Tag Archive | hitler

A Literal Lesson on Literally

If there is any single word that is horrifically over-used and incorrectly used, especially among millennials, that word would be “literally.” In perhaps the best piece of evidence that the ironic hipster culture has gone way too far, it is probably literally the word most often used figuratively rather than literally.

And it makes me figuratively sick.

It makes me metaphorically disgusted.

It makes me feel like I’m allegorically surrounded by morons.

These people are analogously comparable to zombies.

I would say I’m fancifully part of an age group that literally doesn’t know what “literally” means. And I haven’t even broken out the thesaurus yet.

No, Trump is not LITERALLY Hitler.

No, you are not LITERALLY dying.

No, you are not LITERALLY sick of Trump.

No, you are not LITERALLY rolling in cash.

And, as a reply to the post that inspired this one, Limewire was not LITERALLY LIKE having unprotected sex on the Internet.

Let’s reflect for a moment on that phrase. The statement was that “[Limewire] was literally like having unprotected sex on the Internet.”

At a glance, we can see that this is not, in fact, a literal statement. It’s a simile. As we learned in the second grade, a simile is an analogy that uses “like” or “as,” for the most part (in reality, it’s slightly more complicated than that, but let’s keep it simple for these people who evidently literally don’t know what “literally” means). As a simile, it is an analogy, which means it isn’t literal. This is because “x is figuratively true” is directly contradictory to “x is literally true.”

“X is literally true” means that x is true. It means the value of x is “true.” It means that whatever we’re describing as “x” is actually, seriously, and literally true.

“X is figuratively true” means that x is not true. It may be “true in spirit,” but not in actual fact. For example, the statement that “Trump is figuratively Hitler.” Quite obviously, this means that Trump is not Hitler. This is plain as day to anyone who knows that Hitler has been dead for 70 years (conspiracy theories aside). It is equally transparent to anyone who knows what it means for two distinctly different people to exist. So it is literally impossible for Trump to be LITERALLY Hitler–even if Hitler was still alive, the two are quite clearly different individuals, and it would require the warping of spacetime for them to be the same person.

Literal statements are observations–facts.

Figurative statements are assertions–opinions.

“Trump is literally Trump,” in addition to being a tautology, is an observation and a fact. Trump is Trump because “Trump” is the person we mean when we say “Trump.” The statement defines itself as true. This is the first of the Logical Absolutes–“x is x.” We don’t need to make an argument to show people that Trump is literally Trump. At most, we have to simply explain that Trump is the person we are referring to when we say “Trump.” “He is Trump,” we might say, pointing to him on the television. We don’t need to provide evidence (under normal circumstances*) that the person we are pointing to is Trump, because “Trump” is defined as the person we’re pointing to.

Contrast this to a statement like… “Taxation is literally theft.”

It is.

“Taking money or property from someone without their permission” is the definition of “theft.” That a government does it, instead of a random thief, changes nothing. Although doublethink and cognitive dissonance permeate American society, the fact remains that taxation is “literally” theft. The only escape from this is on an individual basis, with the individual who says, “No, because I gladly consent to taxes!” but even that isn’t the entire story, because they couldn’t deny consent if they wanted to, so they aren’t actually choosing to consent. “Taking money or property from someone without their permission” being the definition of “theft” isn’t an opinion; it’s what the word means.

Having now dealt with a statement that is not literally true and one that is literally true, let’s move on to a figurative one. As stated before, there is no fact here, so there is no “true” or “untrue” figurative statement. There’s a statement that one person believes or doesn’t believe. Let’s examine the statement that “Trump is figuratively Hitler.”

Is he?

It depends on what you think represents the essence of Hitler. I would say that extreme nationalism coupled with white supremacy, intense hatred of non-white people and GSM people, willingness to conquer, an unyielding desire to rebuild the “glory days” and take them further than ever before, and a remarkable ability to inspire passion in people (Hitler was probably the greatest orator of the 20th century, according to many people) is what really constituted “Hitler.” In literal terms, Hitler was a dude who lived in Germany from the late 19th century to around the mid 20th century, formed the National Socialist party of Deutschland, dissolved the Germany Parliament, took control of the government, successfully rebuild the German economy, started a bit of unpleasantness, and then killed himself. Seeing as Trump is none of those things, we can see, once again, that Trump is not LITERALLY Hitler.

Maybe what you mean by Hitler is “scary white leader who may or may not be racist and who sometimes says mean things.” If that’s what you think represents the essence of Hitler, hey, that’s your opinion. I would absolutely ask someone who made the statement with sincerity, however, that Trump is figuratively Hitler, to explain how they came to that conclusion, because I don’t see the connection. He could be somewhat analogous to Mussolini, but let’s be honest here… Millennials don’t know anything about Mussolini. To be clear, when people say that Trump is LITERALLY Hitler (and they mean that he is figuratively Hitler), I have a pretty good idea of what they mean: they mean that they think Trump is an extreme nationalist, white supremacist, anti-LGBT, warmongering, MAGA-spamming tyrant who is going to put everyone into the ovens.

Don’t believe me? They most certainly do think that. It has calmed down a lot, but I’ll never forget the day after the election talking to a Hispanic woman who confessed to be cowering in fear with her family in her home, crying. Teachers throughout the United States cried with their black students. No, this actually happened. Don’t forget that. One guy wrote an article with the headline “I’m disabled–imagine what Donald Trump will do to me!” They sincerely thought that the Holocaust was upon them, and they refused to listen to suggestions otherwise. They were fully hysterical, and firmly convinced that Trump was the second coming of Hitler. A year later, I would love nothing more than for these people to openly and publicly acknowledge how absurdly hysterical they were, to take it into consideration in the future, and to take measures to ensure that they are not so swept up in lunatic paranoid and political rhetoric again. Keep crying wolf, and when an American dictator actually rises, no one will take the claim seriously.

But this isn’t meant to be about Trump–figuratively or literally. Whether one believes Trump is figuratively Hitler or not isn’t the point here; the point here is that he is most LITERALLY not “LITERALLY Hitler.” Taxation is literally theft. You are not literally dying (except in the philosophical sense that everyone has an expiration date).

* Presuming some idiot is not making the argument that Trump is an imposter reptilian overlord wearing a Trump Suit.

 

 

Socialism & Fascism

In a recent article, Robert Higgs made the argument that socialism is pretty much dead, and that fascism is instead the dominant economic policy on the globe. As far as I’m aware, this is my first exposure to Higgs, and I must confess: I’m not impressed.

First, it should be readily observable to all people that fascism and socialism are related, in the same sense that an orchestra maestro entails mastery of the musical pieces; fascism is the conductor’s mastery, and socialism is mastery of the song. It’s possible to be a master of the song without being a master conductor, but it’s not possible to be a master conductor without being a master of the song.

In classic logic terms, all bloops are bleeps, but not all bleeps are bloops.

This is because socialism is an economic policy, while fascism is what we would call governmental policy. It’s true that “fascism” is a notoriously difficult idea to pin down, and a lot of people mistakenly attribute “nationalism” as one of its primary tenets, but that’s a misattribution, a result of people focusing more on words than with the essence represented by those words. State supremacy is the hallmark of fascism. Through most of human history, this would have manifested as nationalism and the notion that the nation is the greatest; in more modern times, it manifests primarily as globalism, and the notion that a global government would be the greatest. However, regardless at what level the fascist pledges their allegiance (whether to the nation or to the globe), the primary hallmark is the same: the state that is in charge is supreme.

Everything within the state. Nothing outside the state, nothing beyond the state.

