Tag Archive | hillary

The Assumption Liberals Make

Elements on the left seem increasingly zealous about whether Trump was, perhaps, friendlier with Russia than they want him to be, but I’m not really interested in whether the increasingly desperate attempts to engage Trump and Putin in a bromance is based on truth or some mutated psychosis leftover from the Cold War. Actually, I’d say that Cold War paranoia is more like AIDS, because AIDS isn’t actually the cause of death for HIV sufferers–some other disease infects them due to their severely weakened immune system, and this disease is what kills them. So the Cold War paranoia is the AIDS that made us susceptible to this weird, virulent strain of “Them Damn Russians!”

But whether we’ve got a severe AIDS infection or whether we have cause to distrust Trump’s Russia connections isn’t of much relevance until another question has been answered: Why should we care if Trump has these alleged connections?

The first contention is that we should care because Trump is close to the country that subverted our democracy by interfering in our election. At best, this ranks among the most dubious claims that I’ve ever heard. The leaks ripped the DNC into pieces, but progressives have benefited from that as much as Trump did, so unless they’re guilty of the same collusion (in fact, irate Sanders supporters have at least as much motive as Trump–“Oh, hello, Seth Rich!”), the claim appears to be nothing but “You possibly benefited from this, so you’re guilty of collusion, and even though we provably benefited, we’re not guilty of collusion.”

Even if we assume that all of the Democrats’ bizarre claims are true, it still doesn’t answer the question of why I should care. Hillary was no better suited to be President than Trump, and that some people are willing to eat a plate full of dog vomit over a pile of festering shit is of no consequence to me, and certainly not reason for me to get mad that more people (by the weight of the political rules we all agreed to beforehand) scarfed down a helping of turds.

Even if Trump only won because of these ties to Russia (which, again, we’re assuming are true), so freaking what? If you’re going to hold up electoral processes as wonderful, quasi-magical things that must be insulated from influence of the outside world, and whose integrity must be beyond reproach, I’d take your claim more seriously if you hadn’t spent the last six months rioting because you didn’t get the election result that you wanted.

Until actual evidence has been put forward–something more than a laundry list of “He Said, She Said” bullshit–and as long as we live in a place where one of the great social principles is that one is innocent until proven guilty, it follows that the only people undermining the integrity of the election are the Democrats. Mind you, this is after Jill Stein’s recount attempts showed no disparity at all with the results.

So let’s be clear about this. It’s not “The election” that democrats are claiming was influenced. The vote totals were not changed via Russian meddling, and, to my knowledge, only the most uninformed and absurd progressives are making such claims. For the greater part, what liberals actually mean when they allege that Russia influenced the election is that Russia influenced voters.

Again, I must ask: “So?”

By the Constitution of the United States, an American voter has the immutable right to not only believe whatever the hell they want, but also (an extension modern liberals gloss over) to act in accordance with those beliefs. It doesn’t matter if Bob votes for Trump because he’s a Christian, as is Bob, and if Bob was convinced of Christianity by Americans or by Russian Jesuits. Why Bob believes what he believes is his own business, not ours, and we can’t threaten that without also curtailing his right to believe what he wants.

So, too, if Jim voted for Trump because he believes Hillary is the worst thing since gonorrhea, it’s not of any relevance to us whether he believes that because of the “documentary” “Clinton Cash,” because of the DNC Leaks, because of Wikileaks, or because he was taught to be Republicans by his parents and never looked any further. He cast his vote, and his reasons for doing so may be whatever he wants. Maybe he doesn’t like Hillary’s hair, or maybe he finds Hillary to be somewhat more psychopathic than the unpredictable Trump.

Whatever his reasons are, they are his reasons, and the alleged beauty of the American political system is that he gets the same number of votes to express his values as does anyone else. It’s fine that liberals would disagree with his reasons–either because they believe those reasons are factually incorrect, or they believe that one should value other things–and it’s fine for them to express this disagreement through the one vote that they each have.

What’s not okay is attempting to erase Jim’s vote because one disagrees with the beliefs he holds that led him to vote the way that he did. I notice there’s no criticism of the people who only voted for Hillary for stupid, demagogic reasons, or for equally asinine reasons like “Well, she’s the first female candidate!”

The liberals, it seems, don’t want to erase every vote that was based on reasons with which they disagree (since “She’s the first female candidate!” obviously flies directly in the face of the claim that “Gender shouldn’t matter,” the basis they use for criticising Trump supporters who voted for Trump because he’s a man), but only those for the other candidate with which they disagree, and, let’s be honest here, that’s basically all of them, because the entire fucking rift exists because liberals and conservatives value different things.

Is there such a thing, to the Democrat, as a good reason to vote for Trump? If there is, I’ve yet to hear a Democrat acquiesce that point.

You voted for Trump because you liked his expressed opinions on immigration? No, that’s illegitimate, you racist bastard.

You voted for Trump because you preferred his probable tax policy? No, that’s illegitimate, you elitist fool, dick-riding the rich.

You voted for Trump because you didn’t like Hillary’s arrogant and sociopathic demeanor? No, that’s illegitimate, you sexist pig.

You voted for Trump because you liked his abortion stance? No, that’s illegitimate, you fascist, because people have the right to convenient abortions.

The conservative/liberal rift occurs long before the candidates are chosen. The point of the presidential debates is not for the Republican candidate to entice Democrats, or the Democratic candidate to entice Republicans. Even independents are rarely swayed by such things. People simply don’t operate that way. Most have their value system and will vote for whoever best fits with that value system, and the divide between Republicans and Democrats is so large that there is almost no crossover. How many people voted for Trump because of Wikileaks or these presumed-to-be-true ties to Russia? I’d wager that the number is fewer than a thousand, throughout the entire country, because that’s just not how people work.

No amount of terrible things you told me about Hillary, however true they were, would have caused me to vote for Trump. No amount of terrible things you told me about Trump would have caused me to vote for Hillary. Honestly, how manipulable do Democrats think people are? At absolute best, the revelations of how much a candidate sucks will only reinforce whatever position I currently hold, and most Americans will readily pick and choose what information to take in and what information to discard.

This is practically a tautology. I’ve seen countless Democrats say that there’s no evidence that Hillary has ever done anything wrong–no hyperbole, no straw man. Yet these same people proclaim there is incontrovertible evidence that Trump did countless things wrong. Meanwhile, Republicans do the same and claim that there’s no evidence that Trump has ever done anything wrong, and that there is incontrovertible evidence that Hillary is the devil.

Anyone who is actually open to the information long ago concluded that both of these people are disgusting toads who have no business being anywhere near a position of power. That’s the keyword: open to the information. Because there is plenty of evidence that both Trump and Hillary are absolutely awful.

What we’re talking about isn’t that someone isn’t “open to the information.” It’s simply that someone disagrees with the liberal, and the liberal lost the election because of that disagreement.

Remember any of the 90s sitcoms that had families “vote” on what they were going to do, only for the adults to immediately lose the vote and say, “Well, our votes each count as two, because we’re adults”?

That’s all we’re seeing here.

And even if all this was true, no one has yet explained to me why it’s undesirable for the United States to have warmer relations with Russia. No one seems to care that the United States has warm ties to the European Union–or Pakistan, or India, or Saudi Arabia. So why Russia? In what weird understanding of the world is it bad for two great powers to get along?

Is it because of their human rights record? No, it can’t be that, because many of our Middle Eastern buddies have far worse records–as do we, as we house 20% of the world’s prison population while having only 4% of the world’s population, and you can’t get to those numbers without severe destruction of liberty and rights. Is it because Russia has nukes? So does India, Pakistan, China, many EU countries, the UK, and many others, so it can’t be that, either.

In fact, I’d bet everything that only a year ago the majority of liberals would have happily agreed that the United States needs to work with Russia. Why do liberals suddenly hate them so much that state congressional Democrats are seriously making the claim that the United States needs to break off all communications with Russia? What changed between then and now?

Democrats lost the White House. And since recount efforts showed the votes weren’t tampered with, rather than accepting responsibility and blaming themselves, they would undermine democracy itself with the contention that your vote only counts if you cast it for the reasons they want you to cast it. Put bluntly, your vote only counts if you cast it for their candidate.

They’d deny this adamantly, of course. “You can vote for a Republican,” they’d say. “Just not freaking Trump!”

I see no reason to believe that there’s any truth to this amended claim. In fact, I’m sure we’d be here today if Hillary lost to Kasich or Cruz. They say otherwise, and it’s useless to argue one hypothetical against another. Maybe they are telling the truth. I doubt it, though, because they’ve already lied to themselves about what they’re saying, and what they’re really saying is, “Your vote only counts if you cast it for reasons we agree with.”

If you want to talk tyranny and fascism, I think we’d have a hard time finding clearer examples.

I Don’t Care About Trump’s Appointments

I seem to be a bit anomalous, in that I don’t care even slightly about the people that President Elect Donald Trump chooses to head various federal agencies. The only appointment of his that I have any interest in would be the Supreme Court Justice slot, and my prediction on that is that Trump is going to wait until after his inauguration to let us know who he favors. At the very least, we won’t know until after the Electors have voted.

Thanks to friends who are interested, I see the appointments. I see how Trump picked an Exxon CEO to be… Secretary of State, I think? And someone named DeVos is going to head the Department of Education, if I recall correctly. I don’t care, though, because the whole thing just smacks of tyranny. More than anything, the post-election focus on Trump’s staff and department heads highlights just how broken the American government is, that these positions of extreme power are not elected but appointed.

I am reminded of Thomas Paine’s remarks in The Rights of Man about how France did not find itself under the one despot of King Louis and how there were, in fact, many competing despotisms, some inherited and some newly created, and that Louis himself was little more than the symbol of the myriad tyrannies that stifled the French people:

When despotism has established itself for ages in a country, as in France, it is not in the person of the king only that it resides. It has the appearance of being so in show, and in nominal authority; but it is not so in practice and in fact. It has its standard everywhere. Every office and department has its despotism, founded upon custom and usage. Every place has its Bastille, and every Bastille its despot. The original hereditary despotism resident in the person of the king, divides and sub-divides itself into a thousand shapes and forms, till at last the whole of it is acted by deputation. This was the case in France; and against this species of despotism, proceeding on through an endless labyrinth of office till the source of it is scarcely perceptible, there is no mode of redress. It strengthens itself by assuming the appearance of duty, and tyrannies under the pretence of obeying.

How sad and tragic that this 18th century literature holds so strikingly true today, when we have had the benefit of the United States Constitution and two centuries of education, rationalism, enlightenment, and productivity with which we might have forever cast off the yoke of despotism.

“Drain the swamp!” Trump said during his campaign–a fact that I have only just now bothered to even remark on, because my hyper-cynical libertarianism recognized it immediately as the meaningless slogan that it was–a useless platitude and empty promise to further ignite the “populist” base that propelled him to victory. Hardly a week had gone by, though, that President Elect Donald Trump made it clear that he intended to bathe in the swamp. This is not the pining of someone who expected better, though, but a withdrawn recognition that it was inevitable, just as King Louis would have been utterly unable to effect the changes in government that the French people wanted to see, king or not.

No matter how benevolent King Louis XVI might have been–and it does seem that he was as moderate a monarch as the French people could have hoped for at that period in history–he was as bound by the tyranny of the French government as were the French people who eventually dethroned and executed him. So, too, is it irrelevant how benevolent Trump might be*, how well-intentioned, how moderate, or how compelled he is to complete his countless conflicting campaign contracts.

The tyranny under which the American people suffer–they are extraneous to the office of the President, and the President has little to no power to change them, and I would venture the statement that even Congress has become powerless to change them. Obviously, the CIA is foremost among such agencies: here is a governmental agencies of spies, run by people who were not elected, who play partisan politics, who now operate within the United States, who lied directly to Congress, who involved us in Iraq under false pretenses where at least 150,000 civilians have been killed, who planned Operation Northwoods, who executed Project MK-ULTRA, and who executed Project Paperclip. This agency is responsible, at the very least, for these crimes against the American People–and it can be called nothing else, when the agency kidnaps and tortures American citizens in the name of torture and psychotropic drug “research,” no doubt ideas they got from the people they imported during Project Paperclip–continues on unabated, unchecked, uncontrolled, and uncontested. What difference does it make whether this horrific agency is headed by someone appointed by President Obama or someone appointed by President Trump?

None.

The same holds true of all the government agencies to some degree, though many have crimes against the American people that are less brazen and more oppressive. The Food and Drug Administration, for example, with its absurd shenanigans–it’s hard to even identify a place to start. Aspartame** is probably a good starting point, considering the FDA classified it as a poison for a very long time. Suddenly, though, the FDA decided that it wasn’t a poison after all, and then-head of the FDA resigned and went on to join the board of directors for the company that–shocker of shockers–held the patent on aspartame. There were other things in the news more recently, and libertarians blew the horn on the FDA’s ridiculous bullshit over something that started with a “k.” I don’t recall what, but it’s not of much significance, not really.

How about the IRS? Is Trump’s new appointment to the IRS going to forgive the tax debt of everyone who earns less than fifty thousand dollars a year? Not bloody likely. And I can tell you from first-hand experience that the IRS embodies the spirit of tyranny: unchecked and uncontested, they declare anything they want and they have the power to turn their arbitrary rulings into requirements. The only thing saving me from the IRS is that they are too big, I am too small, and the debt is too small–respectively, for them, at least. If it was $20,000 or $200,000 I have very little doubt that they would throw their might at me. And their might? It is inescapable and indestructible.

