Tag Archive | media

Timing is Everything — Media Manipulation Part 2

And the media clearly knows that.

Much of what I hear on Facebook these days–aside from North Korea bullshit–is stuff about families being broken up by Trump’s immigration policy, and his harsh deportations. Yet, in reality, Trump has deported fewer people than President Obama did. In both absolute numbers and averages, Obama deported more people than Trump. But because the media chose not to report on any of that, people now being exposed to it are under the impression that it’s a new thing, and that Trump/Republicans are to blame for this “uniquely” awful problem.

I just watched a popular libertarian page say that they wonder if Trump will claim responsibility for the famine that is going to be caused by the “entire fields being left to rot” because so many people have been deported that there’s no one to pick the crops. I’m not even kidding. Those are the headlines right now: “Entire Fields Left to Rot Because of Deportation of Illegal Immigrants.”

But that’s been the case for years. The corn field right across from me is going to rot again–an “entire field left to rot.” This happens all over the United States, because the government just pays people to plant the crop, and doesn’t really care if the crop is harvested or not. The media didn’t report on it, though. Now they have. The result? Predictably, everyone thinks this is a new thing, brought about by Trump “deporting so many people.”

Two absolute falsehoods. Old news, really. But because it’s only now being delivered, people are manipulated en masse into believing that Trump is responsible, and that his “singularly harsh deportation policy” is responsible.

It’s scary, really, that people are so easy to manipulate. Because, two years ago, fields not being picked wouldn’t have been newsworthy. It still isn’t, really, except that it can be used to promote an agenda.

I would have hoped, and expected, if I had the interest, knowledge, and awareness then, in the mid 90s that the upcoming age of social media would have prevented this sort of thing from happening. It doesn’t seem to have abated, though, because not many people are sharing these experiences, but I know from firsthand experiences, having friends all over the United States and having been across most of the United States, that “rotting fields” are not new, and neither are they caused by a lack of illegal immigrants to be paid under the table for picking the crops. It’s actually quite standard. In the eons of human history, it has never been especially common that an entire society’s fields would be successfully picked–anything from weather to war to earthquakes to wild animals could destroy a crop. Yet now it is Trump’s fault.

I talked yesterday about how the media and the state are able to determine what you and I discuss, and I want to point out that I’m not asserting the state and the media are colluding together to control the conversation. They don’t have to, because the media wants your attention. It doesn’t really matter why they want your attention. They do. To get your attention, they’re going to talk about things most likely to interest you, and those will be the sensationalized things. That lunatic who we have as Secretary of Defense saying that he’s willing to annihilate the North Korean people would qualify, of course.

Another way of manipulating people, though, is to just withhold information. It’s inevitable that information will be withheld, and this is just part of human nature. Right now, your senses are taking in far more information than your brain can process, so most of it gets discarded. This has, on many occasions, resulted in strange things happening. Perhaps the most common is “hitting one’s funny bone,” which occurs when one collides with something and has no expectation of it at all. Psychologists enjoy playing with these quirks of the human brain and nervous system, and there are even a few television shows that exploit it. In one, viewers are asked to count how many times a person wearing blue jumps rope. Viewers, focused on counting, didn’t notice the man walk by wearing a giant chicken costume, because their brain discarded that information.

The media functions the same way, especially in today’s hyper-connected society. I could, if I cared to, find out exactly what conditions are like on the ground in Portland, Oregon, right now. I could find out the weather, the local issues, and could probably peer inside of a local restaurant as though I was there. How many people each day post something on Twitter and hope that it goes viral? How many people have family members killed by cops and attempt to spread it on Facebook and Twitter each day (note: at least three, just in the United States)? Yet these stories rarely gain traction. Just this month, an estimated 30 people have been killed by police officers. How many of them have you heard about? Probably “none.”

This is because there’s just so much stuff happening that it can’t all be talked about. The bulk of it is discarded as uninteresting and not newsworthy. Three years ago, a few rotting fields of crops across the United States was discarded as uninteresting and not newsworthy. But now! Now that the media has spent months telling us the previously-neglected horror stories of families being broken up by deportation, there is yet another angle that can be worked to push that agenda: finally mention the fields that have been rotting for years, if not decades, and people will come to the conclusion that it’s a new phenomenon, simply because they hadn’t heard about it before.

It’s clever, on their part, because they can’t be criticized for choosing not to report on something before. Something has to be discarded, after all, just like police officers can’t chase after everyone speeding on the highway. They can only go after some of the people they see speeding, just like we can only process some of the information our brains receive. The problem with police officers it that they appear to have racist motivations when determining who to pursue and who to ignore, given that a disproportionate number of black Americans are harassed by police each day. The problem with the media is similar: they often choose what to report on and what to discard based on their own agenda.

That agenda is clearly to manipulate Americans into disliking Trump and, in particular, his immigration policy, despite the fact that the numbers don’t bear this out, which even left-wing news sources admit. They’re perfectly free to admit this without hurting their narrative, though, because these are cold, emotionless, facts-based stories of numbers. It’s the personal stories that matter. It’s their focus on Juan Hernandez being deported from his wife and kids after 19 years in the United States that grabs people’s attention and is embedded in their minds. Similarly, news stories that properly cite that more than half of people killed by police are white, and the other half are divided among black Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, middle Eastern Americans, and other Americans, have no impact, because the focus on the personal stories of black Americans who are killed by police do far more to construct the narrative than any raw numbers will.

Throw them a personal story that tugs at their heart strings, and it really doesn’t matter how many facts you throw out afterward that refute that personal story as an anomaly, or the agenda behind that personal story as flawed and biased. Once set, the narrative is set, and facts don’t change our minds.

Do I like Trump? No. I can’t stand Trump. Don’t take any of this as a defense of that buffoon.

Take it instead as a warning about manipulation. We must always be on guard against manipulation, because they are always trying to manipulate us.

