Pleading the Second

It’s been two weeks now since the psychotic madman, known as Adam Lanza, perpetrated his sick and evil intent upon the innocent children and adults of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.  In that time, I’ve sat silently, watching the news reports, social media exchanges, and political scrambling for legislative “answers” that have followed.  My third party grief for the victims is only matched, however, by my outrage at the predictable and perfectly-scheduled response from the Powers that Be.

Attack!!!

Before the bodies of the 20 victims even had time to cool, the usual suspects were already at it.  The media was set like a primed pump, and the incident was simply the switch, whereby the fountain of gun control diatribe was permitted to flow.  Every gun-grabbing liberal – and select sympathetic (emphasis on the “pathetic”) conservative – was flooding the media with attacks on the 2nd Amendment and gun ownership, using the collective exhale of our initial reaction to this tragedy the way a python handles its prey, exploiting the moment to constrict ever more tightly around their disabled victim, calling for the gun control (victim disarmament) they salivate for.  In the words of Rahm Emanuel (ballet dancer and long time associate of the infamous former Mayor Daley and his Chicago crime family/syndicate), acting as Chief of Staff for President Obama, “Don’t let a good crisis go to waste.”  The pro-gun response to this was obvious and predictable, pointing out that the tragedy was carried out in a state which already ranks 4th among the most restrictive in terms of firearm purchase/permitting/ownership, and that the “gun-free school zone” simply made for an easy, ready-made, neon sign-advertised target for a would-be assailant.  The anti-gunners, of course, given to a thought process and world view that simply denies reality as much as it does the basic right to self-defense and bearing arms, find this reasoning obscene.  And, so, we’re locked in this spiral of echo chamber bullsh*t, where the media pounds us with non-stop, sensational coverage, while the politicos act out their self-righteous proclamations, demands, and commentary to the backdrop of it all, like opportunistic silhouettes of Joel, Tom Servo, and Crow T. Robot.  Political Grandstanding Theater 2012.

The Liberal Perspective:  The only factor in a crime is the weapon used, of course!

One barely needs a warm body temperature to notice that the authoritarian, fake-left reduces the whole issue of gun violence and of crimes committed with a gun to the existence of the gun itself.  None of these phonies, for all of their bleeding heart diatribe, actually believe that guns are the sole cause of the problem, but they’re happy to pose and grandstand as such in order to limit the debate and steer each tragic cause celeb toward this rationale, in pursuit of their agenda of disarmament.  We should also dismiss the hair-splitting debates over the degree of gun control they advocate – a red herring, at best – since we know, even though there may be some “reasonable” folks among them who don’t want to entirely dismantle the 2nd Amendment, that the globalist, U.N. policies that inform the legislation they call for certainly do seek these ends.  And any attempt to disarm the people is treason.  Call it what it is.  Make no mistake:  Even the most well-intentioned push for “sensible gun control legislation”, however ignorant and misguided, always just plays into the hands of the global agenda to disarm the populace, just as has been the fate of nearly every other nation on this earth, Switzerland excepted (whose culture of weapons of defense in the hands of the people was the model for this country’s insurance policy known as the 2nd Amendment).  This is not a fight in which compromise is acceptable.

First Person Shooter Games, the Second Amendment, and the Blinded Third Eye

I find it amusing when I see incensed, righteous-sounding posts by friends about “gun violence”, the backward idiocy of the gun culture, and the measures which must be undertaken to stamp it out…  when, two weeks prior, they were dishing out accolades for the latest Call of Duty: Black Ops II, first person shooter (FPS), role playing game (RPG) for their XBox and Playstation.  Wow, really??  As entertainment, it’s entirely socially acceptable to have fun playing out a Machiavellian, ends-justified, Pentagon-propagandist narrative of clandestine, future warfare, mass death and destruction (for “Kill Streak” rewards!), celebration of global military empire.  For that, we clap, dole out awards, and recommend the game to friends.  For the right to actually bear arms responsibly for our own defense and protection, hoping to never need to use such force, we reserve contempt and political action.  God bless Amerika!

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not among those who constantly decry “violent games” and blame them for all of society’s ills.  In college and the years immediately thereafter, I played the entire Tomb Raider series for untold hours, and enjoyed the exploration of a virtual world and the mental gymnastics of unlocking logical puzzles as much as I did the ever-sexy, Laura Croft’s, unlimited weapons and firepower, compliments of available cheat codes.  Even today, I occasionally play such games at friends’ houses.  No doubt, were I to play Call of Duty, and despite my view of it as total war propaganda and imperial acclimatization, I would likely find the gameplay “fun”, at face value.  Not to mention, I grew up in the 80’s playing with G.I. Joe action figures, Transformers, as well as toy guns, pitting the “good guys” against the “bad guys”, as many boys do, innocently modelling, in my backyard, a simplistic understanding of “cops and robbers” and “war”.  I don’t necessarily see this behavior as destructive, by default – I see it as learning through role playing, no different than pretending you’re a firefighter, chef, or doctor.  Kids learn about the real world through these abstracted representations of actual concepts and ideas, often with the harsh edges removed, including “awful” things presented in harmless ways.  Add to that the ability to release natural aggression in a “safe” way.  That’s why it’s called “play”.

In contrast, and as a son of a police officer, I was also exposed to real guns in a very specific context and adult-controlled environment, and the respect for their purpose, usefulness, and safe handling was taught to me at an early age.  Fantasy, reality, and personal responsibility each occupied clear and distinct places.  For all of my childhood “war play”, I never once had the notion in my head to harm anyone or act as an aggressor.  Guns were a tool, just like a kitchen knife or a hammer, and it was the responsibility of the individual to use them in the right manner.  Interaction with this tool did nothing to promote its ill use.

Without calling for censorship or a ban on such violent games – my libertarian ethos precludes ham-fisted control measures of this sort – we should, nonetheless, at least consider the unique combination of inputs, inherent to most of the FPS games, where increasingly graphic and realistic simulation of vicious atrocities, gore and death are wrapped around a core of repetitive, reflexive, and instinctual acts of violence and killing.  Despite their interesting and cinema-worthy plots, such games can act as a Skinnerian, operant conditioning, training program for young minds to run through a virtual world as a killing wraith, with the most extreme actions receiving positive reinforcement via point rewards, all while coolly detached from consequence, even as the pixelated representations desensitize the normal reactions to such behaviors.  Think of the mixed signals we send our children and young adults.  Every parent wants their child to be respectful, loving, and kind.  They want to raise boys and girls who will become men and women who, regardless of their vocations and avocations, will influence humanity in a positive direction.  Then, we shrug and watch blankly as they sit down and play Grand Theft Auto, where they can, by interactive choice, in combination with a pre-programmed narrative, pay a hooker for sex in the back seat of a car, then shoot her dead, when “finished” with her.  We’ll tolerate this – hell, even laugh at it – but, boy, my gun rights just have to go!

I’m not simply scapegoating this industry, either, the way many right-wing folks did with so-called “satanic” rock bands like Marylin Manson, following the Columbine incident.  However, and quite simply, an argument can clearly be made that exposure to these games might very well be contributory to a conditioning to violence and hypnotic detachment from reality, and a possible setup for violent choices – including the instinct to kill – far more than simply owning a gun represents.  Yet, we don’t see the “anti-violence” politicos moving to restrict them with the same voracity, banning “certain types of games” from sale or ownership.  But, what would one expect from a society that now calls upon its young people to enlist and become “warriors” in the Armed Forces, as zit-faced 18 yr. olds, sitting in climate-controlled computer rooms in the New Mexico desert, operating drones on the other side of the globe, killing thousands of innocent people with the movement of a joystick and push of a button – people they only ever see as faceless infrared pixels on a computer screen, much like the very video games they play when off duty.  When the physical act of killing in a war environ exactly resembles our culture’s recreational games, a sick merger of the two would-be opposites, what distinctions are to be made between the mental state of either actor?  Again, the gun isn’t the villain, the individual robotically using it is.