— Benito Mussolini

Socialism is an idea that prescribes state ownership of capital. To explain this, we must clarify the difference between capital and a consumption good. A consumption good is one that does not increase in value, one that, under normal conditions, only decreases in value (i.e., is “used up”). A consumption good is something that is used and ultimately discarded, and is not an investment. Televisions, cell phones, food, clothing, gasoline, and other similar items are consumption goods. Socialism absolutely allows for individuals within the socialist society to own consumption goods. Even the most diehard socialist isn’t going to advocate a system where Bob, having run out of toothpaste, can enter your apartment and help himself to yours. In the socialist apparatus, consumption goods regularly pass into ownership by consumers, where they are consumed, and the state merely creates, assigns, and hands out these consumption goods.

Capital, on the other hand, is held entirely by the state. Houses, land, vehicles, manufacturing plants, and similar items are the property of the state, and the state uses this capital to create the consumption goods and dole them out to the citizens. The state owns the toothpaste manufacturing plant and provides one tube a month to each citizen, in other words, and once that toothpaste is handed over, it’s generally considered that citizen’s toothpaste. The state doesn’t really care what happens to consumption goods, because they are consumption goods–even if Bob hoards all of his toothpaste and attempts to sell it on the black market, it’s just not going to give him enough capital to seriously challenge the state. Besides which, it has an expiration date–the day is coming that the toothpaste will be without any value at all.

When we discuss “private property” under the ideas of capitalism, we are not saying that individuals have the right to own consumption goods–this right is a given, and even the most adamant socialist isn’t likely to challenge it. Instead, we are saying that individuals have the right to own capital. Individuals have the right to purchase items that will generate a return on the investment, that will produce wealth. Under capitalism, an individual can purchase the glass, copper, gold, plastic, and whatever else is necessary in order to produce phones, which are then sold as consumption goods to other individuals for money, thereby creating a return on the investment. This model is obviously successful, and obviously creates a net benefit to society as a whole: some people get the phone, and one person is rewarded for their investment with more money.

But it’s not my intention here to point out that capitalism is better.

In fact, the requirement that individuals be allowed to own capital is in the name: capitalism. We could easily call socialism consumptionism, in fact, because it restricts the individual’s ownership of property solely to consumption items–to the phones produced, to the toothpaste, to the gasoline, to the food, and never to the facilities, rigs, or farms where these things are produced. Instead, everything of real value that can have labor added to it in order to increase that value belongs to the state.

Five hundred acorns are of very little value to me, after all. However, by adding my labor to them (by planting them, nourishing them, and watering them), I can turn them into 500 trees of considerable value. This is the essence of capitalism: taking a resource, investing in it, and seeing a return on those resources. In the socialist order, one would still be allowed to own acorns, in most cases, but the state would claim the trees as soon as they were grown, and would fine and arrest the person who planted them.

Socialism is state ownership and control of capital property.

Fascism is state control of pretty much everything, including capital property. The state cannot be supreme if it does not control the means of production (i.e., capital). This is why every fascist government that has risen has also been socialist, from Mussolini’s Italy to Hitler’s Germany to Kim Jong Un’s North Korea. In fact, North Korea is one of the few fascist nations in the world today, where the state openly controls everything from education programs to capital.

Similarly, we in the United States are much more fascist than we’d like to realize, and we’re entirely socialist. No American is allowed to own capital; the owners of all capital is ultimately the American Government. In a capitalist order, a person purchases a house and the land around it, and then it’s theirs–it belongs to them, and they can do whatever they want with it, because they are the owner. This is not the case in the United States. In the United States, the person has an enormous list of things they are not allowed to do with the property, must petition for the right to do countless things that they supposedly have the right to do, and then must pay rent each year to avoid having the property taken away from them. Paying property taxes to the government in order to avoid having the government take the property away is not in any sense different from paying a bank note to prevent the bank from taking the property away.

Why should the government get money from you each year, just because you own a house and the land around it? It’s not the government’s house or land, is it? By inserting themselves into this process, lining up outside of your property with guns and soldiers and demanding that you hand over money or they will forcibly remove you, the state has usurped your ownership of the home and made itself the owner. We can use all the doublethink and cognitive dissonance we like, but the fact remains that this affair is known as “renting,” and not “owning.”

This is similarly the case for whatever manufacturing facility you own. Not only are you required to pay duties on thins that you import, but you must pay the government a portion of your profits regularly, because, if you don’t, they will take the manufacturing facility away from you. And, of course, you can’t just build a manufacturing facility in your backyard; you must acquire permits, many of which are exorbitantly expensive, and rely on getting the government’s permission for you to use “your” property in the way that you want in the first place.

This cannot be considered “private property.”

It would be no different if I came by your manufacturing facility once a month with armed goons and demanded a cut of your profits for “protection,” and made it clear that, if you didn’t pay, you would have an “accident” that would end with one of my people being installed as the owner of the facility. This is what the state does now, today, in 2017 Common Era, in the United States. The idea that this arrangement constitutes “private property” is demonstrably false, and has been demonstrated as so.

If that was your house, you could burn it down. If that was your house, you could add a wing without getting permission from the government. If that was your house, you could install your own septic tank. If that was your house, you could dig an enormous hole and create a pond. If that was your house, you would not have to pay someone each year in order to prevent it from being taken away from you. Instead, it is the state who decides whether you can have permission to add a wing, it is the state who decides whether you may install a septic tank (“No, you cannot, but you can pay $1,200 to this guy who paid us $3,000 for his license to do it.”), and it is the state who ultimately owns the property, who must receive a payment from you regularly, on top of all these other considerations.

The thing about ownership is that it means I can do whatever I want with my property.

Compare the ownership of capital in the United States–as most obvious in regard to houses–to the ownership of consumption goods. I can do whatever I want with the Linksys WRT54GL that I’m looking at. I can write my name on it. I can install DDWRT firmware. I can put it on whatever subnet I want. I can take it outside and smash it to pieces. I can unload sixteen 12 gauge shotgun shells into it. I don’t have to ask anyone’s permission, and I don’t have to pay anyone each year for the “privilege” of owning it. It’s mine.

That difference is critical to understanding the current state of the world. Socialism is assuredly not on the decline; private ownership of capital is more regulated, controlled, restricted, and usurped than ever before. Socialism is more powerful today than it has ever been, and more dominant than ever. If we do not take back the right to own capital, free of government regulations, government mandates, and government threats of theft, then the problems we face can never be fixed.

And all of this is without even getting into Intellectual Property, eminent domain, civil asset forfeiture, and the millions of regulations that bear down on us every single day. Anyone who looks at this state of affairs and calls it “private property” is severely confused. After all, both socialism and capitalism feature the ownership of consumption goods. As such, the ownership of consumption goods cannot be a deciding factor in whether a society is capitalist or socialist–as it is contained on both sides of the equation, it is reduced:

Private ownership of capital + private ownership of consumption goods = Capitalism

State ownership of capital + private ownership of consumption goods = Socialism

Anyone can see that “private ownership of consumption goods” has nothing to do with it, and must be subtracted from both. What we’re left with is that “private ownership of capital = capitalism” and “state ownership of capital = socialism.” Seeing as Fascism is state dominance over everything, from medicine to education to capital to consumption goods (because, for obvious reasons, if the state manufactures the only toothpaste in existence, then the state controls who has toothpaste and who doesn’t, as opposed to capitalism, where a person who has pissed off Colgate can still purchase Crest).

Fascism is also alive and well, although the state that people want to be supreme over everything has moved up one level, for the most part, to globalism instead of nationalism. This is why I once made the point that national fascism is easier to defeat than global fascism, while I explained my support for Brexit and America leaving NATO and the United Nations. Although viewed as contentious, that statement is actually an obvious extrapolation of how local governments are easier to influence than federal ones. It is much easier to get my city council to do what I want than it is to get the federal government to do what I want, and much easier to get the federal government to do what I want than it is to get the world government to do what I want. There is also the reality that world government soldiers from Uganda and New Guinea will face no real hardship oppressing people in California, while soldiers from California will face some internal difficulty oppressing people in Arkansas, and soldiers from Tate County, Mississippi will face considerable internal strife oppressing the people of Tate County. Local > distant, in every conceivable way.