Conversation Control

To a certain extent, we’re all reactionaries, because we react to news as it happens to provide–ideally–insights and perspectives that other people may not have considered. I think that definition, though, is a bit too limited, because many of us are using reactionism as a way of being proactive, contradictory though that seems, because there are underlying ideas that are being spread by the reactive writings. At the same time, many of these “reactionaries” I’m talking about are doing work on the ground that is certainly proactive, aimed at creating the circumstances instead of reacting to changing circumstances. I’m pretty sure this paragraph could be deleted without changing what I’m about to say much, but I’m going to leave it in anyway, because it’s still true: we’re all reactionaries.

That said, there’s one area where are reactionism is hindering us, especially libertarians and anarchists.

If we are to be free, we must stop allowing the government and other institutional authorities to set the agenda, to set the tone of the conversation, and to set the topic of the conversation. Last week–if you can believe it was only a week ago–it was Trump’s tweet about banning transgender and transsexual people* from military service. This week, it’s North Korea and the prospect of nuclear war. It should be interesting to note that both issues received similar levels of reactions: many Facebook posts, articles, and tweets, very little real activism. In fact, it’s just a lot of reactionism. We’re letting the government and other institutions decide what we’re talking about. Instead of advocating libertarian principles, we set aside what we want to discuss so that we can jump on the bandwagon and join the conversation that the government wants us to have. Scratch all the tweets, articles, and Facebook posts about Trump’s proposed ban on transgender/transsexual soldiers, and pencil in statements about North Korea. It seems pretty likely that you’ll find the same people have produced both sets of reactive tweets, with very few exceptions, and that, perhaps, the transgender ban received more attention than the North Korea one. However, the North Korea thing is still young.

How can we ever talk about freedom and the value of liberty if we’re jumping at the state’s beck and call to discuss whatever random issue they have landed on when they spun the Wheel of Reactionary Division? If the government can control what we’re talking about so effectively, there is no reason that it should ever stop doing so, because doing so gives us the breadth that we need to discuss liberty, sound money, non-aggression, rights, peace, and love–and the government doesn’t want that, because liberty, sound money, non-aggression, rights, peace, and love are ideas that can destroy governments.

Imagine that you own a multi-billion dollar company, and you treat your employees like crap, because they can’t work anywhere else–you have a monopoly in the area. Some of these employees are trying very, very hard, however, to form a union that would give them the leverage needed to fight for better standards, if not eliminate the people at the top altogether. How would you handle this? Ignoring morality (since not many of us would be so callous in the first place), would you just sit there and watch them unionize and take some of the power away from you?

Of course not. And one of the most effective weapons at your disposal is Conversation Control. Create scapegoats. Blame a small segment of the workers for the plight that everyone faces. “I know it’s bad,” you might say, “and it’s those migrant workers who are responsible. Being from poor countries, they don’t care if they can’t each afford to pay a car and house note with their wages. So they’re working for less, which drives down everyone’s wages. They’re the ones responsible.” Suddenly the workers are no longer talking about unionizing, because they’ve been divided into two camps: those who defend the migrant workers, and those who fell for the scapegoating. The conversation is no longer about unionizing. It’s about a manufactured enemy.

When that enemy expires, randomly pick another one–bonus points if the new enemy has never been encountered by any worker, and demonstrably poses the workers no threat at all, such as Isis or North Korea. They’ll stop talking about the harm being done to them because you’ve presented them with some imagined harm that is multitudes worse than what they’re already facing. To prevent that from coming to fruition, they’ll stop their talk of unionizing in order to prevent those evil, distant devils from making their situation worse. Once that problem is dealt with, of course–presuming it’s not an indefinite and eternal problem, like “terrorism”–their situation will certainly have gotten worse, and, as an added bonus, they’ll accept the worsened conditions as normal, as “the price we pay for protection from those external enemies.”

We are being manipulated en masse, and it is apparently pretty easily done. The masses are marionettes being made to dance and neglecting the dance that we want and need to perform. This has to stop. We have to begin ignoring the government’s attempts to change the conversation. We have to talk about the things that we want to talk about, not simply react to whatever they want us to discuss. Otherwise, they will always set the agenda, and Liberty will never be on that agenda.

* As a transsexual person, I don’t particularly care for how “transsexual” is being pushed out of the conversation by the same people who enjoy pointing out that gender and sex aren’t the same thing; therefore, “transgender” and “transsexual” aren’t the same thing. For months now, I’ve watched my allies push me and my type out of the conversation because they mistakenly have decided, as I once did, that “transgender” is a more palatable version of “transsexual.”  But that’s incorrect.

By the way, I would ask that you consider sharing and contributing to former libertarian vice presidential candidate Will Coley’s attempt to open an interfaith religious center in western New Hampshire, which you can find by clicking that link. New Hampshire, of course, is the home of the Free State Project, and contains, currently, the highest number of Libertarian state legislators.

Brothers and Sisters, We Don’t Have To Put Up With This Shit

Don’t get me wrong. I know the media doesn’t care about my trust. They’ve successfully polarized the nation into liberals and conservatives, and the result is that it doesn’t matter what a news outlet reports. Liberals will accuse conservative outlets of bias and untruthful reporting, and conservatives will accuse liberal outlets of bias and untruthful reporting. Each and every issue gets carved into two halves, and what the average American believes is far more dependent on their political views than anything that might resemble truth. Naturally, this leads to shocking amounts of hysteria and hypocrisy. One day, you have the left criticizing Wikileaks and leaks in general while the right praises them; the next, the right criticizes Wikileaks and leaks in general while the left praises them. One day, conservatives cheer for the committee investigating Hillary while liberals condemn it; the next, liberals cheer for the committee investigating Trump’s alleged Russian ties while conservatives condemn it.

While I do enjoy pointing out the glaring hypocrisy, I know that it does no good, because it requires self-awareness to identify one’s own hypocrisy, and if they had any self-awareness at all we wouldn’t be in this mess.

