Uncategorized

OBEY

Long before the rise of Donaldo, the Plural Left decided to use appeals to dictatorship and oppression as a means of destroying their opponents. Their favorite method is comparisons between modern America and Nazi Germany, except that the GOP somehow replaces those spooky German steppers atop a cruel big business regime bent on crushing the rights of minorities through force and propaganda.  The last word has an interesting ring because it causes us to invoke the old newsreels of the 1930s, plus elaborate posters meant to sway public minds. Get in line and obey appears to be the thumping order, given by some totalitarian leader or leading general.

I agree wholeheartedly with their conclusions, albeit in the realm of caveats. There certainly does exist an empowered propaganda arm driving social opinions, but it hardly can be seen as conservative or even Republican in nature. Rather, organizations have closed ranks to promote their interests in a manner at this junction indistinguishable from the brush-washed images of times past.

Let’s start with access to information. The other day I happened to be visiting a relative’s house when I noticed the following messages on their Windows 10 login screen:

Indeed, people merely attempting to use a workstation now have live updates telling them what to read, always from approved sources. To the dumb and youthful, this will strike as a great way to get involved and fight the power, even if they are simply being indoctrinated. One might make a compelling argument that cultural Marxists have finally succeeded in extending pas the flailing universities to enter homes across America, despite supposed right-wing “resistance.”

From the springboard of social brainwashing, obedience-makers can begin to recruit delusional organisms into their political army. Check out the following email from Coursera, describes the Far-Left Rock the Vote group as “non-partisan,” and encourages students to cast their ballots:

Assuming voting is not enough, lemmings also enjoy the possibility of reporting small businesses for real or imaginary racism to the Yelp secret police:

Perhaps companies who fall prey to any negative claims can beg Yelp for forgiveness and provide the financial sacrifice necessary to clear their public name. Alternatively, they might get burned down by the aggressive proponents of social change. Either way, loyalty to the burgeoning mainstream prevails.

The attainment of love is set to require State or corporate approval as well. In no less than two dating apps I have found propagandistic messages promoting domestic terrorist groups and, in the case of Bumble, requiring users to agree. Yes, that’s right. There is no mere acknowledgement; every person using the app is mandated to concur with the owners, or otherwise lose functionality:

Looking at this deluge of brain construction, Upton Sinclair’s quote about Fascism coming to America under the guise of cultural norms deserves some adjustment. Forget about the Cross, as churches can simply be shut down due to a pandemic, and the American Flag is merely a hygienic item for BLM leaders. Whatever arrives upon our shores will be bearing a rainbow pennant with social justice PPV streamed on Netflix.

Culturalism · Federal Government · Uncategorized

The Wrath of Undecideds

MSNBC recently interviewed an Ohio voter to gauge his opinion of the Trump-Biden debate. The chap, who is undecided, gave a prototypical spiel about both candidates being negative, and asked them to provide more specifics. I had to stifle a laugh, because his line is so grimly predictable for an “independent moderate.” Such folks are trotted out every election, almost as if to maintain the fantastic faith people place in democracy, and the notion that votes somehow matter. The race becomes all about those swing ballots, with politicians desperately courting the enlightened few in hopes of seizing that magical 50.1 percent ticket so their legacy is protected. Democracy lives another glorious day.

But does it really? This sycophantic obsession with undecideds may warm individual hearts, yet in truth it simply masks the great scam which is civic duty in the United States. Headstrong souls march about feeling self-important in front of the reporter’s microphone, when in fact they reveal the bitter shallows of their own brain, and those of the comrade travelers nearby.

Fly back to 2012 for a moment. Obama and Romney were battling it out for the sainted executive office, and CNN began its custom of assembling a car of simpletons identified by their unwillingness to pick red or blue ahead of the election. Easily the most infuriating to hear blabber was our friend Joe:

The picture is everything here. Despite claiming to be the former owner of a flooring company, which probably required him to manage employees and make tough decisions, Stoltz remained dreamy-eyed until the very end, also demanding “more specifics” from Diversity Corporate Guy and Magic Underwear Corporate Guy.  Perhaps I expect too much of people, but how difficult is it to predict what a president will do based on history? Republicans like to spend on the military and cut taxes for the rich, while Democrats increase trans-revenue and expand welfare. Overlap exists, but namely on the Carebearland question.