Psychotropical Thunder

If a culture of gratuitous violence-as-entertainment, as a source of negative programming, doesn’t strike your fancy as a logical one-size-fits-all cause or co-factor for the violent behaviors we seem to increasingly witness, perhaps the pharmaceutical culture can fill in the remaining gaps.  Consider the obscenely well-established, studied, and documented facts surrounding the psychotic, suicidal, and homicidal thought-inducing effects of basically every psychotropic SSRI drug, including Prozac, Luvox, Paxil, Celexa, Effexor, Zoloft, and Wellbutrin, to name a few.  Peter Breggin is an authority in this field of research – see his article here, and his Congressional testimony here.  Consider also that nearly every mass shooter in recent history has been variously on one or more of these drugs, often in combination with other medications, the chemical cocktails of which arguably turn a person’s reasoning and mental faculties into nothing short of brain pudding.  With mass shootings of this nature essentially being a phenomenon of very recent history, despite the fact that we’ve always had guns – and when this occurrence somewhat parallels the development and increasingly widespread use of the aforementioned drugs – we have to ask ourselves if this development is related?  If we suddenly observe something we’ve never encountered before, we have to ask ourselves, “What changed?”.  Isn’t it criminally negligent, or at the very least willfully ignorant, not to focus on this available data, seeing the obvious connections?  Rather than fixate and obsess on the weapon alone, a material object with neither cause nor intent, as the prima facie source of the crime, isn’t it far more sensible to dial in the real trigger – the thing that causes a person to pick up a gun and use it to go on an incomprehensible killing rampage, with many of the shooters often described by witnesses as “detached from reality” during the commission of these acts?  Why does the system continue to give logic the finger, while jamming the gas pedal to the damn floor when it comes to taking away your right to defend yourself?  The answer to that is that all the political grandstanding has nothing to do with violence.  It has everything to do with a predetermined agenda to disarm the public.  With each tragedy comes a marketable excuse to go after American gun ownership, with pushes ranging from limited restrictions on types of firearms all the way to the full repeal of the 2nd Amendment.  Yes, there are camp followers who truly care about ending violence and murder, but these folks, in addition to being shamefully undereducated on the Founders’ meaning and purpose of the 2nd Amendment, have also allowed themselves to be used to foolishly carry the water for collectivist, social change agents, whose primary desire is to stomp out self-sufficiency and self-determination, and force you to rely on the state as your only source of protection from all threats.  Hand over your liberty, and they’ll give you security.  Read your history books, people.  That plan has never worked.  It’s time for decent people to stand up to the authoritarian demons of government who would rather make us all guilty and dismantle our right to defense, instead of addressing the root causes of problems while promoting individual liberty.  A good place to start might be by exposing the suppressed data from these psychotropic drugs’ trials and other independent research, and by holding the major pharmaceutical companies criminally responsible for their dangerous drugging of the public.

Right to Choose

Choice.  Or, as Henry Ford put it, “You can have any color, as long as it’s black.”  Exactly what are my rights as a human being, again – and when do they begin?  The so-called liberal answer is dodgy and amoebic.  Under the guise of one-dimensional, reproductive-oriented “choice” for women, I have no rights as an unborn fetus.  I can be violently killed, in utero, by doctors who have violated their Hippocratic oath to “first, do no harm”, and none of the enlightened left will so much as shed a tear for my tiny, scorched and dismembered corpse as it rots like last week’s leftovers in a medical waste bin.  Twenty innocents get gunned down by a lunatic – a tragedy, indeed – and, the end of the world ensues and I must be disarmed.  Meanwhile, the 53 million dead and aborted babies since Roe v. Wade in 1974 (2,000+ each day, currently), having been fully dehumanized, are not only a non-issue, but a stripe on the sleeve of “women’s rights” and “equality”.  Who needs Satan when we have people of this mentality running around, vying for control?

Should I be lucky enough to get born, however…  can I protect myself from harm, now?  Certainly not!  My right to meet unprovoked bodily harm or deadly force with equally deadly force (via a firearm) is just too dangerous to leave in my hands – and might infringe on others’ pipe dreams of a Utopian, non-violent society – so, it must be taken from me.  What?!  Liberals love choice when it’s variously aimed at sexual and reproductive behavior and speech (as long as it’s confined to the low hanging fruit of profanity and obscenity in art), but they recoil at the idea of an individual (gasp!) choosing to protect their life and property.  They completely throw the idea of natural rights out the window, considering them as unsophisticated and quaint, instead promoting the idea that only the state should posses the monopoly of force.  And when the state can’t and won’t protect you from whatever threat is upon you (which is the rule, not the exception), too bad for you.

Tears for Fears:  The Weeper-in-Chief

Ah, yes.  The healing tears from our Dear Leader.  Thank God for such genuine and unscripted displays of emotional vulnerability from our Lord and Savior, Obama.  Hand me the barf bag, Bob.  Anyone who believes that Obama isn’t a phony needs to ask themselves if they think he, likewise, sheds such tears of sorrow for the thousands of innocent men, women, and children in the eight different countries, such as Pakistan, who have been and are ongoing victims of U.S. drone strikes which he has personally ordered (Obama’s expansion of said activity doubling even the criminal escapades of George W. Bush)?  Or, perhaps, he cuddles with his Nobel Peace Prize as he ruminates about the 14 countries where we currently have Special Forces commanding and assisting various malevolent groups of “rebels” (read Al Qaeda), terrorizing, murdering, and ethnically cleansing local populations, while overthrowing regimes in the specious name of “humanitarianism”?  War is peace, Winston.  War is peace.  Do you think he cries himself to sleep at night over all the human collateral damage which has resulted from his obscene love-bombing and illegal, undeclared wars of aggression (the full details of which see scant coverage in most mainstream U.S. news sources)?  What a joke.  Ladies and gentlemen, there are Vegas strippers with more “real” qualities than this fecal-filled gas bag.  When a liar of such magnitude speaks, it’s like sand paper to my ear canals.  When he acts, it’s like a knife through my heart – and that of the Republic.  It ought to make you physically sick to see his obnoxious face and hear his phony, metered, preacher voice lecturing the rest of us on “gun violence”, while wiping poignant tears from the corner of his teleprompter-reading eyes.  He wants you to believe you’re bad for asserting your right to be armed, as if we’re all collectively responsible for the actions of every last deranged or degenerate person, yet he’s the one with more blood on his murderous hands than any advocate of the 2nd Amendment.  Get off my television, you lying, duplicitous bastard.

Despicable Thee: The Minions

All that said, Obama is just the front man.  The puppet.  There are plenty of other equally dangerous operatives, whose lead feet are on the gas pedal, driving the tyrannical authoritarianism bus, but selling it as sexy, ‘New Socialism’.  Through their clever use and manipulation of phraseology of sensitive subjects like social justice and gender/race equality, slimy creatures like soda-banning NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senator (D-CA) Dianne “not so” Feinstein, Senator (D-NY) Chuck Schumer, and White House Science Czar, Cass Sunstein (whose comprehension and interpretation of the Constitution – the 1st and 2nd Amendments, especially – has receded more quickly than his own hairline), to name a few, are the “boots on the ground” in the effort to relieve you, the little people, of your insipid and arcane “rights”.  They are the ubiquitous, gender and race-baiting tools in the well-coordinated attack apparatus against the right to bear arms.  Control freaks extraordinaire who want to lord over everything in your life, from the guns they won’t let you own to the sodas you’re not allowed to drink.  Using their 1st Amendment right to eviscerate my 2nd Amendment, they’d like you to believe that “normal” people shouldn’t want to protect themselves with firearms, and only a paranoid weirdo would own a gun.  Get wise to the collectivist scam, people.  Hear the doublespeak.  Normal people don’t get out of bed each morning, looking for ways to limit and control you.  While telling you that it’s your glorious right to decide to kill the unborn child within you, they simultaneously proclaim that you’re otherwise too stupid and unworthy to manage your own healthcare, make your own dietary and beverage choices, and – above all – protect yourself.  Why do so few people bat an eyelash at the hypocrisy, let alone the blatant, in-your-face, control freakism?  I used to see feminists protesting what they regarded as invasive legislation proposed by the pro-life crowd with variations of the phrase, “GOP, stay out of my vagina!”  What we need is for the vocal majority of patriots to resist the invasive tactics of the social engineers and say, “Globalist control freaks, stay out of my Bill of Rights!”

