Tag Archive | news

A Letter to Glenn Beck

While doing my usual “scroll through Facebook to make sure the world still exists” thing this morning, I stumbled across two interesting things from the very same source: The Blaze. For those who don’t remember, The Blaze is a cable news network started by former Fox host Glenn Beck, a Mormon with a decently good head on his shoulders, but with a lot of socially conservative leanings that I can’t get on board with. Conservatism, as we understand it in the U.S. today, conflicts with itself–they want “small government,” except that they want the government to impose social conservatism.

First I saw this well-phrased, well-written emotional appeal to the American public to stop the divide, to reach across the aisle, and to heal the country:

Well, I’m sorry, Glenn, but you don’t get to be the Voice of Reason right now.

I’ve noticed many people on the left and right pulling this schtick, where, after years, if not decades, of peddling divisiveness and hysteria (remember The Blaze and Michelle Bachman’s attempts to link President Obama to the Muslim Brotherhood?) and then, when you see that the mess you’ve been creating is getting ready to implode or explode, pull a 180 and try to take the highroad, saying, “We have to stop this!”

You. We have to stop you.

You, Glenn Beck. You, Rachel Maddow. You, Milo Whateveranis. You, The Young Turks. You people now trying to act like this mess isn’t of your making–you are the ones who must be stopped, because this mess is of your making.

This random guy being attacked by his own allies because of his appearance? You created this. You paved the road here, you sat us down in the vehicle, and you drove along that road until we reached this point. You did it knowingly and deliberately, to boost your ratings, and now you’re saying “No, we shouldn’t be divided. We’re all humans”? Where was that spiel when you were trying to link Obama to the Muslim Brotherhood?

You monsters did this. You created the circumstances, you lied, you manipulated the facts, and you misled everyone, waiting to release critical information until the most opportune moment, and this hysteria that you’ve created is a direct result of all of that. I wrote about how the news purposely and deliberately withheld information about rotting farms across the country until the most opportune time, and they decided that time was when they could blame it on Trump’s immigration policies instead of droughts, wildfires, and government interventions paying farmers to grow crops regardless of whether the crops survive. All of this has been happening for years. But now that the media can blame it on Trump and ask if he’s going to claim responsibility for the famine–because, yes, people really are that hysterical–we hear about it.

And what about the fact that critically important news items seem to pop up and vanish just as quickly, keeping the masses in a paralytic state of paranoid fear? This was the entire point of your attempts to link Obama to the Muslim Brotherhood. You know it, I know it, and everyone knows it. You rode that “Obama is a Muslim Kenyan” line every bit as hard as Donald Trump. In fact, I lost a longtime friend with whom I used to play in a rockband, because of his constant peddling of Glenn Beck bullshit, telling me that I needed to be afraid of the Muslims who were infiltrating our government. You did that, Glenn. You took over his mind and replaced his rationality with fear by exploiting his vulnerabilities.

And now you want to say “We’re all humans”?

No, because you’re not. You’re not a human. You’re an immoral monster. You’re a disgusting, mutant salesman obsessed with your sales numbers, and you didn’t give a damn how much damage you cause to humans while you attempt to sate your ravenous hunger.

The alt-right for years, Glenn–for years has been calling Obama a Muslim and a Kenyan hellbent on destroying America from within. If that sounds familiar, it’s because you have a documentary that asserts that very thing. You can’t just distance yourself from it now that it’s grown beyond your control, because you planted the seeds that became that tree. And you’re still doing so, you slimy toad.

What is this shit, Glenn? That article was released yesterday. Yesterday, Glenn! On your website.

This diehard, rightist propagandist, wacky, inaccurate, nonsensical article propagating the notion that transsexualism is a new thing that should be condemned rather than allowed appeared yesterday, 24 hours ago, on your website. And now you want to say “We’re all humans”? What about transsexuals like me, Glenn? Are we “all humans” too? Because this article on your website from yesterday suggests otherwise. “Trans people should get back in the closet and shut up,” is what this article from yesterday on your website asserts.

You want to dance in Romulan territory while proclaiming your neutrality, and it doesn’t work that way. Libertarians are in the neutral zone. You, though? You cast your lot with the Romulans a long time ago, just as the leftists cast their lot with the Federation. And I’m over here like, “No… Why did we let people like Glenn Beck push this to the point of war?”

Because you did, Glenn. You and the leftwing media both. You did this.

Now we jump from war with Syria (which, it’s time to confess, we are fighting) to war with North Korea to trans military bans to Nazis to possible trade wars with China to raging anarcho-communists in the blink of an eye. You won’t let people sit down and take a deep breath and remind themselves that “We’re all humans,” because you’re too busy peddling fear trying to keep their eyeballs glued to their television screen and listening to you prattle on about Obama’s ties to the freaking Muslim Brotherhood.

You don’t have the right to stand there and appeal for calm now, Glenn. Neither you, the Nazis, or Antifa have the right to do that. You’ve all taken your sides. Maybe you didn’t have the foresight to see where it would go. Maybe you didn’t realize what you were doing. I could accept that. But you’re still responsible for his mess. You can’t just pretend like that isn’t true. If you want to call for calm and unity now, that’s great–you can join the call of libertarians and anarcho-capitalists who have been calling for calm, liberty, tolerance, and love for years. At this point, though, you’re tainted by the circumstances you’ve created, and you owe the world an apology if you want to change your tune now.

