The Hypocrisy of the Transgender Movement

February 9, 2014

About a year ago I was making observations on the irrationality of the transgender argument and people were asking why I was so focused on it.  It was because I could see the social tide shifting to what I’m seeing today by every media outlet trying to explain why being confused about transgender just makes a person obtuse.  I’m going to try to make this as brief as possible because…well, just because I am deeply befuddled by the whole thing and just don’t want my head to hurt too much as I lay this out.

I am not interested in emotional pleas for “tolerance”.  I don’t have to and won’t tolerate irrationality and when I see it on the verge of legislation I get a little burned up about it especially when I see so much money being wasted by government and our children having to pay the consequences of our ill-conceived economic and social experiments.

The central condition to biological sex assignment is at the chromosomal level:  XX is female while XY is male.  That is a condition that never changes regardless of what surgeries a person may undergo to alter the result of those chromosomes (estrogen, testosterone, vagina, penis, ovaries, testes, breasts, facial hair, etc.).  In fact, hormone therapy is a lifelong requirement for the medical equivalent of a sexual transition.  Lately, there has been a lot of hoopla over transgender people being offended when people refer to them as formerly another gender or, really, make any reference to there having been a change.  Herein lays the first great hypocrisy.  Transgender is by its very definition a change.  Deal with it.  That means when a person goes a show about being a trailblazing transgender model he/she ought to be prepared to answer some questions about the trans part because without it there’s probably nothing particularly exceptional about yet another model.

An argument often thrust into the spotlight lately is that reducing sexual assignment to mere boy and girl parts is objectifying.  Well…yeah.  Assignment is identified at the biological level by “objects” and the most fundamental of them is microscopic and unchangeable.  In fact, the subject is so object-centric transgender people go through lengthy and difficult procedures attempting to modify those objects.  Therein lays the second hypocrisy.  If focusing on “the parts” is so superficial and objectifying, then what does that say about spending hundreds of thousands of dollars over a lifetime on what amounts to plastic surgery to change the appearance of those parts?

There is where I want to stop the discussion.  What more needs to be said?  You are biologically male or female (with a few androgynous exceptions) and that’s that.   

Obviously, that is not enough for the transgender community.  Now we must talk about what it means to “identify” as male and female.  Here is where my blood starts to boil.  Rather than delving into each silly argument that is being heaped upon us by the media lately, let me ask a very simple question: 

What defines male and female beyond the objects?

It shouldn’t take much thinking to realize that within that question are layers upon layers of nothing but stereotypes.  So, when a male says he identifies as a female or a female says she identifies as a male what exactly are the rest of us supposed to celebrate there?  Please, tell us what the criteria is you used to determine that you are a woman without going into a diatribe of shallow generalities.

Please explain to us how you have ACCEPTED AND DEVELOPED YOUR OWN IDENTITY rather than having simply conformed to what you perceive as society’s standards.  Then we’re told to accept that if you “feel” like a woman you should look like a woman.  Obviously, there wasn’t much thought put into what “feeling” like a woman actually means, so when expressing that feeling becomes wearing a dress, purse, and high heels I am deeply perplexed as to how women- feminists in particular- aren’t outraged at the shallowness of it all.

What the hell do you mean you “feel like a woman”?  Are you growing up with the sexual stigmas?  Are you facing puberty and the confusion of menstruation?  Are you shaping your decisions in life around the possibility that you could become pregnant?  Am I missing anything else that might actually qualify someone to “feel like a woman”?  Beyond this, what else is there that someone should be able to say that qualifies them as a woman when they are, in fact, a man or vice versa?  I’d love to hear it.

I’d love to hear it because my final point addresses the argument that gender identity is simply an individual choice.  Well, that’s great except the unspoken reality of the agenda as it is presented is that gender identity is simply the choice of transgender people.  Everyone else is obviously just conforming to biological assignment.  If gender identity were truly just an individual choice and all standards be damned, then that choice is as much in the person identifying with a gender as it is in a person observing the gender.  In other words, if you can selectively apply standards to determine your gender, then I can selectively apply standards to determine your gender.  Fair is fair.  And herein lays the third hypocrisy when the transgender community pushes for legislation calling it discrimination when someone refuses to recognize a transgender female as a female.