Guilt by Association?

One of the liberal memes tumbling, on repeat, through Facebookdom, is the one that equates pro-gun folks with being racists – namely, the indictment of saying that when the KKK throws support for your cause (i.e. gun rights), it should give you pause to reconsider your position on the topic.  There are two great ironies here:

First, one of the little historical tidbits that generally goes untouched by the born-to-lie media is that the KKK was founded, not just as a terrorist organization, but as a gun control organization (see here, too), successfully lobbying for this nation’s first gun control laws:  those prohibiting blacks (freed slaves with new found autonomy and a long term memory) from owning firearms.  The KKK was never in the freedom business, were never patriots, and certainly did not support the notion that all people should be empowered to defend themselves or take up arms against their oppressors.  That they’re now aligning themselves with Patriots, only insofar as their current fervor for “gun rights”, means nothing – other than the fact that, as a racist group, they’re still in the business of protecting their own interests.  The Klan’s opportunistic stance on this issue that they once lobbied in favor of, only underscores the fact that any of their political ideologies reflect zero on rank and file Patriots’ defense of gun rights and 2nd Amendment issues.

Second, if we’re really going to play this guilt by association game, then we may as well point out who is aligning themselves with the oh-so-prescient liberal push for Draconian gun control measures:  Communist China.  That’s right.  State-run, Communist Chinese media outlet, Xinhua, has been enthusiastically advocating not just for American lawmakers to institute stricter gun control legislation, but has gone so far as to call for President Obama to literally “make preparation for a protracted war” [emphasis added] with the American people.  This kind of talk about “innocent blood” from a country whose human rights violations couldn’t be fully written down, given the limited amount of available wood pulp in existence to make the required paper.  Mao, alone, was responsible for an estimated 40-80+ million deaths of his own people (and, while the exact numbers are debated, it’s relevant to note that the higher estimates come from the Chinese government themselves).  As Mao himself said, “Political power grows from the barrel of a gun.”  Which is why he had to disarm the people.  And the horrors of institutionalized abuses continue to this day, even as they hypocritically lecture us on our right to bear arms:

  • Working conditions at the FoxConn plant, which manufactures Apple iPhones, iPods, and iPads, were so bad that they were forced to erect suicide nets around the factory building to stop workers from throwing themselves out of windows.
  • These same FoxConn plants instituted mandatory monthly pregnancy testing, thereby facilitating the conduit whereby forced abortions, pursuant to China’s evil one-child policy, may be carried out.
  • Only a few short months ago, a man was crushed by a steamroller, per government orders, when he resisted a forced relocation.

If the Communist Chinese government, in all its totalitarian glory, is calling for gun control in our country, then the “liberal” way of thinking dictates that I should truly reconsider what gun restrictions are all about.  Authoritarian governments, like the one which squats over the Chinese people, are the exact reason why we have a 2nd Amendment.  A disarmed populace is quite easy to run down with steamrollers.  But, I guess we’ll just re-brand that as “liberal”, just as we have the loving, undeclared, “humanitarian” un-wars of our Nobel Laureate, El Presidente, Obama.  Give evil a little bit of good ol’ left cover, and all the useful idiots, eager to appear so “progressive”, will call it mother’s milk.

The Might of Rights

The time for playing patty-cake with treasonous and seditious scum has come to an end.  Our Bill of Rights is not a negotiable contract, alterable at the whim of public passion.  Neither are the rights, contained therein, granted by the government, nor susceptible to revocation.  They are unalienable rights, held by free people, and are merely recognized, enumerated, and guaranteed by the Constitution.  We stand upon them with our very lives, as they remain immutable from outside incursion.  Unlike our current legislators – and those throughout all of world history – these rights, when maintained by the people, protect all people.  They do not sniff out gender, race, or creed, engineering us into domesticated protectorates of the state.  They guarantee each of us, as individuals, the basic, God-given precepts by which we may guide our own destiny.  To infringe, even slightly, on any of these rights, is the highest form of treason against the American ideal and We, the People.

It’s the End of So Much More As We Know It

And I Feel Fine

I was surprised and saddened, as were so many other life-long, hardcore fans, when R.E.M. announced on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011, that they were breaking up after 31 years of being one of the most influential rock bands in history.  Indeed, even as an adult, my stomach sank like a child who just had his favorite toy destroyed, as I read the press release and a smattering of articles which were already in full, epitaph-spinning, eulogy-delivering gear.  While I generally reserve the term “heroes” for real men and women of selflessness and sacrifice or for close role models like my Mom & Dad, suffice to say, as both a music fan and musician, R.E.M. were my musical heroes and the inspiration that launched me out of adolescence and into young adulthood.  Like a Perfect Circle of old friends, the band’s integrity and spirit, DIY, indie-before-indie-was-cool ethic, and prolific catalog of songs have been, in real enough terms, ever-present and a comfort to me, as familiar as family, and never more than a tap of the “play” button away, having seen me through vinyl, cassettes, CD’s, and into the digital age of my iPod.  I could easily write a series of essays on what their music has meant to me over the years, and of the unique place in my heart they occupy as “my” band.  In memory of that fact – shared by so many, yet personal to me – I raise a glass and say “Thank you, Michael, Bill, Peter, and Mike, and farewell.”

Martin Luther Zen

But, that’s really where my sadness ends.  As I’ve gotten older and more aware of the world in which I live (and especially those areas of the world in which I don’t), and have experienced what life into my late thirties has had to offer, there’s so much more to be sad, heartened, inspired, moved, energized, captivated, and animated about.  So lucid am I These Days, that even as I began to personally mourn the news of my all-time favorite band’s demise, I immediately snapped out of it, asking myself, “Of what other innumerable things should I, even more earnestly, be mourning or simply focused on?”

Granted, a great deal of my current temperament is a function of the significant growing up I’ve done in the past decade, no doubt.  Moving and completely rebooting my reality numerous times; the passing of beloved pets; friends coming and going; witnessing the fleeting essence that is life withdrawal from someone’s eyes, as I watched my own mother die from cancer in a hospice bed in my parents living room; the dissolution of my 13 yr. marriage, prompting yet another reboot of said life.  Conversely, I’ve never experienced war (thankfully), nor have I enjoyed and/or been tried by the rite of having children, as have most of my contemporaries.  My life has evolved as it has and I’ve made peace with these things (and others), endeavoring to put it all in perspective in the way that we all must, with much philosophical and spiritual inquiry and growth along the way.  Nevertheless, these types of personal developments temper you and permanently change how and what you find yourself becoming upset or moved as a result of.

Likewise, a steady awakening to deep politics, geopolitics, and world events has also flushed much of my naive concerns down the proverbial drain.  In both increments and watershed moments, I’ve backed the hell up from the painting I’ve been staring at in the museum, and have increasingly looked upon the nuanced brushstrokes in context of the larger work – even considering the frame inside which it sits.  When you do this, the point is not to detach from reality or to place yourself up on some phony pedestal of an enlightened observer.  Rather, the opposite is true:  To know what of it is important and to alter your course and actions, accordingly.  It’s not enough to reach some false Zen plane of “everything and nothing is true, therefore, be pompous and talk with your eyes closed”.  A truly Zen adage (reminded to me by an acquaintance) is:  Before enlightenment: chop wood, carry water.  After enlightenment:  chop wood, carry water. 

But, this is all just a preamble and segue way into the heart of my point…

The Insurgency Began and We Missed It

How can I possibly become saddened, melancholy, or otherwise moved by the dissolution of a rock’n’roll band – with four well-compensated musicians happily riding off into the sunset after a long and influential career – and not be a million times more reflective and ruminative about the larger matters of society and this world?  I can’t.

