Thunderf00t: ‘Amenakin, Censorin’ for Islam’

For those who are not frequent users of YouTube or are simply unaware of this particular issue, Thunderf00t is one of the most prominent members of the informal YouTube atheist community.  As a scientist, he has consistently criticized theocratic dogma, dispelling their claims with science and reason.

Not surprisingly, there has been some friction between him (and other YouTube-active atheists) and theocrats, usually of the monolatric bend.  Usually, this friction has been limited to exchanges of videos and comments – which is really quite entertaining, regardless of where one falls opinion-wise:  it’s like a fine boxing match, but fought with ideas and words.  Ray Comfort, a prominent Christian theist, has even hosted long one-on-one debates with Thunderf00t which both of them then posted on YouTube.

What I am trying to say is that yes, there is an ongoing battling of ideas – and while tempers may rise, both sides are capable of civilized discourse.

Or, rather, most members of both sides…

…because there are people who are using the DMCA to make claims that are intended to force YouTube to shut down channels of people whose views they disagree with.  This is a sort of a mini-SLAPP suit…

Which is what this video is about:

Rick Dagenais: the troll at my door

During elections, it is the custom for the various candidates vying for our votes to knock on the doors of the constituents in the riding where they are hoping to win the seat, assure the voters that you care about each and every one of them – personally – and, hopefully, convince the voters that they are worthy of their trust.

I have experienced this many times – politicians of all political stripes and polka-dots have had a discussion with me at my front door, from federal, provincial and municipal levels.  This has led to interesting discussions (though usually, not particularly long ones as the candidates are eager to hit as many homes as possible in the little time available to them) and even when we do not see eye-to-eye politically, the politicians have always been on their best and most affable.  After all, you never know when a neighbour is listening and might be impresses….

With the current Ontario election in its last week, I was not particularly surprised to see a political candidate on my doorstep, hoping to convince me to give him my vote.  What shocked me was that almost from the first moment, the dude trolled me!

The only thing I can think of was that it was a cold and rainy evening when Ric Dagenais of the NDP  happened upon my abode – so his demeanour might have been a reflection of the elements… because I cannot imagine why on Earth anyone hoping to convince me to vote for them would behave like a such a small-minded troll.  Truly…

What came out of this guy’s mouth was astonishing.  I find it difficult to understand what possessed him to behave as he did, to say the stuff he said.  It made him sound, well, uneducated, slightly unhinged and patronizing all at the same time.

Let me expand on that.

He started ‘on script’ and asked if I had considered voting for the NDP.  I said that while still undecided, I was seriously considering the Freedom Party of Ontario.

Mr. Dagenais’s eyes glazed over as he said:  “Who?”

It took him a bit, but he finally remembered who that was.  Then he said:  “They are running a candidate in this riding?”

When I assured him that they were (Marco Rossi), he reluctantly agreed that yeah, he guessed they were.

So far, he has sounded just a bit grumpy and a more than a little ignorant – he could not even remember who was competing against him for the seat in the Ontario legislature.

Then he asked me why I was considering the Freedom Party.

I told him my honest opinion:  that we needed to move towards smaller government and that I thought the Freedom Party was the best choice for people who do not like big government.

This seemed to shock him:  “You think the NDP does not stand for small government?”

At first, I thought he wassimply  jesting – facing a voter with insurmountable ideological differences from him, that he would depart on a light note.  I was wrong.  He was serious…

Then he began to explain to me that the NDP was the ONLY party that would guarantee me ‘smaller government’.   With a straight face, he was honestly trying to convince me that NDP was the only logical choice for people who want to reduce the size of the government.

Now – let’s do a little recap.  I was aware of more candidates in this riding than he, as one of the candidates, was.  This should obviously put me into a category of ‘at least somewhat informed voter’ – or, at least, not an absolute political ignoramus who is unaware of the NDP’s policies and their inherent incompatibility with ‘small government’.  OK – I am blond…and since my left shoulder has still not fully healed, my pony tail was not well centred or actually styled, just sort of sraped back off my face.  And, when he knocked on my door, I was in the process of cleaning my house and dressed in  my ‘grubbies’.  So, I probably looked ditsy and grubby at once. Still, treating me like an idiot by offering me such transparent lies, in such a patronizing manner, was a bit of a strain on me.

In order to re-focus the conversation, I tried to explain that I thought the government should be much smaller than the NDP suggests – that governments should really not provide any services beyond the military, policing and judiciary.  Pretty standard stuff – right?  Mr. Dagenais had a very weird reaction to this:  he accused me of wanting to live in a police state!

He got quite heated, too, leaning forward and pointing a finger to deliver the message.  Needless to say, I was not prepared for such an irrational statement, nor the passion with which it was delivered.  I still don’t know if Mr. Dagenais was just trolling (I hope so) or if he is truly so ill informed that he thinks that wanting less government truly means wanting to establish a police state.

I tried to explain it – I really did.  I good faith and everything.  But his claims kept getting more and more irrational, at one point claiming that if citizens were granted property rights, then multinational corporations would build poisonous factories across the street from  my house and kill my children!

Yes, he actually went that far.

The thing he said were so irrational that I asked him to stop with the ‘straw men’ arguments because it was silly, but I don’t think he even heard me.  But he seemed like he was just getting started…  He actually shouted that I would build a Nazi state and demanded to know if that was what I really wanted!

Rather than stand there and continue to be insulted, I asked him to please leave.  It took him several sentences to register what I said, then he looked up at me in shocked surprise – so I repeated my request.  He said he guessed he’d better – and stalked off…

The encounter had left me rather baffled.  I am grateful to Ric Dagenais and all the candidates for participating in the political process:  without people willing to devote their time and energy and running for public office, our system would simply cease to function.  People of all political opinions and views ought to have someone to vote for who represents their views.  Without people like Ric Dagenais, this would not be possible – so I am sad to have had such a discouraging encounter with him.

Still, I hope this was just stress coming through, that I had unknowingly pushed some buttons that led him to troll me…and that he truly does not believe that giving property rights to citizens would lead to multinational corporations killing all the children and reducing the size of the government would lead to a Nazi-style police state.