So what reason could I possibly have to care that King Louis XV died and has been replaced by King Louis XVI? However well-intentioned he might be, the nature of the state itself is that King Louis does not–indeed, cannot–know that such a person as myself even exists, much less that the state oppresses me. Does the state oppress me? Of course, but I don’t mean to say that it oppresses me more than it oppresses anyone else.

The insidious nature of the state and government regulations is precisely that freedoms are so hard to notice when they’re absent. We humans are creatures of comparison. In order for a man to know he is not free to do something, he must be able to compare his life to some scenario–even a hypothetical one–where he is free to do it. But when it has not been made simply illegal but has been erased entirely from existence, it becomes a matter of extreme imagination to envision scenarios where we might be free but aren’t, where we might have something but don’t.

Our war against the state is beautiful in that it shows how remarkably industrious and creative we are as free, independent people. When the government granted itself the exclusive right to deliver mail and then drove itself into the ground–as fascism is prone to doing–the productivity and ingenuity of liberty stepped forward and delivered: email, facsimile machines, and text messaging were born. “Paperless” is increasingly the trend, further putting the USPS out of business, a relic of the past because government regulations obsoleted the government agency. It was inevitable–by stifling competition, the USPS established a monopoly, promptly became inefficient, and we clever, creative people worked around the letter of the law. I don’t even have a mail box or a Post Office box. That’s how obsolete the USPS is.

What solutions might we have come up with fifty years ago, if the USPS hadn’t outlawed competition? It took a very long time for us to come up with a cost effective, expedient, and efficient solution to undermine the USPS’s tyranny over the delivering of mail–for a long time the literal lifeblood of communication in the country–is it any wonder they wanted to control it? Technology had to advance considerably just for us to be able to do something as simple as deliver a message from one part of the country to another without going through the slow bureaucracy of the USPS.

I mentioned to a friend earlier today that I am tired of shaving… pretty much my entire body, every single day, and so I’m considering trying out Nair. I’m not sure that would be cost effective, though–shaving is pretty cheap, especially when you soak your razors overnight in alcohol*^. I don’t have the patience to let my hair grow long enough to wax it, and I hate being prickly anyway. Then it occurred to me.

Why aren’t there^* At Home Laser Hair Removal kits already?

I can buy a laser pointer powerful enough to crash a 747. Why can’t I buy a Laser Hair Removal kit?

I can buy tattoo guns. In fact, I have tattoo guns. I did most of my tattoos myself. Of course, that’s rife with regulations, but the government can’t keep people in prison from building tattoo guns and giving one another tattoos, so how could they possibly accomplish it out here in wider society? For that matter, they can’t keep guns, drugs, and HIV out of prison, either. So even if they could turn the entire country into a prison in their quest for Max Gun Control and Max Drug Control–which would be necessary, as I enjoy reminding liberals–they still wouldn’t be able to catch that red herring.

I am absolutely positive that, if the government wasn’t in the way, DIY Laser Hair Removal kits would be available. You can buy far more dangerous stuff than that, after all.

Like aspartame, for example.

There was a strange divergence among self-proclaimed libertarians during the 2016 election, and while I know the “type,” I haven’t been able to fully articulate it. They have a nationalist streak and an anti-Islam streak, and while they do qualify as libertarians, they were more than willing to sell out and look the other way on freaking everything that was wrong with Donald Trump in the name of their nationalism and anti-Islamism. I know a few of them, and it’s those people that I think of when I hear the phrase “Drain the swamp!” because they did take Trump at face value; they believed he would do so.

So what is the Federal Government to me? What difference do Trump’s appointments make?

None.

There is Congress, the Executive Branch, and the Supreme Court. That’s the Constitutional way, right? How very unsurprising that the President who led the charge on the creation of these independent regulatory bodies was none other than Abraham Lincoln–commonly called one of the greatest Presidents in American History, despite the fact that he killed more than a million Americans, started a civil war, suspended habeus corpus, deported a senator, and oversaw the creation of the first independent regulatory agencies. What happened was simple: the government pointed to a group of people and said, “Hey, group of people. Now you can tell the American people what they can and can’t do.”

And… well. We can readily see that this snowballed out of control. How many agencies are listed there? One thousand? I’m not going to count, and I doubt the list is exhaustive anyway.

Constitutionally, there are two people in the Federal Government who have authority to tell you what you can and cannot do: your U.S. Senator and your district’s Representative. Two. That’s it–that is the full and exhaustive list of everyone with the “rightful” power to exercise authority over you, and the “power” they have over you is extremely limited and specifically enumerated. There are like 8 things they’re allowed to do, and only then according to fairly strict standards and criteria.

Yet here we see a list of what I’m guessing is a thousand government agencies–none of them elected and none of them accountable–all with power over you, and all competing with one another for the power to tell you what you can and can’t do. It’s rather easy to compare that gargantuan list to the Constitutional two that there should be. Even if each of those agencies has only a single employee, that is roughly one thousand people with authority over you, with the authority to dictate your life, with the power to tell you what you can and can’t do, with the power to tell you what you can and can’t have, with the power to take options away from you and establish monopolies that have you at their mercy.

This isn’t even a problem that can be fixed by “draining the swamp.”

Draining the swamp isn’t going to help you the next time you’re at the DMV and a smart ass government employee denies your new commercial license for whatever reason, because someone pissed in her Cheerios. Draining the swamp isn’t going to help the fact that you have to purchase the government’s permission to commute from one place to another. Draining the swamp isn’t going to help the thousand government agencies who are dictating your life every moment of every day, a condition that we’re just so accustomed to that we don’t even notice it anymore. That requirement to have an inspection sticker, to have liability insurance, to stop at stop signs, to drive a certain speed. And it’s true many of these examples are handled at the state level, but Sonny learns from Daddy; state governments take their cues on how to behave from the federal government, clearly, since the entire point of southern secession was for state governments to maintain their autonomy. Now they’re just enforcers of federal statutes.

Trump can’t abolish these agencies any more than King Louis could have shut down the Bastille. He could appoint people to them who were going to cut and undo all of their agency’s regulations–like appointing Ron Paul to head the IRS. That would be something, wouldn’t it? The Executive Branch might not have the legislative authority to abolish these institutions***, but the agencies themselves certainly have the power now to undo all their regulations. But Trump isn’t a libertarian, and I don’t know why so many people forgot that. He’s not going to name Judge Andrew Napolitano to the Supreme Court, and he’s not going to name Ron Paul Secretary of the Treasury.

Trump isn’t a fucking libertarian, not even of the Big L variety.

He’s better than Hillary solely because Hillary routinely indicated that she wanted to go to war with Russia; she even said point-blank in one of the debates that she felt it was prudent to respond militarily to finger-quotes-wink-wink “Russian hacking.” As far as everything else goes, he is and has always been just another statist. He has always been willing to play ball.

My only hope for a Trump presidency is that he will hopefully attempt to bridge the enormous divide between liberals and conservatives and that he will, in so doing, inadvertently restore the Tenth Amendment to its proper place and remind us all that we are supposed to be more concerned with our state congresses than with our national congress, with our state supreme court than the national supreme court, and with our governor than the President.

But do I have any faith or hope that King Louis XVI is going to give the French people the liberty they seek?

I’ll see you in the Bastille before that happens.

Or should I say “Gitmo?”

* Assuming, for the argument, that he is. I don’t have many feelings about Trump one way or another.

** I can’t vouch for these sources. I’m going off memory and only looked for a link to provide people with a starting point to research it; it’s not a conspiracy theory, though. It actually happened this way.

*^ Pro tip: razors very slowly get dull. They get gunked up by dead skin cells. This is why barbers use barbicide. Soak your blades in alcohol–but be sure to rinse them–and they will last for months. I’ve seen people go through five-blade razors in a week. A 5-blade razor should last three months, easily.

^* For the second time today, I used “their” instead of “there” initially. That’s starting to concern me. I make a lot of slips on occasion, but never that type of mistake.

*** It’s worth mentioning that the legislative branch didn’t have the authority to create them, either. Think about it in any other terms. Just because your wife gives you permission to sleep with her doesn’t mean you can confer that permission to a friend of yours. Just because we consented to let Congress do something doesn’t mean that they can confer that privilege to someone else.

The Party That Cried Wolf

It seems that everything in America gets politicized to the point of being an exercise in partisanship, and in hindsight that’s not as surprising a statement as I thought. On the contrary, an ultra-partisan atmosphere was always the inevitable result of an overblown federal government that rules over everyone and that is divided into two diametrically opposed, fundamentally insane political parties.

Everything from gay acceptance to climate change to fake news to Russian hacking–it has become not a matter of facts and information but a matter of which side of the aisle one stands on. Truth is now in the eye of the beholder; the details of what a person believes now seem to be determined by the simple question of their party affiliation.

So, of course and predictably, the question of whether Russia had anything at all to do with the 2016 election results is similarly polarized. Except it’s kinda not, because there was not and has never been anything to the allegation in the first place, beyond the accusation itself.

I have to confess that I’m a bit shocked by how successful this propaganda campaign has been–because it is propaganda, which makes the existence of PropOrNot, a website ostensibly devoted to eliminating propaganda, all the stranger. It’s almost funny in a “Haha, America is doomed” kind of way, because PropOrNot is nothing more than an attempt to smear other sides of the discussion and drown them out with the same accusations that Democrats have been making for months. In other words, it is propaganda and, in true Orwellian fashion, subsists off accusing everyone else of being propaganda.

The only thing worth marveling at is what spectacular crybabies the Democrats have been. Nothing the Republicans did following either of Obama’s victories even comes close to the petulant whining of the Democrats–except, funny enough, the Trump-led birther movement, and that’s what we’re seeing here. This is the Democrats’ equivalent of demanding Trump’s birth certificate.

One would almost snidely say, “Good plan. Because that worked out so well for the Republicans,” except we just handed the presidency to the buffoon who led the charge on demands for Obama’s birth certificate and college transcript–up to and including promising to give money to a charity upon the release of the latter, and then failing to.

There is a difference, though. However asinine it was, Trump’s calls for Obama’s birth certificate never had the possibility to start a war. We were already at war with more Muslim countries than I care to think about, but we are not currently at war with Russia–unless you count the proxy war in Syria, which people would if it didn’t clearly paint the U.S. as the aggressors.

I saw a friend share something on Facebook earlier–apparently Assange resurfaced to totally promise us that he like totes 4 real didn’t acquire the information from Russians.

Well, shit! That changes everything, doesn’t it? Good. The Democrats can put it to rest and not mention it ag–

Oh. Except Assange has already been deemed a tool of Russian propagandists himself, so… Yeah. The Democrats will respond, “Well, of course he’d say that! He’s a puppet of the Kremlin!”

They have their own talking heads, too–the omniscient Central Intelligence Agency, who leaked a report that, while it contained no evidence, promised that it like totes 4 real knew that Putin was behind the DNC Leaks. Well–that Russians had influenced the election. Interestingly, the Democrats have been completely unwilling to point to any specific event as being done by Russia, instead leaving it strongly implied–that way, you see, they can’t be proven wrong.

Not that they can be convinced they are wrong, though. No, the only people who can convince the Democrats that Russia didn’t hack the election are the Democrats. I suspect the only people who can actually be persuaded by the evidence–or the continued explicit lack of evidence–are libertarians and greens. Some portions of the GOP are looking for the evidence, too–led by John McCain and old school hawks who are, to be honest, not exactly known for being interested in facts anyway.

I suspect that those Never Trumpers side with the Democrats on this one issue: Russia is Satan, and so they start their search for the truth leaning toward Russia being guilty. The Anti-Russia bachukirism* was what made such people swoon over Hillary in the first place. “She’s like George W.!” they cheered. “Except in a pantsuit!”

It’s not very surprising how much and how many Americans hate Russia. We hate China, too, now that they are becoming a superpower. “No!” those Americans proclaim. “You were just supposed to make our Nikes for us, not put the money into savings and become wealthy!”

This is something I’ve discussed before, of course. It’s the same reason that the EU demanded Apple pay Italy a bunch of money that Apple didn’t owe: “Why compete when you can crush?” Why play fair, according to rules of morality and fairness, when you can instead use your advantage to undermine the rules of the game?

Oh, but the CIA said~!

Which is almost as useful to me as what Assange said.

The CIA could tell me that their conclusion is that the sky is blue, and I’d demand to see their evidence. Are we so short-sighted and forgetful that we’ve forgotten that the CIA is like 97% of the reason we’re in Iraq? Because the CIA promised that Saddam totally, for sure, definitely had WMDs. This is Operation Paperclip CIA, right? Project MK-ULTRA CIA, right? “Saddam totally has WMDs” CIA?

At least with Iraq and Saddam they had the good taste to furnish images.

I get it, though. Democrat CIA is totally different from Republican CIA, just like loving, happy Democrat bombs falling on countries that are no threat to us are totally different from those mean, evil Republican bombs. That’s just how partisan we are.

Republicans and Democrats, it’s not just “the other party.” Your party is full of lying, manipulative sociopaths, too. They’re all lying, manipulative sociopaths. Republicans and Democrats alike–lying, manipulative sociopath. Say it with me now: “Just like <insert other party>, my own party is full of lying, manipulative sociopaths.”

The only thing that matters is whose cry of “Wolf!” you believe.

Well, I’m sorry, little boy, but I’ve heard this cry too many times to accept it at face value. So, as a millennial, let me welcome you to 2016.

Pics or it didn’t happen, bitch.

* Say it aloud.