How sick is it that many of us invest more time blogging, Facebook status-posting, and even having “real” human conversations about the empty, cultural sinkholes of bad television, video games, sports rivalries, frivolous internet memes, and every other meaningless trapping of a decadent, and increasingly morally bankrupt society than we do the things that actually matter to our freedom, existence, and humanity?  I’m guilty of it myself.  I’m not making a blanket argument against frivolity and “fun”, nor imagining or recommending a colorless, straight-jacketed culture where everyone must walk around in a morose and moribund state of abject grief, gnashing one’s teeth in perpetual empathy for all the world’s unsolved problems.  Human’s need the ability to express all of their feelings and emotions – and God knows that for as enriching as art and music are, we also use these cultural products, along with humor and mindless nonsensical diversions, to great effect as therapeutic escapism in dealing with the seriousness of our personal lives.  What I see so much of that bothers me is an over emphasis on the unimportant, a cultural slide towards ignorance and a redefining of fulfillment with the most vapid and superficial of ideals, to a point where we elevate our entertainment to a hallowed place not shared by so many other things which ought to occupy it.  We might even argue that, in many ways, we’ve already arrived at this lowly ‘destination ignorance’.  Not just ignorance of the academic, be it literary and scientific “book smarts” – that’s bad enough – but, ignorance of the human condition and a willful disregard for reality itselfAll too often, the subjects and things which are the most important to our lives and continued (or desired) well-being are the very things which are the furthest from our attention, if, indeed, even on our radar at all.  It’s enough to Turn You Inside Out.

Consider This the Slip That Brought Me To My Knees

What better way for me to honor the spirit of a “political” band than to shine a light on a few of the topics I consider at the forefront of this country’s current and future condition.  Here are just a few things that we should even more strongly mourn or consider the gravitas of:

  • Crony Corporatism:  mega-banks and their subsidiary multinational corporations, acting as supra-national governmental bodies, have usurped sovereign nations as well as the “free market”, while lauding itself as “Capitalism”, when, in reality, it bears no resemblance to the system of that name.  By controlling the regulatory processes of their various constituent industries, they write, lobby for, and get passed the legislation that reinforces their hegemony, while using those regulations to eliminate their competition.  The incestuous, interconnected, inter-owned combines of Big Finance, Big Pharma, Big Agri-business – Big Everything – all do it.  It’s called Fascism:  insider corporate corruption teaming up with government to bring you mercantilism.  Then, they fund and inculcate dumb, often well-meaning buffoons who have “had enough” of the economic warfare waged against them to push for an end to Capitalism, in favor of more and more Socialist, Communist, and Collectivist solutions (always involving more “state” regulation) to a problem that was engineered by these Monopoly men to begin with.  Through these near-sighted, left-leaning dolts, they also convince the general public that anyone with a dollar more than they have in their wallets is “rich” and needs to be taxed – and, of course, the lion share of this “tax money” ultimately finds its way not to the government and “the people”, but to the very mega-corporations who have maneuvered themselves, through the fraudulent legislation they wrote and successfully got enacted, to receive this money, interest-free, straight out the back door of the bought-and-paid-for government who collected it for them.  All that is accomplished is that the middle-class gets taxed into oblivion, their wealth extracted through ever-increasing austerity measures and funneled to the Corporatocracy, while the real mega-rich park their assets offshore, safe from the very taxes they help to promote.  The end result is that the economy is shut-down even more as a) industry is moved overseas, b) few non-corporate employers remain who can actually afford to employ anyone, and c) the middle class (the largest population of “spenders”) have nothing left to spend.  And fat, deceptive, pseudo-Gonzo journalists like Michael Moore, stumbling around with a forced and phony lunkheadedness that would make Columbo blush, make documentaries blaming it all on “Capitalism”.  Capitalism was never even on the racetrack, moron.
  • The end of Constitutional money:  the passing of the Federal Reserve Act in 1913 brought the U.S. its very own central bank – the bane of wise men like Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin – and the fiat Federal Reserve Notes we currently use as money.  Its very name is patently deceptive, for the Fed is neither federal (it’s a cartel of privately owned banks), nor does it have any reserves (it prints money out of nothing and controls interest rates to artificially inflate and deflate our economy).  In this system, debt = money; It’s inherently not money, and is counter to any real form of prosperity.  For every dollar created by this Monster, a dollar of debt is created – and owed back (at interest) to the Fed by the U.S. Government, who is the borrower.  Welcome to the (Banker) Occupation.
  • Loss of ownership of your own labor:  1913 also saw the same banking interests that brought us the Fed push through legislation which established the graduated Income Tax – a form of rent or feudal tribute we all must pay to our government owners for the privilege of working – as well as created the Internal Revenue Service to collect this tribute.  A direct tax on your own labor; a fine for daring to support yourself.  It’s important to note that a graduated income tax is one of the 10 tenets put forth in Marx & Engels’ Communist Manifesto.  We didn’t need it to be prosperous for the first 150 yrs. of this country’s history, and we don’t need it now.  So, who does need it?  The private banks who are the stockholders of the Fed need it in order to generate a recursive income, since their Ponzi scheme, by definition, creates ballooning debt and inflates the money supply to increasing levels of worthlessness.  The creation of the aforementioned Federal Reserve would not have been complete without a mechanism for collecting this debt.  Enter the I.R.S.  Many are startled to discover that the income tax collected by the I.R.S. does not go to fund some loving catalog of government projects or programs, building roads, or providing assistance to low-income single mothers.  Rather, all – yes, 100% – of the collected income tax goes to servicing the interest on the debt owed to the Federal Reserve (private banks) by the U.S. Government.  This all could be done away with if the federal government were to exclusively issue credit-based, debt-free U.S. Notes as legal tender, and do away with the Fed, entirely.  That would actually be Constitutional.
  • Unconstitutional and illegal wars:  George W. Bush and his regime of Neocons used phony, conjured intelligence to get Congress to approve an illegal war in Iraq, despite NO clear evidence of WMDs and NO clear evidence of Iraq having participated in or harboring anyone supposedly responsible for 9/11.  Obama not only continued this war, but went a step further in ignoring Congress altogether, instead taking orders from the U.N. and using our “credibility” with that world government organization as the justification to launch the next loving “Kinetic Military Action” against Libya – itself a lie, as the so-called protests that began the debacle have been shown to have been fomented by Western governments/military (including U.S. Special Forces and British SAS) in the months leading up, to ignite the situation that served as the pretext for NATO forces to ultimately invade yet another sovereign country.  How many illegal and unnecessary wars must be fought in our name and under false pretenses before we say enough is enough and demand that our government not be involved in needless foreign entanglements where millions of people, be they guilty or innocent, and including our own men and women in uniform, die for the advancement of the Anglo-American Empire?
  • Creation of the ‘Super Congress’:  this new ‘Council of 13′ goes far beyond any previous congressional committee, and represents a frightening consolidation of power and a benchmark loss of true representation in legislative actions in our own Congress.  The mere creation of a body such as this stands in total contempt and rebuke of the core principles of this government and of our founding documents’ intentional limitations and safeguards against such concentrations of power, and of too many strings being controlled by too few levers.  I say with no amount of exaggeration that, having heard this was passed, the scene in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith where Emporer Palpatine declared the Galactic Republic, henceforth, an Empire, began playing in my head:  “So this is how liberty dies…  with thunderous applause.”
  • Loss of sovereignty and the agendized disintegration of our Constitution and Bill of Rights:  the same “cloud network” of multi-national corporations mentioned above, acting as a stateless, boundary-less Borg hive, with intent to harmonize all laws in an open scheme to dissolve all forms of sovereignty, soft-pedaled under the innocuous term “globalization”, have no use for sovereign governments (save their own corporate bodies), let alone your individual sovereignty.  It’s more than Gordon Gekko-esque greed.  It’s a salivating hunger for power and control, and the best way to achieve said goal is to relieve us, the little people, of our pesky, provincial notions of property rights, self-defense, and self-determination.  And what better way to obtain something than by having it voluntarily surrendered, as opposed to taking it by force.  If they can convince you that it’s liberal and loving to go under U.N. Agenda 21 control and to pay a Draconian carbon tax to Al Gore and his modern-day sale-of-indulgences scheme to “save the earth”, or that it’s downright conservative and patriotic to give up your Constitutional rights, permitting, with a smile, unlawful search and seizure at the latex-clad hands of the TSA, all in the name of “security” and “fighting terror”, then most of their job is already done for them.  We the People need to stand up and be classically liberal, classically conservative, non-suicidally loving, and wisely patriotic and not be suckered by the schemes which would seek to reduce our individual freedoms, and by extension, our humanity.  It is possible to address the real problems of this world while not slitting our wrists upon the altar of Collectivism.  It is necessary that we each jealously guard our freedoms and our own lives as if they were one in the same – for, in many ways, they are“Hang your collar up inside, hang your freedom higher”.

