This is where I talk about politics, social issues, and the media. My name’s John Henry. Yes, that’s my real name, first and middle. My last name, for the record, is DeJong, but the only reason you’d need to know that is if you’re writing me a check – in which case feel free to contact me – or attempting to sue me, in which case good luck because I really don’t own anything.
About the LowGenius Websites
They’re sites. On the web. This one is about politics, social issues, media, and whatever else I feel like writing about. The other one is about my professional life. The other other one is a news and information site with multiple contributors, where I’m just the guy who owns the place.
About This About Page
Information here has been radically condensed to its essence due to the obnoxiousness of time-wasting freaky stalkers who randomly nit-pick websites because they have nothing better to do with their lives.
About John Henry DeJong
Drums. Politics. Social issues. Student. Comm major, polisci minor. Former geek no longer on the cutting edge nor really wanting to be. Anything else you really want to know, feel free to ask and I’ll decide if you need to.
The “LowGenius” moniker was coined by my daughter during a discussion in 2001 about IQ tests. In spite of the lame attempts of trolls and knuckle-draggers lacking the creativity to find a meaningful vector of rebuttal in online conversations, it’s not about telling the world how smart I am. If that was the case, it’d just be “Genius.” The whole point of the word is that it doesn’t take a genius to figure out most anything I have to say – it just takes a little common sense and a willingness to set aside the ego-service of social darwinism and the arrogant lie that anyone in this country or any other first-world nation is “self-made” or “did it all on my own.” You didn’t. Get over yourself.
As for everything else, here’s a message that I posted to my FB wall as a sort of introduction/fair warning to new friends. I think it says as much as needs saying about who I am and what I believe in.
- I am a liberal progressive who believes strongly in capitalist socialism. If that’s a problem for you, you probably want to go now.
- If you don’t understand the difference, both in theory and in fact, between “socialism” and “communism,” you will learn them if you stick around…but if learning them is going to hurt your feelings because you realized there’s something you were wrong about, I’m probably not a comfortable fit for you.
- I am generally supportive of the Obama administration, but will not hesitate to criticize when I feel criticism is warranted. I don’t believe that lock-step, “my country right or wrong” thinking is conducive to freedom. If that’s a problem for you, I’m probably not a good fit for your friends’ list.
- I have a habit of chewing the crap out of people who say stupid things like “Occupy Wall Street is just a bunch of lazy hippies looking for a handout.” I try to be reasonably polite when posting on other people’s walls, but sometimes I fail – sometimes on purpose, sometimes not. If that’s an issue for you, you might not want me on your FL.
- I believe that knowledge is power, and in that belief I strive for factual accuracy and have little tolerance for empty emotive arguments and logical fallacy. If “OMG YOU SOCIALIST CAN’T YOU SEE HOW TERRIBLE THAT IS, YOU PROBABLY AREN’T EVEN A CHRISTIAN” constitute a reasonable argument for you, you probably won’t like me much.
- I’m not even a christian. I’m an atheist, a decision I came to after many MANY years of studying various scriptures (which includes non-Christian writing) and fully exploring agnosticism for many years, finally realizing through discourse that even “I don’t know” is an acceptance of an invalid premise.
That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate or respect the wisdom that is available, at least to some extent, in most religious teachings, but it does mean that I don’t believe in “god” or “gods.” Belief in any of those things fundamentally requires that I accept a premise which has no logical or empirical basis, and I choose not to do that.
I do not hold anyone else’s religious beliefs against them, but if you come talking about what a “good Christian” you are and then start preaching about how homosexuality is evil or the death penalty is the only proper response to a criminal, you will probably find your face being ripped off at some point. I accept your right to your religious belief; I don’t accept that you have a right to be a hateful dick. If that’s a problem for you, you probably don’t want to be here.
- I am in favor of abortion rights for women, gay marriage, taxation of churches, strong government regulation of business and industry, socialized education and health care, and strong social welfare programs, and as little government and regulatory interference in the lives of individual human beings as is possible while still maintaining some semblance of peace and justice.
- I do not believe that poor people are “lazy” or “ignorant,” because I am one and I’m not either of those things. I also don’t believe that even being “lazy” or “ignorant” is an excuse to let people starve, be homeless, or go without medical care. That philosophy comes down to money being more important than people, and I don’t believe in that. If that’s a problem for you, then you probably don’t want to be here.
- I will cheerfully engage in intelligent discourse all day, and I don’t require that everyone I know agree with me on all things. I do require that if you’re going to argue with me about something, you do so with facts and logic, and leave the propaganda, appeals to emotion, and other logical fallacies at the door. I will even cheerfully point out the flaws in your reasoning if I find them, and I will sincerely hope you learn from what I tell you…but if you’re the type of person who believes that screaming the loudest is the way to win an argument, or that he who has the biggest guns is the most correct, or that beating someone’s ass makes you right, then you are probably going to find yourself hating me and defriending me at some point.
- I don’t ban or block people who disagree with me just because they disagree with me. I do ban and block people who are jerks, who are merely disagreeing for the sake of propping up delusions of personal superiority, and who are just trying to defame and discredit me under the guise of “criticism.” Reasoned criticism and disagreement are the life blood of the intellect. The pretense of reasoned criticism and disagreement to disguise ad hominem attacks and primary-school level “trolling” are the bane of the intellect and destructive to meaningful discourse.
Quotes of Influence
“I began to sense faintly that secrecy is the keystone of all tyranny. Not force, but secrecy … censorship. When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, “This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know,” the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything—you cannot conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.” – Robert Heinlein, “If This Goes On –“
“America touts itself as the land of the free, but the number one freedom that you and I have is the freedom to enter into a subservient role in the workplace. Once you exercise this freedom you’ve lost all control over what you do, what is produced, and how it is produced. And in the end, the product doesn’t belong to you. The only way you can avoid bosses and jobs is if you don’t care about making a living. Which leads to the second freedom: the freedom to starve.” – Tom Morello, Rage Against The Machine, quoted in Guitar World
“I’ve got a photograph I will send it out today; you will see that I am perfectly sane.” – Chris Cornell, Preaching The End Of The World
“It’s difficult in times like these: ideals, dreams and cherished hopes rise within us, only to be crushed by grim reality. It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.” – Anne Frank