America, We Need To Have a Talk

It took me one minute this morning to find three examples of absolutely horrific bias and fearmongering from liberal media elements–one of them from The Guardian, who claims each day in their subscription email that we should give them money to support “independent” journalism. I am so goddamned tired of the fearmongering. Just look at the bias and fearmongering in these three pieces.

This one, from a CNN affiliate, is so extreme I basically had to highlight the entire passage!

This one, from a CNN affiliate, is so extreme I basically had to highlight the entire passage!

Now, this is alarming because there are tons of people out there who believe that CNN is unbiased, fair, reliable, and not sensationalizing everything they say. But holy fuck–the sensationalism! “…making of a dictator… attack on freedom of speech… attacked SNL… demanded the show change… this is what dictators do… we will slowly lose our freedoms… Chilled by Trump tweets? You should be… lashing out at anyone who dares criticize him should worry every citizen…”

I mean, I’m stunned. I’m legitimately stunned by this blatant bias and fearmongering.

Let’s not forget, because it is worth pointing out, that we are discussing some dumb shit that Trump said on Twitter. We are talking about tweets. Tweets. Donald Trump’s freaking tweets are a threat to freedom of speech, show that he is a dictator in the making, and will take away our freedoms.”

If you handed me a list of stupid tweets from Donald Trump and asked me to write the most hyper-sensationalized article that I could, I don’t think I would be able to succeed nearly as well as Dean Obeidallah has. Let’s be clear about this. This kind of insane senationalism is what you would expect to find at www.obamaistheantichrist.net, not CNN. “Here’s a picture of Obama not wearing his wedding ring… OMG, he’s a Muslim… going to impose Sharia law… turn the country over to Isis… supporting black supremacy…”

That’s the essence of sensationalism: taking something that’s pretty much meaningless and innocuous and drumming it up to fever pitch proportions, and CNN is clearly guilty of it here. Just stop what you’re doing, pull back for a moment, and remember that we are discussing Twitter. We are discussing tweets. And the mainstream media has gone so far into LaLa Land that Donald Trump’s tweets can make him a dictator in the making.

Does anything else have to be said about how insane the media has become?

Yes.

fear2Here is a headline in today’s subscription email for The Guardian–the only news outlet that I’m subscribed to. Why? Because I like getting news from the other side. Unlike most Americans, I have absolutely no desire to place myself in an echo chamber. I’m also subscribed to the Rational Review News Digest, actually, but they aren’t a media outlet. This headline appears almost immediately after the Guardian asks for funding to support their “independent and fair” journalism.

I’m sorry, Guardian, but you are jurnalizts, not journalists. Honestly, I am closer to a journalist than you clowns are, and I know that I’m a jurnalizt. Those who want to know the difference should follow Jim Sterling, because it’s not really a matter of “one is serious and one isn’t.” It’s more nuanced than that.

Anyway, these jurnalizts at The Guardian are neither independent nor fair. Just look at this madness.

Trump hasn’t even ascended to office yet, for crying out loud. We are still fully under the rule of exactly the same people who have been ruling us through the last two years. And I’ve already addressed the reality that requiring a woman drive to another state to get an abortion is not a threat to her abortion “rights.” Your ability to rule the entire country and tell everyone what to do is under siege, not your abortion rights. I’m sorry that you don’t know the difference.

What do you even say?

What do you even say?

If These Are Your News Sources…

…then I can only imagine how terrified you are. I feel for you; I truly do, because you are a victim. No, you’re not a victim in the sense that someone said mean things about you. You’re a victim because the liberal media has been knowingly and consciously sensationalizing everything about Trump to the point of full-blown hysteria–and I know a thing or two about hysteria. In fact, I think 2016 has been the Year of Hysteria, and there are no signs that the hysteria is about to abate.

I also know first-hand how impossible it is to talk someone back from the edge of hysteria. Such people are fully caught in the grip of their emotions, have lost all perspective, and have been jumping at shadows for so long that they think standing in the darkness means they are surrounded by monsters. When I tried to reason with people over the clown bullshit, I was repeatedly attacked and viciously insulted, all because I dared tell these people that they were overreacting and needing to calm the hell down, because they had lost all perspective.

img_2678It’s not an accident that I have “PERSPECTIVE” tattooed on me; it’s a constant reminder to maintain perspective.

If you’ve been getting your news for months or even years from these websites like CNN and NYDailyNews and The Guardian, then it’s almost certain that their ultra-sensationalized headlines have driven you into a frenzied hysteria. It could very well be true that you’re no longer capable of stopping and saying to yourself, “Wait a minute. They’re accusing Trump of being a dictator in the making because of some stupid shit he said on Twitter. This… This has to be a joke, right? They can’t be serious. They can’t be writing an article that ridiculous, that absurd, and that sensationalized while trying to pass it off as genuine journalism, right?”

Except they are, and they’ve been doing it for a while.

It’s distressing, but leftwing media has gone totally insane, and the only question is whether they have gone so insane that they believe their own sensationalization, or whether they know that they’re sensationalizing everything and are just doing it to manipulate you in favor of their ideology.

It’s true, you know. Every time Trump says or does anything, this is exactly how the media reacts:

Let us not forget that because Trump said this:

“If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people — maybe there is, I don’t know.”

… and the left and media retaliated with “OMG HE’S CALLING FOR THE ASSASSINATION OF OUR LADY HILLARY”

Talking about Constitutional court battles in the Supreme Court where these judges would be, Donald Trump referred to Second Amendment advocates possibly being able to fight it anyway. And the media and left interpreted this as a call for the assassination of Hillary Clinton.

You can’t make this stuff up, man.

Well, clearly, you can. But you have to be a “journalist” employed by The Guardian, CNN, the NY Times, or the LA Times.

This happened repeatedly; it has been happening repeatedly.

Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t realize that this is sensationalized bullshit with little relation to what was actually discussed. Just remember that tweeting can evidently be an attack on free speech and make someone a dictator in the making.

Fake News and Real News

Now liberals have a new culprit to blame their loss on, instead of, you know, rightly blaming the loud faux progressives in their party who paint everyone else as racist, misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic, gun-toting, Bible-carrying hillbillies, and that new culprit is: fake news sites. Well, I’m sorry, CNN, Guardian, and NYDailyNews, but you have absolutely no ground to stand on in accusing other people of spreading fake news when you’re producing the above articles. The article about how Hillary is totally a reptile person from caves deep in Meso-America contains exactly as much truth as your article about how Trump’s tweets make him a dictator.

Projections

Months ago, I recorded a podcast when I observed that a lot of people were projecting bigotry where there clearly wasn’t any, which did, of course, make them the bigots.

There were two, actually.

Projection is a serious problem, especially with Donald Trump, because he’s basically the Bible of American Politics, and there are millions upon millions of people who project things onto him, either as a reason to hate him or as a reason to like him. Donald Trump was supposed to be a threat to the sanctity of democracy and the peaceful transfer of power from one person to the next; Donald Trump was supposed to be a sore loser who wouldn’t concede the presidency. Then it turned out that Hillary said “Screw it” and waited to concede the presidency, telling her supporters to go home and go to bed. Then it turned out that the very people accusing Trump of undermining the electoral process went out and started rioting, petitioning for the Electoral College electors to vote faithlessly, to elect Hillary even though Trump won the electoral college, thereby undermining not just the peaceful transfer of power, but the entire Republic system that we have built.

The Electoral College

No, the electoral college does not exist to protect rural states. It does not exist to give disproportionate value to rural white voters. It exists because we are a union of fifty sovereign nations. We are not a single, unified state, and we never have been. We are fifty individual republics, and this is the result of a hundred years of fascism and an overblown federal government. Popular votes decide your Governor, your senators, your state legislatures. The popular vote doesn’t decide the presidency because the President isn’t your ruler. Your governor is. We’ve simply forgotten this. We’ve forgotten what “state” means.

Hell, I’ve seen people suggesting that California should form the Republic of California. It’s already the Republic of California!

The popular vote doesn’t decide the President because you are not, first and foremost, a citizen of the United States. First and foremost, you are a citizen of whatever state you live in. That is the way our republic was designed; that is the way our federalist government was designed. Once upon a time, we didn’t elect our national senators through popular votes, either, for the same reason–we are a coalition of fifty sovereign republics. We do not elect the President. Our states do. This is critical to understand the very essence of our nation. We don’t elect the President for exactly the same reason that popular votes throughout Italy, Germany, Spain, Greece, etc. don’t elect the President of the European Council. It’s not the way the system is designed.

Fakes News, Real News Projection 2

For all the talk of how Donald Trump is a threat to free speech and a free press, who is it that is actually campaigning for some kind of elite media group to determine who gets approved to be considered “Real News” and who doesn’t? That’s right–the liberal media. The very people who accused Trump of being a threat to a free press are now fighting to have sites that they deem to be “fake news” censored, shut down, and blocked. If you want to talk about a threat to a free press, let’s talk about the enormous dangers that such a cabal of elites represents to a free press.

Nowhere in the First Amendment is the press required to tell the truth. This seems to surprise a lot of people. In fact, the first amendment guarantees that the press can never be required to tell the truth. They can lie, exaggerate, manipulate, deceive, and stretch things as far as they want. Just scroll up to see how a few stupid tweets are stretched to the point of making Trump a dictator in the making. The only things that require the press tell the truth are libel laws, and those are extremely limited when it comes to the press. I don’t think they should be expanded–obvs–but if you’re afraid that Trump is a threat to a free press because he wants to expand libel laws while you advocate the creation of some agency–governmental or not–that rubberstamps some news as “real” and other news as “fake,” then you aren’t exactly on the side of a free press yourself.

Whoever made this, thank you.

Whoever made this, thank you.

It’s another case of projection. I don’t think expanding libel laws so that the media is held to account for saying that Trump “brags about sexual assault” would be a threat to a free press. In fact, I think that such an expansion, in the current system, would probably benefit the American People. Because, let’s be honest here: No, Trump most certainly did not brag about sexual assault. He said women let him. And the media took that and ran with it, completely forgetting what the meaning of the word “let” is. If you let someone do something, then you are consenting to it. If you’re consenting, then it is not sexual assault. I absolutely think the media should be held to account for that sensationalizing, that drumming up of hysteria, that fever-pitch insanity that completely twisted and ignored what Trump actually said so that they could push their narrative of some orange gremlin running around grabbing women by the pussy.

Because they harbor a desire to inhibit freedom of the press, they project that onto Donald Trump and accuse him of wanting to inhibit freedom of the press. Honestly, if I was Trump I would be pretty pissed off, too. I mean, the man spoke of how women consent to have sex with him because he’s rich and famous, and the media immediately accused him of sexual assault and twisted his words into being “bragging about sexual assault.” I’d be pissed, and if that blatant twisting of the truth and sensationalism doesn’t fall under the legal definition of “slander,” then our libel laws do need to be re-evaluated.

Liberals want to use the government to force everyone to abide their policies, their values, and their standards. This is no surprise–it’s what separates liberals from conservatives. We’ve twisted the meanings so that “liberal” now means “pro-tolerance on social issues” while “conservative” means “intolerant,” but this is ridiculousness that I’ve addressed before.

So because liberals want to enforce their worldview onto everyone, they can only assume that conservatives want to force their worldview onto everyone, but, again, that is the critical divide between liberals and conservatives. Theoretically, conservatives want small government. They don’t want the federal government to tell the state of Mississippi that it must allow gay marriage, and they don’t want the federal government to tell the state of California that it cannot allow gay marriage. Basically, liberals want democracy while conservatives want a republic.

It’s funny that, for the first time in my life, the Democrat Party is actually advocating a swap to a democratic government, while the Republican Party is actually defending a Republic government. So of course Democrats want the popular vote to determine the President–they’re democrats. They want democracy, not a republic. It’s literally what makes them Democrats. And they’re tied to liberalism because most people–I would say well over 50%–are in favor of gay marriage, pro marijuana, pro-choice, and so on. So they want these liberal positions adopted by 51=% of the population to rule over everyone because “democracy.”

It’s been a hell of a ride, this election, and battle lines were not re-drawn but reclarified. Democrats are, once again, pro democracy. Republicans are, once again, pro-Republic. Liberals are, once again, pro big government and pro ruling over everyone. Conservatives are, once again, pro small government and pro ruling at a state level–ostensibly. Time will tell, but it is my contention that Conservatives will not use the federal government as a vehicle for ruling over all 50 states and will instead attempt to send social matters back to the 50 states.

Of course, that’s not good enough for liberals, who are unwilling to compromise, but I think that’s where Trump will come in. “You can accept that Mississippi is banning abortion and that women in Mississippi will have to drive to Tennessee to get an abortion, or we can have the federal government ban abortion across the country. Which do you want, liberals?”

Liberals have been in power so long–even if they didn’t control all of the federal government, they did win the culture war, and they did dictate social issues–that they decided that they didn’t have to compromise. In order to teach them the value of compromise, I think we’re going to have to have a conservative play hardball with them, and I think Trump, the alleged dealmaker, is capable of doing that. I don’t know if that is what he plans to do, but it’s what he needs to do to heal our country. Because liberals aren’t willing to let Mississippi ban abortion if it means some women might have to drive all the way to Tennessee to get one. To them, that is unacceptable. They’ve convinced themselves that the women don’t have just the “right to an abortion” but have the right to a convenient abortion, and that if it’s even slightly inconvenient or difficult then she is being oppressed.

“We’re sending abortion back to the states, where conservative states are likely to ban it,” says Donald Trump*.

