Burning Ken Bone

The Town Hall presidential debate’s darling wasn’t either candidate or the moderators. It was Ken Bone, an unassuming man reminiscent of a character in Mike Judge’s film “Office Space.” He asked the candidates a question about their stance on how they’d balance a need for sustainable energy while minimizing job layoffs.

For a brief, shining moment, Ken Bone was America’s Superhero. Major media outlets declared him “the man who won the second presidential debate.” Costume stores and internet forums started shopping around for the perfect Ken Bone Halloween costume. People on Twitter lauded him for his “realness.” They enjoyed his use of a disposable camera while capturing the night’s events. Bone even landed a promotional deal with Uber as a result of his overnight fame.

Then, just as soon as the love began, the Internet Outrage Machine cranked up to full throttle, and Ken Bone was Burned. Now, a Google search of his name returns the following headlines:

“Ken Bone Is Actually Kind Of An Awful Guy”

“Ken Bone’s Disturbing Reddit History Shows He’s Not Nearly as Adorable as We Thought.”

“Ken Bone Forgot to Delete His Reddit Porn Comments, Said Trayvon Martin Killing Was ‘Justified'”

“Ken Bone Leaves Seedy Comment Trail on Reddit.”

How did all of this happen?  Easy. William Turton, a “journalist” for Gizmodo, looked into Bone’s Reddit posting history, and posted his favorite finds. When Bone attempted an AMA (ask me anything) on Reddit, the Outrage Machine cranked into full throttle over his thoughts on Jennifer Lawrence’s physique, his personal opinion of Trayvon Martin, and more. It’s nothing out of the ordinary. All comments are things you’ve probably heard in the past from friends, neighbors, or relatives. You may not have liked them or found them personally suited to your tastes.

This doesn’t matter to those who want to virtue signal their way through life, attempting the lock-step correct thoughts and actions of those who march in the social justice traveling band. Once something a blogger found as potentially offensive to the sensibilities of those who call themselves “oppressed” and “marginalized” the bait was set. All the mob needed were someone to sharpen the pitchforks and light the torches.

Since I began writing this post, it appears as if cooler heads are starting to prevail. Forbes published an op-ed attempting to remind everyone that Ken Bone is a human just like the rest of us.  The contributor, Fruzsina Eordogh, opined his rise and fall as an internet star was a symptom of just how divisive this election cycle had become. She remarked it was the public’s choice to hate him, instead of remembering Ken Bone as “just one confused and overweight man, and not some corporate, media, or self-projected manifestation…just one man, not worth being mad about.”

Maybe Eordogh’s right. Maybe we shouldn’t have to worry about destroying the life of a man who dared ask a question about a subject that mattered to him during a town hall style presidential debate. Maybe making a person into an “internet sensation” and then tearing apart his life is out of order. There’s even a good possibility people will see the way Ken Bone was treated and refrain from ever participating in the political process again. That’s not something we want, and maybe it’s time to actually return to civility in the way we address one another.

Wait, there’s a second page on this Forbes story I hadn’t seen yet. Let me click through to it.

Oh.

Full Disclosure: I was NEVER EVER on the Ken Bone train, or took a trip to his Bone Zone. I thought he was dumb, from his sweater to his question, from day one. 

Just to save you a few clicks, the links in that block quote go back to some of the headlines referenced earlier. So Forbes’ Eordogh doesn’t really even believe the words she penned for the site. She took time to pen out her required word count and then added a disclosure calling him “dumb” and referencing the sources attempting to dehumanize Ken Bone. Way to go, “journalism.”

 

Banning James (Well, Sort of)

The latest Twitter offender is James O’Keefe of the non partisan watchdog organization Project Veritas. Yesterday Twitter suspended his account for reasons yet disclosed. They most likely had to do with the release of the following videos, none of which look too good for The Smiler or her favorites.

That first video shows Wylie Mao, a Clinton staffer discussing how “all bets were off” with regards to how he could act towards women in their office.  Specifically, he mentions he could “grab Emma’s ass like twice and still not get fired.” When confronted about his comments, Mao remained silent and embarrassed before leaving the scene.

