Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Faith passed as Science

From the perspective of science, it's challenging to explain the wonderful feats accomplished by Jesus of Nazareth, outside of the invocation that the son of God didn't have the same limitations as the rest of us. When pressed further, Christians readily admit that they have nothing outside of faith to believe these things happened, or it's passed as a metaphor. At least, I can't recall seeing or hearing otherwise. Speaking personally, the overall message of Christ is more important to me than the details.

Which leads me to discuss a new variant of an old religion. So desperate are it's advocates that they would be nothing short of delighted to see the rest of us punished for our refusal to worship or refusing to alter our lifestyles to fit their faith. So forceful is the congregation of this faith, that they have no missionaries - no one to convince us that their faith is worth examining. Instead, they have Crusaders all the ready to force us by point of sword to join their fold.

No, I'm not speaking of ISIS or their Islamic dogmas. Nor do I speak of these Far-Right Christians that I'm told are lurking everywhere, ready to baptize me in a hail of gunfire. It is a Pagan faith revitalized, and it's faithful believe in Global Warming, Global Cooling, Global Climate Change Changing Weather Patterns, caused by you and I.

They masquerade as scientists, cooking data to prove themselves justified in their faith. If anything disproves this movement as science, this is it. When confronted on their false science, vague paeans to an entity called "Mother Earth" or "Mother Nature" are sung, demanding justice for wrongdoing done unto her person. Who is she?

Wikipedia has a lot of definitions for Mother Earth, all religious, spiritual, or mythological. Her followers encompass peoples of the ancient and classical world, including the Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, Aztecs, and many more. Such a strong figure is Mother Earth, she even has a place in the newer occultist religions of Wicca and Thelema - both faiths designed by the man who allegedly coached Churchill on how to get the United States involved in World War II.

One has to ask, if the "Science is Clear", why do the Champions of said science have to fall back to pagan deities of the ancient world to justify their theory? If the Constitution, vainly cherry-picked for convenience at the best of times, is worth anything, we could ideally use the First Amendment to refute this nonsense once and for all.

Until they enforce their Global Religion agenda on us all.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Just between us Millennials, Part 2 of Infinity

Fellow millennials, just stop. If I ever develop polyps, I will name them Oberlin and Mizzou. I'm getting embarrassed for all of us.

I don't understand the core of this gripe. 

Not long ago, arms were flailing over poor representation of minorities at Mizzou. A cafeteria brings in some culinary variety and endures a consumer breakdown over it. News Flash - Cafeteria food is well known to be prepared on the cheap. The worst you can actually call this is false advertising. Now you're aware, take your money elsewhere. Or, did you get this for free? Or, was this lumped into your outrageous tuition cost?

What exactly is the gripe? You weren't satisfied with a product that you elected to use, move on. Better yet, discriminate.

I have a theory: You're being conditioned to shut down the entirety of Civilization. The end goal is that you are reduced to being an invalid: comatose at best or a rabid animal at worst. Your critical thinking begins and ends with what a professor dictates as truth. When you don't get your way? Shut down the world. When you're view is questioned? Call in the muscle. You know, to have a conversation on race relations. I'm perplexed beyond belief that you guys can't see that this is the greatest form of control over you.

I don't think you guys have the mental or emotional capacity to even say what it is you want. You've been terrified out of using nouns and adjectives to describe goals and desires, unless you're talking about straight white males.

I'm seriously wondering if you guys are the reason our age group suffers high unemployment. If I were an employer, I'd be terrified to hire this generation. Some of us who aren't conditioned have to share a generational title with you, please consider us the next time you throw a tantrum.

I need to go headbutt a thumb tack.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Liberty in a Year. Yes, it's possible.

But, only if one of us has the nerve to take that plunge. Maybe not this year, but maybe "Liberty in a Year", four years from now.

I don't lend my support to the apparatus that makes fodder of us all. However, if the past eight years have taught us anything, election season seems to be when people are listening most. Where would Libertarianism (or Libertarian positions, at least) be if not for Ron Paul taking the plunge? Speaking personally, I can't say with much certainty that I would have found my way to LRC without him. One can say, Ron Paul did in a year what the Libertarian Party tried doing for thirty years. If the current election cycle has taught us anything, it's very possible to be a front runner without the support of the Elites, the Media, or a massive donor base (barring "Behind the Curtain" shenanigans, which for all we know Trump is) .

You don't have to like Donald Trump to admit that his campaign is a success. Even if he loses, he's made the conversation interesting, and his strategy is brilliant. He has the finances to self fund his entire campaign, and he's willing to. This means he can take any stance he wants, without upsetting a donor base. For better or worse, he can afford to be unfiltered and honest. Donald Trump has disrupted the entire system that made elections what they were.

Trump has taken every weapon in the arsenal of the elite and has used it against them, leaving them completely unarmed. Two Party system? Piece of cake, that made it all the easier. A reactionary mainstream media? Perfect! All one has to do is forcefully refute the status quo and political correctness. Then, they get what amounts to a free commercial. Oh, you don't want to fund me now? That's fine, your pockets are deep but mine are deeper. But given all this free air time you're giving me, I don't think the money is very important anyway.

This strategy has been so effective, that Trump thought nothing of giving the Alex Jones Show considerable face time, and he hasn't had to apologize or justify it. Remember when the MSM trotted that one out for Dr. Paul, and it was treated like some dark secret being exposed?

Imagine a candidate with the wisdom of Ron Paul and the charismatic, unapologetic defiance of Donald Trump.  This candidate could get on stage and mock the Federal Reserve with complete immunity, thank Ed Snowden for informing the western population about how un-free they are, and tear apart the foreign policy that's been the driving force behind dangers to the west for over a decade.

Better yet, this candidate could do this by planting his feet firm and giving the critics another round of facts when the "Trial by Media" demands an apology or a clarification. Imagine George Stephanopolous' face upon learning that his salary could be worthless in a couple of years thanks to the systems and norms he steadfastly defends. Or, the blank stare of Anderson Cooper when this champion states quite clearly that nobody is under any moral obligation to welcome something that they find objectionable, and he should have that same right too.

This could be a libertarian, and said libertarian wouldn't even have to win - just change the conversation. Who could it end up being? Whoever has the nerves of steel and charisma to do it.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Star Wars Episode 7 - Review and Spoilers

Before I dive into this, I'm compelled to give readers a second warning. Spoilers inbound. I've been making an honest attempt to decipher a way to write this review without dropping spoilers, but for the elements I want to critique this is impossible.

I got to the theater early, I wanted to make sure I got good seats. While my wife and I were waiting, we heard the movie end. Folks came out, and they were hard to read - almost expressionless. I wasn't sure if this was a hint of a really good movie, or a really bad movie. To be honest, I braced myself for the worst. After sitting through twenty-five minutes of awful previews for movies you couldn't pay me to see, the iconic text roll of Star Wars dropped. It was instant nostalgia.

 Final warning. I can't guarantee protecting readers from spoilers after this paragraph, though I'll do what I can to omit the most precious of details. However, I can't critique a movie without talking about what goes on in it. I'll be reviewing the contents of the film from a libertarian perspective, while critiquing decisions made by Lucasfilm, Disney, and J.J Abrams from the position of being a Star Wars fan, someone familiar with the works of the involved parties, and a sensible human being.

I'll spare the major details that illustrate this point, but if you've seen "Star Wars: A New Hope", you've seen this movie. It's so blatant it borders insulting, and potentially spoils the rest of the trilogy. Considering that J.J Abrams has an implied disdain for George Lucas, he really didn't mind taking Lucas' concepts and changing the proper nouns, whilst daring to call this his work.

The First Order has essentially picked up where the Galactic Empire left off, but they have more to prove. Their methods make the Galactic Empire look innocent by comparison. Justifiably so, as an authoritarian regime behaves much more desperately and barbaric when they feel compelled to show strength. We learn that the soldiers of the First Order are not lured into a recruiting office, they are selected and plucked from their families during their infancy. The First Order also thinks little of torching an entire village even to just inch closer to their goals. The Nazi overtones are blatant throughout the film, which wasn't a problem for the original trilogy - George Lucas at least allowed the Galactic Empire to stand on it's own merits, and not Hitler's. However, there have been enough police states in the real world since the fall of Nazi Germany that drawing influence from somewhere more modern would have been welcome. One doesn't need to think too hard to understand why this wasn't an option for a Western-based studio.

The movie is just another war movie, when all is said and done. Despite the "good guys" being called the Resistance, they don't have the charm and allure of the struggling Rebel Alliance in the original trilogy. They aren't so much a resistance as they are an opposition state, being wholly backed and funded by the New Republic. Like the Prequel trilogy, it feels like I'm watching the blue team fight the red team.

