Ian Freeman’s shunning from the Free State Project, if considered in one way, can be considered an egregious case of victim blaming, if you apply to it the stated beliefs and values of the attackers. Let us review the situation here, and note that I am stipulating some things that I do not personally believe, in order to allow a hypothetical conversation. I shudder to wade into the morass of this discussion, which in some quarters is conducted as a witch hunt, by zealots and by those who are terrified that if they don’t cry “faggot, faggot, faggot” as loudly as the other boys, the other boys might think that they are “faggots”, too. I have to wade in, though, because by one possible interpretation of the facts, what is happening is a monstrous abuse of a survivor of childhood sexual abuse.
I reason as follows, using my own experience of sex with a 23 year old woman, my first girlfriend, Denise when I was 13 years old, who is the primary reason I am unwilling to name a particular number as an “age of consent”. I am willing to disclose more about this because I have recently learned, to my sorrow, that she has passed away, so nobody can hurt her now. Please note that the interpretations given here are not my interpretations, but a possible interpretation.
1) I still have very warm feelings for my first girlfriend Denise. When we were together, she was 23 and I was 13. For a number of reasons, including loyalty to Denise, I am not willing to define that encounter as rape.
2) According to the Ian Haters, what happened between Denise and I was rape, despite the fact that I pursued her from the moment I met her. That means that by Ian Hater logic, I am her victim.
3) If I am Denise’s victim, and yet I have warm feelings for her, then I am suffering from Stockholm syndrome. If that condition prevents me from naming a concrete number that should be the Age of Consent, I should not be banned for this reason, I literally cannot reconcile naming a magic age with my own experience, without either calling Denise a rapist, if I set that age above 13, or implying that sex with 13 year old is always ok, when in the VAST MAJORITY OF CASES, sex with somebody that young is completely wrong. My case was unusual, and I am aware of that.
As a mediator, I cannot choose a specific age at which all sex is automatically rape. But I can tell you the sort of questions I would ask the alleged victim if I were called to mediate such a case. My judgement would depend on the evidence. My questions would include:
1) What is sex?
2) Where do babies come from?
3) What is a condom?
4) What is a sexually transmitted disease?
5) Do you know what Death is?
6) Do you know that some sexually transmitted diseases can kill you?
7) Did you pursue sex with the accused, or did she pursue you?
8) Do you believe in God? Why or why not?
9) Did the accused threaten you in any way?
10) Did you ever ask the accused to stop what they were doing, and if so, did they?
11) Was this your first sexual relationship?
I have met very few people of 13 who could have answered those questions well enough to cause me to find that an adult who had sex with them was weak, rather than criminal. But at 13, I can say that I would have been able to answer them. If I were asked to rule on the case of Denise and myself, I would not find that she was criminally liable for a number of reasons:
1) She was of average intelligence. I have an IQ of 146.
2) I pursued her, in part, through dishonorable means, including fabricating a story of a previous sexual relationship specifically concocted to prevent her from knowing that I was a virgin. Sorry about that, Denise, I was a little bit hormone driven in those days.
3) At no time did I hesitate to continue enthusiastically toward a sexual relationship.
4) She was in a very vulnerable position, having been raped 6 months before the beginning of our relationship, and therefore was probably drawn to the fact that I could not as easily overpowered her as easily as a man her age could.
5) My seduction of her continued over the course of several months.
Disclaimers for the witch hunters:
No, nothing said here means that I am interested in or in favor of sex with children. The witch hunters will interpret it this way, but I am not willing to call my first girlfriend a rapist to escape the fires. I am an engineer. I don’t frolick. I don’t play much. I don’t interact with kids by choice, ever. I tend to like women at least 30 years old, and put a hard limit of 19 below which I will not go. But that does not mean that I would be in favor of imprisoning anybody who does go below 19. There are a great many standards I hold for myself that I would not impose on others.
As for Tasker, I do not know what happened in that case completely, but from what has been said, it seems likely that what he did was wrong, I cannot rush to judgement without seeing the evidence, because for all I know these accusations are a frame job. I’m not willing to throw him under the bus until I have reached a conclusion as to the truth and nature of the accusations against him. Innocent until proven guilty is good policy. More will be revealed, and when I know more, I will denounce him if such denouncement is due.