There’s also talk in the video of Clinton staffers giving those who register for Clinton the option to vote by mail, but omitting that option for those who register to vote Trump.

Next we go back to Wylie Mao, who says he could rip up twenty voter registration ballots before he got reprimanded. An undercover staffer then asks Trevor LaFuci, a Hillary campaign staffer, saying it’s perfectly fine to rip up voter registration ballots “as long as you don’t make a habit of it.” When confronted, LaFuci walks away.

That’s video one. The next should be a fun view for those who keep and bear firearms.

That’s Senator Russ Feingold, one of Hillary’s ardent Wisconsin supporters as well as some of the elites attending one of his Silicon Valley fundraisers discussing how Clinton might get rid of guns or enact stricter gun control laws via executive order. It goes into even greater detail through an examination of the WikiLeaks emails outlining Hillary’s stance on “closing loopholes” at gun shows and more. More disturbing is the event organizer proudly claiming President Meemaw’s ability to get rid of everything and blast away gun owners’ rights “but for” that troublesome Second Amendment.

As they say in those late night infomercials, “But Wait, There’s More.”

Meet Alan Schulkin, the New York City Commissioner of the Board of Elections. In this video he discusses the concept of voter fraud and how people are bussed from polling site to polling site in order to get people to remain in office. Schulkin also laments the lack of voter ID laws in New York, and suggests one would be a good idea. There’s also information about Bill de Blasio offering ID cards “you can use for anything.” Finally, there’s a rather frank discussion on how easy it would be for someone to “pretend to be a Muslim,” show up to the polls in a burqua, and vote a second time as a different person.

These are all pretty damning indictments of the Democratic party, the contempt for which they hold the voting public, and how little these new “moral” standards regarding women, sexual assault and sexual harassment mean within the Clinton campaign. As long as you’re #WithHer, you can assault women as you please. It’s almost like being famous.

For his egregious sins, James O’Keefe was locked out of his Twitter account for twelve hours. This caused a shit storm of epic proportions on Twitter, with people relentlessly mentioning @Jack regarding the situation, calling Twitter headquarters, and more. Eventually O’Keefe was told if he deleted one tweet on his account they would lift the suspension. The tweet was one mentioning Wylie Mao and referencing his “locker room talk.”

It’s becoming pretty clear with every new ban Twitter is not the “free speech wing of the free speech party.” They know which voices they want amplified, and they know which voices they want to go away. And it’s increasingly obvious the voices Twitter wants most are those who toe the progressive, liberal, Democratic party line lock step. Those are the accounts with the blue verification “tick” marks, while the conservatives are un-verified, shadow banned, and then eventually suspended or banned as the platform pleases.

It’s perfectly acceptable for Twitter to censor some users and laud others. They are a private company, and can do as they please. With this latest attack on a non-partisan organization and a man whose stated mission is to bring truth to the world where others would not see it, Jack and Twitter can no longer lie about their alleged “care” for conservative thought.

 

The Mediation Is Dead Mantra

Part of my skill set involves mediation training. I am a mediator and I mediate cases. Usually those cases involve families seeking a divorce. If I work in that area, why would I maintain a website called “Mediation is Dead?” It’s an evolving answer, and an evolving statement, but one worth a discussion, so I’ll begin by saying when I mediate a case I used “Mediation is Dead” as my mantra before walking into a negotiation room.

Thank the man below for this, as well as the subsequent explanation.

Daniel Madison is one of the world’s foremost sleight of hand experts.  He’s used the mantra “Magic is Dead” for a long time. I’m a huge fan of his work, and it’s often scary how his insights into life mirror mine at times. Watch the embedded video above and substitute the word “mediation” for “magic” and Madison explains a principle in the legal world I’ve yet to fully articulate.

To add my flavor to the discussion, the mantra of Mediation is Dead is best explained by adding a phrase to the end of that statement. “Mediation is dead. It is the job of the practitioner to convince the parties and attorneys otherwise.”

