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In Defense of Huberman
disgracedpropagandist
 March 27 2024 at 03:46 am
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You'll notice speaking at length with very-successful Hollywood people, often white male writers, that they’ll find a way to cry during your conversation. They've been trained to do this, like monkeys, as it will help them close whatever deal or project they have on the table. The empathy game. I don’t like Andrew Huberman. He’s a rise-and-grind health grifter who lives and breathes therapy-speak. Many such cases, but he plays the game to win, and he has won. He is complicit in his own downfall because of course the empathy game is in large part about appeasing women. He should’ve known they would come for him, and he probably did know. He took the risk anyway. Why? Because the point of power, and life in general, is to enjoy it. Very powerful people take very big risks. The biggest problem in contemporary life is not the longhouse, but the simps who make it possible. Had Huberman been as transparent about his normal male sexuality as he is about his trauma, he wouldn’t be quite so embarrassed. He would be a better, more righteous person—living a “more beautiful life” as Justin Murphy has suggested. But, of course, had he been honest, he would’ve had a much harder time getting laid. Hence, the simp. However, this is all really besides the point. No matter how annoying, cringey, or hypocritical he is, an unmarried man was cancelled for having sex with unmarried women in his private life. Not even technically adultery according to original biblical meaning, which meant having sex with someone else’s wife. Other famous men have been cancelled for saying certain words in a private group chats (one got jailed for posting a meme). Others for being unkind in private scenarios. You read these big character posters in the form of very-serious-journalism and you wait for the ball to drop, some horrible act, and it never does. We have become accustomed to this state of oppression, and, like all oppressed, we seek rationalizations for why we actually deserve it. But absolutely no man, let alone the kind who strives to become publicly relevant, can survive the current cancellation standard. All private interactions collated, evaluated, and published for public consumption. Not one of us will pass this purity test; it shatters the concept of privacy entirely. Really think about it. If every one of your private messages and actions were revealed, would you survive? You know the answer. Any dude condemning Huberman and not an obviously totalitarian media aimed at destroying every last powerful straight white guy in the name of equity is complicit in their own destruction. A righteous person, a person "living beautifully" in this scenario, supports Huberman despite how unlikable and hypocritical he is, because it's the right thing to do. This is the hard thing, and also the right thing. Otherwise, when the Borg comes for you, you will deserve it.
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thinkspot Writers’ Contest ($1,000 grand prize)
thinkspot
 April 10 2024 at 09:04 pm
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You’ve shared some amazing provocative content this year, and thinkspot wants to amplify your high quality thoughts by offering a chance at $1600 in cash prizes, a lifetime thinkspot Writer’s membership, and a special feature in our Newsletter. We’re proud to announce our first-ever writing contest open to all current thinkspot Thinkers and other curious minds. Contest Details: Prizes: First Prize: $1000 cash, lifetime thinkspot membership, and top placement in a thinkspot Newsletter. Second Prize: $500 cash, lifetime thinkspot membership, and featured status in a thinkspot Newsletter. Third Prize: $100 cash and featured status in a thinkspot Newsletter. Submission Deadline: April 28th, 2024 Winners Announced: April 30th, 2024 Eligibility: Applicants must register for a free thinkspot Writer’s account, or be existing thinkspot Writers. Entries must be published on thinkspot on Writer’s own account. Limit of one entry per participant. Entry title must be prefaced by “Thoughts for the End of the Century,” followed by a descriptive subtitle. All Entries need to use the category: Contest April 2024 Entries must be original works not published elsewhere. Entrants must be able to prove authorship of their submission. To be eligible for prize money, entrants must be able to receive bank transfers from Stripe, and link Stripe to their thinkspot account. Essay Length: 500-1000 words Judgment Criteria: Essays will be judged on their clarity, coherence, originality, relevance to the selected topic, and quality of research. Essay Prompt: THOUGHTS FOR THE END OF THE CENTURY From AI to crypto to cancel culture, civilization is changing at an unprecedented pace. If you have a brain—which, let’s be honest, not everyone does—you’ve probably got strong opinions on that. But where do they all lead? Can your insights enlighten curious minds? Even better, bring them together? This is the challenge thinkspot would like to present to Thinkers. We’re asking for short essays that synthesize your takes on noteworthy issues into frameworks for a future that’s not just the vague old cliches of “better” and “brighter,” but simply a place we’d like to live. It’s thinkers, after all, who are the only ones who can, and should, push us forward to that place. In 1000 words or less, tell us where the rest of the century might take us, and how the ills of this century can be overcome in the next. What does this future world actually look like? How does it work? What does it do best? Worst? Who does it include? Who doesn’t? Sparks to inflame your eager minds. Our panel of judges looks forward to seeing how you push the discourse ahead. Best of luck, The thinkspot team
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Thoughts for the end of the century - the path...
CraigJames
 April 15 2024 at 03:03 am
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Once upon a time, is how great stories begin. You heard this one, many years ago. Rest awhile and I will remind you of the path of the hearth fire. The hearth fire is the place where great stories are told and heard. Grandparents and the very young ones get to sit closest to the fire because that is fair and proper and that is where they were when the first heard about the path of the hearth fire. You remember Pythagoras. He was a school teacher. He learned at the hearth fire, back in the day. He also saw that three joined lines could make a triangle and the triangle was a thing of divine beauty. Socrates sat the feet of Pythagoras and learned of that divine beauty while looking into the blazing warmth of that hearth fire. Plato sat as the feet of Socrates and the blazing hearth fire warmed them on their coldest and darkest nights. Aristotle sat at the feet of Socrates and saw, in the blazing fire, the coarse wood transmogrify to the brightest light. And Aristotle felt his soul in that light. Aristotle watched the blazing light of the hearth fire warm the souls around him. Aristotle watched how each and every soul around the hearth fire glowed warmly from the blazing light. The old souls, the tiny souls, the black, brown, white and yellow souls, all warmed by the hearth fire. Later on, when declarations and constitutions were being written around the world, Aristotle’s astute and kindly observations about all souls informed the words of those writing founders. From time to time, sitting regally close to the hearth fire, were beautiful women from the town of Delphi. The women were the Oracle. The Oracle learned about souls from Aristotle and prophesised about every aspect of civic life. The counsel of the Oracle was valued so highly that no important decision was ever made without her. The declarations and the constitutions recognised that each and every soul was divine and that in the same way that the coarse and often gnarled logs would turn to useful blazing warmth and light and to fine ashes and dust, so too all souls would transform around the hearth fire. Today the hearth fire is still blazing. Come and sit with me and I will show you where Pythagoras was when he studied the triangle and where Aristotle was when he saw all the souls. You get to sit at the hearth for only a short time but you get to sit right where those great ones sat. The light of the hearth fire is a great place to study the wise ones. Learn about the divine beauty of geometry and see that divine beauty in all souls around you. Be inspired by the great ones and the wise ones. They have spent more time around the hearth fire than you. Gather your own wood to put on the hearth fire so that you can warm the young ones and the old ones, the black, brown, white and yellow ones. Every time the hearth fire was blazing, the wise ones spoke about the Tree of Life. Have you seen the way the tail of a horse is plaited ? There are three strands and they fold over each other. The Tree of Life is like that. It’s a very old Tree that has three branches. Learn about that Tree of Life because the wise ones have stored their knowledge there. Learn about the branches on that Tree of Life. There is a left branch and a right branch and a middle branch. Uncle Jordan speaks of chaos and order. The Tree uses the words mercy and severity to describe the same realms. Uncle Iain McGilchrist speaks of the Master and the Emissary. Uncle Iain speaks of your corpus callosum. Learn about that. It is the middle branch. The Tree of Life calls the middle one Equilibrium. It is between the left and the right. The wise ones at the hearth fire speak of walking the path of the hearth fire. The path is the middle branch. A bit like Goldilock’s porridge. Not too hot and not too cold. Not too much Mercy and not too much Severity. Not too much chaos and not too much order. Not too much Emissary and not too much Master. Not too much of the left and not too much of the right. The wise ones say that the Tree of Life is inside of you and inside of your head and all around you and above you and below you. Learn from the wise ones how the left and the right and the middle branches need each other and have always needed each other and will always need each other. For ever and ever.
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Narada: The Shakespearean Fool of Hindu Mythology
Sadhika Pant
 March 28 2024 at 09:28 am
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In Hindu mythology, Narada serves as a messenger and advisor to the gods, often conveying important messages between deities and intervening in various divine affairs. He is believed to be one of the mind-born sons of Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe. Narada is often depicted as wandering the universe, spreading knowledge, and playing his veena (musical instrument) while chanting the name of Lord Vishnu. He is known for his ability to travel freely between different realms, including the celestial, earthly, and underworlds. Fitting the Wise Fool Archetype: Like the Shakespearean fool, Narada often appears unconventional or eccentric in his actions and speech. He may seem whimsical or playful on the surface, but underlying his antics is profound wisdom and insight. The fool in Shakespearean plays frequently employs humour and satire to comment on the folly of human behaviour and to reveal deeper truths about the world. Similarly, Narada uses his wit and unconventional behaviour to impart spiritual teachings and philosophical wisdom to those he encounters. In both Hindu mythology and Shakespearean drama, the fool serves as a truth-teller who fearlessly speaks his mind and exposes the hypocrisy and folly of others. Narada, with his sharp intellect and keen perception, often plays this role in his interactions with gods, sages, and mortals. He fearlessly challenges authority and conventional wisdom, using his wit and insight to illuminate the path of righteousness and devotion. The Shakespearean fool is often a catalyst for transformation, prompting characters to confront their flaws and reconsider their actions. Similarly, Narada's interventions and counsel often catalyse spiritual growth and enlightenment in those he encounters. Through his conversations and interactions, he inspires individuals to reflect on their lives, question their beliefs, and strive for higher ideals. Both Narada and the Shakespearean fool possess multifaceted personas that defy easy categorization. They can be playful and mischievous one moment, and deeply profound and insightful the next. This complexity adds depth to their characters and underscores the richness of their roles in their respective narratives. Ultimately, both Narada and the Shakespearean fool symbolise transcendence—transcendence of social norms, of conventional wisdom, and of mundane concerns. They occupy a liminal space between worlds, serving as intermediaries between the divine and the mortal, the mundane and the transcendent. Through their words and actions, they invite audiences to glimpse the deeper mysteries of existence and to aspire to higher states of consciousness and understanding. Parallels: Beyond the Shakespearean fool, Narada also bears striking resemblance to Hermes in Greek mythology. Hermes is the messenger of the Olympian gods in Greek mythology, known for his swiftness and ability to travel freely between the mortal world and Mount Olympus. Both figures embody the archetype of the divine messenger, bridging the gap between heaven and earth and facilitating communication between deities and humans. Their ability to traverse boundaries and deliver messages underscores the importance of communication and divine guidance in shaping the destiny of both individuals and civilizations. Both are associated with guiding souls between different realms. In Hindu mythology, Narada is believed to assist souls on their journey through the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, offering guidance and support along the way. In Greek mythology, Hermes serves as a psychopomp, guiding souls to the underworld after death and facilitating communication between the living and the dead. Narada and Hermes are also revered as protectors of travellers and pilgrims. In Hinduism, Narada is believed to watch over those who embark on spiritual journeys, offering guidance and protection along the way. Similarly, Hermes is the patron deity of travellers in Greek mythology, safeguarding them during their journeys and ensuring safe passage. They share characteristics of trickster figures who use their wit, cunning, and mischief to achieve their goals. Narada's playful and sometimes mischievous nature is evident in his interactions with gods, sages, and mortals, where he often employs clever stratagems to impart wisdom or teach lessons. Similarly, Hermes is known for his playful and trickster-like behaviour, using his cunning to outsmart adversaries and navigate difficult situations. The Fool card in the Tarot deck is often depicted as a figure standing at the edge of a cliff, symbolising new beginnings, innocence, and a leap of faith into the unknown. Similarly, Narada embodies aspects of this archetype as a figure who traverses the cosmos with childlike curiosity and openness to new experiences. Both the Fool and Narada represent the archetype of the wanderer, unburdened by preconceptions and fear, ready to embark on a journey of discovery and enlightenment. The Message: In the modern world, individuals often embody the archetype of the messenger or intermediary in various aspects of their lives, albeit in subtler ways than the mythological figures of Narada and Hermes. In a world filled with uncertainty and rapid change, embracing the energy of the Fool means being open to new opportunities, taking risks, and trusting in one's intuition and inner guidance. Entrepreneurs, artists, and innovators who dare to defy convention and pursue their dreams exemplify this archetype, embracing the unknown and forging their own paths. Like Narada, who is known for his playful demeanour and mischievous antics, these individuals approach challenges with a lighthearted attitude, seeing obstacles as opportunities for growth and learning. They understand that life is a journey meant to be experienced fully, and they embrace each moment with joy and enthusiasm. Whether travelling to new destinations, pursuing creative endeavours, or simply savouring the beauty of everyday moments, they infuse their lives with a sense of adventure and wonder. By embodying the energy of the Fool, modern individuals remind us to let go of rigidity and embrace the magic of the present moment, trusting that each step taken with an open heart and a spirit of curiosity leads to new discoveries and infinite possibilities.
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A Guide to Social Justice Paradox - Part 3
Robert "RSnake" Hansen
 March 27 2024 at 01:00 pm
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In this series' installment of the Hilbert Problems for Social Justice, we delve further into troubled waters of deeply held beliefs: the intersection of genetic identity, right to life, and autonomy of choice. This marks the point at which I will diverge from Eric Weinstein's examples. Where before today's examination, we focused exclusively on self-contradictory couplets, today we additionally add a problematic tercet of ideas. Each thought distinct and often discussed openly as firmly held beliefs amongst legion social justice advocates, yet countervailing. Before we continue, I would once again like to thank those who took the time to read and comment on the prior articles. There is utility in shaping this conversation and I appreciate thoughtful replies and feedback. Without your feedback it's difficult to improve the utility of my writing. Today's exploration, like it's predecessors, is not about asserting definitive answers but rather illuminating the confounding complexities that challenge progressive philosophy. Ultimately, gaining awareness of our missteps, despite potential anguish in uncovering them, invariably encourages growth. So without further ado... At birth sexual identity is immutable AND sex is not. - Being trans is immutable: https://uclawreview.org/2021/11/12/gender-the-issue-of-immutability/ - Sex is mutable: https://kim-hipwell.medium.com/on-truly-changing-sex-a7770e903810 The point brought up by Kim Hipwell, and others, that chromosomal sex immutability is only a reflection of the technological state of the art is at least theoretically correct. It is entirely feasible that in the future a "trans-shop" may exist that can, down to the DNA, modify every cell in a person's body to the preferred sex. However, by the same vein the fact that people believe that minds cannot be changed with existing or futuristic technology, but bodies can, has no rational basis. Why would the human software be free from tampering but the hardware be vulnerable to it? There are innumerate case studies of minds being altered or changed – it is the entire basis of the marketing industry. A belief that no future technology could ever exist to change/influence sexual orientation by extension, is a failure of imagination. If such a thing were true, why would there be so much ink spilled explaining why it is okay to transition, since a person's mind could not be influenced? Clearly this is nonsense, and even trans rights activists concur that minds can be and are changed. - https://www.transhub.org.au/changing-your-mind Therefore, being trans is a choice either now or in the future when technology allows for either programmatic or technical changes of orientation (or both) and not immutable. Quod erat demonstrandum. It is worth reflecting on a personal acquaintance, a woman who identified as gay throughout her life until, in her late twenties, she encountered a man who profoundly altered her understanding of her own sexuality, causing her to subsequently renounce even bisexuality. There is no accounting for the power of true love, apparently. Her anecdote challenges the notion of immutable sexual orientation. Is her experience merely an outlier, an anomaly amidst a sea of fixed identities? Clearly no. I alone, have a number of similar stories of men who experimented and later, embarrassingly, decided they no longer felt homosexual. What's the opposite of coming out, when you no longer identify as LGBTQIA+? Perhaps "re-identifying"? How the mechanism for sexual preference manifests itself is beyond the scope of this article, but it does beg the question - are all deviations from original orientation pre-determined? The answer is almost certainly no, and instead a confluence of environmental influences and biological factors play significant roles in the decidedly messy state of human sexuality. Persons considering reassignment surgery may be in very real psychological distress, presenting a serious dilemma on how best to address this emotional turmoil. How to navigate such deeply personal challenges invites a broader discussion of emotional guidance - if we believe choice play a role. We must also recognize the existence of myriad influencers vying to shape these crucial decisions. What is their goal and incentive? What defines success? A similar tercet of contradictory ideas: Gay/Trans is genetic (I was born this way), AND abortion should be allowed for any reason, AND targeted abortions of gay and trans is wrong. - Born Trans: https://www.ipl.org/essay/Personal-Narrative-I-Was-Born-Trans-FKXFM4B42DTT - Abortion should be legal: https://www.bartleby.com/essay/Abortion-Should-Be-Legal-FKJLMLWZVJ - Aborting based on a “gay gene”: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/nobel-winner-may-sue-over-gay-baby-abortion-claim-1279127.html Setting aside the dubious existence of a “gay gene," the self-contradictory ideas that abortions should be legal and that gay and trans people are “born this way” is a useful edge case and thought exercise. If such a gene existed, therein lies a scenario where gay and trans individuals could be targeted in the womb and aborted - a wholesale unacceptable outcome for trans advocates. Call it a sexuality-genocide. If any aspect of being trans creates hardships, parents of millions of children may simply test for such a gene and abortions of trans children could become normative – though unlikely due to the evangelical stance on abortion. Ironically it is conservatives, not progressives, who would be most ethically bound to protect trans lives in utero. If you think mass abortions based exclusively on immutable traits is unlikely, consider that aborting on embryonic sex and the murder of newborns based entirely on their sex was a recent horrific reality: - China's one child policy lead to ~30 million aborted females: https://www.npr.org/2016/02/01/465124337/how-chinas-one-child-policy-led-to-forced-abortions-30-million-bachelors - One Child Nation: https://www.amazon.com/One-Child-Nation-Nanfu-Wang/dp/B0875GV8SL With notable exception of specific medical conditions facing hermaphrodites and those with chromosomal chimerism, trans persons may be primarily or at least partially an environmental origin: epigenetically or extended phenotypes. De-transitioning should not be possible if choice played no role in transitioning and being trans was an immutable trait. Logically, how can you undo something that is undoable? Being trans would therefore ostensibly appear to be a choice people make (and unmake) rather than a medical immutable fact. If we believe that there is any hardship at all in being trans - and if there is not, why would trans-rights need advocacy - why would we guide anyone towards being trans? If trans is a spectrum, where some choose to be trans and others are biologically forced to transition, then there still lies a cohort for whom transitioning is non-ideal due to the medical and emotional danger. This leads us to what honest analysis may look like, without subterfuge. What are progressives accomplishing with trans advocacy, and what is the outcome if successful? Is trans ever a choice or is it always truly immutable? If we believe that trans is ever optional decision-making, should we invest in additional education to encourage people to start transitioning, or should we invest in changing the minds of those teetering on the edge who may experience a lifetime of hardship if they do transition? Is there reasonable middle ground? I hope you found this third article interesting. This series will document many of these conflated social justice issues and there will be more, God willing. Please subscribe, and comment, if you would like more of the same. If you want to know about me or my show, The RSnake Show, please visit https://rsnake.com/ for details.
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The Narcissism of Contemporary Autofiction
Psychic Self-Defense
 March 27 2024 at 07:22 am
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The Narcissism of Contemporary Autofiction The Anti-Art of Confabulation You wake up to it. Thirty unread messages from last night’s date, each more mundane and self-involved than the last. You scroll and scroll, the onslaught of nonmeaning condensing into a Talmud of intellectual antimatter. Something about the dog. The ex. The rich aunt in Tallahassee. The color of last week’s socks. You read the thirtieth message and gasp. The text thread has found a publisher, and will be available at a store near you by Q4 2024. You try to scream, but no sound comes out. That would be too interesting for the kind of nightmare you’ve found yourself in. The kind of nightmare that’s most young writers’ ultimate dream. Why? Because they’re boring narcissists. To put it more elegantly – and give perspective to this phenomenon of boring narcissists with literary aspirations – we’ll start with Norman Mailer, a narcissist who attained his literary aspirations through the miracle of actually writing well. In his late-career celebration of the novel as a form, The Spooky Art: Thoughts on Writing, Mailer identifies two broad approaches to longform narrative: the Tolstoyan and the Dostoevskian. The Tolstoyan novel is epic in scope, breathing life into a wide-ranging array of characters while grounding them in their particular social and historical contexts. The Dostoevskian novel, by contrast, focuses on how individuals’ thoughts and actions serve as building blocks of their existential conundrums. Now the Tolstoyan novel is all but gone, and the Dostoevskian novel seems more a product, rather than an exploration of, the pathologies of our age. Literary fiction is fast becoming an offshoot of self-help journaling, portraying only those events which directly impact its author/subject, and seldom digressing into their wider significance. This style, known in the book trade as “autofiction,” certainly has its place, the best of it having the quality of a long, boozy conversation with a charismatic stranger. Knausgaard comes to mind. His pale imitators (their names are legion -- could you be one of them, niche Internet reader?) do not, and the more I’m exposed to their output, the more I dread the morning after: the bitterness of lost time, unrecoverable by a latter-day Proust, too muddled by a sour stomach to dare a bite of madeline. Unlike Bukowski or Henry Miller, whose outsized personalities led them along paths rich with intrigue and startling insights, and without the dreamy melancholy of Duras or Kavan, many of today’s self-mythologizers seem ruled by base neuroses, whatever voice they may possess drowned out by verbose, tormented chapters devoted to a childhood slight, death of a pet, or dissolution of a three-day situationship. A huge proportion of alt-lit Substack is guilty of this, and a surprising (non-zero!) fraction of works published there are eventually compiled and given some form of physical distribution. Again, this sort of writing can and has been done very well, but as a rule, recent autofiction’s limited concerns would best be discharged on an analyst’s couch, or, in a more perfect world, taken out in scented markers on a wide-ruled page. Ubiquitous psychotherapy seems only to have expanded the domain of its subject, rendering the novel just another surface onto which “lived experience” may be inscribed. When literature offers nothing but the quotidian, readers' minds wander inexorably toward a stain on their shirt or maintenance of the catbox. Bores beget boredom and little else: it's a fact of life. So why are these people writing at all? To give “therapy culture” its due, a major clue can be found in the annals of contemporary psychology. Our reader’s path to enlightenment may be getting junked up by the surprising popular appeal and mass-marketing of confabulation – the process by which memory gaps are bridged by plausible, but totally fabricated, threads of meandering narrative. Two diagnostic classes that rely heavily on confabulation, narcissists and dementia patients, are sadly illustrative of a growing fraction of the rising literary milieu. Both seek to impart plausible deniability to the chaos of their half-remembered lives, position themselves as persecuted objects or the center of events, and need for you to listen to and believe them. “I’m not perfect, but I can explain,” expanded into a lifetime of shoddy fabrications -- and sometimes presented in book form. As our dominant modes of being shift toward a nexus of narcissism and outright dementia, so do our cultural products, and all but the most determined readers may soon be drubbed into accepting confabulators’ leaden alchemy as genuine magic, content as they are with their daily input of TikTok beefs and Twitter soft-blocks. Is there wisdom to be found among these shifting dunes of glitched-out memory? Just as much as anywhere else. But that’s not why we’ve turned to literature, historically, and I suspect the result – mostly indistinguishable from the nightmare we opened on – will collapse once rights to some of the above-mentioned masters’ catalogs enter the public domain and reinvigorate the idling fiction industry. For now, we’re stuck with placeholders, passively nodding at a motormouthed stranger as we wait for our bus to come in. It might be the polite thing to do, but for my part, I’ll put the cost of a new paperback toward a bottle of Melatonin and sleep this one out. Which, come to think of it, is pretty narcissistic of me. Excuse me while I compose a couple hundred pages about why, exactly, there’s nothing wrong with this…. FURTHER READING: Jonathan Sturgeon - 2014: The Death of the Postmodern Novel and the Rise of Autofiction 2014: The Death of the Postmodern Novel and the Rise of Autofiction The postmodern novel is dead. It is no longer what William James would call a living hypothesis: no committed literary novelist would now choose to write a postmodern fiction. Sure, genre and YA novelists may continue to churn out commodified,… www.flavorwire.com Prof. Sam Vaknin - Dissociation and Confabulation in Narcissistic Disorders Dissociation and Confabulation in Narcissistic Disorders (narcissistic amnesia) why narcissists and psychopaths often contradict themselves. Tomorrow's confabulation often negates yesterday's. The narcissist and psychopath do not remember their previous tales because they are not invested with the emotions and cognitions that are integral parts of real memories. www.heraldopenaccess.us Eve Attali, Francesca De Anna, Bruno Dubois, Gianfranco Dalla Barba - Confabulation in Alzheimer's disease: poor encoding and retrieval of over-learned information Confabulation in Alzheimer's disease: poor encoding and retrieval of over-learned information Abstract. Patients who confabulate retrieve personal habits, repeated events or over-learned information and mistake them for actually experienced, specifi academic.oup.com
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Retrograde spins forward - tomorrow, tonight -...
DavidGetzin
 March 31 2024 at 05:01 am
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So here we are - a new platform as tomorrow the sky spins "backwards" for the relative motion of Mercury as seen on Earth. It may be trite - but I love the story - when the (probably Logical Positivist midwits) were spouting off to Wittgenstein abut how the present was so much more clever than the past, saying "after all, they believed the sun moved 'round the EARTH!" Ludwig smiled and was said to reply, "yes, but I wonder what it would have looked like if the OPPOSITE were true?" It is not inconsequential how the apparent-motions in the sky mark out certain cycles, certain rhythms. Over on my X Platform spouts of text - ( @histofarch ) - I picked up today on Ralph Ellis noting how he thinks one tags the start of the Age of Pisces to 6 AD as the "metaphysical" birth of Jesus. (Ralph elsewhere solidly argues but it is controversial that the historical Jesus was the King of Edessa and fought in the Jewish Revolt (this makes the fig story in Mark make MUCH more sense) so - you have a ~40 year shift back that was made to align Jesus with the astrological age of Pisces.) Regardless of one's feelings about astrological meaning - there is a GENERAL sense that even though "all times are times of transition," the transition we are in now has a special color to it. I've felt it - I felt it when I was 17, wrote long-winded mystical creation myth poetry (that one was half-good) and when in college - would not SHUT up to anyone who would listen about asking them what they felt about emergent paradigms. If anything - the liquidating effects of technology have wrenched us out of old habits. Much of the social chaos we occupy ourselves with is part and parcel with such a historical season. As the industrial revolution reshaped how humans consider the body, the information age is reshaping how humans consider the mind. We are (sadly) leaving the "era of fact" that James Burke pointed out in the written companion to "The Day the Universe Changed" series. A few decades ago, he could write about medieval people being different in great respect to us because they did not live in a world of fact as we've known it. The common ground of trusted empiricism was just not THERE and it was holy tradition, authority and the word of trusted individuals that was relied on. Anything else was held to be suspect. Sound familiar? So, in the explosion of information and the attendant "game theory" sociopath-driven fakery - we find an uncomfortable affinity with the medieval mindset. Without the "justification by faith" in reason's access to "sola scriptura," and the Baconian scientific method, (Science as mainstream has become a sinister, cynical CULT Ponzi scheme) we are thrust back into the arms of Grand Authority. (The Science, NORMS, arrrr democracy! and so forth.) Much haș been made of the "sanctity of the individual" as the root of politics, and I like it that way, but this is becoming more and more old-fashioned. People who take the shift into Aquarius seriously speak (I think accurately) about a rise of lattice networks over tree-hierarchy, (the so-called rhizome organization) and also of more communtarian feelings. But let's not kid ourselves, the dark side of that coin holds cancel culture, groupthink, chaos and a general inability to scale up into large projects. And yes, we see all this, coincident with the age of Pisces fading. I am neither exuberant nor doomerish about this transition. I'd like to be AWARE of it and find like-minded people (am starting to) who want to think on long time scales, and have "big" families and really act like Italian householders who cultivate generous land with love and joy, understanding how the earth cycles integrate to cherries being only available really in May and June, figs coming ripe around Tish a B'Av (August 13 for 2024) - there's that MARK connection again - … and even integrating recent practices like the Olivetti Factory in the 70s being set up so that workers would go back home for more than a month every year in July(?) to tend to the upkeep of small, family agricultural plots. I myself any lucky enough to stand to inherit a share in a (by now 4th generation (Strauss/Howe anyone?)) family plot in Wisconsin. I fully intend to as much as is reasonable, run that place like an Italian. You know, in the GOOD way - not like movies but like Cicero would. We don't have any kind of "mass wealth" really at all and I'm bootstrapping a 4 year old LLC into *some* good growth with a team that gets more solid by the month, but this land is there - and UNLIKE the habits of the 1970s, I don't intend to rely on rent or seek or liquidate or sell. I intend to PRODUCE. All of us - land or not - are able to in some way - participate in cultural production of some sort. And I am convinced that the specific nature of the USA (I have been in business on several continents, post graduate school in Canada and I'd pick NOWHERE else but the USA (and I'm deliberately staying in California, at least seasonally) - nowhere else but the USA to start a business.) I need to cool it with these double parentheticals! Maybe some people like them. - this isn't audio, I'm very auditory. Bringing it back home - now is the time for Mercury retro introspection and reconsidering - for about three weeks - tie up loose ends - don't be hasty, don't be impulsive (this next one is big for me) don't over-communicate or bowl people over with "everything at once." There are decisive shifts coming this year and a furthering of a split I have noticed. Let's not mince words - this is a split into decadence vs growth. "Which way Western man/woman?" I affirm and choose the side of: not drugs, rooted families, trusted community leadership (yes we DO all create that together) good public transportation, and custom-tailor fit in *everything* as we step further away from the strictures of mass-industrialism. Do we welcome people who have lived under the "yes drugs, individual alienation, distrust authority, suffer with cars and parking lots, " And for all of this - I shall CONTINUE to abide in LA County, The Pasadenas have HEALTH, let the boomers flee, let Hollywood deflate. I walk to work and have a train near me and hire non-university-degreed apprentices because I live in The Future. It's just not evenly distributed yet. I will plant oranges, lemons, and (may G-d favor me so) see grandchildren play under the oak across the street while my grown children pour wine from their great grandfather's concord vine stock I transplant here from Wisconsin. These are my dreams. Sometimes I think I see the woman I share them with. Sometimes I worry I frighten her off. But I no longer fear she doesn't exist. I just have to not miss her. We shall see.