Endgame  >>>  Begin the Begin

So, yes, a great band  – my favorite band – is no more and I’m a little choked up about it.  But, if all the inspiration I’ve ever received from their artistry is to not go to waste, it’s only sensible (and appropriate) that I recycle and channel that positive energy back into reality, and put it to good use.

I wish that caring, learning, being educated, discussing, pursuing, and becoming active about these things (and so many others) wasn’t seen by so many to be a chore or an afterthought – or worse, not a thought at all – and that holding their liberties and their human political will in as high regard as their entertainment was more Automatic for the People.

‘Truther’ Consequences

Bulls On Parade

I didn’t watch a single minute of televised coverage of the ceremonies commemorating the 10th anniversary of the decade-defining terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.  Nor did I watch, in the week leading up to it, any of the programmatic offerings of the ratings-hungry media hounds, acutely focused on 9/11, as they pedaled their prime time sensationalism, reinforcing via saturation, the official narrative.  This was not, in the least, out of indifference or uncaring for the powerful solemnity of the tragedy, the victims, or the countless heroes of that day (and of the days and weeks that followed) whose lives were either ended or forever changed.  No, I abstained from viewing these things because I couldn’t bear to watch 9/11 transformed into just another Shark Week-style television event, culminating in the sick joke of tragedy being crafted into a Bizarro holiday parade, enshrining half-truths and whole lies within solemn speeches from the very same establishment turds who have used the precipitous events of that morning to sell the world endless deceptions, launch multiple illegal wars, steal our liberties, and create nothing less than a hi-tech, Big Brother police state – all wrapped in the American flag, under the thin pretense that this Orwellian, Patriot Act-inducing, Homeland Security-establishing, post-9/11, Death Star apparatus is a necessary evil and only exists for our supposed “security” from “terror” – the perpetual boogeymen in our national closet, the “evildoers” known as Al-Qaeda.

Wake Up Bomb

I choose my words very carefully here, because there’s a lot about 9/11 that we don’t know.  Like nearly everything.  And what we do know paints a very different picture than the one officially held.  Call me whatever you will – a “9/11 Truther”, “conspiracy theorist”, “kook”, etc. – I just consider myself an interested party who woke up seven years ago and became a student and armchair researcher of the larger picture.  I don’t speak for a cause, other than promoting the understanding of what really took place; I speak for myself.  I don’t claim to know everything or to be clairvoyant; I claim to research and read, and to weigh and consider the information I encounter.  I have ideas, many of which translate into beliefs and points of view which I communicate with conviction at times; But I am not so full of myself so as to preclude the possibility of being wrong.  I understand that the devil is in the details, and details are what interest me.  If I sit convinced of one thing, it’s that the mainstream, government-approved, corporate media-rendered theatrical matte painting that passes as the official story is a fraud.

If you believe the official conspiracy theory that nineteen, poorly-trained Muslim hijackers, directed by a cave-dwelling cleric dying of renal/kidney failure, commandeered four separate aircraft in a single morning using only “box cutters” against a cabin full of other passengers, successfully flying three of these behemoths into their targets, unassisted and with military precision, executing impressive maneuvers which even seasoned combat pilots have acknowledged as extremely difficult – all while NORAD coincidentally stood down, thus defeating, in remarkably short order, a $700+ billion/yr. defense apparatus – then I suppose we’ll need to agree to disagree…  The barest degree of investigation into the facts surrounding 9/11 shows the official narrative to be implausible nonsense, replete with countless problems, omissions, distortions, discrepancies, gaping holes, and outright lies.

I believe there’s clear and credible evidence that shows 9/11 to be a classic false flag/stand down operation, carried out by a rogue network within the government, the details of which are yet shrouded in layers of disinformation, misinformation, and institutional cover-up.  We shouldn’t underestimate the cover-up component.  The evidence of a cover-up is evidence of a crime.  The precise nature of that crime, how far in scope it extends and to what levels of our government it reaches, as well as who or what other entities were complicit in its execution, is the stuff of a proper independent investigation.  When a majority of six of the ten 9/11 Commission co-chairs have openly stated for the record their first-hand accounts of the US Government (in particular, the White House and CIA) “obstructing” and “compromising” their investigation (among many other statements), establishing proof of a cover-up is scarcely debatable.  If this were any other crime or set of circumstances, such evidence would be sufficient to go before a grand jury and secure a criminal trial.  Such obstruction of justice by the highest levels of government stands as an ipso facto spear that pierces the soft underbelly of the lie, providing incontrovertible proof that there’s more to the chain of events than meets the eye – a fact that establishes reasonable doubt as to the authenticity of the story, prior even to addressing deeper practical issues like the numerous and variously documented indications of government and corporate foreknowledge, let alone the necessary suspension of the laws of physics multiple times in one day, regarding the mechanical nature of the structural failures which purportedly precipitated the unique (as in never-before-seen) global symmetric collapses of three buildings, with WTC-7 having not even been hit by a plane.

Eyes To See and Ears To Hear

While the 9/11 Truth community continues to grow, not everybody concedes to (or even knows about) this larger body of evidence, and for different reasons.  Many who hold fast to the mainstream account honestly feel that facts and sound reason do not demonstrate support for the doubting-Thomases and researchers among us and their working theories, so they discount the entire expanded evidentiary trail out of hand.  An acquaintance of this disposition went so far as to be downright contemptuous of Truthers, referring to them as “nuts” and “crackpots” in a social media post.  Several other commenters concurred, adding their two cents.  This individual isn’t a stupid person, either; rather, a Michael Shermer-esque skeptic who, no doubt, bases his opinions on his wholesale acceptance of the popular and “approved” body of evidence – and nothing more.  One wonders how this passes muster in the larger sense, considering the NIST report only concerns itself with the conditions leading up to the initiation of collapse, but then ignores the mechanical forces involved in the ensuing global symmetric collapse itself.  This is just one example, but it demonstrates how, if we’re to view the “alternative” theories with skepticism, the official government report also requires serious scrutinizing, as it is lacking stupendously in the detail demanded by the event.  It stands as ironic to me that this skeptical mechanism is shut-off when it comes to all things 9/11 which lie inside of the official box, and that this person would actually go on the offensive with such broad ridicule of those who question the evidence and who are themselves, in fact, skeptical.  In the broader sense, I’m convinced that some of these people are just self-styled, politically-aware pseudo-sophists who are afraid of appearing to endorse anything that might align them with the aforementioned “nuttiness” brigade.  Their all-or-nothing adoption of the official story, with absolutely zero room for even the slightest concession regarding the mountains of conflicting evidence, and especially when their opinions are prefaced with pejorative labels of this kind, makes me think that their positions have less to do with an open review of the full spectrum of facts, and more to do with avoiding potentially embarrassing associations and schoolyard ridicule.

