Tag Archive | paranoia

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.

Everyone Wants To Be Free

No one ever said, “I really enjoy having the government telling me what to do, and I don’t think I should be free.”

Or, if they do, it’s such an extremely rare occurrence that it’s not really important to the discussion.

When people challenge the ideas of liberty and freedom, it’s never the speaker who has the problem; it’s never the speaker who can’t be trusted with liberty–it’s all those other people. It’s everyone else. I’ve talked with countless people who want freedom for themselves yet immediately recoil at the idea of freedom for others, handing out responses that range in ridiculous from “What about murderers?” to “What about those who would dump poo in your water?”

It’s telling that we’ve become so conquered by fear that we’d meet the idea of freedom with intransigence and build from the assumption that not only could someone dump poo in your water, but that it’s inevitable that someone will do so. The existence of murderers, rapists, and thieves is hardly a matter of concern to the libertarian or anarchist, because such people exist today, and all available evidence (as well as logic) suggests that the state and its laws do nothing to prevent such behavior, and instead simply exist as frameworks for punishing the behavior. Since the state has not managed to eliminate crime, it isn’t necessary for anarchists and libertarians to propose an alternate social structure that would eliminate crime before anyone can take it seriously.

It would be like if I proposed a new version of American football that has slightly different rules than the current set, and people rejected my idea on the grounds that I didn’t propose any way of preventing head injuries and brain damage caused by years of physical trauma. Even if my modified rules would reduce the number of fractures and other injuries, people would gleefully reject the proposed changes because, “What are you going to do about head injuries and brain damage?” in full disregard of the fact that their rules similarly fail to do anything to prevent head injuries and brain damage.

It’s simple mathematics to realize that something that affects two sides of an equation can be reduced. If we have an equation that reads “2x + 4y = 2x + 9,” we can immediately see that “2x” doesn’t factor into things at all–we are, instead, dealing with “4y = 9”. Crimes such as murder are never going to be eliminated from society, and we have a hundred thousand years of human history and societies that range from despotic tribes to fascist police states to serve as evidence, and not only have all of these societies failed to eliminate murder, but there is a noticeable correlation between the murder rate and the power of the state–the more powerful a state is, the higher its murder rate. It wasn’t a fluke that caused Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Lincoln, and Mussolini to murder millions of people; this is actually a feature of the state. It also remains true that no Charles Manson or Ted Bundy ever came close to approaching the murder rate of various states.

This is because society deals with murderers, rapists, and thieves before they can organize to the point that they can commit crimes against thousands and hundreds of thousands of people–unless those murderers, rapists, and thieves call themselves a government. Take, for example, the American Government, which murdered more than 1,000 Americans last year, as well as the year before (and are thus far on the path to surpassing last year’s record). Even the most barbaric and bloodthirsty mobster would look at those numbers and be impressed, because this works out to nearly three murders per day for the individual, if the person wanted to be more bloodthirsty than the government, and anyone who murdered three people each day would leave a trail of bodies and evidence that would take us directly to them for punishment. Without even including the 100,000 Iraqi civilians murdered by the American government since 2003, and the similar number of murdered civilians in Afghanistan, it’s readily apparent that if we want to reduce murder, there isn’t a better way of doing so than abolishing the government.

But these excuses for allowing the continued existence of the state persist.

The reality, however, is that the overwhelming majority of people aren’t murderers, rapists, and thieves. I cross paths with tens of thousands of people every single day, and none of them are murderers, rapists, and thieves. This notion that “It’s okay if I have freedom, but I can’t trust anyone else with it, because they might be a murderer!” is blatant fearmongering, and every bit as bad as suggesting that we should reject all refugees because one among two hundred thousand might be a terrorist, or that we should regulate immigration because one in millions may carry a deadly disease. In fact, the arguments are exactly the same:

  • “We need to have laws against open borders because some immigrants may be drug dealers, murderers, and rapists!”
  • “We need to have government, because some people may be drug dealers, murderers, and rapists!”
  • “We need to ban refugees from entering the country because some people out there are bad people and are terrorists!”
  • “We need to have government, because some people out there are bad people.”

It’s amazing how easily we recognize blatant fearmongering when we’re not the ones peddling it, and how blind we are to our fearmongering when we are.

Liberty is trust and faith in your fellow human beings, and an end to fearmongering. It’s time we stopped living in fear of everything and everyone.

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

What do clowns and Russians have in common?

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

be-afraid

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dawkins would be proud.

Soren_Arkwright accurately summarizes the bullshit being fed:

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

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

I’m not pro-Trump or pro-Hillary.

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

You are.

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

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

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

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

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

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

And now Isis is there.

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

And now Isis is there.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anyway.

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

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

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