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Academia Isn’t a Pit, It’s a Ladder
Bobby Mars
 April 02 2024 at 05:09 pm
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Higher Ed is Eating Everyone’s Lunch Think of an image of a college professor. Middle-aged, perhaps even older. Well-dressed. Dignified. A man or a woman, but still, you probably imagined a man. Bespectacled, of course. Tweed, leather elbow pads, mahogany bookshelves, maybe even a tobacco pipe puffing away. Strolling the campus, having deep conversations, researching, never getting rich, but living a life of quiet dignity and the pursuit of knowledge. What they don’t imagine are poorly paid, overworked, contingent laborers known as adjuncts. Or their equally unfortunate cousins, the graduate student instructors, who make up roughly a quarter of all instructors. Adjuncts and GSIs are the foot soldiers of the university systems, the shock troops filling the gaps where the regular soldiers can’t. They take heavy losses, of course, but that’s the point of mercenaries. Adjuncts make only a few grand to teach a class for a full semester. GSIs with a teaching stipend make just above the federal poverty line, something like $35k per year in most university systems. They’re expendable, and they know it. Adjunct positions still require advanced graduate degrees, but the low pay and lack of research support ensures that their focus remains elsewhere. Grad students focus on their own studies, research and career advancement—teaching courses is their Faustian bargain for financial survival. The irony is that this system undermines their future career prospects in academia. The academic job market is equal parts ruthless and over-saturated, with far more PhDs and advanced degrees granted than there are full-time positions. The tenurati (tenured elite) are able to focus on their research, perhaps a lecture or two per week, serve on a few committees, etc. This isn’t to say their jobs are easy. They’re undervalued by the system too. In fact, most of them are miserable. Even as they advance up the ladder, they never quite reach that dreamt of place of stability. There’s always a bigger fish, always someone up the chain who seems to be eating their lunch. Academia is still a medieval hierarchy, a complex system of rank obtuse to outsiders. The hypocrisy of all the ivory tower talk of equity, and social justice, stings like salt in a wound given the way academics organize themselves and behave to one another. There’s an old saying in academia: the severity of infighting is inversely proportional to the stakes of the outcome. As in, the smaller the consequences, the more brutal the fight. Ask any academic and they’ll laugh, they’ll think back to every committee meeting they ever sat in, the endless debate over minutiae of so little consequence it would make your head spin. All of this fiddling while Rome burns, while the colleges were swept out from under faculty governance by the legions of faceless bureaucrats. As a former professor, I’ve seen it myself. Once, a faculty meeting involved a seemingly endless debate over many classes each professor should teach. The administrators had just changed some arbitrary metric that, in the end, lowered the teaching load for all tenured faculty. Great, they said, but what do we do now? We’re all getting paid more to teach half the number of classes, but we still need our department to teach the same number of classes overall. The solution, of course—hire more expendable adjuncts, hire more contingent faculty to teach more and pay them less. The gap grew wider, and no one gave a shit. In these conditions, lifelong grudges, intrigue, severe burnout and even suicide have plagued many a college department over the years. One small college in Michigan had two such incidents of faculty suicide in the span of a single year. A music professor offed himself, followed shortly by a widely beloved art professor. Both tenured professors supposedly living the dream. Little was said about the incidents, they were swept under the rug, scandalous emails implicating faculty intrigue were deleted or lost. You only heard about it in rumors after the fact, hushed tones, whispers in the corridors. Nothing changed except the music department is now said to, “have issues,” and the art department got some more money and a fancy title for their replacement. All of this while the rest of the faculty are in therapy, only partially covered by their fancy health plan. All this intrigue happens at the expense of the students, of course, and boy you’d be shocked to hear the disdain with which they’re spoken of. They’re viewed, to put it mildly, as patsies, marks to be recruited into the cult. Faculty actively conspire on how best to manipulate them into declaring a major within their department. They pick their favorites to get scholarships, and openly disdain the students who don’t conform to their behavioral or aesthetic wishes. One particularly talented student was denied a scholarship because a tenured professor was offended that, “she’s missed two of my classes this semester.” Students keep the money flowing, they keep the faucets running and the lights turned on. With debt, of course. Who benefits from this? Surely not the students. Certainly not the expendable, underpaid adjunct instructors and graduate students. The tenured faculty may seem comfy from the outside, but they’re not particularly happy or well paid either. Who benefits, then? Mostly the well-paid bureaucrats, the administrators. That’s the goal, to join their ranks. I remember one department chair complaining about the administrators,, swearing she’d never be one of them… until they offered her a huge raise to become vice provost. She accepted and now makes more money than she ever would have as a professor. The purpose of a system is what it does, not what it claims to do. Don’t look at their words, look at what they actually accomplish. What higher ed manages to do year after year is continually grow its glut of fancy new buildings, bureaucrats, administrators, regulations, DEI officers, and political apparatchiks. The functionaries benefit themselves alone, the faculty are too afraid of losing their status to challenge them, and the students get shafted. Suspend all moral idealism and consider it for what it is—a grift on the dreams of the naive.
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The Stubborn Opposite of Sociopathy
DavidGetzin
 April 03 2024 at 05:05 am
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This topic is a nerve I have an impulse to press lately. Our culture has been working though a social cycle of high-trust peaking, and then this trust being preyed upon and monetized by a kind of rent-seeking behavior, obsession with zero-sum game, and it may well have to do with dynamics of shrinking demographics. As a cohort (not always a population - it could be a race or subculture) declines in numbers - the rates of predatory sociopathy might increase. There has been a lot of talk about sociopathy lately - and (for now at least) I'm not done with either the concept or the experience. It seems none of us are. Michael Knowles was going on about the new "sociopathy awareness" book that came out, written by Patric Gagne. Beyond the usual "pathology grifter" suspicion that is totally warranted about such a book, there are underlying dynamics that people are just barely staring to pay attention to. Gagne herself notes that cases of sociopathy are rising and are undiagnosed. As much as I dislike her general (what I would consider to be enabling) approach, it is apparent via her statistics (and by my own personal observations) that the number is rising. So what is causing this? Surely it is not a case of "born this way." I remember the attitude coming out of the 80s that "some people are just like that" and even recently, what seems to be the mainstream notion is that children of a certain temperament, "not properly socialized" newer develop proper empathy or conscience. I don't think that is the case at all. Children must be born with some great degree of empathy. A child in the womb will hear and to a great degree feel what the mother does. Babies and very young children will laugh when others laugh, cry when others cry. It is the instance of trauma, and specifically unresolved trauma, that really tends to create sociopathy. Ani I don't think I am alone in thinking that the "cluster B" disorders are properly seen on a spectrum with psychopathy on one end tilting into criminal behavior, sociopathy being more circumspect, borderline being more subtle than sociopathy and PTSD being something that we can all at least identify with. All of us are able to understand the kind of numb shock or unmoved anger where we can for a time, feel disconnected from the humanity of someone who is considered an adversary, or a threat. As this spectrum tightens, that "for a time" becomes the "ongoing steady way of life" and the adversary becomes the whole world. But that's not the limit of what we have to deal with. Just as the now-famous example of the one vegetarian family member gets the whole family on tofu, a critical mass of sociopathy can oblige the surrounding individuals to behave in a sociopathic manner. NOW - add to this the fact that drugs (especially cocaine (with what music producer Steve Albini so-directly called "numbing both physical and spiritual") but even marijuana/THC) will induce a kind of trauma as part of the high and crash itself, and we see in the USA, a coming wave of socially corrosive temperament. Are we expected to do anything about this? I hope so. One answer would be to address the trauma. For some reason, I have seen and heard therapist say that there is no cure for Borderline, and certainly no cure for sociopathy. I don't think we should be accommodationist, but there are ways of addressing this trauma. Part or the trouble (as always) is if people won't want to admit to any of it. The zero-sum mindset tends to magnetize itself to people with high amounts of empathy who are also very diligent. Skeptical people who don't work hard make terrible con-marks. Part of the trouble is that the demoralized 3rd world mindset induced by a zero-sum view leads to a dominant signal in the culture of people who are skeptical and don't work hard. High conscientiousness, low agreeability… this is the combination that "spoils the Game" for all those game theorists hoping to get away with whatever machiavellian cluster-b thought they have at the moment. The trick for us would be to decrease agreeability while maintaining or increasing empathy. Late Victorian England is a good example of this. And famously enough, Georgian England and the early Victorian were famous enough for having a fair amount of sociopathic brutality. I think the same contrast can also be recapitulated going from Late Republican Rome where women like the wife or Marc Antony did things like stab the tongue of the deceased Cicero's head with her silver hairpin, just to make a point. We have been through these transitions before. I'd like to think that the spine (or upper lip?) stiffening is already underway. We see it in anything called "based" - the spine-reinforced refusal to be moved my manipulation. SO - we have choppy times ahead - but I am a bit of an optimist. None of this happens automatically. The "little games" need to stop, the stilted pandering and pretending to identity. The rise of social media greatly scaled and amplified the reach of sociopathic action. We find that in cancel culture, yelp reviews, constant-strategy-filled relationships between men and women. But I think an immunity is building - at least it feels that way.
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Moody Cinema Nostalgia Emerges in the Comic...
nateybakes
 March 29 2024 at 12:40 am
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The older I get, the more I want a moody atmosphere when I sit down and watch a movie after work at night. That often leads me to mysteries, thrillers, and the types of horror movies where the protagonist goes off into unfamiliar territory, isolated from civilization. One particular cinematic mood that was captured most prominently in the early 1990s was the steamy thriller. Some might call them “erotic thrillers” but I don’t want to mix Skinemax with the likes of Basic Instinct and Single White Female. I went on a steamy 90s thriller binge back in June last year and got my fill. But as I started getting back into comics earlier this year, something caught my eye in the local comic book shop. Sumerian Comics launched Basic Instinct in November 2023 and currently has 3 issues out. The femme fatale in the 1992 film, Catherine Tramell (famously performed by Sharon Stone), continues her story in the comic series in parallel to an anonymous artist who draws inspiration from famous murders. The comic is dark, mysterious, and hard-boiled. It builds sexual tension like a steamy thriller should. The steamy 90s vibes seem to come out when Catherine Tramell is on the scene, but it doesn’t really capture the feeling of the film otherwise. And the opening sex scene in issue 2 probably won’t appeal to many fans of the original film (no spoilers). I’m hungry for that 90s steamy thriller vibe when I buy these comics, so I’m hoping they stay true to that going forward. But Sumerian Comics is doing more than 90s cinema nostalgia and they caught my eye with a new 80s cinema nostalgia release: The Fog. John Carpenter’s 1980 horror feature The Fog now has a followup story 40 years after the events of film. There’s only one issue out so far and I’m pretty sure John Carpenter has a cameo role in it, judging by the artwork. The Fog has the quintessential mood building you want out of a coastal village horror story — a much different feeling from the 90s steamy thriller variety. It starts calm, like a sleepy coastal town usually is. But there’s something ominous lurking. A perfect setup for a fish-out-of-water horror story. I want to applaud Sumerian Comics for bringing these moody cinema franchises back to life in print. The question is, when does the Sliver comic book come out?
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Vishwakarma: The Divine Craftsman
Sadhika Pant
 April 09 2024 at 09:59 am
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The Figure: Vishwakarma, in Hindu mythology, is revered as the divine architect and craftsman of the gods. In Hindu mythology, Vishwakarma is not typically depicted as the primary creator of the universe. That role is usually attributed to Lord Brahma. However, he is considered to be the divine architect who played a role in the design of the universe, including its various components. According to some interpretations, Vishwakarma assisted his father, Lord Brahma in the creation of the universe by providing the blueprint and executing the intricate designs for the celestial bodies, landscapes, and structures within it. He is also credited with the design of various celestial weapons and divine chariots. Vishwakarma is also believed to have constructed the palaces of the gods and the majestic cities of ancient times. The etymology of Vishwakarma can be understood by breaking down the word into its constituent parts: ‘Vishwa’, meaning "all" or "entire" in Sanskrit, and ‘karma’, which translates to "action" or "deed." In Hindu philosophy, karma refers to the principle of cause and effect, where actions have consequences that affect one's present and future experiences. So, when combined, "Vishwakarma" can be understood to mean "the maker of all" or "the doer of all actions." The reverence for Vishwakarma extends beyond Hinduism, as he is also venerated in Jainism and Buddhism, where he is known by different names but holds similar significance as the divine architect and builder. In popular culture, Vishwakarma's legacy is celebrated through various folk tales, songs, and stories that highlight his ingenuity and prowess in creating marvels that transcend the ordinary. He is depicted with multiple arms, holding various tools and implements symbolic of his role as a divine craftsman. Parallels: Hephaestus, the Greek god of blacksmiths, craftsmen, and artisans, shares many similarities with Vishwakarma. Like Vishwakarma, Hephaestus is depicted as a skilled craftsman and inventor, renowned for his ability to create divine weapons and other artefacts. Both deities are associated with fire and forge, and they play pivotal roles in shaping the world around them through their craftsmanship. In some depictions, both Vishwakarma and Hephaestus are portrayed with physical deformities or disabilities. In order to symbolise the imperfections inherent in creation, Vishwakarma is occasionally described as having a limp or a hunchback, while Hephaestus is often depicted as lame or with a limp due to his fall from Mount Olympus. Contemporary Relevance: Vishwakarma is regarded as the epitome of perfection in craftsmanship. His creations are believed to be flawless and imbued with divine grace, reflecting his mastery over his craft. Artisans and craftsmen often invoke his name and seek his blessings before embarking on new projects. He is worshipped by artisans, craftsmen, architects, and engineers, who seek his blessings for success and prosperity in their fields. His festival, Vishwakarma Jayanti, is observed with great enthusiasm, especially in industrial areas, workshops, and factories, where workers perform ritual worship of their tools and machinery. It usually falls in September or October, depending on the lunar calendar.
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Cancelled again!
Bettina Arndt
 March 27 2024 at 12:00 am
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Last time I spoke at Sydney University, the riot squad had to be called in to protect my audience from the baying mob of feminist activists trying to close the speech down. They didn’t like the fact I was speaking out about their efforts to force universities to set up kangaroo courts to adjudicate sexual assault. Funnily enough, this kerfuffle led to the Federal government calling an inquiry into free speech on campus, which ultimately led to laws which require universities to promote open discussion rather than allow activists to determine the public discourse. Obviously, those regulations haven’t had the intended impact because unruly students just go on their own sweet way. Earlier this month I was cancelled again – and this time by the Young Liberals, for Heaven’s sake. What does that say about the future of the Liberal Party when they are the ones shutting down proper debate? The University of Sydney Conservatives Club was hosting a discussion evening focussed on the Higgins rape case. I was approached three months earlier to appear on a panel, along with Chris Merritt, Vice President of the Rule of Law Institute, and author Andrew Urban. The young women organising the event did a terrific job putting together thoughtful discussion points including the use of the case for political ends, undermining of the presumption of innocence, concerns about unmeritorious cases being brought before the courts, damage to the credibility of the media, the impact of #MeToo. It was just perfect for setting the scene for civilised debate for a select audience - the event was promoted solely to the Conservative Club students. Ironically the previous event hosted by the club just two weeks earlier featured Tony Abbott and the famous UK commentator, Konstantin Kisin, who argued freedom of speech is the cornerstone of Western Civilisation. Clearly Kisin’s important message failed to impact on the blinkered views of the President of the Young Liberals, Chanum Torres, who took it upon himself to cancel me. The week before the event he suddenly announced to the female students running the event that they weren’t permitted to include me at a Conservative Club event – apparently Young Liberals NSW has final control over the Club’s activities. It is interesting to note the new NSW Liberal Senator Maria Kovacic applauded the decision to ban me - to think that this woman won the seat of the late, great Jim Molan. Chanum Torres actually suggested that hosting an event which included me could ruin the career of the art/law student who was the major organiser. It is quite bizarre and extremely alarming that this young man who presumably has set his sights on a career in Liberal politics should join the ranks of the thought police. Torres preferred the event didn’t take place at all – but the organisers stuck to their guns and initially decided to go ahead with the event, with my two fellow panellists to handle the discussion. But when it comes to promotion, once again Torres interfered, demanding that Higgins was not mentioned in the advertising for the event. The promotion simply mentioned “Lawfare in Australia,” a very bland and rather misleading presentation of the proposed discussion which was originally promoted as “Higgins Unpacked.” In the end, the event did end up being cancelled, after the other panellists decided on principal to withdraw. Apparently, Torres was not acting off his own bat, but rather had been leant on by other senior members of the organisation. And there are many Young Libs who objected strenuously to my exclusion, so there’s dissension in the ranks, with factional issues at play. Yet the fact remains that key Young Libs were determined that Higgins remains unpacked. Torres failed to answer a series of questions asking him to explain the reasoning for his decision. These included my suggestion that he may subscribe to a preferred narrative regarding the Higgins case and was concerned these beliefs might be challenged. Heaven forbid that some of the student audience might open their minds to alternative perspectives on the issue. It just shows what a great job the Brittany Higgins cheer squad has done to shut down proper discussion of true facts of this case. Given the biased media coverage it will be interesting if the Bruce Lehrmann wins his defamation action against the media – the outcome is to be announced on April 4. The general public has been so misinformed about the holes in the Higgins case that many will be outraged if the judge finds the media was wrong to promote her very dubious story. It’s a very bad look for Young Liberals to be opposed to uncensored public discussion of the social and political implications of this critical legal case. The conundrum faced by young conservatives was addressed by Konstantin Kisin, during his recent tour of Australia. At the end of his two-week tour of Australia he warned that this country has been infected by the woke virus, with people afraid to speak out on any number of issues. “While the centre left appears its extremist fringe, many on the centre right hesitate to challenge the cultural vandalism they observe for fear of being described as ‘cultural warriors’.” Was that the fear that prompted this worrying move by the Young Liberals? They know that a thorough dissection of the Brittany Higgins saga would lead to the usual twitter storm from the lunatic fringe who control so much of university culture. If that was enough to lead our future Liberal leaders to cower in fear, the future of inspiring political leadership in this country looks very bleak indeed. It’s a strange thing that this 74 year-old grandmother still has them quaking in their boots.
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Thoughts for the End of the Century
CanadianLibertarian
 April 13 2024 at 01:35 pm
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The true purpose of Public SchoolsTo truly awaken the masses, in particular our youth, they must first be made aware that our public education system is based on a model of obedience and conformity. The Prussian model (modern day Germany) on which it is based is designed to teach them what to think, not how to think. It was first introduced in Ontario (Upper Canada back then) in the 1840's by Egerton Ryerson, son of Colonel Joseph Ryerson, who was not only an authoritarian type military man, but first and foremost, a united Empire Loyalist. It is not surprising, therefore, that Ryerson believed that monarchy gave dignity to government and acted as a check on the radical excesses of the people.The system had proven to be wildly successful at maintaining a large degree of control over societies, regimenting their behaviors, and in establishing more productive labor resources. It was generally accepted that it takes multiple successive generations of implementation for the established goals of the curriculum to be fully realized. Now, with the Woke DEI agenda and Identity Politics being added to the curriculum, there is even more reason for parents to be concerned and seek out alternative forms of education for their children.This style of education has been widely used throughout Western cultures, and has been upgraded and modified to suit the social, economical and labor needs of the given time, but the core principles of Authority, conformity and obedience are still the foundation of the system. It is the very reason why most full grown adults who have spent almost the entirety of their childhood in these institutions clamor for a ruling class, parental surrogates, or protectors, while rejecting self-ownership, independence, and genuine liberty.Completely enveloping the mind of each individual in such an adolescent state assures the continuation of power in the hands of those who seek to dominate us and plunder our resources, while giving the illusion that bowing to the demands and edicts of central planners is in fact an act of benevolence and being a good citizen. The instinct to defend oneself from external threats subsides entirely if a person an be convinced that their forced sacrifices and subjugation defines what it means to be contributors to the great good. When, in fact, it is voluntary acts of kindness, generosity, charity, and contributions that truly defines a person's merit, in terms of social/economic values. I have a lot of hope for the future if enough people can break free from their slave-psychology, and help usher in what I have termed 'Enlightenment Era 2.0 in the 21st Century. It is not only plausible, but very much possible, considering we live in the age of information. Full on human ownership was once part of the fabric of past societies, and accepted as normal until the ethical implications were thoroughly brought to light and vigorously fought against by an ever growing population of enlightened individuals. Today, nobody advocates for human ownership as it was practiced in the past. Which shows that cultures can change, and adopt entirely new ways of living socially with each other, and dealing with each other economically.For anyone that is skeptical about the validity of these claims or just want to learn more about the history of our education system, you can always take it upon yourself to Google, use any other search engine, or visit your local Library in order to seek out other literature or information regarding the history of our education system. A truly informed individual is much better suited to making rational decisions and forming opinions.Bennett (CL)
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Compromised Politicians
Numapepi
 April 13 2024 at 02:47 pm
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Compromised Politicians Posted on April 13, 2024 by john Dear Friends, It seems to me, we’re way too hard on our friendly, thoughtful, and compromised politicians. While yes, many if not most are corrupt as vulture vomit, it’s not their fault. Some are literal psychopaths. Which is a birth defect. The rest are controlled by the deep state. Because, while a politician must face an election every few years, the deep state is above the law, our constitution and consequences. If a politician doesn’t have a perversion the administrative state can hold over their head, they’re picked up by a black SUV, and shown pictures of their children leaving school. People are vulnerable to many kinds of manipulation. Especially by immoral actors with omniscient surveillance and impunity to law. I wonder if that’s not why, people who started their careers in politics with integrity, rapidly become scum. Nowhere in the US Constitution, is the government given the authority to kill American citizens without trial… yet the deep state does it all the time. In fact the Constitution strictly forbids such activities. But, since the bureaucracy isn’t really a constitutionally constituted entity, it doesn’t have to abide by that antiquated document’s suggestions anyway. Our Constitution also expressly forbids what the government is doing to Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and Donald Trump… yet they’re doing it. Perverting law in public and without consequence. Because, the deep state has normalized their above the Constitution status, through the mockingbird media, and their sock puppets in congress. So the bureaucracy acts as it wants, justifying their endangering our very lives… by national security. The elephant in the room, of the Jeffery Epstein murder called suicide… is that it was done by the bureaucracy. No politician could have pulled it off. Even Colonel Robert Hogan couldn’t have swung that one. That murder and subsequent cover up was deep state action. Multiple people across multiple agencies had to be intimidated or bribed into complicity. Only the deep state has the ability to do that. Why? To cover up their political leverage operation. Had the tool talked the gig would have been up. The videos of their marionettes would have come out, and congress might have been cleaned of corruption. Until the deep state could salt the ground again. The result is, our “representatives” are captured by the deep state and bend to their will… even backwards, as we see with speaker Johnson. How is a septic tank different from congress? You don’t have to swallow the stuff that comes out of a septic tank. We go to jail if we can’t stomach the laws and lies our corrupt congress passes though. They have all year to come up with a budget yet fail to, every year, and “have” to pass an omnibus bill funding everything the deep state wants. Almost like the administrative state decides the budget and congress is a rubber stamp? Oh, representatives and Senators piss and moan about it… but dutifully vote for any usurpation when the time comes. They have skeletons in their closets too. Congress could stop illegal immigration with the passing of a single law, banning non citizens from any social services… but would never do that! They’re wisely terrified of the deep state’s wrath. Our politicians are controlled, they have no agency, a janitor at McDonalds has more freedom. Our politicians have too much power to harm the bureaucracy to be allowed a long leash. So they’re held in check by fear. Remember when Chucky said, “They have six ways to Sunday to get you…?” He was expressing his terror of the deep state. Quite an unintended admission, isn’t it? Our politicians may have started with honest, good and noble intentions, but intentions are the road to Hell… and the deep state’s made Congress a superhighway. What’s the answer? There are many things we could do, contact our representatives, inform our neighbors, participate in the process, etc… but we won’t do them. Sadly, we won’t act until its too late. The collapse the deep state will cause though… that always works. Sincerely, John Pepin
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A Guide to Social Justice Paradox
Robert "RSnake" Hansen
 March 16 2024 at 09:04 pm
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This series of articles was inspired by statements by Eric Weinstein, on his podcast and others, hinting that there are irreconcilable contradictions from the left that he dubbed the “Hilbert Problems for Social Justice.” When two or more principles of inclusion or exclusion are both mobilized for social justice ends, their simultaneous application can, and, as we will see, often does lead to logical conflict. They are, as Eric said, "self-contradictory couplets." You can see Eric discuss it briefly here: In some ways these contradictions are reminiscent of the Salem Witch Trials’ logic - if she floats, she is a witch, if she sinks, human. Both outcomes leading to the death of the accused. Are people intentionally choosing to ignore logic or are they simply too close to the problem to bother to think critically, caught up in a grand narrative. How many lives were snuffed out or otherwise ruined due to a lack of critical thinking? Millions? Tens of millions? We face logical incongruity and deception from political operatives. To document these fallacious arguments requires a large degree of intellectual humility and a willingness to engage with the ostensible contradictions that define an inconsistent application of justice towards the otherwise noble pursuit of a more just world; and I fully expect it to get people's hackles up, as it did mine. Since Eric's list wasn’t released in it's entirety, it was otherwise left to the audience as a thought experiment. The task of documenting the "Hilbert Problems for Social Justice," was not merely an academic exercise for me, but a clarion call to those, like me and likely you, dear reader, who navigate the tumultuous waters of contemporary discourse seeking truth and dialectic coherence. It simply was not an option - I had to know. A few genuine attempts to get Eric to release his list by myself and others were not acknowledged, so... with a heavy sigh... it manifested itself as my task. Weinstein's decision to refrain from releasing these ideological contradictions and instead leaving them as a project for his listeners embodies itself as, I feel, a strategic delegation of intellectual responsibility. Without passing moral judgement entirely, I felt it's void left boobytraps, easily stumbled upon, for millions of people struggling with clarity. I too may have been suffering from ignorance or inconsistent logic, so not having access to this list while trying to maintain some amount of intellectual integrity felt like walking into an intellectual minefield. How can we fix what we haven't identified and explored? Either way, it left me in a lurch - a ostensible labor that needed to be attended to, with or without help, and thus herein lies it's the synthesis, now ready to discuss openly. This initiative's importance is manifold. First, it serves a shorthand to provide the intellectual rigor required to dissect the convoluted narratives of modern social justice advocacy. By identifying pairs of hypocritical opposing ideas, this series endeavors to sharpen our analytical tools, enabling a more nuanced understanding of the ideological hellscape. It compels me/us to engage with the complexities of social justice rhetoric critically, rather than accepting any one slogan at face value. Second, this project acts as a mirror to the intellectual and moral inconsistencies that can undermine the credibility and effectiveness of social justice movements - if we believe there is merit to some of the ideas. In a world where the battle for hearts and minds is waged with narratives, highlighting these contradictions is essential for fostering a more honest and effective discourse. It challenges advocates and critics alike to refine their arguments, ensuring that the pursuit of social justice is grounded in intellectual integrity and consistency - sharpening those knives. I am a seeker of truth amidst, what I find to be, a cacophony of shrill self-appointed social justice advocates. I did not begin with a desire to delegitimize the pursuit of equity and justice, but I have always been driven by a commitment to ensuring coherence and honesty. I began this exercise on the political left, and the more I researched it, I began to list toward dead center - away from the very narratives they pushed. That was a surprise to me. I had expected to remain politically unmoved by this research, but the more of it I did, the more leftist friends I lost as I discussed it with them. This felt unfair in the moment, but opened my eyes further to the insular bubble that was being created before my very eyes. With coherence as a goal, this series identifies many of the contradictions and utilizes references as examples. It provides a framework for individuals to examine their own beliefs and the narratives they support, to the aim of critical thinking and self-examination. This should not be considered complete, as I suspect the work will never finish as new contradictions arise. However, these articles should be a useful guide for those interested in the mental bulwark required to defend against poorly constructed ideas. These hypocrisies cast daylight on my perception of the shoot-from-the-hip approach to social justice and ideally may serve as a deterrent to the dangers of moral panic, steering the ship away from the rocks of unintended consequences. The first two parts are not my work - they are the work of Eric Weinstein as elucidated in various places. After that, the work is mine, but to honor his initial thinking, I felt it important to start with his. Today's problem for social justice is: I’m so different that you cannot understand my experience AND you must understand my experience. - You cannot understand my experience: Why Unsolicited Health Advice Is Often Victim Blaming in Disguise "One way or another, it's somehow my fault because you're healthy and I'm not." themighty.com - Understand my experience: Growing up black in America: here's my story of everyday racism | Brian Jones As a middle-class, light-skinned black man I am ‘better’ by American standards but there is no amount of assimilation that can shield you from racism in the US www.theguardian.com This paradox appears to attempt to quell opposition and debate. Since one is incapable of understanding the speaker’s lived experience (to quote Douglas Murray, “as if there is any other kind”) there is no reason to pay attention. Why attend to something we could never possibly understand? However, since one must understand, one must stay and listen to the speaker and never interrupt despite the fact there is no redemption possible. This is coded language that can be restated in a similar self-contradictory couplet: Diversity is important AND CIS white men should sit down and shut up. - Diversity is important How Diversity Makes Us Smarter Being around people who are different from us makes us more creative, diligent, and hard-working. greatergood.berkeley.edu - CIS-Men, sit down and shut up Cis-Men, Shut Up and Sit Down, Please Unless you support abortion rights. In which case, thanks so much for that. aninjusticemag.com To paraphrase this further: “Shut up and listen.” - https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/06/03/best-white-statement-may-be-shut-up-listen/ - https://www.aclunc.org/blog/shut-and-listen-race-and-justice-schools - https://www.tedxbrayfordpool.com/post/why-white-people-rarely-shut-up-listen-and-learn-about-race - https://www.researchgate.net/publication/237394535_Shut_up_and_listen_Applied_critical_race_theory_in_the_classroom - https://thesimpsonian.com/32666/opinion/white-people-should-shut-up-sometimes/ - https://thehumanist.com/magazine/july-august-2015/fierce-humanism/the-part-about-black-lives-mattering-where-white-people-shut-up-and-listen/ - https://greatlakes.org/2018/05/step-one-shut-up-and-listen/ - https://prezi.com/du---i43enll/shut-up-and-listenapplied-critical-race-theory-in-the-class/ Many writers, people who sincerely believe these words, appear to feel that Caucasian men are unable to learn, yet are required to listen – to what ends is not clear given the first supposition. Or, and I don't feel like this is too large a leap to make, more likely this group feels that heterosexual Caucasian men should simply step aside and abdicate power to minorities and people who feel as if they have no power. To be clear though, for the aforementioned sentiment, minorities in this context does not include: - Jewish (~2.4% of the US population) - Asian (~7.4% of the US population) And unfortunately for the narrative, it most certainly does not include males: - Men (~49.5% of the US population) Or Caucasians in California: - Caucasians (~35% Caucasian vs ~39% Latino) Specifically, this line of thinking is meant to take power away from the "patriarchy". The term patriarchy has been heavily coopted to encompass Caucasians and all heterosexual men, rather than it's original definition, fathers within small social circles. Changing what words mean has utility, when words can be weaponized, if repurposed. Where is power to be distributed once taken from the patriarchy? It is to be delivered to a growing list of aggrieved peoples. Canada has agreed to pay approximately $2BN to indigenous peoples for genocide, but there is little care or mention of other genocides conducted by indigenous people upon opposing tribes. While war is atrocious and adding additional burdens to nations that have fallen can be argued to be counterproductive (E.g., strangling the German economy after it lost the first world war), it is quite another to pay for crimes committed before anyone involved was born. Canada Settles $2 Billion Suit Over ‘Cultural Genocide’ at Residential Schools (Published 2023) The class action, brought by 325 First Nations, said that residential schools, sanctioned by the government, eroded Indigenous cultures and languages. www.nytimes.com There is a market for victimhood, and in this case, Canada settled to pay the indigenous peoples $2BN for their aggrieved status, having never lost a court case to that end. To re-iterate, Canada agreed to pay $2BN for a case that they did not lose. Rather than charge people for the crimes they are committing (destruction of property, physical violence, theft, etc.) some on the political left would prefer to punish the state for crimes that weren’t even committed while they were alive. Indigenous reparations punish the wrong people for crimes committed. It falls upon the Canadian taxpayer to create this transfer of wealth that the left will fight for. Canadian taxpayers, by government action, are forced to transfer their personal wealth for a court case they had no say in, that the government did not lose, and the acts in question were committed decades or centuries before they were born. This appears to have very little to do with lived experience and mostly to do with a transfer of wealth and power, at every level. For instance, there was a short-lived mandatory requirement to have one woman-identifying member on every board of every private corporation in California by the end of 2019. The scales of justice weighed the situation, and was ruled unconstitutional by Superior Court Judge Maureen Duffy-Lewis, but it is not for a lack of trying. According to the advocacy group 50/50 Women on Boards the law had the desired effect. Before the law, the density of a woman on a board seat was 17% in California and after the law was set to take effect it rose to 30%. California judge rules law to include women on boards of directors is unconstitutional Judge Maureen Duffy-Lewis said the law that would have required boards have up to three female directors violated the right to equal treatment. www.nbcnews.com So, while anyone familiar with constitutional amendments could see that the progressive California law was clearly unconstitutional, it wasn’t simply performative either. That is not to say that a woman’s presence on a board is bad, or that there isn't some injustice that is being righted – it is to say that the groups involved are not above unconstitutional acts to get power. For this cohort, the ends justify the means. Even if it means the constitution and our rights need be committed to the fire, those in power must abdicate. If we were to be honest, this language and these government actions appear to be primarily aimed to shift wealth and power. If we can be honest about that, then we can have the subsequent honest conversation about what it means to shift power, how to do it, whether it is moral to do so, what short and long-term effects it will have, and so on, without any coded propaganda. Wouldn't that be refreshing? I hope you found this article interesting. This is the first in a series of posts that will document many of these conflated social justice issues - there will be more, God willing. So please subscribe, and drop a comment, if you want more of the same. That is the only way I will have any sense of how this is landing with you, dear reader. Also, if you want to know about me or my show, The RSnake Show, please visit https://rsnake.com for details.