You directly contributed to this. In fact, wasn’t it because you wanted more leniency to say wild, speculative things that you formed The Blaze in the first place? And you continue to dance in the redzone of conservatism–the very same redzone that created the alt-right that morphed into Neo-Nazism, as that lunatic article from yesterday shows. Of course, trans people have always existed, Glenn. The only question was whether we had to pretend otherwise, or whether we could embrace it. Through most of human history, it was “pretend otherwise.” This led to many suicides and many problems–like with a guy you may have heard of named J. Edgar Hoover.

If you want to appeal for calm, that’s great, but you’ve got to extract yourself from either side. You have to get out of the left versus right paradigm entirely, or you’re not appealing for calm. You’re appealing for victory for your side. “Conservatives have the high-road because conservatives are calling for calm… It’s the leftists who are calling for violence still.”

You made this bed. Either set it ablaze or lie down in it.

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.

Rantings & Ravings Rebooted Ep 03 – “Gays & Justice”

Intro (0:00)

General conversation about stuff.

News 1 (2:33)

Gay couple in Norway attacked by Moroccans, and reflections on the Pulse Shooting, as well as the fact that we’re not able to fix a problem if we aren’t allowed to discuss it. Also the mess in Syria, why Trump thinks it’s okay to create more terrorists, and the clusterfuck state of American foreign policy.

Stupid Comment of the Week (10:06)

A “former AnCap” who left the ideology because… he couldn’t envision a way for the ideology to come to fruition…? It was really hard to make sense of his ramblings, and this is from someone who rambles a lot. So we discuss various ways in which the radical ideology of non-violence could be implemented, and mention again that beautiful event during World War 1.

News 2 (23:52)

There actually isn’t a second news item this week. I had one, but deleted it to instead talk about the fact that we shouldn’t have this much shit to discuss in the first place, and how it’s an indication that something has gone awry. My anarchism doesn’t come out often (much of the time, I could be mistaken for a libertarian), but here it really shines through.

Are You Fucking Kidding Me? (36:37)

Skittles’ attempt to show solidarity with a rainbow-oriented group by… removing all colors from their candy…? What? I’m far from a Social Justice Warrior, but they have a point. Removing all color doesn’t show support; it shows antagonism, morons. “I’m going to show my support for the women’s march by waving my dick around!” What? No, it doesn’t make sense. A candy with the slogan of “taste the rainbow” removing all its colors to show “support” for a group whose emblem is the rainbow is, at the very least moronic, and that’s assuming it wasn’t meant as a snub of LGBTQ people in a society that wouldn’t tolerate it.

Darkside Philosophy (40:53)

Justice and AnCap principles–most people don’t mean “justice” when they say it. They mean “vengeance.” So I talk a bit about my murdered mother and how I might have justice over it. Spoiler Alert: the only way for me to have justice is to forgive the murderer. The conceit that it’s okay to inflict violence on someone because they used violence is called Eye For An Eye, and it’s not justice; it’s revenge.

Gorsuch, Life, and Church/State Separation

A lot of people, even some Libertarians, seem perfectly happy with the selection of Gorsuch to join the Supreme Court, and most of the praise stems from a few basic things. I’m going to take them in reverse order (from what would be logical), though. First, then, is his probable pro-choice positions.

Though Gorsuch has never ruled one way or another on abortion, statements in his book that “Human life is intrinsically valuable,” which were made regarding assisted suicide and euthanasia (I can’t help but wonder if he applies the same statement to the death penalty, though), have been extrapolated and assumed to apply to abortion.

This means that in the last few days, I’ve seen “Libertarians” praising Gorsuch and hoping that this civil issue can find its way back to the Supreme Court so that the Federal Government can further regulate abortion. *sigh*

Anyway, whether he is pro-life or would send the matter back to individual states isn’t much of a concern to me right now. The bigger concern is this notion that “Human life is intrinsically valuable,” which forms a basis for his legal rulings, and as such constitutes a violation of the separation of church and state. It’s subtle, but it’s a violation all the same.

If I were to say “All life, plant and animal, is intrinsically and equally valuable as human life,” no one would have a hard time noticing the heavy religious (Hindu, specifically) overtones. It wouldn’t be a matter of debate. If I was a federal judge and went on to make rulings on that basis (such as outlawing the eating of meat by arguing it is murder), there would be widespread protests about how I’d be violating the separation of church and state by ruling based on my personal religious beliefs.

Though it’s generally shared by most Americans, even non-religious ones, penetration into the cultural zeitgeist and widespread acceptance doesn’t turn a religious idea into a non-religious one. We can argue the NAP, make a utilitarian argument, or use some other argument in favor of pro-life, but we can’t make a religious one in a federal court.

Human life is not intrinsically valuable. In fact, nothing is. A thing’s value does not exist independently of the person observing it and assigning the value. We can easily see the fallacy by applying it to anything else.