Not all of the ‘anti-Truther’ venom, however, is communicated from a place of “reason” (however faulty, in my opinion).  Many people with the most swift and unambiguous reactions of disgust toward 9/11 Truth react as such simply because the very ideas being discussed offend them and their idyllic notions of how our government operates.  Blinded by the bright red, white & blue of their own earnest patriotism, they’re insulted by the idea that rogue elements within their government would engage in such evil and chicanery, despite a long, documented history of exactly this type of thing occurring, including such declassified gems as: 

  • The Tuskegee Experiment (1932):  the US Public Health Service intentionally allowed 399 unwitting black men from rural Alabama, with late stage syphilis, to degenerate (and die) without treatment, in order to track its effects throughout the black population.
  • Operation Gladio (1950’s -1982):  US paramilitary forces joined with other NATO “stay behind” forces in several European countries, following WWII, to carry out clandestine acts of disruption and civil unrest, including false-flag terrorism targeting innocent people (most notably in Italy, with bombings of public marketplaces and school buses), in order to destabilize Communist regimes they felt were a threat to Western hegemony.
  • Operation Ajax (1953):  the CIA coup, run by Kermit Roosevelt, which successfully used terrorism and subterfuge to overthrow the democratically-elected Prime Minister of Iran, Mohammed Mossadegh, and reinstall the brutal Mohammed Reza Shah in 1953 – all at the behest of the British government who was upset at having lost their lucrative oil concessions to Mossadegh’s progressive policy of nationalizing Iran’s natural resource so that its citizens might enjoy the profits. 
  • Project SHAD (1962):  involving the involuntary and unknowing testing of biological agents and radiological materials on US Army enlisted men by their own government.

To these people who refuse to see the historical evidence in their midst of just how corrupt factions within governments and the military-industrial complex can bring their often evil and nefarious – and sometimes world-changing – plans to fruition, I say wake up and grow up.

Regardless of where the attitude comes from, the arrogance and smugness of many of these anti-Truthers sicken me.  Not because they question or refute a position I personally hold, but precisely because they don’t question what’s in front of them – in one of the biggest game-changing events in our lifetime.  They hold, as a virtue, not questioning what the corporate, alphabet agency-funded, Operation Mockingbird media vomits in their mouths, because to do so might land them in the corral with “conspiracy theorists” – a 5¢ disposable term meant to induce shame, creating such an undesirable association so as to condescendingly coerce one into either adopting the popular and accepted position or retreating from the debate altogether.  But, it’s not even a debate.  It’s an exploration of available information and a willingness to admit that, whatever the convoluted truth may be, the official and accepted whitewashed story isn’t it.  Shame on such falsely open-minded people for employing the oldest and most unthoughtful trick in the book to chill contra-mainstream debate.

No one is being asked to buy in to a religion or to swear fealty to some universal order, rather to investigate information – especially information which is actively ignored and suppressed by the talking-point-driven Presstitutes who pretend to be journalists, but shrug this responsibility in favor of script-reading.  Since when did disbelief and asking questions become secular blasphemy in a free society?  Perhaps that’s what irritates me the most about the contemptuous comments mentioned earlier.  These are the same people, in many instances, who want to act like they support dissent, free-thinking, and scientific thought in every other arena and involving every other subject – yet, they judge and ridicule in absolute terms, a broad group of people who have simply looked at the official story and tilted their heads like a dog trying to make sense of a confusing noise, and who have decided to entertain – and be vocal about – the ocean of evidence that dwells at depths far beneath the reaches of the superficial mainstream’s intentionally weak sonar.

The truth is I encounter this “don’t talk about anything that isn’t hailed as true by the establishment media” attitude all the time and in many different discussions.  I recently commented on another acquaintance’s post regarding the mafia-style institutional fraud in the financial system and the revolving door that exists between the executive floors of the mega-banks and the policy-makers in Federal government – a manifestly provable statement, and a germane response to their original post.  The reply by another acquaintance and contributor:  “You forgot to mention black helicopters.”  Really?  And these are “smart” people.  I guess I was supposed to thank them for enlightening me with a banal and cliche “conspiracy” quip, or somehow feel reproached or shut-down by a giggling, asinine, straw man insult.  I don’t even want to dislike these people.  I’d prefer to have interesting discussions with them.  Our mutual lives and liberty depend on understanding the nature of our world.  I’m just fed up with the condescending intelligentsia, for whom is typical, the a priori assumption that the mainstream delivered goods are the only horses in the race.

Never Forget

When the establishment reminds us to “never forget”, they’re inducing more than just the memory of the 3,000 people who died that day.  They’re carefully attaching to our sense of grief, honor, and remembrance the lie they push as truth; the ridiculous back story that employs a cartoon version of history in order to create the modern anti-terror control grid that’s been built over the past decade.  They don’t want people reading information or hearing uncomfortable testimony of facts which challenge and dispute the easy-bake narrative, and thinking about the implications of it all.  They just want you to “never forget” the contrivance that acts as the skeleton key to the cash register and dollar-churning printing press that feeds the bloated military-industrial beast that never sleeps and is always hungry.

Perhaps we’d be better off never forgetting that the rotting corpse of our Republic is being paraded around dressed up as Lady Liberty, while an aggressive take-down of our Constitutional rights and of every principle for which they stand, has been launched.  Let’s also never forget that while you or I may be immersed in our own feelings of patriotism, desperately wishing it really was all about evil bearded men who “hate our freedoms”, that it stands as undeniable that 9/11 – whatever the “truth” of it may be – has been used as the excuse by which the treason of taking our very freedoms they purport to be protecting has been – and is being – accomplished.  Let’s never forget that we’re not safer – we’re simply more monitored and controlled.  Assume the position, citizen – ’cause the next set of genitals that blue-gloved TSA Agent’s hand will be reaching for will be your own!  O’er the land of the screened and the home of the slaves.

It’s interesting how, when people – especially activists and demonstrators – never forget these things and actually exercise their 1st Amendment right to free speech on the streets of Manhattan, during the official ceremony of lies, they’re arrested, whisked away, and even beaten by thug police who’d clearly been ordered to disallow people of a certain political bent from entering the area.  It’s on record, with eye-witness accounts, that anyone wearing a 9/11 Truth t-shirt was turned away, Stasi-style, not just from Ground Zero, but from vast portions of lower Manhattan altogether.  And this is to say nothing of the First Responders having been barred from attending the official ceremonies at Ground Zero.  With the number of these men and women who are awake to the cover-up, and who also have been vocal concerning the lack of healthcare they’ve received in the years since, suffering chronic ailments from the materials they inhaled and came in contact with at the pile, it’s no wonder why the disingenuous, politicking gas bags, who are never short on rhetoric and all too eager to glom off the bravery and sacrifice of these people, wouldn’t want these heroes on the scene.  The tyrants don’t want the lies that prop up their putsch disturbed.

Where is the unbridled outcry from every citizen of this country against official oppression at the hands of a bloated and out-of-control government police-state?  The fact that this is happening in America ought to make every man, woman and young person of coherent thought and understanding outraged and motivated to wrestle our most fundamental of rights back from an illegitimate government.  Our Constitution reserves these rights, but they are not guaranteed without our own effort, in perpetuity.  These rights, as with all rights, must be demanded and stood upon, if we’re to actually have and retain them. For all the soft creatures out there who don’t understand the gravitas of what this means, and whose only concern is “the big game” on ESPN, again, I say wake up and grow up.

If you want to honor the men and women who lost their lives on 9/11, then start by researching, for yourself, the details of the event responsible for it, and stop playing into the mainstream fairy tale.  Read and watch the investigative contributions of dozens of independent researchers and journalists who have been pursuing the unpleasantries and piecing the evidence together for the past ten years.  Don’t accept everything upon first read or viewing.  Wrestle with it.  Think about it.  If you do accept one thing as fact, let it be that the story presented to us by the government, and reinforced by its lapdog media, is so flimsy and riddled with holes that it cannot be true. And if you really want to honor the victims and their memory, even if you’re confused by the conflicting evidence and aren’t yet convinced of any one “truth”, at least lend your voice in demanding the reversal and rescindment of the ridiculous, liberty-chilling measures which have been foisted upon us in its name.

An Inconvenient Truth

You have to ask yourself, even if the official account of 9/11 is 100% true, why is the establishment so damn afraid of “a few kooks” asking questions.  If the mainstream narrative is so solid and in no need of defending, why is there such an open attempt in the media to blanketly demonize the 9/11 Truth community in its entirety, dismissing even accomplished and respectable, aboveboard  scientists and researchers, backed by sound evidence which counters the official findings, the same as wild-eyed sidewalk protestors?  Why are people condemned for asking questions and challenging perceptions?  Why does the media promote mental anesthesia? 