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Mother Amalek
ddebow
 March 23 2024 at 11:26 pm
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Today Jews around the world mark Purim by reading the salvation from the vicious antisemite Haman recorded in the Book of Esther. It is but one round in Israel's constant struggle with antisemitism embodied in the biblical conception of Amalek, Israel's nemesis. Here I explore the concept of Amalek, and his mother in its current incarnation. Amalek's Mother In a diminutive verse, the Torah alludes to the troubled childhood that birthed Israel’s worst enemy. The verse is so unassuming that the Sages make it the archetypical throw-away line. They protect it by equating all scripture in importance, one can’t dismiss this verse without undermining every verse including: Hear O Israel, the Lord is God, the Lord is One. וְתִמְנַע הָיְתָה פִילֶגֶשׁ לֶאֱלִיפַז בֶּן עֵשָׂו וַתֵּלֶד לֶאֱלִיפַז אֶת עֲמָלֵק And Timna was concubine to Elifaz, the son of Esav and birthed to Elifaz, Amalek. (Genesis 36:12) Tucked away in this passing detail, the Sages read the drama of a woman scorned and how that lead to an angry young man who would trouble the Jewish people in every single generation following. It is a story typical of Jewish guilt. In some roundabout way, the Sages make us once again responsible for our own misfortune. The Midrash does this over and over again. King Solomon’s indulgences at the inauguration of the First Temple lay the foundations of Rome which will eventually destroy that Temple’s sequel and begin a two-thousand year dispersion. In a Talmudic passage composed sometime during the Byzantine years of early Christian power, the Sages make themselves responsible for Jesus. His teacher, Rabbi Yehoshua ben Perachia was just a tad too strict with him. Had he been just a bit more forgiving, no inquisition, no pogroms, no blood libels. It’s an incredible historical lens and the antithesis of the entire thrust of social sciences today. Somewhere, sometime, a Jewish adult made an understandable but mistaken decision about a student, about a convert, about a lover and that lead to a historical avalanche of essentially avoidable consequences. Yes, there are entrenched enmities between people that get passed from parent to child. Yes, there are power struggles and economic disparities that divide people, make them rivals over limited resources that can lead to war. Yes, there are narratives that explain why an act of violence makes sense from a certain perspective but at root, always, the Jewish imagination says, we can do this better. This doesn’t have to be this way. And it’s our fault. If we are in possession of the Torah and the Torah promises peace, prosperity, and good health to those that follow it, then the fact that we are suffering from lack of peace, lack of security must be due to that fact that we are not following it correctly. This, then, shapes the Jewish mentality of responsibility, of parenthood, of guilt, and what it means to be chosen. It is a studied refusal to relinquish our agency to anyone but God. Here is the tale of Timna (Sanhedrin 99b, with my own embellishments): Timna was born to nobility. High born; she had the pick of the crop. Suitors came from far and wide, but she was unimpressed with their uninspired, brutish ways. She longed for a man that commanded with his mind, whose greatest strength was his wit and would make her laugh. She wanted a man passionate, but in control, lawful but not slavish, adventuresome but not rash. She wanted a life that was creative but did not tear down what preceded it and she wanted independence from the whims and fads that blew this way and that, from the idols of fashion and pop culture that changed with the seasons. She wanted to stand firm against the stream of change without being rebellious. She found monotheism, a single organizing idea that spoke to every facet of the human personality. It integrated law and economics, sex and family, morality and science. It was literate and powerful and intelligent without being belligerent, arrogant and domineering. Then she met Jacob and wanted a Jewish husband. She presented herself for conversion and cast an eager eye over his strapping sons. Without explanation, she was rejected, shut out from the family of her dreams. But Timna was nothing if not determined. Jacob had a brother, Esav, and Esav had a son Elifaz. But Elifaz was not interested in a wife either. Whether, he had tried and was burnt, or had several wives already, or was just not interested in being encumbered, Timna was given but one choice, be his mistress or leave. And so Countess Timna became concubine to Elifaz. She preferred handmaid to the Abrahamic master race than queen to her own idolatrous barbarians. (Master race, was her description, Yaakov never spoke in such terms.) She gave birth to Amalek, whose father was but a shadow in the night but whose mother filled his days with stories and dreams and resentments. His defining ambition was to show that rejection by the children of Israel meant nothing. Many Jews chafe against employing Amalek as a window into today’s conflict. They are wrong. It is a deep and complex integration of ideas that explain our world better than some of the shallow, unidimensional formulae offered by self-serving academics. The academy simply reinforces the false tropes that brought us to this impasse in the first place. The Torah and the Midrash together describe Amalek as Israel’s recurring nemesis. Amalek is ideologically opposed to Israel, inimical to our very existence. It is not something which can be negotiated; they are defined by their opposition to us. The origin story above locates their hatred but does not mean to offer a remedy. The hatred can take root in different peoples in different times, it can burn openly or simmer on a low flame. It can be managed but it can’t be expunged. The hatred defines the people, not the other way around. There are no people, no race defined by endemic antisemitism. Amalek is a statement about the perennial appeal of antisemitism. It recognizes the truth that time and again racist, scapegoating, false solutions will raise their ugly heads with their appeal to broad resentments and promises of quick fixes with no change required on behalf of those hurling the accusations and harboring the resentments. This Amalek narrative enjoins us not to blame ourselves for antisemitism’s recurrence or obsess over its origin but instead, accept the fact of antisemitism and confront it. Amalek possessed Germany in its time but no longer. It currently defines much of Gaza. Whether that continues to be true is much of what this conflict is about. Persia shows that nations can harbor antisemites, that is not the issue. But when a country starts acting on its antisemitism, Amalek is afoot. Yesterday, Canada found the Jewish form of ritual slaughter so inhumane that it must be banned. Islamic slaughter, identical in practice, was not at issue. So speaks the duplicitous compassion characteristic of Mother Amalek. In trying to extricate ourselves from this current wave of antisemitism, I believe it behooves us to understand the interplay of Amalek and his mother. Timna was rejected, perhaps rightly so. She looks from outside, resentful, jealous of the success of the Children of Israel. Instead of comporting herself to whatever standard of entry was being demanded, she searched for an alternative to get what she wanted without complying with the demands made of her. She becomes the voice of resentment that places responsibility for her self-perceived dispossession on someone else. She becomes the embodiment of the oppressor-oppressed narrative and the matron of Palestinian suffering. You can hear Amalek’s mother calling for a truce, a cease-fire in Gaza today. You can hear her in the stern warnings against Israel which, according to popular opinion, are a necessary bulwark against the wanton aggression that Israel is likely to commit were it not for Amalek’s mother and her watchful eye. You can hear Amalek’s mother stammering some excuse for antisemitic behavior and calls for genocide against the Jews as protected free speech or an understandable reaction to years of abuse ­­– as anything but the immoral behavior that a voice of caring, a voice of morality, a mother, is meant to oppose. When an ethic of compassion becomes aligned with a specific chosen child then corruption of that ethic is inevitable. Compassion as a guiding ethic, or as the mandate of an organization cannot have a favorite child. But, of course, they do. That means that the United Nations and the Red Cross and other such bodies can no longer claim to be implementors of some neutral charter of human rights. They are not guided by a color-blind concern for human welfare. They are not instruments of humanism where every person in need has a claim to their good offices. Rather, they are matrons, sponsors of specific peoples, furthering their interests even when those interests are no longer humane. It is no longer a function of morals but of motherhood. And in some respects, that is a very Jewish idea. We should demonstrate extra compassion for our own children, differently from a neighbor. We should exhibit differential giving where those closest to us receive more of our time and resources. But mothers should not masquerade as international aid organizations. Her child learns that nothing he does will forfeit the compassion he is owed and hence there is no restraint to his demands. When mercy has no master, a prodigal son is born. Such a son learns to ask for the sky because nothing is too much for a mother’s unconditioned love. Such a son gets protected from the tempering education that overreach and antisocial behavior would normally teach. Instead of rethinking the efficacy of selfish, me-first behavior, Timna’s favorite son is shielded from a badly needed education about how the world works. About what it means to attack the Jewish people from behind. About where that sort of politics gets you. It is not clear to me that Amalek’s mother won’t prevail this time as well. That instead of the devastating, unambiguous defeat these Jew haters require, they might instead emerge vindicated. That a policy of obstinate, uncompromising, unapologetic total opposition to Israel and the Jewish people might score big in some grand deal being discussed. It will be touted as a victory for diplomacy and mediation. Everyone loses something but also gains. You know, you can’t have everything you want – everybody needs to compromise – say the suits from far-away Washington. It will be the beginning of a Palestinian state whose Independence Day will be celebrated every year on October 7th. In reality, it will be a capitulation to the wrath of Mother Amalek. A shirking of responsibility to root out evil and instead, behind a cowardly moral evasion, we will content ourselves with some returned hostages, with a temporary cessation of hostilities, and the avoidance of a manufactured humanitarian disaster. All the while, kicking the problem down the road, more entrenched and fiercer, for our children to face. Because we want to forget the thing the Torah begs us to remember. There are such people whose only desire is to harm us. They are not content with a garden and picket fence, with a cellphone and 5G reception, with a 4 by 4 and somewhere to drive it. There are nations who, for a time, become Amalek and whose driving ambition is to prove that it means nothing to attack the Jewish Nation. It’s a difficult thought to accept. It flies in the face of everything humanism would have us believe. No one is that wicked, just misunderstood. Treat them well, show them some trust, break the cycle of violence and everyone gains. Remember, enjoins the Torah, that in every generation such a force as Amalek will rise. Mother Amalek obscures our vision so that we look past a Nazi, a Hamas terrorist, a complicit Gazan to the wounded child within. We cannot afford such willful blindness, such obfuscations. We confront a Nazi, an Amalekite, a Hamas terrorist as a soldier not as a social worker, a preacher, or as a diplomat. The problem they present is not solved by compassion, reason or compromise. That just feeds the beast. It is ideological, incorrigible and proven wrong by the sword. So what are we guilty of this time? How are we responsible for this predicament? That is the wrong question to ask. It’s the question Mother Amalek invites us to wring our hands over, while strengthening her own hand. Guilt has been weaponized in this conflict to great effect. It has been manufactured and deployed by a great many media outlets, supposed humanitarian organizations and lawfare. “When did you start beating your wife Mr. Sabra,” goes the insidious courtroom accusation. “I never beat my wife,” comes the muted but true defense. But it’s already too late for these jurors because good men shouldn’t even be accused of such things. My liberal leaning Jewish friends have contributed fuel to our enemy’s fire. It is wrong to see Amalek in the conflagrations of Gaza, they claim. It is inviting the dehumanization of a people. It makes the possibility of some crazed religious fanatic, mowing down innocent Gazans all that more likely. I concede that employing Amalek language has a danger. But the truth is that despite the provocation, despite the overwhelming firepower, despite the anger of having brother, sister, neighbor killed in this terror attack or that bus bombing, despite decades of terror that has claimed a frightening number of victims, drip, drip, drip, with weekly attacks – before October 7th, we have been stellar in our restraint. Yes, innocent victims of police brutality exist. Yes, plenty innocents have died in Gaza. That is the nature of war and policing and a function of unremittent terrorism. The fact that we have killed too many of our own in Gaza proves that war invites chaos and can never ever be both effective in defeating an enemy and blameless in its exercise of force. Hamas took hostages and embeds itself in hospitals and civil populations as its most potent weapon against Israel. Guilt. Hamas forces us to become the people it accused us of being. Belligerent, aggressive, conquering men. And thank God, our sons, the beautiful, gentle, educated, screen addicted, boys we raised have not forgotten how to be such men. For today it is necessary. Liberal Jews have sat uncomfortably through Megillah readings of Esther long before October 7th. Many edit out the violent culmination of the story as not suitable for modern sensibilities. Tradition begs us to remember Amalek and what it takes to stop him. There is a danger in employing the language of Amalek and there is a bigger danger in refraining from doing so. People refrain from labeling Gaza, Amalek in deference to some universal humanism that I believe has been hijacked by Mother Amalek. Timna, (תמנע) her name meaning “restraint” in Hebrew, implores adherence to some code of ethics that only holds back our soldiers, only benefits Hamas. The IDF, all on its own, adheres to a code of war, rooted in our Jewish tradition that believes that aims should be achieved with the least collateral damage necessary. If the IDF bombs a target with civilians, it is necessary to win this war. When international bodies and worried Jews voice their concerns over loss of life, they are superfluous. Worse, they implicitly tarnish the IDF with their self-important claim that were it not for their watchful eye, the IDF would be dangerous and reckless. Encouraging the voice of Timna to further encumber our soldiers and their freedom of operation materially endangers those soldiers. And the moralizing, guilt-filled sermons about maintaining humanity in Gaza only serve to introduce ambivalences that have no place on the battlefield. A democracy allows its citizens to voice concerns, especially moral concerns. But it is not required. Sometimes, and especially in war, trust in one’s commanders, all the way to the top is both a virtue and efficacious. If we are guilty of something in this war against Amalek, it will be of stopping short. It is the swirling moral confusion and corruption of compassion that makes it so challenging to fight the nefarious duo of mother and child. It is not the strength of their arms. The mother and son team plays it brilliantly, allowing the prodigal son to do what he wants in pursuit of his ambitions while the mother chastises anyone attacking her son, intoning all the pathos of a grieving mother. This strategy works effectively to restrain us from consummating this war as needed. In a world of such moral inversions, it takes a very sober, strong-minded approach to keep track of who is Haman and who is Mordechai in this story. Our Sages years ago articulated the inherent difficulty in confronting Amalek. They taught: if one falls into the temptation of showing mercy to the cruel, he will end up being cruel to the merciful. It is the sin of King Saul. Having won a great victory, he held the Amalekite King Agag in his hand. Why kill him, if my objective of peace has been achieved, he must have asked, what profit is there? Saul failed to recognize that his entire victory is made tenuous, the justification for his use of force undermined, by leaving Agag alive. The prophet Samuel stepped into the breach. He dismissed Saul and then executed Agag with these words: As your sword made women childless, so your mother will be childless from among women. (I Samuel, 15:33) Without a prophet to step in the breach, will we be able to consummate this war when Saul couldn’t?
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Manu: The First Man and Keeper of the Law
Sadhika Pant
 April 01 2024 at 10:43 am
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The Figure: Manu is referred to as the archetypal man or the first man in early Hindu texts, and is revered as both a lawmaker and a saint. He is considered the mind born son of Brahma (the Creator), symbolising the union of divine wisdom and human consciousness. In Sanskrit, the term for 'human', मनुष्य (manuṣya) or मानव (mānava), means 'of Manu' or 'children of Manu'. The name "Manu" finds its roots in the Sanskrit word "man," which means to think or to reflect. As such, Manu is often regarded as the embodiment of the human intellect. As a legislator, Manu is credited with formulating the principles and guidelines that govern human conduct, social structure, and ethical responsibilities. The Manusmriti is attributed to Manu and is believed to have been revealed by him to mankind. It delineates various aspects of dharma (duty/righteousness), outlining laws concerning familial relations, governance, justice, and spiritual practices. Despite its controversial aspects and varying interpretations, the Manusmriti remains a significant source of ethical and legal guidelines in Hindu tradition. Moreover, he is revered as a saintly figure who exemplifies spiritual insight and moral virtue. He is portrayed as a wise sage who embodies contemplation, introspection, and philosophical inquiry. Through his teachings and example, Manu inspires individuals to cultivate a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them. Parallels: Manu ​​shares striking parallels with Minos, the mythical king of Crete in Greek mythology. Despite emerging from distinct cultural contexts, both figures embody similar roles as iconic legislators and arbiters of justice within their respective mythologies. Like Manu, Minos is renowned for his role as a lawgiver and judge. According to Greek myth, Minos received the laws of his kingdom directly from Zeus, the chief deity of the Greek pantheon. These laws, often associated with concepts of justice and order, formed the basis of Minos' governance and judicial authority. Moreover, both Manu and Minos are depicted as wise and virtuous rulers who possess a deep understanding of ethics and moral principles. They are revered as paragons of wisdom and justice, capable of resolving disputes and maintaining social harmony within their respective societies. Whether through divine inspiration or personal insight, both figures are credited with bringing about a sense of order and stability in their realms. Furthermore, both Manu and Minos occupy a significant place in the mythological genealogy of their respective cultures. Manu is considered the progenitor of humanity in Hindu tradition, while Minos is depicted as a descendant of the god Zeus in Greek mythology. This ancestral connection underscores their divine lineage and reinforces their authority as rulers and lawmakers. Philosophical Parallels: The etymology of "Manu" in Hindu mythology and René Descartes' famous statement "I think, therefore I am" both delve into the essence of human identity and existence, but from different cultural and philosophical perspectives. The etymology of “Manu” reflects the idea that human identity is closely tied to the capacity for thought, reflection, and consciousness. Manu represents not just a physical ancestor but also embodies the intellectual and spiritual potential of humanity. In Hindu philosophy, the ability to think, reason, and reflect is considered a fundamental aspect of human nature and is central to the concept of dharma (duty or righteousness). On the other hand, Descartes' statement, "Cogito, ergo sum" (I think, therefore I am), articulates a foundational principle of Western philosophy known as Cartesian dualism. Descartes proposed that the act of thinking, of being conscious of one's own existence, is the most basic and indubitable fact of human existence. Through the act of doubt, he arrives at the certainty of his own existence as a thinking being. By asserting that one's ability to think is inseparable from one's existence, Descartes underscores the centrality of consciousness in defining individual identity. Similarly, in Hindu tradition, Manu’s name signifies the essence of thought and consciousness as the defining characteristic of the human condition.
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The Fundamental Attribution Error
liberty5300
 March 28 2024 at 06:53 pm
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We were in the family locker room this morning at our gym, and my daughter suddenly noticed that her own pants matched a cheetah pattern on the pants of an attractive and fit older woman. The woman was pleased and she began talking to my almost-three-year-old. “Do you have a little baby in your tummy?” My daughter so innocently asked the dreaded question. Although she initially looked a bit horrified, the lady took it very well. She chuckled and stated, “I’m actually a grandma of three.” My daughter beamed. “I have two grandmas!” I told the lady that I have been verbally preparing my daughter for a pregnancy, which is true. We plan on trying to conceive soon, so I’ve been trying to get her comfortable with the idea. The lady didn’t even look a little bit pregnant. The comments were entirely situational in etiology. I pray that this lady doesn’t ultimately take it personally. Only, a few days prior, I encountered a similar slightly humiliating situation, but the reverse. Kids are humbling! I carried my restless toddler from my car into the gym. Upon showing my phone for proof of membership, my toddler immediately giggled and yelled to the desk attendant, “sticker, please!” The attendant smiled and gave her a little booklet of stickers to choose from. I picked her back up once she was satisfied and headed to drop her off at the kids academy so that I could get to the treadmill. My daughter pressed my forehead with her pointer finger and gave me a kiss, “So pretty, mommy.” I almost teared up, toddlers can be so sweet. I put her down so that she could walk into the kids academy. She put her arms out and proceeded to make buzzing sounds, tilting her head from side to side. I asked, “are you an airplane?” She shook her head and made more buzzing noises. “No, mommy! I’m not airplane!” “Helicopter?” “No, mommy!” The young woman at the desk, overwhelmed by all of the parents and children in line, rushed her back into the tot spot. I walked into the locker room to drop off my tote bag. I didn’t even take the time to look at the fit of my new tennis dress in the mirror. As I walked upstairs, I started to get a ton of smiles. Men (and women) walking down the stairs grinned as I made my way towards the treadmills. I didn’t think anything of it, at least, at first. My old man friend, a retired oncologist I used to work with, immediately found me, as usual, and proceeded to tell me a dad joke. I politely laughed even though I didn’t really know why it was relevant, something about honey or a bee-keeper. Where in the world did that come from? He’s getting so old and senile! I got on the treadmill facing the stationary bikes and I start to get all of these stares and smiles from the cyclists-in-place. I must look really good today! Maybe it’s the tennis dress? A young guy who works at the gym got on the treadmill on the right side of me. I had seen him at the gym before, but he hadn’t ever said anything to me besides comment on my toddler and her energy. After a few minutes, he looked over and smirked, raising one eyebrow. This is getting annoying. What is up with today, do I need to flash my ring? I brushed a few strands of hair in front of my right ear back into my ponytail with my left hand. I paused in exaggeration with my ring facing him so that he can see that I’m obviously married. Wow, what is up with the creeps these days! I finished my work out and I headed downstairs to pick my daughter up from the academy. I couldn’t help but scratch an itchy spot on the upper right side of my forehead. I suddenly felt something papery and sticky, and I realized, for the last hour or more, my toddler had me sporting a bumblebee sticker the size of a nickel. Everything made sense. Again, kids are very humbling. How often does this happen? I think I make this error much more often than I want to admit. We may think we’re getting reactions from people that say something about “us” or “them,” when the reactions we receive could be based on situational factors alone.