Live your life and let me live mine and stop being so damned irrationally sensitive when we come together.


Failure On the Syrian Struggle

August 26, 2013

The U.N. has weapons. It has armored vehicles. It has chemical protective gear. It has international backing. It has everything it needs to conduct immediate investigations in hostile regions except one thing: COURAGE. If the U.N. were truly concerned with addressing a humanitarian crisis and getting to the bottom of who is responsible for a chemical attack, then nothing would have prevented investigators from entering the region and demanding Assad immediately cease hostilities in the area of the alleged attack lest he provoke international aggression. Instead, inspectors sit in a hotel for nearly a week while Assad pummels the area with artillery following the chemical attack; nearly a week to eliminate evidence; nearly a week to promise complete destruction of the area if locals cooperate. As it is, what is known about the area has already been gathered by “international sources”. Great job doing nothing, U.N. while children were convulsing to death and I certainly haven’t forgotten Obama’s “red line” bluster a year ago.

So what to do now that Assad has agreed to let U.N. inspectors in to conduct an investigation for the latest and most deadly attack. History says a lot:

Per a CNN article regarding two previous chemical incidents:

***

“Each side in Syria’s two-year-old conflict has accused the other of using chemical weapons – an action that which would constitute a war crime under international law. Two of the alleged attacks took place in Aleppo in March and Homs in December.

An investigation looking specifically into claims of chemical weapons use in Syria was ordered by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, in late March. The Syrian government wants the UN team to investigate only the Aleppo attack, but the UN has insisted that the inquiry cover both incidents.

An official involved with the investigation into chemical weapons in Syria use told The Independent yesterday that a two-person advance team was waiting in Cyprus to enter Syria and perform onsite inspections. But nearly six weeks after Syria initially asked for such an inquiry, investigators have been unable to enter the country.

“The Syrian government wants an inspection of just one site in Aleppo, we have asked for inspections for two places,” the official said.

***

It took 6 weeks for Assad to stop obstructing inspectors on an investigation MONTHS after the incidents. It doesn’t take a leap of imagination to figure out why considering the result.

Consequently, egg ended up in the face of Western nations who were openly appalled at the apparent government use of chemical weapons when the U.N. report concluded that there was “no definitive link” to a Syrian government sponsored chemical attack and that rebel forces “may have” done the attack.  COMPLETELY INCONCLUSIVE!  How is this determination any different from simply not having done an investigation at all? I mean, aside from being able to word the report in such a manner as to protect Russian interests at the expense of Syrian lives.  Then again, exactly what was the world seriously expecting to determine A WHOLE YEAR after the first “unacceptabe” event???

So, who do we hold accountable for this humanitarian failure?  We American citizens can do little with respect to the U.N., but we can certainly look with disgust upon our own leaders who have demonstrated no effective leadership in the matter. They should have pressured the U.N. for immediate results. They should have pressured Assad in all instances of chemical attacks and demanded IMMEDIATE cooperation. They should have, but didn’t and now we have a third incident with chemical weapons that is being dragged out for so long it will likely end up “inconclusive” yet again despite hundreds if not thousand of deaths.

The U.S. is now trying to take the high road by rejecting Assad’s belated cooperation in this latest incident, which is raising eybrows among conspiracy theorists and critics of our foreign policy. Unfortunately, based on U.S. inconsistencies unrelated and directly related to Syria, both groups are very justified in questioning our resolve and motives in this matter. After all we have done wrong the past decade, we had an opportunity to do the right thing for the right reasons and failed miserably while even repeating past mistakes (see Saddam Hussein’s record with U.N. inspections). Obama has new blood on his hands and he can’t blame anyone else for it especially when we consider the former state senator had a very pointed opinion regarding another leader with an affinity for chemical weapons:

“Now let me be clear — I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein.  He is a brutal man.  A ruthless man.  A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power.  He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted UN inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity.  He’s a bad guy.  The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.”  State Senator Barrack Hussein Obama, October 2, 2002

In spite of his “crossing a red line” comment regarding any chemical weapons use by the Syrian government, Obama followed up his 2002 remark with the following:

“But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.”

So, it turns out there is substantial reason to doubt the credibility of any red line from this administration.