However, that fascists today are roughly evenly split between nationalism and globalism is of no concern. They want state supremacy either way. The global fascists simply want to create a higher level of government to be supreme and enforce their desires. In that way, the globalist fascists are more fascist than the nationalist ones. And, yes, there is a strong correlation between those who want a powerful world government that can dictate national policies and those who openly desire socialism; yet, even among the national fascists, there is a strong tendency for the state to control different aspects of people’s lives (marriage, sexual identity, drugs, whatever). The globalist fascists simply want to create a Big Joker, because they don’t like how the nationalist fascists have the Little Joker.

 

Is Arvin Right or Wrong?

I’m anti-war.

However, I’m only “anti-war” in the sense that “war” is not a distinctly existent thing, but is instead merely a label we assign to certain actions that fulfill a specific criteria. It’s not the “war” that I condemn but the actions that earn that label. I don’t condemn “war” because there is nothing there to condemn. In the real world, a “war” never happens. Instead, what happens is that one person fires a bullet or rockets at other people. I condemn this whether it’s a person with state authority at their back who is firing the gun or whether it’s a random psychopath without state authority who is firing the gun.

There’s no such thing as a “war” any more than there is such a thing as a “stamp collection.” War is merely a collectivist category, an umbrella term used to denote the nature of certain actions, and the “war” never occurs, though the actions do.

There’s also no such thing as this ubiquitous group of “veterans” who all share culpability for actions that have earned the label of “war.” There is no “LGBT people,” and no “black people.” Neither is there a “people who are veterans” group. There are only individuals with certain characteristics, and, regardless of what characteristics they may have in common (even if that characteristic is that they’ve all shared in one superficially identical choice, such as LGBT people and veterans who chose to join the military), it’s inaccurate to suggest that “all veterans are this” or “all veterans are that.”

Tonight, Sunday’s episode of “Call to Freedom” airs at 10p Central, and Will Coley will again relate the parable of the man who grew and sold grapes knowing that they’d be used to make wine. The point of the parable is that the man had knowledge of the inevitable outcome, and yet he took the action anyway, and therefore bore responsibility for the drunkenness and the actions of the drunk people. I like the parable, but there is one critical difference between the man who sold the grapes and “veterans.” The man who sold the grapes is an individual; “veterans” is a collection.

The question is most certainly not “whether veterans knew” what they were signing up for, or “whether veterans knew” when signing up what the consequences of that would be. The question is whether “this individual who took these actions” had full cognizance of what they were agreeing to, and whether they had reasonable knowledge of the consequences. It’s a topic I only touched upon briefly–due to a catnichal problem, I missed the first half of the show–and only mentioned in passing near the end of the episode, but I would certainly argue that the man who changes the tires on an F-15 has less responsibility for the bomb’s destruction than the person who actually pushed the button that dropped the bomb.

It reminds me a lot of World War 2 and the company that produced Zyklon-B in Germany, and whether the owner of the company bore any responsibility for the Jews murdered with the poisonous gas. The entire argument hinged upon one thing: whether he knew how the gas was being used. I would say that’s a limited argument, though, because it ignores the fact that the owner may very well not have had a choice–this is Hitler we’re talking about, and if the owner hadn’t continued selling them the Zyklon-B, he’d have found himself replaced and in one of the concentration camps alongside the Jews. Can we really condemn him for giving in to this blatant coercion and fear in the interest of self-preservation?

The owner wasn’t alone in his responsibility, though. What of all the chemists and engineers who surely had some idea of how their product was being used? Because there is much to be said for the idea that many of the people who joined the military did so because of the coercive nature of poverty and were essentially facing the same crisis of self-preservation as the owner of the manufacturer of Zyklon-B, and that the military was merely a provider of a job to them in a time and place where they had no better options. Even I once looked into joining the Navy, for exactly this reason. What of the factory workers (or however Zyklon-B is produced) who knew how the pellets were being used by the Nazis, and yet did not quit their jobs? Should they not be held as responsible for the gas’s usage as Hitler himself?

Why not just round up everyone involved with the company and try them for the Holocaust?

Because, while we accept the notion of individual responsibility, we also can’t deny that there is such a thing as diffused responsibility. While we must hold the soldier accountable for the bombs he actually drops with the press of a button, we cannot deny the diffused responsibility of conditions and causes that led him to be there in the first place. The pilot didn’t produce the bomb, or call for it to be dropped, and neither did Oppenheimer open the hatch to see the bomb dropped on Nagasaki. Neither did Einstein start World War 2, a period of total war that we today have a hard time even grasping because we have not experienced total war since.

Is a person responsible for the conditions in which they have found themselves?

“To some degree,” perhaps, at least in some cases. Surely the man who robs the bank because he became addicted to heroin and couldn’t afford any more bears responsibility for robbing the bank because he made all of the choices that led to his situation, right? Wrong. If heroin was legal, then much of what he experienced wouldn’t have happened, and he certainly had no say-so in the legal status of heroin.

It’s ultimately a question of Nature versus Nurture, then. This is a question that people have been debating for centuries, and we’re no nearer to the answer. Is a person responsible for the choices that they make in the conditions they are in? Sometimes. But if Bob has lost everything from his home to his job because of a medical condition that he couldn’t afford or prevent, is Bob really responsible when he robs a convenient store to avoid starvation? How much conscious, deliberate effort to effect change is possible? Is it even possible that Bob could have found himself in different circumstances? Does Bob even have free will to change those circumstances?

“We don’t know” is the answer to all of these questions. We can only assume, and we can only assume that our assumptions are valid. And we can only assume that our assumption that are assumptions are valid is valid. So on and so on, ad infinitum.

I would agree that there is substantially increased likelihood that an individual with the characteristic of “having been a veteran” is also a murderer, but that is the farthest I will go toward absolutism, and that’s the farthest that anyone should be willing to go, because anywhere beyond that is where the assumptions start. After all, we have the logic and data that defines “war” as being undertaken by soldiers and as being a category of events that necessarily involve murder; by this criteria, it is obvious that we will find among soldiers an increased chance of “once took another human life.”

But we’re all murderers, every single one of us–the only escape from that is to include “human” in our definition of murder. We have all taken lives, plant or animal or human. It was Jesus Christ who said, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” I have to agree.

Let the first person who hasn’t ever taken another life criticize “veterans” as a group. Until then, let’s keep our assumptions under control.

Government is Evil

The other day while reading the news, I stumbled across a particularly revealing peace on USA Today that was shared through the Rational Review News Digest, wherein the author discussed that Democrats could not rely on “preventing the government from getting anything done” as a tactic, because the core of the liberal philosophy is that the government should be doing stuff.

The author obviously has a point. Stalling the government, and even shutting down the government, is a tactic that works for conservatives and Republicans because, at least in the uninformed public eye, Republicans are the party that doesn’t want the government doing stuff in the first place. Republicans want a small government that doesn’t do much, so being a wrench in the gears that prevents anything from getting accomplished is a means to that end. As for what Republicans really want, I’ll put it briefly by saying that if Republicans actually wanted small government, then I’d be a Republicans. Republicans are totally fine with a big government that enforces socially conservative policies, such as giving the state the authority to tell people what gender they are.

It’s almost perplexing that we could even reach this point in the United States of America, a nation founded by people who said things like:

  • “Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil.” — Thomas Paine
  • “The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.” — Thomas Jefferson
  • “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America [the government] cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States. ” — Noah Webster [Not really about evil government, but critically important nonetheless]
  • “[T]he general government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws: its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects, which concern all the members of the republic, but which are not to be attained by the separate provisions of any.” — James Madison [also only tangentially related, as the Federal Government was not designed to be the all-powerful Hindu god with a thousand omnipotent arms]
  • “I own I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive.” — Thomas Jefferson

There’s no point in continuing to source quotes from the American Founders; we all know that they founded the Federal Government under the principles of classical liberalism–the government should exist to protect the lives, liberties, and right to pursue happiness of its people. It was founded on the idea that we would not be subjects of the government but that it would be our subject–a tool to be used not to oppress with an energetic government but to protect the liberty and property of the people:

A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government.