 For a grown man who has lived through different elections to be still playing footsie with both parties right before the balloting day indicates either a lazy mind or pure ignorance, but not the foundations for brilliance and the sanctity of the vote. Joey would ultimately cast his paper for Obama after the president “was forceful” when responding to Romney, and because Billy Boy Clinton endorsed him. Furthermore, Obama’s mention of education in the debate really sealed the deal:

“That third debate sunk it all the way in for me — since I am in school and Obama was focused on education.”

That’s right, he voted for a politician who dropped the “education” word in a televised debate, because he is also in school. These are the creatures holding out to the end, my friends. Child-like minds agitating over trigger words and the prospect of being given something. Here are a couple more photos for good measure:

Is this the Try Guys convention?
Who’s writing this blog again?
The undecided “Radical for Jesus”

Ahh, is democracy not happiness?          

Book Reviews · Culturalism · Self-Improvement · Uncategorized

Why Publishing Failed

Before her death in 2016, the legendary Ursula Le Guin gave a short acceptance speech at the National Book Awards in which she outlined the problems with modern publishing. At that stage of her career, she could safely issue the criticisms without fear of financial repercussion, but the observations were nevertheless poignant. They rest firmly on the role which capitalism can play in diminishing the value of literary art by commoditizing various genres for mass market efficiency. Some particularly biting lines are as follows:

“Hard times are coming, when we’ll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine real grounds for hope. We’ll need writers who can remember freedom – poets, visionaries – realists of a larger reality.

Right now, we need writers who know the difference between production of a market commodity and the practice of an art. Developing written material to suit sales strategies in order to maximize corporate profit and advertising revenue is not the same thing as responsible book publishing or authorship.”

One cannot deny the truth in those words. The more that technology advances, the less substance matters, and this can be witnessed across various mediums. A person with great content on YouTube will swiftly get buried by the excess of “corporate friendly” channels letting our dopamine-hungry brains feast on countless jump edits and sound effects. Movies with independent or unique origins are disregarded, while studio money pours into toxic remakes, and the coarse boredom of social justice slinks into genres where it was always present, albeit with class and subtlety.

Books are no exception to this rule. As others have observed, the idealized vehicle for publishing success has become a pantomime of the same writing style and setting, regardless if it lacks originality. Even the famous fantasy series popularized by an unknown homeschooler relied on heavy borrowing from the Star Wars movies, to a degree that is almost comical. But it still sold, because publishers are more interested in what fits the market than anything resembling genuine art. It’s not a stretch to say that Paolini would have been laughed out of the room had his book done something truly beyond the bounds of “comfortable” prose.

Le Guin went on:

Yet I see sales departments given control over editorial. I see my own publishers, in a silly panic of ignorance and greed, charging public libraries for an e-book six or seven times more than they charge customers. We just saw a profiteer try to punish a publisher for disobedience, and writers threatened by corporate fatwa. And I see a lot of us, the producers, who write the books and make the books, accepting this – letting commodity profiteers sell us like deodorant, and tell us what to publish, what to write.

Books aren’t just commodities; the profit motive is often in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable – but then, so did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art. Very often in our art, the art of words.

I believe in this case Le Guin was referring to Amazon, and rightly so. The compounding growth of Bezos’ bright-eyed promotion of publishing hides a more sinister reality: Amazon’s attempt to form an effective sales monopoly and reduce current royalty rates. Part of the approach involves encouraging authors to publish with Kindle Create, a clunky and unhelpful software designed to coral authors into the Bezos marketplace indefinitely:

Ultimately, it is hard to say what the future will hold. Perhaps Le Guin is right, and change will arise. For myself, I know that my hesitation in publishing fiction as opposed to non-fiction (and especially self-help), stems from a recognition that the themes depicted in my stories would be swiftly dismissed, if not entirely deleted, from the Amazon platform. But that is the tragedy of being a writer: you can’t help but write, even if the outcome is a pittance. It is an extension of the soul, and not doing so feels tantamount to betrayal of the spirit.   

Self-Improvement · Uncategorized

Don’t Outsource Your Mind

A sad casualty of the information age has been the general dumbing down of arguments made by people, especially on the internet dot com In days past, those who were motivated could read and craft arguments from such sources, with few SparkNotes, 5-minute histories, or other shortcuts available. Less-informed folks might mouth off in a tavern debate, but they had to conjure up wild claims without the generous assistance of a search engine. Faking it took some effort, despite the imperfections.