When you come from that place as you enter a negotiation or mediation room, if you can truly state that in your heart, then you have the ability to get past all the bullshit attorneys and parties have as expectations for a mediator and really reach some powerful agreements with parties. You reveal their vulnerabilities and get them to show their humanity. When you get past the bright, happy, peaceful moments of your mediation training and pass through your first experiences with attorneys demanding you pander to them, you will finally reach that point where their client can reach peace with someone they never believed they’d agree with again.

Saying the words each time hurts me too. Death is a scary, painful thing. I’ve had my brush with it. I’ve been affected by it. It hurts to make the choice to take the path of peace and then see the art form you love butchered by attorneys who don’t understand what the words “alternative dispute resolution” mean. It pains me to see blown up expectations of clients massaged by counsel who begin with bluster, won’t allow their clients to speak, and begin each mediation with the parties dragged into separate rooms without as much as two minutes of a chance to see how the parties interact. If these attorneys paid attention during their Civil and Family training to get that coveted Rule 31 listing in Tennessee they’d realize it’s the parties decisions that count, and their presence is to ensure everything flies legally. It’s not about what will pass muster in someone’s court.

This is also why I don’t take the time to participate in many mediator groups, watch too much CME classes beyond what’s required of me, or read too many mediator articles.  So much of it has become polluted beyond the essence of the art form that is mediation. Gone are the days of interest-based mediation and getting to the heart of a problem. You’re more likely to get business if you simply pander to positions, study up on what a judge wants, and then play at evaluative case analysis. Every mediator that goes through training and gets a listing knows that’s not mediation. Yet that is what is expected of them.

The parties that go through mediations then take those experiences where they’re told to “bring a book or a computer” and “expect to be there all day” back to their families. After they’ve hit their “just get it done” moment, they eventually express buyer’s remorse and the whole cycle starts again, albeit with more venom this time. If they have a loved one, friend, or family member who goes through mediation, expect that party to tell their friend all about how the mediator and attorneys got to talk, and their voice remained silent.

When I start mediations, I usually do so with a deck of playing cards and a close up pad. I tell the parties in my opening statement they can’t agree on a thing, just as this entire deck is completely different. My job is to help them have an effective conversation, one that gets past the anger, rage, and other emotions they may experience in this moment so they can experience a moment of unity again.  Then I turn the cards over, showing them all identical, and say “Hopefully, by the time we’re finished, you’ll walk out of this mediation just like this deck of playing cards. In agreement and harmony.”

Echoing the words of Mr. Madison above.
I am Chris Seaton.
Mediation is Dead.

Un/Convention: The Media Lied To You

Un/Convention is one of the first releases produced by Danger and Play Media I’m proud to have played a small part in.  Directed by Loren Feldman of 1938 Media, It follows Mike Cernovich of Danger and Play/Gorilla Mindset as he attended both the Republican National Convention in Cleveland and the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

It was a surreal experience watching the “traditional media outlets” cover the Democratic and Republican conventions. Mike fully expected the RNC to be full of riots, drama, protests. From the headlines, you’d believe it. “RNC 2016: White Rage In Cleveland” sounds like a full blown disaster worthy of National Guard intervention.  So he went and covered it on the ground.  What you’ll see in the fifteen minute video above is quite eye opening.

The Democratic National Convention was to be the time of “unity,” “peace,” and “stability.”  Mike went there too, using Periscope. He marched with the protesters. He saw what really happened. Again, when you see the video you will find out how far the media shifted the narrative of what happened versus the actual truth.

Another interesting point to note from Un/Convention is just where the media decided to point their attention.  Take a look when you’re watching the film how the big press selectively covers certain events and completely ignores others.  Watch when they blow up a “protest” at the RNC and completely ignore the voices of disaffected Bernie Sanders fans. You don’t need a partisan interest to see the raw truth of the movie: you are being lied to daily by those you trust for “news,” and someone’s paying for it.

