after it? I'm a journalist, and I can barely keep up.

Even if you could maintain an impenetrable critical posture, your view of the world of ideas is limited by what you see and what you critique. You may hate CNN, but if that's what you watch and rail against, you'll invariably assume CNN represents some portion of the political spectrum of the country. When in fact, it may represent no one at all. You aren't getting the worldview of the people who agree with only some of CNN's positions, but not others.

In any case, the argument for television news is not that it covers stories in-depth, because that would be preposterous. It's that news provides video coverage of events, particularly live coverage. But why is this good? Tell my why watching a car chase or a boat hijacked by pirates live is somehow better than watching it on YouTube later? Then tell me why it's important for me to watch it at all. Just because we want to see something exciting or titillating doesn't mean we should see it, and probably argues that we shouldn't.

Television news was created for an age when the box was the only source of video, so there was some justification for editing and packaging it in a manageable form because there was no other way to deliver it. But today, we don't need BBC to package an event when YouTube offers multiple video angles shot by many different people. Television news isn't a live experience, it's the live experience the networks want you to have.

Cellphone networks are capable of supporting on-demand real-time video calls. Certain apps allow people to push those real-time feeds from their phones onto YouTube to a million people - for free. When a "live event" happens, like the next 9-11, who really thinks people will want to have some idiot re-contexting the live experience for us? They'll simply connect to an open video feed of a cell camera on the ground.

The truth is, most people watch television news because they think other people are watching it, and they want a common, shared model of the world, whether they agree with parts of that model or not. But in my opinion, it would be better if people didn't have a homogenised a priori model and instead formed a shared model based on the outcome of arguments from their own individual viewpoints and opinions. Hey, I can dream, can't I?