Today we sense a different horizon. Every Jermaine, Reese, and Zephyr can simply pop a question into Google, hit the search button, and copy-paste a hyperlink purporting to back their claims – even if it comes from the likes of Quora, Yahoo Answers, or perhaps “Ask Jeeves,” if the latter even exists. There’s no prerogative to read the actual body text or explore citations, because  what supports them MUST be accurate and beyond reproach.

On the surface level this dynamic is not so problematic, yet it renders a larger-than-life proportion of the national population quite confident in their own opinions, no matter how incomplete those thoughts might be. The internet’s affordance of little introspection for their purposes means those fragile links serve to enhance the ego, and assure a diminished likelihood of further investigation of the material. After all, with that argument remanded to the “settled science” cranial bin, what more is needed?

Perhaps a great deal. Unfortunately, the people who bother to distill petty emotions and look at raw information are left victims of fellow internet people and their mindless bloviation. Since the former group tends to be humbler and more patient, discussions typically end with their voice being drowned out by a million smug cries from the effectively illiterate. Ambition to change the norm shatters upon a weathered hill where the shallow brains defecate pure dopamine satisfaction, while always thirsting for more.

In the interest of not becoming one of these said gremlins, it is imperative to be illiberal with the surrender of your mind. Before wading into a debate, pause to consider how thoroughly the concept has been understood. Failing to do so can result in a situation where bluster and invented facts are necessary to remain credible, methods avoidable when adequate preparation is undertaken. Sure, the appeal is significantly less wonderful, but  at least time is not wasted by lowering ethical standards merely to survive.

Just a (measured and researched) thought.

Uncategorized

How To Replace a Flush Valve

Thought I would mix things up a bit with this for those who are DIY-inclined. If you don’t have a stomach for plumbing then I’d advise skipping the pics.

Here it is in original glory.
The model I chose
Shut off the water by turning to the RIGHT, assuming the original plumber knew what he was doing.
Place a bucket underneath the spot where the valve is connected.
FLUSH the toilet to drain water out of the tank.
You’re left with a mostly-empty tank. This will get fully drained on account of the bucket.
Unscrew the grey piece FIRST.
Now the white nut gets unscrewed (Good for him).
(Expect water to drain out into the bucket at this point).
And the old valve comes out easily enough with that step complete.
Next, remove the clip from the lever hole.
The flapper comes off next. You’ll have to unclip it from the hinges on the overflow cylinder.
It’s pretty nasty. This thing was probably over ten years old.
Ahh, the fresh flapper in connected, easily snapping into the hinge piece.
Add the rubber washer to the new flush valve, screwing in so the ring part is pointing down. This will go into the lower tank hole.
One side of the tubing goes into the tower nozzle.
The other end into the clip piece.
Things looking a bit clunky now, but a fix will come.
Quick trim plus gets the tube size down, allowing for smooth install. Also note the clip on the opposite side of the cylinder.
Now put the new nut back in place, screwing till it’s tight, but don’t wrench it on.
Water line goes back in place.
Now you can turn the water back on a take a flush!
Uncategorized

Dear Anonymous Commenter

Go spilt your venom
to all who see
ravaged silence
or bended knees

That once prayed
by mantis ring
where savior souls
aloft did sing

A beauty muttered
voices exchange
but endless bitter
thine odor rains.

To target one
vile twice
whose hearts did naught
but anguish splice.

What lone is bare
past reply sheer
solemn joy
or smoking tear?

Far regale
the mists so strife,
still time on time
why waste your life?  

Culturalism · Uncategorized

Democracy’s Free Pass

Historical myopia is incredible. After reading through countless books on the early 20th Century nationalist movements, I have determined there is no Western scholar incapable of twisting events into an indictment of particular figures, strictly on the basis of them not being popularly elected. Wherever and however, they stretch the truth so as to hold anti-democratic regimes accountable for standards far beyond the reach of liberal opponents, even when the evidence is glaring.

Case in point: Benito Mussolini. Most writers will concede that his rule was relatively benign, with the harshest punishment for enemies usually entailing imprisonment on islands or in small villages, not the dreadful conditions of some concentration camp. Nevertheless, they persist, scraping at any random example to find fault. For Mussolini, this is the claim that he killed countless Ethiopians with poison gas, because he wanted their land. The less-examined record of course reveals that the weapon was used sparingly at specific infrastructure sites, and as a response to the African nation’s longtime atrocities, including the use of exploding bullets on Italian soldiers. None of that is relevant though, because he was a fascist, and that makes him a war criminal.  