  • Steaks are intrinsically valuable.
  • Television is intrinsically valuable.
  • Planets are intrinsically valuable.

Now, if I know the types of people I’m thinking about, they’re reading this, shaking their heads, and mumbling, “You can’t compare LIFE to television and steaks! This is… This is existence! The gift of life! Human life! It can’t be compared to a steak!”

Right… Because they’ve decided that life is intrinsically valuable, for no reason other than that they think it is, and so it’s “obviously” different from these other things. It’s a circular position; they can’t see that life’s “intrinsic value” is fairly compared to the “intrinsic value” of television, because they’re starting from the assumption that life is intrinsically valuable.

“I have ten red jelly beans, and they’re automatically better than other jelly beans,” A said

“That’s silly. I have ten green jelly beans, and they’re just as ‘automatically better’ than other jelly beans,” said B.

“No, because red jelly beans are automatically better, so they can’t even be compared to those other ones,” replied B.

This is an issue, and I don’t think supreme court justices should start from the basis of a religious belief to decide an issue.

The Constitution

Much fuss has been made about Gorsuch’s position on the Constitution, that it must be interpreted in a way that common people of the day of its writing would have understood it, which is a common sense position. I’ve seen even more Libertarians excited about this than the prospect of his being pro-life.

I’d be excited, too, if I was delusional enough to think that the Constitution has any bearing at all in the modern United States, but it doesn’t. The Constitution hasn’t meant anything in decades–more than a century to be honest.

Having a branch of the government assigned the duty of determining whether or not the government has the legal authority to do something is “intrinsically” flawed. We might as well go ahead and accept that internal police investigations will be the sole deciders in whether an officer acted unlawfully.

At absolute minimum, here we need to take a lesson from the British, although instead of having a dual parliament (which we sort of have, but in a somewhat less effective way) we need to have a dual court system–the government’s and the people’s. It’s not enough that the Federal Supreme Court would say that something is Constitutional; the People’s Supreme Court must agree. If the two do not agree, the law is sent back to Congress for amendments, per instructions included.

The Federal Supreme Court sounds like a good idea… at first. And then it becomes apparent that we’ve given the government the exclusive power to determine whether the government has the authority to do something. As we’ve seen from blatant abuses, it becomes a rubber stamp of state power, with no way for us to appeal it. If the Supreme Court says something is Constitutional and produces a 3700 page document of legalese explaining how it’s totally fine, then we have no recourse for addressing it.

All branches of the government threw out the Constitution. I’m glad people are beginning to pay attention to how the President uses Executive Orders to legislate, but none of these reach the Supreme Court, nor can they. They exist outside of the confines of the Constitution entirely, as they are typically directives to other governmental bodies. The Supreme Court can’t rule on whether it’s constitutional for the President to sign an executive order placing a gag order on government agencies, because neither the government agencies nor directives have anything to do with the Constitution.

Congress, the only people who could do anything about it, don’t, and it’s easy to see why. Republicans want their Republican President to be able to impose conservative policy without going through all the hassle of a constitutional republic and trying to get bills through Congress, so it’s easier to grit their teeth through a Democratic President. Overturning the system, after all (which republicans could have done in the last few years), by easily passing a law that reaffirms Congress as the controllers of these agencies, would have meant that President Republican wouldn’t be able to unilaterally rule the country and Congress might actually have to do something.

Instead, Congress simply creates the agencies and turns the keys over to the oval office. Even if they don’t specifically turn over control, they always end up under the President’s control anyway, since he goes on to hire and appoint tens of thousands of people. Even if he didn’t, control is only one negligent Congress and one executive order away.

So you’ll forgive me for not being happy we’ve got a constructionist going to the Supreme Court. It’s irrelevant, because nothing that actually matters will ever find its way before the Supreme Court. Whether Congress has the authority to create the EPA, USPS, the Department of Education, and all the others will never, ever be brought to the Supreme Court.

At absolute best, we might end up with one of these unelected, unaccountable government agencies doing something unconstitutional, and that one act may end up at the Supreme Court, but even that isn’t likely, and instead the Supreme Court will continue on rubberstamping government power grabs and either pushing a liberal agenda onto the entire nation or, at freaking best, sending issues back to the states.

I’m disappointed in myself for how much I was truly hoping that Judge Andrew Napolitano would get the nomination. It isn’t like Napolitano could have done much, but I would tentatively trust him with that level of power–with one scrutinizing eye on him the whole time.

There aren’t many people who I trust with power, and even those don’t get a blank check. I’d trust John McAfee as President, but I’d keep my eyes on him. I will never trust someone enough to give them power and turn away, trusting that they wouldn’t abuse it. I simply can’t, because I know how power is. Neither could I simply rejoice at Supreme Court Justice Napolitano and trust for the next three decades that he was doing the right thing. No one should trust anyone to that degree. I wouldn’t trust myself with that level of power, and would rely on people close to me to keep me in line.