Yet this flies in the face of modern liberalism, an ideology that embraces social welfare in extreme ways, up to and including the notion that health care–the product of the labors of doctors, pharmacists, and biochemists–is a human right. It is an appalling idea. To suggest that health care is a human right is to suggest that doctors, pharmacists, and biochemists are slaves, and that we have the right to take the fruit of their labors and force them to labor for us. We may or may not be willing to reimburse them, but this is hardly of relevance considering that even American slaves were “reimbursed” with food and shelter. Reimbursing someone is of no consequence to the discussion, whether you pay the slave $1 an hour or $100 an hour. It is not the wage that denotes slavery but that one is forced to do it and has choice removed.

This is where the liberal uses the term “wage slaves.” In most senses, this is as asinine as it sounds. No one is forcing anyone to get a job and work for a wage. Someone is not forcing a person to get a job and earn money; something is, and that “something” is universal attrition itself, that an organism starves and dies if it does not secure for itself something to eat. Taking issue with being “forced” to get a job in order to buy food and have a place to live is to take issue with existence for creating hunger in the first place. If one did not “have” to get a job, then one could go out and hunt for food, or start a farm. In this case, the person is not a “wage slave,” but becomes a “food slave.” Their apparent master is no longer a corporation but nature itself.

“It isn’t fair, though!”

No, it isn’t. This is a characteristic of the universe and existence, however, and is not a characteristic of human society. As such, it is not something that human society can fix, no matter how much energetic government oppression it uses. Equality means that one is allowed the opportunity to succeed; it does not mean that one is guaranteed to succeed.

All that said, it’s obvious how we ended up in this position. First, we were sold a series of promises that turned out to be horrifically inaccurate and, more often than not, total lies. Take the United States Post Office as an example, because it’s a great example. Indeed, excluding the military, every single federal institution to which we can point serves as a beautiful example of something that started with the highest of hopes aiming to fulfill wonderful promises and failed spectacularly. The military, of course, is the government’s sole success. This is not a coincidence.

Anyway, there are two types of buildings that always stand out, no matter where in the country you go. Here in Mississippi, we have a lot of churches. I mean… We have a lot of churches. More than you’d think from that statement alone. Between my house and the nearest town of 10,000, there are at least six churches that I can see easily during the commute, and that’s a distance of five miles. This trend holds true in every direction, though rural areas tend to drop to about two churches every five miles. There are churches everywhere, and they are almost always the nicest buildings in the vicinity.

The second type of building is the government building, and how interesting is it that they are so similar in appearance? Rather than crosses on its side, the government buildings have large, brass government seals and other official symbols. In any part of town, the nicest buildings are almost guaranteed to be the churches and the government buildings.

For churches, this makes total sense. The whole concept of the church originated with the cathedral, a place of worship specifically designed to be an engineering marvel, a place to which a person could go to feel awe and majesty. Despite what many of my fellow atheists want to believe, religion and Christianity aren’t going anywhere any time soon, and, whether religious people are right or wrong, the churches provide crucial roles to both individuals and societies, and certainly have played a role in shaping human morality. Something else churches have, in addition to believers, is money. Lots and lots of money. It is common for atheists to object to the grandiose buildings as wastes, but the majesty of the buildings is a key part of the entire concept, and it isn’t a waste unless a church does something stupid like Mt. Zion Baptist did when they built a new, “more modern” church for their congregation that consists mostly of elderly people and where their place of worship is literally a basketball court, even though they had a perfectly good, and substantially nicer, building a quarter of a mile away.

My grandmother and father attend that church, and that whole thing was a boondoggle that someone has kept very well-hidden. The main worship area–I forget what it’s called–literally is half a basketball court, with a basketball goal that retracts upward toward the ceiling. As far as I know, no one has ever played basketball there. It has the distinct impression of being a second-hand building, something the church bought for cheap and repurposed, where it once had been some sort of athlete thing. There’s no carpet; it’s a gym floor. Yet this building was custom-built by the church for the church…? It’s also a mostly steel building, while they have a very nice–it’s probably the nicest church in the county, honestly–brick building within viewing distance of the new one. Something really weird happened with a lot of money, and someone scrambled to cover it up. No doubt.

Banks could be added to this list, as well, as certain banks are designed the same way. The bank is a place where you put your money. People want their banks to be big, wealthy, secure, and nice. No one wants to deposit their money into the Bank of Falling Apart Hovel. Churches use the same general tactic–people don’t really want to worship at Church of Falling Apart Hovel, unless it’s a community church, but then it’s more a community thing anyway… Either way, a random visitor wouldn’t attend Church of Falling Apart Hovel. And then we have government buildings, surreptitiously playing the same psychological tricks.

Like the churches and the banks, these are buildings that want you to believe in them. They fly their obscenely large flags and emblazon their walls with enormous brass seals, while oddly large dedication plates are placed near the door. The building is designed to make one feel awe, to stir up feelings of patriotism and loyalty, which we are allowed to identify with personally by claiming its successes as our own. “Yeah! That’s my government! That’s my building!” This misplaced sense of pride mixes with the intentionally conjured awe, something we become accustomed to and stop noticing, but which we can readily see children doing. Those feelings don’t go away just because we grow up. Deep down inside, we’re still impressed and proud of our majestic government building.

Behind the lustrous veil of the church and the bank, there is something substantiating those feelings. A bank with lots of customers and lots of money, and a church with lots of members and lots of money. The bank is backed by its clients while the church is backed by its believers–to say nothing of the belief itself and whether the church is backed by something even greater. Yet behind the shiny mask of the government building is horror.

Bankruptcy, inefficiency, waste, disgruntled employees, an absolute lack of accountability, and a maze of red tape and bureaucratic nonsense. When FDR ratcheted up the fascism several notches with the New Deal, we were sold an empty box that was elegantly wrapped in the most beautiful of Christmas wrapping papers. Strangely, this is something that even liberals are aware of, as this Guardian article clearly alludes to.

This era ushered in a series of sweeping changes that redefined the American Government, taking us out of the world of liberty where individuals solved problems and into the world of fascism where the government solves problems. The difference is night and day.

I will never tire of calling attention to IEEE, an independent body of technology experts who have prescribed standards and specific protocols for all manner of electronic technologies. The 802.11 set of protocols is the reason that you can connect any model of phone by any manufacturer using any carrier to any wireless access point running any firmware made by any manufacturer that is connected to any modem made by any manufacturer through any ISP and have Internet access. This is something that today we take for granted, but it actually represents one of the most astounding achievements in humanity’s history. It would be impossible to convey all the variables, but if you’ve ever tried getting two electronic devices that weren’t designed for each other to actually function together, then you might be able to appreciate the magnitude of this accomplishment. And yet IEEE is completely voluntary. It is not a government, and no one is required to follow its standards and protocols.

Compare the marvel of email–something else we take for granted–to the mess of the United States Post Office, and ask yourself this simple question: Why didn’t the Post Office invent email? This question is absolutely critical, and it’s one that every person who believes that “Government action can improve people’s lives” needs to seriously consider. The United States Post Office’s entire existence is about communicating messages from one person to another. Here is an interesting article about the USPS’s relationship with email, and it’s worth a read. Liberals should particularly note that the USPS initially tried to implement an email system they called E-Com. Yet the USPS didn’t innovate and create this marvelous, instantaneous, and efficient message delivery system; furthermore, when they went “Me, too!” their system sucked and isn’t known to anyone today.