Okay, I'll say this one more time. Spoiler, though an obvious one.

Rey, portrayed by Daisey Ridley, is the next Jedi. It's obvious that the character is meant to be the new hero from the earliest stages of the film. I have a gripe with this, one that Political Correctness would attribute to sexism regardless of my justification. I really don't care that she's female. The actress did a wonderful job at portraying the character, but the writers behind the character did an awful job at developing her.

There's a concept in writing that is known as "Mary Sue", in which a character is portrayed as extraordinary without any shortcomings. It's speculated that the writer may be inserting an idealized version of himself/herself in the story. It isn't unfair to assume that we're dealing with this in The Force Awakens.

Rey excels at everything she does in the film, she has no detriments. Rey's a million things. She's street smart, she's a brilliant mechanic, a wonderful pilot, accurate with a blaster, she's fearless, she can evade an onslaught of First Order soldiers and Tie Fighters, and-- gasp! Blinks her eyes and becomes a master of wielding the force. Never mind that it took Anakin Skywalker, who as confessed by both Jedi and Sith alike as the most force sensitive Jedi that ever was or would be, fifteen or so years to master the force - or Luke's entire trilogy to master the force, both of whom had teachers, guides, and moral tests. Not Rey, she just blinks and is able to Jedi-Mind-Trick a Storm Trooper otherwise known as Daniel Craig into doing her bidding. But, as viewers, we're just supposed to accept this as okay and smile. I'm sure there are a few who did.

One can pass this off as ridiculous and childish character development, but we're dealing with a director who knows better - one who had a great deal of input on the script at that. If J.J Abrams is nothing else, he's a brilliant character developer. If you have Netflix, go watch Lost, arguably the work that gave him the credentials he has today. Even if you just watch the first few episodes, it's abundantly clear that we're dealing with a director that places high value on character development.

Because of this, it's very fair to point to propaganda being the driving force behind the character of Rey. Rey is a commercial for feminists and the Pentagon, in light of very recent developments to changes in the rank and file of their own Storm Troopers. The coinciding times of Pentagon announcements and the Star Wars release is blatant.

It's obvious I have a lot of criticisms, but I still enjoyed the movie. I got to confess, I likely wouldn't give the movie a second thought if it weren't Star Wars. While I can't say it's a libertarian movie, it has themes and tropes that libertarians will appreciate. The theme of "Sins of the Father" is strong in this film, in which the new generation must repent for the sins of the last. All of the actors did well, which was a welcome change from the last round of Star Wars films. I'll likely need a second viewing to be a better judge.

I'm glad I'm not the only person pointing out the flaw of Rey's character development, as a casual google search reveals. I'm hoping Darth Mickey takes the criticism to heart and corrects it in the next releases of the trilogy, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

Once the movie ended, I understood the reactions from the viewers that came before me. I'd like to think we're all on the same page.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Ted Cruz, Star Wars, and Liberty

Wow, this took me by surprise. Cruz is a life long major Star Wars fan? That's awesome. But, if only he were a libertarian too. So everyone's clear before we continue, I don't have a dog in the fight for the next four years on the throne, I'm finding all of them to be dangerous to liberty. This is just a for-fun jab.

I've always been surprised that, despite it's status as a highly influential paragon of pop-culture, Star Wars fans typically aren't Libertarian in their approach. One may ask, "Why would they be?" As I've detailed elsewhere, one could argue that the Jedi of the original trilogy were the first cinematic depiction (on a mainstream scale that I can recall, at least) of the Libertarian NAP - one only has to look at the few scenes containing Obi Wan Kenobi and Yoda in the original trilogy, the Mises and Rothbard of a galaxy far, far away. You could compare Luke Skywalker, or certainly Darth Vader, to Alan Greenspan or David Koch - Taught by some of the best minds in their time, certainly experienced enough to know better, but seduced by power and their own arrogance, inevitably looking to the dark side of the force for their strength.

(Okay, I know my Luke Skywalker theory is speculation at best, but the evidence of his fall is plain as day if you watch the trilogy.)

Sadly, the moral struggles contained in Star Wars may even be skewed by delusional real world Sith Lords, somehow, seeing benevolence in a militaristic empire that would think nothing of destroying an entire populated planet just to make a point to a righteously stubborn rebel princess.

All of this goes to say: Ted Cruz, I vainly implore you as a fellow Star Wars fan. Don't give in to Empire. Perhaps you watched with inspiration as the Rebel Alliance engaged in guerrilla warfare against Imperial Forces - but Star Wars has a stronger message, across both trilogies: It's important to do good, especially when evil is much easier.

Ted Cruz, I'm concerned for you. I want to be the Yoda to your Luke Skywalker, mainly because I don't think I'm charismatic enough to be Obi Wan. At the best of times, you walk a fine line between championing Liberty and championing Empire, typically leaning toward the latter. While you seem to stand for liberty on a variety of issues, I'm bothered that you view Empire as a solution just as often - particularly on issues relating to foreign policy and security. Your invocations of sanctions against Russia (There are loose Star Wars parallels to this, which ended up being the catalyst to creating the Galactic Empire), your desire to see more soldiers recruited to fight in an endless campaign in the Middle East (The Galactic Empire's MO throughout the Galaxy), and a militaristic solution to border security are but a few examples. Warfare, whether fought with weaponry or trade sanctions, is the greatest enabler of State Power, the eternal foe of liberty, and penultimate foe of peace. I'd ask you to ignore the Palpatine who's undoubtedly seen you as a successor to his power structure, as he's likely whispering darkness in your ears, or taunting you to do great evils.

If the recent polls are any indication, it's likely to come down to you and Trump. I'm concerned at the idea of a Trump or Cruz administration. We could get desperate enough to team up with Teddy Bears Ewoks to challenge the inconsistencies of their invocations of liberty.

I beg you Ted, complete your training before you dash off to the Emperor's throne room. Oh, again. Please don't make us team up with Ewoks. Those things are embarrassing.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Star Wars Episode 7: Good news for Libertarians, if true.

I gotta preface this, potential spoilers inbound. Close this page if you want to go see the movie with 100% ignorance on what this good news could be.


The big bad guy, dubbed Supreme Commander Snoke, very well could be Darth Plagueis, at least, according to an obscure spanish magazine. Descriptions of Snoke's physique are in line with the description of Darth Plagueis. Who is Darth Plagueis? In terms of the new Disney Cannon, which has completely disavowed all expanded universe material, he is the Sith Lord who taught Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious, who taught Darth Vader.

Why is this good news for Libertarians? Darth Plagueis, though a Sith Lord of no small talent, is a Sith Lord second, and a central banker first.

Cardinal of all his weapons is his connection to finance. Darth Plagueis, or Heego Damask II, holds great sway over the financial sector in Star Wars mythos. He is of the banking clan, and also manages financial lobbying firms. In practice, he's indistinguishable from the Central Banks of the real world.

Being the true string puller, he can't make himself a public figure. His solution is to recruit a young, politically savvy Palpatine as his apprentice, and Palpatine will press forward by orchestrating the events that will bring the galaxy under the rule of a Galactic Empire, all the while increasing the influence of Darth Plagueis' banking practices. Even the decision to have a clone army, answerable only to the Supreme Chancellor, at the ready to usurp the Republic was the work of Darth Plagueis.

Sadly, it's just as likely that Snoke isn't Darth Plagueis. It's also likely that Disney will be standing firm on their pledge that the expanded universe is null and void - and if Darth Plagueis is in fact the villain, his past won't adhere to the expanded universe materials.

It's comforting to think that this is in the realm of possibility, though.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Discrimination is fantastic, and you think so too

Discrimination is the corner stone of all human activity, and it always will be. Here's a short list of ways all of us, even those who swear they don't discriminate, do so every day.