Power corrupts. It is not just a corrupting agent; it is intoxicating and addictive. I was once in a relationship with a very submissive chick, and I ended the relationship because it simply was intoxicating and addictive; I’ve felt it personally, that primal sense of control and authority. I loved it, as anyone would (most people would dispute that, but most people would say they wouldn’t abuse the presidency, too, when the truth is… Yeah, they would…), but I don’t like things beyond my control.

That requires more elaboration than I really care to get into, but it’s just like any other addictive intoxicant. You’re addicted and intoxicated; you’re the opposite of “in control.”

Sure, we could have gotten worse than Gorsuch. But I’m tired of settling. I’m tired of “Well, it could have been worse” being stated after the government does anything. It could always have been worse. Nazi Germany could have been worse. “Sure, you have syphilis, but it could have been worse! You could have gotten HIV!”

It’s not much consolation, is it?

And we’ll be dealing with it again soon as we move toward war with China. “It could have been worse,” people will say. “We could be at war with Russia right now.”

In my focus on Hillary’s transparent attempts to ignite a war with Russia (attempts that live on in John McCain and other congressional vulture hawks), I missed most of Trump’s intentions of starting one with China. 2016, evidently, was the year we chose between war with Russia and war with China.

All because people settled for someone who wasn’t as bad as Hillary.

Not me, of course. I voted for McAfee.

I Don’t Care About Trump’s Appointments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

None.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Like aspartame, for example.

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

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

None.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Or should I say “Gitmo?”

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

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

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

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

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

Have We Discovered Extraterrestrial Intelligence?

Preliminary evidence suggests that, indeed, we have.

I was first alerted to this by a friend who shared a Youtube video. I groaned in displeasure when I saw it–very rarely does an ET-related Youtube video have anything of substance to talk about, and, when they do, it’s usually clear cases of pareidolia. When I checked the description, I found zero news articles; instead, it just cited other Youtube videos. But we’re talking about extraterrestrials. We’re talking about the discovery of intelligent life in other parts of the galaxy and universe. There is nothing more important to our species than that, as it will deliver us a reality check of epic proportions, firmly reminding us of how small and insignificant we are. We need that. So I googled it.

And… Holy shit. It’s legit.

Not only have we probably found E.T.–based on the evidence thus far, though there is no definitive conclusion–but it seems that the aliens we found have a remarkable civilization spanning 234 stars, and that the signal originates with an alien civilization trying to alert us, and anyone else who may be out there, of its existence. This is pure speculation. If this is the case, then this would suggest to me that they are not only highly advanced–to the point that they can colonize at least 234 star systems–but have discovered no intelligent life in their travels, and are extremely lonely. We do the same thing here on Earth: desperately sending out and receiving signals from every corner of the universe, hoping each passing minute that we hear a whisper in the cold darkness of the universe. It should be no surprise that other civilizations would do the same, and that they span 234 star systems is discouraging, awe-inspiring, and depressing. However lonely we are as we whisper into the vast stretches of space whether anyone is out there, a civilization doing it from 234 planets is exponentially more lonely.

Doctors Ermanno F. Borra and Eric Trottier of the Physics Department at Laval University in Quebec recently published this paper explaining their findings and their hypothesis. It has been published in a peer-reviewed journal. We are, of course, being urged not to jump the gun here, because it’s certainly not final, but… it’s so hard not to jump the gun. Actual scientists–actual physicists–are suggesting that the only explanation for phenomena they’ve found is extraterrestrial intelligence, and the signal they found fits perfectly with what they predicted an alien civilization would use. That’s a shocking prediction, and it strikes me as the most solid piece of evidence–considering I’m not advanced enough in physics to fully process the rest of it (I changed my major from Physics after only a few semesters).

Hell, only yesterday I took a joke online quiz where I was tasked with choosing which of two titles was a real physics paper and which was made-up gobbledygook, and I did only slightly better than a monkey would have. Physics has gotten extremely obscure, and extraordinarily complicated, as we peeled back from our perceptions and peered into the underlying elements of the universe. Things got weird and confusing very quickly, with particles being waves and waves being particles, with massless particles, with particles managing to be in two places simultaneously… It’s all very strange.

When we sent our first rovers to Mars, we had a clear list of things we were looking for, and we said, “If it has this, this, and this, then we’ll have found life on Mars.” Then we collected samples, the rover tested them, and NASA said, “It’s inconclusive.” The reality, though, was that every single item on our checklist had been checked off–the book We Are Not Alone goes into the topic in substantial detail. It was not a cover-up; don’t get me wrong. NASA isn’t hiding anything.

In fact, I find the idea that NASA is hiding extraterrestrials from us to be laughable, and it’s increasingly stupid in the age of Wikileaks and widespread hacks. Plus, I’m expecting to believe that the incompetent ass government that lost $6.5 trillion has successfully hidden proof of alien life from us for decades? While I’d certainly admit that some portions of the government would be capable of it–just look at 9/11, and how they hid the truth from us there by selectively omitting things from the 9/11 Commission Report… like the fact that Building 7 went down that day, too…–I find it impossible to believe that an entire government agency and multiple people could be in on the lie.

But what if they were?

You know? If we are to keep an open mind, we have to ask questions like that.