With such naked displays of thought-crime ridicule, contempt for dissent and free speech, and a religious fervor for snatching up individual rights and liberties, if 9/11 wasn’t an inside job, America’s ignorance-induced downfall will be.

Diff’rent Strokes

Whatchootalkin’bout, Hosni?!

The convenient, timely, and fortuitous downturn (revolutionarily speaking) in the now-deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s health – rumored to be a heart attack or stroke and possibly yielding to a coma – had already seemed suspicious, given the circumstances.  When Leon Panetta, Director of the CIA, announced that Mubarak “may step down”, it wasn’t clear if he had simply spoken prematurely or if he was stating publicly the already agreed upon, CIA-approved resolution to the degrading situation, sans a little tender loving convincing from the Egyptian Army.  Mubarak, apparently insulted by what appeared to be an externally supported military coup, made one last stand in defiance, refusing to step down.  The next day, perhaps after double-checking his credit card rewards points, Mubarak resigned, turning over rule to the Supreme Council of Armed Forces, and fleeing Cairo.  This information was, of course, brought to us by Omar Suleiman, former Egyptian intelligence officer and torture expert turned Vice-President.  So much for regime change and flowing rivers of milk, honey, and democracy (but that’s a topic for another post).  In any case, it remains unclear if his sudden health problems were the reason for his decision to step down or if they occurred afterward.

Restless Dictator Syndrome

As if in sympathetic unison, news sources also reported that the recently-ousted Tunisian leader, Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, 74, suffered a stroke and slipped into coma in a Saudi Arabian hospital.  One might wonder if magical heart attacks, strokes, and comas befall all deposed dictators or if merely announcing the condition is simply all the rage among the recently exiled.  Either way, let’s all keep our eyes open as yet other middle eastern nation-states experience governmental rearrangements (such as Kadafi’s rumored, yet unconfirmed, planned flight from Lybia to Venezuela),  for any signs of this terrible affliction.  Until a vaccine is found (by Bill and Melinda Gates), ask your doctor if Post-CoupStrokia* is right for you.

* Side-effects are common, but generally well-tolerated, and may include sudden loss of palaces, living abroad in other dictatorships, and having your assets frozen.

It’s A Shame About Ray

You might call it bloody irony…  literally.  On Tuesday, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton walked into the auditorium at George Washington University to give an address, the applause subsided and those in attendance took their seats.  Still standing was Ray McGovern, veteran U.S. Army officer, and former senior CIA analyst, having served for 27 years from Presidents Kennedy to George W. Bush, providing security briefs to President Ronald Reagan, as well as the President’s Daily Brief to George H. W. Bush.  A man of conscience, McGovern has worked for more than a decade now as a political activist, involved with numerous organizations such as Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) and Veterans for Peace, exposing and confronting corrupt and fraudulent actions on the part of the CIA and intelligence community.  He has been vociferously critical of the misuse and proven questionable nature of the intelligence used by the second Bush administration to launch the Iraq War – even confronting Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld live on CNN during a Q & A session in 2006.  Peaceful, yet unafraid, the 71-year-old McGovern not only remained standing, but turned his back on her highness, Hillary, in silent protest of her policies and of the lies and dishonesty she was about to speak.

As McGovern stood, Clinton began her address -a soliloquy on the right of free speech among a free people.  She waxed politically and philosophically about the Egyptian government’s terrible abridgment of its people’s free speech by pulling the plug on their internet.  Ironically, I suppose Americans are meant to pay no never mind to the U.S. Congress’ current debate over our own Internet Kill Switch Bill, which would allow the President to essentially “shut down” portions (or all?) of the internet in the case of a “cyber emergency”, such as he may define it.  After a few short minutes, however, McGovern was approached by several apparent security agents lead by a yet unidentified individual who violently grabbed him, and dragged him out of the auditorium in view of everyone present, Clinton included.  McGovern can be heard questioning, as he’s dragged out, “So, this is America?”  Once outside, he was roughed up, put in double handcuffs, and handed over to the D.C. police, but not before he had been bruised, cut, and left bleeding – all while not resisting.  D.C. police charged and processed him with disorderly conduct and subsequently released him, while the security detail who beat him were apparently not charged at all.  McGovern, still bloody from the altercation, took a cab to a nearby hospital to have his wounds treated.

As Mr. McGovern also pointed out in an interview on the Alex Jones Radio Show, just a few short paragraphs after having watched him being dragged from the auditorium and without intervening (or even so much as a pause in her speech), Clinton went on to say, regarding the situation in Egypt, “What happened is once again…  using violence against protesters who are seeking basic freedoms”, and going on to reference that, “they stood and they marched.”  If this doesn’t paint a picture of the disingenuous spirit with which these words were spoken, I’m not sure what does.

That I agree or not with everything that Ray McGovern says or advocates is of little issue, nor does the disturbing thing that occurred really have anything to do with him, personally.  What’s a shame about the incident with Ray is a shame for all of us:  the open, unrepentant disregard for and disintegration of our First Amendment rights and our ability to non-violently redress the establishment and protest our elected and appointed public servants.  When a man is treated in a Stazi-style manner for the simple act of standing – be it physically or in principle – for his political convictions, and turning his back on a “god” of government, it ought to grab our attention.  Whether we choose to stand and turn our backs on the liars and criminals in our government, or whether we choose to raise our voices over issues, it’s our right to do so.  And a right not exercised is a right forfeited.  For this reason alone, we should all “stand” like Ray.

Left, Right, Left, Right, Left, Right, LEFT!!! (Part 2)

Keep On Truckin’

During college, I worked as a salesperson in the hardware department of a national chain store where I encountered many of the earthier, blue collar clientele.  I found myself waiting on a woman one day who was in her 50’s, missing multiple teeth, smelling strongly of liquor, and presenting an all around haggard appearance.  Her husband was making his rounds, unassisted, and so she became my best friend, chatting me up at my cash register.  After telling several unsolicited and rather crude jokes involving gas and other nocturnal processes, she managed to steer the conversation to a discussion of pickup trucks – in particular, Ford and Chevy.  She proclaimed very matter-of-factly that on their side of the street it was “Ford Country” (her eyes beaming with pride), while on the opposite side it was “Chevy Country” (Annie, grab your gun!)…  With no thought to the more than 200 million total vehicles in the United States, or of the dozens of manufacturers producing them, she asked me with utter sincerity, “Which one do you like???”  I barely had the heart to tell her I drove a Volkswagen…

Amusing, though this was, it remains so deeply representative of the popular political ethos and of its central flaw that laughter might give way to tears.  The fundamental way in which the left-right paradigm is “false” is that this left-to-right tracking reduces the political spectrum to a single lateral (side-to-side) axis in a one-dimensional model.  Congratulations, your political will and your government just became one of two pickup trucks.  So, go grab your showgirl mudflaps, and let’s head to the ballot box, Uncle Daddy.  Or not.  If you’re like me, you might prefer your decisions to have a modicum more choice than that of a turn signal.  Maybe we could do better for ourselves if we adopted the model the Founders used when considering how the world worked as they set about crafting the Constitution.  It’s just a thought.

The Founders’ Spectrum

It’s worth underscoring that while the idea of “left-wing” and “right-wing” were in use in the Founder’s time (the twin terms originating from European parliamentary seating positions where the left was occupied by radical communistic parties and the right by militant/fascistic  ones), the definitions of their respective “liberal” and “conservative” counterpart labels have been a moving target over time and, in modern usage, the words have become so vague as to make them increasingly meaningless, if not utterly useless.  Instead, the Founders viewed everything pertaining to government, the law, the powers of elected officials and the execution, thereof, as existing along an axis of liberty to tyranny.  In this model, less government = greater liberty, the caveat being that, taken to the extreme, a total lack of government leads to total anarchy.  Conversely, more government = less liberty and, in its extreme, total tyranny ultimately follows.

