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.