If NASA was hiding evidence of extraterrestrial life from us, what might that look like? Well, we would expect there to be whispers of the truth and evidence here and there that slipped through the cracks. We would expect the ISS livefeed to cut out when a UFO appeared on camera. We would expect them to go from “normal conversation” to suddenly using very strange jargon during radio broadcasts. We would expect that some former astronauts and NASA administrators would come forward publicly and speak the truth. Indeed, if NASA was hiding evidence of extraterrestrial life from us, it would look exactly like what the current NASA situation looks like. However, if they weren’t and there were simply former astronauts lying to make a quick buck, and if there were people who wanted to believe, then it would also look exactly like what the current situation looks like.

I would say… The results are “inconclusive” whether NASA is covering anything up, but I lean toward “NASA is not covering anything up.”

The point of all that was actually to point out that “inconclusive” is a big word in the scientific community, and one that is used often because no one wants to say anything “conclusively” and then be proven wrong. Reluctance, caution, and skepticism are critical to science; there is no other group in the world as single-mindedly dedicated to skepticism as scientific communities. They are conservative, hesitant, and often incredulous.

When the Higgs Boson was predicted to exist in tandem with the Higgs Field that interacted with energy and gave matter mass, the underlying math and science were solid, but we had no evidence that the particle existed. CERN went into action and began collecting data. The average person probably can’t appreciate it, but CERN did not declare that they had found the Higgs Boson with the very first piece of evidence; they compiled overwhelming amounts of evidence, and then made the announcement. When LIGO detected gravity waves, the same thing happened; scientists did not proclaim victory at the first piece of evidence. They waited, verified, checked, and rechecked, and then they made the announcement.

Now people who are part of that very same reluctant, skeptical, and cautious community are saying that we have found something that they cannot explain in any other way than “it came from an extraterrestrial intelligence.” That is not a claim to be made lightly, and it speaks to our scientific ignorance. There is every possibility that it’s simply some astronomical phenomenon we have never observed before. It was, after all, only recently that we discovered gravity waves–an astronomical phenomenon that we had never observed before. So there is every chance that this isn’t extraterrestrial intelligence.

But there’s also every chance that it is.

 

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

28 Dead Civilians

President Obama has added North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to a U.S. sanctions list, and cited human rights abuses as justification. Of course, this caused the retarded dipshit in North Korea to start blustering, and they’re saying that they view it as an act of war, but I don’t really care about that. Realistically, he’s not wrong, and Ron Paul pointed this out years ago: sanctions are not an alternative to war. They are a prelude to war.

Anyway, what strikes me as amazing as that this is quite clearly a case of the pot calling the kettle black. I don’t know if Mr. Obama has noticed, but he has quite a lot of blood on his hands. In fact, I would wager that Obama has more blood on his hands… than Kim Jong Un has. We know that Obama has personally ordered airstrikes that killed as many as 64 people, and the figure as of July 1 was 64 to 116, but most other governments (read: not the Obama Administration) place the number much higher, at around 900. I don’t know about you, but I don’t expect the Obama Administration to tell us the truth about how many civilians it has killed.

Some people say this makes me paranoid. I say that makes them stupid.

We have Obama saying “No, look, I only killed like 116 people, tops.”

Then we have other governments saying, “No, he killed more like 900 people.”

Are you seriously so naive that you think Obama is likeliest to be telling the truth here?

We can also add 28 dead innocent people to that list, as a drone strike in Syria has killed twenty-eight civilians.

I just don't want any more people to be murdered.

I just don’t want any more people to be murdered.

“Casualties,” they call them, as though there is something casual about the unjust murder of 28 people, a crime for which Obama will never be held to account. Let’s take a moment to remember and appreciate the fact that Barack Obama has a Nobel Peace Prize. The man who authorized a drone strike that killed 28 civilians in an area that we had killed civilians in the week before–that man has a Nobel Peace Prize. The man who authorized a drone strike at a wedding that killed 12 civilians in Afghanistan–that man has a Nobel Peace Prize.

If the Nobel committee cannot retract its prizes, then this should serve as a stern reminder that they should never give out Peace Prizes in anticipation based on what they think someone will do. I was an Obama supporter in early 2009, but the only promise he kept was to end torture; he didn’t fulfill any of his other promises, and thus I stopped supporting him. When he received the Nobel Peace Prize, I was still a supporter, but even I was shocked and embarrassed that it had been given to him. It was such a transparent and gross political statement, and now look what we have. The man who is responsible for the murder of 28 innocent people… has a Nobel Peace Prize adorning his mantle.

Today’s family members of civilian “casualties” are tomorrow’s terrorists.

Women and children were just murdered in Syria by American bombs guided by American aircraft piloted by Americans, and the attack was authorized by the President of the United States. Whatever delusions people harbor that allow them to persist in their insane belief that we have some sort of moral high ground must be fully jerked out from under their feet.

I would not ever make the foolish and false argument that “we” are the government and thus “we” are responsible for what Obama and his military have done, but it is time that we took a serious look at examining our Commander-in-Chief and impeaching him. If this was an attack that killed 28 Americans, how would we react?