But we are in this mess, and the media has played the biggest role in making it this way.

I think it’s time for a public admission from liberal news elements like The Guardian, CNN, Huffington Post, and all the others that they knowingly terrorized the population to support their political agenda. Have we forgotten the post election headlines? The constant fear and doom mongering? The headlines telling us that we needed to be afraid, that Trump’s tweets made him the next Hitler. “The Republic repeals itself!” and articles from resident lunatic Jessica Valenti about how she’s going to tell her daughter that we elected a racist, misogynist bully. The non-stop spiel from people saying “I’m disabled–imagine what Trump is going to do to me!” The people stating publicly that it was just a matter of time before conversion centers were on every corner, and LGBTQ people were being rounded up and electrocuted?

This shit happened.

I mean, the stuff that those lunatics raved about most certainly did not happen. But the lunatics did scream about it. Bloody hell, you’d have thought that we just elected LITERALLY Hitler to the presidency from the news headlines making the rounds. “You’re not dead, and you’re not in hell. You’re awake. You’re alive. This is your life now,” stated Rachel Maddow, with all pretense of fairness long discarded. And hers is among the less egregious of the horrific things the media peddled about how we were all about to die. “How Donald Trump Will Wreck the World Economy” ran other headlines. It was disgusting.

And there has been no apology. No indication that they feel any remorse whatsoever for this blatant terrorism, this lying, this manipulation, and this deceit.

We’re not weeping in the streets while Trump and his rightwing death squads round up and kill all the LGBTQ people, while they put disabled people in the ovens and cook them alive, and while Muslims are sent to concentration camps. Nothing has changed. Your life is the same as it was a year ago; my life is the same as it was a year ago. Even Trump’s travel bans aren’t new; Obama did it several times. Nothing Trump has done is any different at all from anything Obama did or that Bush Jr. did. All in all, things are proceeding right along exactly as they have always been.

Just contrast it to the world we were warned about four months ago! Fuck, you’d come away from the headlines expecting the KKK Grand Dragon or whatever to be the next Supreme Court Justice. You’d think that slavery was about to return, that forced registration of LGBTQ people was just around the corner, and that we omg we’re all about to die. I heard from people who were literally cowering in their homes in fear.

And it was the media–it was 100% the media that created, stoked, exaggerated, and heightened that fear.

They terrorized huge chunks of the American population just months ago, and they did the same shit over Brexit. “The sky is going to fall!” they shouted. “The economy will collapse! Muslims will be rounded up and killed! Xenophobes will rule the nation! We’ll be sold into slavery! We’re all going to die!”

And, again, none of that fucking shit happened.

Here we are proceeding along normally, doing nothing about the months of terrorism that was just inflicted on us by institutions that are supposed to at least pretend to be unbiased and fair. No, man. Fuck that. Fuck this. We don’t have to put up with this shit. Hold these fuckers accountable for what they did. That’s not okay. That’s not acceptable. You can’t terrorize people into supporting your political agenda.

That’s not okay.

I don’t actually care whether the people who spread this terrorism actually believed the lunacy pouring out of their mouths. Maybe they did, and maybe they didn’t. Maybe they knew that there was no chance at all that LGBTQ people would be forced into conversion therapy centers. Maybe they knew that men weren’t going to be able to run through the streets grabbing random women by the pussy. Maybe they knew that disabled people weren’t going to be euthanized. Maybe they believed this insanity, and maybe they didn’t. It doesn’t matter.

Because it’s reckless, irresponsible, and downright dangerous. Anyone who has ever encountered any wild animal can tell you that the most dangerous animal is the one that has been backed into a corner. And that’s precisely what the media attempted to do: convince everyone that we had been backed into a corner and that death squads were on the way. Now that none of their psychotic prophecies have come to pass, and there is no indication that anything at all is going to change, it is well past time to hold them accountable for it, make them apologize, and make them rue the goddamned day they thought that they could get away with terrorizing us.

We don’t have to put up with this shit, and we shouldn’t put up with it.

Stand up and scream at them, “No! I am a human being, and you will not push me around!”

America, We Need To Have a Talk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes.

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

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

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

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

What do you even say?

What do you even say?

If These Are Your News Sources…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let us not forget that because Trump said this:

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

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

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

You can’t make this stuff up, man.

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

This happened repeatedly; it has been happening repeatedly.

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

Fake News and Real News

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

Projections

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

There were two, actually.

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

The Electoral College

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

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

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

Fakes News, Real News Projection 2

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

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

Whoever made this, thank you.

Whoever made this, thank you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m an Anarchist. What Do I Care?

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

The state isn’t going to dissolve itself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fellow LGBTQ People, Please

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

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

I Don’t Like Trump

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

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

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

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

How Virtue Signaling Usurped Genuine Empathy

The title is incorrect. This is not an article about how virtue signaling has usurped genuine empathy; it is, instead, a statement that it did, and, as always, I am going to provide examples of what I’m talking about. Stay with me for a bit, because some groundwork has to be laid first.

I wrote yesterday that libertarians are frequently told that we lack empathy. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever met a liberal who didn’t tell me at some point that I lack empathy. That’s a hell of a thing to say to someone who spends so much of their time and energy trying to do whatever they can to make society a better place, with more love and liberty for everyone. Telling a libertarian they lack empathy is like telling a Christian they lack Jesus.