  • What jobs are we willing to perform (Is the work beneath our abilities? Does it pay enough? Is the work something we are willing to do?)
  • What products we will buy (Is it a good product? Am I willing to part with my money for this product? Do I like the retailer or manufacturer?)
  • Where we buy said products (I don't like Wal-Mart, so I'm going to go to Kroger. CVS is closer, so I'm not going to Walgreens)
  • Where we choose to live (This is a noisy street, I want to live somewhere quieter. The rent is too high here, so I'm going to find somewhere else. I don't like the people that are living nearby, I'm moving on.)
  • Who we choose to associate with, personally or professionally (I like activity X, I want friends who will do this with me. I don't want to smoke meth or be around it, so I'm not going to have meth heads as friends. I need to hire a professional driver, so I shouldn't hire someone that's currently known to use mind altering drugs, legal or otherwise. I don't want to work for Employer X, because I disagree with their methods and/or products)
  • Who we choose as a spouse (I want my spouse and I to worship together, so I should find someone that shares my religion. I'm a socialist, so I shouldn't marry a capitalist)
  •  Where we will pursue higher education, if at all. (I don't like the faculty at school X, I'll go elsewhere. I want to coast through and get a passing grade without much effort, I'll find a school that provides that.)
  • What Television broadcast we will watch, or what internet sites we will read. (This show isn't entertaining, I'm going to watch something else. makes me feel too challenged, let's check on CNN instead)
  • Where we send our children to grow and learn ( I don't like this daycare, little Jimmy should go somewhere else. This place is doing a good job of filling Little Jimmy's individual needs, let's keep him here.)
  • How you spend your time (I don't want to go for a walk, I want to take advantage of the extra time to get caught up on cleaning my house)
I obviously could have kept going, and had to stop myself before this post became a bunch of bullet points. As you can see, it's impossible to engage in social activity without discriminating. Imagine having the right to discriminate being yanked away from you in any of these scenarios. You could be forced to purchase from supplier X, regardless of your individual needs. You could be forced to associate personally or professionally with someone that won't get along with you, or vice-versa. Maybe you end up having to use the services of a child care provider or educator that isn't conductive to a good learning environment. Maybe you're forced to watch Dancing with the Stars, instead of The Walking Dead, or maybe you lose the choice to watch nothing at all. Maybe for dinner tonight you'd like a side of potatoes, but a culinary diversity quota forces you to buy lintels.

Worse yet, imagine if you can't describe the criteria for what you are willing to accept, or what is disqualified from being a recipient of your resources - after all, to do so is a form of discrimination too. Whether it's qualities, aesthetics, reputation, experiences - we all have an expectation of what is worth our resources. Should you not be able to describe these things, you could easily find yourself in a repetitive cycle of having unfulfilled needs, even if you have the resources to get exactly what it is you want!

Even with all of this, there's a perfectly legitimate tool to counter discrimination, if one chose to use it: Persuasion.

Consumers don't want to buy your product? You can advertise, highlighting the great qualities of your product. The Prom Queen doesn't think you're worth going on a date with? Convince her otherwise, who knows how (any kids out there taking this particular line to heart, please make sure you know when to quit). Releasing your film on the same weekend that a popular franchise is going to be releasing it's film? Plead a case for yours. Disqualified from a job opening? Highlight the qualities that make you qualified.

If all of these fail, move on. Resources that weren't yours to begin with aren't resources lost anyway. Then, take solace in the fact that you're within your rights to do the same with every decision you make, every day.

At least, for now.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Don't give in to fear, he says.

Thug-in-chief plans to urge American's to not give in to fear. 

Sound advice, though I'd implore him to follow it - and to stop stoking the fire.

Don't create a climate of fear around private firearm ownership. 105,999,998 private firearm owners didn't engage in wanton mayhem on December 3rd. How many San Bernardino County gun owners were legislated out of carrying, concealed or open, on December 3rd? How do you justify making the event about privately held firearms? The individuals in question knew how to make and use bombs (allegedly), would gun control have made this situation any better, or worse?

Put an end to military adventures in the Middle East. This was a driving force behind your election, as millions believed you would put an end to it. Stop giving incentive for radicalization. The surviving children we bomb today will be the radicals of tomorrow. Stop using fear to justify international murder.

Stop expecting us to surrender liberty to be safe, the very definition of giving in to fear. Your vast intelligence networks have failed. The militarization of police has failed. The TSA fails as a matter of routine. It's fair for Americans to not trust the government to keep them safe given the track record, and to come to the conclusion that they need to arm themselves instead.

I can't imagine he's sincere in his plea, as his entire agenda relies on a terrified populace.

Friday, December 4, 2015

We're on our own

If anything has become glaringly apparent as a result of the tragedy in San Bernardino, it's the repeated revelation that all of the spy networks and para-military organizations that Leviathan swears by cannot and will not keep you safe.

After a few days of shrugging, the MSM and it's puppet masters have "discovered" that the villains in question were in fact radicalized, plainly apparent from an old Facebook post. Wasn't this precisely the sort of intelligence that the NSA was supposed to specialize in using to thwart terrorism?

Lest we forget, California boasts some very strict gun control, second only to the state of New York. The rifles used in this incident were quite illegal in their configuration. One can speculate endlessly on how these rifles were obtained. Old inventory from Eric Holder's Fast and Furious campaign? The Mexican Drug cartels, who transformed San Bernardino county into the (former) meth capital of the United States? A short trip across the border? Keep in mind, all the MSM has dared to say on the weaponry in question is that they were purchased legally. They haven't said by whom, or when. "Legally transferred from a friend" is the extent of the detail. If true, this wasn't in California. All private party transfers must be handled by an FFL licensee in the state, unless transferred between immediate family members. This either didn't happen in California, or whoever drafted this narrative is counting on public ignorance of California gun laws. If this did not happen in California, most states require a Record of Sale, even for private party transfers.

It may be worth noting that Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina may have helped to accidentally let slip a bit of truth, in an interview on MSNBC's Morning Joe:

“If you listen to your reporter earlier, what he said is the ATF believes that someone purchased this gun on behalf of the police department and somehow that gun ended up in the hands of this guy, so it actually does not sound at all like this man purchased a firearm."

What of the third shooter, called out by multiple witnesses - yet written off by the powers that be? One such witness described a white suspect (How this was determined I couldn't guess, weren't they clothed in Military fatigues head to toe?) in an interview on CNN. Politically correct narrative, or is there in fact a third person that got away?

The great parroted question now is "How do you prevent this?". The usual suspects have been lined up for broadcast. Old National security advisors, talking heads, and apologists for the state. At best they talk in circles - perhaps concerned that if they talk too much a little boy from the crowd will stand and point out that the emperor has no clothes. At their worst they demand more of the same. Surveillance, spying, and war. They conveniently gloss over the fact that all three incentivize the activity they push ever so boldly against. I can't say that I feel safer today than I did on September 11th, 2001. I'd feel better if we stopped turning the Middle East into a hellscape, so today's five year old's don't turn into tomorrow's 20 somethings with a taste for revenge.

It's a recipe for disaster.

  1. A non-functioning surveillance apparatus, that spends more time spying on you and I than the enemy it was designed to cripple.
  2. A call for more gun laws, which did nothing to prevent this and will only disarm those with no inclination to create tragedy. Further fueled by the potential that the firearm was intended for government hands (scary enough on it's own, I know), but ended up elsewhere. It's also foolish to avoid the topic of French gun control laws, which certainly didn't keep Paris safe.
  3. Perpetual warfare for the foreseeable future, and perpetual incentive for radicalization. Future "justification" for the Nuclear option.

 Thus is the modus operandi of the decision makers, to the delight of the State, the military industrial complex, and those who would not let a good crisis go to waste. The deceased in San Bernardino are little more than another sacrifice to Leviathan and it's wicked pantheon of lesser gods, all of whom don't mind seeing us disarmed, vulnerable, and domesticated as cows to be slaughtered or milked.

Should it continue to have it's way, the rest of us are next. We're on our own.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

We don't know

Wow, Juggernaut was right.

Be afraid at all times at all places, starting now

But had they been honest, they'd have completed the sentence.

Be afraid at all times at all places, because we don't know anything.

I've been watching/listening/reading the coverage of San Bernardino off and on (mostly on) for most of the day. The only consistency has been the fact that talking heads can recite "We don't know".

The FBI doesn't know. The DHS doesn't know. ICE doesn't know. The SBC Sherriff doesn't know. The MSM doesn't know. All of whom have been participating in this all day.

If I said "We don't know" for a whole day in a professional setting, I'd get canned pretty quick. Or at least laughed out of the office.

Two suspect corpses later, never mind that dead men tell no tales, they still don't know. Remember the good old days of media coverage of tragedies? They'd know the culprits life story before the corpses were cold. Here they are, staring at two suspect corpses, and still don't know anything.

Hoooo doggy, caught us a live one! Maybe now we'll know something. Nope. We don't know. His name is Sayed Farook, he's a county employee, he's a suspect, but we don't know.

Aha! You need a badge to get in. Maybe we can check the log-- nope, we don't know.

The suspect took a headshot! (I unfortunately saw the remains briefly on television, thanks CNN.) Was that him? We don't know.

A suspect fled the scene under heavy police gunfire. Was that one of them? We don't know.

But... we know there was a Christmas party. Maybe? Of the dead suspects, one male and one female. Remember when descriptions didn't describe 100% of the global population?