“That’s unacceptable!” the liberals would reply. “Then Texas would ban abortions, and women in Texas couldn’t have them!”**

“Sure, she can,” responds Trump. “She just has to drive to another state to do it.”

“That’s not acceptable,” the liberals would reply.

“Well, it’s either that, or I ban abortion across the country. Accept this compromise or we’ll ban it nationwide.”

I hate to say it, but it does seem that this is the only way to get liberals to compromise, and what we need, more than anything, right now is compromise between liberals and conservatives. But that can’t happen as long as liberals are getting their news from places that tell them that we are watching the “making of a dictator” because of some freaking tweets that Donald Trump sent out.

I’m an Anarchist. What Do I Care?

I have had a lot of anarchists–actually, let me stop right there. Every single person who has criticized me for taking part in current events and the election has self-described as a voluntaryist, not an anarchist. From what I’ve seen, voluntaryism is like anarchism, but with cult-like dogma to it. The voluntaryist is unrelenting, refuses to compromise, and refuses to accept any progress. They’re fools. Evidently, they expect that they can just keep putting out arguments and one day the entire country will wake up and say, “You know what? They’re right. We don’t need a state.”

The state isn’t going to dissolve itself.

We’ve been under a century of fascism, interventionism, an overbearing federal government, and a nanny state, to the extent that most people have no understanding of why the popular vote doesn’t elect the President. Come the hell on, man. You can’t seriously think that these masses of people, who are about as far away from voluntaryism as a person can get, are going to be swayed to go from fascism to voluntaryism in one swoop. These people don’t just think that the state is necessary to prevent crime; they have become convinced that the state is a good thing, that the state helps society.

Here, in a nation formed by people who characterized the government as a necessary evil that had to be bound by the chains of the Constitution, the average person now believes that the state is a force for good. Not a necessary evil. A force for good. And we are currently on the cusp of widespread liberalism and acceptance of democracy–a political system so flawed that it was discarded in the BCE age for being a tyranny of the minority by the majority. And voluntaryists, for all their words and arguments, are not doing anything to fight it. In fact, I would go as far as saying they’re accomplices in it.

We once had a nation of classical liberalism. Due to our lack of vigilance, the state steadily grew, and then there was the civil war, which marked the turning point away from the Tenth Amendment and states rights. That was the moment we became not fifty [though there weren’t fifty then] individual republics but fifty  constituencies of a larger republic. Then the World Wars happened, and War Collectivism took over and we moved away from liberty and the free market toward fascism. The Great Depression saw an influx of people convinced that the government was the answer to all life’s problems, and government intervention in the economy and lives of the people became accepted as not just a necessary evil but a force for good. After the Cold War and decades of the Military Industrial Complex*^ spreading fear, deceit, and manipulation–with elements in the government so eager to give us a war that they repeatedly considered attacking our own citizens–and after 9/11 and fifteen damned years of a “War on Terror,” we have gone so far from liberty that even classical liberalism would be welcome at this point.

Now, this might seem strange, given as how I routinely criticized Johnson and his supporters for being pragmatic and choosing pragmatism over principle. It may even seem like hypocrisy. I’ve laid out my reasons for that, though, and it has more to do with “liberty” being redefined in the eyes of the masses, which leaves actual liberty as an incommunicable idea. And don’t get me wrong. When it comes to my actions and what I do, I advocate anarchism, and my goal is absolutely anarchism and nothing short of that.

However, I’m not so blinded by dogma that I’m unable to see that the road to anarchism is a long one that contains many, many steps. I don’t believe that Gary Johnson is one of those steps, and I think the Libertarian Party spreading actual libertarian ideology is the only way that we can get wider society to take those steps. Remember how Ron Paul pulled the entire nation toward liberty–albeit temporarily? He did. Let’s not forget that. Ron Paul’s platform was partially adopted even by Romney in 2012. Our goal must be to pull the entire nation toward liberty by running libertarian candidates. We get Republicans to become liberty-leaning conservatives and we get Democrats to become classical liberals. That is how we begin to restore liberty. We have to consciously work to pull these people toward liberty, because right now they are so far from liberty that classical liberalism is a relic of the past.

Like it or not, before we can pull western society toward anarchism, we have to pull them toward libertarianism. And before we pull them toward libertarianism we have to pull them back to classical liberalism. So far, fascism has won. We have to start thinking strategically, not tactically. In order to do any of this, the Libertarian Party must be the party that does not compromise on libertarian principles. We are not going to pull the nation toward libertarianism if they think “liberarianism” is “pot-smoking Republicans who are okay with gay people.”

Fellow LGBTQ People, Please

Divorce the Democrat Party. They are lying to you. They are terrorizing you. They are manipulating you. They are doing everything in their power, using these sensationalized headlines, to convince you to be afraid so that they can paint themselves as your saviors. We don’t need saviors. We don’t need heroes. Do you not see what they are doing? They are blatantly terrorizing you and telling you that you’re going to be rounded up, killed, placed in FEMA camps, placed on national registries, and blah blah blah. That way, when none of that shit happens, they can say, “See? We saved you from that! We fought for you and protected you from the people who were going to round you up and kill you!”

I’ve already seen Twitter posts and Facebook posts of people boasting that their protests have “already had an impact” and caused Donald Trump to be more moderate. It’s absolute nonsense! Donald Trump was always going to be more moderate. Anyone with a brain could have told you that. But now they are saying that, thanks to their protests, Donald Trump has backed down and is now promising to protect LGBTQ people! Except it never had any basis in reality–Donald Trump has been pro-LGBTQ longer than freaking Hillary Clinton. Even during the Republican Primaries, when Trump was in Full Conservative Mode, he was pro-LGBTQ. These lunatics are telling you that there is a monster outside who is coming to kill you, and then they are asking you to bow to them and thank them for protecting you from that monster who was never there in the first place.

I Don’t Like Trump

I really don’t. I know it seems like often I’m defending Trump, and, to tell you the truth, I do often find myself defending Trump. But it’s because I fight hysteria. I fight sensationalism. And no one I’ve ever seen attracts hysterical sensationalism like Donald Trump. So if I fight hysteria and people become hysterical every time Trump opens his mouth, then, yes, it’s going to come out like I’m defending Trump. I’m not. I’m telling people to stop being lunatics.

* Overlooking, for the moment, that Trump himself can’t do this, but can appoint a Supreme Court judge who overturns Roe v. Wade and then orchestrates Congress to send the matter back to the states.

** In fact, we know they would say this, because this is precisely how the host reacted when Trump said this in the recent 60 Minutes interview.

*^ Don’t even get me started. Whatever is meant by “Military Industrial Complex,” there is absolutely no doubt that it exists–even Presidents have warned us about it, among them Dwight Eisenhower himself, who helped create the damned thing. Don’t be an idiot. It’s a fact, not a conspiracy theory.

A Message to Myself

Through the last week, I’ve delivered a message to libertarians, conservatives, and liberals. Now it’s time to send myself a message.

Dear Me

Shut up.

You’re being completely stupid if you think that anything significant is about to change, socially or governmentally. You were there when Mateen killed 49 people in Orlando and conservatives tried to extend an olive branch, and you watched as liberals slapped it back, spit on it, and outright refused to stop being divisive.

But it isn’t just liberals, is it? There’s a sizable chunk of conservatives that is ready to play the victim card; they didn’t want opportunity, it turned out, except an opportunity to get a turn in the glorified victim spotlight of nihilistic modern society. Just a week ago, you watched Glamour magazine name the Stanford rape victim “woman of the year,” and you didn’t even dare say it publicly:

Getting raped isn’t an accomplishment.

Just last night you argued with an idiot, standard fare, until he pissed you off with his almost paralytic stupidity, causing you to do everything possible to push his buttons. So you called Trump a white nationalist. What was the result? The guy was offended, and called you racist. The people who used to say “What, you can’t even say someone’s race without being racist now, if you’re white?” are not looking to end the victimization; they are saying, “You’re racist because you pointed out his white skin color!”

It’s our turn to be a victim.

Except this is only true of some people, isn’t it? And you know it’s only true of some people while you also know that there is no simple metric to distinguish them from “ordinary” conservatives. But that’s the fallacy, isn’t it? There’s no such thing as an ordinary conservative or liberal. They’re all just straw men, and we prop them up or tear them down as we make whatever point we’re trying to make. Don’t pretend like you don’t do it.

“Liberal” can mean at least a dozen different things, and its meaning depends entirely on the point you’re trying to make. What is a liberal, then? A straw man that exists solely for you to parade around. Don’t pretend like you’re better than that. You just wrote messages to these straw men. The only one of these that isn’t a straw man is the one you’re writing to yourself, and that is exactly the core of the problem.

These straw men only apply to people who voluntarily take them up as hazy mirrors of themselves, and those people are few in number, yet here we have messages ostensibly to every single conservative, every single libertarian, and every single liberal. What do these words even mean? Who are you even talking to?

Other people who have mistaken those straw men for actual people, as you have?

Or are the messages appropriate not because you addressed everyone, but, by the context within the messages, only those people who do the things you’re talking about?

You’ve already seen people asking for Johnson2020, Sanders2020. Nothing will change. Nothing will happen. There’s no chance of people coming together. If the death of 49 innocent people didn’t do it, why do you think another olive branch might? They have their own straw man, one that paints Trump as <sigh> “LITERALLY Hitler.” They have no understanding that this is a straw man, and they don’t want to know. If they did, do you really think you’d have spent the whole goddamn summer being asked stupid questions on Quora?

They don’t want answers. They want to reinforce and justify their own biases. And it’s not just the straw man liberals who do it. How many conservatives have you seen sharing news items of men claiming to be women and taking pics of teenage girls in the restroom while they selectively ignore the thousands of times each day that this doesn’t happen?

Everyone is looking for a reason to light their straw man ablaze, and you just burned three of them, as surely as some people are out there burning effigies of Trump–straw men made flesh, by them and by you. The only difference is who is torching who.

Dyn’s Fire

In case you didn't get the title.

In case you didn’t get the title.

Already, the Dyn attack has fallen from the memory of most Americans–a phenomenon for which they can’t really be blamed. Realistically, we’re simply bombarded with too many things happening of too much significance at too high a frequency to possibly keep track of all of it. Just a few weeks ago, I read about China’s expansion into the South China Sea and how it made the American Government butthurt, and that’s a pretty major issue, since we’re sending more of our Navy to the region to “make sure China doesn’t expand too far” (let’s forget that we’re talking about the South China Sea), and I’ll be honest with you: I’ve given that issue almost no thought. In fact, through the last week I’ve not really given any thought to the harsh reality that Hillary and the Democrats seem to want war with Russia, or that the Russians are preparing for nuclear war, or that we’ve got more troops on Russia’s borders now than we ever did during the Cold War…

So on the surface, even if we did have memories synthetic enough to perfectly recall every bit of important news, something like Netflix and Reddit being knocked off the Internet for a while is of no consequence to most people. “Oh, no, you couldn’t watch The Walking Dead or whatever for a few hours? Excuse me while I try to avert World War 3.”

There has been a lot of speculation about who was responsible for the Dyn attack. John McAfee–who has my deepest support–spent some time on the Tor network and heard that actors in North Korea were responsible. I attempted to do this myself, a few days before the attack (there were whispers here and there before the attack took place, but details were sparse), but found everything of any interest to anyone has been moved behind a BTC paywall, and I didn’t care enough to pay to enter a forum that might be full of people blustering and not really knowing what they’re talking about, so I’m glad he was able to succeed where I failed.

However, the fact that we don’t know who is responsible points to a bigger problem.

For example, have you heard of the Equation Group? “Equation Group” is the name that Kaspersky Labs has for a hacker/malware group whose sophistication is so advanced that they are wholly unlike any other threat generator in the world. Most people agree that the Equation Group is, in fact, the NSA. It is either the NSA or an equivalent Israeli agency, but given that their actions largely take place within the United States, it is most likely that it is the NSA, and their level of sophistication is terrifying. For example, they have intercepted hardware shipments in the United States and rewritten firmware that contains malware that is both invisible and practically impossible to remove.

This was actually a matter of some curiosity, as a colleague orders from Newegg constantly. Via email, we agreed that he would order some components that I needed for my personal PC: a new motherboard, new CPU, and more, better memory. Having used Newegg for years, the colleague was certain the shipment would arrive expediently. In fact, the shipment disappeared for ten days–the first and only time this has ever happened to the colleague. Now that we know the reach of the NSA and how they absolutely can identify someone in my position–especially since I had just been learning Arabic, though I dropped that quickly when I realized the implications–it remains entirely possible that my hardware was intercepted. There was, after all, a trail via email that made it clear the hardware was for me, and we know the NSA snoops email. Disregarding the fact that I was certainly visited by goons of some agency several years ago who wanted me to help them hack a mayor’s email address and break into a government PC.

Large cloud vendors, social networking sites, and other media platforms are being hacked with an almost weekly regularity now, and it doesn’t seem that Americans are really taking note of the world we live in. This is one of the reasons I’m working on a series of short stories involving a sort of modern Sherlock Holmes who does I.T. work in a world some 10-15 years in the future. The first such story deals with a woman who is driving down the Interstate when a hacker infects her vehicle with ransomware.

“Your vehicle has been protected with AGI Encrypt 3.0. This has been done for your protection. We cannot guarantee the service works for you unless you pay 2 BTC to Bitcoin Address… In the event that you do not, then your vehicle will be susceptible to hackers, who would hijack your system and pilot your vehicle into a tree at high speeds.”