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The Power Of The Purse
Numapepi
 April 16 2024 at 02:56 pm
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Power Of The Purse Posted on April 16, 2024 by john Dear Friends, It seems to me, we see the astonishing power of the purse in the medical system. Any debate that goes against the narrative is stifled by the threat of liquidation. Punishment is rapid and severe should anyone have too much to think. That’s one reason why the vaccine that isn’t… is still available, pushed on toddlers, and no one has gone to prison for the deaths it’s caused. How many medical advancements have been suppressed by the medical elite… exploiting their power of the purse? Since the power of the purse is so omnipotent, when used by people with a backbone, isn’t it sad the US House abdicated it to the bureaucracy? The power of the purse has such amazing force, it’s capable of getting people to participate, knowingly, in the murder of millions… or the destruction of their own nation. Those who control the funding have the ultimate say. Speak up against Global Warming, and everyone knows, you get fired. From a weatherman, to a physicist at CERN, your job depends on your keeping quiet… and participating in the lie. So the experts participate. Do you want to study toenail fungus? Don’t bother writing for a grant… unless your study is how global warming is making toenail fungus worse. Then untold millions will be available to you. That’s how the funding of research can be used to manipulate data, and conclusions. Come to the wrong conclusion and you’ll never get a grant again. So “scientists” will lie, and participate in lies… to keep their job. As would you or I. If our livelihood depended on it. Because, only a fool, or hero, bites the hand that controls the purse strings. Covid’s origin and effective treatments were suppressed by the power of the purse. Upon Covid’s appearance Fauci set himself to using his power to control the flow of money, bribing the experts, to parrot what he told them to say. They were faced with a dilemma. Lie when they know they’re lying, or face the wrath of Fauci. They saw the example the elites made of Doctor Malone, and no one wants to be made an example of. Stripped of credentials, lambasted in the media and called a quack… for telling the truth. It’s much easier to play ball and lie. To this day, the control of who gets what funding, decides the narrative about Covid, and the mortally flawed vaccine that isn’t. Not just shutting up “scientists,” but getting them to participate in murder… by the power of the purse. How many people took the vaccine, knowing it’s potentially mortal side effects… because their job depended on it? I know of several. Those people knowingly risked death, or worse, to keep their sucky job. Now that is power. The power of the purse. It can force people to risk life itself. No wonder the bureaucracy so loves it. Bureaucrats decide what gets funded. They write the budgets, and representatives give it a thumbs up, or thumbs down. If they give it a thumbs down, the mockingbird media attacks them and threatens their jobs. So republicans always back down, rather than shut down, the government. In this case, the power of the purse, is used to wrest the power of the purse, from the congress. Because one side is willing to use it… while the other is terrified of it. It’s astounding congress gave the power of the purse to the bureaucracy, since it’s able to get people to forswear their honor, participate in lies, and even mass murder. How do we know this? Because under a “rock ribbed republican,” speaker Johnson, the republican controlled House didn’t write the budget, the bureaucracy did, under the guidance of the democrats, and the “budget” they passed reflects it. The bureaucracy decides what gets funded, who gets punished for speaking out, and who gets rewarded for playing ball. Not the republican controlled House. They gave that power up. Instead, holding hearings about how bad Biden is… and doing nothing about it. Showing us how useless congress is. Having given anti- Americans the power of the purse. A purse our Constitution gave to them. Sincerely, John Pepin
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Jokes, Idioms and Irreverence
Numapepi
 March 28 2024 at 02:07 pm
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Jokes, Idioms and Irreverence Posted on March 28, 2024 by john Dear Friends, How is the DOJ like a vulture? Their astounding ability to stomach corruption. The EU elites are saving the planet. They’re shutting down European farms to meet net zero targets. Where will the food come from you ask? The South American rain forest will be cleared to grow it. If a cow burps, and a progressive isn’t there to record it, are all white people still racist? They say screen writing is hard and you get rejected a lot. Not me! Everything I write passes! How do you know our rulers lack a sense of humor? They send people who write jokes to prison. Why dos the world suck like an Electrolux? When the elite open their mouths the vacuum in their heads leaks out. How is Klaus the Varmint Schwab different from his Nazi father? His father had ethics. As NATO advanced to the very border of Russia, they berated Russia for its aggression. The elite will be a thousand years wading in the lake of fire, and they’ll complain, if only they’d had more power they could have made the Beast system work. An elite, psychopath and pervert walk into a bar. The bartender says, “What’ll it be Mr Biden?” When people used to think, nuclear war was unthinkable, now that people don’t think, nuclear war is thinkable. The elite today are like dragons… they’re greedy, prideful, and burn nations to the ground. What’s the difference between the EU and herpes? Herpes is easier to get rid of. There once was a boy named George, Between his soul and mind was a gorge, A Nazi vote, A Judas goat, And a powerful bond with Satan would he forge. I, for one love to eat bugs… made into chicken. An electric knife can cut in thirds, electric emotion makes angry words, as electric cars are for the birds. What do you call shacking up for a night? Love… American style. They say the world is so complex we need the bureaucracy now… like the Middle Ages needed the Black Death. Sincerely, John Pepin
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Thoughts for the End of the Century, Own Your...
Kaizen Androck
 April 12 2024 at 10:26 pm
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Would human rights matter when human beings cease to right themselves? Will there be any humanity left when humans are coerced further to the left than ever before? It’s 2024, but 1984 is still on its way. Industry 4.0 is here to stay, and billions will be held under its sway. Our world sunders under the assault of oppressive black rocks of enslavement, hurled at us by an infernal juggernaut of a trebuchet that is Wide State Socialism, and our apathy will cause us to pay. Whether Edmund Burke said that “the only thing evil needs to succeed is for good men to do nothing" is irrelevant. What is truly germane is that we must act on the understanding that apathy is not a synonym for antipathy. Inexcusable indifference, even if it stems from ignorance, will make no difference to our outcomes if we fail to fight this fiendish foe. Socialism and the Deep State are concepts familiar to many of us, but Wide State Socialism is a more accurate label to acknowledge the globalist, elitist cabal that has set itself against us. It’s postulated that if you “know your enemy and know yourself, then in a thousand battles you will not taste defeat”. So, who is this enemy? Sometimes, when the enemy’s obfuscation, designed to keep us oblivious, is so potent, knowing our enemy’s enemy could prove illuminating. Despite all the “conspiracy theory” labeling attempts, the WEF did release a video with eight predictions for 2030. The very first one was the now infamous adage, “You will own nothing and be happy.” That assertion can also be analyzed to obtain what should be a blatantly obvious insight: happiness is indeed inextricably tied to ownership! It’s quite symbolic and telling that a female Scandinavian politician, Ida Auken, apparently coined the offensive adage. The Funding Feminizers driving Wide State Socialism are definitely nothing like the Founding Fathers. The consecrated concepts of liberty, democracy, equality, and even human rights all stem from one invaluable axiom: the inviolability of individual sovereignty. Individual sovereignty, or self-ownership, is the exclusive right to control one’s life and is, thus, the real opposite of slavery. This idea is also the foundation for the keystone idea behind democracies: popular sovereignty. In simple terms, popular sovereignty implies that the people own the government and not the other way around. But is that how the real world functions? The inexorable enmeshment of AI in society will cause one inescapable change. Working jobs to make an income, giving you money to own things, and hence being happy, will no longer be a prudent pursuit. Already, debt culture has restricted true ownership away from the majority of humanity. We’re not really owners of our homes if we pay rent or mortgage. We’re glorified tenants. This is a universal truth that has been recognized since ancient times. In the world’s longest epic poem, the Mahabharata, when a god tests the wisdom of the protagonist character, Yudhishthira, by asking him who is the happiest of them all, Yudhishthira correctly confirms that it is the one who is free of debt. Concurrently, the global emasculation of society continues to fester because it results in entitled people who find misery in the idea of merit which is unquestionably linked with ownership. This emasculation is also designed to target the one group that is most likely to procure happiness from ownership: masculine men. Ownership is in our very nature. Our ability to fulfill our hierarchy of needs and scale the apex of transcendence is inseparably tied to our ownership because it meets our actualization requirements. When our ownership doesn’t make us happy, mental illness is bound to occur. The rise of mental illness alongside Industry 4.0 could be why Industry 5.0 is supposed to target wellbeing. On the other side, women supposedly hold around 80% of consumer debt, and most communist and leftist ideas are propagated by women and emasculated, entitled men. This is why for masculine men, cancel culture is so cancerous, and freedom of speech is crucial. Do we really own ourselves if our thoughts are policed and our words are controlled? So why is masculinity such a threat to the globalist elite hell-bent on empowering themselves at the expense of the ordinary people? The answer could be as simple as it is profound. Since time immemorial, masculine men have always been willing to be the first to lay it on the line to combat evil. It’s innate in us to want to rectify and resolve issues. Indignation and outrage ought to drive our hearts at this stage. Thus, in the AI era, it is incumbent upon us to rise and strive against the diabolical juggernaut that is Wide State Socialism. We have to overcome debt culture, and preserve our ownership. Our wealth should never aid in empowering the denizens who propagate this globalist socialism. Never spend money on them. But that’s only one part of the equation. Borrowing from Teddy Roosevelt, it is time for young men to once again become political. Participate in the politics of your polity at all levels. Remember, power is the name of the game, and power comes from a prescient application of phronesis. Foresight and practical wisdom have never been as valuable as they are today. When the very idea of jobs is going to be anachronistic, it’s necessary to become entrepreneurs. Make wealth instead of money. Seize control in all aspects of your life. Eschew debt culture and embrace true ownership. When products and services are joined by an experience-based economy, become creators. Above all, enshrine your masculinity with pride. When liberty is threatened with policing, politicizing is the solution. After all, the trebuchet only left the field when it was conquered by the right tool: gunpowder.
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Your Unique Ability
Numapepi
 March 25 2024 at 03:31 pm
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Your Unique Ability Posted on March 25, 2024 by john Dear Friends, It seems to me, we have a unique ability to effect the future of mankind, because of the times we live. More than most people in most other times and places. It’s only at focal points in history that folks have the leverage we do now. Our decisions have moment beyond our mental grasp. Usually, its only in the after thought, that people realize the magnitude of the times they lived through. This is another thing that makes our times singular. We know change is happening. Your every decision, purchase, conversation, argument, keeping silent, speaking up, etc… has more effect on the future than in normal times. Because these aren’t normal times. We live in the ancient Chinese curse… “May you live in interesting times.” Which, if you think of it, makes you much more powerful than you ever realized. We’re not on the brink of WWIII we’re in WWIII. Today Ukrainians are fighting and dying for the globalist elitist cause. Biden, McConnell and Johnson want to assure you, they’re willing to fight Russia, to the last Ukrainian. Then to the last Frenchman, Englishmen, and American… Hell, they’re willing to blow up the world, if that’s what it takes to save democracy. They’ve marched NATO to the border of Russia and claim Russia is the aggressor. Meanwhile, on the other side of the planet, the pacific theater if you will, Biden’s obviously on the CCP’s payroll to the tune of 30 million dollars. Let’s see if China invades Taiwan this spring when the tides become favorable in the Taiwan straight. If they do, it’ll have been with the incalculable help of purchased American politicians, corporations and bureaucrats. We all know election fraud at scale is probably going to tip the scale in favor of the elite again. People who get away with breaking the law don’t back down, they go full throttle. Look at history. In 2016 they concocted the Russia collusion hoax, used it to get a special prosecutor, and FISA warrants to spy on Trump… and got away with it. No one was punished. Even The lawyer who lied under oath got a wrist slap. Now they’re in charge again. The courts overstepped their Constitutional authority in 2020 and changed election rules allowing mail in voting. Even as the video of people taking ballots from under a table and counting them, after counting had officially stopped, still hasn’t been explained. Then there’s 2022 that was as bad if not worse. So I expect 2024 will be a humdinger year of election fraud. The elite are in the process of fundamentally changing the demographic of the West. Soon there’ll be no nation with a majority Caucasian population on the planet. That’s not rhetoric, it’s demographics. Europeans are too busy having fun, to have babies, so they aborted them. No muss no fuss. The result is, no nation in Europe is replacing itself, organically. Instead they’re importing replacements. People who are willing to have children. Children who won’t be European, have European values, or embrace European culture. Europe will no longer exist. For good or bad, not making a judgment call… but let’s face it. If any race doesn’t have children… within 100 years, they’re gone. Which means people of European descent will be effectively extinct in a century. Like Neanderthals and Denisovans. WWIII, insane government, and a world wide ethnic cleansing… could times be more interesting? We aren’t passive observers though. We’re active participants. You have an effect. Worried about nuclear Armageddon? Contact your representative, bend their ear, write articles, speak up, tamp down war fervor, there are more ways to act than you realize. Tired of corrupt as vulture vomit government? Go to town council meetings, speak up, vote, organize, volunteer to election watch, contact your county sheriff, ask how they’re going to address election fraud. Then there’s the demographic death spiral… Have a large, healthy, happy, and prosperous family. Demand a stop to open borders, immediate deportation for illegal alien criminals, no welfare for non citizens, etc… You have the power… use it! Sincerely, John Pepin
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When Race Trumps Merit: How the Pursuit of...
Heather Mac Donald
 April 03 2024 at 02:59 pm
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Click here to join me Thursday, April 4th at 6pm EST for a discussion on this important topic. Does your workplace have too few black people in top jobs? It’s racist. Does the advanced math and science high school in your city have too many Asians? It’s racist. Does your local museum employ too many white women? It’s racist, too. After the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020, prestigious American institutions, from the medical profession to the fine arts, pleaded guilty to “systemic racism.” How else explain why blacks are overrepresented in prisons and underrepresented in C-suites and faculty lounges, their leaders asked? The official answer for those disparities is “disparate impact,” a once obscure legal theory that is now transforming our world. Any traditional standard of behavior or achievement that impedes exact racial proportionality in any enterprise is now presumed racist. Medical school admissions tests, expectations of scientific accomplishment in the award of research grants, the enforcement of the criminal law—all are under assault, because they have a “disparate impact” on underrepresented minorities. When Race Trumps Merit provides an alternative explanation for those racial disparities. It is large academic skills gaps that cause the lack of proportional representation in our most meritocratic organizations and large differences in criminal offending that account for the racially disproportionate prison population. The need for such a corrective argument could not be more urgent. Federal science agencies now treat researchers’ skin color as a scientific qualification. Museums and orchestras choose which art and music to promote based on race. Police officers avoid making arrests and prosecutors decline to bring charges to avoid disparate impact on minority criminals. When Race Trumps Merit breaks powerful taboos. But it is driven by a sense of alarm, supported by detailed case studies of how disparate-impact thinking is jeopardizing scientific progress, destroying public order, and poisoning the appreciation of art and culture. As long as alleged racism remains the only allowable explanation for racial differences, we will continue tearing down excellence and putting lives, as well as civilizational achievement, at risk. Follow the link below to order a copy of my new book from amazon. When Race Trumps Merit: How the Pursuit of Equity Sacrifices Excellence, Destroys Beauty, and Threatens Lives: Mac Donald, Heather: 9781956007169: Amazon.com: Books When Race Trumps Merit: How the Pursuit of Equity Sacrifices Excellence, Destroys Beauty, and Threatens Lives [Mac Donald, Heather] on Amazon.com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. When Race Trumps Merit: How the Pursuit of Equity Sacrifices Excellence, Destroys Beauty, and Threatens Lives a.co
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Stopping Illegal Immigration
Numapepi
 March 30 2024 at 03:59 pm
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Stopping Illegal Immigration Posted on March 30, 2024 by john Dear Friends, It seems to me, illegal immigration could be stopped by the Republican controlled House, today, if they had the will. That they don’t, shows they don’t. How? By passing a law forbidding non citizens from accessing any social services. If they come here… they’re on their own. No welfare, no free phone, no free food, no free housing, no free anything… but a ticket home. Turn off the magnet and the filings fall off. They’ll have to find work to survive. Cut off the free stuff and many will simply go home. Most of all, cutting off the free stuff, cuts off the draw for people to come here. It’s common sense, no sane person pays foreigners to invade their country… unless they want their country invaded. So, why doesn’t congress act, instead of holding hearings, following squirrels and grandstanding? In what universe does it make sense to give welfare to illegal aliens? Isn’t that asking to be taken advantage of? No sane poor person anywhere on the planet would turn down that offer. It would be stupid. No wonder people are flooding into the US and EU. Heck… I should go to Mexico, re-enter as an illegal, and put in for welfare. Ride the wagon instead of pull it. The trouble is, laws are for citizens… Rights are for illegal aliens. That’s why they aren’t held to the law… but can carry weapons. Plus given thousands of dollars for showing up. There’s an old saying, “subsidize that which you want more of.” If that’s the case the elite want more illegal aliens. Since they’re so intent on subsidizing a migration to the land of milk and honey. A land being stripped of milk, honey, and prosperity. People are self interested, its a fundamental fact of human nature. Moreover, we seek the fastest way to achieve our self interest. It was necessary when everything was in shortage. In the West, everything is in glut, unless the government regulates it into shortage. Any poor person living in a place without education, infrastructure or opportunity, who is offered free money, housing and free reign of their id, will jump at the chance. It serves their self interest, but more importantly, it’s the easy way to serve their self interest. If this paradigm is maintained long enough, everyone on the planet will come to Europe and the US, to hop on the couch. Only those with eyes to see, will know better than to climb onto an overfilled hammock, swaying over a cliff, held up by a fraying rope. We’re that fraying rope. Congress has the power to reign in the Bureaucracy, that they don’t, shows they don’t want to. Instead of grandstanding, and ejecting a member of their own caucus based on an allegation, while allowing members of the other caucus to stay with actually proven crimes… the republican controlled House could pass legislation, like a budget that’s not a giveaway to the progressives, a border bill, and ban non citizens from receiving any public assistance. You know. Do their job. If republicans sweep into the House and Senate in November, and the democrats don’t blow up the world over it, count on Republicans continuing doing the same… nothing. Because they’re an integral part of the uniparty. Else they would have impeached Biden over the border, passed legislation, and a real budget. The role of Congress is to pass laws and budgets… instead, they hold hearings and grandstand. I suppose grandstanding plays to an audience, while passing meaningful legislation that addresses our societal problems, eliminates a reason to grandstand. Losing a source of publicity without accolade. The Founders would be shocked to learn the legislative branch has given up its legislative authority to the Executive Branch’s bureaucracy. Maybe they’re lazy, stupid, or are traitors who want plausible deniability. For whatever reason, the congress has passed their authority to the courts and bureaucracy, becoming a televised public court instead. A court without authority, and we all understand that a court without authority, is merely theater. How’s a theater unlike congress? In a theater… people act. Sincerely, John Pepin
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The Value of Experience
Dre Carlan
 April 12 2024 at 04:10 pm
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I once knew a girl in high school who I admired very much. Her grades were consistently at the top of the class. She had a style all her own. Her bedroom walls were covered in magazine clippings and collages she'd spent long hours on. She didn't mind falling off a skateboard and scraping her elbow. Her creativity just shimmered through everything she did, no matter how small. She seemed like the model student. More so, the model friend. Then she started trying different things. Introducing different chemicals into her already-brilliant psyche. She figured that she may as well now, while she was still young and able. That—, in her words—, she'd like to have all these things "under her belt." It confused me. She already seemed perfect, why the need to experiment if you've been blessed with so much. Stranger yet, her grades never suffered. They didn't dip once. Throughout all the psychedelics, pills, and whatnot—, she remained on top of her class. This confused me even more. Long story short: she transferred schools and I never saw her again. I'd often think back to her free spirit and nonchalant attitude toward drugs and try to see the soundness therein. Her premise was probably that the more experiences one has, the more they'll have to draw from, hence, the more reliable their conclusions will be. But I don't need to stick a needle in my arm and shoot up heroin to know it's bad for you. There are studies available. I've skimmed a few. All sarcasm aside—, there actually are people in this world who won't respect an iota of your opinion if you haven't done each and everything you're describing on a firsthand basis, multiple times over. Though, nobody reaches the top of the Empire State Building and needs proof that jumping toward the street below will be the worst—, and last—, mistake they'll ever make. It's common sense. It's engrained into our DNA. Rationale; it's there to be used, often. So why this elitist obsession with having as many things under one's belt as possible? They claim "enlightenment" as these would-be’s ingest handfuls of brightly technicolored capsules and listen to music so new that it hasn't even been assigned a sub-genre yet. These "brave" culture warriors teeter the edge which divides our mainstream from the scary wilderness beyond. They self-appoint themselves the true curators of cool but only because there is nobody else who cares enough to make such a huge production out of whatever the current flavor-of-the-week happens to be. Everyone else is gone. They've moved on. They grew brains and with them created goals, outlined plans, and just started taking those who chose to stay behind at their words. "Oh..., too many counteractive drugs in your body will shut down your central nervous system?" So I’ve heard. "Oh..., you smoked three packs a day for twenty-some years and now you're bummed out by your test results?" Hmm... "Oh..., going through withdrawals really isn’t fun?" Wow. A priori knowledge is independent of experience, a posteriori is dependent on experience or empirical evidence. If a privileged upper-middle class teenager who's been lucky enough to grow up in an environment where the realities of drugs could be observed through both those that litter the streets of his downtown and the internet at large, still needs further empirical evidence to fully commit to a conclusion, then I would venture to say that he is probably welcoming of all the misery he's plunging himself toward. There are certain things in life that I don't need to experience on my own skin in order to label them a certain way. A priori knowledge. Anyone who sees this as whimpering away with fear is a masochist and can be my guest when it comes to trying "that new gasoline stuff."My only guess is that people are forever trying to one-up each other. You've tried the pink powder? Well I've tried the blue. And so on and so forth. I don't admire this type of thinking. It gets you killed or at the very least, makes you extremely regretful. The one I admire is the third person looking at the two who are arguing with a look of bewilderment that shouts out: “Why?!”
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What is the Proper Balance Between Loving and...
Sadhika Pant
 April 16 2024 at 11:58 am
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This question has been cropping up in my mind again and again of late. Loving God encompasses feelings of adoration, reverence, and devotion. It involves a deep emotional connection and a desire to cultivate a relationship based on love, trust, and intimacy. Love prompts acts of worship, gratitude, and service as expressions of devotion towards the divine. On the other hand, fearing God involves a sense of awe, respect, and humility in the face of the divine's power, authority, and majesty. Fear in this context does not necessarily imply terror or dread but rather a profound awareness of God's transcendence and sovereignty. It can inspire obedience, piety, and a healthy reverence for divine will and moral principles. How does Hinduism answer this question? Finding the proper balance between these two attitudes is a complex endeavour and different traditions preach different modes of relating to the divine. At the risk of overwriting my own interpretation more than is justified over the wide-ranging perspectives encompassed by Hinduism, I would say that the relationship between devotee and deity in this faith is characterised more by intense love and devotion, known as Bhakti, than by fear. From this standpoint, love is considered paramount. The Bhagavad Gita, a central text in Hindu philosophy, elucidates the importance of devotion and love towards the divine. For instance, in Chapter 9, Verse 22, Lord Krishna says, “Those who are always full of love, who worship Me with exclusive devotion, meditating on My transcendental form - to them I carry what they lack and preserve what they have.” However, the concept of fear (or awe) in relation to God is not entirely absent in Hindu thought. Some Hindu traditions, particularly those influenced by Shaivism (worship of Lord Shiva, the destroyer), acknowledge the paradoxical nature of the divine, which encompasses both benevolent and wrathful aspects. In these traditions, fear may arise from a profound reverence for the awe-inspiring power and cosmic order (dharma) maintained by the divine. Another aspect of Hinduism which deserves mention here, is that God is not held to be the authority tasked with punishing sinners. The law of karma (actions and their consequences) evokes a certain fear among Hindus, but this fear arises not from a punitive deity, but from the recognition that negative actions lead to negative consequences. In this sense, fearing God could be seen as a form of respect for the cosmic order rather than a dread of punishment. All in all, I would say that Hinduism characterises the relationship with God to be one of love, with fear playing a very small role (if at all) in maintaining humility and reverence towards the divine. How do other faiths answer this question? In Judaism, the concept of fearing God, known as "Yirat Hashem," is deeply rooted in the Old Testament. Proverbs 9:10 famously states, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” At the same time, Judaism also places a strong emphasis on love for God, as expressed in the commandment to "love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength" (Deuteronomy 6:5). This love is characterised by devotion, loyalty, and obedience to God's commandments, as exemplified by figures like Abraham, Moses, and King David in Jewish tradition. Christianity similarly emphasises both love and fear in the context of the relationship with God. In the New Testament, Jesus Christ teaches about the importance of loving God and loving one's neighbour as oneself (Matthew 22:37-39). The Apostle John reaffirms this message, stating, "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment" (1 John 4:18). Here, love is portrayed as the antidote to fear, suggesting that a deep, intimate relationship with God dispels apprehension and dread. However, Christianity also acknowledges the importance of reverential fear towards God. Jesus himself teaches his disciples, "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matthew 10:28). This fear is not based on a fear of punishment alone but on a recognition of God's power, holiness, and judgement. Christians believe that God's love, grace, and mercy are freely given to those who trust in Him, inviting them into a relationship marked by love, forgiveness, and reconciliation. Relevance in day to day prayer Keeping aside the philosophy for a moment, the question becomes relevant in day to day prayer rituals. Take, for example, the common dilemmas encountered in everyday life, such as the moments of worry or uncertainty. The anxiety preceding a routine medical checkup. Or the guilt and fear one feels when a sinful thought crosses one's mind, followed swiftly by a prayer of apology. In such instances, the fear experienced, characteristic of a God-fearing individual, can be viewed as a factor that strengthens faith. And why not? If one experiences a fear of God each time a transgression occurs or whenever fear arises, it implies that one's thoughts often turn to God, perhaps as frequently as they do to one's own shortcomings. On the other hand, as a Hindu, I ask myself: What brings on the fear? Unwavering faith in God, or a lack thereof? More devoted Hindus than myself might argue that to give in to fear signifies a faltering faith in a deity whose omnipotence and benevolence can orchestrate miracles to guide us through adversity. They would say that God's love and forgiveness are boundless, akin to an expansive ocean capable of purifying our souls, even amidst the muddied currents of our transgressions. With the blessings of such a God, the decision to fear undermines the love of God. I have no clear answer. But that’s okay. Certain questions must be allowed to linger in our contemplation. This is not a question to which one can simply borrow someone else's answer, no matter how convincing. The answer we must find by ourselves, even if it emerges incoherently.
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Thought For The Day: What's the righteous answer?
Kaizen Androck
 April 16 2024 at 07:02 pm
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As a teacher and proponent of the Socratic method, I often use thought exercises with my students, prodding them toward the truth instead of spoon-feeding them as their indoctrination camps (schools) do. I am new to posting here, so I decided to post a thought exercise here to spark conversation. Please consider the following hypothetical scenario, and give your opinions in the comments. Several years ago, a veteran of many wars returned to his family home, having finally quit the military after the last war. He had been on the losing side of the conflict and finally had enough. Let's call him Tom. Tom returned home to his wife Ellen and their six children. A day later, some of the victors in the war sent a few of their soldiers to Tom's house and they seized control of the premises under threat of violence. Tom and Ellen had no choice but to abide. They had to prioritize their children's safety. A few days of harrowing misery later, the occupying soldiers invited some other people to come and live in this house. Let's call this new group, Omega. The Omegas loved the new house and began making changes around the house. They drove the kids out of the best rooms and the six children now began sharing two rooms, cramped for space. Tom felt powerless and aged quickly. A few years of living in such despair saw Tom and Ellen in the grave. When the will came, the soldiers acknowledged that the majority of the house now really belonged to the Omegas and the children could find lodgings in the meager barn on the property if they so chose. The soldiers decided that they had done what they came for, and left the house with the Omegas firmly established in the house while the six children were relegated to the squalid barn. The children tried their best to recover their stolen house but to no avail. They failed. Many years passed and the Omegas flourished in the house while the six kids managed to have families of their own, a few of whom, remained in the barn while the others fled searching for more hospitable areas elsewhere. In the meantime, the remaining family members tried to wrest back control from the Omegas but they failed, always being driven back to the barn. Sometimes, the Omegas even assaulted the barn, surrounding it so that none of the neighbors could help them even if they wanted to. Now, do Tom and Ellen's progeny have the right to take back their home from the Omegas, no matter the cost and the time that passed?
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thinkspot Newsletter
thinkspot
 March 22 2024 at 03:52 pm
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A Guide to Social Justice Paradox By RSnakeWhy HBO Hates Tokyo Vice By Isaac SimpsonThe DEIfication of the Self By rich_cromwellIntroduction to EuroFuturism By EuroFuturismLonghouse Vision Pro By BobbyMarsPanicked Elite By NumapepiS08E05 - Marksman Mastery: Unveiling the Secrets with Ed Bonawitz & Chris James By RSnake The following logic is wholly contradictory.... People can't be trusted with Liberty because people are fallible. Therefore, we must create By CanadianLibertarian
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The Tick
Numapepi
 April 17 2024 at 02:15 pm
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The Tick Posted on April 17, 2024 by john Dear Friends… Two guys, JOE and STEVE are in Steve’s apartment. Joe is relaxing on the sofa. Steve is rummaging in the kitchen. STEVE asks, “Want a beer?” Joe scratches the back of his neck. JOE says, “Yea. Thanks.” Joe rubs the back of his neck. Steve goes to the fridge. He opens it and grabs a couple of beers. Joe looks at Steve in time to catch a beer. He catches it. Opens it. He takes a gulp. Steve walks to the easy chair. He sets down. Picks up a remote. He turns on the TV. Joe stands quickly. JOE exclaims, “Argh!!! A TICK!” Joe picks at it with his fingers. Steve is concerned. JOE says, “Got it!” Joe looks at the evil little TICK. It looks back. JOE continues, “What should I do with it?” STEVE says, “Toss it in the ash tray.” In a squeaky voice the TICK says, “It burns! The ashes, they burn! I think its a chemical burn!” Steve cocks his head. Joe says, “I swear that tick is talking.” Steve gives Joe a strange look, He says, “No…?” The TICK says, “It burns! And that roach is smoldering!” JOE says, “It IS talking!” The TICK says, “Kill me! Burn me with a lighter, a magnifying glass or stick me with a pin… anything. End this pain!” Steve picks up a can of Raid. He hands the can to Joe. STEVE says, “Here use this.” Joe sprays the ashtray. Ashes go flying. The tick is encased in a foam pyramid of Raid. The TICK says, “This is worse! It still burns but now I’m sick too!” Steve picks up the ashtray. He walks to the door. Opens it. He tosses out the complaining tick. The TICK exclaims, “The sunlight burns my eyes!” Steve turns and says… “A tick is like a politician. Shows up where its not wanted, takes what’s not theirs and resents being treated like a parasite.” The End.