Now look over this stupidly long list of Post Offices that were built under FDR. This should come as no surprise, of course. The same promises by the same man with the same administration and same “noble intentions*” gave us the Social Security Administration, a mess that quickly proved to have been an outright lie. Today people recoil at the very idea of abolishing Social Security, as though we would let our elderly starve, despite the fact that humanity managed to get along pretty well without the Social Security Administration for hundreds of thousands of years.

We were sold snake oil, and it’s a myth that many people continue believing today. The question we must ask, then, is… How? How did this happen? How did a nation founded by people who expressly stated as the core of their philosophy that government is freaking evil twist into this nation of people who genuinely believe that “government action can improve people’s lives?”**

* Debatable. Autocracy and Fascism did not rise only in Italy, Germany, and Japan. It rose worldwide, including in the United States, and it manifested here as the New Deal. It’s worth nothing that, for all practical purposes, Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini also offered their citizens a New Deal. The Soviet Union called theirs the Five Year Plan. We called ours the New Deal. Hitler called his the Neuordnung–translated to “New Order.”

Despite how it breaks so many rules of writing, the above point is crucial enough that I’m going to continue the article here, rather than above.

It should come as absolutely no shock that 1953 saw the true rise of the Department of Education, not long after the many schemes of FDR began falling apart. It would take many, many years for the full breakdown of the systems to occur, requiring ever increasing amounts of money to keep them going. People are resistant to huge changes and will put up with a lot of bullshit before they do anything about it. A woman might not leave her abusive, alcoholic boyfriend until the third time he’s broken one of her bones and put her in the hospital. The list of grievances the colonies had with the British Empire fills several pages of the Declaration of Independence, and many of them are pretty serious. In 2016 the American Government dropped more than twenty-six thousand bombs in seven countries. We tolerate a lot of shit that we shouldn’t tolerate, and so we were always going to give the many New Deal programs plenty of time and opportunity to straighten themselves out.

That all became unnecessary with the rise of the Department of Education and state control of virtually all school systems. I’ve written a little bit about the school system here in the United States. Unfortunately, there’s no better way to be written off as looney than to say that we’ve all been brainwashed to worship the state, but… we’ve all been brainwashed to worship the state. However they did it, they planted these ideas there. I certainly don’t ever remember being taught in school that the government protects us from rape gangs, murderers, constant civil wars, faction wars, and “OMG, Mad Max!”

But that idea certainly came from somewhere, and it’s ubiquitous throughout the country. I doubt you were ever straight up told this, either. But compare it to the actual founding principles of our nation–that government is evil and, by its very nature, oppressive and tyrannical. Yet you will find very, very few Americans who don’t believe that government is generally a force for good. Go to any random Q&A site–or Quora–and look for questions about whether government is necessary or good. For every one person pointing out, for reasons identical to those given three centuries ago, that the state is an institution of evil, there will be five or ten who allege that the government is a force for good.

No one bats an eye at this guy’s certifiably wacky statement that “government action can improve people’s lives.” It’s just taken as a given, by nearly every American–Republican and Democrat. Republicans hover in a state of denial about it, but they, too, share the conceit. The only thing that almost all these Americans have in common is that they were brought up and educated by the government, with government-approved textbooks, by government employees, according to government standards, and thereby given government-approved information.

Oh, sure, we learned that the Founders said that government is evil, and that liberty is good. That’s where things get so weird. Because it’s not our government that is evil, is it? No, the founders in their infinite wisdom managed to create the only government that wasn’t evil, and it’s “all those other governments” that are evil. It’s like the rock band that says “All record labels are evil… except the one that signed us!” Believe it or not, that’s a common attitude among up-and-coming rock bands. “Our label is totally not evil,” they say. “We got lucky and found the one good one in this huge sea of evil ones.”

And that’s how we came to this mess today–decades of this idea that because the founders knew the government was evil, they took steps to create a government that wasn’t evil–all because, in their writings, it doesn’t seem any of them bothered to point out, “Hey, yeah, that whole ‘government is evil’ thing…? It applies to this government we just created, too. Yeah, it’s evil, too.”

Sure, the early Americans needed arms, but that was to protect themselves from the evil British Imperial government! We don’t need guns, tanks, landmines, grenades, assault rifles, jets, and SAMs to protect ourselves from our government, because ours isn’t one of the evil ones. Ours is the one good one floating in the huge sea of evil ones. “Government” doesn’t stop being evil just because it’s our government. It’s still evil.

I’m an anarchist, and I would never make the case that the government is a necessary evil. But that is the bare minimum that any rational adult should be willing to accept. This nonsense that the government can improve people’s lives? It flies in the face of the very essence of what government even is: oppression. Government is evil. Republics are evil. Federalists are evil. Democracy is evil. Saying “We can tolerate this little evil to stave off this even greater evil” is precisely the reason that we’ll be saying “President Trump” in eight more days. It is precisely the reason we allowed our lesser evil fascism to rise, so that we could fight off the greater evil fascism that Hitler and Mussolini, and then Stalin, represented.

It is time we returned to the simple fact that was first noticed more than three hundred years ago, and it is something we need to apparently etch into stone so that we never, ever forget it and never, ever again give rise to generations of people who think that, despite all evidence and logic to the contrary, government can somehow be a force for good…

Government is evil.

Including ours.

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.

Why Violence is Incompatible With Anarchy

I recently got into a discussion with someone about the Batman villain Anarky, particularly in the video game Batman: Arkham Origins. In the game, Anarky sets bombs around Gotham City with the intention of using them as a method of coercion, to force the mayor, police department, and some other place to do what he wants them to do. My contention is that Anarky is clearly not an anarchist, and that anyone who would use force, violence, and coercion to achieve their ends is not an anarchist. They may be trying to spread chaos and disaster, but “chaos” is not synonymous with “anarchy.”

Anarchy is the absence of a state. It is not the condition where several states are fighting for dominance and supremacy over a given territory. Let’s take the nation of Boogaloo for example. There are five warlords in Boogaloo, and the nation is in chaos, with these five warlords constantly fighting battles across the land. Many people would say that such a condition is an anarchy, but it quite obviously isn’t. Given enough time, one of these warlords will defeat the others and will come out dominant and supreme, and will promptly rule uncontested over the nation of Boogaloo. The only thing that will have changed is that the supreme warlord will suddenly be without competition in his/her control over the land.

It is not anarchy when this warlord reigns supreme over the others, regardless of the warlord’s methods. Seeing as this person is a warlord, we can expect them to rule with an iron fist, barbarically and tyrannically, blatantly using force, violence, and coercion to rule the people of Boogaloo. This was also the case when this warlord controlled one-fifth of the land of Boogaloo. Prior to his conquest, in effect, Boogaloo was split into five nations, each ruled by a warlord, and these five were at war and trying to unite the five nations into one larger one. They ruled their territories with brutality and violence, and it’s irrelevant whether they ruled a land that consisted of a fifth of Boogaloo or all of Boogaloo. It was not an anarchy before one warlord defeated the others, and it is not an anarchy after.

Instead, what we had were five states fighting for supremacy and dominance over the entire land. It is irrelevant to our discussion whether Warlord Jim was elected by the people of his small territory, and whether he ruled with compassion and justice, but we can easily allow for this possibility. Perhaps the people of that one-fifth of Boogaloo called the Arid Region elected Jim to defend their land from the aggression of Warlord Michael. Doing this quite obviously means that Boogaloo is not an anarchy, yet the only thing that has changed is the internal structure of one of the five states.

Even if we assert that all five of the Warlords live up to their name and were not elected to rule, but merely took power because they had an army and weapons, it does not fundamentally change what is happening. It is still not anarchy, because there are still states. To assert that Boogaloo is an anarchy because it is split into five mini-nations, each with their own leader and army, is to assert that Planet Earth is an anarchy, yet this is clearly not the case.