Sound bad?

That’s the world we’re heading toward. Blithely.

No one takes security seriously. I own an I.T. firm, and this firm does 99% of its work through contracting for another firm, and I can tell you from experience that most I.T. people don’t take security seriously. What’s wrong with leaving RDP enabled on its default port? lol. What’s wrong with turning off the firewall on the server? No, we’re not talking “Oh my god, you’re not running an anti-virus?!” kind of crap. Anti-viruses are useless, and I haven’t used one in nearly a decade. Anti-viruses are pacifiers for the gullible, and nothing more. Back in the day–in the mid- and late-90s–they were more important. In modern times, though, they’re useless–the only anti-virus you need is a reasonably knowledgeable user. Don’t click to install that fucking plugin from ultraporn.xxx. Don’t download Ultra Pro Super Registry Fixer and Driver Updater Plus.

One of the key features of my stories is that the I.T. world has become increasingly analogous to a free market police solution. This shouldn’t be a surprise–I’m an anarchist, after all. So if I’m envisioning the future, I’m going to come up with solutions that don’t rely on the state. In actuality, though, I.T. firms are already very similar to police departments–instead of arresting people, we sinkhole servers.

For some background, I was interviewed as an expert by Fox News to discuss ransomware:

That… was obviously a few years ago.

I was berated heavily for that video, wherein I said that it’s pointless to contact the FBI. So the next time a client was hit with ransomware, I contacted the FBI. It went down like this:

  • Client contacted me with problems using PeachTree Accounting Software.
  • Connected remotely to the server–the server is in South Carolina, and I’m in Mississippi.
  • Found immediate signs of ransomware.
  • Removed malware and restored backed-up documents to undo the damage.
  • Discovered it was the result of a targeted attack. It was an intense experience, as I was literally working on the server at the exact moment someone else was. It wasn’t as intense as Hollywood would make it out to be, but it was fun.
  • Contacted the FBI.
  • All of the above happened over the course of 2 days.
  • Six months later, the FBI replied to my report.

As far as comparisons between the free market and the state go, they don’t get more obvious than that. Within minutes of learning of the problem, I was on the server, running it down and handling it. It took the state six months to respond. So let’s be clear about this. We’re heading toward a future where private I.T. firms will cease to exist–much as private police forces have ceased to exist–with the role being turned over to the state, where it becomes inefficient, wasteful, and ineffective; or where…

American Tech Suppliers–or something like that, because I don’t remember what I called them–instituted a national database of I.T. firms. If you owned an I.T. firm, you could apply to be Listed for your city. Only one firm per 30 mile radius could be listed, though, which encouraged competition, efficiency, and excellence. If BITS and MNS both in Memphis wanted to be listed, then whichever one of them was better would get that coveted spot. Why was it coveted? Because, no matter where you were in the country, you could call 510, and it would automatically direct your call to the nearest Listed tech firm.

This became necessary because malware infections started becoming matters of emergencies, though, at the time the story takes place, vehicles are only just now beginning to be infected with ransomware. And it’s going to happen. Have no illusions or delusions about it. We’re heading toward the Internet of Things in a society where technological security is an afterthought at best. Despite reports abounding about ransomware, how many Americans are regularly backing up their data? I’d bet less than 3%. So when they get hit with ransomware, they’ll be caught with their pants down, faced with paying $500 or losing 12 years of pictures and videos.

Now look forward, to the days of self-driving cars with always-on Internet connections. There’s a quandary there, isn’t there? Should the human driver’s input always override the computer navigation? “Yes!” laypeople would say without giving it any thought, because already this isn’t the case. If you’re attempting to back up, and your van detects that there is a little kid on a bicycle behind you, it will not let you back up. While people would say this is a good thing, the implications are obvious: human input does not automatically trump the computer. We want the computer there to keep us from making mistakes and having accidents, after all, so we’re okay with our vehicle automatically stopping even if we’re telling it to go.

But how difficult would it be for someone to plant a virus that spoofs the sensors and tells your computer that there is a child behind your vehicle? You’ll get in your car, crank it to leave, and find you can’t reverse out of your driveway because it thinks there is a child behind you. No matter how hard you floor it, your vehicle isn’t going anywhere. Then the message plays over your radio, “Your vehicle’s system has been upgraded with Cyber Protect for your protection. To unlock your vehicle for use with its upgraded system, you must pay $500 in BTC to this address…”

That’s the best that we could face–and we will face it, because it will happen, and auto manufacturers are treating security like it’s not very important. But even if they did consider it as important as Microsoft considers Windows security to be [let’s not get into that], they can’t be very effective. Decades of dealing with malware have taught us that no amount of top-down security can protect you from malware. There are always people looking for code to exploit. When they find it, it is patched, and then they go on to find new exploits. It’s a constant battle, and even staying updated will not protect you from zero day exploits. So if a hacking group finds a zero day exploit that will allow them to take control over every Chevrolet on the road, then you’re simply fucked if you drive a Chevy.

Far more alarming will be the people who put your life at ransom. Why shouldn’t they? Can you imagine driving the road, only to have your vehicle tell you that it’s going to continue driving around for the next hour, you have that time to pay a certain amount of BTC to a specific address, and, if you don’t, you will be driven into a wall at high speed? Oh, of course your doors would lock and not let you out. You could try breaking a window and jumping out of the window while cruising down the Interstate at 70 miles per hour, but your odds there aren’t much better than they are with the wall. In short, you’ll pay.

It only took 6,000 cell phones that were infected to bring down an entire state’s 911 service. It’s hard to even imagine how vulnerable our technological systems really are, but just process that. 6,000 infected cell phones brought down an entire state’s emergency services. Imagine what state-sponsored hackers in another country could do with 300,000 infected devices.

Meanwhile, someone is probing and testing the waters for taking down major websites by crippling DNS providers. How many devices would it take to tear down Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Ymail, etc.? How difficult would it be to time that so that it coincides with a major military assault? Suddenly the Internet would just… go down… for everyone… and when it came back up we’d learn Washington, D.C. has been nuked by the Chinese and Russians, and that a coalition of these forces has already landed in California. Now, I don’t think either of these countries have any interest attacking us. My point is how vulnerable we are, not how threatened we are.

I’ve been unable to find the actual news item–Google makes it impossible to find older news items, which is scary in its own right–but we’ve long been aware that the Chinese are actually capable of crippling 17 key defense systems. How technological are our military systems? Could NORAD even be effective without the Internet? Who knows? And though I don’t think there is any reason to believe that someone wants to be aggressive toward us–except North Korea, who is incapable of doing much harm anyway–the unfortunate truth remains that we are exceedingly vulnerable, and we have no idea how vulnerable we really are.

Some years ago while I was at work, suddenly everything in the city was down. No one had Internet, and no one’s phones worked. For about 45 minutes, the entire city was completely disconnected from the rest of the world. The problem was never identified, but it was terrifying. Suddenly, there was absolutely no contact with the outside world. For all I knew, I could get on the Interstate and would find myself blocked by military vehicles telling us that the entire area was under quarantine and no one was allowed to leave–I had just watched The Andromeda Strain, it’s worth mentioning.

Imagine the effect that a few hours of zero Internet access would have on the United States, and imagine what could happen in those hours.

This is why I sneer at people who insist that, even if Hillary does want war with Russia, it doesn’t matter because Russia can’t possibly do us any harm. It’s like someone sneering that it doesn’t matter if they lick a petri dish that allegedly contains salmonella, because they can look and see the dish is clear and empty. “I can’t see it, so there must be nothing there! It’s totally safe!”

No… Take the biochemist’s word for it–there’s salmonella on that dish.

And take my word for it: our technological infrastructure is far more vulnerable than you think.

That a group of people was able to take down tremendously popular sites like Netflix and Reddit should make that obvious. That there are multiple groups who could be the ones responsible for it should make it abundantly clear. Was the Dyn attack a very big deal? Not really. But it should have been a warning of what’s to come. If they can take down Netflix, then they can take down Facebook and Twitter. I don’t know how the American people would react if they had to go without social media for more than a few minutes–the insane reactions of people when Facebook goes down for a few minutes of maintenance should be an indicator–but it wouldn’t be good.

Worse yet, the Dyn attack was carried out by devices in the United States, by unwilling and unknowing ordinary people whose phones were weaponized. Maybe your phone. You know? There is every possibility that your phone–the one you’re probably using to read this–was part of the DDoS. How would you know? You wouldn’t. And you probably didn’t even think to look into it.

“The Internet of Things!” people proclaim, excited and eager.

But I can only shake my head. No people have ever been less ready to take on such an enormous vulnerability.

Bullshit Collection Part 2: Obama’s Veto Overruled By Congress

Some time ago, a bill swept through Congress with surprising agreement, allowing Americans to sue foreign governments for sponsoring terrorist activity against Americans. President Obama vetoed the bill, saying that he feared it would set a dangerous precedent and would give foreign citizens the idea that they could sue the American Government. This is a bit difficult to parse, but bear with me, because…

That means that Obama knows that the shit that we’re getting up to throughout the world is wrong, and he knows that citizens of foreign governments would have legitimate grievances with the United States. We could start with how we bombed a wedding in Afghanistan, I suppose, if we wanted to give an example.

The concern that I’ve had has nothing to do with Saudi Arabia per se or my sympathy for 9/11 families, it has to do with me not wanting a situation in which we’re suddenly exposed to liabilities for all the work that we’re doing all around the world, and suddenly finding ourselves subject to the private lawsuits in courts where we don’t even know exactly whether they’re on the up and up, in some cases.

Yes, President Obama. That stuff you said. That’s the point.

“…exposed to liabilities for all the work that we’re doing all around the world…”

Yes, Mr. Obama. That’s exactly right.

Lots of people have come forward to agree with Obama and to point out how terrible it would be if we set up a system that allowed those smelly brown people to hit back against us. I mean, it’s common knowledge that they can’t hit against us directly–did you even see Operation Desert Storm? If anything is clear is that the countries in which “we’re doing all the work” have no recourse to stop us or to make us pay. Their bombs are crushed by our bombs; their aircraft massacred by ours.

We can impose No Fly Zones, grounding all of their aircraft, from halfway around the world with very little effort. They cannot fight us directly. This, of course, causes them to turn to “terrorism” in the same way that American colonists once turned to “terrorism” against the British. Does the Boston Tea Party ring a bell? How about the tactics of the American revolutionaries? The British fought war stupidly. They stood in a row, shot, and ducked to reload while the person behind them shot. They continued along like that–almost literal “ducks in a row.”

We couldn’t have defeated the British by playing by their rules, and they hated us for it. They called us cowards, cheaters, dishonorable. “You can’t do that!” they said. “You have to stand here, in front of us, as we take turns shooting at each other until someone wins!”

And we said, “Um, no. We’re not doing that. That’s dumb.”

So we shot from the trees. We didn’t form neat ranks and files. We hid in the hay bells, we hid in the trees and among the trees, we surrounded their forces, we shot from the sides, from the backs. And we won. Yet throughout all of that, we were not just terrorists; we were dishonorable terrorists, using despicable tactics because we couldn’t take them in a “fair fight.”

We face the same thing today–people all around the world who simply cannot go toe-to-toe with our military in the way that the American revolutionaries could not have gone toe-to-toe with the British army. For fuck’s sake, we didn’t even have a Navy, and the British Empire had the most powerful Navy in the world. Think about that when you think of places like Yemen and Syria, where our military is consistently “the most powerful in the world,” and theirs is… not anywhere close to that. They cannot take their fourteen F15 jets [numbers I’ve made up] and throw them at our nine gazillion F650 jets.

So they resort to sniping us from the trees, breaking our “rules of civilized war” in the process, fighting us in the only way that they can because going toe-to-toe with us simply isn’t an option–it’s suicide. We scream that it’s dishonorable, that it’s despicable, and that it’s terrorism. And maybe it is, if we could look back with the clarity of hindsight and say that the price of their freedom was bought with the lives of too many women and children, but we have no right to make such a determination in the first place. We are not the world’s police force, and neither are we the world’s judge.

I am continually baffled by the average American's lack of self-awareness.

I am continually baffled by the average American’s lack of self-awareness.

Nothing stops it, sir. That’s the point.

That’s precisely the point.

Anyone who wants to can attempt to sue the U.S. government for terrorism. This doesn’t mean anything. It only means something if a court of law–an impartial one, if we can find extraterrestrials from the Andromeda Galaxy who are anarchists and therefore can view this whole fucking mess objectively and are willing to preside over the case–finds for the plaintiff. Let the people of Iraq sue the American Government for terrorism. Let a court of law determine who is right.

A fair and objective court of law would find for the plaintiff. In Iraq, the United States is wholesale guilty of terrorism. Afghanistan, too, and likely at least a dozen others. Hell, the United States government is guilty of terrorism against the American people. Does this mean that we can sue the American government for terrorism? Because it should mean that.

Jonathon Horn knows, though–just look at what he said. He knows that the stuff the U.S. gets up to in other countries, whether he is okay with it or not, could be called terrorism rightly. If he didn’t think that, then he wouldn’t care whether foreign people sue the U.S. government, because the case would just be thrown out. So he knows. Let’s not just overlook that! It’s critical. He knows that the stuff that the American government does can, in at least a certain light, be rightly considered terrorism.