It'd be the stuff of a late night spoof if it weren't so tragic.

There's a lot of things all of this can mean, I'm leaning towards:

  1.  Juggernaut really doesn't know, and isn't anywhere near as effective, helpful, or necessary as it's defenders say it is.  
  2. Nobody's sure how to spin it, because the facts are inconvenient to a desired narrative.

 Meanwhile, powers that be have made the conversation safe. Just blame guns and NRA. Then maybe global warming.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Borders, boarders, and property

I'm of a mind that nobody is allowed in or on my premises without my explicit consent, or consent granted by proxy via right of contract. There was a time when this was a general rule of thumb. Now it seems to be a gray area, depending on what demographic we'd like to allow the right to trespass.

Let's say you run an apartment complex, or another rentable living space. There's several duties involved in this, not limited to:

  • You'll need to hire groundskeepers and maintenance technicians
  • You'll need to fill apartments with tenants
  • You can't initiate aggression against your tenants, nor can they do so unto you, or to other tenants
  • You need to protect yourself against any mishaps, unless you're willing to run the risk of losing your property, safety or wealth.

Point four is in bold. It is the most important aspect, and is the reinforcement and guiding point behind the first three points. The burden of safety falls upon the endorser. In this hypothetical, it's you. How might you protect yourself from these mishaps?

Insurance is an obvious answer, but it's not the end all be all. The goal is to avoid a problem in the first place. There's a lot of different people involved, each with their own backgrounds, experiences, and predilections. The only resource you have is to vet and interview.

A history of violence or delinquency for one of these individuals you're vouching for? You're not likely to let them in, or at least I'd hope not. What about burglary, robbery, or petty theft? Or, what if they committed what could arguably be the greatest violation of property rights, and have a history of sexual assault?

Are you willing to subject your tenants and co-workers to these possibilities?

Lets consider that a potential participant in this community passes all of this criteria, but is without the means to sustain. Who shoulders the burden of keeping them clothed, fed, and sheltered? Do you look to other members of the community, who did not vouch for anybody, to shoulder this burden? Do you let them wither and die, providing for a bleak and withering community?

If not, what do you do when any of the above drains on resources are thrust on you? What if you already have a problem sustaining the community as it is?

Maybe for the folly of your judgement, you are held responsible. Maybe the delinquent in question, now that said delinquent is here, is considered wholly a part of the community, and the damage is done. The burden may fall on you to compensate the victims of a delinquent that didn't just come in, but one that you've welcomed with open arms and an endorsement.

Maybe, if you know you're going to be held responsible, you won't be so quick with the welcome wagon.

Contrast this with a bloated governing body, who rules only by demand. The same government that boasts a large surveillance project, yet couldn't decipher the information that could have prevented the massacres in Paris, or at the Boston Marathon. Still yet, the same government whose operatives admit can't determine who's who that's coming in. Imagine if Pelosi's justification for Obamacare was used here.

"We have to let them in to see what all they are and what they'll do!"

I don't take issue to politically correct Statists advocating a "come on in" border. I expect them to, even when reality flies in the face of their delusions. Europe is suffering dearly for the multicultural convictions of it's decision makers. A casual google search reveals a crisis of rape, displacement of current residents, re-purposed churches (into shelters or toilets ), and a new and improved class of welfare parasites, ever ungrateful to it's host.

I do, however, take issue with alleged libertarians that insist I'm obligated to roll out the welcome wagon, or trust the gate keeper - especially after the disastrous results in Europe. Pair this with the grand plan of their Basic Income Guarantee, and it's grossly apparent who will shoulder the burden of their delusional fantasies.

I am inclined to ask - to anyone who wants our borders open to everyone, will you be donating your living space, clothing, food, safety and labor to these efforts? Or will you be donating mine?

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Tangled Webs, continued.

In light of this, I'm wondering if I was too accurate with Tangled Webs v1, and the Spider got the ideal reaction from the fly.

A History lesson for Bernie Sanders

Mr. Sanders,

I'd like to start by wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving. I hope it's a wonderful one for you and yours.

That being said, I should tell you who I am. I'm an individual who has the misfortune of being in the demographic that you're catering to. I grew up in the Bush years, which means much of my adulthood has been spent in an economic downturn with no sign of upswing. I want all of the things that my parents had, and here you are promising me all of it, and then some. All I have to do is be around on January 20, 2017.

However, your gravitation to Socialism, or "Democratic Socialism" as you've tried to distinguish it, concerns me. But for what it's worth, I don't fear you. If I thought you had a chance of fulfilling your agenda upon election, I'd be "Feeling the Bern" trickling down my leg. Humor aside, I don't think I'd be doing anyone any favors by sitting back and watching.

While the follies of Socialism and it's offshoots are bountiful and easily cited throughout history, I'll only be focusing on one in my address to you - the first Thanksgiving. Of course, Socialism wasn't an ideology at the time. But it's essence and spirit was alive and well in the fledgling colonies that would one day become the United States. After all, the core of Socialism is to provide for the "Have-Not's", with the resources of the "Have's". This is precisely what you propose, for every plank of your platform - all to thunderous cheers from a demographic that's fought for scraps for the last seven years. But I'm not delusional - I doubt you'll read this personally, and I'd doubt even further that anything could change your approach to governance.

We're familiar with the story of the first Thanksgiving. An eager group of Pilgrims boarded the Mayflower to find a new and better life in the new world. They arrived to the New World, established a colony, but many died, the survivors learned agriculture from the native peoples, worked hard, and sat at a table with the aforementioned natives to celebrate a bountiful harvest in 1621. Everyone worked together and thrived, forever and ever, The End.

But this story is entirely false. The real story is much more grim, to the point that one wonders what would have become of the New World if the real story hadn't panned out the way it did. I don't have to speculate on this. Governor of Plymouth, William Bradford, wrote in his diary the follies of the colony. As recorded in the History of the Plymouth Plantation, many of the colonists were lazy at best, thieves at worst - all of whom still had to eat. Thus, the condition of the harvest: "much was stolen both by night and day, before it became scarce eatable."

Consumers took from the producers, "Have-not's" received from the "Haves", without compensation to the "Haves", who would become "Have-not's" themselves. The harvest feasts of 1621 and 1622 would subsequently not be joyous occasions. They would be viewed as the possible "Final Meal", not unlike a death row inmate having his last fill before facing an inevitable death.

The year of 1623 would be a pivotal turning point for the Colonists. For the lazy and criminal, they could no longer bleed the producers of the fruits of their labor. Two years of doing such nearly brought the colony to ruin. After a poor net result of harvest for the year of 1622, Governor Bradford cites a change in situation:

"Instead of famine now God gave them plenty,and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, for which they blessed God."

That's certainly a dramatic change. So bountiful were the harvests, that the colony was able to produce enough to make their first export in 1624.  To what did they owe such bounty? According to Governor Bradford:

"they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop."

It took two years of famine and death. What was the driving factor?

There was a common stock, to which everyone was to contribute the sum of their labor, whether that labor was bountiful or nil. From this common stock, one was only permitted to take what they needed. One doesn't need a cited source to understand that a common stock, coupled with laziness and thievery, with only a handful of contributors will equate to a common stock that hardly resembles a stock at all.

Again, from "Have's" to "Have not's". From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.

These "Have's" were young men, willing and able to contribute their labor to create a better life. They complained of contributing their labor to everyone's betterment, while they would keep a slim portion of their harvest after enduring the grueling labor that comes with agriculture. Meanwhile, the "Have-not's" were able to net the same amount of harvest, without having to break their bodies to get it. Thus, the "Haves" opted to cease participation.

One could equate this to an "Escape from the States" scenario. The "one percent" that you would tax and reap from could, in theory, opt to not participate. They could leave the country, and take their operations with them. They could shut the doors, and become "Have-Nots" themselves.

So what did Governor Bradford do to prevent the "Haves" from opting out? He gave incentive. He released his hold on the individual plots of land that would comprise the colonies, and allowed the colonists to use the land to their benefit. They could maintain their own stocks, their own fields, and their own industry - their labor was theirs, as was their bounty. Governor Bradford abandoned an early form of Socialism, and established property rights and free markets in it's place. Much to all of our great fortune, otherwise history would have been very different.

As a result, they were able to begin exports. They had prosperity, security, and incentive.

It's my hope, that you would consider the truth behind Thanksgiving as you eat your Turkey in a few hours. If it weren't for incentive, you wouldn't have this Turkey on your plate. Nor would you have much on your plate tomorrow, nor would you have a "one percent" to be taxed.