Un/Convention is a landmark moment in the way the world sees how American press works from a narrative rather than facts. Expect more people to start questioning those who call themselves “fair and balanced,” or “the news you can trust.” Watch as more people start hitting the ground with apps like Periscope and really streaming to the world the truth, rather than what a particular influencer wants you to see.

If you look closely enough, you can find certain media bigwigs that already care about the public so little they already show their distaste for honest reporting. One prominent “thinkfluencer” who I won’t name here because doing so might pose a security risk to my family and job is so outspoken in his contempt for the common man he calls out reporters on Twitter for attempting to give both presidential candidates even time and even coverage. In his eyes, only Queen Meemaw should get time, and The Salesman deserves nothing. To him, this is a “breach of media ethics.”

This same “thinkfluencer” also regularly blogs about his support of Queen Meemaw, and how he wants to canvas and drum up support for her in any way he can. He’s one of the people that influences what you see when you turn on your television in the morning.

Question everything you see in the “news.” There is a narrative they want you to see, not the truth.
In time, that too will be exposed.

I thank Mike Cernovich and Loren Feldman for playing a small part as “researcher” for this project.  It truly was an honor.

You should check out Mike’s work at Danger And Play, and his books, including Gorilla Mindset.

Also check out Loren Feldman’s work. He’s incredibly talented with a camera and quite funny too.

Coronation Of A Salesman

That guy’s a racist asshole!  Did you hear what he said about Mexicans? Simply indefensible! 

It started with a balance between two areas: Freedom and Equality.  Both are concepts everyone loves. It’s natural to want freedom, just as it’s natural to want equality. What happens when the two collide?  Is there a specific area you choose?

Some will pick freedom over equality. That may sound taboo to those who can’t handle nuanced discourse. Reality dictates none of us will be equal in our lifetimes.  We are all different, and that’s what makes us awesome. Each of us has different experiences, different lives, and different values that make us who we are, and that’s perfect.

I will never know what it’s like to give birth to a child.  I will never know what it’s like to have a living human being grow inside me and bring it into the world. That doesn’t make me any less of a human being. It just means I’m different. I won’t know what conducting surgical procedures are like either. I won’t know what it’s like to bring a patient back from the brink of death.  Again, that doesn’t make me less of a human being.  I’m just different.

Difference isn’t enough for our society. Modern discourse demands we seek “diversity,” “inclusion,” “tolerance,” and “equality.” All of those concepts at facial value are great. Everyone loves to be tolerant. We all want to be included. And equality? That’s a concept we’ve been fighting for since arguably the birth of America.

The problem is when those concepts are weaponized and used for an attack. If an institution doesn’t follow certain “civility codes,” they don’t promote “inclusivity” and “equality.” If you express anything other than the popular opinion, you are an “intolerant bigot.” Go far enough beyond the Overton Window and you become an “ist.” You’re racist, sexist, ableist, or  transmophobic. Without as much as asking for further discourse, those weaponized concepts shut down communication.

You silence those who might otherwise be open to hearing you out. And that silence breeds contempt. And that contempt breeds anger.

Oh my goodness! Did you hear what he said about a woman’s menstrual cycle? Did you hear about his position on breastfeeding in the workplace? He’s a disgusting misogynist pig!

I referenced a concept earlier: the Overton Window. This is rather loosely defined as the spectrum of what is acceptable in modern discourse. The current state of the Overton Window is incredibly narrow, far more than to which society has ever seen. Put the wrong name on a test and you’re sent to “reeducation training” after a complaint is lodged with a “bias response team.” Internet provocateur and Breitbart Tech editor Milo Yiannopolous once posited a theory of a second window: the Underton Window, or that which is considered unacceptable in modern discourse. Milo theorized during his presentation of the “Underton Window” that if society reached a point where it became larger than the Overton Window, society was in trouble.

The signs were coming a long time ago. We should have seen them, and reacted. When the scolds, the nannies, and the language police started telling the world “You can’t say that” or began name calling, the Underton Window grew. Every “racist” or “misogynist” accusation hurled widened that window even further. Publication of articles with titles like “As a Straight White Man, I’m Surprised More Women Aren’t Tweeting The Hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen.” Every time a person lost a job over a tweet, lost friends because people can’t discern the difference between reality and the Internet.

