Wednesday, August 16, 2023


I have a friend that I meet at Applebee’s every Friday (yes, I am one of those guys, I’ve heard the jokes). He’s 80 and I’m 62, so we have a lot in common though we have some generational differences. He also has become more liberal as he ages while I have become more conservative. We mostly talk sports amongst ourselves and with other regulars (cut it out with the jokes!); however, there is something unique every week that adds spice and wisdom to our conversations - he always has a question for me, just one question. This past week he asked me how I define the term “woke.” In its original parlance, the term applied to people who are aware of political and social issues and have open minds. He said that in the original definition, I am woke and he is correct. That said, when a conservative uses the term woke, and this is his inquiry, it’s more narrow in scope. Woke refers to any ideology that forces not only the acceptance of that ideology but coercing the celebration and participation in that ideology. Woke compels approved speech and seeks to suppress and censor those who disagree and woke is generally very much at odds with nature and science - in essence, it’s at odds with the truth. He understood where I was coming from since I was able to define what I mean by the term woke.

He seeks to understand my thoughts and positions and I seek the same. He absolutely hates Donald Trump and thinks he is evil incarnate; however, he is interested in my opinion of Trump (which is that I will vote for him if he is the Republican nominee, but I have other candidates that I prefer). He wants to know why I would vote for Trump and the answer is simple - sans COVID, Trump’s presidency produced fantastic economic results, no new wars, energy independence, Supreme Court nominees who eventually overturned Roe v. Wade, and a halfway coherent border policy - my family and I were better off. Also, Biden’s presidency has been a dumpster fire on top of a landfill fire in the middle of an apocalyptic wasteland.

The bottom line is that we disagree on several fronts, but agree on many others; however, we seek to understand the other. Isn’t this the way it should be? This isn’t the only friend that I have who disagrees with my positions and vice versa, but the rub is that we respect each other, love each other, and can make intelligent, evidence based arguments without harming our friendships.

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

The Approved Orthodoxy - Why it's useless to debate the woke left


A little while ago I was having a conversation with an acquaintance and the subject of climate change came up. This person is intelligent, has an undergraduate degree and has almost completed her graduate degree, and is well-spoken; I admire and respect her. But when it comes to certain subjects that are part of the woke orthodoxy, all reason heads out the window, the conversation devolves into a senseless babble. I asked one question just to set up a basis for the discussion - what percentage of the atmosphere is CO2? There is rhyme and reason behind the question as the climate alarmists focus on a single gas CO2 model for their arguments on global warming and their perceived inevitable catastrophe. By the way, the answer is .04%. This set off a downward spiral of degraded oratory. She did not want to answer my question and intimated that I don’t know as much as I think I do and other ad hominems. I again tried to re-establish a baseline for discussion by trying to tell her that part of my Masters in Aeronautical Science education was Advanced Meteorology; I know more about weather and climate than the vast majority of the population and I am a trained researcher (Ph.D.). What’s more, I am very interested in the subject, so I spend time on it. The conversation continued to devolve with more attacks on my education and knowledge without any basis or contrary evidence, only the attempt to make it about me rather than the subject at hand.

This is just one example of many personal experiences that I have had in trying to have discussions around subjects that the woke left has determined to be their approved orthodoxy. This also applies to government and media narratives. There is no ability to debate since, in their minds, the narrative/science/politics, etc., has been settled. Their only tactic is to shut down or shout down dissenting opinions, or any discussion for that matter. It is useless to try to have a conversation in this environment; however, there is a large swath of the population that would really like to hear the arguments from both sides and this is where the conversation should happen, even if the woke left refuse to participate. The science and art of debate center on the ability to recognize the opposing viewpoints in question.

The most insidious result of this refusal to debate is censorship and suppression of speech that opposes the approved orthodoxy. Worse, opposing viewpoints are being punished through various social credit mechanisms such as job loss, deplatforming, debanking, and, in some cases, jail. Yes, it is actually happening. What do we do about it? The first line of defense is to keep the truth alive, keep up the conversation, publish evidence, and engage in the arena. The second line of defense is to utilize legal means - force the woke left to defend their actions, a defense that requires evidence. The third line of defense is to vote for the right representation at all levels of government who will fight for freedom and stand by the truth. We can win this if we consistently resist and employ tactics that will bring down the woke left ideology.