If there is anything I could say about a potential Sanders Administration, it would be that it's Socialist approach to economic woes could have the same results as the Colony of Plymouth, and could perhaps dispel the Utopian myths of Socialism once and for all - but perhaps at a great sacrifice.

Wishing the potential Sanders Administration a bountiful harvest,

Black Flag

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Tangled Webs

"There's always a good reason, and a real reason."

- (paraphrased) James Altucher

I never thought I'd ever write on foreign policy. There are better people out there that can cover it, and I'm nowhere near as sophisticated in the topic as such people as Paul Craig Roberts, Lew Rockwell, or even Pat Buchanan. This blog is more to me than just a place to spout opinion, I'm out to shatter my comfort zone and take a risk at looking like a fool. Then again, Billy Kristol can look like a foreign-policy dunce while applauding himself, so I should be fine. What's compelled me in this instance is that I'm compelled to call out justifications that don't make sense.

I was surprised (not sure why) to read the news of a turning point in the latest chapter of "Middle East Adventures", in which, allegedly, Turkey shot down a  Russian fighter jet. Turkey justifies this by alleging that these Russian fighters violated their airspace. This justification was echoed by United States operatives who just happened to be listening (which I don't doubt).

At face value, this sounds very plausible and reasonable if you don't think too hard about it. Turkey has always been good at aiding the facilitation of "Middle East Adventures", always steadfast in their duty to aid the United States in transforming the region into a hellscape. So instrumental has Turkey been, that a US Congress vote on recognition of the Armenian Genocide was met with objection as to not offend Turkey's fragile sense of reality, a stance from both the Bush and Obama Administrations, particularly Clinton during her tenure in the State Department. I'm sure Turkey's grateful, for even on the 100 year anniversary Turkey would be firm in their decision to deny the term "genocide".

So, there we have the first thread in the tangled web, weaved by an unseen spider.

But wait a minute.  Is this the same Turkey that has an interest in participation, even if just on the periphery, with the new Eurasian Economic Union? Many are the cries against this alleged Neo-Soviet Union. A partnership with Turkey and this new EEU, Russia in particular, would be another point added to the list of "Ways that Putin has embarrassed the Obama Administration in the Middle East",  especially after Putin postponed World War III not long ago.

There's the second thread.

But wait another minute. Is this the same Turkey that, as alleged by an Armenian Radio Host and echoed by other Armenians, may have backed ISIS in the destruction of Armenian and Kurdish communities in Syria?  All the while, Armenia is a participating member in the new EEU.

I haven't heard Turkey object to the allegation, when they're otherwise quick to deny participating in atrocity. I could have missed it though. So, there's our third thread in the web. Still no Spider. But still, nothing adds up properly to the event in question. The background of involved parties doesn't lead me to believe that after ten minutes of warning, Turkey would be just fine with blowing Russian Fighters out of the sky - especially if it's been made abundantly clear that Russia is going after ISIS operatives in Syria.

 Come to find out, predators were lying in wait for the Russian Pilots. It's worth telling that one of the videos in question has been taken down by YouTube. I can't personally verify the contents of the video, as I wasn't up to seeing and stomaching what the video described.

It seems like too perfect of a set up that wouldn't happen without a Spider weaving a very tangled web, all to catch a bold, buzzing fly one would call Vladimir Putin. Buzzing flies need to be knocked down a peg. In light of the EEU and Putin joining in on "Adventures in the Middle East", this buzzing fly is getting a little too big to leave alone.

One has to only ask, who is known for turning one against the other, old friends are new enemies, new enemies are old friends, has a vested interest in controlling the political landscape of the Middle East, and has a close enough tie to Turkey to pull it's strings into playing along. Furthermore, who would be interested in dismantling Russia's economic, political and military efforts, and has even gone so far as to, at the very least, insinuate a desire? One doesn't even need to touch on the "Assad Factor" here, which would make this post even longer.

I can think of only one such spider. Spiders also tend to eat their mates when the mate is no longer useful.

And thus, the cycle continues.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Just between us Millennials

Oh Millennials. We're a screwy sort of breed, and getting screwier by the day.

Millennials haven't had it easy. A lot of us grew up in Dubya's years, so plenty of us have a nasty view of Republicans, which has come to guarantee a loyal voting block for the Democrats. But then we turned our brains off and voted in a nicer looking, though twice as ruthless, Dubya for a third and fourth term. But it's okay, he was a minority and on the "opposite team". Hope and Change, Yes we can, etc. etc. etc.

We did everything we thought we were supposed to do. We went to college (plenty of us spent this time being post adolescent children, so shame on those of us who did) to avoid a destitute life of flipping burgers, grueling manual labor and stocking shelves. We remember the warnings of such from our elders, who must have done something right - after all, plenty of them owned their own home by their mid twenties to early thirties.

Now, we find ourselves climbing over each other just to have a chance at one of these jobs. Thank goodness we got those degrees ( for the low, low price of $60,000 to $300,000 before interest) to prove we can stick out menial, repetitive tasks. I have sympathy for those who enrolled or were deeply invested in their education when the writing was on the wall, however those who came after don't have much blame to place beyond themselves.

We take a look at asking prices for residential real estate, consider the cost of a down payment, then look at our paltry savings, or lack thereof. The dream of home ownership gets shelved, and rightly so given our situation.

The marriages and families we imagined raising end up getting postponed, if they are to come to fruition at all.

Then, we look at the Baby Boomer generation, and fault them for their reckless abandon that's created a reality that we have to bear the brunt for. Perhaps rightfully so. But one could also argue they were duped much like the rest of us.

All that said, it's long past time to stop pointing fingers at everything except ourselves. It's beyond childish and runs risk of defining our generation just as much as our destitution.

I look at my fellow millennials, and I'm terrified for the future, and I'm tired of hearing the boo-hoo's from the rest of you. We are, after all, going to end up being leaders or enablers of varying degrees. Some of us will end up getting elected to public office, no doubt. Others will become participants in industry, whether as owners or employees. Then there are millions of us that are going to continue on as we have for the past decade: Brats that throw a tantrum over minor slights, real or imagined. These same people will continue to be conditioned and brainwashed into infantilization, to be shielded from the burdens of responsibility, reality, and adverse opinion. They will be coddled by their government, and by extension the rest of us who choose to produce, as a mother coddles her newborn babe. These same people will also have an expensive degree, proving they can perform their daycare activities with ease. They'll also get much worse than this as time goes on, making sure their Wall on facebook is completely aware of their infantile outlook. In between these outbursts, they may even post reaction gifs on imgur. Despite all of their education, they'll need pre-made pictures readily supplied by various media to define their emotions, having been handed a passing grade for their participation in higher-daycare. God help us all, it's safe to say that too many of you are going to be duped into voting. This is much more terrifying after I read something like this.

In case most of us have been asleep since 2007 (and I don't discount the possibility, in the literal or the metaphorical), I have a news flash for you: We have a right to nothing.

We do not have a right to expensive meals. We do not have a right to smart phones. We do not have a right to home ownership. We do not have a right to easy employment that allows us to live above comfort. We do not have a right to make demands of another person. We do not have a right to anyone's money, efforts or assets except our own. We do not have a right to be free from being offended. We do not have a right to a free education. We do not have a right to high speed internet. We do not have a right to iPods. We do not have the right to expensive clothes. We do not have the right to party our lives away.

We do, however, have the right to get off our asses and do better than this. While there are many of us who do, there are many more who do not.

You want a dialogue on minority relations (whatever this means?)? Then stop shutting down discourse and calling it "Hate Speech" when the conversation doesn't go in your favor. Better yet, stop allowing yourselves to be duped into thinking trivial aesthetics, ethnic origins and anatomies are how individuals should be defined. Even further, stop staging incidents like this one or this one to try and justify yourselves.

In fact, stop being duped in general. I'm blown away that we're so easy to dupe, despite our experiences over the past seven years.

You want a better standard of living? Stop waiting for everything to be handed to you. Don't wait for a "really good" opportunity.  Don't hinge on empty promises from people that are relying on you to chase the carrot on a stick (I'm looking at you, 2016 candidates - one in particular).  You have the internet - it's that thing you use all day every day. Plenty of people use it to address their needs. Cater to these needs, and monetize it. No more boss, no more of that oxymoron "wage slavery". If there's anything to say about Millennials, we're at least creative. Use that creativity to solve a problem, or fill a need, and I'm sure several someones be willing to part with some of their money.

Stop placing value on a degree. Companies that pay above industry standard, like Google and Starbucks Corp., are moving away from degrees being a hiring criteria. They don't care about what you spent money on, they care about what you can actually do. There's a great fountain of knowledge out there that you can use to educate yourself for free. It's called the internet.