Let’s be real for a moment. None of the stuff that happens “out there” affects me. My life is unchanged by the election, and it will remain unchanged as Trump takes office. The bitter war being fought between Republicans and Democrats because they refuse to come to an agreement and leave the other side alone has nothing to do with me. It doesn’t involve me, and I stand to gain nothing by wasting my time and energy writing articles trying to defuse the social bombs. It really doesn’t have anything to do with me, and my personal interests would probably be served better if I stoked the fires of hatred and let them rip each other apart, since my personal interests are what I like to call “being left the hell alone,” and I’m most likely to be “left the hell alone” if 95% of the population kills each other.

left-alone

It sounds horrible to say, of course, but that’s because it is a horrible thing to say. Well, not really. It’s a statement of fact, and we can’t let ourselves get into the habit of assigning values to statements of fact. “Two plus two is four” should never be considered a good or bad thing to say, because it’s simply a true thing to say, just as it’s true that if what I want is to be “left the hell alone,” then that’s best served by letting conservatives and liberals get back to their bloodbath. Even if they don’t kill each other, they’ll be so busy gouging out each other’s eyes that they won’t even be able to see me, so it’s win/win no matter what.

Though it’s not really a horrible thing to say, it would certainly be questionable if I allowed that narcissistic desire to govern my actions. That could lead to utterly unforgivable behavior, of course. If I was worried about being left alone, and that was my only worry, then it would make sense for me to kill everyone else. It would be a brazen lack of empathy for me to kill everyone else just because I wanted to be left alone.

How much more empathy is really involved, though, if, rather than killing everyone myself, I munched on popcorn while I watched everyone kill each other?

I was recently told that I lack empathy for this hispanic woman’s plight. She was huddling in fear, terrified of President Trump, and feared for her life. She is right, of course, to say that I feel no empathy for her plight, but that’s because her “plight” is a figment of her imagination, and it’s ridiculous. Not only is it ridiculous, I think most of America also thinks it’s ridiculous, and I think that’s why they elected Trump. I have enough empathy for these people to realize that they’re not to blame because they have been convinced that the monsters under their bed are real, just as I’m aware that my father and grandmother aren’t to blame for the religiously-motivated damage they did to me. Like me, they are victims of their own religiously-motivated damage, and they simply paid it forward because they didn’t know any better.

I’m not special. If anything, I was probably lucky to be at the right place at the right time with the right mindset at that particular moment to have my worldview challenged. I refuse to let myself think something like, “No, it’s still their fault, because they should have asked questions and challenged the worldview that they were taught to believe!” I refuse that, because that is a statement of arrogance itself. It places me into a tier of people who are particularly strong/intelligent/reasonable/whatever, and it leaves them behind, those dumb, ridiculous people who never challenge what they are told.

I refuse to believe that, just as I refuse to believe that I’m smarter than anyone else. I refuse to be governed by my ego, and, believe me, my ego doesn’t like that. Earlier today I emailed someone:

I forgot that I’m so awesome I set up K. to be able to access the program from anywhere even though [the people who made the program] said they didn’t think it would work.

I was, of course, joking but not really. It was awesome, and it was far from the first time I did something really awesome like that. But it wasn’t awesome because I’m special, and that’s why I’m okay with making jokes like that–it was awesome because I was in the right place at the right time with the right perspective and the right knowledge to do it. Anyone could have done it. I was simply the one who did.

Liberals have been in their echo chambers for so long that they’ve simply lost all perspective on everything. Look, I read an article earlier about how–and I am not kidding about this–college professors allowed their students who were so traumatized by Trump’s victory to skip mid-terms and instead spend the day laying in the floor, coloring, and playing with Play-Doh. It’s such an astounding thing that I thought it had to be from a satire news site. Then I decided that the professor had to have been trolling when he offered his class full of grown adults the opportunity to play like five year old children. However, I followed the trail until I came to the original post, and it may still not be true, given that it’s from a blog at the Wall Street Journal, but I’m betting it’s true, because I know some colleges have established “safe spaces” where they have coloring books and liquid for blowing bubbles.

Kinda lends an entirely new dimension to my statement that they’re little babies pitching a fit and trying to cry and get their mom to buy them the candy bar that she said they couldn’t have, doesn’t it?

It’s nothing short of astounding. All of the mockery we get for saying that universities have become pandering, expensive daycare centers, and this is what happens–at a university today, students laid in the floor, colored, and played with Play-Doh. But no, these aren’t grown man-children and woman-children.

I was told earlier to have empathy for the old women who wanted to live to see a female president. I was told this because I said to someone that I’d rather see gender not matter. Then this happened.

the-fuckThat is the post that made me realize that virtue signaling had replaced genuine empathy. See? It took me a while to lay the groundwork to get to the point, but I was getting here.

I was mistaken initially when I said that it’s not a matter of empathy. It is a matter of empathy, as I ultimately realized and stated at the end. There was something off about his reasoning. I initially was going to say that I felt bad for all the Magic: The Gathering fans who didn’t live to see the day that we elected a president who played MTG, but I deleted it a few times throughout the thread without ever sending it. That’s what it’s all about, though. If someone is caring about something that shouldn’t matter so much that they become dejected and depressed about it, then the position of empathy is not to express sympathy but to help them get past that so that they are no longer sad and upset.

Empathy drives you to help someone, without exception and without fail. If one is not driven to help, then it is Virtue Signaling and empty sympathy. Oh, that’s it. See, they don’t mean empathy. They mean:

empty-sympathySee, when we say “empathy” we mean it in its actual, literal sense: feeling compassion and having the ability to identify with other people. When they say it, they mean empty sympathy, and they say “empathy” as short-hand, the same way people say “lol” as short-hand for “that’s funny.”

That’s what this person meant. He said “empathy” by mistake, but at best he meant “sympathy.” I’m coming to the conclusion that “empathy” is the least understood word in the United States–literally. I say “literally,” of course, because “literally” is at least tied for that position. I use the word “literally” a lot, but I always mean it literally, and that’s where things get weird, because when people say “Trump is LITERALLY Hitler”–it is mandated in at least 17 states and the Dominican Republic that if you use the phrase “literally Hitler,” then the word “literally” must appear in all caps, of course–they don’t mean the word “literally” literally.

And when you find yourself writing that someone doesn’t use the word “literally” literally, it might occur to you that you have gone way past the point of return into the liberal’s head, and there’s no turning back now.