Despite this, we must support action that is correct and stumble forward with aggressive investigations and a consistent position to depose any government that is found to have used chemical weapons. It’s better to be criticized for being late than to suffer the sins of inaction. I just hope it involves a lot more than a mere “two-person advance team”. It is LONG past time for Obama to earn some aspect of his Nobel Peace Prize. There is no excuse for any more videos of children suffocating violently to death if international war laws have any meaning at all in our bumbling quest for world peace.

*DIsclaimer Edit:  I have found that the the quote of President Barrack Obama in 2002 has no complete primary source.  However, both liberal and conservative web sites have quoted the speech as I have linked one of each.  Either way, we dealing with a mess that we helped create.  Until Obama specifically rejects that he made this speech which had been used by independent groups as campaign material I feel comfortable attributing it to him with this note.

 


The Obama Economic Lie

August 11, 2012

Being as many people simply don’t have the time or necessarily the inclination to look up boring financial information and statistics, I figured I’d take the time to prove a very bold lie by the Obama administration and Obama himself in a short essay.  I don’t use the term “lie” in politics often, but the misinformation is so blatant there can be no other conclusion.

Recently, Obama said in a campaign speech in Pueblo, CO: “I believe in American workers, I believe in this American industry, and now the American auto industry has come roaring back. Now I want to do the same thing with manufacturing jobs, not just in the auto industry, but in every industry.”  First of all, Obama is openly declaring the intent to commit potentially trillions of additional public dollars to “save” private business, which is belief in nothing but himself.  There are countless political consequences inherent to this authoritarian policy.  Suffice it to say that the mere fact the GM CEO had to step down in order to receive bailouts and GM was ordered to be acquired by FIAT demonstrates the unspeakably broad power this policy generates for the federal government.  Government has no business running business.

Still, this is about Obama’s lie, so let’s get to the point and review the actual facts surrounding the apparently amazing success of the bailouts to support a limitless expansion of them.  First, Detroit’s unemployment rate is currently at 17.8% after a recent decline from 18.8% and it is expected to rise again due to more city employment layoffs.  Already, Obama’s claims are suspicious, but the entire city was negatively affected by the auto industry decline, so city-wide unemployment may not be a fair measure of success and Obama did specifically say “auto industry”.  A look at the auto industry’s recovery shows a dramatically different picture from Obama’s lie.  According to truth-out.org and iBisWorld the net auto jobs recovered (hardly “created” or “saved” since the jobs were lost) since the beginning of the recession is less than half.  In addition, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics the average hourly rate for an auto worker DECLINED to $21.56 in June 2012 from $22.33 in June 2008 at the peak of the recession.  The BLS also reports that benefits paid out by the auto industry has declined.  Some might sensibly argue that such declines were necessary to correct a bloated compensation package, but that is not what Obama is selling and since the auto industry was already facing such cutbacks why did we need billions to “save” two major players in the industry that ultimately went bankrupt anyway? It’s a lie.

To add insult to injury, GM still…STILL has not paid back its loan from the government.  STILL!!!  The 500 million shares of GM our brilliant administration purchased at $54 per share is currently worth less than half.

So, where is this recovery Obama keeps bragging about?  It doesn’t exist.  It’s a lie that has cost this country more debt than all presidents combined accrued before Obama such that it now a national debt that exceeds our GDP for the first time in our history (despite Obama’s promise to cut the deficit in half) and declined our credit rating for the first time in history and shaken the world’s confidence in the dollar for the first time in history and caused over 8% unemployment for the longest period since the Great Depression (despite Obama’s promise to prevent unemployment from even reaching 8%) and on and on and on.

Come to think of it, Obama has a lot of accomplishments, but few that are worth even the empty promise of hope.