We need to stop embarrassing ourselves pretty quick, or the future is going to be very grim.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Time to shut it down.

It's been a little over fourteen years after the event that CHANGED EVERYTHING, which equates to a little over fourteen years of the creation (or possibly, acceleration) of a vast security apparatus. This apparatus collects data, seemingly, on all activity everywhere, foreign  and domestic, as confirmed by Edward Snowden.  If this weren't enough, this apparatus has since branched out into security ventures at home and abroad. All in the name of keeping everyone safe from terrorists, everywhere, at all times.

Participants include:

- Various alphabet soup government agencies. NSA, CIA, DHS, TSA, FBI and likely many more.
- Tech companies. Google, AOL, Microsoft, and likely many more.
- Telecom companies. Verizon, Sprint, Charter, Time Warner, and likely many more.
- Social Media, such as Facebook (likely the largest voluntary database that ever was) and Twitter
- Boots on the ground throughout alleged hotbeds of terrorist activity, throwing fuel on the fire.
- Mainstream media, stalwart in their duty to remind us of the necessity, and to parrot the State's claims of how effective all of this is.

That sure is a lot of muscle being brought to the fight, let's call it the Juggernaut from here on out. Boy, I'm glad Juggernaut is on our side. Juggernaut's there to read our emails and text messages. Juggernaut is there to listen to our phone conversations, and to spy on our internet activity. Juggernaut is also there to liberate the sh!t out of us. All of this to, you know, keep us safe and free.

Here's a list of those terrorist attacks that Juggernaut let slip through the cracks so far this year. Granted, a lot of these invoke a very loose definition of the word Terrorism.

All of this to say, on the day of the event that CHANGED EVERYTHING, everyone was left scratching their heads. Despite having the intelligence from existing sources that an attack was imminent, and perhaps even some inclination as to how the attack could be carried out, somehow acting on the intelligence became a non issue. Maybe a memo fell behind someone's desk. I don't necessarily imply inside job, but I do insinuate, at least, incompetence.

So the answer? Warantless wiretaps, waiting in line for a cheap date at the airport, surveillance of all of your activity, endless warfare so we don't have to fight them over here (until we import them ourselves, creating job security for Juggernaut), spying on the State's friends and enemies alike.

Should you object, you're rhetorically asked if you want another 9/11. Or, if you've forgotten 9/11. As if they expect you to answer "Yes, I forgot all about the day that CHANGED EVERYTHING, it only dominated the airwaves, broadcasts, and bandwidth for four months after the fact. Thanks for reminding me, and spying on me to protect my freedom."

Then Paris happened, and changed nothing. Nobody is asking how effective the large paperweight in Utah actually is.

Nobody is asking what Juggernaut did to stop it. The suspects in question allegedly did all of this without encryption.  It was even made easy for Juggernaut, and Juggernaut still failed. To knock Juggernaut down another peg, it sounds like there was plenty of warning.

I think it's time to retire Juggernaut, unfortunately Juggernaut is only likely to get a pay-raise from all of this.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Your rights end where my hypersensitivity begins

 I want to try something different. I probably illustrate better than I write, and I'm better at poking fun than taking something seriously.

This was all made by me (quite sloppily, and just for fun), from scratch, using photoshop and a wacom tablet.

For your viewing pleasure, enjoy!

**You are within your rights to redistribute and publish, provided you credit Black Flag and link back to this site!

*PS - In case Adobe sees this and is curious, yes I use a legal and paid for Photoshop license.

Monday, November 9, 2015

The TSA's mad, mad world.

 I get a little nervous when government recognizes how ineffective it is. It's answer is always to try and be more effective. Consider what government considers effective, and how they reach this goal post. More tyranny, more taxes, more control. Government - city, state, or federal, produces nothing. They're stationary highwaymen, they understand two principles: Consumption, and force. They consume to enforce, and enforce to consume, and continue in this cycle perpetually. They produce nothing. They have no factories, no ability to innovate, no means to improve the human condition. When they have any of these things, they've taken from Person A to give to Person B - they rearrange the suffering and insist an imperfection has been eradicated. Once it's become clear that a problem either hasn't been solved, or has only grown worse, they vainly advocate more effective measures. These effective measures are typically an amplification of what they already do, the only measures they already have: Consume to enforce, enforce to consume.

In the wake of the Russian Jet crash, Representatives Adam Schiff , and Peter King do just this. With the infinite wisdom that comes from being an elected official, he recognizes that if someone wants avoid a hindrance to their goals, they utilize a method to get around it.  Per Adam Schiff, when they test the TSA, they fail. Why wouldn't they? Allegations of a co-opted agent aside (hold your surprise at the revelation, and if true only helps to reach the conclusion of this writing),  where is the incentive to do otherwise?

Imagine that for a moment. They've created a job position where someone with the mental capacity of a gold fish can draw a substantial salary paid by their victims, all the while they are free to grope, rob, and humiliate their customers - and have no shortage of tools or methods to do so. They're well insulated from repercussions (until their bosses are caught being caught in protecting their goons), being members of the AFGE.  If anything, they have an invested interest in ensuring the lack of safety, and reveling in the failure that Adam Schiff points out. Simpletons they may be, but fools they are not. They can cite a lack of funding, whether true, false, or somewhere in between. Likely false. Here's why.

More funding means more employees, more equipment, more methods. More employees means more Union dues, and more votes to coerce. More equipment means that Michael Chertoff and his buddies still get a slice of the pie.  More methods equates to a greater variety of ways to engage in otherwise antisocial behavior, domesticating individuals into submission. Everyone wins, except the individual.

Contrast all of this with a private sector incentivized to respond. One doesn't even need to look at a vast commercial enterprise, one needs to look no further than the individual.

Risky behavior and risky property comes with potential costs. Have dangerous animals or  dilapidated property? The risk and responsibility is yours to shoulder, along with your insurance company. Provided they even choose to insure your risky behavior. The insured who have a dangerous situation within an acceptable threshold face higher premiums, and are encouraged to provide safety. Those who throw safety to the wind go uninsured, and may end up losing it all.

In a functioning market, airline safety would be provided as a means to mitigate costly catastrophe. Who would shoulder this burden? Provider of the service, whether the airlines, the security company,  the airport, or another invested party such as an insurance company. It's hard to say who all of these parties are or could be, as there's no free market in airline security. Who knows what innovations in security could come about, all the while preserving a customers dignity. Whoever these stakeholders are, their service would be a safe airline experience. Contrast this with an apparatus that has an invested interest in preserving the opposite, which we have today.

 As the creation of the TSA has ensured a non-functioning market where there is no market response , we're at further risk of airline catastrophe. Much to the great misfortune of us all, powerful parties are delighted by this, and are likely licking their chops at the most recent sum of their great failure.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Boo hoo, says Rand.

Boo hoo Trump. Boo hoo Hillary. Boo hoo socialism.

All valid concerns that I share, but I blame Rand Paul.

Rand could have been another champion of liberty. He could have continued his father's legacy, with a legion of excited volunteers at his disposal - with the fortune of being in a period of history where Liberty is proven right and true - after the grim warnings of his father have come to fruition.

But he didn't. He chose status instead of principle. Rand seeks the approval of those who only like him as long as he's useful. Rand is a good "sanitized" libertarian, the sort of libertarian the establishment likes. He may as well be in the Koch Party.

Yes, the income tax is bad. But it shouldn't be replaced. Not with a flat tax, not with a fair tax, not with a VAT tax - replace it with nothing, and don't apologize for it. If it bankrupts the cruel machinations of the State, so be it.

Rand could have been an alternative to Statism. He chose to be the apologist for the state. He could have stood out from his opponents, both in and out of the Republican party. Rand chose to blend in.

All of his hard work against the NSA was for nothing.  He chose to be the rust in the machine, instead of being the sledgehammer that takes it down.

I can't take you seriously Rand Paul, and unless you change course I'm not certain other advocates of liberty will either. This was a wasted opportunity for Liberty, and the Statism you allegedly fight against is only more likely for it.

I blame you.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Star Wars: A New Hope(lessness)

Fair warning. I'm a fan boy. I love Star Wars. In my youth I loved the movies and some of the expanded universe material. In fact, Star Wars may have helped me come to the Libertarian conclusions that I've held for quite some time. Which is ironic, considering Murray Rothbard's critique of Star Wars. Sorry Murray.

But that was then. I'm not sure what to expect from Episode 7 or Episode 8, currently being filmed. I like the work of J.J Abrams fine. Though I'm not a Star Trek fan, I'm told by friends that are fans that he took a step away from the blatant socialism of the series during his venture into the franchise.