YES, FFS, THAT IS THE POINT

YES, FFS, THAT IS THE POINT

Germany has no case against the United States and absolutely could not sue us for terrorism. Our interactions with Germany have firmly fallen under the “acts of war” category, and so did the nuclear weapons. Terrorism =/= war. I firmly hate war, but we can’t pretend like an undeclared attack against a helpless nation who can’t fight back is remotely the same as allying with the British Empire to invade Nazi Europe, or that dropping twothose, not “that”–nuclear weapons on Japan is the same as hijacking planes and crashing them into buildings as a declaration of war.

China has no case against the United States, either. We saved their asses in World War 2. Your history sucks, Matt. Please go back to high school. Japan was slaughtering the Chinese, raping them, brutalizing them, torturing them, and China didn’t have much of a military to stand against it. China is the reason that the Allies won World War 2. Hitler was counting on Japan to help him attack the Soviets, coming from the east while Germany came from the west, and Japan instead focused its efforts on China, which proved a bit too big for them to just conquer simply. They weren’t stressing the Soviets, and that allows the Soviets to focus their efforts on the western border, where they lost more lives than anyone else in World War 2, and took the brunt of Nazi Germany’s attack. Then Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, we hit the Pacific Theater, and started advancing toward Japan. Every single island was a grueling battle of immeasurable death, because the Japanese refused to surrender any territory, forcing us to fight for every inch of land that we took. An attack on mainland Japan would have caused extraordinary death. The atomic bombs were a quick solution to a long, deadly problem.

How easily people forget.

The Soviet Union was our ally during World War 2, and so was China. We’ve yet to do anything worth suing over to either China or Russia. We’re about to do some fucked up shit to Russia, but we haven’t yet. China’s gripes could stem from Korea and Vietnam, but we were only in those places as part of a “UN Peacekeeping Effort,” which was a euphemism for “We’ve got military industrial complexes in several of the world’s largest countries that need to continue destroying resources and sharpening their weapons so, lulz, sorry people of Korea and Vietnam.” If anyone can be sued for those fiascos, it’s the United Nations–everyone. And China has no authority to sue on their behalf, because China every bit played a part in creating that mess.

Man, your history leaves a lot to be desired.

Iraq certainly would have a legitimate case. Iran… not so much. There was the virus we infected their centrifuges with–I don’t remember now what it was called–and it caused them to burn through machines at their nuclear refinement facilities, but that can’t be definitively pinned on the United States. We’d blame Israel, Israel would blame the United States; no one could trace the thing back to its source. Hell, didn’t we just give them a few hundred billion dollars? What are they going to sue us for? Giving them money?

I imagine your ignorant ass meant Syria.

Let’s think about Syria for a moment.

We have an established government led by Assad and backed by Russia. Then we have rebels. It started with a series of peaceful protests, Assad said “lol, not in my country” and started killing people and cracking down on protest. Then this happened:

syria

Then we slipped the guy a bunch of weapons and told him to use them to fight off the guards. They did so. This chaos and power struggle caused ISIS, who was already growing and taking territory in Iraq, where we had also left a power vacuum, to sweep into Syria and start claiming territory there, too. Syria absolutely has a case against the United States government. They stoked the fires of instability, provided arms to the rebels, helped create a power struggle, and the resultant mess is what we see today. Now, instead of working with Assad and Syria to restore stability to the country that we helped shatter, we’re only interested in digging the hole deeper, hoping that, maybe, we can dig deep enough and come out on the other side of the planet, standing on our heads.

simply-wrongI find myself becoming leery of people with four-letter names. lol

Alex is simply wrong. We can prove that Saudi Arabia funded 9/11. We can also prove that a Pakistani general gave Mohammed Atta one hundred thousand dollars while Atta was here and training for the 9/11 attack, though “truthers” have made it impossible for me to find this information not on a blogspot site. In fact, it’s actually kinda alarming how the top Google results go to a blog which cites another blog which cites another blog. I actually do have an actual print publication I could go to if I wanted to source the information, but it’s in the trunk of my car, it’s cold outside, and it’s, as the 9/11 Commission Report said, “of little practical significance.”

Oh.

I should have read your comment in full. You are a truther. That’s okay. So am I, and I think it’s sad that “truther” has become an insult. Yes, insult me because I want to know the truth, because I know that things don’t just happily break physical laws, because I know that a building couldn’t have fallen at freefall speeds, and because I remember that THREE TOWERS went down that day, one of which WASN’T EVEN HIT BY A GODDAMNED PLANE.

All three towers went down exactly the same way. One wasn’t even hit by a plane. And I’m the whackjob for wanting answers? You people going “Meh, that’s nothing worth discussing” are the lunatics! I don’t believe anything about 9/11, except that the 9/11 Commission was a provably biased one with ties to the Bush and Bin Laden families, and that the report–which I have actually taken the time to read–makes wonderful fairy tale reading, but is nothing more than that. You expect me to believe that this fire that magically melted steel allowed one of the terrorist’s passports to be found unscathed at 9/11? People, c’mon. That’s clearly planted evidence. How stupid can you be? It melted steel, but left paper undamaged?

Ugh. I’m getting a headache just thinking about it.

I don’t believe the government orchestrated 9/11. The most I will say is that the evidence suggests–like Cheney’s order for NORAD to stand down and the fact that we otherwise have 100% success intercepting aircraft, yet spectacularly failed repeatedly that day–that some powerful elements within the U.S. Government either knew about and allowed the 9/11 attack, or directly orchestrated it. That’s as far as I’ll go, because that’s as far as the evidence supports. Short of a revolution wherein we ransack all the classified documents and un-redact them, we’ll never be able to say more than that.

We’re not over there looting resources, though. You fail at contemporary events. The price of oil is low because the United States has started fracking like crazy, which allows us to get to oil that we couldn’t otherwise get to. We are the reason the price of oil plunged. It was only after the 2003 invasion of Iraq that the price of oil began skyrocketing. I remember paying $4.35/gallon. Now it’s half that. You bloody fool. If we were looting their oil, then the reverse would have happened: the price of oil would have gone down after 2003, and then back up more recently.

It wasn’t about oil, though. You’re too short-sighted. It was about the destruction of resources. Sparring, if you will. Competition fosters growth, improvement, and efficiency. If we want the most powerful military in the world, then what do we need? War. “War is the health of the state,” they say, and that’s certainly true here. We need our military to fight. Necessity is the mother of invention. We need the need to cause us to develop new, better rockets, new , better “defense” wink-wink systems. The military industrial complex cannot just build a bunch of tanks and then go, “Well, that was fun, and we made lots of money.”

No.

It has to then destroy those tanks so that it has a reason to invent new, better tanks. It needs to evaluate those tanks’ weaknesses and improve them. What better way to do all of this than to attack a country that couldn’t possibly pose any real threat to us? That’s all this is: sparring. And we’re massacring people’s lives while we do it. It should come as no surprise to you that immediately after one conflict ends, we find ourselves bogged down in another. That has been the case for decades. Why? What is to be gained? Efficiency, improvement, and growth, because war is competition of our killing machines against theirs.

This isn’t an answer in and of itself, though. Why do we want to make our killing machines better, more efficient, stronger, and faster? What is the purpose? What is the purpose of sparring against so many lightweight athletes?

Russia.

And now the moment has come, as it was always destined to. We’ve improved to ridiculous degrees. We now have fully automated killing machines. Do you really think that we would have military drones capable of dropping smart bombs on an area half a square mile from the comfort of a base in Nevada if we hadn’t had Korea, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kuwait, Iraq, Libya, and Syria?

Where do you think the Nazis went after World War 2?

Only nineteen people were found guilty at Nuremberg.

And even discounting the Nazi thing as a minor one–which it is, realistically–it doesn’t matter. We made our intentions clear in the 50s that we would fight whenever, wherever. Why did we do that? Because there was the Soviet Union, the only nation in the world still capable of going toe-to-toe with us. That made them Public Enemy Number One, a mentality that, clearly, never went away.

We continued sharpening our swords and using all of these sparring matches to find ways to improve our attacks, strategies, technologies, methodologies, and tactics. The Russians… didn’t. The Soviet Union collapsed and set them back; they are only recently beginning to stretch back out, with action in Ukraine, Georgia, and Syria.

It is the intention of the United States Military Industrial Complex–a phrase I don’t particularly care for, because I don’t have much patience for conspiracy theories, but we are where we are…–to take out Russia now, before they’ve had a decade to spar with other nations and improve their own capabilities. The plan is to hit them now, before they can have sparring training. This will set them back another few decades, and will leave us with no one in the world who can challenge us as we terrorize smaller nations that couldn’t possibly hope to stand against us. We’ll continue competing and improving through the competition, while Russia will be set back more decades.

And then we will reign, the uncontested champion of the world.

This must be stopped.

Do not allow Hillary to win the election.

Final Debate Review: You’re Breaking My Heart, America

Well, the debates are finally over. Thankfully, they saved the best for last. This started out as a really good debate–it was an actual debate, and the moderator was fantastic, interrupting both candidates equally and encouraging dialogue and genuine conversation. It was one of the best presidential debates that I’ve ever seen, until about halfway through. Trump couldn’t resist opening his mouth to say “Wrong” over and over, and Hillary simply refused to shut up. The moderators should have the authority to cut the candidate’s microphone if they don’t shut up. There were numerous times when Hillary behaved like a child this time, refusing to stop talking even though the moderator just repeatedly asked her to stop.

I didn’t get to finish the debate. I had it paused with about fifteen minutes left, and they ended the live stream. Apparently, this meant I could no longer watch what my browser had already cached. Anyway, here are my notes, some brief and some long, about how the debate went.

“What kind of country are we going to be?” Hillary asks. She’s exactly right. The question this election is between globalism, imperialism, and world domination, or “something else.” I don’t know what you want that “something else” to be, but it doesn’t matter if Gary Johnson gets 30 Electoral College votes, Jill Stein gets 16, and Castle gets 9. It only matters if someone hits 270. I don’t care who you vote for. Except I really do beg you. I implore you–I am begging and pleading with you–do not vote for the warmongering, bloodthirsty Hillary Clinton. Yes, vote for Trump over her.

Between the two, I would take Trump any day of the week. I don’t know how badly Trump will fuck things up, but I am absolutely confident that he would not start World War 3. Conversely, I am reasonably certain that Hillary not only could start World War 3, but legitimately intends to. A lot of people have noticed this, and I am not alone in it. Regardless of what you think of him–and this is the first time I’ve ever seen any of his work–Stefan Molyneaux has compiled quite a collection of evidence supporting this idea; it’s pretty clear that Hillary wants Russia.

Please do the world the favor of watching the first half of that video before you vote. This is an enormous prospect, not something to roll your eyes at. We’ve all heard Hillary speaking about the Russians. “They’ve launched cyber attacks…” “We will punish them…” “We need leverage over them…” “We will retaliate with our military…” “Putin himself is doing this…” She hasn’t been subtle in any sense. If we elect Hillary and this war erupts, you cannot say that you didn’t see it coming. The writing is on the wall. All you have to do is look at it. With something as huge as war with Russia appearing to be on the line, we have to seriously consider things.

Deny Hillary 270 by voting for anyone else. Literally anyone else. Vote for Marilyn fucking Manson if you want, I don’t care. Just don’t vote for Hillary. She cannot win because I vote for Daryl Perry. She can only win because people voted for her. So don’t vote for her. Bam. Done. Easy-peasy.

“Do the founding fathers’ words mean what they say…?” lol. Loaded question much?

“Dark, unaccountable money coming into our election system…” From Hillary, that is fucking classic.

Trump’s question about the Supreme Court became an attack on Hillary about her deplorable comment? What the actual fuck? He did finally get to it and say it had to be interpreted in the spirit of what the founders meant, rattled on about the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment is mostly useless to us today, as I wrote in The Power Gap, which you can buy there–none of the money goes to me, fyi. If you wanna throw money at me, throw it at the Foundation for Rational Economic Education or the Mises Institute. Anyway, our shotguns, pistols, and rifles won’t mean a fucking thing against the drones, cluster bombs, and scorpion missiles that our military has. The Second Amendment has long been gutted completely; it does nothing to help us defend ourselves from the state.

Okay, I see now. Trump does talk like a kid. Lots of small words, it is kinda off-putting.

Hillary says she respects the Second Amendment and gun ownership. “Can be and must be reasonable regulation.” No amount of regulation is reasonable. Regulation, by its very nature, is unreasonable. Outlawing guns will prevent gun-related deaths just like outlawing heroin prevented heroin-related deaths.

Fox is actually creating and fostering a dialogue. Holy shit! This is a debate! This is what we should have had the other two times! This is fantastic. Why can Fox do this, but CNN can’t? Fox, you truly deserve a shout-out for this.

Trump, “I am pro-life…” At the moment, are you really? Trump is saying that yes, he wants to see Roe v Wade overturned, and to let it be sent back to the states. It’s already mostly handled by the states, isn’t it? I had a family member who I had to drive to Arkansas because she couldn’t get an abortion here in Mississippi after the 4th week. Are people really trying to outlaw first month abortions?

I’m not getting along well lately with pro-life libertarians, because they’re so smug and sanctimonious when they decry abortion as a violation of the NAP, and thus unequivocally wrong. Um… So we’re just going to ignore the violation of the NAP against the woman as you force her to donate her body to someone else? My point has long been that there’s no longer any way to come out on the side of the NAP regarding abortion. It exists now, and there’s no way to resolve it. It’s the murkiest of murky murkiness. The Pro-Life people aren’t wrong to say that it’s a violation of the NAP, but being Pro-Life is also a violation of the NAP, just in a different way. So it comes down to being a question of whose rights you want to violate: the fetus’s or the woman’s. The pro-choice position is pro-choice: an individual should have the right to make that choice for themselves. That’s the best we can do definitively.