I present to you this hypothetical scenario. There is an old woman crying on the bench as she waits for the bus, mumbling to herself that she was really looking forward to seeing the first female president. You can:

A. Express sympathy and essentially cry with her.

B. Try to help her get past her sorrow by accepting that gender shouldn’t be a characteristic of significance when we assign values to things.

Which of these is genuine empathy? Which is virtue signaling?

It gets even worse if you remove this “empathy” from any real person and instead make a post on Facebook about it. That’s right. One now shows “empathy” by posting useless platitudes on social media. You know.

To help people who may or may not exist deal with being maybe or maybe not upset about something that may or may not be a problem but shouldn’t be anyway.

^ Empathy.

Empty sympathy.

What could possibly be a better expression of empathy than posting on Facebook to help people who may or may not exist?

They have been so confused for such a very long time that they don’t see how a group of adults laying in the floor and playing with Play-Doh is pathetic in at least seventeen thousand different directions all at once. If you asked me if I needed to take the day off to color in a coloring book and process the trauma of Trump winning the election, I would ask you to repeat that because I couldn’t hear you over the sound of your ovaries drying up. Then I would ask you at what age you were when you decided that being a pussy wasn’t enough, and that you wanted to be a fucking fag. Then, if you hadn’t been reduced to a crying mess in the floor trying to crawl to your safe space to blow bubbles, I would tell you to get your ass up and at least pretend to be an adult who is equipped to deal with the world.

Yet when we say that these people are children, we’re criticized. And there they are… playing with Play-Doh.

Their entire world is Orwellian. Black is white; white is black. Strength is weakness; weakness is strength. Obviously, this leads directly into the glorification of victimization. How could it not? If a person believes that strength is bad and weakness is good, they will immediately fall in love with the Martyr Complex. A victim is, to speak in the most general terms, a weak person who was harmed by a strong person. To them, the victim is the realization of the Uberman, a living embodiment of all the traits they admire; of course they would glorify victimization. To them, there is nothing more beautiful, precious, noble, and virtuous than a victim.

I have no idea how we can reach people who have spent so long in their own echo chambers that they’ve become that confused, but their ideal society is clearly one where the average person has to be protected from reality itself. That’s what happened with these people coloring and playing with Play-Doh as they cried. Brittle, special little snowflakes that have to be coddled and protected from absolutely anything and everything.

“Pet,” by A Perfect Circle, of course, was written regarding George W. Bush and his War on Terror. I wonder if Maynard–who by all accounts is a smart guy–has noticed that it’s far more appropriate if taken as a message from liberals than conservatives.

Pay no mind to what other voices say. They don’t care about you like I do.

That could straight-up be Hillary Clinton referring to Wikileaks and its alleged “Russia” ties.

I don’t know what to do, guys. All of my personal interactions with liberals, as well as what I see in the media, suggest that they are hopelessly lost. The reality check that will come when Trump becomes President despite their hissy fit will not be anywhere near enough to begin pulling them back from the cliff they’ve marched up to. They dream of a world where the government does everything and solves all problems, where they are totally relieved of individual responsibility, where they are all victims and the precious government protects them from everything, where everything they want is provided to them free of charge and the entire working class becomes their slaves–to stop those wicked slaves from oppressing them. They want that. They need that.

They believe this shit so fervently that they want middle America to die.

death-to-dissenters

I’m starting to think I was far too generous in my message to liberals.

Their worldview is dependent upon the idea that middle America is racist, homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic, and all that other crap, and that middle America is a bloodthirsty tyrant-in-waiting who must be held on a tight leash at all times, because otherwise they will LITERALLY set up death camps. This is the lie that justifies all of their other crap.

Maybe it’s not too late. Maybe having the person they consider LITERALLY Hitler in charge and having none of that shit happening can get through to them and make them realize that they’re jumping at shadows that aren’t even there because, despite what they imagine to be happening in their heads, they’re actually sitting in darkness and playing with Play-Doh like children while the world goes on outside their self-imposed isolation chamber, leaving them totally oblivious to everything that’s happening because they want to be protected from it.

Jurnalizm

A few days ago, I watched the American media and the two leading presidential candidates stumble in confusion over whether or not they were allowed to call an explosive device a “bomb.” I watched Trump be criticized for using “the b-word” and then I watched Hillary, mere seconds after criticizing Trump for it, call the thing a “bomb,” and I watched the media frantically dance around and try to paint one incident or the other in a better light.

This election, I’ve seen CNN edit videos so that a young girl who explicitly calls for violence and the burning down of white people’s homes instead sounds like she’s advocating peace; in other words, they flipped her message 180 degrees, quietly issued an apology through a nobody affiliate on Twitter, and then buried the truth. I’ve watched CBS edit interviews with Bill Clinton to cut out things that they didn’t like, and then, as CNN did, hide behind the same bullshit “We edited it for the time allotted… It’s just an unfortunate coincidence that we cut out something that would, by itself, have been newsworthy.”

I’ve watched the Washington Post, which rode the tail of the leak to win journalism awards, turn around and condemn Edward Snowden with an editorial that argued he shouldn’t be pardoned. I’ve watched a presidential candidate’s son comparing Syrian refugees to a bowl of Skittles where some of them are poisoned, only to have someone stupidly respond, “Are you suggesting that we eat refugees?”

And, most remarkably, after following the analogy of Trump’s son (which we could discuss, and whether or not it is fitting) with such a horrendously dumb-ass remark, the idiot didn’t go and bury himself for the crows to come and feast on his eyes.

What in the hell has happened?

I’m too young to remember a time when journalists gave a shit about the truth. As long as I’ve been an adult, journalists have had angles, and the closest I’ve ever come to believing in the fairness of a journalist was just before Anderson Cooper got his own show on CNN. Prior to that, I thought he was just a guy trying to do what he thought was decent.