We can even allow that only two of the territories of Boogaloo are at war with one another, and that the others vary between friends, allies, and simple trade partners. We can go even further and allow that every two years, the Warlords come together and try to work out agreements to the betterment of the whole of Boogaloo. Or we can put all five warlords again at each others’ throats, at war, and fighting viciously to reign supreme over Boogaloo. In none of these examples is it anarchy. The relationships between existent states does not determine whether something is or isn’t an anarchy. The methods by which territories select their rulers is not the determining factor on whether something is or isn’t an anarchy.

It is readily apparent that there is no metric by which we can distinguish these Warlords of Boogaloo from what we’d commonly call “the gangs of Mad Max.” Did the manner in which Warlord Jim was given power affect whether or not his nation is a state fighting with and competing with the other Warlords? Certainly not. Even if the people of the Arid Region have a Charter that Jim and his lieutenants are not permitted to violate, it hardly changes the nature of what is happening: Jim is the leader of a gang, and that gang is fighting other gangs.

Now, what if Warlord Jim is going around and planting bombs everywhere, in an attempt to use them as a terrorist would, threatening to detonate them if the other Warlords do not comply with his demands? “Withdraw your forces from the Arid Region,” he might say. “Exile those within your forces who are corrupt,” he could also say. He could even say, “Adopt a Charter of your own that prohibits you from violating the liberty of your citizens.” The substance of his demands are irrelevant.

What if Warlord Jim did not control the Arid Region? What if he controlled… no territory? What if Warlord Jim was just Random Guy Jim, and he had planted the bombs and made those demands? Well, let’s evaluate that question a bit, because the situation I just posited… is a contradiction in terms.

If Jim has planted bombs and is demanding that people comply with his demands then Jim is, quite obviously, attempting to rule over the people of whom he is making demands. Whether they bow to his demands or reject his presumed authority, Jim is attempting to conquer the people and force them to comply with his wishes. In effect, Jim is an authoritarian attempting to take control of others. So quite the opposite, in fact: rather than controlling no territory, Jim is actively engaged in the process of attempting to conquer territory, and he is using force, violence, and coercion to do it. “Bow to my demands–accept my rule over you–or I will inflict violence upon you.”

Jim is clearly not attempting to create anarchy. Jim is attempting to set himself up as the dictator of a state.

Jim’s methods have prevented him from being an anarchist, as his methods have been an attempt to create a state and set himself up as its head, dictating to his subjects what they can and cannot do, what they must and must not do. Just as it’s obvious that Mussolini’s Italy was not anarchy, so is it obvious that Jim’s imposed brutality onto others as he sets himself up–however temporarily–as a dictator is not anarchy.

Any attempt to use force, violence, and coercion is automatically an attempt to set oneself up as an authoritarian state ruling over others and making them comply. This is incompatible with anarchy, because anarchy is the absence of a state. It follows, then, that no one who uses force, violence, and coercion to achieve their ends can be an anarchist. At best, they simply dislike the old state and are trying to set up a new state.

 

Discussing the 2016 Election

I’m going to share some emails between myself and a few other people. I’m not going to identify the other people, but my remarks will be italicized.

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the only value in discussing the election now is in asking “what does this say about this?” There’s a reason otherwise meaningless and inconsequential information is referred to as “academic.” Conversations about such things are little vehicles for knowledge, perspective, wisdom, and such. The vast majority of things that occur at places like universities are indeed academic. All that brain exercise is largely entertainment for the participants. You and I enjoy considering things like this, but in fact anything/everything – or nothing – can happen between now and November. Right now it’s simply brain food. The information doesn’t exist that would enable someone to “predict” the election.

Trump is just a symptom…an indicator…a “barometer,” so to speak. It enrages me that the Left is so afraid of change, but that, too, is a massive indicator. More and more, the shift is toward looking to the government as the solution to problems. That’s horrifying. And the Left just wants more and more of it. There can never be too much for them. It’s the projection of the ego, and it’s as “natural” as can be. Humans are lost, desperately searching for SOMETHING to “make everything ok.” Nobody really grows up. We’re just old children. We are so emotionally weak it’s astonishing.
What I can’t reconcile is the basic Left impulse. Is it lack of confidence that humans can take care of it themselves? Does it emanate from a sense of fear, that left to their own devices humans are self-destructive? Isn’t the irony absolutely breathtaking? I mean, really. Isn’t the fundamental tenet of marxism that humans are basically good? How does that ethos co-exist with a paternalistic view of government?
And, of course, I realize that the “left” in America bears little resemblance to Marxism. But I’m thinking of the basic motivations, the issues on which peoples’ worldviews and thus decisions turn? Am I fighting a straw man?
You know, THAT right there distinguishes a real thinker from the “rest.” Seriously. Consider how attractive and nature the strawman impulse really is. My strawman tends to be of two types: the liberal intellectual who hates all things uneducated, religious, “redneck.” He sees bias and racism everywhere. He feels himself completely qualified and justified spouting his “progressive” views everywhere. He thinks he pities those who come from “challenged” backgrounds. He is not proud of his ancestors. He feels no patriotism, nationalism….not even sure what “pride” is. Yet he completely understands “black pride” and he feels a sense of righteousness in their anger. He “understands” them.
My other strawman is the person the educated liberal doesn’t know exists. This person doesn’t work and doesn’t want to. This person lives among a culture than devours the system that devours them. She knows every trick in the book – how to qualify for all the programs that enable one to live and build a large family of dependents, without working a job. She has 8 kids by 3 different fathers. She’s not qualified to work, and she likely suffers from several physical and/or mental disabilities, any of which can be used to further her cause. Her interest in government (politics) is 100% limited to how it serves her specific purpose.
I know individuals who fit both those profiles. But do they exist like that at large? Or am i fighting stawmen just like everyone else, and therefore I’m missing the real points, overlooking the real issues?
Are Hillary and Trump simply dogs and ponies, trotted out every 4 years to occupy our attention, while the REAL business of running the world goes right on? Are we eating the diversion hook, line, and sinker? Does it matter? I mean, really?

You’d have to look to Mussolini, not Marx, to understand the left in America, and it was your email that just made me realize this. The left simply wants more power. That’s all leaders on the left want. I know that sounds like a strawman, but Mussolini and Hitler also sound like strawmen, don’t they? There’s no chance that Sanders genuinely believes the bullshit that comes out of his mouth, but that’s how the left functions. What an interesting thing, considering neurology. Anyway, they simply take an emotion and add “The government should put a stop to this!” to it. But this isn’t a policy. It’s an emotion that could lead to a policy. Instead, the left takes their solution of having the government brute force it, and associates it directly with that emotion. “No one who works 40 hours a week should live in poverty! So we must raise the minimum wage!” and they never realize how divorced from each other those two statements are. Wanting workers to make more money becomes associated with raising the minimum wage, to the extent that liberals think you can’t be for higher wages if you don’t support an increased minimum wage. “You don’t want to raise the MW? So you’re okay with families living in poverty?”

The statement “No, I’m not. But I also know that the MW is the reason that many people live in poverty, and that raising it will only ensure that ‘the percentage of people who live in poverty’ will only increase.” falls on deaf ears. They literally can’t understand it, because they’ve tied their emotion to their solution.

Leaders on the left did this intentionally, framing themselves as the only possible solution, such that anyone who didn’t support those solutions therefore lacked those emotions: sympathy, namely, often blown up to ridiculously selfless levels. Of course, everything about it is egotistical. The mask of selflessness is absolutely something that they take pride in. So they have pride, I think, and they know what it is–they just take pride in the fact that they don’t take pride. It comes back to that thread we’ve discussed often: trying to abolish the ego is, itself, an act of ego.