I guess there's hooting and hollering over the casting choices for the new film for a number of reasons, in particular would be Disney induced political correctness. Maybe true, maybe not. We won't know for sure for a couple of months. For a great critique on the subject, Alex Jones discusses it objectively. But I do recall rumors of casting calls in London specifically asking for a white female and a black male for lead roles (which isn't a problem in itself). I could be very wrong though. Here's some merit to the rumor a few paragraphs in.

Okay, you were warned. Libertarian-Nerd rant approaching at rapid speed. My apologies to readers expecting serious subjects. I take that back, no apologies. You gave a nerd the internet.

Unless you've been too responsible to pay attention, you noticed the decline. The Prequel Trilogy that began hitting theaters over a decade ago and came to it's conclusion in 2005 failed (at least, in the sense of a good saga). when compared to it's original predecessor. A lot of people cite George Lucas as the problem. This may be true up to a certain point, but I'm not so certain the blame can be thrown at the man who conceived the original saga. I would lay the blame at whoever decided the Jedi moral compass should be ambiguous, likely a writer. You know, "living breathing document" arguments.

Consider the depictions of the Jedi in the original saga. Talented, wise, stoic, and fatally committed to peace - even at their own peril.

 The Jedi in the original trilogy, perhaps by coincidence, embody the Libertarian Non-Aggression Principal.

In the above scene, Obi-Wan is ambushed by Darth Vader. This is the individual against the State. Darth Vader's intentions are clear, as his weapon is drawn and has no moral objection to the logical conclusion to the likely outcome. Amidst the dialogue where Obi Wan may be making an effort to diffuse the duel, Obi Wan makes few, if any, efforts to strike down Vader. If there are efforts, they're not very strong, Obi Wan obviously carries no malice in his heart. Darth Vader, however, is clearly more aggressive in his efforts.

Upon seeing that his newest pupil is spectating, Obi Wan yields. I'd like to think that, in light of the two minutes leading to this point, Obi Wan sees no glory in violence. Darth Vader delivers the killing stroke, and displays uncertainty and fear. He steps on the remains to ensure his foe is defeated - as if the vanishing body wasn't enough of a confirmation. The State lacks confidence, it sees enemies where there are none.

Even post-mortem, Obi Wan Kenobi dissuades Luke from engaging, as he and his friends escape.

With Obi Wan dead, Luke has lost his moral compass. He's been given the tool of "The Force", but doesn't understand it's righteous use. Still yet, from beyond the grave, Obi Wan leads Luke to Yoda. Yoda attempts to coach Luke, who is likely struggling with thoughts of revenge - on Obi Wan's behalf, and for Han Solo, Leia, and Chewbacca, who are currently at the mercy of Darth Vader, a bounty hunter, and an old friend of Han's that has since bent a knee to the Empire. Both Yoda and the ghost of Obi Wan plead with Luke - he must remain and finish his training to better understand what he's using and why. Running off in an act of vengeance will be a terrible error. Though the loyalty to his friends is admirable, unfortunately for Luke both Yoda and Obi Wan were right.

Contrast this scene to the duel between Darth Vader and Obi Wan. Luke Skywalker draws his lightsaber first - Perhaps to Darth Vader's delight, as he goes on to taunt Luke Skywalker about Obi Wan. Luke, contrasted to Obi Wan, makes no attempt to diffuse the fight. Both Luke and Vader are focused on the same thing - laying waste to the other. Again, contrasted to Obi Wan, Obi Wan was only struck when he wanted to be. Otherwise, no injury was sustained. He was at peace, focused, and clearly in control of the situation.

The wanton, unfocused melee only ends when Luke loses his hand. At the revelation that Darth Vader is in fact Luke's father, Luke escapes the situation. He then gets a mechanical graft to replace his missing hand. Remember this, it's important later. What's worse, the bounty hunter Bobba Fett has delivered Han Solo to Jabba the Hutt.

Luke's outfit has changed in Return of the Jedi. He no longer has his white garb from the first film, or even his rebel uniforms from the second. He is clad in black, bearing a more prominent resemblance to the enemy he has taken up arms against instead of the moisture-farming teenager we met in the first film. In an attempt to free Han Solo from the crime-boss Jabba the Hutt, Luke delivers ultimatums.  Crime bosses being crime bosses, they aren't much for tolerating disrespect - especially when the goons are watching. Luke is then at the mercy of Jabba the Hutt's vicious pet, which Luke bests. Luke, Leia, Han and Chewbacca are taken to the desert, to face execution via the Sarlaac - a wild beast that devours anything within reach of it's gaping maw. Luke offers Jabba a final chance, and verbatim, two choices: "Free us, or die".

We can see that Luke is at a pivotal development in his struggle, he runs risk of becoming another Darth Vader, embodiment of force and coercion.

Contrast this to Yoda, or Obi Wan. Obi Wan in particular, who faced off against a greater evil and initiated no threats, or violence. Luke may very well be heading towards the dark side of the force, by fighting evil with evil. A battle ensues, so on and so forth.

After a conversation with the apparition of Obi Wan, Luke comes to the revelation he's not alone. He has a sister, and it's Leiah (aaaawkward). There is a light disagreement between Obi Wan and Luke, regarding the fate of Darth Vader - should Luke engage him? Obi Wan believes so, Luke doesn't. This seems contradictory to what we've examined about Obi Wan. But, consider what Obi Wan considers a confrontation, from his duel with Darth Vader aboard the Death Star. It is a confrontation of the mind, not a confrontation of violence. Obi Wan won. Why not Luke too?

Luke turns himself in to Imperial forces, and it naturally catches Darth Vader's attention. Luke attempts to reason with his father, but, much like the State of the real world, Darth Vader hears none of it, even rejecting the fact that he is an individual and a person cursing Luke's use of his name, Anakin Skywalker.  Luke Skywalker is taken aboard the Death Star, where he endures a spiritual tug of war, with the Emperor playing the role of "Devil on the Shoulder", successfully taunting a vulnerable Luke towards violence. Much like the State Apparatus of the real world, the Emperor sews strife where there otherwise would be little conflict, if any at all.

 Luke is much like an evenly balanced scale throughout his time spent on the second Death Star, requiring only the slightest tip in balance to embrace the way of Obi Wan, or to embrace the ways of the dark side. To our surprise, it is not the Emperor who taunts Luke into a fit of aggression. It is Vader, who makes a deep, cutting threat against Leiah. Luke bursts with a fury that we haven't seen, even from the villains of the story - to remove Darth Vader's hand, exposing the wiring and machinery that is beneath Darth Vader's black shell. This causes pause in Luke, as he examines his own hand. Both Luke and Vader are losing their humanity to darkness, by giving in to evil. When Luke refuses to further engage or entertain the Emperor's evil, and Vader is clearly to weakened to continue, the Emperor intervenes, engaging Luke. Luke is unable to fight back, essentially forced into a similar position as Obi Wan. Darth Vader then intervenes, using the last of his strength to save his son. Lessons are learned by all, and we've witnessed character growth.

Long winded, maybe. But to highlight the success of the initial trilogy, I felt compelled to talk about what made it great. It wasn't the lasers or the spaceships, or even the detail of the universe this story takes place in - it was the principles of the Jedi that defined the series. It became a time honored classic, and ultimately went on to define other sagas that depicted the struggle of right and wrong, or good and evil, a struggle all of us can relate to in some way.

Then, the prequel trilogy happened. You'll notice I've got less to say on the prequel trilogy. There is little to analyze, and much to criticize.

The Jedi here are unrecognizable from the Jedi of the original trilogy. Foolish, arrogant, violent, and tools of the state. Charging into a fight lightsabers ablaze is the rule, not the exception. No question of methods, no moral compasses. They even seem to delight in the melee and use of force, holding weapons at the necks of their adversaries.

If that's nothing to glare at then one has to wonder how Obi Wan and Yoda of the prequels somehow turn into the wise Jedi of the original trilogy. Maybe it was their major errors.

Characteristically, they're no different than the Sith that they claim a moral superiority towards. The conflict is bland. It's team red vs team blue, indistinguishable from the next save for minor aesthetics.

The big enemy for the first film of the prequel trilogy is the Trade Federation. Their great act of evil? Collecting payment for unpaid goods. I expect to be paid when I provide product, service or labor. I imagine merchants are the same way.

Throughout the trilogy, the enemy evolves into secessionists, with their proper noun changed to "Separatists". This is their only crime elaborated on at length. As the enemy evolves into this, the warfare grows more aggressive, with Jedi leading the charge, with a ready-made, mass produced army of clones right behind them.