The entire thing is a game, as the alt-right has made clear. These people like Milo Yiannopoulos–they don’t believe the racist shit they say. They are professional trolls, and they’re good at it. There is overwhelming evidence of this. They are playing a game, and they know that they are playing a game, and that’s okay, because they’re good at it. When I see national news networks editing interviews and videos to drastically alter the message, it seems inescapable that it’s not just the alt-right that is trolling.

It’s the entire media.

It says a lot that one of the Tweet responses that Trump’s song received and that was broadcasted at Raw Story is the one that stupidly asks, “Are you proposing we should eat refugees?”

Motherfucker, do you have a brain?

I would be ashamed to say something like that. And while this person (gods willing) doesn’t appear to have been a journalist, it’s hardly important, because this is the world journalists have created, by pulling shit exactly like that.

Social media could have helped, but we immediately turned to the algorithms to protect us and create our own echo chambers. Go to any Trump supporter’s Google News feed, and you’ll find it filled with pro-Trump articles. Go to any libertarian’s Facebook page, and you’ll find their feed conspicuously missing pro-Hillary people.

They attempted to address this by leaving their algorithms “context-neutral.” That is, the algorithm doesn’t care if you liked a video or disliked a video; the algorithm doesn’t care if you +1’d a post, Liked a post, or left a scathing comment. Did you interact with the post? If so, posts like that are added to the “stuff you’re interested in” pile and become more likely to be served to you. This doesn’t help the issue with people being exposed to contradicting information; it only ensures that we have two types of echo chambers: those filled with circle jerks, and those filled with angry yelling.

The only way to fix this is to consciously look for the things you don’t want to see. Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Youtube all exist to help you find the things that you do want to see. This isn’t a problem–it’s what they exist to do, after all. But more and more these are important tools of communication, spreading the DNC Leaks even as the media attempted to ignore them, revealing the truth of the video edits even as major networks obviously tried to hide them, and giving us a way to communicate directly, in a p2p way, bypassing the server altogether.

Social media networks were not made to accommodate that, though, and so the onus falls to us to destroy our own echo chambers. This is all the more difficult because half of everyone is lying, and the other half is stupid. You can’t rely on Facebook because it will serve you memes that are demonstrably false, because no one is willing to take ten seconds out of their day to fact check the damned thing–If it’s on the Internet, it must be true.

I’ve written about this before, and how, in the long-run, the prospects for American society are extremely bleak. We are all racing to the desert to bury our heads in the sand, and we’re somehow totally unaware that we’re doing. We are just a few decades from people who will go their entire lives without ever hearing the words “presidential election.” Such a bizarre thing to imagine today, I know. But just apply what we’ve discussed here and look forward.

These algorithms aren’t going anywhere. In fact, they’ll only get better.

How can you express an interest in something that you don’t know even exists? That is the question that will bury our heads in the sand and leave us firmly under the grip of a ruling elite; it is precisely what will make us the disinterested proles of Orwell’s 1984. Furthermore, it is exactly what these algorithms will produce. It’s not simply journalism that is the problem; the problem with journalism is that it’s merely a reflection of American values.

And these are American values:

_20160920_101105

It’s actually worse than this. The first article is about the recent American bombings. The second article is about Trump’s response to it. The third, we finally get to the horrendous state of affairs in Syria–which deserves its own article, but I don’t have time for that right now. The fourth, an article about how George H. W. Bush is voting for Hillary. Fifth, an article about the wage gap that is probably 99% bullshit and 1% outright lies. I say this because the preview here cites the wage gap for women at around 19%, while research shows 1.9% would be much more accurate (but still too high in most industries).

This isn’t how humans were meant to live.

Isn’t it time we took back the world from these psychopaths and trolls?

That is the state. The other people were our parents and grandparents, who set up this world in the fucked state that it’s in, and we inherited it without questioning it. Just like they did, we started standing up when the bell rang. We didn’t ask “Why?” and we didn’t consider remaining seated. We just blindly followed them, doing what they did, even as the entire planet was engulfed in war. It’s so bad that I’ve heard people characterize this state of affairs as “world peace.”

No, really. I’ve been asked on Quora, “Isn’t Donald Trump a threat to world peace?”

A threat to–

A THREAT TO WORLD PEACE?! ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!

What the hell part of the world is at peace? If this is what world peace looks like, then it is my deepest hope that someone will rise up and threaten it. But, like everyone else, he isn’t thinking, the person who asked that question. He’s just standing up when he hears the bell, just like his pappy and grand pappy did.

And we have the power to change it overnight, almost instantly, simply by wanting to. We just have to stop standing for the fucking bell.

Addendum

It’s pointless, isn’t it? I just scrolled through my Facebook feed, and this is what I found:

I’m stunned.

I’m fucking stunned.

Americans spent the weekend dealing with the bombs of a Muslim terrorist.

The Cease Fire in Syria was Dead on Arrival.

Americans killed nearly a hundred Syrian “allies.”

Syrian “allies” killed dozens of UN humanitarian workers.

BUT ANGELINA AND BRAD ARE DIVORCING OMG OMG OMG OMG

That is Demonstrably False

Oh. Wow. Is this delusion or confusion?

omfg

That rather delicious comment was posted as a comment to my latest video, 7 Reasons To Vote For Gary Johnson:

Even though I addressed this guy’s comment literally in the video that he commented, I’m going to do it again, because I enjoy banging my head on brick walls that I know will break my skull before I penetrate the barricade. So, without further adieu, what the fuck is this guy talking about?

Gary only polling at 10% because Gary Isn’t a True libertarian is also speculation same as McAfee polling at 40% because he is a true Libertarian.

Yes, I pointed that out in the video. That was seriously the entire point that I was driving at. I explicitly said in the video that it’s just baseless speculation to say that McAfee would be polling at 40% by now. This is not the first time I’ve had to tell someone in the past few days that I’m a few steps ahead of them, but yes, dude, I’m a few steps ahead of you here. I said that. I explicitly said that. You’ll find it in Reason #5. Your attempt to undermine my statement is null, because I already undermined my own statement.