Huntsman Daughters’ Distasteful Activities

January 11, 2012

This will easily be my shortest post yet since The End Run has done some brilliant investigative reporting.  Apparently, a distasteful video that has received considerable attention as being attributed to Ron Paul supporters is likely to have been created by the oldest daughters of Jon Huntsman.  After reviewing the evidence it’s difficult to come to any other conclusion and is a disgusting turn of events in this race.  The following link will take you to the report:

http://www.theendrun.com/huntsman-complicit-in-false-flag-style-dirty-trick-against-paul


Paul and Huntsman trump Trump

December 3, 2011
Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul have officially refused to participate in the Donald Trump moderated circus that will be one of the last Republican debates before the Iowa primaries (a critical opportunity for exposure under normal circumstances). Ron Paul’s camp eloquently and bitingly provide justification for their decision. The GOP is going down in flames and so far only these two Republican presidential candidates stand firmly above the mess as true statesmen.

 

 


The Racist Anti-Semite: Ron Paul?

November 26, 2011

I have noted and leveraged the fact in my writings that there is apparently no controversy associated with Ron Paul.  Despite the media’s persistent resistance of his platform and proven record of flat-out ignoring him, nothing has been used to actually discredit him in this election cycle…yet.

That got me thinking: can a politician with unassailable integrity actually exist?  How sad is it for American politics that this must be a question, but this is universally the nature of politics and the very heart of why our founders distrusted government.

I have recently gained a strong interest in Ron Paul’s vision for the United States.  Though there are issues over which I disagree with him (even strongly) his intense and consistent constitutional foundation all but ensures that he will allow his ideas to be accepted or rejected on a national level as intended by our founders.  This is why our government was set up as a democratic republic- so that even the president himself can’t impose his will without the will of The People.  Ron Paul has always demonstrated a firm respect for this philosophy.

As a political student, I would be remiss to not seek to challenge Ron Paul’s character.  After all, I believe a true American patriot takes it upon himself to know both the good and bad of what he believes to be for the greater good of the nation.  Everything has positive and negative consequences.  What we should seek is the prevalence of a certain fidelity in the face of opposition.  An idea that can’t stand to a solid challenge is not worth supporting.  Thus, I challenge Ron Paul’s integrity as a candidate for President of the United States in 2012.

My action plan was simple and fairly fool-proof in today’s internet linked society.  I performed an internet search of “Ron Paul scandal” with the intent to follow any lead within a source that could provide unique information on different “scandals”.

The list is short: very short.  Ron Paul may be a racist.

There is nothing else on him except interpretations and analysis of the potential consequences of his strong Libertarian political approach- this is hardly scandalous being as the very core of libertarianism is an adherence to constitutional principles.  The idea that a candidate is racist is certainly disturbing, but this notion as it pertains to Dr. Paul is frustrating to make any comment on because I have not found a single source that actually provides original documents or copies of entire statements rather than just the apparent racist extracts.  I have followed many links to supposedly legitimate sources and found nothing.  This makes for an uncompelling argument for even a loosely objective researcher.

According to multiple sources (here and here for examples) Ron Paul supposedly wrote racist comments in two separate releases of his newsletter and maybe speeches as recently as 1992 (yeah, twenty years ago), but without legitimate sources cited it’s impossible to say what goes to what.  I don’t want to spend a lot of time on this because of the unavoidably speculative nature of my comments.  So, let’s take just a few and see what we can make of them.

“Given the inefficiencies of what D.C. laughingly calls the `criminal justice system,’ I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.” – Ron Paul, 1992

I’m really not sure what’s wrong with this.  This quote is clearly mocking the justice system in Washington D.C. and using the “inefficiencies” of the system to extrapolate a statistic that is skewed to make a point.  What was the point?  Nobody knows without reading the entire text from which this quote was taken.

“What else do we need to know about the political establishment than that it refuses to discuss the crimes that terrify Americans on grounds that doing so is racist? Why isn’t that true of complex embezzling, which is 100 percent white and Asian?” – Ron Paul, 1992

This appears to be trying to point out that certain crimes are largely specific to certain cultures.  While it is naïve to think that certain crimes are not committed more by certain groups I struggle to believe that Ron Paul would ever have said that 100 percent of anything is done by any specific group, but maybe he was using statistics from a Department of Justice report that looks specifically at the correlation of race with embezzlement among other crimes.  Only paper copies of the report can be ordered so again the point is impossible to glean without citations to at least the entire statement itself.

“I wouldn’t vote against getting rid of the Jim Crow laws.” -When asked if he would have voted for the Civil Rights Act.