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The Right Shouldn’t Defund NPR, It Should Work...
rich_cromwell
 April 18 2024 at 02:20 pm
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Let’s turn it up to 11 For the first time in its 54-year history, NPR is enjoyable. The entertainment is not coming from the programming, though, but from the fallout from Uri Berliner’s whistleblower report at the Free Press about the ideological silo that is the broadcaster. Once Berliner got people’s attention, the extremely public record of insane proclamations from NPR’s CEO Katherine Maher came to light. That’s when the fun really began. Maher, as Matt Taibbi noted at Racket News, has no background in journalism. What she does have a background in – beyond a hodgepodge of perches at liberal organizations like the World Economic Forum, Wikimedia, the Council of Foreign Relations, and the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Labs – is fundraising. At Wikimedia, she grew its annual haul from $77 million per year in 2016 to $140 million in 2021. That’s a lot of free tote bags. She’s also the living embodiment of every stereotype of a modern progressive. She cried for Hillary while also chiding the candidate for using the words “boy” and “girl,” because doing so cancels non-binary people. She hates Trump. She’s avoiding motherhood because of climate change. She decries her own white privilege. She thinks the hippies were a little too patriarchal, racist, and misogynist. She is NPR. Hiring her as CEO was a no-brainer. Keeping her is a little trickier now that videos of her complaining about how the First Amendment is an obstacle to truth and that truth itself is also an obstacle to “getting things done” have surfaced. If she truly believes all she espouses or is instead merely a well-trained parrot is debatable. Either way, she’s a product of the system. Berliner, on the other hand, apparently missed a few crucial lessons about loving Big Brother and remains a little too committed to journalism. The truths Berliner highlighted about NPR’s lack of ideological diversity aren’t new. It’s been referred to as National Pinko Radio since the 1980s. Timing is everything, though, and for that, we have to thank him for choosing such a perfect moment. Berliner caught the wind and invited us along for the ride. Which is why Maher isn’t the enemy, but a gift. She can rally conservatives, who prefer to cede territory in a hopeless attempt at containment, into action. Alas, now is not the time for a really stupid and futile gesture, but something actually meaningful. Nonetheless, we’re just the guys to do it, especially since what I’m proposing will be even more entertaining than the current fracas. Apply for jobs in the most dreadful institutions in the land. Sue for discrimination when we don’t get them, because two can play at that game. Go to work for the government, which, I get it, but war is never easy. Land a gig in academia. Find your way inside an NGO. Once we’re in, we can start to wake up the woke, which seems difficult, but not being a depressed statist in a constant panic about the end of humanity will help. Most people want to flourish, not spend their days worrying about the end times. They also don’t want to follow all the stupid, contradictory, and ever-changing rules that the system imposes on them. We’ve all got that liberal friend who relaxes in our presence and stops sticking with the script, even mocking it a little. So, have fun with it. Go into enemy territory and follow their edicts, but turn everything up to 11. Make everyone both an oppressor and a victim, inventing new privileged classes and reasons to be aggrieved. Turn them all against one another. Help the ouroboros finish swallowing its own tail. It’s quickly slithering in that direction already, but we can expedite the process. For now is the time to stop worrying about defunding NPR or stopping various NGOs, about toppling the Mahers and combating their biases against us. Instead, it’s the time to start dreaming about building new structures atop of the rubble on which they once stood.
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Don't Bring Your Politics on a Date
Sadhika Pant
 April 03 2024 at 11:24 am
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A few weeks back, I made the mistake of joining my boyfriend on a double date with another couple, a friend and her partner. As the evening unfolded, it became clear why this arrangement was ill-advised – modern times seem to have little tolerance for traditional acts of chivalry. My boyfriend takes it upon himself to open car doors for me. He bears the weight of heavy shopping bags, and ensures my comfort by pulling out my chair whenever we dine out, a habit he maintains almost without fail. When descending stairs, he often leads the way, extending a helping hand, particularly if I'm wearing heels. He readily allows me to lean on his arm when fatigue sets in after a long day. Even on hiking excursions, where my experience exceeds his, he offers assistance. Despite my playful teasing about his tendency to drive below the speed limit, he becomes even more cautious when I'm in the car. When crossing roads, he consistently positions himself between me and oncoming traffic, even if it means crossing over to the other side on divided highways. On cold evenings, he takes off his coat and offers it to me. It’s probably not just him. I saw my father doing similar things for my mother. I recall my frail grandfather, despite his failing eyesight, extending his hand (albeit in the wrong direction) to assist my grandmother down the stairs. It's evident that this sense of chivalry is deeply ingrained, likely passed down through generations. However, in a more modern social context, such displays of consideration and deference may not always be met with the same appreciation they once were, particularly among certain circles of friends. Returning to the unfortunate date, discomfort only surfaced when it was time to settle the bill, a point of contention for those who struggle to keep politics separate from romance. Typically, my boyfriend handles the bill during our outings, while I take care of expenses on trips away from home. We have a system. As the men headed to the parking lot, my friend took the chance to voice her thoughts to me. "Did it bother you that your boyfriend paid the bill without even checking if you wanted to split it?" she asked. "Well, not really. Why is it such a big deal?" I responded, bracing myself for a potentially awkward discussion. "I would have been offended if my partner did that!" she exclaimed. "It's like they think I'm incapable of paying for myself!" "I don't think it implied anything like that," I countered. "On a first date, my expectation is typically for the man to cover the bill. However, I do prefer to choose a more modest setting, like a coffee shop, to keep expenses reasonable. After that initial date, I usually suggest splitting the bill until I feel more at ease with the person. Now that we've been together for years, we tend to handle expenses jointly without keeping tabs on who paid for what." She was silent for a minute, and then went on to say, “And don’t you mind when he opens the car door for you, as if you’re incapable of doing that for yourself?” I chuckled. “No, I see it as a considerate gesture. Sure, I'm perfectly capable of opening my own car door, pulling out my own chair, or crossing the road independently, and there are times when he forgets too. But it's not about proving my ability to do so, especially when he's simply trying to be attentive and caring during a date. I enjoy cooking for him and taking care of him; why not allow him the same pleasure of taking care of me on a date?” "But you're strong and independent. Surely, you should make that clear to him," she suggested, her tone hesitant. “But if I truly am all those things, why should I feel the need to constantly assert it? I like being independent, but I also don’t want to think so much before depending on my loved ones for the smallest of things.” "But why not?" she pressed. “It kills the romance.” Image Source: It Happened One Night (1934)
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Ethical Elites
Numapepi
 April 03 2024 at 02:34 pm
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Ethical Elites Posted on April 3, 2024 by john Dear Friends, It seems to me, our elites have an ethics issue, they don’t have any. Our elites are people utterly lacking morals. They’re not so much amoral as immoral. Why do I say this? Because it’s obvious and no one else seems to be saying it. We have people without a conscience running the world today. Any glance at the actions of the elite over the last few decades shows unequivocally they’re demons. Who zealously attacks efforts at election integrity, other than people without integrity. Who opens the borders to their nation to criminals, sappers and terrorists? Villains who desire crime, chaos and terror in their countries. Moreover, what monster exploits law as a weapon? In doing so destroying our faith in the rule of law. These aren’t the actions of ethical characters but of immoral scoundrels. The gusto the elite display in defending election fraud is astounding. Anything that might limit the amount or severity of the fraud is crushed. It’s like they know the people hate and loathe them, and so need to use election fraud, to stay in power. If that’s the case, and only a fool would think otherwise, doesn’t that make the elite unethical, for opposing election integrity, and engaging in election fraud? Those certainly are not the actions of honest fair minded sages… but of scoundrels. You can tell when a state has become utterly corrupt. Elections are mere theater to manipulate the masses into thinking they have a say. But it’s election fraud that decides who wins. Why would the elite defend election fraud and attack any effort at election integrity? The fraud could harm them… unless they’re the fraudsters. The elite love open borders. George Soros has even named his anti human foundation, Open Borders. Since Biden pried the US border open, by executive order, and is refusing to enforce the law, untold millions of people have flooded the US. Even as the Tories in Britain, who came to power based on a pledge to cut illegal immigration, have steadfastly defended the invaders right to invade. Any criticism of the invasion, or their intent to murder their way through British society… is now illegal. Mouth off in Britain, and you’ll be arrested and extradited to Scotland, to face punishment at the hands of a lunatic court. Showing British elites are liars of the highest caliber. Heck, that’s not really true. All the elite are liars of the highest caliber. Lying isn’t considered ethical now, is it? The elite in the US and Europe are using law as a political weapon. Could there be a more unethical thing to do? Their exploitation of law to harm their political foes, Alex Jones, Kyle Rittenhouse, Roger Stone, Scooter Libby, General Flynn, and Donald Trump, obliterates the trust that took centuries to build. I, for one, have lost all faith in our court system. Probably you have as well. At least to some extent. Once law is used as a tool of political oppression, it becomes wholly useless to control the population. Because everyone sees it and its rulings for what they are. Manifestations of unjust power. Not simply unjust power, but power that misrepresents itself as fair, unbiased and honest… when we all know that’s a lie. Making judges some of the most unethical people around. Removing the fences between things creates chaos. Chaos can then be used to undermine the existing status quo, destabilizing it, to allow for a new paradigm to be built. Someone who would use such a tactic however would have to be bereft of ethics. Like our elites. Proven by their unethical stance on immigration, law and elections. There are dozens of other examples how our elites epitomize the term, villain. Their penchant for pedophilia, Covid, and the vaccine that isn’t. None of these things are ethical, moral or wise. They’re malevolent actions done by mortal demons. We have to ask ourselves, do we want people so immoral they exploit law as a weapon, pry our borders open, and engage in election fraud? Perhaps we should start demanding our elites have ethics? Sincerely, John Pepin
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SPECIAL WEEKEND THOUGHT: 👉 Redemption From...
Cam
 March 23 2024 at 11:01 am
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“The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: ‘Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.’” (Luke 22:61 NIV) “Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, ‘Follow me!’” (John 21:19 NIV) “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.” (Ephesians 1:7-8a NIV) The most famous person included in the gospels is easily Jesus. The second most famous person is likely Simon Peter, Jesus’ oldest and most outspoken disciple. However, while Peter appears to be the spokesman for the disciples, this also prompts Peter to say things that are out of line. While we know Peter as the disciple who declared a belief in Jesus as the Messiah (Matthew 16:16; John 6:68), he is also the disciple who Jesus calls out as Satan (Matthew 16:23), who speaks his assumptions regarding paying the temple tax (Matthew 17:24-27), who fumbles over what to say when Moses and Elijah visit Jesus on the mountain (Matthew 17:4), and who denies Jesus three times on the night of Jesus’ betrayal and arrest (Matthew 26:69-75). This famous disciple lived a life of flaws throughout his time with Jesus. While his flaws could easily invalidate him from staying a disciple, especially after disowning Jesus on the night of Jesus’ arrest when He assured Jesus that would never happen, Jesus gives Peter the gift of redemption. Following His resurrection, Jesus finds Peter and asks him three questions, gives him three challenges, and then gives him a second invitation to follow. Peter’s second invitation wasn’t like his first. Peter’s first invitation came before Peter had made many glaring mistakes and his first invitation came after a powerful miracle that happened because Peter had a sliver of faith and the generosity to let Jesus preach from his boat (Luke 5:1-11). However, Peter’s second invitation came with three years of knowledge of Peter’s failures. Even with all these failures, Jesus was still willing to invite Peter to follow. I believe Jesus offers all of us a second invitation. The invitation He offers might even be a third, a fourth, or a fiftieth one. Just like Jesus extends another invitation to Peter, He invites us, regardless of our past failures, to repent and return to Him. Jesus paid the penalty for our sin, and this allows us to lean on Him for redemption. If something happened this week that prompted doubt to enter your mind about God’s love, let the truth found in Peter’s redemption story remind you that God still loves you, and He wants to redeem you from sin; He wants to include you in His recreated new heaven and new earth for eternity! 🙏 📖 ✝️ 👍
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The CEO Of Boeing Exits - The Rest Of The Story
David Reavill
 March 25 2024 at 05:09 pm
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Dave Calhoun, CEO of the Boeing Company ** Earlier today, Dave Calhoun, the CEO of Boeing, announced his resignation. The Financial Press is full of headlines today: the Boeing CEO is stepping down in light of the ongoing “safety crisis” at Boeing. Indeed, the adverse press surrounding Boeing Commercial Airlines might have been the final straw that forced Calhoun to leave. But there is much, much more to the Boeing story. Calhoun is the type of manager we often see from our perch on Wall Street. Much of my research has been focused on company management. After all, the managers will determine the future course of any company and often determine whether their stock is a “buy” or a “sell.” Calhoun falls into the general category of “bean counter.” In college, he was an accounting major. Corporations hire this sort of manager when their numbers don’t add up when the company is less profitable than the Board of Directors would like. Production companies often hire engineers when their production falters or attorneys when they fall into legal trouble. In hindsight, it’s apparent why the Boeing board reached out to Calhoun. First, he was a known quantity, having been a Director for 11 years. More importantly, Boeing was in trouble. From 2018 until 2020, Boeing’s revenue fell by 43%. The company was bleeding, and Calhoun was just the sort of person, thought the Board, to right the ship. In a word, that means Calhoun was brought in to cut expenses. He was a hatchet man, pure and simple. In his first year as CEO, over 40,000 pink slips were handed out to Boeing employees, most of whom worked in the Commercial Airplane Division. Now, corporate hatchet men are never, ever the favorite. They aren’t invited to an after-work drink with the guys, and they don’t join the company bowling league. The average worker resents these executives deeply, both because they’ve often laid off a close friend and because the workers themselves feel threatened that they might be next to get a pink slip. Consequently, hatched men are usually well paid, with ample benefits for when they leave, because that follows. After a point, most hatchet-man do leave. So, for that reason alone, it was no real surprise that Calhoun was asked to leave. But we’re getting ahead of the story because, in addition to returning Boeing to profitability by cutting expenses, Calhoun also dramatically changed the direction of Boeing’s future — the most dramatic move in this century-old firm. For 94 years, Boeing has called the state of Washington home. It is a major employer in the state and has built significant infrastructure there, including the world’s largest building (by volume) in Renton, Washington. Boeing is comfortable in Washington, which is not always a corporate-friendly place, and Washington is comfortable with Boeing. That all changed in 2001 when Boeing decided to move to Chicago, Illinois. Why Chicago? Because that was the home of their largest customer, United Airlines. Being just down the road from United would give Boeing a critical advantage. Planning and service could be up close and personal. The two management teams could quickly meet and work out a proposal that Boeing might make. The strategy worked brilliantly. United remained one of the top US Air Carriers (if not always number one), and Boeing continued to be their primary plane maker. It was a corporate marriage made in heaven, or at least the “Friendly Skies,” until the “Hatched Man,” Dave Calhoun, came along. He decided to change all that. And it wasn’t that he wanted to abandon United; it was just that a more attractive “suitor” had come along. Calhoun decided to move the Boeing Corporate Headquarters to Arlington, Virginia. It might seem like a strange choice until you look at the numbers and remember that Calhoun is a numbers guy. Boeing has two major divisions: “Commercial Airplanes” and “Defense, Space, and Security.” The two other divisions, “Boeing Capital” and “Boeing Service,” are just offshoots of the central business sectors. Even though Boeing Airplanes has the premier position in domestic airplane production, its business was becoming increasingly volatile. The Airplane Division caused nearly all of Boeing’s revenue drop in the two years up to 2020. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, people stopped flying, and Airlines stopped buying planes. However, for Boeing, expenses did not stop. They had those vast plants that needed to be maintained, and what’s more, they had over 45 thousand workers. It was a capital-intensive business, something Calhoun saw in an instant. On the other hand, Boeing Defense and Space was a relatively light business model, having only one-third the number of employees that Airplane has. By 2021, Defense and Space had produced more profits for Boeing than the Airplane Division. What’s more, the Federal Government is the perfect customer. They consistently pay on time, and their budget for new Boeing products never declines. Just like that, Calhoun decided to use the same strategy that had worked well these past 21 years: move next to your best customer. And so Calhoun made the decision: Washington, here we come! For Boeing, Dave Calhoun played a good management role. He went from the perfect hatchet man cutting expenses to the strategic marketing man by locating next to their chief customer. For Boeing, the numbers all added up. But for America, how do those numbers add up? Unfortunately, here, the ledger isn’t so optimistic. The workers who lost their jobs lived in turmoil. Many, perhaps most, have yet to return to their old jobs. It placed tremendous stress on the families involved, who lost both income and benefits. In many respects, the working class, blue-collar people have suffered the most from Boeing’s corporate transitions. Boeing’s future portends a less comfortable experience for America’s Airline Travelers. At the same time, it’s undoubtedly true that the headline-making Boeing accidents are just that — accidents and no one’s fault. However, it should also be appreciated that Boeing, our number one commercial airplane maker, has changed its focus. Defense and Space will become its number one priority, a change that will likely result in a longer R&D cycle for commercial aircraft. But most importantly, Boeing’s new number one customer will likely call the shots. When Washington calls, all other phones will be dropped. Washington, the new “Mr. Big,” will demand attention. In the past, we only achieved this kind of Government-Industry association during Wartime. We’re now reaching the point where it’s an everyday occurrence — the fulfillment of President Eisenhower’s Military-Industrial Complex. It’s a future in which Boeing’s military side continues to grow and grow, leaving the civilian side behind. Follow me here on ThinkSpot for more stories from the ValueSide.
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In Praise of Pop Psychology
UserJ7o1B79iV2
 March 23 2024 at 02:21 pm
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The quality of any advice anybody has to offer has to be judged against the quality of life they actually lead. Douglas Adams I was amused last week to see that a conversation between two of the world’s most popular psychologists, Jordan Peterson and Dr. Phil, was in my list of recommended podcasts. I don’t know that official numbers as to who has a bigger audience. I would assume that with his decades on TV that it would be Dr. Phil. Although, if it’s overall attention and we count his many detractors, Peterson may have the edge. Either way, that’s unimportant, they have both been very successful at bringing psychology to the masses. Unfortunately, popularity can erode credibility. A case in point: It is not uncommon for me to dismiss a book that is wildly popular – my reflex is to assume that it is dumbed-down. While it might be a good rule of thumb, a thumb is a very crude measuring stick. We must always remember that in the middle ages an “ynche” was the breadth of a man’s thumb at the base of the nail. If I rely on better instruments when working with wood, when it comes to building a base of knowledge, this heuristic might be helpful, but be inadequate. Decades ago I would occasionally be home from university and saunter through the living room as my mother watched Oprah. Oftentimes I liked her and her guest, but I would not admit it to myself, even when it was evident that Oprah is engaging, smart, and really good at what she does. The same is true of the guest appearances of Dr. Phil. on her show. I judged the book on its cover. This was daytime TV, pop psychology, and on Oprah to boot – definitely not my demographic (Mom yes, not me). I was in university, my classes talked of the id, the ego, the superego, and personality theories. I would tell myself that my lingering in the living room was just to be amused by the quackery (which is completely laughable given he has a PhD and a successful practice and I had what to boast? A High School diploma and a little league soccer trophy…). I soon could not deny that he was not just a good entertainer, he was entertaining because he was good. I think this became evident in one of the very first episodes. I watched as a guest went through a litany of problems and described a life in shambles. I couldn’t imagine where one would begin to offer advice to this hopeless soul. Dr. Phil looked them squarely in the eyes and asked: “Just how bad do things have to get until you decide to do something about it?” This stung. Perhaps I was expecting some sympathy for their plight. I was in my early twenties, in my mind people had problems because they didn’t have solutions. Hence my default position that his job was to provide advice and have pity. Instead he offered perspective instead of sympathy. It was tough love, but necessary. He reframed the situation for them. By doing so he helped me see that oftentimes people lack solutions because they can’t see that they are the problem. When I put the Rules for Living Journal together to celebrate the work of Jordan Peterson I often paired his words with the great psychologists of the last century – Jung, Maslow, May, Fromm, Adler, Frankl, to name a few – but I also included McGraw as both are straight shooters that remind people that when you point at someone or something there are three fingers pointing back at you. It therefore came as no surprise that the ten chapters in Dr. Phil’s latest book We’ve Got Issues seemed to dovetail nicely with Peterson’s twelve rules. They cover quite a lot of ground in the podcast as they delve into the themes in Dr. Phil’s book, jumping from individual psychology to social psychology. Two notable moments for me from each domain were: Social psychology Dr. Phil’s quip, “I’d rather have questions that I can’t answer than answers that I can’t question.” says it all. Personal psychology Their musings on the difficulties they’ve had getting some mentally ill patients to let go of irrational and unhelpful beliefs is particularly interesting. Jordan brings up the story of Exodus. He notes that escaping tyranny led to 40 years in the desert – things got worse before they got better. Most importantly, those were years of wandering. Dr. Phil astutely adds (based on his expertise in the judicial and the clinical realm) that what people really need most is an alternative belief that is plausible. How often do we resist change because of the uncertainty that will ensue? Our bad situation might be uncomfortable, but it may be tolerable because it is at least predictable. We cling to certainty. This also provides clues as to why Dr. Phil’s guest from decades ago could stay idle as their life got progressively worse. These are insights that we all could benefit from. I know of nobody (myself included) who could not ask if they are clinging to certainty or afraid of asking hard questions at some level. The paradox here is that both deplore how many embrace superficial identities that box us in and thus prevent growth and learning. How many don’t listen or read either of them because of their popularity (are you listening former me?)? Popular often translates into unsophisticated, but the two are not mutually exclusive and there are many other examples that prove that. More importantly, how many will pay no heed because it’s not their demographic (or psychographic to be modern) or because it threatens their identity? Both of these psychologists stress the need to be a builder and prod ye who criticizes to come to the table with viable alternatives and contribute rather than just tear things down. One thing I’ve learned so far is not to dismiss the lessons that anyone can teach me. This is especially true if the speaker has had more success (which can be defined in numerous ways – material, professional, spiritual, relational) across any dimension than I have. Popularity is neither a great measure of success nor the most virtuous aim to pursue, but both of these psychologists gained their popularity and their success through the dogged pursuit of knowledge and understanding – that seems to be a better rule of thumb when determining who to pay attention to: look at what they’ve built what it’s built upon. K. Wilkins is the author of: Stoic Virtues Journal: Your Guide to Becoming the Person You Aspire to Be Rules for Living Journal: Life Advice Based On the Words and Wisdom of Jordan B. Peterson
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Exilio
TheRalphRetort
 April 13 2024 at 08:53 pm
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Exilio By The Ralphamale - A Fictional Story I was approached by someone close to Thinkspot and asked to come write here a little bit. I had already considered opening a SubStack, and I still might do that in conjunction with this, but I liked the guy and said yes. Why not, then? I’m in Argentinia, host of Deathwatch, my daily live stream on the internet. It used to air at night, but I started carrying this site called Nozy during the day, and their main man aired in my old slot. So, I just changed the time from afternoon until 10 P.M. EST (fuck the other “correct” acronym..it’s always EST to me). I’ve been stuck there ever since. In a way, it’s helped. I used to have an ensemble of co-hosts for the nighttime run of the show, but they’re all scumbags now. In this sick trade, you have to be ready for a turn at any point in time. Private messages leaked, fake private messages leaked, various other incendiary imagery, sneak attacks from supposed friends, the theft of your child via the courts…it’s sort of a nasty business. The pussy has been pretty good, though. Believe it or not, the pussy was fire in pretty much every case. I only ever truly loved two of the women I ended up bedding throughout this fucking insane bullshit. I’ll leave that up for debate. Not because those bitches give a single fuck, but because it’s funnier that way. I moved down here, to the lovely city of Buenos Aires, with family in-tow. You know, I’m not perfect, but taking someone’s child, leaving while they are out of town, and cutting off any access, knowledge, or photographic evidence of that child is somewhat unsavory. Many people might even call it sadistic. If you hate me online, you would say it’s justice. Or, you might not even know about that salient fact until you read this story. It’s all about the mob and the “accepted lore” at the time. I can remember this woman, Samantha, telling me she didn’t know that she was a real woman, until I had fucked her brains out about 30 times. Sexual chemistry was always off the charts. If we met even now, and there was some drinks and maybe who knows what all else, she would fuck me again. I’ve had her doing every dirty thing you could imagine, and some you wouldn’t even want to. In a way, she was the perfect partner for that era of me because she would do whatever I told her to do. She was already a slut when I met her. We both cheated on our partners to kindle our initial romance. So, I was basically a dick as well. Damn, It was hot, though. I remember the first time we fucked, in a Red Roof Inn off some highway down in the South. She asked about a condom and we both said we were clean and fucked raw right there on the spot, for about six hours. I bought a special bottle of champagne and ordered food. We both lied to our significant others about where we were. The passion was insane. The problem was she was crazy and obviously I must be a crazy motherfucker to even dedicate this to print. She was slutty, yes, but I often wonder just how much of her mind I fucked up. Sam used to tell me that it turned her on to know I fucked other woman. So, I fucked other woman. It seemed like a great set-up, at the time. Looking back on it now, I see it as her self-harming and letting me do those things because she didn’t think she was worth a shit. Subsequently, she revealed some alleged molestation from a family member when she was younger, a cousin. She was also separately when she was sixteen. Looking back now, I see it so clearly. Sam just wanted to be hurt again and again because she thought she wasn’t good enough. I often consider how I pushed her to the wrong side of that instead of the healing side. I could have been the stabilizer and instead I was the chaos agent. Looking back now, I see that all the debauchery wasn’t really worth it. Don’t get me wrong, it was a lot of fun. Fucking a pornstar with your girlfriend, cumming all over said pornstar, and then going to do an interview with the pornstar after you had just been inside her pussy…I mean it was pure rock star shit to me. Still, It put more stress on an already stressful relationship. Deep down, I think we just both wanted to be normal and love each other, but the constant push for more hedonism and debauchery was a constant theme, at least in our early days. The sad fact she never seemed to understand was, I always thought she was good enough. She was often great, actually. I guess some of this may be down to my own communication skills. I grew up romanticizing film and television. I am more of a “big gesture” type of guy. I fuck up or an am asshole for a period, but this Big Trip is supposed to show you that I really love you. In fact, that is how I show love. It doesn’t land, though. You have to be daily about it. Samantha once told me, “The best times with you are better than the best times with anyone else I’ve ever known…but the worst are the worst.” So, it’s not like I’m some innocent motherfucker. We both did drugs, mostly weed (except for her LSD trip revelation of familial molestation), until she eventually quit. We were going to have a son and she decided to get serious about all this health bullshit. I wanted to. Before and after she left me here in solitary exile, I had long stretches of sobriety. The one before we finally broke it off was the hardest. All I wanted was to hear anything back from her. I could see her checking her messages. “Just send me a picture of our child,” I thought. Tell me anything. One word from her could have stopped me from not caring again. When I don’t care, I’m a somewhat reckless and dangerous person. All I wanted was one word. I was sober, I was ready for resolution, good or bad. However, it was refused. Rest is a bit of a blur. Took a bunch of pills. Don’t remember much. Had a run in on acid in some small Mexican town. You just pay a fine here, it’s not too bad. Fucked some pussy. Good pussy, but it’s sort of empty. I’ve kind of come to the point where I think, “What’s the point of even having a bitch?” You can just go buy pussy or at least flirt with it for free. Real woman are seen to me, as I approach the age of 40, as a goddamn fucking headache. Also, if you spend any real time with these whores, as I did with Sam, they always come up in your mind, even if just for a second. Of course, they think about you, too, but it’s not the same. They laugh about how they stole your child, while you think about that time in London where the sunlight was shining just right on their hair when you snapped the photograph. Google Photos had the courtesy to remind you the other day. Then, you think why couldn’t a brick have fallen off and done its work on the bitch then and there. Women seem inherently more evil than men. It’s hard for me to one-hundred percent hate a former domestic partner. It seems a lot easier for them. The female mind seems to take particular joy in trying to humble their ex. If the ex refuses to be humbled, it only motivates them more. Plus, unless you lock these bitches out of everything (you should), they use every single piece of vulnerable information that you’ve ever given them, along with some fake shit on top, to ruin your life. Anyway, long story and that’s a bit of a teaser. I wrote it to tell you I ended up in Argentina making my own way by accident. There was supposed to be a team of motherfuckers making this work. The LSD down here is strong, but that’s not the answer. The answer is, “Trust No Bitch.” If you do have to trust one (you will), minimize all damage possible and leave as little on the record as possible. They’re by far the dirtier species. I’m now sober in one of the biggest party capitals in the world. The fucking Zionists are going to throw us into another war on behalf of Jewish interests. The US election doesn’t even matter. I’ve got about four civil cases in the US courts over silly shit. Kid stolen from me with no access or updates. Who even gives a shit anymore? Let’s just go out fighting. You know what I do have, though? This shitty fucking internet. I have 2024, which promises to be one of the most consequential years of my lifetime. That’s not a bullshit line, this time. It really will be. I’ve got Deathwatch back up off the deathbed and it’s rolling along nicely. I said to someone the other day, who was simping over some bitch who used to suck my dick: “Women are like Toyotas. They come out with a new model every year.” They’re not hard to find. They almost always aren’t special (but always think they are). Some, I assume, are good people, but stressing over some slut is the dumbest thing you can do in life. Which is why I don’t do it…much. You smashed the pussy. Nutted all inside it. Their biggest prize, they gave to you over and over again, with great enthusiasm. I let some bitch in an El Paso strip club suck my dick. I didn’t give you anything, other than some money spent on you, that you weren’t even worth. Whatever, I’m in Argentina.