McAfee would have been put away by the media as a crazy nut job even worse then Ron Paul was you must know that right?

What an interesting thing to say in an election cycle that gave us Donald Trump, who has spent the better part of the past year being crucified by the media and social media. Hardly a day goes by that we don’t see stories from the media about how crazy Trump is, and it’s been going on for a long time now. Trump has been compared to Hitler ad nauseum, has been derided as juvenile, has been mocked as infantile, has been criticized as naive, has been insulted as a megalomaniac, and this has been going on for a year. Donald Trump has faced criticisms far worse than anything that McAfee would face.

Yet Donald Trump is polling around 40%–four times higher than Gary Johnson. You assert that the media would write him off as a crazy nut job if McAfee had won the nomination. So? Donald Trump has proven, beyond any doubt, that if you propose ideas that people like, then the media cannot derail you. And while it’s true that the media mocked Ron Paul, it was not the mockery that hurt him. As I and others have explained, it was that the media ignored Ron Paul that hurt him. In so many ways, neglect is worse than contempt, and Donald Trump’s success has roundly proven that to us.

So this statement may be true, but is completely irrelevant.

I think you are wrong about the Libertarian party being the Next Republican party.

Well, I think I’m right.

As I explained in the video, without libertarian principles, there is nothing that distinguishes the Libertarian Party from being a Republican Party that actually walks the walk that it talks. The GOP has long been criticized for wanting small government unless the government being big will help their causes, at which point the principle of small government is discarded. I’ve written about this myself. If the Republican Party actually adhered to the ideas that it has been proposing, rather than partially adhering to those ideas, and then ignoring them in their desire to push their morality onto others, then the Republican Party wouldn’t be in this mess.

Now we have a Libertarian Presidential Candidate who demonstrably wants to push his morality onto others, but who otherwise wants small government when he is indifferent toward something. The only difference here is that the majority of Americans are okay with discrimination being illegal. I would remind you, however, that might is not right, and that it doesn’t matter of 99.99999999% of humans are okay with criminalizing discrimination; it would not make it morally right to do so. Morality is subjective, and libertarianism demands only that people abide one basic moral maxim universally:

It is morally wrong to initiate force, violence, and coercion.

That is the only moral maxim that libertarians are required to abide. Everything else is up for grabs, and you will find libertarians who disagree greatly on what is morally good, what is morally bad, and what is morally neutral. We have Johnson’s preference for outlawing something that is subjectively determined to be morally bad (discrimination), but outlawing something that is subjectively morally bad is a violation of the universal moral maxim, because the only way to outlaw something is to use force, violence, and/or coercion to put a stop to it.

I would redirect you to my remarks about groups and individuals, particularly to my podcast on businesses, because you must remember that there is no such thing as discrimination.

What we are actually talking about here is an individual choosing with whom they associate and with whom they do not associate. They may choose not to associate with another individual, or they may decide that they don’t want to associate with people who have x characteristic. It is not our business what criteria someone uses to determine who they want to associate with. Someone may not want to associate with red-heads, with transgender people, with homosexuals, with Muslims, with black men, with fat people–it’s not our business, and it is not our place to tell other people who they should associate with, or what criteria they should use in determining who they associate with.

I say this quite a lot, but that I have to explain this simple thing to a self-professed libertarian is truly… truly horrifying.

If a woman was repeatedly abused by bearded men as a child and teenager, and goes on to own a business where she decides that she doesn’t want to do business with bearded men, this would, in your worldview, be an act of discrimination against bearded men. You would tell her that she is not allowed to do that, that she is not allowed to choose who she associates with and who she shuns. You would tell her that she must associate with bearded men, whether she likes it or not, and you will put a gun to her head and force her to do what you want her to do.

I am stunned that you don’t see this travesty as a problem.

If, however, you do see a moral outrage in the previous paragraph, I would urge you to replace “bearded men” with any other group or category of people, and replace the reason with literally any other. The type of discrimination should be irrelevant to your worldview, as should the reason. Regardless of why someone wants to discriminate, and regardless of who they want to discriminate against, you must hold that it is wrong of them to do it, and that they must be forced to not do it.

Otherwise you are being sexual orientationist, racist, misogynistic, misandristic, or sexist. How?

If you would allow bearded men to be discriminated against, but not LGBT people, then you are placing LGBT on a higher pedestal than bearded men; you are treating them differently based on their sexual orientation. To treat someone differently based on their sexual orientation is, of course, sexual orientationist. It follows that if you are against LGBT discrimination, you must be against discrimination against bearded men.

know Gary Johnson isn’t a 100% true Libertarian but we are all hoping a moderate candidate can make way for a True Libertarian running in the Future.

Holy fuckballs, I’m tired of hearing this one.

I’ve addressed it… so many times… including in my most recent video about Gary Johnson:

There is a clear failure to think in this argument. As I’ve explained repeatedly, the people who are impressed by Gary Johnson and “becoming libertarians” because of him are not learning about libertarianism. They interpret “libertarianism” to be the warped mess of “fiscally conservative, socially liberal” bullshit that Johnson is peddling. Four years from now, these same people will be on the Internet, at the LNC, on the news, etc., talking about what a great libertarian Gary Johnson is.

If people were coming into the Libertarian Party and being universally encouraged to learn about its principles, to be exposed to people like myself, to Thomas Knapp, to John McAfee, to Daryl Perry, etc., then it wouldn’t be a problem. Johnson, however, is the one informing them of what a libertarian is, and he is not telling them what libertarianism is. They are learning what libertarianism is from the Libertarian Presidential Candidate.

It seems obvious, right?