I’m pro-choice. This does not mean pro-abortion. This means that I’m against forcing a woman to donate her literal flesh for the benefit of someone else. I’m also against killing people. This is irreconcilable. Thus, I’m pro-choice: you make your decision. It’s merely a question of how you want to violate the NAP: with violence or with force.

Hillary is for late term, partial birth abortions? I’ll have to look into it, because I don’t know enough about it, but I doubt that’s acceptable in the mainstream.

Everything bad is “…a disaster” if you ask Trump. I found myself removing “It’s a disaster” from something that I wrote recently, because I heard it in Trump’s voice as I wrote it.

No, we don’t need strong borders. If you want gun control, you have to have strong borders. If you want the drug war, you have to have strong borders. We don’t want either of these things. It would be, as Trump likes to say, “a disaster.” Trump knows it, too. There’s a reason he mentions drug control and the border. I like how he just stops and says, “Now. I want to build a wall.”

Trump makes an emotional appeal to fear of drugs and crime. Hillary makes an emotional appeal to compassion about breaking up families. Neither of them are able to provide an actually rational answer. They both simply appeal to emotions. Different emotions, but it’s still an emotional appeal.

How does Hillary stand there nodding as Trump says that her husband signed NAFTA, “the worst trade deal in the history of mankind?”

We need those undocumented immigrants to take lower wages, out of the way of the Minimum Wage laws.

Fox is gonna blast her on those leaks! Awesome.

Oh. No they’re not.

“My dream is open markets and open borders…” “I was talking about energy.” Um… What?

I knew it was coming. “You mentioned Wikileaks. THE RUSSIANS!”

She even said “It came from Putin himself.” Jesus fucking Christ, the fearmongering. Why are people letting her deflect like this? There is not a shred of evidence supporting the notion that the Russians are behind this shit. Stop blaming them, or put up the evidence. This is blatant and obvious deflection. Anyone with a brain can see that. This is why I said that we needed McAfee. Assuming we’d nominated McAfee and assuming he’d magically reached 15%, I believe he’s one of few people capable of nailing down slippery Hillary.

“The Russians have engaged in espionage against the United States of America… You’re going to let him break up NATO… You continue to get help from him…” Goddamn, people, this is so bad. “Seventeen intelligence agencies have concluded these cyber attacks come from the highest levels of the Kremlin and they are designed to influence the elections…”

There is literally no evidence to support that!

The moderators need to start cutting off people’s mics.

Japan and Korea already have nukes, Hillary.

“Our country cannot afford to defend Saudi Arabia, Germany, Japan, South Korea…” said Trump. Exactly, so we shouldn’t try. Or, if we’re going to be mercenaries, then yes, we have to charge for it.

If we’re going to be mercenaries for the rest of the world, then Trump isn’t wrong—they should pay. That’s actually not a bad position. We’re the world’s most powerful military by a huge margin and could charge top dollar as a mercenary force. I hate that idea, and don’t think we should be doing it. It’s a better idea than doing it for free in the name of “freedom.” Let the rebel forces raise the money and hire us as mercenaries, or get out of the mess.

“Growing the economy…” I’m so sick of hearing that. “Employment programs…” No. “Fight climate change…” No. “Help small businesses…” No. “Raise the national minimum wage…” ABSOLUTELY NOT. “Education that goes through college…” No. “Real apprenticeships…” Not the government’s responsibility. “We’re going to go where the money is…” Yes, and that’s why it’s not in the United States. “Rich and corporations will pay higher taxes…” Yes, and that’s why they’ll leave the United States.

Why are the candidates even talking about taxes? There’s literally nothing they can say about taxes that we can believe by any stretch of the imagination. Candidates always lie about taxes.

This moderator is funny. I like him. “Thank you, sir.”

Hillary really just blamed shit on Bush again. It’s been eight fucking years. Seriously, it’s pathetic to blame Bush in 2016.

Hillary! What the actual fuck? Your tax plan is not “bottom-up!” It’s still top-down, for fuck’s sake. The government is still the top.

The only way that we can compete with China and India’s 8% growths is by abolishing the Minimum Wage. There is literally no other way.

Trump said, “And they actually fact checked it and said I was right.” The way he stated this was freaking priceless. Like it was a rare thing that someone fact-checked him and found out that he told the truth because people usually fact-check him and find out that he’s pulling shit out of his ass…

Oh wait.

So Hillary called TPP “the gold standard in trade deals” without reading over the full thing? Are you serious? Because that’s what she just said. “I said it was the ‘gold standard’ until I read the full version.” So she would have signed this deal without fully reading it? Are you fucking kidding me? It’s bullshit anyway, and we all know it. Goddamnit, we all know it. They’ll modify the TPP very slightly, and Hillary will sign it.

This narrative about being kissed without consent needs to be dropped NOW. How stupid and insane have we gotten? When was the last time  you were out on a date and the guy said, “I had a really good time. May I kiss you?” Fuck that noise. You know that never fucking happened. I actually do have a history of asking a girl’s permission before kissing her, and when I was younger, I’d even ask permission before holding their hands. I know first-hand that it’s extraordinarily rare. I’d go as far as saying that if you’re not one of my exes, then the odds are that you’ve never had someone ask your permission to kiss you.

The point is “Kissed without my consent” is a trumped up charge and is absolute bullshit.

Holy shit. That’s actually true. People at the DNC really did pay people to go riot at Trump rallies. I’ve not watched the video yet, but this should be the top story everywhere. The Democrat Party needs to be thoroughly rejected over this. It is hopelessly corrupt. Any political party that would promote violence at an opponent’s rally has no business in the United States. Disband it immediately.

“He’s called a number of women disgusting…” Hillary. Really? How many times have you called him disgusting? So it’s okay to call a man disgusting, but not a woman?

“He never apologizes for anything…” But he does, though. He apologized for the remarks in the 2005 video. So… that’s a lie, and I suspect you know that’s a lie. He also apologized for the remarks about McCAin.

Hillary, no liberal has any right to accuse anyone of being divisive.

Hillary, the people of Haiti hate you and the Clinton Foundation.

Trump does say anything is rigged when he loses. He’s a sore loser. “I didn’t win an Emmy. It’s rigged. I’m not winning the Primary. It’s rigged.”

However, the DNC showed that “the establishment” is absolutely willing to rig things in Hillary’s favor. We don’t know how far up this goes, but we do know that the FBI director was unwilling to prosecute Hillary because she is Hillary Clinton.

I’d take someone blaming a rigged system over someone blaming the Russians and trying to start a war. As far as mindsets go, one is way more dangerous than the other.

Oh, good. Permanent stationing of troops in Iraq to fill in the power vacuum and keep Isis from rising again. Great. Wonderful. Perfect.

I can’t believe that I just listened to the Democratic presidential candidate advocating military action. What the fuck happened to this country? Didn’t the Democrats used to be anti-war? What happened to that? Oh, that’s right. They weren’t anti-war. They’re anti-Republican, and they just used “anti-war” as a way of going after Republicans.

I’m suddenly reminded of the South Park episode where the town splits itself in two over war, and it clearly characterized the town’s anti-war people as Democrats. Man, was that episode way off. Democrats don’t give a shit about war. They love war as much as Republicans do. Democrats just dislike Republicans. This is really, really bad.

America, we have to stop this. Stop it. Please. Just stop it.

Stop killing people.

I don’t fucking care what your reasons are. Stop killing people.

Just stop it.

Hillary: “…an intelligence surge that protects us here at home.” Combined with her beating of the war drums aimed at Syria, I have to say… that scares me. I see bad things coming down the future. The rise of an American Gestapo. Thoughtcrime—thoughtcrime is already becoming a thing, and, yep, it’s the faux progressivists and their “micro-aggressions” who are creating it. I can’t believe this is happening. This absolutely must be stopped.

We must say it loudly, clearly, and unambiguously. “We will support no more war.”

All American soldiers should be returned to U.S. soil. No if’s, and’s, or but’s.

“If you’re too dangerous to fly, you’re too dangerous to buy a gun…” Fuck, man. The writing is on the wall. It’s all right there. Just combine everything we know. Trump isn’t the next Hitler.

Hillary is.

“…to gain some leverage over the Russian government…

Hillary is so goddamned dangerous.

I had to pause the video and reboot my brain when Hillary began criticizing Trump for lying. Really, Hillary? You’re both liars. Between the two of you, I think Trump is probably more honest than you, but of course he’s a liar.

“They’re digging underground…”

Damn, that sounds familiar.

“Aleppo has fallen. What do you need, a signed document?”

That shit’s funny, man. I can’t believe a U.S. presidential candidate just tossed out sarcasm like that in a debate.

“if she did nothing [in Syria], we’d be in much better shape.”

I really wish Trump would stick to non-interventionism. He’d be a passable candidate if he did. But he doesn’t. I’m not convinced that he’s speaking generally, or if he’s talking from hindsight. I think he’s talking from hindsight. Maybe not. I mean, the lessons aren’t hard to learn. Anyone who has been paying attention must surely know that our stupid military adventures are stupid and damaging to our own long-term interests.

Clinton wants a No Fly Zone in Syria.

Serious question.

By what right do we impose a No Fly Zone on a country? Can you imagine if Canada said, “We’re going to impose a No Fly Zone on the United States”? We’d immediately shout back, “Who the hell do you think you are? We’ll shoot your planes out of the sky if you try it.”

So it’s about arrogance and entitlement. We’re just like “Who cares? We’re big and powerful, so we can impose a No Fly Zone any-fucking-where we want.” People… You’re really breaking my heart, America. I can’t believe that we have become so arrogant, so entitled, so aggressive, so bloodthirsty, so vile, so petty, and so disgusting that we think we have any right whatsoever to impose a No Fly Zone on another country.

And we just… take it for granted. We don’t even stop to ask, “Wait. We don’t have any authority over Syria. What the actual fuck? A No Fly Zone? That’s an act of war. Are we declaring war on Syria? No! Because declaring war is so passé. Instead, we’re just going to commit acts of war on a country we’re not at war with, which I’m pretty sure is a violation of the Geneva Convention.”

America: proof that even a country founded by people who explicitly spoke out against military intervention and entangling alliances can become a bloodthirsty imperialist war machine.

The Age of Hysteria: Clowns, Russians, Assange, and Americans

What do clowns and Russians have in common?

That Americans are swept up in hysterical fear of them without a damned bit of evidence to support the paranoia and without any good reason why anyone should be afraid.

be-afraid

One could say I’ve spent the last month studying and considering hysteria, how it develops, how it spreads, and how it rules the mind of those who are swept up in it. I’ve postulated an explanation for the ubiquity of this hysteria, although I’m not entirely convinced that the hysteria needs an explanation–perhaps we have always been on the edge of insanity. The Salem Witch Trials would certainly suggest so. Speculating that our increasing inability to see the world in anything but the terms of Either/Or has given us the notion that the side who agrees with us is, at the least tolerable, while the side who disagrees with us is “literally Hitler” and “literally the Devil,” it’s been my hope that I might figure out why we are going to wake up in January saying either “President Trump” or “President Hillary,” two people who, by all rights, should be grinding their teeth angrily because they are trapped in a position where their job is fetching coffee for the president and his aides.

Yet all of that became meaningless as I read through an article at The Guardian about Julian Assange, and then made the mistake of reading the comments. Now, you may remember that I am no fan of Julian Assange these days, primarily because I think “whatever he once was” has become lost in his personality and his placement of himself as the gatekeeper of seemingly-critical information. Assange made this horrible bed for himself–not by releasing classified information, though… By doing the opposite, in fact–and I have very little sympathy that he must now lie in it.

Anyway, all of that is neither here nor there; I just wanted to give an understanding of my position on Assange before we proceed. I don’t want to talk about Wikileaks. In fact, I want to talk about hysteria.

wikileaks1As myself and so many others pointed out, this whole mess with blaming the Russians was started by the Democrats, clearly as a way of distracting from the contents of the leaks. I wrote that article on September 27, saying:

Hackers have pulled back the curtain and have shown us the man standing there, maneuvering levers and talking into a microphone, and the great, green glowing head is shouting at us, “Ignore that man behind the curtain! The dog is out to get you! That damned dog! That dog hates you and wants to see you destroyed!”

And now, only three weeks later, the allegation has memetically made its way throughout the United States, and we now have a liberal army of people convinced that the Russians are out to get them, because Hillary told them so, and then Obama told them so. It is irrelevant that the Democrats merely pointed at the Russians and shouted, “They did it!” and have never presented a shred of evidence that Russians are responsible–in fact, I lean toward the hypothesis that Sanders supporters are responsible, and that the leaks actually come from within the Democrat Party. But that’s speculation, too. However, my speculation is at least as likely to be true as Hillary’s. Moreover, since I have no skin in the game, I am a much more trustworthy source.

Dawkins would be proud.

Soren_Arkwright accurately summarizes the bullshit being fed:

wikileaks2Many months ago, I wrote an article about how the 2016 election is a case-study on the devolution of democracy, and I think that’s something worth revisiting now, so here it is.

It’s a matter of some interest to me that Hillary supporters accuse me of supporting Trump, while Trump supporters accuse me of supporting Hillary. I assure you, I despise them both, probably equal, though I hate them for entirely different reasons. That makes it hard to compare the two. Hillary is much worse for the rest of the world, while Trump is much worse for us here at home. Do you want to take the beating so that children in Syria don’t have to? It’s not an easy question to answer, but that’s ultimately what the Hillary/Trump choice boils down to, and I want nothing to do with either of them.