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National Security
Numapepi
 April 04 2024 at 02:35 pm
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National Security Posted on April 4, 2024 by john Dear Friends, It seems to me, the greatest threat to American national security, is the government itself. Let’s consider it. What if the government miscalculates in their scheme to get Putin, and Russia launches a nuclear strike against the US? Will that have protected US national security? Obviously not. The world would end, America would cease to exist, and the government itself would have destroyed our nation. Then there are the masses of illegal immigrants flooding into our country. The government itself is abetting this attack on national security. Obviously, helping Iran and Islamists, who openly call for the destruction of America and is building nuclear weapons to that end, is counter productive to national security. To protect national security then, we need to disband the government. Every usurpation the government does is justified in the press as needed for national security. Yet the same people trodding over our Constitutional Rights, to protect us, are putting us in more danger than ever before. Even as the threat of nuclear war is higher now than in 1962. NATO has an army fighting against Russia in Ukraine, 30 years after the fall of the Berlin wall, and the end to the Cold War. All the while claiming Russia is the aggressor. There’s no reason to be at odds with Russia except the elite want it. They have decided Putin must go, and if the world is endangered with total destruction, so be it. That however, isn’t really conducive of national security now, is it? If the nation is wiped out in a nuclear inferno, wouldn’t that make the government the anti-securer of the nation? We have to be censored now, in direct violation of our Constitution because, national security. One wonders though, how is my speech dangerous to the continued existence of our nation, but the government allowing unlimited numbers of unvetted aliens into the country, isn’t? That doesn’t make sense. Millions of people, most of whom are probably nice people looking to improve their lives, but lets face it, they can’t all be good decent people. Like, perhaps, the criminals Venezuela took from their prisons and sent here, potential CCP sappers, and/or Islamic terrorists. 1% of 8 million people is 8,000 potential soldiers. Imagine what 12 battalions of terrorists could do in the homeland? Just the mass shootings, so far this year, amount to a far greater threat to national security than my speech ever could. The government is very worried you might make our nation unsafe by living too high on the hog. Even as they burn millions of barrels of fuel on armored conflict, fly private jets to global warming conferences and spend our nation to oblivion. The US pays a trillion dollars a year interest on the debt… and the elite are borrowing and spending more! There’s no limit to their spend thrift. A bankrupt nation is not a safe nation. I challenge you to argue otherwise. Then they hamstring our economy with carbon credits? All that does is enrich the rich, create a barrier to wealth for the people, and empower government to harm the nation’s interests. Yet the elite are concerned your pickup truck burns too much gas, your home is too comfortable, and you eat way too much beef. Which is more dangerous? If government is indeed as worried about national security as they claim, so much so they crush our Constitutional Rights under their jack boot, in a zealous march toward total safety… then why mortally damage our nation? Nothing is more risky to national security, the continued existence of our nation, than nuclear annihilation. The country descending into chaos, is far more destructive to national security, than our pointing it out. The same government that runs multi trillion dollar deficits, chastises us about our standard of living! The reality is, our nation’s continued existence is threatened more by our own government of globalist traitors, than it ever could be by American citizens thought, speech or other Constitutional rights. It’s time to disband the deep state in the name of national security. Sincerely, John Pepin
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An End to Chamber Pots Presented as Urns: 20th...
DavidGetzin
 April 05 2024 at 03:00 am
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I'm doing Honor to the astringent legacy of Karl Kraus (and architect Adolf Loos) with this one. We are familiar with financial or technological booms and busts, but there are also social booms and busts, a big high and then crash, then desperate for a next wave. You can call them fashion, fads, disco, you know. With the internet having brought social media monetization and the selling of demographic marketing info - these trends, fads and disco have been ever more tightly-stapled to money. And the granularity ground more finely, the barrier to entry is low and because anyone CAN do it, those who want to follow "mimetic" fill in the blank will want to think (and say) "but EVERYONE'S doing it!" "Well if everyone jumped off a cliff, would you buy NFTs too?" Part of the "everyone is…" gets to be a feverish conviction that nothing online is serious - and that everyone is "always" BSing. Or at least they believe that one is advantaged by assuming others will be lying. That is one of the key thresholds of taking the USA into the third world - right there. But that's its own article. You see, all the social media "influence" all this "mimetic desire" this is something between sleazy sales, three card monty, propaganda, peer pressure and a manipulative, drug dealing "boyfriend." (These days, people say "gaslighting.") It sort-of-works until reality comes crashing in, the margin-call clicks on, the so-called business runs out of grants/investment to vampireize, really makes no money and descends into finger pointing and acrimony, the woman starts yelling and screaming in greater percentages of the day and night, not as docile or "coached" as she once was, the honey pot thirst traps STOP catching flies when a generation of young men have honor and standards again. It's really not worth it. But then, the internet and social media presented such a VAST array of fresh rubes and ever-changing ways to apply "Game Theory" to exploitation, (especially to people you would never meet and who had no way to punish/humiliate your anonymity) - it started with Nigerian Princes, and continues on in OnlyFans. Now, ladies and gentlemen, I tell you, this gold-plated toilet the grifters are busy licking, isn't bottomless. Myself coming out of Academia and Architecture - I have an unfair advantage of being in areas where artful lying has been business SOP for many decades. And so these areas are ahead of the curve in decrepitude. There is also, an immunity built up in me, made fairly bulletproof by having worked for (literally) conquistador-legacy sociopaths in Peru. My also coming out of Silicon Valley and theatrical performance means that I've seen "another side" of business and life, a better one, a side that "most Americans" born between 1930 and 1980 think is still the default, namely the Anglo Saxon West, aka the 1st world. A land of transparency and Work Ethic, what a Peruvian colleague of mine once said (sickly referencing the East German infra red machine-gun glacis of the Berlin wall) "you can't always live inside the German Safety Zone." And by the way, snide as he was, after his own 10 days of visiting Michigan (yes, just reg-lar Michigan) he and his partner were GLOWING to me about what a paradise on earth it was. (No Trespassing signs were a particular head trip for them, they the were accustomed to electric barbed wire in front of middle-class houses.) Why yes, it IS possible to run a civilization where people are NOT constantly scheming behind backs and following the Screwtape 48 Laws of Power and tearing each other down constantly. But demean me as he might try, my Peruvian colleague underestimated the stubbornness of German (a subset of Anglo/Saxon, and I would include Ashkenazic, which simply MEANS "German") culture. Someone was quoting Patrick Bet-David today on a podcast (who despite his excellent interview skills and provocative thought has ALWAS dripped used-car-sale level grifter-ethos to me) they quoted him about how he thinks paranoia is an ESSENTIAL part of leadership. Well, perhaps, but this IS a third world attitude. And paranoia is an attitude of weak and shrinking leadership. Nixon was paranoid in a way Eisenhower was not. Do we get ANY arguments that Nixon was the greater man, the better leader? Eisenhower ran D-Day and WON. Yet Nixon was the more paranoid. Patrick Bet-David has the wrong idea and he'd never get attention for it to begin with if the Anglo Saxons around here had not become so bloodless and sniveling. Someone like Bet-David decades ago would have been emulating the success of First World values instead of carrying in third-world values and hawking them to wannabe grifters aping his attitude to scramble at power, (Mostly just so they can get a woman, a car and a house. It's gotten that bad.) It's not Bet David's fault - he was BORN that way - and raised so too. It is OUR fault in the USA for not being better examples to him, and for not brushing him back when he sells this tripe for us to swallow and call it ice cream. You see, back to that business of artful lying: 1) academia and architecture vs the (pre social media) contrasted with 2) tech industry and Theatre. Category 1, you have a saturation of hidden agendas, chamber pots are urns and urns are chamber pots, merit and talent are secondary to kinship in the formation of a dominance hierarchy, and a "game" is always afoot. Category 2, For software development - and hardware, the things won't WORK when people scheme, hide and lie. (Unless you act like Amazon.com or Twitter 1.0, but you see my point.) As much as some people like to SAY actors are liars, no, they are PERFORMERS for an audience where there is a script and everyone knows it. Theatre on stage is crippled by a lack of honesty. It happens, but the toxic nature is amplified, as with theatre, the mind and body and emotions ARE the instrument and truth MUST be delivered and diplomatically. Unlike film, where a director will lie to someone to get a reaction and then shoot it, - you can't get away with that on stage - because such manipulations only work ONCE. And that is in a nutshell the problem with all this "strategy" in personal relationships and also in online generally. With grifts - one wears NUMB to the affect. Woke PC terminology is always shifting because like a card sharp, they need to rotate the deck and change the game to keep getting away with the con. What does all this mean to social media? I have said before, I live in the future, I live in LA County where I rarely drive. I walk to groceries past trees and nice things. I go to a cigar shop that's next to a soda fountain. I walk to work and only drive for client-visits and fun. In terms of how I react and act online, I also live in the future and will tell you why. The world is sick of con-games. Clients and customers VALUE honesty and transparency. Will someone who is honest like this scare the SHIT out of grifters and liars and draw their fire? Absolutely, especially if talent is there too. (This is a chief reason why universities became stvpid.) What do you think cancel culture is? Why do you think it exists? But this is the dying song of a rotten swan. It is already ending, thankfully. People (especially Zoomers) are more immune to these manipulations and Jedi mind tricks. So, word to the wise: give it up. Whenever we catch ourselves making a front, playing some game. Stop. To quote Glengarry Glenross: Jack Lemon: "Awwww, NO what're we going to tell the COPS?" Al Pacino: "The TRUTH! It's always the easiest thing to remember." So, in the coming years, (or even months) the social drugs will start to wear thin and there will be a BIG come down - there will be grifter "overdoses" and flame-outs. (we see it already, I suspect Candice Owens is in shock-jock relapse or recovery of some kind.) - But because of the pervasiveness of this grift, of the "fake it till you make it" attitude the the Xers and Boomers never thought the millennials would take SO much to heart, this system of lies and hiding is breaking. And the lies of the 20th century, the attitudes and skills that made La Camorra and the CIA powerhouses - these intimidation and gaslight factors FAIL in the internet age, or at least are blunted. I know from experience, that honesty, sincerity and transparency (even on the X Platform! (follow me @histofarch for yet more frequent blunt absurdity)) led to profitable businesses, and strong, healthy relations. And besides, just being frank and honest is much more relaxing than all this paranoia of falseness and constant strategy. Let's grow up, shall we? So, gird your loins. I'm going to enjoy this.
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The Revival of Wisdom
ClintonNabess
 March 24 2024 at 12:13 am
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If you take a few steps back and look at the bigger picture you may see that there are many similarities and correlations between religions, cultures and even scientific disciplines. Is it possible that many of the religions and cultural teachings of the world originated from a single source? According to the Kybalion all nations have borrowed their knowledge and teachings from ancient Egypt, including India, Persia, Chaldea, Medea, China, Japan, Assyria, Greece and Rome. The book claims that much of the Esoteric knowledge and spiritual Wisdom of the world stems from Hermeticism, and rightfully so. Anyone who studies the concepts and principles of The Hermetic philosophy will find that they tend to resonate with many religious, cultural and even scientific teachings. It could even be said that the religious, cultural and scientific teachings of the world are now culminating and leading people to Truths about reality that the Hermetic philosophy has taught since the very beginning. For example, there are some striking similarities between various Christian concepts, ancient cultural teachings and scientific “discoveries” that may be reconciled and better understood through the Hermetic philosophy. Is it possible that many of today’s religions were born out of the Hermetic philosophy and evolved (or devolved depending on your perspective) into what they are today? How many ancient cultures have been influenced by the Hermetic Philosophy and to what extent? Is it possible that today’s science is simply rediscovering knowledge and information that was known to ancient civilizations from all over the world? In modern societies religion and science are usually viewed as separate, and even opposing fields, however, many of the ancient civilizations of the past were deeply connected to the Sacred and practiced what may be referred to as the Sacred sciences. They had access to higher levels of knowledge as we can see in the Hermetic principles expounded through The Kybalion which may be interpreted as scientific, religious or even cultural. Today’s science has been reduced to physical, observable, recordable and repeatable phenomena, which, although relevant and important, is very superficial and only scratches the surface of reality. Although modern science appears to have advanced in many ways, it is also simultaneously and paradoxically descending into materialist reductionism, which is largely due to the influence of atheism, unconscious biases and man’s ever-increasing disconnection from, fear of, and hostility toward the Sacred. Man’s technology may be rapidly advancing, but he himself has fallen into psychological and spiritual stagnation and regression, devolving into a mechanical, inhuman automaton. Many people today automatically associate the words ‘atheist’ or ‘atheism’ with those who “believe in science”, but if you look at the etymology of the word, the adjective “atheos” simply means “Godless”. The word atheism, at its root, is just a fancy word for Godlessness, and although it is often associated with science and touted as if it were a school of thought for the more ‘intelligent’, ‘sensible’, and ‘advanced’ strata of the population, the Truth is that atheism is a disease. However, this is not an argument in favor of religion over science, most major religions and their churches are just as lost and corrupt as science and its institutions. Cultural teachings on the other hand, have preserved much of their ancient Wisdom, which stands the test of time and remains unchanging and eternal throughout the ages. Ancient cultural teachings are particularly powerful because they are based on knowledge of, a relationship to, and interaction with the Sacred, whereas religions are often based on faith, belief and texts. Many of the ancient cultures and their ways of life have been labeled as ‘paganism’, an inadequate, dismissive and slanderous term whose definition displays a lack of understanding towards ancient knowledge and a misinterpretation of their practices. For example, showing reverence towards the earth, sun, moon, stars, cosmos, nature, etc., was not always necessarily worship of that specific object or aspect, but rather these things were used as conduits or portals to honor and pay homage to the sacred, animating force that dwells within and flows through all of creation. It is only by honoring the Sacred that human beings can live in a state of harmony and balance with the earth and nature, which is one of the distinguishing characteristics of a truly advanced civilization. One of the reasons that ancient civilizations built pyramids, temples, observatories and megalithic structures that were astronomically aligned was to emulate the beauty and order of the Cosmos, as the saying goes “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”. This was not ‘paganism’ or ‘idolatry’, it was a higher form of piety that involved Wisdom, technologies and aspirations far beyond the comprehension of “civilized” men.
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"On Christ Pantocrator"
William E. Godwin
 March 21 2024 at 10:26 pm
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Christ as Pantocrator, circa 6th Century AD by unknown artist St. Catherine's Monastery at Mount Sinai in Egypt houses one of the greatest collections of Christian iconographic works. Among the most prized of these relics is a depiction of Christ as Pantocrator, or “ruler of all, all-powerful, all-mighty, etc.” Originally considered to have been a thirteenth-century work, following a process of research and cleaning conducted by Tasos Margaritof of the Byzantine Museum in Athens in 1962, it was concluded that the icon likely dates to around the middle of the sixth century. An unknown artist produced this staple of Christian iconography in an encaustic manner, wherein hot wax is employed as a medium, as opposed to others such as egg yolk, for example. Art historians have come to associate the image with the art of Constantinople, particularly that which would have been displayed along and above the entrance to the Byzantine Sacred Palace known as the Bronze Gate. As an Orthodox icon, the piece is laden with timeless Christian symbolism, certain colors are intentionally chosen to represent particular themes and ideas. Gold, a hue reserved for Christ alone, is used in the circular shape found behind the figure’s head, the book held by the subject, and in the inner lining of the purple garment he dons; as the “King of Heaven,” purple conveys Christ’s royalty. The aforementioned circle is acting as a halo; the book is likely meant to represent the Gospel or the Book of Life. Of course, the most striking feature of this work is its asymmetry, another tool of symbolism. Either side of the figure’s face is noticeably quite different from the other, an intentional choice on the part of the artist. The right side of the subject’s face displays a soft compassion; conversely, the left could be said to convey an anger or disdain. One understanding of this decision is arrived at in considering a common motif within ecclesiastical art: the dual nature of Christ, i.e., as both man and God. Another compelling assessment of this facial split is that it juxtaposes characteristics of the subject’s divinity: mercy and judgement. Indeed, as one examines the image further, this theme becomes increasingly clear. The figure’s right hand, of the “compassionate” side is performing a gesture indicative of the act of blessing. In the subject’s left hand, the Book of Life or the Gospel is held shut as Christ’s expression on the corresponding side communicates disapproval. The term “communicates” is of great importance in appreciating the gravity of the message these symbols relate to the viewer. Christ’s gaze in this piece is penetrating, questioning, forgiving, and critical simultaneously; while it may be said that all art in some sense “stares back,” as an icon this image does so in a profound and multifaceted way. One could conceive of a choice being offered in Christ’s countenance. It is as though he were silently entreating the viewer to remember that which is said of he who sits at the right of the Father, so as not to be left behind, as it were. Personally, this image engenders an awareness of self that is frightening, consoling, humbling, and ennobling in an instant, a sense one could imagine having been evoked in its first spectators several centuries ago. As such, the work is exceptionally well executed from an iconographic and artistic perspective for its efficacy in eliciting a profound aesthetic, and arguably spiritual, experience.Bibliography Apostolos-Cappadona, Diana. Visual Arts as Ways of Being Religious. In Frank Brown (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Religion and the Arts. Oxford UP, 2014 Christ Pantocrator, Palladion of the Monastery of Sinai. (n.d.). Mused. https://stcatherines.mused.org/en/stories/50/christ-pantocrator-palladion-of-the-monastery-of-sinai Elkins, James. The Object Stares Back: On the Nature of Seeing. In Brent Plate (Ed.), Religion, Art, and Visual Culture: A Cross-Cultural Reader. Palgrave, 2002.
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Modern Courts
Numapepi
 March 29 2024 at 04:23 pm
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Modern Courts Posted on March 29, 2024 by john Dear Friends, It seems to me, what most modern courts and judges are too stupid to realize, is the court itself is on trial every bit as much as the defendant, especially when a defendant has negative political favor. Not only is the justice system’s honor on public display, before the public and world today… but they themselves will be judged as long as records are kept. In their hubris today’s judges think their illegal rulings are forward thinking. They, after all, have the benefit of two centuries of human advancement to draw upon. So why follow the dictates of a bunch of ancient ignoramuses? Forgetting, the very authority they wield is based on the writings, thoughts and constitution those ancient ignoramuses created. Undermining their own authority… and recording it. Can anything be more stupid? History is filled with examples of US courts taking the nation away from Constitutional principles. In some pie in the sky progressive power grab. Take Wickard v Filburn. FDR and the progressive intellectuals had it with capitalism. They understood they could run it better, being so smart, wise and dog gone it, just better people than the rest of us. The darn Constitution stood in the way. So the Supreme court wiped Constitutional limits away, ruling anything that effects interstate commerce can be regulated by the federal government, no matter how tangential, inconsequential or private. Opening the way for the birth of permanent Washington, also called the bureaucracy, administrative state, and deep state. History reviles those “justices.” As it does all judges that violate their oaths. The judgment in Korematsu was as anti American as it’s possible to be. The Supreme court went along with a Presidential edict, by FDR, that imprisoned American citizens, without warrant, charge or trial. Based purely on how they looked. That ruling has allowed the government to break every constitutional right we have, by calling it national security. Even to the point of murdering people… in the name of justice. The “justice” Thrasymachus opined about in Plato’s Republic. Where the strong take from the weak and call it just. Because the courts, controlled by the strong… say it is. Ruling based on political favor instead of law, precedent or Constitution. Then exploiting their knowledge of law, precedent and Constitution, to justify their ruling. Exactly backwards, and publicly, like in Korematsu. The Buck v Bell eugenics case spits in the face of our Constitution. In that illustration of why Thrasymachus was right, the Supreme Court ruled a woman must undergo forced sterilization, to protect the gene pool. She was weak, the strong decided to take her ability to have children from her… and used law, precedent and power to call it justice. These laws are still on the books today. In the US the government can, at the President’s arbitrary determination, lock up whole swaths of US citizens without warrant, charge or trial. The bureaucracy can deem you a threat to the gene pool, arrest you, and force you to undergo a medical procedure designed to harm you. Government can order you to starve on your own farm. All called “just” by the supreme court. Justice as Thrasymachus described it. As our courts gut Constitutional protections, in their ignorance and outright stupidity, they gut their own credibility. Which is why people today see courts as biased, corrupt and running contrary to their purpose, and history will record them as villains. The role of the Courts is to protect our Constitution, our Rights and limit the power of the elite. Our Thrasymachus courts have expanded the elite’s power, because judges identify with elites… not the hoi polloi. The grindstone never respects the grist. So why should the judges allow mere citizens to have rights? The grazers might get uppity. Forgetting, history has a long memory, and justice doesn’t change depending on the political favor of the defendant. Everything they rule is recorded. Proving, judges today are too stupid to know, “Always in cash and never in writing.” Sincerely, John Pepin
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NEW NUMBER ONE! NEW LIVE TV PERFORMANCE! NEW...
Akira The Don
 March 29 2024 at 10:09 pm
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NEW NUMBER ONE! NEW LIVE TV PERFORMANCE! NEW MIXTAPE! MORE! THIS WEEK IN MEANINGWAVE - 03/29/2024 ANOTHER EPIC WEEK IN THE MEANINGWAVE UNIVERSE! New mixtape! New TV performance! MEDITATIONS II campaign stretch goals smashed! That up there is a photo my wife took last night when she came down the studio to bring me an ethernet cable during the very epic and instantly blocked MONTAGE MUSIC show. I moved the studio around this week, to reduce friction, and that’s the view from the mixing desk… Time makes less and less sense these days, but it was indeed at the start of the week that I moved the studio around, not last year, as it feels. And it was last week that I went to Texas to appear on Normal World, not last year as it feels, but it was LAST NIGHT that they dropped a live performance of a song from the next album. You can see that as part of the show here, or on its own here. We also had a new mixtape this week, STOICWAVE 3, which many have said is their new favorite, and a mighty fine thing it is too. Check that out here. Meanwhile on the MEDITATIONS II campaign, we smashed Stretch Goal 1, unveiling a brand new song from the forthcoming STRANGEST SECRET album, which you can hear here on the AIM Stream. We then smashed our second goal, meaning there will be a special edition of everyone’s favorite wheel-based DJ event, THE WHEEL OF VIBES on the channel this weekend! In chart news! New MEANINGWAVE TOP 50 show dropped! Much epic new activity! New and re-entries from Richard Feynman, Jordan Peterson, Fred Rogers, Terrence McKenna and more... And the mighty Jocko Willink has finally been dethroned from the top spot... by... MARCUS AURELIUS! Watch the whole rundown here! We’ll back tonight on stream with another epic show! Back the MEDITATIONS II campaign today - next stretch goals include DELUXE CD PACKAGING and the unveiling of a BRAND NEW GOGGINS SONG! GET AFTER IT! Love to you and your family!! AKIRA THE DON, Don Studios, Mexico, March 2024
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Vindicating Peterson's stance on Covid with...
Eamon Cao
 March 30 2024 at 09:30 am
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After seeing this clip of Jordan Peterson and “@Destiny” debating the justifiability of Covid mandates, I thought it would be fruitful to post two key facts that should outright define the discussion. The first surrounds the lethality of Covid and the second concerns the frequency of heart damage among the vaccinated. Covid is not significantly lethal to the majority of age deciles. By April of 2021, 6.9 million cases of Covid had been confirmed in the United Kingdom and case outcomes were collated into this NHS report. Table 1, presented on page 3 shows that of the ~2.4 million confirmed cases in the 20-39 age group (which is a rather large age range), 32 individuals died. Through complicated arithmetic manipulation, we find that 2,384,233 / 32 works out to a mortality rate of 1 in 74,507. For comparison, if we consult the National Safety Council (NSC) for annual American car accident fatalities by age group, we find that in the 25-45 age bracket, the death rate stands at 33.5 per 200,000 or 1 in 5,970. That translates to a 12.5-times greater likelihood of dying in a car accident than dying from Covid. It must also be noted that the NHS report was published in April of 2021 from data collection beginning in February 2020. The first wave of Covid struck the United Kingdom in 2020 before vaccine rollout and by April 2021, only around 13% of the U.K. population had been double-jabbed (which was weighted towards the at-risk elderly). So it should be specified that you were 12.5 times more likely to die from a car accident than Covid if you were unvaccinated (within the relevant age range). By now, one should be at least somewhat perplexed by the wrathful enthusiasm that Governments took towards mandatory vaccination, but let’s also check-in on the safety profile of the vaccine: Oh oh — 1 in 35 recipients of Moderna’s booster show signs of heart damage (page 1). Heightened blood-troponin levels indicated myocardial damage in 40 of the 777 participants in the test group. This study, which was widely publicised thanks to the dauntless work of Dr. John Campbell and others, has been avidly ripped apart in the consolidated annals of the legacy press. Why? Because "signs of myocardial damage" is not strictly synonymous with clinical myocarditis. Just a good indicator. We can nevertheless say that since the myocardium does not regenerate, damage done in the wake of mRNA vaccination means that unbeknownst to the vaccine recipient at the time of jabbing, some of their myocardial health and potentially some longevity has been irretrievably lost. Shouldn’t this have been picked up earlier than March 2023 (the report’s publication date)? Yes. And Jordan Peterson was rigorously correct in say that the vaccines had in no way been tested with the rigour that would have been appropriate. So the key stats that I wanted to share in vindication of Peterson’s publicly stated stance were those: ~20 to ~40 year olds were 12.5x more likely to die in car accidents than from Covid without vaccination and 1 in 35 recipients of Moderna’s booster show signs of myocardial damage. Oh, and @Destiny's counterargument that, "Covid causes myocarditis too", was a red herring since vaccination does not lower the risk of developing myocarditis from infection.
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Taylor Swift's Catch-22 Through "Midnight Rain"
Dre Carlan
 April 07 2024 at 04:36 pm
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Oftentimes in life, there are moments which present us with two separate but equally difficult choices. And what could be more excruciatingly difficult than having to choose between love and success? Aside from the random single played through store speakers, or inside friends’ cars, I’ve never actively sought out or searched for a Taylor Swift song. I have almost zero knowledge of her career’s history or what came out when and who it was aimed at or why. But I recently stumbled upon a pretty good song. A really good song, actually. “Midnight Rain.” Not only is it easy to listen to, but it has just enough buildup that it almost feels like it wants to erupt into a last-chorus finale, even though it never does. No matter, it’s catchy as hell and just what one would expect from someone with as bright a star as hers. My point isn’t to sell you on an already established icon, but to delve into the dilemma that is at the crux of the song’s chorus: “He was sunshine, I was midnight rain / He wanted it comfortable, I wanted that pain / He wanted a bride, I was making my own name / Chasing that fame / He stayed the same, All of me changed like midnight” My question is: what would you do personally? Would you go after the emotionally stable, comfortable, and even predictable hometown life? Or would you chase your lifelong dreams (assuming that they differed enough to where you couldn't have both)? Of course, there are pros and cons to both paths, but does it really depend on the journey or is it all about the outcome? Toward life’s end, I imagine we all look back and think about what we did, how we would’ve done it differently, and where the perfect balance between regret and acceptance is. Some are perfectly happy to have become grandmothers and grandfathers with a knowledge of future generations to come, while others want to know that they’re able to enjoy their last season on this earth in comfort and that they accomplished what had always been placed within their hearts. Neither of these is the right or wrong answer. I suppose it all just depends on your personal goals. I honestly don’t know the backstory to this song other than what I can make out from its lyrics alone. But if it’s to be taken at face value, then it’s a pretty heartbreaking story with a substantial silver lining. She may’ve lost the love, but she won the world. In all honesty, this article comes from someone who used to put a lot of pressure on romantic love and where it all leads to, only to have that opinion shift into a reality where nothing matters more than success and living out deeply-held dreams. I suppose that’s what comes with wasting too much of one’s life. “Your time here is short,” my inner-self consistently whispers out to me. So I side with Taylor on this one. Some may look down at this and ask how it’s possible to go from writing about Young Thug to Taylor Swift in the blink of an eye, but it’s fairly simple when there’s actually something to write about. This being an easy example of putting some type of philosophical spin on pop culture, as well as a fun one. Finally, to be sure, some are so incredibly blessed that they’re able to have both paths merge in the middle at some point. But to most, I ask…, love or success? Because no matter what the answer ultimately is, Swift reassures us that: “I guess sometimes we all get just what we wanted.” Choose wisely, grasshopper.