The masses are merely tools for this. I was stunned a few years ago when a recently graduated friend informed me of what her student council defined as “leadership.” It was, more or less, “the ability to influence people to support your ideas.” It’s a sort of ultra-cynicism that views people as pawns to be moved around on a chessboard, and those people have taken over the country. Hillary’s snide smirk says it all. And I suspect that Trump actually is somewhat better, because he knows that his business empire is built on the backs of thousands of other people. Yes, he deserves his wealth, but he is not the sole person earning it, and he surely knows that. That’s where the left’s ideology completely breaks down: we don’t need megacorporations and mega-banks, but they absolutely need us.

We don’t need Wal-Mart. Not really. We do right now, because so many of the government’s laws assist Wal-Mart by preventing places like Dollar General from truly rising to that level. We need Microsoft because Intellectual Property prevents Android from making a competitive PC version. Everyone wants what they’re accustomed to, and there is nothing that stagnates competition quite like intellectual property. If Android could throw a start button and windows into their OS and slap it on PC, they’d finish off Microsoft. We both know that a competitor should have risen with Windows 8 and pushed Microsoft out of the market. But they didn’t. Why not? The pieces are all in place: we have new operating systems that work better, are cleaner and more efficient, and we have companies with the money to do it. But it didn’t happen. The Windows 10 debacle is just a new step in Microsoft’s fuck ups, yet they still reign supreme in the PC market. Why? Intellectual property.

So the government has, one by one, fabricated these conditions where we can’t solve our problems ourselves. We can’t solve the problem of Wal-Mart’s reliance upon child labor and Microsoft’s bullshit shenanigans by switching to competitors because there are no competitors, and there are no competitors because the state’s laws prevent competition. And they do this in the misguided idea of “leveling the playing field,” forgetting, apparently, that the universe isn’t fair and that we can’t use laws to make it fair without violating rights. My cover of Metallica’s Call of Ktulu is likely to land me in very hot water at some point in the future, but I will never take it down. It’s more than 10% different from Metallica’s, and it’s obvious that I used their version as a springboard to add my own ideas to it, but it won’t matter. In every sense, I violated their intellectual property. But what is that, really? It is their ownership of me. I picked up my guitar, used my computer, my drumsets, my time and my energy, and I recorded a song. Everything that I used was 100% mine, even the cassette tape that I listened to as a teenager that contained Metallica’s song.

Intellectual property was the mechanism by which we had our property rights stolen from us, usurped by corporations.

All of this probably seems unrelated, but I don’t think anything is really more important. If we are allowed to own things and put our resources to use, then there is no limit to what we can accomplish. But we’re not allowed to own things. We’re allowed to lease things. There’s a reason all this shit we’re buying comes with gargantuan Terms of Use and license agreements. What kind of shit is that? I bought this software, Microsoft. It’s mine now. Not yours. If you weren’t prepared to surrender ownership of this copy of the software, then you shouldn’t have fucking sold it to me.

More to the point, I recently realized the same thing that you just said, except I don’t think it’s really just a strawman. The only people who are socialists are the people who don’t have, and this is the reason that socialism failed to compete with private property when the hippie communes rose in the 60s and 70s–they couldn’t attract engineers, doctors, physicists, etc. Socialism is for the unskilled and lazy. No one who has their effort rewarded would ever choose to enter into a system where their effort would not be rewarded. Such a system is only attractive to people who are not being rewarded. And while that characterization could actually describe me, I’m smart enough to see the inherent flaw–one day, my various efforts will be rewarded, and, even if not, my own interests simply don’t outweigh the interests of society. Sure, I could benefit from socialism, but the rest of society would stagnate. I guess it’s kinda like my refusal to condemn discrimination and make it illegal. Sure, I’d benefit, but what about other people? Surely they deserve freedom, too?

Socialism is too easy to pick apart for that one fundamentalism reason, and I can’t take any “intellectual” socialists seriously. I think they’re propaganda tools, though they probably believe the bullshit they say. I can understand that, as Matt Slick undoubtedly believes his TAG is sound, but it obviously isn’t.

Mussolini said about democracy that it looks beautiful in theory, but that it’s a disaster in practice, or something to that effect.

Isn’t that pretty much exactly what we’ve been hearing about Trump’s nomination and the Brexit vote?

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i’ve been saying for months what continues to be evident, perhaps obvious: Trump is destroying the GOP. I think I said “he’s killed the GOP and something will take it’s place.” I’ve equated it with the death of the Whig Party, which basically ended with and because of slavery, when rifts among Whigs because too deep and wide for any kind of national cooperation to survive. The modern equivalent just might be immigration, although there certainly are many issues that will contribute. The bottom line is a 2 party system in a place as diverse as America is a goddamn travesty. It almost insures nothing of consequence will get done, because even the most liberal party democrat favors what can only be regarded as status quo. That’s why Trump scares them so badly.

I don’t think it’s possible Trump can win, because I don’t believe anyone can win without a party machine. There’s just too much infrastructure. Elections in America aren’t like class president or the homecoming queen. These are some of the largest, most broadly-cooperative networks on the planet – literally. The democratic party in the US can mobilize more resources in a shorter amount of time than the vast majority of countries in the world.
I’m starting to think this may have all been a prank. I’m starting to think Trump has played one big joke…or pulled off the greatest con job in history.

I think Trump and the GOP are the least of the problems these days. Websites being off from free speech in favor of “protected groups” is the biggest problem. Milo knew it was only a matter of time before he was banned. AIU and TNB also know it. And while this makes them retarded for sticking their hands in the oven when they know it’s going to burn them, the obvious divisiveness of having protected groups is something that can’t easily be undone, not when “but look what happened in the past” remains an acceptable argument. Once it’s a given that the idea of reparations is stupid, we might be able to move forward.

I decided a few days ago that I simply have to stop fighting on a few fronts. That won’t be easy, because every part of me wants to weigh in, but I have to be more focused and concentrated in a few areas. My target audience is minuscule.

I’ve stopped predictions about the election. I think Trump can win, but I don’t see how, not without appealing to moral outrage. We bombed Libya a few days ago.

Libya.

A country that we’re not at war with.

We killed 28 civilians in Syria last week. We killed 100,000 in Iraq. Hilary bears a lot of responsibility for all of this, and she’d definitely continue it.

There’s another way this could go, though: the libertarian party replaces the GOP. It’s not an accident that we have two Republican governors as our nominee, and that I’ve written extensively about why there’s nothing libertarian about Johnson. They’re not angling to promote libertarian ideas. They’re aiming to sacrifice those and become a new liberty-leaning GOP. And it looks like they might be successful. If Romney and Bush endorse Johnson, then libertarian principles will die, and Hillary will certainly be victorious.

Sometimes I think about the reality that one of these two is going to be president. That’s horrifying. Only 9% of Americans picked them. If that’s not an argument for anarchy, then I don’t know what is. 91% of the country had nothing to do with this.

this is what’s horrifying: “banned.”

No doubt. The sentiment that people deserve safe spaces and deserve to be protected is growing, not dying. The reality, though we don’t want to accept it, is that creating online profiles immediately exposes someone and violates their own safe space. This is what happened with the Khan family.

Man, I’ve made some people angry on Quora! Never have I had an answer get this much attention from babies with no comprehension of what I said.

I’ve since stopped arguing the thread. Once I meet someone who drags the topic toward freedom of the press and the Constitution who insists he’s staying on topic, I know to wash my hands of it.

Khan and the dems expected that they couldn’t be criticized because “muh son died, yo”. The bias in questions about it that I’ve been asked to answer… I’ve only answered one more, and only then to call attention to the bias in the question: “Why did Trump criticize the parents of a fallen soldier” or something like that. My first line was “Is this question for real?”

But yeah, it was. My point remains perfectly valid: if I have a child who dies as a soldier, could I then say “Long live David Duke” and no one would be allowed to criticize me?

“But that’s fucked up to say, so yeah, you’d be criticized.”