Assume that you know nothing about the Libertarian Party, and then suddenly you see Gary Johnson talking his “fiscally conservative, socially liberal” stuff, and you think, “Wow! That’s perfect!” Just like that, you’ve come to believe that a libertarian is someone who is “fiscally conservative, socially liberal.” Imagine that you then go on to join the Libertarian Party, and four years later you are presented with five or six choices of who to nominate for the party, so you apply what you know of libertarianism, and you choose a candidate who is “fiscally conservative, socially liberal,” probably Gary Johnson himself (Good god, do I hope not, but I’m starting to wonder if we’ll have another Johnson candidacy in 2020, and that would cause me to give up hope on the party), or someone like Rand Paul.

In a very real way, Gary Johnson is the face of the Libertarian Party. To the masses, Gary Johnson’s policies are the policy of the Libertarian Party. Their education on what libertarianism is begins and ends with Gary Johnson. The more popular Gary Johnson becomes, the further away we get from ever being able to nominate a “true libertarian.” This… is… obvious. Because the same people we’re talking about will still be here four years from now, eight years from now, twelve years from now… and they’ll still be outnumbering us and refusing to listen because we’re chastised, mocked, derided, insulted, and considered heretics for pointing out that this “moderate” shit is un-libertarian.

I don’t want to argue with you, Ronald, because you know that I’m correct. Your contention is that it’s necessary to choose pragmatism over principle. I dispute that, but don’t make the mistake of thinking I don’t understand it. I fully understand it. I fully understand why you and others have done it. My gripe is not necessarily with you.

My gripe is with the people who don’t know that I’m correct. My argument is with the people who say that Johnson is a libertarian. My contention is directed at the people who think I’m a lunatic for saying Johnson isn’t a true libertarian. My issue is with people who say that I’m wrong about libertarianism. My ire is directed at people who say I don’t know what I’m talking about when it comes to liberty. My arguments are directed primarily at the people who say that I don’t understand libertarianism, who came into the party as former Republicans and believed Johnson’s spiel is libertarianism.

You and I both know that Johnson is not a libertarian. You assert that we must use him as a stepping stone to having an actual libertarian. I dispute that, too, don’t get me wrong. I certainly argue against that idea. But my ire is not directed at you. You and I have a difference of opinion. I and those people who think libertarianism is “fiscally conservative, socially liberal” have a difference of fact. And, most dangerously, they adamantly refuse to listen, and they will not entertain the possibility that they are wrong, because, as I’ve said, they think they know: they think they can “feel” their way to libertarianism, they think that it’s common sense, and they think that they know what they’re talking about.

It is, once more, the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

Gary will just warm the American people to that idea.

But… he won’t. He isn’t, he hasn’t, and he won’t. This is… demonstrably false, man. This is completely untrue. The stuff that Gary Johnson is warming people to is not libertarianism, as you yourself know and admit. We “true libertarians” (a phrase that I don’t care for, to be honest, because one either is a libertarian or one is not) will continue to be outliers, looneys, and heretics. Our own party is currently calling us crazy lunatics, treating us like heretics. I’ve seen “libertarians” say that people like me should be thrown in the Gulag! While the person was obviously being hyperbolic, the fact remains that “people who disagree with me should be thrown in prison” should never come out of a libertarian’s mouth, even as a joke, and we all know that there was some underlying grain of truth to his “joke.” The statement “it was just a joke” does not mean there is no nugget of sincere belief behind it. After all, my grandfather makes lots of racist jokes, and he could say “They’re just jokes,” too.

Imagine how the rest of America is going to treat us “true libertarians” if our own party is calling us crazy lunatics.

On top of that, read my previous points and watch my videos. Johnson is not warming people up to libertarianism, because libertarianism is not what he is exposing people to.

And even Rand paul son of the Great Ron Paul knew he had to sell out many of his ideals to be electable.. Try to see the big picture…
No, no, sir. I am asking you to see the big picture. I think the problem here is that you are only seeing a very small picture. You are not looking at how this is going to affect libertarian principles moving forward, how “libertarianism” is being redefined by Gary Johnson and his supporters. The ideology is being overwritten with Johnson’s “fiscally conservative, socially liberal” inanities, and the Johnson supporters who loudly and explicitly refer to us as raving lunatics, cry babies, whiners, and sore losers are participating in the destruction of libertarianism. It has been usurped and replaced in the eyes of most people by the ideas of Johnson. And with more and more “libertarians” refusing to admit that we’re right about libertarianism and instead asserting that they are the ones who are right about it and that we are crazy outliers, how do you justify this contention that the big picture is being helped?
Quite the opposite: the big picture entails the destruction of libertarianism.

On an Entirely Different Note
Seventeen-year-old YouTuber Amos Yee is being tried in Singapore for offending religious people. Yes, for speaking out against Christianity and Islam on his Youtube Channel, Amos Yee has been charged with eight offenses. I would certainly say that he needs our help, but there is nothing we can do. I would love to begin a petition at Change.org, but that would have no effect beyond showing solidarity, and I think something like this would be more effective. This young man’s life is being wrecked by his government because he refuses to abide the horrors committed by these religions on children and throughout the world.
Consider this a Call To Arms to spread awareness of his plight in Singapore, and how he is highly likely to be sentenced to 1-3 years of prison for speaking out against religion, and for “offending” religious people. This is absolutely atrocious, and we might like to think that something like this could never happen in the United States, but… it happened in Australia. Similar things have happened in European countries–it is illegal in Germany to question whether the Holocaust happened, for example. We like to think that we’ve “evolved” past stuff like this, but we are never more than a single mistake away from falling back into it.
We must stand together here. #FreeAmos
It seriously bothers me that the editor at Breitbart Milo can be banned from Twitter, at which point “FreeMilo” will trend for days, but when a young man is arrested and charged with offending religious people by exercising his inherent right to free speech, mum is the word. So there is your tag: #FreeAmos. Put it everywhere. Raise awareness. Just maybe we can build enough awareness that someone with the authority to do something actually does something about this tragedy.