The prequel trilogy only begins to gain it's merit towards the end of it's final film, upon the revelation that all major contributors to the conflict were being manipulated towards evil by a Chancellor who desired to be an Emperor. But of course, this doesn't dissuade the Jedi from perpetuating evil - seeking to confront the Emperor in an armed conflict, operating under the assumption that violence is their only chance at victory.

At the Emperor's victory, he recruits a younger Anakin Skywalker into becoming Darth Vader. Vader is tasked with eradicating the remaining Jedi - even the children, to achieve peace for the new Galactic Empire.

Despite the violence and aggression leading up to this point, all major characters privy to the situation are scratching their heads wondering how Anakin could come to the conclusion that butchering people, even kids, is just fine.

So effective was the Galactic Empire that it's even the envy of real world Sith Lords. Why not? Emperor Palpatine used a young, confused man to murder innocents - not dissimilar to the means endorsed by Darth Kristol's think tank. You gotta understand, Emperor Palpatine was just a misunderstood one-man patriotic think tank who really, really loved his government. He'd sing the anthem in between showering and brushing his teeth every morning. He'd even wave a flag before executing Jedi. So it's okay. Right? Right?!

 What does this mean for the new trilogy? It's an ideal time to re-examine elements of the original trilogy, and the righteous struggle against cruel and corrupt power. I'm not optimistic this will manifest, but I hope I'm wrong. Flashy, loosely-defined violence dotted with hints of political intrigue doesn't challenge the sanitized mind of a viewer so it's safe territory. Questions of the individual and the state aren't acceptable - Questions about who should rule are just fine, questions about what those who rule do aren't. Questions on the necessity of a ruler are heresy.

Bundle all of this up, throw some Mickey Mouse ears on it, and inject a dose of Disney induced political correctness, then we may have an inkling of what to expect from the resurrection of a story that lost it's way long before Darth Mickey acquired the rights to Lucasfilm.

Oh. Yeah. Copyrights to respective owners. Not sure if I should credit Lucasfilm or Disney.

Monday, October 19, 2015

It could have been me, it could have been you

The greater liberty movement suffered a loss on October 16th. Irwin Schiff, a prominent income tax protester and father of Peter and Andrew Schiff passed away. He did not die comfortably, having succumbed to cancer whilst chained to a bed in a Texas prison. Despite the pleas of a caring family, Irwin was not released to enjoy his final moments with his family.

Certainly Irwin must have been a danger to you and me if he had to be chained to a bed during his last days. What could have been his crimes? Answering a question about one of his books on the Income Tax, in public. After a judge ordered him not to discuss his book further.

Let that sink in. Irwin harmed nobody. He committed no murder, no rape, and inflicted no loss upon any individual.

However, he was sentenced to one-hundred and fifty one months in prison.

It's not uncommon for inmates to be released early, regardless of crime. Provided they behave. This includes murderers and rapists - those who have clearly initiated aggression against another individual and caused real damage.

But a tax protester? Obviously, this is the cardinal sin of the State religion. Ba'al demands his tithes and slaughtered lambs, after all. To shackle an ill and dying eighty-seven year old man to a bed would otherwise be called elderly abuse. But for heresy against the State, this may be invoked as a righteous retribution against an unruly sinner.

 It begs to ask, what champion of liberty is immune to the state? In an age of increasing hostility toward individual liberty, it's getting a little less hard every day to foresee a near future where disenters of State action could be rounded up as a "National security risk".  Irwin was sentenced in 2006. We're now in 2015, an age where State Aggression is no longer something talked about in the corners of Conspiracy Theorists. It's out in the open, no longer disguised, openly admitted to by it's executors without shame, regret, or apology. Just the opposite, in fact.

When will the communication of any idea hostile to the State apparatus be punishable? A day where the likes of Ron Paul or Lew Rockwell being in the same position as Irwin Schiff doesn't seem as unreal now as it would have on October 15th.

Irwin Schiff's strength and conviction are praise worthy, willing to take his fight against theft to his grave. Though ill and elderly, his strength clearly frightened a weak, fragile Leviathan.

I'd say in many ways, Irwin won this fight. It takes a monster to make a martyr.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Just a theory

Another day, another massacre in a gun free zone. I can beat this dead horse into glue, but it's not going to matter. It's been done by better writers than me, and little if anything has changed as a result.

I'm also not a fan of addressing symptoms and treating them as causes - it's a fatal error that allows the disease to continue. What compels someone to pick up a weapon and engage in wanton and murder where people can't fight back?

Violent films and video games? I have my doubts but I can't say it's not a factor. However, Japan boasts a strong participation in the industry as both producers and consumers, and they don't suffer through the same frequency of massacres as we do, committed with a firearm or another tool.

Private firearm ownership? NBC claims that one in three Americans privately own firearms, and a google search claims that there are 318 million people in the United States. It's likely fair to say that this isn't necessarily an accurate estimate, as not everyone is likely to fess up. For the sake of argument lets try our best to believe NBC is accurate. This would mean 106 million Americans are firearm owners - and 105,999,999 didn't turn a school into a shooting gallery.

Lax gun laws? Well, ask Chicago. Don't count on a straight answer that isn't draped in excuses.

Being a young straight white male? This likely was a popular narrative at some point at the MSM drawing board. Shucks, someone ruined that.

Mind altering drugs, of a legal variety? There's merit to this. Plenty of mass shooters over the past couple of decades have been prescribed a variety of pills that have destructive side effects of the violent sort. Seventy million Americans are on mind altering drugs. According to Huffington Post, one in four women uses a mind altering drug. So if we follow this theory to it's logical conclusion, why haven't any of these mass shooters been female?

Consider for a moment, that you're a young male. Aged anywhere from five to twenty-five. You're full of piss and vinegar, infinitely inquisitive and curious about the world around you. The world is a pie, and you want your piece. The only thing holding you back is a lack of curiosity, which you certainly don't have. The following is an accurate depiction of public education last I was imprisoned in the apparatus barely over a decade ago. I'm sure it's only worse today. It was infinitely hostile towards all things male. While I don't have any sympathy for murderers, I can see how the anti-male establishment that has seized control of a young male's development has nurtured the development of sociopaths.

Cool your jets, little Bobby. You will sit in your chair with your hands folded atop your desk. You will listen to a complete stranger drone on for hours on end about nothing at all. You will not rough house. You will not laugh. You will not question. You will agree with me. You will adhere to a pre-defined curriculum irrespective of your interest and talents. You will not tease. You will not be teased. You will play these games because we tell you they are fun.  Then, you will go home and do it all over again for roughly three hours. Then, we'll repeat the process again tomorrow.

Oh little Bobby, you've still got a hard time paying attention to a bitter old crone that has an infinite disdain for you. These are the pills you're going to take. Congrats little Bobby, now you are Bob the High School student. You're growing up into a model citizen! But, keep doing the things we've demanded of you since you were five.

Whoa Bob. A thug took a swing at you and you swung back? This isn't acceptable. You're supposed to curl into a ball and call for help, while we discuss what social inequalities would lead the thug to this behavior. You didn't come to the conclusion outlined in our curriculum after reading Of Mice and Men? And did you have the nerve to ask Kristy to the dance? That made her upset, you put her in the awkward position of potentially having to say no to something she didn't want. This is indicative of that evil white-male "Rape Culture".  We're going to have to talk to your parents.

How are those new pills, Bob? Good news, you're on your way to achieving a passing grade. We lowered the bar yet again, which has made everyone a model student. Have you been listening to the college recruiters that have paid very good money to come in? You're not interested in college? But if you don't go to college, you'll just be a burger flipper. You don't want to be a burger flipper, do you? Oh good, we'll write some recommendation letters for you. You should go to a public university. Two hundred grand plus interest is a small price to pay for a chance at a slightly above average income. You don't know what you want to be? You better decide very quick, enrollment deadlines are approaching. Oh, Psychology doctorate? Why not Art History? A lot of people are doing it, so it must be a growing industry. 

 Hi Bob, welcome to your first day at University of Mediocrity. Oh Bob, everything you've ever been taught is wrong. As a straight white male, you've had plenty of opportunity. What do you mean? Nobody held you back, you got trained educated. How can you disagree? How dare you disagree? Check your priveledge, Bob. Stop. Sit down, listen and agree. What do you mean I'm using non-facts? You're supposed to argue from a subjective view point, that's how we achieve the desired change.

What do you mean this University is a waste of time? You're halfway through it, don't you feel well informed and educated? Maybe you need to see a therapist if you're having some trouble.

How are the new pills, Bob? Bob? Put the gun down, this is a gun free zone!