So what???  This is not a racist remark- it distinctly acknowledges the flaws of the Jim Crow laws.  The worst this quote is was an unwillingness to answer the question directly with a “No” in an effort to circumvent the inevitable and baseless racist association.  Either way he is superficially labeled as racist so what difference does it make?  He has consistently argued that the Civil Rights Act was an overreaction to racial tensions that has encouraged racism to endure and felt that there were better alternatives.  All the quotes associated with the Civil Rights movement mean absolutely nothing without knowing his entire argument.

The only thing that indicates many of these quotes are at least accurately extracted is that Ron Paul has acknowledged them, but refused to explain them.  He has denounced some and even dismissed some as written by a staff member without his knowledge (again, without specific sources it’s impossible to say what he has directly addressed).  He has openly accepted responsibility for all the content of his newsletters and attempted to leave it at that even for the comments he has denounced.  This is a questionable political strategy with the hope that it will be sufficient to put the matter behind him, but is in no way evidence of racism.  He’s damned no matter what he does.

For comparison, here is an actual racist quote with the argument that whites are performing the best in schools because they are intellectually superior to Latinos and blacks:

“And while only one in twelve white seventeen-year-olds has the ability to pick up the newspaper and understand the science section, for Hispanics the number jumps to one in fifty; for African Americans it’s one in one hundred.”

As you can see, the distinction between what are quotes taken out of context and a quote such as this is striking.

Perhaps you are on to my ploy already.  The last quote was from President Barack Obama who was trying to address specific struggles in education goals.  Obviously I took it out of context.  Just because something is said to be so does not make it so.

Anyway, I could go on and on with speculation on what all the alleged quotes could mean.  If this is the worst anyone can dig up on Ron Paul then there is no case against him- especially since not a single quote can be said to have been written by him.  Look up any other candidate and “scandal” and there are far more substantive cases.  That is except for Jon Huntsman.  Huntsman’s character is squeaky clean according to what I can turn up, which is pretty impressive considering he is not exactly a newbie to the political arena, but that’s for another blog entry.

As for Ron Paul and anti-Semitism, the matter is the same so I won’t waste much time with it.  Basically, because Ron Paul authored a proposal that would end foreign aid to Egypt, Jordan, Israel, and Pakistan (3 of four of these countries are Muslim and involved in actions against Israel) while saving $6 billion dollars he is anti-Semitic.  Also, because of another supposed quote attributed to him stating that he is critical of Israeli lobby groups who extract $3 billion a year from us and because he wouldn’t aid preemptive military actions by Israel (or anyone for that matter- even us) against Iran he is anti-Semite.  This is so ludicrous I won’t legitimize it with any manner of response.

What I will say is that this sort of poisonous association of withdrawing federal money and aid from endless programs as being “against” the individuals or groups associated with the program simply does not apply to Ron Paul because he is so universally resistant to federal intervention.  This does not lend him to any criticism that he favors or dislikes any particular group.  He does not dislike groups.  He dislikes federal meddling.

My conclusion is that Ron Paul’s character is sound.  No proof exists that he is racist or anti-Semitic, as if there’s a difference.  There is certainly reason to keep a close eye on him as with any politician, but the fact of the matter is that there is no measurable dirt on the guy.  Disagree with him all you like, he is nearly the perfect candidate for president if integrity is of any importance to the Presidency.


Occupy a Communist Revolution

October 14, 2011

There is an awful lot of media frenzy over the Occupy Wall Street protests going on throughout the country.  However, we are entering the 27th day of these protests and there is still not a clear idea of what exactly OWS is protesting or what the protesters want.  This is not just a casual observation by me.  Their website offers nothing directly of substance and there are more than a few bloggers such as this Washington Times post and my buddy at Extreme Middle who had the fortune and initiative to visit a protest in Denver.  The Washington Times post is interesting because it attempts to identify the demands of OWS with an original list that was actually just a post on the OWS website by a supporter.  The article then tries to update with yet another list that it tries to associate with OWS, but the “OWS” link it provides is actually to Coup Media Group and written by “anonymous” who opens with an admission that OWS has no official demands.  There is no measurable amount of cohesion to this so-called movement.