Great, so we’ve accepted that your indignation isn’t with the fact that Trump “criticized the parents of a fallen soldier,” but that he did so when they were expressing opinions you don’t disagree with. So what we have is you using these people to voice your opinion and wanting them to be inundated against criticism because “muh son died” is a credential if the person agrees with you.

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both you and I are pretty analytical. we see things and then we look for their causes and explanations. with that in mind, here’s why clinton will win, and likely pretty solidly:

the single biggest point of confusion for me when I was in sales was how amazingly difficult it was to get customers to change from their current provider (interesting term, given the topic) to a new one, *even though they detested their current provider*. During the sales process (primaries), the emotion was fervent. “Oh my, yes, your option does look great…that’s MUCH better than we’re getting now….wow, I LIKE what you’re saying!”
Then, after all the dogs and ponies have been trotted out, and it was time to put a piece of paper in front of the customer, and it was time for them to put a signature on that line……..they just couldn’t do it.
I saw this over and over and over and over and over, until I accepted it as a fundamental of human behavior: Unless there is a clear and decisive benefit to switching, people will stay with something they know is bad rather than change to something new. This tendency is ALWAYS exaggerated when the NEW thing is in the least bit associated with risk. Humans as a group have a genetic aversion to RISK. A bad sure thing is often preferred over a possibly-good-but-risky alternative.
And the Dems know this. They have always been better at understanding and taking advantage of human psychology. Hell, their entire existence, their raison d’etre, is THAT – emotion, appealing to fear. The irony is that’s what liberals THINK is going on with Trump, and, surely, there is an element of that in ANY and EVERY campaign – me, good. him, bad. BUT, this election is turning on it more than any other we’ve ever seen.
When it comes down to it, Trump is just too risky for Americans. The voters will decide – in the end – that we’ve likely seen Hillary’s worst, and “it ain’t SO bad” (humans are the best rationalizers the universe ever created).
Trump’s a master salesperson, promoter, marketer. He really is. That’s what he does. It’s why he’s a billionaire. But this is one deal he won’t be able to close.

I don’t agree. For most independents, that could certainly be true, but here’s a few details that I would add. The biggest spoiler of independents is Gary Johnson, and he’s drawing primarily from Hillary. So is Jill Stein, who I rather like (just can’t stand her policies), though she’s also proving a safe place for many Sanders supporters.

If we had a different libertarian candidate, things could be different. McAfee would be trolling what little remained of the defeated GOP and Democratic party by now (bit of an exaggeration), because there’s such a seismic shift away from systemic corruption, from both sides of the aisle, and McAfee couldn’t have been accused of that. But without more major endorsements, Johnson just isn’t going to achieve anything, and many republicans are placing loyalty to the party above dislike for Trump, and so they see people like Romney as traitors.

More importantly, has Hilary EVER been in the public eye for any length of time without her approval rating plummeting? Nope. Every time she appears, we remember how much we can’t stand this bitch, and we marvel at the fact that she hasn’t fucked off yet. Unless Assange is an idiot (and he’s proven that he isn’t), he’s got enough material to throw a new controversy at Hillary regularly through to election day. As soon as one dies down, he throws out another. Each time, Hillary’s numbers go down just a bit more. As long as he’s telling the truth about how much content he has (and he’s never lied about this sort of thing before, and I’ve been following wikileaks since the Iraq diplomacy cables), Hillary is done. There’s just too much dirt, and recent leaks have revealed homophobia, racism, and all kinds of shit from top democrats. The left-wing media just is ignoring it, but social media is NOT.

i would need to see the demographics. perhaps social media has more of an impact than i appreciate. i still see a GOP that looks a lot like my grandparents, and they got their news from cbs, nbc, and abc. We know what their “news” looks like.

You’ll hear hard-core numbers people say elections are simple numbers – numbers that can be forecast. thus, elections contain no real surprises. I’ve seen the electoral college forecast over and over, and trump has a problem because the GOP has a problem. No republican is going to change the fact that Dems start with about 247 electoral votes, the GOP about 200. Trump can’t lose either Florida or Ohio. He must have them both. Could the Hispanic vote in Florida mean the difference? Could the Hispanic/Latino vote in general mean the difference? North Carolina is up in the air, as always, and its hispanic population has grown (where hasn’t it grown?) steadily since 2000.
do people vote for party or for people? I could make a case either way. You seem to be focusing on the impetus created by dislike for Hillary personally. will that cause people to stay home or vote differently?
Republicans have struggled with all minority groups, but especially the ever-growing Hispanic segment. Trump kicked that into mega-overdrive. It could be the difference, IMO. Interestingly, hispanics are not especially-motivated voters. Their turnout is less than other groups. But fear is a fantastic motivator – perhaps the best. And what do immigrants fear above ALL THINGS? Immigration “reform,” read: deportation. Talk of walls and shit certainly crystallized a segment of trump’s base, but likely didn’t bring him many new voters. But it absolutely, unequivocally cost him any/all chance of substantially improving the GOP’s standing with latinos.

wow. I came across this comment in a discussion regarding voter segments, demographics, specifically trump’s problem with Latinos. it made an immediate impact:

It is hard to imagine a white woman doing worse than a black man among white voters.
No, it’s not. And THAT may very well be the difference.
The context was comparing possible red/blue state alignment in 2016 with the election of 2008. the author suggests that because Obama won with only 37% of the white male vote, the outlook is good for Hillary. Only, he’s wrong. The average white American male likely MUCH prefers Obama to Hillary.

Just consider the fact that Sanders went even with Hillary while the media mostly ignored him. Or Ron Paul doing so well when the media COMPLETELY ignored him. And insulted him. In fact, the attached is one of my favorite images of the week.

If you’ve never seen Mike Judge’s Office Space, I really think you’d appreciate it. Lumberg… Man.

Johnson climbed to 10% from 5% riding on social media.

Research shows that a person hearing an idea three times from the same person has the same effect as hearing the idea from three different people. It also shows that we assess popularity based on our familiarity. It’s why fans of obscure anime shows think their pet is popular when it obviously isn’t. One of the greatest challenges as a modern human is learning of these psychological vulnerabilities and using that conscious awareness to defend it against them. It’s why I talk of the Dunning-Kruger Effect so often. That, and, once you learn of it, you’ll seriously see it everywhere.

In fact, this election is a wonderful example. The average American has no idea what would be good for the economy, health industry, diplomatic interests, terrorism, whatever. And that’s so obvious that no one will dispute the statement. Everyone knows that the average person knows nothing about any of these things, and everyone accepts that truth.

“Except me, of course. *My* ideas would CLEARLY be best.”

Last night I argued with a guy who called Trump a fascist. When I told him what a fascist is (someone who wants business to merge with the state while the state is revered as supreme), and pointed out that this obviously describes Hillary and Sanders (particularly Sanders) far more than Trump, he said something like “Well, Trump is a pumpkin and racist tyrant.”

The irony of insulting someone based on their skin color while calling them racist was too much for me to take.

He proceeded to talk about how Trump is a fascist, but using different words. Authoritarian, Nazi, etc. None of which are synonyms, of course, but my point is that he didn’t alter his worldview to accommodate the new information. He proceeded as though his position was just as valid as mine.

I helped put Obama into office (delusionally, I mean, since the popular vote doesn’t matter).

But she’s wrong, and I guarantee she’s not white. The average white person voted for Obama BECAUSE he was black, and it was that white guilt in action. Hillary doesn’t have that advantage.

Love Office Space. Gary Cole deserves an oscar for that performance. OMG he captured every sales manager in american business history. 

this is a quote from Michael Moore:
listen to Hillary and you behold our very first female president, someone the world respects, someone who is whip-smart and cares about kids, who will continue the Obama legacy
“…someone the world respects….” 
when someone with his visibility is THAT delusional, what are the chances of sanity ever prevailing. I mean, really…..
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Well, that hit 4300 words, so that’s probably enough.