Now suppose we examine for a second the legacy of Barack Obama, our former commander-in-chief. As president, he authorized the killing of over 3,700 people using drone strikes, with over 300 of those being civilians. More than this, he went so far as to brag about his ability to end the lives of the targets, most of whom were brown Middle Eastern people:

“Turns out I’m really good at killing people. Didn’t know that was gonna be a strong suit of mine.”

His crowning achievement in this regard was the shelling of Libya, which culminated in an attack on the convoy carrying Muammar Gaddafi. The Libyan leader reportedly asked his attackers “What did I do to you?” as he was sodomized with a bayonet , beaten, and shot to death. Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (another empowered product of democracy) cackled about the killing, saying “We came, we saw, he died.”

Just like that. Pure sadism and mass murder, yet how many scholars have written (or will write) books describing Obama as a war criminal? Will Hillary sit awkwardly in a Nuremberg defense box, awaiting the ultimate penalty? Might children grow up absorbing histories about the cruelty and vicious nature of these figures, and how justice was done?

Of course not. They were democratically elected, and therefore all actions taken, whether for “national security” or “the promotion of human rights,” stand to be moderately brushed away as acceptable. Sure, one or two historians will bring up the drone issue, but only as a minor footnote on the page of “controversy,” a term which alone nullifies all seriousness. Chances are, such creatures will end up being celebrated by children for their bravery, tenacity, and progressiveness.

Cast a few votes, and suddenly the rules don’t apply.

Uncategorized

Decoding Corporate Propaganda Speech

Since the advent of consumer capitalism, corporations have gone out of their way to design economically subversive messages which promote their own well-being. This practice has only heightened during the age of social media, and morphed radically after the corona became a thing. Being able to read between the lines of these messages makes a person substantially smarter when it comes to financial and political decisions. For the benefit of my blog audience, here are a few of the most common.

“In these challenging/uncertain times…”

Translation: Our bottom line is struggling, so you need to pay attention and find a way to be a good consumer despite the lockdowns.

“We’re in this together/We’ll get through this together.”

Translation: You as a spender must join the other spenders in the chip-inserting community to save our profits. However, don’t you dare feel togetherness based on religion, race, or anti-globalist philosophy. Those things are still prohibited, and we will fire you for expressing any of them.

“It is important to follow science, not debunked or discredited ideas.”

Translation: Make sure to purchase the vaccine, which will probably be mandatory anyway. Never attempt to medicate through lifestyle changes or vitamin therapy, as this could cause you to die. Of course our treatments for COVID-19 and cancer are extremely dangerous and have terrible side effects, but don’t worry about that.

“They were not consistent with our values, so we terminated their employment.”

Translation: We are not going to bother considering the context of what happened. Twitter mobs are scary, so the employee must be fired, even if they did a fantastic job.

“Let’s celebrate these empowered individuals for their contributions.”

Translation: Stand up and clap for this talentless person who needs recognition for their gender or skin color.

“Please wear a mask.”

Translation: Obey.

“We need tax cuts for job creators.”

Translation: The money NOT being sent to the Cayman Islands is being taxed too high. Stop that.

“Enough with these job-killing regulations.”

Translation: We didn’t lobby enough to make the regulation as we liked, so it needs to go. If you get poisoned because of this, at least remember that all that growth helps your 401k.

“These entitlements are out of control.”

Translation: People need less generous retirement plans. Don’t mind us as we take fat tax deductions and raid employee pension funds.

“Immigrants work harder than Americans.”

Translation: We can pay immigrants a hell of a lot less.

“We need more high-skilled worker visas!”

Translation: College graduates in America are asking for respectable salaries to pay off their student loans. This is unacceptable to us.

Uncategorized

What Is the End of Growth?

I recently slogged through the extreme future by James Canton, a somewhat outdated tract fitting the Thomas Friedman-style, “Wowsers trousers, just think of the future!” that we are all too familiar with. Across three hundred or so pages he lays out projections about the next twenty years (speaking from the ancient milestone of 2007), and warns actors both private and public of the risks entailed by failure to abide by the horizon march. Towards the end of the screed, he conjures up startling visions of what might occur if states fail to ensure streamlined business processes, access to education, and open borders. The greatest casualty according to Canton will be the mystical rocket of economic growth, which exists like a sacred idol in the bonobo village.

Canton’s fixation upon this concept made be pause, as I have many times before, trying to understand what the genuine motivation is behind it. Growth has always ebbed and flowed over time, yet the neoliberal order seems to think perpetual upward movement, whether in stocks, home building, or population expansion, is as important as the Fatherland for a Fuehrer, or the Virgin for a Catholic. Nothing else factors in this calculation, because its girth transcends and drowns the very possibility. Failure to agree and accede is portrayed not as an opposing view, but the laurels of a death cult dedicated to seismic decline, or traditional socialism.

But of course we must question the underlying merits of such a worldview. Growth may increase wealth, but it also contributes to the planet’s destruction, to the wisp of the air and the spill of green landscape where virtue finds rebirth. Expansion widens the collective GDP, while also defying intent for culture and legacy, letting purpose devolve between the anarchic barbs of nihilism, itself directed towards the accumulation of more, if by less legal means.  Liberal economic ascension permeates and fills all places, but leaves them emptier than before, embittered by the absence of nothing, by the tragic search for meaning.  

Even dismissing the philosophical considerations, what can this “growth” really provide to humanity? The effervescent obsession with mass migration and diversity—whether to fill underpaid jobs or pay our pensions—does it have any limit? If ten million souls skip from one imaginary line to the next, occupying and developing increasingly-scarcer territory, does their family left behind cease to replenish the human stores? At any point might the Salvadoran population decline, or is that nation destined to eternally reproduce—simply to keep the Stars and Stripes at maximum GDP? Might there be an hour when they wish for fatter pension pots, and tire of serving our own, turning to demand the same econo-destiny shackles be placed on the eager Guatemalan, or perhaps the souls of Congo? Per chance those new selections are expected to fill their role, because otherwise the chattering national product stats might drop.

What growth actually leaves in its wake is a rancid and soulless question; an ode to the unending desire to subjugate and own, if merely for the extent of the taskmaster’s life and pocketbook. The yolk today is not based on the simplicity of race, nor religious divergence, but rather the dibbling spots of numerals on a digitized trading screen.  The worth of man, computed by ones and zeroes, in offices he yearns to escape.

But where can he run?     

Uncategorized

The Ministry of Approved Facts

It has been debunked and discredited.”

“This is settled science.”

Most of you have probably heard one of these phrases tossed around on the Twittersphere, or megaphoned by our wonderful cable television networks. The message is meant to be authoritative and calming, typically delivered by someone in a white coat, a classy suit and tie, or with “PhD” appended to their name. Everything is fine, they communicate softly. Now get in line for your own good.

It’s fantastically convenient: the media, corporate, and political establishments circle the wagons, sternly finger-wagging at anyone who breaks the norm, despite how incompetent that position happens to be. Wherever opposition rears its eager head, they crack down, thrusting that maternal-statist inclination to setup a bureaucracy and fillet out anything “problematic” or “pseudo-scientific.” All that remains is their version of the truth, itself lathered by so many social chemicals and engineered conspiracies that willing followers are left to regurgitate a blind order they do not understand, but everyone else is expected to obey.

Remarkably, I happen to feel rebellious at the sight of their leering faces. Per chance the fault goes to excessive reading and contemplation of the right books, or simply too little of the wrong ones. At any rate, the moment an offering of these statements enters my earlobe, I begin to doubt the validity behind them. There are simply too many examples of wanton lying on the part of the institutions and authorities that humanity has been told to trust throughout history. In America alone we were lied to about the cause of the Second World War, communists in the federal government, corrupt acts of the CIA, and the Iraq invasion. The media routinely lies and misrepresents crime reports, creating the foundation for mass the mass violence permeating today.

“Yes but those are political issues, not medical!,” you might desperately shriek. Ahh, but there the story is not much better. How many folks took Zantac over the years because it was FDA-approved? Did the illustrious seal of government and established medicine make a difference? Why still do we see such vicious attacks on vitamin-based therapies, or the use of colloidal silver as a treatment? Could it be that the Ministry is protecting its financial interests? These organizations love to celebrate freedom, yet go ballistic when someone exercises those rights regarding self-medication.

The present situation causes me to speculate that in the future Americans will be mandated by law to pursue specific treatments for illnesses. Feel sick but don’t have corona? Doesn’t matter, because the hospital says you do.  Cancer treatment using destructive chemotherapy will also be mandated, as the science simply cannot be challenged. Just ask smiling Dr. Raj, whose medical school tuition was funded by Eli Lilly the Squibb. Be a good boy and settle in for the feeding tube, and just remember: we know what’s best for you.

I’m thinking hard of ways to agree, and the only problem is, I can’t stop thinking.