Not nearly as kindly, I think, and Republicans would be screaming impeachment. Yet because they’re not Americans, we’re not going to hold our President to the same high standard, and that’s messed up. These were people, human beings, innocent men, women, and children. They are now dead, and they are dead by our President’s hands.

It is not fearmongering to say that Hillary would be even more liberal with authorizing drone strikes than Obama; Hillary is a well-known hawk when it comes to foreign policy, and I would urge anyone who supports her to take a look at what she and Bill did to Haiti, Sudan, and Rwanda. Neither Trump nor Hillary will solve this problem in any way that would satisfy a just and compassionate heart.

yemen-drone-strike

All I want… is for the United States to stop murdering people.

People are so fixated on things happening within the United States. Black Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, feminism, wage gaps, education costs, health care, immigration, unemployment, inflation, racism, police brutality… And I’m as guilty as anyone. Most of my content in the past three months has been directed largely at one of these issues.

Part of the problem is that our media doesn’t spend much time talking about the civilians left murdered by American bombs. The murder of innocent people has just become… a casual matter. Our media will tell us about it, and the headlines will have the front page for a few minutes, but then Trump will tweet something, Kim Kardashian will set a wine glass on her fat ass, or police will shoot someone, and everything will get pushed to the side as the new story is brought to the front. The story of the 28 dead civilians is pushed into the background, and no one hears about it.

28 people had their lives mercilessly, brutally, inhumanely, viciously, and barbarically cut short by the United States, its military, its drones, its bombs, and its President.

That is a statement that should not be pushed from our minds by something trivial.

The murder of 28 innocent people should be the primary factor when people determine for whom they will vote, and they should all look at the matter objectively, accept the facts, and be honest with themselves. After all, lives are on the lines. Lots of them.

And the truth is that Trump is unlikely to be very restrained with the drone strikes. Trump would surely be more liberal with the attacks than Obama, but probably attack less frequently than Hillary. Between Hillary and Trump, Hillary is by a wide berth the most hawkish. Trump is no non-interventionist, but he does have some non-interventionist policy running through him, and it comes out on occasion.

I can’t say that I would trust Gary Johnson, Libertarian candidate, on foreign policy matters, either. The official Libertarian answer to Isis is not a particularly good one–“Leave them alone and stop bombing the Middle East” is essentially the Libertarian Party’s position on the matter, and that’s not really applicable to this situation. Isis is not Al-Queda, and treating them as though they are will leave us weaker. Al-Queda was a rebel group resisting foreign occupation and using religion as a front. Isis is a religious group; Islam is more than a front to them, and it is their primary motivator.

Finger-quote-wink-wink “Liberterian” wink-wink-finger-quote Gary Johnson has other problems anyway.

To be honest, the only one who I’d really trust (other than McAfee) to handle Isis would be Jill Stein. This is because of her character, and not because of any particular policy. Alas, however, a candidate like that doesn’t exist.

Trump and Hillary are our de facto choices.

Let the oceans boil red with the blood of the innocent.

Clear & Concise: Mississippi’s Problems

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I took the one less traveled by…

I hate Robert Frost.

That’s not true. I like Robert Frost quite a lot, and he’s a fantastic poet. I hate the effects that Robert Frost had on poetry, as I think a generation of people who grew up knowing nothing more about poetry than “Robert Frost and Edgar Allan Poe” did a great deal of damage to poetry as a whole, and that’s obviously not Frost’s fault. I would love for American students to have to spend a decade studying the Romantics, because that was some of the best poetry in human history. But that’s actually not what I want to talk about. Just a completely unrelated prologue, in fact.

I began to drop the hints to my colleague today that I am taking steps to move, but it was only something I weakly alluded to. When I left last year, he was the last person to find out. He won’t be the last person to learn of it this time, but I’m still not going to tell him until I’m much closer to the funding goal. That’s a link to the GoFundMe campaign, which you are free to share or donate to, to help me change my life for the better forever.

At any rate, I simply made it a point to bring up Mississippi’s latest piece of bullshit legislation, and my observation that the state is taking babysteps toward theocracy. But just a little while ago a friend shared something on Facebook that I found really interesting.

Diabetes rates across the U.S.

Diabetes rates across the U.S.

But we’re just getting started. Of course, I’ve already shared this one that drags in religion–particularly southern baptists–as well.

religionkeyOf course, poverty is worse here:

We're the blue one. The ONLY blue one.

We’re the blue one. The ONLY blue one.

It’s really hard to put into perspective how much Mississippi truly freaking sucks. Teen pregnancy? Yep, we’re full up on that, too. Might have something to do with the fact that our schools only teach abstinence for sex ed.

Sigh.

Sigh.

Of course, we also have some of the lowest high school graduation rates in the country–and I’m a statistic on one of those, because I didn’t graduate high school. I instead earned my GED and later went to college. Still. Interesting, Nevada is just as bad as Mississippi in this respect.

Slide4Oh, good. We also have gonorrhea.

ghonnoreaThe short version is that this place sucks.

It sucks even more than I thought it sucked, and I’ve always known that it sucks really bad. It’s not hard to look outside my window and see the boards on buildings, the empty, crack and grass-filled parking lots. Hell, even our banks close up and get out of dodge.