I’m not pro-Trump or pro-Hillary.

I’m anti-sensationalism and anti-hysteria. Naturally, this means that I spend more time defending Trump and attacking liberals than I do attacking Trump and defending liberals. I mean, Republicans aren’t out there starting riots and then demanding to know who was the last presidential candidate since Hillary to incite riots. However, Democrats have done that. Republicans aren’t out there behaving like Nazis burning down the Reichstag Building* by attacking Democrat offices, yet democrats–and you know before I proceed that it’s fucking millennial Sanders supporters** doing it–absolutely are out there “firebombing” Republican offices. And, as I said on Quora, if someone says something or advocates a policy that you don’t like, and you respond with honest-to-fuck violence, then your opponent is not the Nazi.

You are.

And now anti-Russian hysteria is not just coming from the top, as it has been for a while. In fact, Hillary has been beating the Drums of War while staring at Russia since she secured the nomination, and the situation in Syria is shaping up like a classic catalyst to lead to a larger war. We are now fighting a proxy war against Russia in Syria. We all understand this, right? Syria is a three-way conflict between Assad and the Russians, the U.S. and rebels, and Isis.

Of course, Isis only has a foothold there because we backed the rebels and gave them weapons, which destabilized the country and loosened Assad’s grip on power. This created a vacuum that Isis happily swept in from Iraq–where a similar power vacuum had given then prominence–to fill in the gap. I mean, we pretty much created this mess when we started arming the rebels. There’s a reason Putin accuses us of supporting Isis.

Oh, I know. Americans aren’t interested in having Putin tell us about the tremendously fucked up things that our government is getting up to. We were beating the drums of war with Syria long before Isis was there, though. Do you remember that? A lot of things happen here in the United States, and we’re constantly fed bullshit; it can be really hard to remember that this or that happened. But think back to the rise of the rebels in Syria, and the allegation that Assad had used chemical weapons.

Seems like it was forever ago, doesn’t it? That is by design.

It was one of the few places Orwell got it totally wrong. The government doesn’t necessarily have to straight up lie to us and rely on our doublethink for us to say “We’ve always been at war with Eurasia.” They don’t have to, because we are fed so much shit on a daily basis that even someone with a powerful memory for these types of details is left going, “Wait… I don’t remember the details, but… Didn’t… That’s not right…?”

Remember when the United States clearly wanted to attack Russia? Obama drew his “line in the sand” or whatever, and Hillary was loud in her vocalization in support of attacking Assad. Then Kerry gaffed and gave Assad an out, completely by accident. Do you remember the sentiment? The United States was angry with Kerry for paving the way to avoid war. There was a lot of talk that Kerry’s offer wasn’t enforceable, and that it didn’t matter what he said; we didn’t have to keep his promise. It was insane to watch, but it was entirely clear: the United States wanted war with Assad.

And now Isis is there.

This happened somewhere else, too. It happened in Iraq. DAESH has existed since 1999 in Iraq. However, they were a nothing group without any significance. Until 2003. “Some time in 2003”–I’ll leave it to your imagination to guess when that “some time” was–Isis began recruiting and militarizing. We invaded, toppled Saddam Hussein, left a weak, broken government behind, and then left. While I’m for the leaving, I’m against the vacuum we created there in the first place.

And now Isis is there.

Indeed, if you look on a map of military invasions throughout the Middle East, you’ll find there is a perfect correlation between a country being invaded and later becoming a hotspot for “terrorism.”

We also now have Russia in Syria, presumably having drawn their own line in the sand. Far be it from me to guess what anyone is thinking, but I don’t think Russia is going to let us topple Assad the way we did the Taliban and Saddam Hussein. And Gadhafi. And about three dozen others, possibly through covert operations.

I’ve no love for Russia and Putin, but a realistic look at the situation shows that Russia is a force of stabilization in Syria, while the United States is a force of destabilization. Why in the hell are we even viewing Russia as an enemy?

The Democrats’ anti-Russia propaganda has perpetuated itself among the stupid and gullible, though.

wikileaks3So in the past month, we watched an unknown but small number of clowns appear throughout the country innocuously, making no threats and violating no laws. Now, Target has pulled clown masks from its shelves. Municipalities have launched actual police investigations. Teens have been arrested for going on social media and “pretending to be clowns” making threats against people. People have wildly asserted that the clowns have been seen trying to lure children into the wounds–an allegation that has been widely debunked. Schools have gone into lockdowns.

I am proud to say that I was among the first to identify the hysteria. No, really. I was. In fact, I may have been the very first American to call the clown reaction “hysteria.” Now, it’s increasingly accepted that we are dealing with hysteria. My speculation that it was viral marketing for the upcoming remake of It remains on 100% solid ground, with not one piece of evidence refuting it, and the hysteria has mostly died down now. In short, I was right, and I am very much proud that I was able to see through the hysteria and call it the bullshit that it was.

It’s a curious thing, and now we see it happening with Russians. Simply replace “clowns” with “Russians,” and you have exactly the same phenomenon. “The clowns are dangerous and hostile!” becomes “The Russians are dangerous and hostile!” There is no evidence to support either claim, of course. “The clowns are out to hurt us!” becomes “The Russians are out to hurt us!” There is no evidence to support either claim, of course.

We, as a people, are terrifyingly prone to bouts of hysteria. Did we learn nothing from the clown shit that just happened?

wiiileaks4This isn’t at all plausible, Tijger. Hillary explicitly joked about using a drone to kill Assange. While it was a joke–presumably–you’re engaging in some wicked doublethink to believe she doesn’t give a rats ass about him.

Anyway.

I’m not advocating anything, really, and I’m not speaking out against anyone. I’m just calling for everyone to calm the fuck down. Look, if we could just calm down and get our emotions under control for three weeks, we might be able to get something productive done. But as long as everyone is just at the edge of hysteria–some of them leaping gleefully over it–then we’re never going to be reasonable. That’s what we need right now: to be reasonable, to calm down, and to stop being hysterical.

* A conspiracy theory, but one with better than “likely” odds of being true.

** Strictly speaking, no more certain than the speculation that Russians are behind the Democrats’ hacks, to be fair. However, Sanders supporters have been pulling shit like this in the open for six months.

Can Everyone Just Calm Down?

I’ve talkedquite a lotabout how Americans are increasingly drawn to the extreme ends of the spectrum, to the extent that I am convinced we Americans have begun to genuinely think in hyperbole.

When someone says, “I don’t think welfare benefits the poor,” we have come to expect a response something along the lines of:

Oh? So you just want to let the poor starve?

That libertarians are so often accused of “wanting poor people to starve” is, if nothing else, a shocking example of how pervasive this extremism has really become. It happens to anarchists, as well. “I don’t think the state does anything to benefit society.” Of course, then the response comes:

Oh? So you’re okay with being ruled by rape gangs?

It’s a mark of how sensationalized, hysterical, and extreme we have become that these two innocuous statements are met with such hostility; those making these replies appear to be legitimately unable to fathom that “the state” and “rule by rape gangs” (one might say that this is not just a false dichotomy but also a false choice, as “the state” and “rule by rape gangs” are exactly the same thing, but now is not the time for that…) are not the only possibilities.

A few weeks ago, frustrated with how Jill Stein was attacking Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, I commented one of her posts asking why she was becoming a shill, why she was wasting her energy targeting another third party candidate, when it served no one except the two dominating parties for the third parties to begin chiseling away at each other. I observed that she was acting like the youngest child petulantly attacking the middle child because the oldest child wouldn’t let her play with the toys. Thankfully, Jill Stein ceased her attacks on Gary Johnson.

Anyway, Rusty–we’ll call him “Rusty” because he’s a Steiner, and no one reading this will get that reference, and wouldn’t get it even if it wasn’t so tenuous–commented my comment to basically shriek, in all caps half the time, that it was stupid to expect Jill Stein of the Green Party to support Gary Johnson, when their policies, as I’d pointed out, were diametrically opposed.

On the surface, he had a good point. Why did I expect Stein to support Johnson?

Because I didn’t.

I asked Stein to stop attacking Gary Johnson. “Not attacking Johnson” and “supporting Johnson” aren’t even remotely the same thing. If I could not respect a candidate without supporting them, then my presence on Jill Stein’s page–which came about specifically because I respect her; I just disagree with her… on everything…–would have been impossible. Until Stein attacked Gary Johnson, I never attacked Stein, and I immediately stopped as soon as she stopped. I’m not attacking Stein now. I still don’t support her, because her platform is the anti-thesis of everything I stand for.

The idea that Jill Stein could just not say anything about Gary Johnson was something that Rusty couldn’t comprehend. In his extremist, ends-of-the-spectrum World of Either/Or, Jill Stein must attack Gary Johnson, because otherwise she supports Gary Johnson.

It’s easy to see how this came about, since we live in a society where the false dichotomy has thoroughly conquered the political landscape, and everything starts there and stems from it. If I post something negative about Trump, people take me as a Hillary supporter. If I post something negative about Hillary, people take me as a Trump supporter. My Quora page demonstrates this clearly.

I support neither one of those toxic devils, and it is my fondest wish that they both withdraw from the race. Trump is no better than Hillary, and Hillary is no better than Trump. They are both just absolutely awful, but for completely different reasons. It’s as close to a real-life example of “Pick your poison” as I’ve ever seen, and I am not going to do it. I will not eat a bowl of shit simply because the other bowl is diarrhea. I will leave the table.

But I doubt that the two party system is really the source of the problem; I suspect it’s a reflection of something that lies underneath, within the average human’s mind, and stems more from psychology than manipulation. This election just makes it more apparent. I know very few Trump supporters. Indeed, most of the Republican Party seems to be saying something along the lines of, “We don’t like Trump, but we really hate Hillary.”

Democrats point that out, too. I’ve seen Democrats suggest that the RNC was little more than a “We Hate Hillary” party. Fine. I’ll gladly grant that. However, they’re delusional if they think that the DNC was anything but a “We Hate Trump” party. The average liberal spends far more time trashing Trump than they do supporting Hillary.

It’s distressing how many people consider Hillary to be the apex of progressivism, though. That’s a scary amount of cognitive dissonance.

More than ever, we’re not voting to put someone in. We’re voting to keep someone else out. And all the while we bemoan the state of the nation and ask how it came to this. I don’t know why anyone should be surprised it came to this, or confused on how this came to be. It’s quite obvious. A country full of sensationalized masses who only think in the ends of the spectrum will obviously view their political enemy as “LITERALLY” Hitler and “literally” the devil. So it doesn’t matter how bad their candidate is–their candidate is opposed to “literally” Hitler and “literally” the devil, so their candidate is automatically preferable.

They’re too terrified of “literally” Hitler and “literally” the devil to even dream of voting third party, and they will absolutely hate you for doing it. Why?

I’m not sure why. It’s an ongoing examination.

I’ve noticed it elsewhere, too. You wouldn’t believe how hostile people have been because I tried reasoning with them over this clown shit and tried to point out to them that they’re being hysterical–textbook definitions of “hysterical” at that. Ad hominen is their bread and butter; they immediately launch into it, seizing anything and everything they can. One woman did this by attacking my grammar, though, if she’d actually bothered to read anything that I wrote, she’d have noticed that my grammar is borderline impeccable, and things like “but” being used to start sentences are intentional departures from formality. Another decided to inform me that she could see the feather’s end in my hair, and that it was tacky.

Basically, I was met by weak and petulant personal attacks, exactly as I was when I first joined Youtube with my video targeting the Liberal Redneck and criticizing him for assuming that this white family was racist simply because they were white. The response was so vicious that I ultimately pulled the video down, and it is what first clued me into the false dichotomy that the average American appears to be trapped in. The podcast I linked above is from that period, and the preceding and succeeding podcasts dive into the same issue.

It was clear. They hated Christians, so any attack on Christians was fair game, no matter what the attack was, regardless of how unfounded it was, and without respect to its applicability. That I, a transgender atheist, dared defend the Christian from an utterly baseless attack presented them with a cognitive dissonance too great for them to face. They saw me, and so they saw someone who refused to jump on their hateful bandwagon pulled by a horse named fear.

And they hated me for that.

I received more hate from those liberals calling themselves progressive and “Allies” than I’ve ever received from Christians for being transgender–if you don’t include my family. Meanwhile, as they spouted their vitriolic, hate-filled rants, they insisted that they were spreading love and tolerance. Is it a case of people believing that the ends justify the means? We should not be surprised that people think that they can use violence and hate to put an end to violence and hate–it’s the idea that allows the state’s existence to persist, after all. “We hate hate!” they proudly proclaimed. “So fuck those Christians, and fuck you for defending them, you boring, terrible, idiotic, treacherous piece of shit! Whose side are you on, anyway?”

“Whose side are you on, anyway?”

That was an actual comment, and it was such a transparent example of the Us and Them, False Dichotomy, World of Either/Or bullshit that I thought, “Surely no one can refute me now.” I had the evidence right there–I had proof right there, that I had called it from the start. People were overly sensationalized, trapped into thinking only in hyperbole and extremes, because they had locked their minds in a vicious Us Versus Them state where anything that didn’t fit with “Us” was, by definition, “Them,” and thus to be ridiculed and hated. And then there was this person who just straight-up asked me whose side I was on, implying that I could be on the Christians’ side or I could be on the liberals’ side, but that there were no other options.

We have to calm down, and we have to re-open our minds.

We have to stop thinking in terms of Us and Them.