The window kept growing, and no one paid attention.

I can’t believe it! Now he’s gone after Muslims! What the hell is this whole “Let’s ban immigration until we sort the whole thing out” about! No one can take this guy seriously!

The problem with taking the side of the nannies, scolds, and thought police is inevitably you become the target. All it takes is one improper pronoun use and you are anathema to the Church of Social Justice. Fail to correctly identify the latest trend in intersectional third wave neofeminism and you’re excommunicated. The best and the brightest in society are subject to silencing by the new moral majority normalizing every aspect of behavior.

And when you push someone away, it fosters resentment. Turn your back on those with meaningful contributions to society, even if in the form of words, and you create space for absolute chaos.

Now he’s done it! Can’t you see this guy is dangerous? He wants to bomb our allies! He thinks war is a good thing! He admires the heads of state that are our enemies! Completely unfit!

With every hurl of an insult, every “If you disagree with me, disconnect with me,” those among the silenced, the outcasts, those who are deemed “a basket full of deplorables” grow stronger. They are connected by a shared trait, being disaffected. They seek someone who can speak for them. They desperately search for someone who can give them even a slim glimpse of hope that a massive pushback will occur and society will change for the better.

Even if it’s a salesman.

That’s an insult if I’ve ever heard one. “I love the poorly educated?” What a jerk! He’s clearly insulting people! Why can’t they see that?

When that salesman came, people embraced him. They chose him as their national spokesperson. They said “So what” when people tried to convince them he was completely unfit. Every new insult was met with another round of attacks, jeers, “fuck yous,” and more. He was the chosen one for those who wanted the cultural pushback.

Let’s put America First Again?? That’s the same kind of talk that came out of Hitler’s mouth! Don’t people see this? He’s Literally Hitler reincarnated! If you elect him we’ll turn into another version of Nazi Germany! Hell, even white supremacists that talk with green frog cartoons and mention a dead gorilla like a deity support him!

A well established rule of the Internet is Godwin’s Law. This, again loosely explained, states any online discussion will eventually spiral into mentions of Hitler, Nazis, Nazism, or the Holocaust. No inside pundit could expect Godwin’s Law to cross into a Presidential election cycle, and yet this time it has.

His campaign is dead now. He’s fat-shamed Miss Universe, starred in a sex tape, and described sexual assault against women! No one can possibly vote for him! His career is tanked!

The newest round of discussion revolves on his alleged treatment of women yet again. This coming after discussions of a 900 million dollar loss on a tax return twenty years ago. There’s fear at work here, even if the big dogs barking the loudest won’t admit it. When you start down the path of repeating the same insults over and over again, and every new “leak” of information confirms what you already thought about the Salesman, you’re fighting a losing battle.

The only reason each new revelation comes is because they’re afraid he might win.

Few legitimately think the Salesman fit for the Presidency. I think even fewer find him fit for the Commissioner spot on Monday Night Raw. And yet, despite all this, he continues to grow in support. His numbers stay the same. Each new accusation falls on deaf ears for his support base. Their minds are set. It’s a month to the General Election, but in their minds the ballots are already cast.

After the Salesman became The Candiate, Jon Stewart took to his former colleague Stephen Colbert’s show in an attempt to denounce the Salesman’s supporters. He told them they just didn’t “get it.” He told them America “wasn’t theirs.” He told them it wasn’t their time, their people, and their place. As his angry rant bordered on violating FCC regulations, a look crossed his face only those who look for what’s not there could see.

It was fear.

What the scolds, the progressives, and the thought police don’t get is they created the Salesman. They gave him a voice. They gave him a base. Many might “park” their vote elsewhere. Many might stay with the Smiler to avoid losing loved ones or with someone in a third party. When November is over, and the final die cast, one thing will be certain.

Those who gave this Salesman a voice will either learn the lesson of silencing dissent, or they won’t.