That building in the foreground used to be a bank.

That building in the foreground used to be a bank.

On a given day, I don’t notice on this. And I’ve never had an encounter with gonorrhea, so I’d never notice that anyway. But on any given day, I just see the overabundance of churches. That’s the only real evidence that, just below the surface, this state is sick as hell–horrendously sick, on the verge of catastrophic illness. Beneath the dazzling veneer of the holy churches is a society of petty, petulant, and bitter people, convinced that their problems are caused by:

  • The Muslims.
  • Icky brown people.
  • Them dang Spics done took ‘er jobs!
  • It’s them dang ‘um queers o’er thar that’s the problem.
  • Them boys wanna dress lock girls, what’d’ey ‘xpect was gun happen?
  • Obama’s gonna take our gerns!

And I know I’m sounding like the Liberal Redneck here, and I can appreciate the irony of that, but there’s a few important points to consider:

  1. He made his statements about specific people, specific individuals.
  2. I’ve frequently said this isn’t true of all of them.

Yet… with Mississippi’s Anti-Gay legislation on top of their latest “put God back in school!” legislation, with the fact that…

These people went HEAVY Trump (as I predicted, btw)...

these people went HEAVY Trump (as I predicted, btw)…

It’s certainly true of a majority of them.

They’re looking for someone to blame, and Trump didn’t tell them to blame Mexicans and gays. I know Trump likes to credit himself for bringing immigration up to the surface, but who is he kidding? Immigration never really stopped being a large issue anywhere in the world. That we in the U.S. went a few months without talking about doesn’t mean that Trump created the issue. These people–not all the people here, but the majority to which I’m referring–have always said that Mexicans, gays, black people, etc. were the problem.

My mistake was in thinking that the moderates had more sway than they actually do. Clearly, the moderates are powerless here. Our state legislature has proven itself firmly in the grips of religious zealots, and our Governor has proven himself firmly on their side. Rather than veto this horrific legislation, Phil Bryant proudly signs it into law. I spoke in the podcast last night about how this state has lost its mind. But it’s not like Mississippi ever had very far to go to lose its mind. The only thing that has really changed is that the moderates and reasonable people have been swept aside, and the religious extremists have taken over.

There are dark days ahead for Mississippi, and I’m not referring to my suspicion that secession and civil war are inevitable. I mean only that Mississippi has made it clear: Mississippi is committed to pursuing this path of Christian theocracy, where the moral proclamations of a single religion dictate the law. If I hadn’t decided Saturday that it was truly time to leave, then I would be making that decision now. Mississippi already has among the lowest Average Incomes in the country:

I was unable to find one that didn't specifically apply to millennials.

I was unable to find one that didn’t specifically apply to millennials.

When you add in the gonorrhea, the high school dropouts, the teen pregnancy, the high religious rates, the diabetes, and all the other shit, you have a place that is held together only by its religion. So it should be no surprise that Mississippi–which, I think we can all agree, is objectively the worst state in the United States–also has the highest rates of religiosity. What else do these people have, except their hope that they will have a better life in the next world?

Mississippi sucks, and I’m trying to leave it. Unfortunately, most of the problems affecting the statistics above also affect me (except, again, the gonorrhea one :D), and it’s largely irrelevant here that I’m a college graduate with a good work ethic. This is a place where you either work at a gas station, or at an assembly line in a factory (and there are only two factories nearby, both of which only hire through temp agencies and won’t hire someone with a college degree in an unrelated field). This isn’t a place where you get a college degree in I.T. and then stay here, working in your new field. No, as I’ve come to realize, the only option is leaving. And I need help to make that happen. So I ask humbly that you consider helping me with that, in whatever way you can, from donating to liking and sharing–it all helps.

https://www.gofundme.com/transgendermove

Thank you for reading, and thank you for your time.

Libertarians, You Fools

I can’t believe that you went Johnson/Weld, Libertarians. There’s nothing “libertarian” about either of these. Gary Johnson is exactly like Rand Paul, but he falls just slightly closer to liberty than does Rand; they are both statists. Gary Johnson abandons the principles of liberty when we’re talking about behavior that he really, really, really doesn’t like, and Weld–I honestly don’t know much about Weld, but I can tell you that he’s not a Libertarian, based on what I know of his past Second Amendment stances.

This is the second time that you’ve nominated Gary Johnson. Near the beginning of the election, I was a Johnson supporter, and I didn’t care that he’d tried and failed to rally people to his cause. But a lot has changed since then. For one, Johnson has revealed himself to be a statist and anti-liberty.

For fuck’s sake, Libertarians! There is no ambiguity here! The platform is clear. Gary Johnson is demonstrably a statist: 

Rejecting free market principles and rejecting the Libertarian mantra of “Let the free market sort this out” in favor of “No, we should make that illegal because I don’t approve of that behavior” is fucking Statist through and through. And that’s your presidential candidate. A statist.