Today is the New Hampshire primary. I am asking New Hampshire residents to go out and vote for Rand Paul. Although he does not present a full Libertarian position, preferring to focus on a few important changes rather than trying to establish a Utopia in one term, Rand’s voice was the only one in the Republican primary defending ANY pro-liberty positions. Let’s let them know that more liberty is our goal, by voting for the one pro-liberty candidate!
While our Free Uber campaign fought to defend consumer choice in Portsmouth, corporate Uber was busy lobbying Concord to restrict it.
Uber bullies state legislatures into adopting ridesharing regulations that encode its business model as law, setting an arbitrarily high bar for mandatory minimum insurance coverage that prices out smaller competitors like Arcade City.
Video and excerpt from my comment to the Portsmouth city council this week:
“I’m here actually to address the fact that the transportation ordinance is about to be overridden if House bill 1697 passes… That just had a hearing a few days ago. I ask that you do whatever is in your power to oppose this bill. I have obviously had my issues with how Portsmouth has handled the transportation ordinance. But I like that I can come here and talk with you folks and not have to go up to Concord and fight with Uber’s lobbyists.
I’m a little miffed by the fact that while I was here the past few months fighting to defend consumer choice, Uber has been lobbying Concord to pass “Uber model legislation”. The bill lead sponsor admits that the bill is based on Uber model legislation, which means that Uber wrote the bill.
Now that I’m looking at this through the lens of an entrepreneur having started a competing service — we have 1400 drivers signed up now across the country, about 50 of them in New Hampshire; we’re going to be launching on Valentine’s Day — now that I’m reading this bill through the lens of a competitor, I’m seeing that Uber has written it specifically to set the bar to price out competitors like me. They are about to encode into law basically Uber’s business model: that if you are not able to come in with a $60 billion budget, you’re not allowed to compete as a TNC. …
I prefer that this issue be handled at the local level. I don’t see any reason to bring it up to the state level other than it’s going to make things more convenient for Uber. I ask that you use whatever influence you have to oppose House bill 1697. Thank you.”
Recorded January 19, 2015
Rob and the Rebel Mistress open up the skype lines this week. Topics discussed include The Rebel Love Show and Flaming Freedom recording at Liberty Forum from the Radisson Hotel in Manchester NH, Edward Snowden is the headliner for Liberty Forum, FSP hits 96%(Since the redording the FSP hit 97%!), OKC embraces poly, a listener calls in to talk to us about polyamory, Ann discusses her interest in running for NH State House Representative, Ian from Free Talk Live calls in about activism at the NH State House, liberty based poly dating app, and poly marriages with out sex? say it aint so! The Rebel Love Show airs every Tuesday night 10pm-12am EST on LRN.FM and RebelLoveShow.com/live.
Uber & Lyft Drivers Flock to New Rideshare Startup ‘Arcade City’ After Rate Cuts
Volume of driver signups crashes server; Arcade City app launches February 14th; Uber called a “rolling sweatshop”
PORTSMOUTH, NH — More than 600 Uber and Lyft drivers signed up for new ridesharing startup Arcade City this week in the aftermath of dramatic rate cuts by the two rideshare companies.
“Drivers are angry and rightfully so,” said Arcade City founder Christopher David. “Their take-home pay was just slashed up to 40% by some nerds in San Francisco who don’t even drive. Arcade City is here to do things differently.”
Arcade City is a ridesharing mobile app releasing officially for Android and iOS on Valentine’s Day, February 14th. Riders can schedule rides in advance or at the tap of a button on a “pay what you think is fair” basis.
Arcade City had a successful soft launch on New Years Eve in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. More than 100 passengers were transported safely in donation-based rides by ten drivers, most of them current or former Uber drivers.
“Our goal for January was to sign up 100 drivers by the end of the month to help us test the app,” said David. “Since the rate cuts we’ve been signing up 100 drivers every single day and the signup rate keeps increasing. It’s overwhelming.”
On Friday the Arcade City website crashed under heavy demand of driver signups, forcing server upgrades. More than 30 drivers are now being trained as regional leaders to recruit drivers and riders, with most of the U.S. covered, including Hawaii and as far away as Australia.