You might wonder where the official news outlet stories are on this conspicuous absence of substance to the OWS protests.  Well, I do to.  I looked on every major news website and found nothing in the form of a formal article trying to investigate the demands of OWS.  CNN, ABC, CBS, and MSNBC are all practically cheerleaders (such as this trash from MSNBC) and Fox News has reduced its stories to petty partisan jabs.  Only bloggers are actually doing any inquiry.  Glenn Beck sent a film maker into the fray for his GBTV broadcast.  I was somewhat skeptical about the result, but it is echoed in many personal accounts of objective people and my own research.

So,basically, it is reasonable to conclude that the OWS protesters are mad.  They are so chock full of rage that they even dedicate a link to US Day of Rage, which doesn’t seem to be any particular day- at least not soon…which doesn’t seem to be particularly rageful.  To be honest, I rather support USDR’s 3 demands.  However, according to their stated principles, they “will never endorse, finance, or lend our name to any other group, association, candidate or party”, which means I can’t associate their demands with OWS.  Hmm.  Anyway, OWS is mad at corporations and corrupt government according to their “about” page.  That’s it.  They’re just honest to goodness mad folk who want…what?

Truth be told, they don’t know, which makes their “movement” more like an obnoxious fart.  It’s annoying, but doesn’t really do anything.  It might be followed by a movement, but you would really rather it happen somewhere else.

I mean this very sincerely so as to avoid being vulgar because what they are collectively and indirectly advocating is nothing more.  The protesters are tools to the Democrat scoundrels in Washington who now claim to support OWS and relish in the lack of a platform.  It means Washington Democrats commit to nothing by supporting OWS, but they get the wonderful benefit of having public attention diverted from their own failings and significant contributions to the current financial mess (including corporate welfare) so that they may have a second term for their Democrat president for more of the same.  It’s a strategically smart move that they can disassociate from under the guise of “Who knew” the moment OWS develops a platform that may be objectionable.

It doesn’t end with just Democrats, though.  There is a much more dangerous, insidious, silent, and powerful (remember the bad fart and what might come afterward) association with communist thought in our society that is ever prevalent in our politics (see Bernie Sanders).  The supporters of this thought are seizing the opportunity to shape the OWS agenda.  Even speakers such as Slavoj Zizek, a Marxist/Leninist philosophy professor from Slovenia, are openly welcomed and their thinly veiled calls for communism are being hailed as representatives of OWS thought.  Among the latest calls for action by OWS is a “global” event to “…usher in an era of democratic and economic justice.  We must change, we must evolve.”  The very concepts of economic and social justice are Marxist, which led to the bloody Lenin revolution and eventual economic ruin of the USSR.  Contemporary applications of these concepts are being pushed through organizations like the Center for Economic and Social Justice, which claims to attempt to refine Marxist principles through the application of the kelso-adler theory of economic justice.  Make sense to you?  Not so much to me either and I am fairly confident that 99% of the protesters have no clue whatsoever.

As with many of my writings, my opinions change through my research.  I started this article as a blog on the misguided efforts of a bunch of legitimately mad people who don’t know where to direct their anger for productive results.  What I am now convinced of is that the vagueness is the deliberate workings of a puppet master.  The fact that I think our problem is with government is almost pale in comparison to this new threat of communist uprising that I see taking root through these unwitting protesters.  “Who is driving the OWS website?”, I now wonder.  Maybe George Soros?  It certainly isn’t just a hodgepodge of bloggers.  The calls for action are becoming more brazenly revolutionary and communist in nature.  In fact, the latest call for action is specifically to include children so that they can be taught “about our broken economic system, and alternatives that could help save the planet and provide a future for the next generation” and to embarrass officials by showcasing “parents and their children so invested in Occupy Wall Street that they would spend the night in a public park with their children.”

Aside from the fact that involving children for political leverage in this manner is a distasteful Stalinist revolutionary tactic, there is an awful lot of teaching going on for so little conversation.  BUT, now you and I know at least some of the truth.  I don’t fully understand it and I know I’ve presented just a fraction of what’s out there.  Clearly, the protestors are not any kind of grassroots effort or there would actually be root in something.  They are pawns in a much larger game and one side is gearing up to use them for their breakthrough move in possibly a defining event in American history.  Which side will YOU be on?