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The Elite Are Captured
Numapepi
 April 09 2024 at 04:14 pm
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The Elite Are Captured Posted on April 9, 2024 by john Dear Friends, It seems to me, the government can violate our Constitution at will, because the whole government, constitutional and administrative state, has been captured by an ideology. In Federalist papers #10, Madison warned, tyranny would result if two branches were ever controlled by a single faction. If you think about it, it makes sense. The only limit in our “limited” form of government is the infighting between factions. That animosity keeps limits on how far any faction can go. If all the levers of government are controlled by a single faction, the government serves that faction, without restraint. As we see today in the US, Canada and indeed in Europe. The fly in the ointment is our unwillingness to go along. Elections are becoming a real source of concern for the progressive post modernist faction. Today we have all three branches and permanent Washington, captured by an pathological, anti American and Satanic ideology. Post modernist progressivism is nothing more than a mind virus. Our public education system is a primary vector. It’s also passed in the universities and colleges. Only those with the strongest immune systems against such things are able to fight it off. Those who are captured the most are sent to further indoctrination centers, like the World Economic Forum, (WEF) young leaders programs, and voila… the ruling class is of one mind. A diseased mind. As Klaus the varmint Schwab said, they have penetrated most governments… from the rear. The US government is no different. That pain in the derriere, bureaucracy gives you, now you know where it comes from. Post modernist progressivism is an ideology that’s melded communism and fascism into a new malevolence, its adherents are certain will save the world… from us teaming masses. First, control us, then, eliminate the surplus. Playing off people’s sense of justice, to create injustice, manipulating our sympathy, to create a pitiless culture, and it seeks our hearts, to make us heartless. The progressive wallows in unearned self righteousness. Egoistic self righteousness justifies their usurpations, crimes and fraud… since they’re doing it for our own good. Which brings us to hubris and arrogance. For only the arrogant filled with hubris would presume to choose for others. Especially when the egoist’s own life is a total mess. Being liars, corruptocrats and perverts. No wonder censorship is a must. The post modernist progressive faction posted their plans on the Georgia guide stones, for a few decades, before destroying it. Now the plan is in action the memorial’s continued existence would be inconvenient. Soon talk of them will be the stuff of conspiracy theories. Some of the highlights of that former granite obelisk are, reducing the human population by killing 6.5 billion people, global government, and a permanent world totalitarian state… from which there’s no escape. True believers are all in. They see the US, Europe and Russia as the primary impediments, and so, have to go. That’s why migration and world war is so important to them. They achieve two of their primary goals. Reduce the population and obliterates the US, EU and Russia. Opening the way to global utopia. Like in Star Trek. How do we know all three branches and the administrative state are captured by the post modernist progressive faction? By their actions… the DOJ’s selective prosecutions, the court system’s use of standing to avoid their duty, and the passivity of the legislative branch, in the face of aggression by the bureaucracy. We all know the dementia patient isn’t in charge. He’s a rubber stamp to permanent Washington. Why else do they protect the man so? That’s why “our” governments act so brazenly. The elite agree, we need to be tyrannized, then culled. The democratic element is the problem. In the US, mail in has the elite covered, but in the EU, elections are becoming a real issue. Which is why EU elites will soon pervert their elections. So globalists can continue doing whatever the Hell they want. Sincerely, John Pepin
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How To Out-Smart Wall Street
David Reavill
 April 10 2024 at 08:36 pm
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Wall Street Trading Desk ** I’m writing this near the Market Close on Wednesday, April 10. Currently, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down over 400 Points, all in reaction to the report this morning that the Consumer Price Index, our most widely watched measure of inflation, advanced by an annual rate of 3.5%, up from 3.2% the month earlier. Wall Street is shocked. Stocks and bonds were hit heavily, commodities were up, anticipating rising inflation, and cryptos were higher. What made today so very interesting was an apparent large bet gone wrong. It all began yesterday when a thoroughly lackluster session had an hour left. Traders felt they might even leave early, but nothing was happening. Suddenly, a series of buy orders hit the tape. In that last 60 minutes of trading, the Dow rose nearly 200 points, and the NAS was up 120. Someone appeared to know something. And that something was undoubtedly the direction of inflation. The monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI) report was due on Thursday. Someone was placing a large wager that CPI Inflation would be tame. This likely means the Federal Reserve could begin lowering interest rates, which would be a big positive for stocks. So, anyone who purchased shares yesterday would benefit today if, and it turned out to be a big IF, inflation was lower. To the whole world, it looked like someone had insider information. They knew what the rest of us did not know: the direction of inflation. Interestingly, Zero Hedge published an article later this morning confirming our worst suspicions. The title was: “Scandal Rocks Biden’s Labor Dept For Lying About Sharing Non-Public Inflation Data With Secret Group Of Wall Street “Super Users” https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/scandal-rocks-bidens-labor-dept-lying-about-sharing-non-public-inflation-data-secret-group There was one problem: whoever made this colossal bet, a bet large enough to drive the Dow up nearly 200 points, needed to be correct. That’s right. Billions of dollars were put into play in anticipation of lower inflation, and surprise, surprise, inflation rose. It wasn’t enough to cause someone to go bankrupt or out of business. But it is just the sort of thing that some fund managers would do early in the quarter to gain an advantage over all the competition. Had the manager made the right bet, they would lead in whatever sector they invest in. That kind of performance drives billions of dollars in new assets under management (AUM) into any fund that bets right. Even though they have all the tools, from analysts to AI, modern portfolio managers have incredible ways to gain economic insight. However, they’re only sometimes on the right side of the trade. And if Zero Hedge is correct, some may even use unethical means to gain an advantage. But as we’ve been telling them for months, if you want to know where inflation’s going, there is a straightforward measure: the gas pump. Follow the price of gasoline, and you’ll see the direction of inflation. CPI Inflation (blue, left scale) Price of Regular Gasoline (red, right scale) Follow me here on ThinkSpot for more stories from the ValueSide.
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thinkspot Newsletter 4/11
thinkspot
 April 11 2024 at 04:01 pm
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thinkspot Writers’ Contest ($1,000 grand prize) By thinkspotRestoring the presumption of innocence conference By Bettina ArndtCelebrating Discrimination By rightawayJoe Biden And The Back-Door War By ValueSideVishwakarma: The Divine Craftsman By Sadhika PantThe Elite Are Captured By NumapepiJoin us! thinkspot space Thursday at 8pm ET: Join us at this link! https://twitter.com/i/spaces/1nAJEaWMOvoJL By thinkspot
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Special Resurrection Sunday Thought: 👉 The...
Cam
 March 31 2024 at 11:18 am
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“And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” (Genesis 1:3 NIV) “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” (John 8:12 NIV) “Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.” (John 20:1 NIV) As we look closer at crucifixion weekend, today being the day we celebrate Resurrection Sunday, there is another less thought of parallel to creation week: On the first day of creation, light entered the world. On the first day of the following week, at Jesus’ resurrection, the “Light of the World” stepped out of the tomb, and back into the world (at least for a few weeks prior to His ascension). Resurrection morning is a fascinating morning to look closely at. On this morning, two groups of witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection are present. While we often think of the women who went to the tomb (wanting to anoint Jesus’ corpse and wondering aloud about how they could get the stone moved), the other group to witness the resurrection was a team of highly trained soldiers. Following Jesus’ resurrection, the soldiers race into town with the testimony about what they saw. The first people to know of a resurrected Jesus that morning were the religious leaders. However, bias and prejudice stopped these leaders from finally accepting Jesus’ claims. They chose to take the “most valid” category of testimony in that time period and twist it into a lie -- one that is equally unbelievable. However, the disciples take the testimony of the “least valid” (but still valid) category of testimony and choose to investigate the claims. When Jesus stepped out of the tomb, Light reentered the world. The religious leaders received the highest form of testimony and chose to reject the truth. However, Jesus’ followers took the testimony they were given, and built God's Church on this truth. ✝️ While I could share more, let’s remember the testimony God gave us and celebrate the Light that reentered our world many Sunday’s ago. ✅ -- “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—the people living in darknesshave seen a great light;on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” (Matthew 4:15-16 NIV) “Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter [stone], and on this rock [the declaration about Jesus] I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.’” (Matthew 16:16-18 NIV)
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Makeup = Toxic
Healthy & Awake Podcast
 April 11 2024 at 04:56 pm
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As we navigate the complex world of health and beauty, a pressing concern demands our attention—the impact of certain products on women's health. I approach this topic not as an authority dictating choices but as a Board Certified Health Coach deeply invested in public health and wellness. My intention is to foster a conversation, especially around the substances found in many cosmetics and personal care items marketed towards women, such as heavy metals, parabens, and others which carry known health risks. This discussion is rooted in care, particularly for those who might not be aware of these risks. It’s about informing, not instructing. The ethos of my personal care philosophy is simplicity and safety—I use only what I trust to be as harmless as the food I consume. This stems from a belief in the inherent beauty everyone possesses, untouched and unaltered by the products society claims are necessary for enhancement. Our culture often pushes the narrative that beauty requires augmentation, from costly cosmetics to surgical procedures, suggesting a conditional self-worth tied to physical appearance. This, I believe, does more harm than good, undermining individual confidence and well-being. However, the core of this dialogue is empowerment and choice. It’s about encouraging informed decisions that align with personal health values and beauty standards. So, to the women in my audience, I invite you to share: Have you found healthy alternatives to mainstream/harmful beauty products? How do you cultivate a sense of beauty and confidence that defies societal pressures? Your experiences and insights are invaluable as we collectively navigate these challenges, seeking health, authenticity, and self-acceptance in our journey. @carnivoreaurelius Healthy & Awake Podcast: Apple: https://bit.ly/44pEBV6 Spotify: https://bit.ly/47KVbBM Rumble: https://bit.ly/3HPzG6V YouTube: https://bit.ly/3SKeZjn Substack: https://bit.ly/3TI9Jgw X: https://bit.ly/43sR7oa Mike Vera isn't your average Board Certified Health Coach (NBC-HWC). Armed with an MS in Exercise and Health Promotion and extensive experience as a seasoned personal trainer, he's the strategic mind behind Red Pill Health & Wellness and the engaging voice of the Healthy & Awake Podcast. With a strong foundation in cognitive psychology, Mike is adept at unveiling the hidden influences that impact our health.
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Don't Believe The Propaganda
Healthy & Awake Podcast
 April 11 2024 at 04:58 pm
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The tactic of repeating a falsehood until it's widely accepted as truth is a powerful form of propaganda, a concept highlighted by notable figures across history, including political leaders and even within totalitarian regimes. This method capitalizes on the psychological principle known as the availability heuristic, where the ease of recalling certain pieces of information leads individuals to overestimate their importance or truthfulness. As such, repeated exposure to the same falsehood can make it seem more credible over time, a technique leveraged in various domains including politics, marketing, and elsewhere. The role of media in amplifying these narratives is particularly concerning, as it lends an additional layer of credibility to the lies, making it more difficult for individuals to discern truth from falsehood. To combat the influence of such propaganda, it's essential to remain vigilant, question widely held beliefs, especially those propagated through repetition without clear evidence, and engage in continuous learning to broaden perspectives. Encouraging a culture of critical thinking, where authority is questioned and information is critically analyzed, represents a fundamental countermeasure to the pervasive spread of these malicious efforts. As for preventing oneself from being fooled by such tactics, it involves cultivating a habit of skepticism towards too-easily-accepted truths, diversifying sources of information to avoid echo chambers, and engaging in discussions that challenge personal beliefs. By adopting these practices, individuals can foster a more informed and discerning approach to navigating the complex landscape of information and "misinformation" in the modern world. How do you spot and defend yourself from propaganda? What's an example of repetitious propaganda that you see circulating today? @snowden Healthy & Awake Podcast: Apple: https://bit.ly/44pEBV6 Spotify: https://bit.ly/47KVbBM Rumble: https://bit.ly/3HPzG6V YouTube: https://bit.ly/3SKeZjn Substack: https://bit.ly/3TI9Jgw X: https://bit.ly/43sR7oa Mike Vera isn't your average Board Certified Health Coach (NBC-HWC). Armed with an MS in Exercise and Health Promotion and extensive experience as a seasoned personal trainer, he's the strategic mind behind Red Pill Health & Wellness and the engaging voice of the Healthy & Awake Podcast. With a strong foundation in cognitive psychology, Mike is adept at unveiling the hidden influences that impact our health.
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Thoughts for the End of the Century,...
DanielSanderson
 April 11 2024 at 10:05 pm
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If the world's hopes and dreams could be borne upon the delicate wings of a butterfly, we would find ourselves precariously balanced between imminent peril and captivated by an ideal form of beauty. Steeped in the thought patterns of moments, seconds, minutes, months and years before the present, the gift lies in potential. I am referring to prosperity; a butterfly's wings threaten prosperity and survival. From woke to a wake, the 21st century will draw to a close with cries of "Look How Beautiful She Was,"—leaving a landscape rich with paradoxes, ripe with the weight of its historical contradictions. At the nexus of this complexity lies the fragile metaphor of the butterfly—a creature delicate and ephemeral, yet potent in the scientific and philosophical imagery it inspires. This dichotomy provides a fertile ground for exploring the philosophical depth of despair contrasted with the mathematical precision of chaos theory, as we juxtapose Søren Kierkegaard's existential musings in The Sickness unto Death with James Gleick's explorations in Chaos: Making a New Science. The Butterfly Effect Versus Despair Kierkegaard posits that the root of despair is not being true to one's own self, a concept he describes as the "sickness unto death." This despair is a profound existential condition reflecting a misalignment with one's essence, leading to a spiritual death more grievous than physical demise. In contrast, Gleick's chaos theory, highlighted by the butterfly effect, suggests that small causes can have large effects, illustrating a universe where predictability is limited and sensitive to initial conditions. In combining these thoughts, we observe a universe where tiny fluctuations (the butterfly's wings in Brazil potentially causing a tornado in Texas) represent both hope and chaos. In Kierkegaard's view, despair might be likened to the internal fluttering—the butterflies in our stomach—that signals the fear of not achieving our true potential. The butterfly effect, conversely, proposes that these minute internal flutters could lead to significant external consequences, weaving a fabric of reality where despair and hope are intricately connected. Predictions from Venus: The Pareto Principle in Cosmic Play The four predictions presented herein are said to come from Venus, the Roman goddess of love and beauty. Venus is a robust symbol with implications for harmony, prosperity, and the aesthetic ideal. Through a throw of the astraguli, bone dice akin to those used in ancient divination, Venus offers us a glimpse into the future shaped by the Pareto principle, where 20% of causes generate 80% of consequences.40% Chance of Survival for Your Genetic Progeny: This stark prediction underscores the precariousness of our environmental and social ecosystems, heavily strained by overuse and mismanagement. As a guardian of life and connectivity, Venus reflects on the fundamental need for balance and beauty in our existential endeavours.10% Chance of Artificially Assisted Intelligence: As symbolized by innovative yet disruptive technologies like Elon Musk's Neuralink, Venus's prediction suggests a nuanced integration of beauty with technology, enhancing the human capacity to experience and create beauty through augmented intelligence.40% Chance of the USA Collapsing: Reflecting the turbulent nature of empire and civilization, this prediction highlights the fragility of national structures under economic, environmental, and political pressures—mirroring the chaotic breakdowns that can follow seemingly minor events, in true butterfly effect fashion.10% Chance of Colonizing Space: The final vision speaks to mankind's age-old aspiration to reach beyond the known, driven by a love for the ultimate beauty—the cosmos. This echoes our innate desire to explore and expand, rooted in the aesthetic and romantic pursuit of knowledge and existence. Through Venus's lens, each prediction intertwines with the principles of love and beauty, as if to say that our future, whether teetering on the brink of despair or poised for revolutionary breakthroughs, is profoundly influenced by our collective and individual quests for beauty and meaning. The fragile wings of a butterfly, both in the metaphorical sense and in the literal scientific implications, carry the weight of our world's future, oscillating between chaos and order, despair and hope, destruction and creation. Image Credits: Midjourney prompt; 'Thoughts for the End of the Century, Butterflies and All --ar 16:9' - Image #1 Mira qué bonita era ("Look How Lovely She Was") by Julio Romero de Torres, 1895. Midjourney prompt; 'Thoughts for the End of the Century, Butterflies and All --ar 16:9' - Image #2
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Offending Christians
Numapepi
 March 31 2024 at 03:31 pm
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Offending Christians Posted on March 31, 2024 by john Dear Friends, It seems to me, the same people who want to make it illegal to offend anyone, go out of their way to offend Christians. The hypocrisy is astonishing. On the most holy day to Christians, the Biden administration went all in, offending Christians. By making the day about perverts. Elevating lust, pride and gluttony, above the Risen Lord. No way that could go wrong. Even as the FBI hunts down people for posting wrongthink on Facebook. By claiming it’s offensive! The elite that are intentionally offending Christians, while arresting Christians for professing our faith, since it offends other religions, clearly aren’t fair actors but zealots on a mission. That mission, judged purely buy their actions… is to eliminate Christianity. In doing so, they’re building a Beast System. Resurrection day is the most holy day to Christians. It’s the day Christ rose from the dead, proving his covenant with us and God, to carry our sins for us, having paid for them with his own flesh. All of our sins were paid for by that man at that time. So we won’t have to. All he asks of us is that we accept the gift. Instead of suffering the consequences in the forever, for our sins, they will be forgiven, and we can experience whatever is on the other side without burden. A guy offers a free gift of unimaginable value yet is loathed by the elite. The most sinful among us. I suspect Resurrection day has been under assault for centuries… else how did Resurrection day get called Easter? Named after a Pagan fertility deity. Especially, since our elite have embraced death… primarily abortion. There’s a spate of church bombings going on in Las Vegas NE. Someone is tossing explosive devices into churches and religious events. Several people have been injured. The local police, I’m sure, are doing the bang up job we’ve come to expect of them… like the Vegas mass shooting. Count on the FBI setting on their hands, they’re too busy chasing down grandmothers posting wrongthink on social media. The arson attacks against pro life adoption, and obgyn centers, has been very worrying for the elite. It might make folks think, people who dismember babies for fun and profit… are violent. The lack of effective police investigation in all these crimes stand in stark contrast, to the national manhunt the FBI did, in hunting down the evil man who put bacon on the door of a Mosque. An offensive Facebook post will get you visited by the FBI. Migrants must not be offended! That’s the role of citizens. Like Catholics who were put under FBI monitoring. Because, you know, those Knights of Columbus, raising money, donating it to charity and by doing so, improving the lot of Mankind… are clearly anti revolutionary. Like parents who go to school board meetings and speak up. The FBI’s new role is to hunt down citizens that get politically out of line, not arresting criminals. The American Geheime Staatz Police, (GESTAPO) . The local police can do that work. When they free up from assisting the FBI in early morning raids of pastors. Because we all know, anyone preaching to a group of people must speak the party line, else they’re a threat to the party. The thing about hypocrisy is, most hypocrites are smart enough to keep it hidden, as best they can. Only a retard would expose their hypocrisy publicly. Like Biden and his half witted administration has. In post constitutional Amerika, Biden’s Amerika, Christians and citizens aren’t safe in our homes, at school or church. Non Christians however, are safe anywhere in the US, (or Europe for that matter) because Christians protect them… their homes and places of worship. Even as ours are intentionally invaded. Abetted by government. One solution to hypocrisy, is to point it out, and mercilessly ridicule the hypocrites. Meanwhile, our elites are building the Beast System, one hypocrisy at a time. In a thousand years, wading in the lake of fire, the elite still won’t understand how it happened. Sincerely, John Pepin
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The earnest, the privileged and the dark horse
Hasith_Ashan
 March 24 2024 at 11:05 pm
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In the tapestry of society, threads of earnest effort, inherent privilege, and unrecognized potential weave together to shape individual destinies and societal dynamics. These three categories—The Earnest, The Privileged, and The Dark Horse—offer lenses through which we can explore the complexities of achievement, opportunity, and destiny. The Earnest: At the heart of every success story lies the narrative of earnest effort. These are the individuals who have overcome adversity through sheer determination, perseverance, and hard work. From rags to riches, they have defied the odds and carved out their own paths to success. Their stories inspire us with tales of resilience, grit, and triumph in the face of adversity. Whether it's the immigrant family who built a thriving business from scratch or the student who defied expectations to become the first in their family to attend college, The Earnest remind us of the power of perseverance and the resilience of the human spirit. The Privileged: In contrast to The Earnest, The Privileged are those who have benefited from inherent advantages—whether it be wealth, social connections, or access to resources. Born into privilege, they navigate a world that often tilts in their favor, offering opportunities and advantages that others may never know. While privilege comes in many forms, its effects are undeniable, shaping opportunities and outcomes in profound ways. From legacy admissions to elite universities to family connections that open doors to lucrative careers, The Privileged remind us of the complexities of privilege and its implications for social justice and equity. The Dark Horse: Yet amidst the narratives of earnest effort and inherited advantage, there exists a third category—the dark horse. These are the individuals whose significance or potential may not be immediately apparent but who possess unique qualities or inheritances that could lead to unforeseen destinies. Often overlooked or underestimated, they possess a hidden spark of potential waiting to be ignited. Whether it's the quiet student who surprises everyone with their talent or the struggling artist who defies expectations to achieve greatness, The Dark Horse reminds us of the power of unrecognized potential and the importance of nurturing it in all its forms. As we navigate the intersections of earnestness, privilege, and unrecognized potential, we encounter a tapestry of complexity and nuance. Individuals may embody multiple identities and circumstances, navigating the complexities of their own experiences. The lines between categories blur as we recognize the interplay of earnest effort, inherited advantage, and unrecognized potential in shaping individual destinies and societal dynamics. Yet amidst the complexity, there are challenges and opportunities to be found. We must confront the disparities of privilege and strive for greater equity and justice in our societies. We must recognize and celebrate the achievements of The Earnest while also acknowledging the responsibilities of The Privileged. And we must nurture and support The Dark Horse, recognizing the potential for greatness that lies within each individual, regardless of their background or circumstances. As we reflect on the stories and insights hidden within each thread of society's tapestry, let us commit ourselves to creating a more inclusive and equitable world. Let us celebrate the achievements of The Earnest, challenge the privileges of The Privileged, and nurture the potential of The Dark Horse. Together, we can weave a tapestry of opportunity and destiny that embraces the richness and diversity of the human experience.
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The true purpose of Public Schools
CanadianLibertarian
 April 13 2024 at 01:24 pm
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To truly awaken the masses, in particular our youth, they must first be made aware that our public education system is based on a model of obedience and conformity. The Prussian model (modern day Germany) on which it is based is designed to teach them what to think, not how to think. It was first introduced in Ontario (Upper Canada back then) in the 1840's by Egerton Ryerson, son of Colonel Joseph Ryerson, who was not only an authoritarian type military man, but first and foremost, a united Empire Loyalist. It is not surprising, therefore, that Ryerson believed that monarchy gave dignity to government and acted as a check on the radical excesses of the people. The system had proven to be wildly successful at maintaining a large degree of control over societies, regimenting their behaviors, and in establishing more productive labor resources. It was generally accepted that it takes multiple successive generations of implementation for the established goals of the curriculum to be fully realized. Now, with the Woke DEI agenda and Identity Politics being added to the curriculum, there is even more reason for parents to be concerned and seek out alternative forms of education for their children. This style of education has been widely used throughout Western cultures, and has been upgraded and modified to suit the social, economical and labor needs of the given time, but the core principles of Authority, conformity and obedience are still the foundation of the system. It is the very reason why most full grown adults who have spent almost the entirety of their childhood in these institutions clamor for a ruling class, parental surrogates, or protectors, while rejecting self-ownership, independence, and genuine liberty. Completely enveloping the mind of each individual in such an adolescent state assures the continuation of power in the hands of those who seek to dominate us and plunder our resources, while giving the illusion that bowing to the demands and edicts of central planners is in fact an act of benevolence and being a good citizen. The instinct to defend oneself from external threats subsides entirely if a person can be convinced that their forced sacrifices and subjugation defines what it means to be contributors to the great good. When, in fact, it is voluntary acts of kindness, generosity, charity, and contributions that truly defines a person's merit, in terms of social/economic values. I have a lot of hope for the future if enough people can break free from their slave-psychology, and help usher in what I have termed 'Enlightenment Era 2.0 in the 21st Century. It is not only plausible, but very much possible, considering we live in the age of information. Full on human ownership was once part of the fabric of past societies, and accepted as normal until the ethical implications were thoroughly brought to light and vigorously fought against by an ever growing population of enlightened individuals. Today, nobody advocates for human ownership as it was practiced in the past. Which shows that cultures can change, and adopt entirely new ways of living socially with each other, and dealing with each other economically. For anyone that is skeptical about the validity of these claims or just want to learn more about the history of our education system, you can always take it upon yourself to Google, use any other search engine, or visit your local Library in order to seek out other literature or information regarding the history of our education system. A truly informed individual is much better suited to making rational decisions and forming opinions.Bennett (CL)
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'Not tonight, i've got a headache'?
edXanthony
 April 01 2024 at 04:57 am
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When a woman tells her husband, 'I'm not in the mood', she is implying that her husband is a sex object whose sexuality is only relevant when she is 'in the mood' and wants to use it, and vice versa. Husbands and wives in love and marriage will never speak about 'mood' and will naturally want to please each other and are pleased to do so because they are together.All this talk about the 'woman's right to say no' detracts one from the spirit of a marriage where both the man and woman give themselves to each other' and serves to redefine marriage as an exploitative relationship that requires 'rights' for protection against each other.You can get rid of anything good by turning it into a ‘rights issue’, like, ‘You have the right to not help your girlfriend or wife up when she falls’, or, ‘you have the right to tell your girlfriend you are not in the mood to accept her present’, or, ‘i have the right to not appreciate anything you do for me’. Nonsense. But that is the ploy the corporation uses time and time again.This ploy and plot by the corporation is an effort to drive a wedge between men and women and husbands and wives so as to compromise marriage, love, and heterosexuality. Why? Because marriage becomes the greatest institution of democracy when the woman takes on her nature-endowed role as nurturer and carer, and through which, the man and sons learn virtue, and because of which they can recognise any evil outside because of its great contrast to the virtue of women. That is what drives Man to contend with it. That is the Golden thread that ties humanity to the heavens. It is no wonder that that the Indians, since ancient times, say, 'Matha, Pitha, Guru, Devam', meaning, Mother, Father, Teacher, God, with Mother being the first. Like i stated in an article i wrote elsewhere, God gave humanity the Mother so that the Mother may open humanity's eyes to God and thus achieve their humanity. edX
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Utah's Step-by-Step Strategy in support of...
NanaRepublic
 April 13 2024 at 08:27 pm
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From the tenthAmendmentcenter.com Original article by Mike Maharrey. Jumping into this topic in the middle of the article... "The problem is it’s almost impossible to pass sweeping legislation that addresses every aspect of anything, much less something as far-reaching and complex as sound money and monetary policy. Success against the largest government in history requires more than tough rhetoric or big talking in social media posts. It requires a sound strategy – as the founders recognized, a step-by-step approach that can be implemented over time. The Federal Reserve and the U.S. government have monopolized money and locked us into a fiat monetary system for more than 100 years. We won’t establish a sound money system in a day by passing a single bill. Here’s a crucial point to understand: there is no silver bullet. Anyone promising one is either lying to you or more likely hasn’t made an effort to address the issue beyond posting online about how anything less than their idea is a “waste of time.” The real waste of time is trying to do too much at once. After all the time and effort, you usually end up with nothing. However, an incremental, step-by-step approach is proven to be effective. It just takes more time and energy. This is exactly how Utah has evolved into a growing haven for sound money. " < skipping a bit about the methodical step-by-step process of creating the law around sound money in Utah, but it's important reading. In my state, the democrats do this incremental approach all the time... I call it "moving the ball down the field."Here's a bit more...> "The Utah Specie Legal Tender Act has also led to the creation of the Goldback, a local, voluntary medium of exchange. Goldbacks are “gold-weight” notes made from physical gold. The 1 is 1/1000 of an ounce of Troy weight gold; the 5 is 5/1000 or 1/200 of a Troy ounce, and so on. The company created a process that turns pure gold into a spendable physical form for small transactions. It describes the goldback as “the world’s first physical, interchangeable, gold money, that is designed to accommodate even small transactions.” UPMA General Counsel Larry Hilton noted that the Utah Goldback is legal tender in the State of Utah because of the Specie Legal Tender Act “This means that under Utah State law, the Goldback is a voluntary legal tender in Utah. The goal is for the Goldback to circulate within the State.” The Goldback has been enthusiastically embraced in Utah. The UPMA estimates that Goldback acceptance may be as high as 50 percent among small business owners. Because of this strong demand – both inside Utah and from other states, the company has been able to launch Goldback editions in Nevada, New Hampshire, Wyoming and South Dakota. With more likely soon. In 2022, Utah opened the door for the use of Goldbacks to grow even further by expressly repealing the sales tax on the sale of all “goldback” notes. @Valueside and @CanadianLibertarian, what are your thoughts on the implementation of sound money in Utah, and the potential to replicate this process in other states/countries? Which states/provinces would be good candidates in the future for this type of long term (10 year + ) effort?Do you think this process could this be replicated at a city, county level?Is it possible that at some point, if we got to a critical mass of communities with sound money, fiat money would lose a war of attrition? Interested in your thoughts, thinkers! Learn more here...