But I’m not here to rail against Johnson again. Nor am I here to criticize the Libertarian Party for falling closer to Classical Liberalism than actual Libertarianism; nor am I going to criticize the LP for not falling as closely to liberty as do I. Seeing as I’m an honest-to-fuck Anarchist, of course I’m going to be a more extreme advocate of liberty than that. I’m not here to talk about any of that.

I’m here to talk about how foolish you are to have done this.

You nominated Gary Johnson in the hopes of appealing to conservatives who are disenfranchised with Donald Trump, and in the hopes of appealing to liberals who hate Hillary but will have nowhere to go when Sanders is inevitably defeated. To achieve this, you’ve selected the candidate most likely to appeal to those conservatives.

Libertarian Principles lie sacrificed on the altar of mass appeal.

Even if Johnson’s credibility as an actual Libertarian wasn’t questionable (and it is, because he isn’t one), he does not stand a chance against Donald Trump. Trump ran right over Rand Paul, and he’ll run right over Rand Paul 2.0, aka Gary Johnson. The only one of the main candidates who stood a chance against Trump was John McAfee. Even if Johnson does manage to not get steamrolled by Trump, he will never nail down and overcome Hillary.

I don’t even support McAfee any longer, but he was your only chance.

You’ve squandered this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. With huge masses of Republicans unhappy with their candidate, and a huge number of Democrats about to be unhappy with their candidate, you’ve chosen the most uninteresting, uninspiring, un-Libertarian candidate that you had. Johnson has been fighting for years to get into a mainstream debate with the main two parties, and he has routinely failed. You never had a better chance, and you’ve selected the guy who has proven consistently too weak to succeed. While the circumstances are different enough this year that I don’t deny he has a better chance than ever, he remains the least likely.

You’ve proven yourselves to be hopelessly attached to Gary Johnson. Even when he reveals himself to be a statist, you cling to him. Simply for the sake of tradition and mass appeal, you cling to this statist who neither understands liberty nor the free market.

I am glad that I gave up on the Libertarian Party months ago, when I realized that it had been conquered by classical liberals and conservatives. And it has. The very fact that a Libertarian Presidential candidate can stand there and say that he thinks the Non-Aggression Pact is stupid… and not be instantly rejected… is ipso facto proof that conservatives and classical liberals have conquered the part. The pledge to non-aggression is required to join the fucking party! And one of your biggest candidates rejects it! And your selected candidate clearly rejects it, as he’s more than willing to use the state to enforce his moral standards, rather than letting liberty and the free market take care of it.

Change. Your. Name.

You are the Classical Liberal party at best. At best, you are the Classical Liberal party. Realistically, you’re just Conservatives who fall a little closer to Liberty. I don’t mean this to apply to everyone. I’ve talked with Thomas Knapp and Raymond Agnew and other prominent grassroots libertarians enough to know that there are some among you who still hold true to the principles of libertarianism. But you wonderful, principled people are too few in number to outweigh the steady influx of conservatives.

I remember when Gary Johnson said that he wished the Republicans would try to usurp the Libertarian Party to curtail a Trump nomination. They didn’t have to, did they Gary? Because they’d already succeeded in doing so. You are the Republican. You governed New Mexico as a Republican Governor. If you want my support, Gary Johnson, then you and I are going to have to have a long conversation about liberty.

I know that you don’t listen to people when they tweet to you and comment to you. Austin Petersen does. And, in fact, I’ve come pretty close to being an Austin Petersen supporter. Because it takes courage and principles to get in the thick of it and discuss things with people, and Austin Petersen has twice stood up for himself against me. It doesn’t matter to me that he and I disagree on abortion and the NAP–I respect that. I don’t support him, but I’d support him before I supported you.

McAfee has routinely engaged me, especially when I was a McAfee supporter. You, Gary Johnson–you have consistently ignored me, even when I am clearly right. You have let your supporters be eviscerated trying to defend you, and my allegations and rebuttals of your positions continue to stand.

I invite you to join the Anarchist Shemale on a podcast, Governor Johnson. Let’s clear the air once and for all. Explain to me how you aren’t a statist. Prove to me that you understand the connection between the free market, economics, and liberty. Prove to me that you understand the value of the NAP and how the rest of libertarianism is built from it. The onus is on you. If you want my support, you know where to find me.

Don’t get me wrong–I know that you won’t. I’m too small of a fish for you to worry with. But I won’t support you any other way, because you’re focused on the Mainstream Media. You’re trying to reach the average American. You’re not spending any time trying to convince us that you’re a Libertarian; you’re focusing your efforts on trying to convince mainstream America that you’re their candidate.

You missed a step. We’re your core supporters. Before you move on to mainstream America, you have to convince us that you’re our candidate. And I don’t care how many people are willing to sacrifice Libertarian principles to nominate the candidate with the most mass appeal. I have a few simple questions for you.

  1. Why do you propose to outlaw the right of businesses to choose their clientele based on religious considerations? Why are you unwilling to allow the free market to act on such businesses?
  2. Why do you think a 20% cut to all government spending matters to me? We are libertarians and anarchists. We want these institutions abolished, not reduced.
  3. Why do you propose leaving distinctly statist methodologies to be enacted at the state level? Do you not realize that statism is statism at all levels of the state?