The Liberty-Tyranny Axis

This is not to say that left-right issues were of no concern whatsoever, but the question of liberty vs. tyranny was demonstrably the more important dimension.  Applying both dimensions, the reality is that the political spectrum is, at the very least, a two-dimensional, bi-axial model. Using a two axis approach, the model becomes a circular spectrum of four equal quadrants, intersected by both axes – creating a field in which philosophies and ideologies can be positioned.  The diagram below borrows extensively from two related diagrams I encountered online and combines several other sources, showing an interpretation of the bi-axial model with several ideologies applied (click to enlarge):

The Political Spectrum

The Founders understood the liberty-centric model of government to address a most important truth which they held concerning their fellow man:  The natural state of the individual is one of being free and self-determined.  Collectively, when any type of institutional organization or government is applied to a society, both the corrupt and even the well-meaning will tend to subjugate others, rise to the top of the system, and concentrate in positions of power.  Their goal, therefore, was not merely to manage the sway between the social flavors of the day, but to guard and maximize the essential liberties of the individual, while minimizing the potential for the gravity of tyranny to take hold and its tendency towards totalitarianism.  The balancing point between all four poles was considered to be well nearer the liberty end of the central axis and very near center on the left-right axis, so that only the minimum required government ever be permitted to act upon otherwise sovereign persons.  This view is expressed in no more a succinct way than in Thomas Paine’s belief, “That government is best which governs least.”  On this key principle, they judged all things.

Goals vs. Methods

This is a good spot to draw attention to a key difference between the two axes and, consequently, why they ought to never be confused, used singularly, or in place of the other.  The liberty-tyranny axis defines a goal or result of government.  The left-right axis describes a type of method or device in achieving the former.  Our current system has created nothing less than a huge majority of our population of 307 million people all arguing over the how part of the equation (albeit, using only a two-choice solution), and rendered largely blind to the what and where of the matter.  Stated differently, we’ve all embarked on a road trip together and are emphatically shouting whether to take the highway or the country road, but have forgotten to inquire as to the destination.  And because so many of us are not attuned to the destination – be it liberty or tyranny – our leaders can take us anywhere and seldom will we notice the difference.  And in this fugue state, we become utterly unable to recognize the near-naked continuity of agenda between the left and right when, despite all the hype about “liberal this” and “conservative that”, the system moves as a whole in a steady direction – a fact that, when noticed, ought to clue us into the falsehood of the paradigm to begin with.  More on the topic of continuity of agenda in an upcoming post…  or several.

Other Models

Many modern political scientists assert that an even more robust, multi-variate model of the spectrum which includes political, economic, and social dimensions should be adopted, and a simple internet search yields numerous illustrations of these alternatives to tickle your political brains.  While I would encourage everyone to consider some of these models insofar as we need to be aware of the “other” dimensions of gravitas, I’d equally caution against those seemingly “socially aware” models which use complexity to simply draw the spectrum right back into the same old, tired, left-right rut.  I would argue that for the purposes of escaping this paradigm trap, the liberty-tyranny model serves as the best set of bolt-cutters we can hope for.  In my mind, there’s plenty of time to tackle real left-right issues and their social implications after we get our heads screwed on straight with regard to liberty.  Let’s get the oxygen mask pumping air into the lungs of the Republic before we start rescue breathing on every societal ill that plagues us.

I’m Feeling Flushed

One last “ah-ha” feature of the model is to illustrate that a deviation too far in either direction along the left-right axis – be it fully left toward Socialism or fully right toward Corporatism – will catch the same sweeping current towards tyranny.  This subtle aspect of the traditional left-right paradigm is no less true for ultra-left neoliberals than it is for ultra-right neoconservatives and, in fact, the closer the two descend toward the tyranny end of the axis, the closer they are in proximity and the more blurred the substantive distinction between them becomes.  If we’re being flushed down the same toilet to tyranny, does it really matter if we circle the bowl predominantly on the left as opposed to the right side?  Given gravity’s universal effect, I’d rather spend my time eliminating my turd status than arguing over the quality of the porcelain beneath me.

It All Falls Apart

With increasing frequency, however, we see examples when the false system fails and its best efforts come up short in creating the pre-fab Boolean reality it so desperately seeks to propagate.  Countless examples abound (and I intend to cover more of them in future installments), so I’ll merely cite one example which has always been obvious to me – that being the mainstream media’s coverage of anything relating to the 9/11 Truth movement.  Regardless of your opinion on this topic, even a five year old could recognize the discontinuity and double-think emanating from the squawk box, just as the child from the famous tale could recognize that the Emperor was wearing no clothes.  Tune into “conservative” news sources like Fox News, Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh and they’ll tell you that 9/11 Truthers are a “left-wing fringe element”.  Tune into “liberal” media outlets like MSNBC, with talking heads ranging from Chris Matthews to Rachel Maddow, and they claim that this same cadre of activists are “right-wing extremists and conspiracy theorists”.  Well, which is it guys?  Help me out here, Dave Grohl:  “One of these things is not like the other… ”

Conclusions

At the very least, this system is a manipulative and mind-numbing one, truncating discourse to neatly fit into Box A or Box B, with nary a dangling chad.  This force-fitting of ideas and limiting of our conversation in the face of so many complexities which demand to be parsed out is really a surreptitious denial of our choice as much as it is our speech because, as Orwell reckons it in 1984 (via Winston Smith’s reading of Goldstein’s Book of The Brotherhood), “There is no way for discontent to become articulate.”  So long as we buy into the paradigm served up by the system and its lap dog media hounds, we become useful idiots who perpetuate the very lie that keeps us servile and distracted from truly bringing change to the system.

Left, Right, Left, Right, Left, Right, LEFT!!! (Part 1)

No, I’m not Gunnery Sgt. Hartman, calling cadence while marching my platoon of “maggots” around Parris Island.  I’m simply repeating the monotonous drone of the mainstream media and the endless panels of political pundits who never fail to reinforce what we’ve been indoctrinated with our entire lives – that we have two choices when it comes to all things political:  Left or Right.  Red or blue.  Coke or Pepsi.  Of all the lies in politics, this one is arguably the single most pernicious, as its fundamental offering is to set up the game board in such a way as to artificially control the movement of the pieces.  While not the first stone I overturned when I began this line of research, recognizing this fallacy has been central to shifting my political paradigm and influencing how I interpret almost everything else that follows.  Like a slob-turned-health nut who has replaced his formerly toxic diet with whole foods, the thought of returning to this left-right junk food not only makes me ill, but it frustrates me to see so many people getting fat and killing themselves with the empty calories of this false paradigm.

For many people on both sides of the left-right fence, it doesn’t compute for them when we talk and I present this view.  There’s usually a silent pause accompanied by a blank look, followed by a resumption of whatever default argument was being referenced, almost like a computer program that simply ignores indecipherable code rather than handle the errors resulting from it.  To be sure, my own political awareness once moved along these lines, in varying states of support for certain issues for which I held opinions, but, mixed with a general disinclination to bother with what I regarded as a glad-handing system of career phonies.

Without getting drawn into a detailed, exploded view diagram of my own political obstacle course (a subject in need of its own dedicated blank page), it’s sufficient to say that I, too, was a part of the unfortunate process by which so many of us have been sidelined into this inaccurate way of thinking.  The left/liberal/democrat vs. right/conservative/republican model has been drilled into our heads from our earliest days and continually reinforced so that, even if you cognitively recognize the deficiency of such a dichotomy in expressing your political will, you very nearly can’t escape it, because to do so, you have to dismiss the very premise with which political information is delivered to you.  Sure, third parties are name-checked and the more salient planks of their platforms considered and given some selective credence, but even as this is done, the political liquor is still poured through the gravity filter of the orthodox paradigm, and drained into one of two chambers from which we’re peer pressured into drinking.  Argue as we might over which spirit has the superior flavor, both liquids have equally within them the power to make us blurry-eyed, disconnected and stupid.

So, what makes this system “false”, to what end does it lead, why is it important, and what’s the alternative?  Well, now – that’s what the next post is for…