“The Achilles’ heel of Uber and Lyft is their centralized management of pricing. This week’s uproar by drivers — and their willingness to join an alternative — shows the failure of that approach,” said David. “You cannot build a sustainable long-term relationship with drivers if you take away their ability to set their own pricing. Arcade City will decentralize those decisions to the level of the driver and their customers.”
David is a former Uber driver and founder of the Free Uber activism campaign centered in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. In November he was arrested by Portsmouth police on felony wiretapping charges for posting a YouTube video [included below] recorded while driving illegally for Uber in Portsmouth. Last week the charge was reduced to a misdemeanor after a police review found it was misclassified as a felony, but David continues to face up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine.
Arcade City will launch globally on February 14th.
“Uber has said repeatedly that it likes to ‘experiment’ with fares. In reality, they are experimenting with livelihoods. They are experimenting with the ability of some people to put food on their table and to pay their rent/mortgage. That is unacceptable. Lyft just doesn’t have the backbone to stand up to them either. Arcade City does. I am joining Arcade City because I want to see the rideshare industry truly be about drivers and passengers, not executives hellbent on forcing workers into servitude just to discard them when they have no need for them.” –Mason J., Raleigh, NC
“Uber is a rolling sweatshop – and they make us provide the shop! Lyft is better, but heading down that terrible path with growing speed! Arcade City is built on driver experience and geared toward a fair and worthwhile model. With all these drivers from other services we can avoid the pitfalls of Uber and the like. I have a 4.9 rating from 7 months with Uber, 14 months with Lyft and i am ready for an alternative with a conscience!” –Keith Hale, Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
“I’m excited to work with Arcade City. They will allow customers to tip through the app, unlike Uber. With Uber they cut our fares by over 40% and they didn’t even give us a warning.” —Philip Heath, Maui, HI
“On Uber’s platform I’m rated as a 4.9. At first I loved it, but their recruiting efforts have caused supersaturation in the market place. There’s just too many drivers here in Denver. In response they cut rates so low that they hurt the driver’s bottom line. It’s hard to make any money with Uber anymore. Having a rideshare service founded by drivers is awesome! We have a direct say in how we do business. Arcade City is providing the means to change the industry.” —Aaron B., Denver, CO
“Arcade City is not about pleasing Wall Street like other ridesharing companies. It provides a platform that empowers both the driver and passenger from a foundation of trust that creates the ultimate transportation experience.” —Michael G. Johnson, Atlanta, GA
“In a market that was ripe for ride share advertising, Uber never seemed to pay attention to the driver’s suggestions and essentially left building the customer base to us. They seemed more interested in over-saturating the market with drivers, and then they cut all of our rates. I’m ecstatic to help build the Arcade City service. One that cares about everyone’s success, not just the pockets of shareholders.” —Jake, 4.83 Uber rating, Wichita, KS
“Rideshare drivers everywhere need to look towards Arcade City. Uber’s blatant disregard for and disrespect of its drivers is beyond reprehensible. It borders on criminal. Arcade City is designed to empower drivers. They are aware that it is the drivers who are the front line and the ambassadors of the company. Drivers deserve to feel appreciated by the company they choose to give their dedication! Join the Arcade City Revolution and be part of a kinder, gentler rideshare experience.” —Scott Goldstein, Philadelphia, PA
For the past four years now I have challenged the local school district here in Keene to reign in their out-of-control spending with no real success. Mind you, this is a huge, $65 million dollar a year welfare machine that many of the residents of Keene have grown completely dependent upon; sadly, a conundrum shared widely throughout the country.
This year I’ve introduced three petitioned warrant articles, or ballot initiatives, that would reduce school spending and one article that would direct the district to opt out of Common Core. In previous years my warrants have always been amended completely ineffective at the first Deliberative session made up primarily of teachers and school admins who oppose any types of cuts. I expect no difference this time around. Convincing people to come out early on a Saturday morning to sit through a long drawn out meeting is much more difficult than collecting their signatures. However, judging by the turnout of disgruntled residents at the first informational meeting this past Tuesday and the fact that The Keene Sentinel chose to include the story on the front page the next day, leads me to believe that more apathetic voters are beginning to wake up. Here is the full Sentinel article: