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.
Go spilt your venom
to all who see
or bended knees
That once prayed
by mantis ring
where savior souls
aloft did sing
A beauty muttered
but endless bitter
thine odor rains.
To target one
whose hearts did naught
but anguish splice.
What lone is bare
past reply sheer
or smoking tear?
the mists so strife,
still time on time
why waste your life?
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.
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.”
“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.
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?
“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.
We have previously discussed how to stay warm while practicing van life or car camping. Now as the weather advances towards the extreme of summer, it is crucial to discuss strategies on maintaining a comfortable temperature against the sunlight scourge. After all, sweat might build muscles, but sleeping with a thick layer on the skin doesn’t quite hit the spot, unless sauna sleep has some type of hidden benefit.
Pick Your Location Wisely
Humidity can always be an issue depending on the region, yet there are ways to diminish the overall burden. For starters, choose a spot where the sun don’t shine (not in the traditional sense), such as a shaded area of the parking lot of neighborhood street. Run a quick orienteering check using a physical compass or an app like Digital Compass. This should give you a good sense of where the sun will rise and set, and allow for optimal positioning of the vehicle to avoid those adamant beams.
Block The Heavenly Fire
Once the sun’s placement has been determined, look at the windows and figure out if they need reinforcement. Even tinted panes can benefit from some added love, whether in the form of a peel and stick screen or the classic suction cup options. I personally have used a model similar to the Enovoe version, finding respectable success. If there is a way to lie down that locates your head away from direct window shine, consider that option. Few things are less pleasant than waking up to a bolt of sun right between the peepers.
Bed Down Right
When it comes to the choice of a mattress, materials matter. Some folks opt for raised platforms and will attempt to build a normal Sealy shindig inside their vehicle. This strikes me as unnecessary. A couple of solid foam sleeping mats topped with one or two inflatables should be adequate. The material works well against sweat and is often designed to keep body temp where it needs to be. I advise using this Wakeman foam option, the Coleman Self-Inflating pad, and the Wellax sleeping pad.
One the same subject, a sleeping bag’s nature is important. Obviously during the summer you don’t want some thick ass deep cold option like the WolfTraders version, although it works great for colder weather. Instead, a basic Coleman bag or simply a light blanket can suffice. I use an older version of the Mummy Bag, which is actually a bit warmer than is ideal. Especially in humid areas, being locked inside a bag won’t be fun, so you will probably unzip it at some point.
For a pillow, finding something light and cool remains absolutely paramount. I personally have employed a MyPillow Medium Fill for some time now, and find it to be more than adequate. The key is to use a light pillow case so your head does not sweat too much. Alternatively, there are specialized options such as the TEKAMON available for use.
Become The Airbender
The general humidity on a hot summer night cannot really be controlled, but there are valid ways to cope with it. First on the list would involve securing a good battery-operated fan. These can be charged at the library or at work with a USB cord and provide respectable circulation for between 8-10 hours on low speed. In the past I have employed the AceMining model, which is fantastic. It charges in a little over 2.5 hours and will run well past 12 hours without difficulty. In addition, the Holmes option is respectable, and actually runs much longer than the advertised 6 hours. Unfortunately, charge time clocks in around 4 hours, which is a lot less convenient. The advantage with each one is the low price tag, so you can snag 3-4 without blowing the bank. I also meant to check out the solar-powered fan offering from STYLOOC, but the reviews turned me off. Maybe they will improve performance in the future.
Preparing for the Sweat
While it is difficult to prevent the glands from opening up, there are some ways to make the experience more comfortable. Dressing light is an obvious strategy, but retiring for the day in a dry state (by cleaning off existing sweat) makes things much better, and you avoid rolling around in excess sweat from the start. Applying deodorant before sleeping will also improve on this front, holding in the sweat for a longer period of time.
Another valuable factor can be the use of a re-hydrating towel. These guys can be soaked and then rung out, but will reactivate when the body sweats during or after a sleep. The flagship brand is Frogg Toggs, but I opted for a third-party brand that offers larger sizes, because I am also a pretty big guy.
Robert De Niro is angry. He’s furious about Trump, about clowns, and the sun drying up earth into a massive desert. What’s more, he’s an actor, so you best zip up and listen. It’s true that he might have benefited from zipping things up in the alimony department, but you’re just jealous of his fame and fortune (or whatever is left of it).
Sure, I hate to be passive-aggressive on my own blog, but Robert De Niro is a great example of how the marriage industry can fell a person, no matter how progressive and giving they happen to be. The fresh word is that De Niro’s twice-divorced wife, Grace Hightower, is not content with the financial limitations he had attempted to place on her:
“Hightower, whom De Niro married in 1997, requested that the actor raise her monthly American Express allowance from $50,000 to $100,000. But the Post reported that the New York judge on the case denied her request, ordering De Niro to keep her credit card limit at $50,000 a month and to pay her $75,000 so she can find a summer home for their two children.”
Not surprisingly, her lawyer is infuriated, claiming “Mr. De Niro has used the COVID pandemic, my words would be, to stick it to his wife financially.”
In all fairness, Robert has probably been sticking it to her many times before, so Grace’s pent-up anger could be justified. Funny enough, part of Don Corleone’s defense is that he’s not making enough money:
De Niro “is going to be lucky if he makes $7.5 million this year,” Caroline Krauss, the actor’s lawyer, reportedly said. His prenuptial agreement stipulates that he owes his wife $1 million each year as long as he’s making at least $15 million a year, and the spousal support will be adjusted proportionally should De Niro make less than $15 million. He is only projected to rake in $2.5 million.
Well fancy that. Making more money in twelve months than most will in a lifetime doesn’t quite cut it because of his empowered dating strategy. It’s almost like celebrities are out of touch hypocrites who cannot manage their personal lives but wish to dictate how everyone else ought to live.
Some time back De Niro discussed Donald Trump and said “I’d like to see a bag of shit right in his face. Hit him right in the face like that, and let the picture go all over the world.”
What goes around comes around.
Over the last two months, I have been aggressively reading and note-taking in preparation for the assembly of my book on Italian Fascism. As I worked through a section last night concerning the welfare policies of the state, I was struck by something embodied in the situation: the book used as a reference was first published in 1936, and few copies are still available. To the average American reader, it practically doesn’t exist.
This issue is far more prominent than people can begin to imagine. The only reason I stumbled upon the book in the first place was my university library, which is larger and older than that of the previous college I attended. Even after that point, it was only on account of my shelling out some shekels that I secured a personal copy on AbeBooks. In many other cases, I would never have figured out how access the text because of its mystery.
And indeed the record shows truth. Prior to entering college, I wrote a piece about the Fascist policy of Corporatism, castigating it for creating poverty, and attempting linkage with the Wall Street goonism in our own country. Of course I had no idea what corporatism entailed, or how it came to be under Fascism; I simply followed the popular interpretation of libertarian louts and progressives peons. I mean, what else was there to do?
Herein rests the epic problem of our society: the sources which can change hearts are almost always unheard of, or at least locked behind the secure door of financial declarations. One rather short book I purchased for my project cost twenty-five bucks, all so I could have a couple of citations otherwise unavailable on the Internet dot com. Like the other piece, I only knew about it because I was in proximity to the right place.
Thus we are left with a situation where most people interested in knowledge have to rely on Google, which never manipulates results or suppresses what they don’t agree with. Or perhaps spit some dollars for a JSTOR subscription to access primary sources. Apart from that, it’s whatever comes up on the Bing click or the shanty offerings in your local library. As if that is all the knowledge you need.
What a scary thought. Entire generations of the mind shaped by a selective sieve of the empowered and well-meaning who run our technology and political organizations. This is the ultimate state of modern humanity, after supposed years of evolution.
I suppose I’ll get back to my research now, and hopefully at some point, remember to forget.
For the optimists among you, I present the following work, which aggressively outlines a compromise-based politics approach for the United States of America:
Take a look and let me know what you think!