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A future without the State
CanadianLibertarian
 April 14 2024 at 01:44 pm
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Libertarians fully accept and embrace hierarchical social or economic contracts that are entered into voluntarily. As long as all participants are doing so voluntarily, and have the option to opt out if the other party fails to uphold their end of the contract, libertarians have no problem with anyone choosing to set up their own commune, socialist endeavors, or any other collective arrangement. What people like myself wish to make widely known by all people is the very real fact that there is no such thing as a legitimate central planning authority. No self respecting human being would knowingly support giving other human beings carte blanche authority over every aspect of their social or economic lives. Considering the rules and edicts, depending on which political gang is in power, are continually changing, there is no way to even make a decent case for the pretense of a Social Contract any more. A Contract by its very definition sets the rules for all participants to abide by. And all participants know the rules can not change without everyone agreeing to those changes. The future of individual liberty will entail a shift from politics and central planning governments to something akin to any other business model that gives everyone personal autonomy and accountability. Getting an education, going to the Doctor, and even what we use as a economic medium of exchange, storage of value, or economic measuring tool (currency) will be done with no gang of middlemen taking their cut or dictating the rules in their favor. The future has the potential to be very bright for those who seek true liberty. However, there will be a whole lot of growing pains and a lot of suffering before that can happen. Which is why it is wise to put your social and economic life in order sooner, rather than later, so you will be one of the ones fully prepared for the transition. CL
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Unjust Courts
Numapepi
 April 14 2024 at 02:51 pm
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Unjust Courts Posted on April 14, 2024 by john Dear Friends, It seems to me, as long as people are treated unjustly, and unfairly by the courts, how can any of us expect fair and just treatment? We can’t. A dog understands justice. Unfairly give two dogs out of three a treat, ignore the other, and there will be a reaction. Because justice is so hard wired into our psyche that even pets understand it. That’s why we have the cannon of law. To call the unjust just. It may take a lot of intelligent thinking, to rationalize injustice as justice, but we have some of the smartest lawyers who’ve ever lived. Backed by judges who live in an echo chamber atop an ivory tower. Law has been crafted into the acme of Thrasymachus’ version of “justice.” Where law is used by the strong to take from the weak and pretend it’s just. As US law and our courts are obviously doing. People are on their best behavior when in public, knowing this, how absurd is it for the courts to publicly shame themselves? The term “Railroaded” was invented in the 1800s because, at that time the railroads had so much political favor, they could act with impunity. They would take anything they wanted no matter how illegal…. and the courts would back them. Thus the term… “Railroaded” came into popular vernacular. The railroads were stripped of their power by public opinion. The public became so annoyed at the obvious political favor the courts were giving the railroads, they contacted their representative, cornered him in public and at rallies, demanding action on the railroads. The railroads had acted in public and so had angered the people into action. Courts rule based on political favor and expedience, then backtrack with law, to justify it. As they did with the railroads, Dredd Scott, Buck v Bell, Korematsu, Wickard v Filburn, etc… making them theater, masquerading as courts. Because, those decisions spit in the face of Constitutional rule in general, and our Constitution in particular. US courts aren’t the only ones subject to this. All courts across the planet rule based on political favor. Look at the recent ruling of the World Court, that Switzerland hadn’t done enough, to combat climate change! Even as Europe is burning down due to an invasion of people who despise Europeans, their customs and their little dogs too. That same court would never rule against unlimited immigration. No matter the negative effect on the people or immigrants. Examples abound of our courts publicly humiliating themselves. The absurd, clearly political charges against Trump, are only the latest in a long line of public humiliation of the justice system, at their own hands. Kyle Rittenhouse’s self defense was documented by a multitude of cameras. Yet, the courts tried to crucify the boy, to manipulate public opinion against our Constitutional Right of self protection. Barring that, make an example of him so others will simply lay down and die. Then there’s the example of Julian Assange. The British courts have humiliated themselves over and over. Even today doing mental gymnastics to extradite him against their own law. Can you imagine how lacking self awareness the Texas and Connecticut courts were, when they railroaded Alex Jones, for wrongspeak? Even an amoeba swimming in a pond in northern Alaska knows US courts are worthless. The public action of our courts has utterly obliterated their authority. All they have now is naked power, that flows from the end of a gun… as Mao put it. Those with political favor will fight to the death, to protect the system that protects them, while we hoi polloi don’t know how to wrest justice back. This isn’t a recent problem, as Plato’s Republic explained, with the Sophist Thrasymachus. Is Justice simply a tool for the strong to control the weak? Or is it a real thing? It’s real… because even a dog understands it. So what we have in our court systems today, are malevolent people railroading law, to their own ends. To the detriment of humanity… until we become sufficiently outraged to do something about it. Sincerely, John Pepin
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Apple, Amazon, And Google: Are They...
David Reavill
 April 01 2024 at 11:46 am
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The Story of the Most Critical Anti-Trust Action in a Generation. Tech Giants: Google/Alphabet, Amazon, Apple Computer, Infinity, Microsoft. Few organizations throughout history have exceeded the modern American mega-corporation when it comes to gathering money, power, and influence. The question becomes: are these companies so dominant that they can be considered a “monopoly?” The term “monopoly” is tricky. In the United States, we like to define it in the legal sense. Something is a “monopoly” if the law says it’s a “monopoly.” We rely on a 134-year-old law called the Sherman Antitrust Act. According to the Sherman Act, a monopoly is achieved when one company is so dominant that it can control the price and availability of a product or service. It doesn’t need 100% control, just enough to set price and availability. During the debate around the Sherman Antitrust Act, Senator George Hoar of Massachusetts put it this way: “[a person] who merely by superior skill and intelligence…got the whole business because nobody could do it as well as he could was not a monopolist…” In other words, if you’re very good at what you do, then “wa la” the American Courts will NOT consider you a monopolist. Essentially, you’re free and clear to do whatever you want. While that may have been an adequate definition in the industrial age, it is far less so in today’s information age. Today’s economy is littered with companies that are monopolies in everything but the strict legal sense, primarily because of the George Hoar loophole. For instance, America has only one company, Boeing, which makes commercial airplanes. There are just two fully integrated oil companies (able to drill, refine, and market): Chevron and Exxon Mobile. The one dominant e-commerce company is Amazon. The Apple Store, 5th Avenue, New York City In modern technology companies, we find the most egregious example of a monopoly. Google/Alphabet has the lion’s share of all search volumes; Apple has a dominant position in smartphone sales; Microsoft has the premier position in business software; and, of course, Amazon is the number one online retailer. Each of these companies has drawn the ire of the United States Justice Department. Three companies, Apple, Google/Alphabet, and Amazon, are currently facing major legal battles with Justice focused on Sherman Anti Trust violations. These cases will take years to adjudicate and involve literally hundreds of attorneys. Two of the cases, Amazon and Google/Alphabet, began with the Trump Administration and have been passed on to the Biden Administration — this means that at least two Attorney Generals have been involved in the government’s case. Although the intricacies involved are too complex to deal with, there are specific highlights we can see. Like almost all lawsuits, these begin with the question of fact: do these companies have such a dominant position in the market that they could be considered a monopoly? They do have the dominant position, as the DOJ will argue. But the counter becomes: Is this dominant position so tenuous that it could be lost at any time? It is not an easy answer. Should the judge rule that Apple, Google, or Amazon face sufficient competition that they could be toppled from their number one position, then the case against them would be thrown out. An Amazon Electric Delivery Truck. Based on this fact alone, most legal scholars feel the case against Apple is the weakest. Apple faces several substantial competitors, especially Android phones. The cases against Google and Amazon are more substantial if, for no other reason, they have maintained their dominance for a long time with few significant competitors. Influence The second part of these lawsuits is particularly relevant: Are the tech companies using undue influence? The question goes back 23 years to the U.S. Department of Justice Case against Microsoft. Microsoft has the dominant position in software, with Microsoft operating systems on most Personal Computers. Apple Computers, of course, use IOS. Microsoft was bundling their web browser, Internet Explorer, with their operating system. Internet Explorer came as a complete package when a customer purchased Microsoft’s MS-DOS. The DOJ argued that Microsoft used its dominant position in software to exclude other browser companies unfairly. Ironically, Google was/is the most crucial competitor in this field and is now the subject of a DOJ Antitrust Case. Bill Gates testifying in US (vs) Microsoft. The Microsoft Case raises the fundamental issue of influence. Did Microsoft use its dominant position in software to influence customers to use Internet Explorer unfairly? Herein lies the chief problem for today’s Tech Monopolists: Are they using unfair influence, not just in business-related issues but in fields far removed? Such is the scope and range of all of these companies that they can shape the public landscape. To create a favorable impression of whatever issue they wish to present. Their capability goes far beyond merely providing a product or service. These dominant tech companies can frame public opinion. In the case of Microsoft, it showed Internet Explorer as the quick-and-easy option. The Justice Department demonstrated that most consumers followed Microsoft’s direction and installed Internet Explorer as their web browser. Regrettably, there was no final decision in the courts. Although the U.S. District Court ruled that Microsoft violated Section 2 of the Sherman Act, this was partially overturned by the U.S. Appeals Court for the D.C. Circuit. Later, Microsoft and Justice reached an out-of-court settlement in which Microsoft altered some of its services. I believe that Internet Explorer’s default position was modified. The bottom line is that the issue of “Influence” still needs to be determined in the Courts. The Google Brain Trust: Eric Schmidt, Sergey Brin, Larry Page. Like many of you, I’d like to see the courts decide this principal issue: What is Google, Amazon, and Apple’s influence on not just what brands to purchase but also what news and information we see and, ultimately, what candidates we vote for? How does Big Tech influence the world we see? Of course, that desire is far beyond what we’ll probably see in these court cases. The courts will most likely produce a narrow decision based on contract law, far from the sweeping issue of general influence. Finally, Shane Greenstein, a professor at the Harvard Business School, makes an interesting point. Apple, Google, and Amazon are all placing their reputations on the line. Who knows what “business practices” will be revealed as the court proceedings unfold? American public opinion is notoriously fickle and could easily change if some unscrupulous corporate strategies are revealed. An adverse public reaction could have far more impact on these companies than a narrowly worded court decision. Follow me here on ThinkSpot for more stories from the ValueSide.
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Value, Utility and Perception
Numapepi
 Yesterday at 02:56 pm
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Value, Utility and Perception Posted on April 19, 2024 by john Dear Friends, Its seems to me, value is entirely a perception, and not reality. Sometimes we value the utile but most often we value the things we’re told are valuable. No independent thinking necessary. When we do think for ourselves, our value judgments are based on our perception, and not reality. I’ve heard it said that we don’t see things… we see utility. A rock is invisible, else it’s a hammer, knife or tripping hazard. We don’t perceive “rock” as much as the things we can do with it. The same goes for money. The utility we see in things gives value to those things. That value however, is a perception, not intrinsic to the thing perceived. This value as an idea and not reality carries into the ephemeral as well. We value relationships, beauty and the sublime… though they exist within our minds, and not the world. If beauty was a universal, then everyone everywhere, would find the same things beautiful. Empirically that’s not the case. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…” as they say. Since beauty is a central notion of value, we value the beautiful, and beauty itself is subject to personal differences, then clearly, the value attached to that beauty changes as well. Table salt is NaCl, all salt, on Earth as well as on Pluto. Table salt can be reduced to its components, reconstituted, and remains the same. Unlike beauty, which is subject to preference, can’t be deconstructed, and changes over time. The value we place on beauty then is person dependent. The ancient Chinese sage, Mo Ti it’s said, hated music. Yet others value music above all else. Proving value, like beauty, is a perception and not reality. I don’t know if it’s true, that we don’t see things, we only see the utility of them… it sounds true enough but I suspect no human quality can be reduced so. Nevertheless, it’s a starting point to examine value as it relates to utility. Different people see money differently. Some see it as the be all end all, we call them misers, others see money as a means to an end, we call them entrepreneurs, then there are those who couldn’t care less about money, we call them spendthrifts. In each case the value given to money differs depending on the goals of the individual. Showing that even money, the thing so many of us believe is a “store of value,” is nothing of the sort. It’s a perception, we value in accordance with our ideas, mindsets and goals. There’s no intrinsic value in a piece of printed paper. Except as tinder. It’s often difficult to differentiate perception from reality. Our perceptions are so tied up in our reality. Moreover, who has time and energy to burn doing so? Especially when our perceptions have so much effect on our lives. We chase money, beauty and status for the value we perceive in them. Else are told is in them. So we see value as a tangible thing. Gold is a store of value because its rare. Yet if gold became in glut, the value would go away fast. Tulip bulbs were a store of value in Denmark back in the day. Until it was discovered that the beautiful lines and streaks weren’t from genetics, but from a virus. Then the value of tulip bulbs dropped wiping out the national economy. Bitcoin’s value is perceptional as well. In every case, value is a perception… and perceptions change. Most are too lazy to think for themselves so they let others do their thinking. Allowing someone else to determine what’s valuable. Then die unhappy and unfulfilled, after spending their lives chasing the things they’ve been told are valuable, and achieving them. Because they chased the value of others and not what they themselves valued. Perhaps we should use value as a measure of that which we should seek, instead of blindly grasping after that which we’re told to seek. Because value isn’t a universal nor is it reality. Don’t let others choose what you think is valuable. Choose for yourself. Assign value to what you want, not what your told by the experts you should want. Since value is only a perception, use value to get a good life, instead of letting value use you, striving after a bad one. Sincerely, John Pepin
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RTE’s hopelessly unbalanced review of...
angelobottone
 April 20 2024 at 11:05 am
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At a time when the government is considering a further liberalisation of our already permissive abortion legislation, RTE Investigates this week aired a documentary on “the realities of Ireland’s current abortion services” which was far from being fair and impartial. In fact, we didn’t get to hear from a single pro-life advocate, and it did not tell us that some of the experts we did get to hear from are, in fact, long-time pro-choice advocates. All in all, a very bad day’s work. The documentary, which was aired on Monday night, included several ‘sting operations’, in an attempt to “expose” pro-life agencies that offer support to pregnant women. Three health professionals were introduced in neutral terms and were asked to comment on the advice those agencies were giving. One of them, Mark Murphy, portrayed in the documentary as merely a GP, actually served as the national spokesperson for Together for Yes, the organisation leading the campaign to repeal the 8th amendment during the 2018 referendum. We were not told this. Similarly, psychiatrist Veronica O’Keane featured in the documentary. She responded in shock to some of the advice being offered to pregnant women by the pro-life agencies, but she was a long-time critic of the 8th Amendment. Again, the innocent viewers at home were not informed of this, potentially leading them to perceive those doctors as impartial experts. Yet, the most egregious example involved Dr. Jonathan Lord, who was portrayed in the documentary solely as a “consultant gynaecologist.” In fact, Dr Lord is the Medical Director of MSI Reproductive Choices UK, one of the leading providers of abortion in the UK. This chain of abortion clinics has a history of failings that put women at risk, but we are not told about this either, which is interesting given that the programme was supposed to be partly an exposé of manipulatively emotional practices. In 2016, inspectors from the UK Care Quality Commission found numerous failings at MSI clinics, including staff “bulk signing” consent forms, limited clinical oversight, poorly trained staff, and at least one case in which a vulnerable woman was given a termination despite not understanding what was going on. A further inspection in 2017 found more failings. (You can read the official reports here: https://www.cqc.org.uk/provider/1-102643434/reports ) MSI were also accused of paying their staff performances bonuses for persuading women to have abortions. MSI Reproductive Choices UK used to be called "Marie Stopes UK" but in 2020 they removed the reference to Marie Stopes as she was a racist eugenicist who wanted the "hopelessly rotten and racial diseased" to be sterilised. Inviting a representative from the most fervently pro-abortion sector to offer insight on purported "rogue pro-life agencies" is akin to soliciting commentary on animal cruelty from the CEO of a slaughterhouse corporation. The programme also presented the stories of three women who went to England to have a termination. Their unborn children were diagnosed with some anomaly that would not qualify for abortion here in Ireland as they were expected to live more than 28 days after birth. We were not told what the anomalies were. What life expectancy did the children have? Was it weeks, months or years? Is RTE now effectively campaigning for abortion to take place in Ireland when a foetus is found to have an anomaly that might not result in death for years? Would that include Down Syndrome? We know from British figures that many of the Irish women who still travel to England for abortions (206 according to the last report), do so because their babies have conditions like Down Syndrome. Even though the documentary was about the operation of our abortion law, it signally failed to tell us how the number opting for abortion keeps on increasing, probably far past the point that the average person who voted Yes in 2018 expected. It looks like 10,000 abortions took place here last year. The undercover investigation of the counselling agencies didn’t even reveal very much. For example, one of the Gianna Care counsellors advised the RTE undercover reporter to read online about the possible bad emotional effects of abortion. But shouldn’t pro-choice agencies also do this? Two RTE journalists attended, on false pretenses, a spiritual retreat for women who regret their abortion. It would have been insightful to hear from those women. RTE failed to interview them, or to interview Bernadette Goulding, the organiser of those retreats, who herself regrets her past abortion and dedicates her life to supporting women who have undergone similar experiences. Furthermore, why would a documentary purportedly focused on “the realities of Ireland’s current abortion services” fail to even acknowledge, let alone interview, women who have undergone abortions after being incorrectly told that their baby had a fatal anomaly? The programme set out to review Ireland’s abortion law and services, but the lack of balance in it was so bad, it deserves a review of its own.
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Stop Taking Politics Personally
Gregg Hurwitz
 February 22 2024 at 12:44 am
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Before the bill to secure our border and reform immigration policies even arrived, Speaker Mike Johnson declared it, “Dead on arrival.” Trump likened it a gift to Democrats, declaiming with characteristic punchiness, “A bad border deal is far worse than no border deal.” The Republicans preferred to kill the deal entirely than pass a negotiated compromise and give the White House home team a win. Given that Republicans intend to run on border security, they benefit from keeping the issue raging like an infection through election season, the better to fundraise and drive turnout. In case this sounds familiar, the Democrats deployed the same playbook around abortion. The lame-duck Democratic Congress of early 2022 could have sought to codify a federal baseline of abortion rights, just as it enshrined the right to gay marriage. Instead they put forth a bill with zero compromises so every Republican would be on record opposing it, useful indeed for fundraising letters and next season’s mud-slinging. The result? More outrage and polarization. More nothing getting done. Zero movement toward settling issues and moving America forward into an increasingly complex future. You’d think we might have woken up by now. AI, a land war in Europe, a rapidly innovating economic landscape, quickening polarization spurred by teams of addiction experts wielding algorithmic deep-machine learning, Jews and Muslims warring in the cradle of civilization, the birthplace of original sin. When the world tears itself apart and hits another seeming bottom, there are only two directions to go. Upward together with renewed hopes for peace and prosperity given our abundance of collective resources. Or we turn this bottom into yet another ceiling of a fresh hell beneath. It's easy to direct our ire at Schumer or Trump, but the fault isn’t merely in the stars. It’s in ourselves and what we demand of and reward from our society. How much of our resources and attention are we devoting to leaders who do budge—who compromise, argue, negotiate, moderate, and bridge-build? And to positions, bills, laws, or policies that are actually achievable? Beneath the blinding lights of our 24-7 Outragetainment Industrial Complex, it’s hard to know where to begin. An excellent starting point would be for us to sacrifice our notion of chronic uniqueness, our belief that the singular pattern of our private heart should be the template for the political world around us. We must give up the narcissistic will to have our every attitude translated into the direction our party of choice takes—and that the country takes from there. My personal politics are more liberal than where I believe the country should be and where I aim my efforts to advise and guide those in positions of governance who choose to listen to me. That’s not merely strategic on my part, some cynical approach to the electoral chessboard. The Constitution and what I consider fair and right for America doesn’t perfectly match my idiosyncratic set of cultural beliefs. And guess what? It’s not supposed to. The Constitution isn’t designed to be stretched out of shape to mirror the precise beliefs of each of our country’s 330 million individuals. It can’t possibly accommodate every person’s cultural whims and peculiar perspectives. Rather, ourglorious “bundle of compromises” provides the protective frame of a majestic home in which we can all seek to thrive, be free, and prosper. Our founding fathers provided an architecture for these goals that is solid beyond compare—or at least a damn lot better than any other system that has been tried. It used to be obvious, but now it seems radical to say that our red and blue elected officials shouldn’t kowtow to our every belief. No matter what platform of values we’ve arrived at to govern our own lives—whether we’re country-club Republicans, libertarians, San Francisco liberals, Second Amendment advocates, white/black/brown/whatever working class, lefty activists, MAGAites, intellectuals, people of faith—or any combination of the above—we need our leaders to hold a broader view of the big picture, of what compromises, negotiations, and alliances are necessary for America to hold strong and keep competitive in a world containing powerful leaders like Putin and Xi. That means as citizens we must strive to find that broader view as well. We must not demand that everyone else fall into lockstep with our particular world view. We must not pressure others to celebrate that which they are only willing to tolerate. Monetized pressures to polarize, outrage, and radicalize are blasted at us every time we turn on a screen. The more we eschew those impulses, the more unified we will be to face the coming firestorms, challenges, and opportunities. And they are coming. Let us begin by ceding what space we might find between our personal values and what we believe is the best and fairest way forward for 330 million different personal values. The more we allow for that within ourselves, our discourse, and our engagement, the more we move our parties toward badly needed common ground. Democrats are an imperfect proxy for liberalism. Republicans are an imperfect proxy for conservatism. One of the aims of true liberalism is to engage meaningfully with true conservatism and vice versa. They are respectively the gas pedal and brake for how we navigate complex change. Only stomping the gas means we smash into a wall or fly off a cliff. And standing on the brake means we don’t go anywhere. The rest of the world will not wait for us to figure out how to drive the car. We must drive it now. It’s up to us whether we break down or continue forward together. Continuing forward together means remembering that true liberalism is handshake distance across the aisle from true conservatism. Don’t take politics personally. Take them seriously.
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Thoughts For the End of the Century: Will We...
elizaholtr
 April 20 2024 at 11:32 pm
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I was born in the middle of the last century so will not be around for the end of the current one. But my grandchildren will be and, like most people with grandchildren, I hope their world will be one in which they flourish. In the middle of the last century, economist Friedrich Hayak published The Road to Serfdom, which was met with scorn by some, but perceived as a wake-up call by others. My grandchildren's lives will depend on where we are along that road at the end of this century. Will we be subjects of a centralized realm, or will we be free to pursue individual paths in a society that depends on voluntary participation in group endeavors? No matter what wonderful and terrible stuff we develop, the type of society in which we live remains the foundation for how our inventions and ideas play out. So my thoughts about the end of the century turn to the type of society we inhabit at the moment, just shy of a quarter of the way into the 21st century. Human nature did not change while the world we made careened from caves to high-rise, digital cities. We have the same frailties that plagued our ancestors, even though we have made life far easier, safer and longer with all our inventions, and will probably continue to do so. One of our frailties is our social nature. We must live in groups, and to function constructively we must be able to trust each other. The biggest failures of our society come from breakdown in trust, which in turn comes from dishonesty - or, more plainly, lying. And here in the waxing days of the 21st century we are wallowing in lies. I need not elaborate when we can no longer be certain whether or not a video image and recording is real. No one is immune from lying, though some do it with breath-taking ease in positions that matter to millions, while other simply lie to themselves about how much sleep they really need, how much time something really takes, or how buying something on credit is not really the same thing as having enough money in the first place. In our cyber society, set in a world that has been busy abandoning the old superstitions that included the Ten Commandments, lying proliferates as easily as microorganisms reproduce. Lying becomes a necessary tool of the people in charge as they discover how easy it is to sway the thinking of large numbers of people. Theodore Dalrymple, in The Wilder Shores of Marx: Journeys in a Vanishing World, described the results of institutional lying well: "...the worst thing about the system was the official lying...the less it was true, the less it corresponded in anyway to reality, the better; the more it contradicted the experience of the persons to whom it was directed, the more docile, self-despising for their failure to protest and impotent they became." This is where we are headed unless we rediscover and champion the value of truth-telling. And admit that there are many things that we think we know, that we think we are in the position to manipulate for our own purposes, that are still cloaked in mystery requiring humility and caution. No small tasks, these. They will not be solved from the top down because the top layer controlling society is simply more of us, and getting to the top is a process that, in our current culture, rewards those best able to skirt the truth. So for my grandchildren I hope that by the end of the century we have grounded our society in truth and beauty and turned away from lies and ugliness, and that trust under-girds our interactions. Getting there is not a science project. It is an ethical and moral one, and all of us need to participate. We need to reject stories that go against what we know to be true. We need the courage to confront lies - those we tell ourselves as well as those told to us. And we need to stand with the courageous ones who confront the lies used to manipulate us by those in power. Ever since humans became self-aware they have grappled with the the question of how best to live in this world, and left a rich record of their ideas. It is time to study these as much as we study science, because we all bear responsibility for how this century ends.
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"Cultural Implications of Ideals in Art and...
William E. Godwin
 March 13 2024 at 10:06 pm
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from The Creation of Adam, circa 1512 by Michelangelo One’s convictions with respect to artistic understanding may sway one’s religious persuasion and vice versa. Indeed, the view one chooses to adopt with respect to the goal of aesthetics, including that of no goal at all, can greatly influence one’s spiritual disposition. The term “aesthetics” is derived from the Greek “aisthesis” meaning “sense perception.” The discipline of aesthetics as we have come to know it emerged in Germany during the eighteenth century. Alexander Baumgarten, an intellectual during the period, spearheaded the field of study with his work “Aesthetica,” published in 1750. Baumgarten drew a distinction between two aesthetic practices: “aesthetica artificialis,” the intellectual consideration of beauty, and “aesthetica naturalis,” the examination of material bodily perception as such. If one’s aesthetic doctrine is more concordant with “aethetica naturalis,” a more bio-reductionistic, materialistic view may be taken with respect to oneself, others, and reality generally; this could manifest a cynical anthropolgy, a zero-sum ontology, and perhaps a shallow theology. For Baumgarten and his contemporaries, the endeavor of the aesthetic enterprise should be a dialectical synthesis of representative vision and presentative seeing, that is the passive perception of physical sensory data and the active metaphysic thereof. To denote this newfound engagement with aesthetic investigation, the term “re-presentation” may be employed. The implications of intentional re-presentation within artistic and religious conduct are of great importance to artists, people of a given spiritual framework, and the culture which they inhabit. To expand on the term, re-presentation emphasizes the active presentation in the present of an “original presence” that has been. The process of re-presentation is mutual among religious and artistic practices; Good Friday services within the Christian tradition re-present the crucifixion of Christ in the way a painting of a landscape might re-present a mountain or a stream. The Eucharist is characterized by Catholics, for example, as an instance of transubstantiation, wherein the substance, understood in the Thomistic sense as essence, is re-embodied in the present. Writers, psychologists, and philosophers examining the nature of spirituality have suggested that it is not knowledge of “god(s)” that is sought by religion; rather, it seeks “life, more life, a larger, richer, more satisfying life…” Thinkers such as Benedetto Croce have made claims seemingly inspired by this sentiment in the artistic realm, that expression and its experience, not re-presentation, is the “vehicle” of aesthetic value. This view could be said to align with “ars gratia artis,” or art for art's sake, a philosophy of art that characterizes the artist’s aim as being beyond the mere achievement of a specified end. From this perspective, the aesthetic enterprise is not conducted with any explicit intent but rather is embarked upon, indeed, for the sake of itself. Conversely, the instrumental view of art regards the elucidation or proliferation of a particular moral or political message as a valid goal of artistry. It may be said that the distinction between the instrumental approach to artistry and that of “art for art’s sake,” as they are generally portrayed, is not one of essence but intent; this is to say that no art is essentially without function, only nominally so. In this case of explicitly nominating a painting as expressive of a political or moral message, art is wielded as a tool, which according to some reduces the work to propaganda. Many scholars, in considering art's goal or lack thereof, form a stark dichotomy between the aestheticism of “ars gratia art” and the functionalism of the instrumental view. However, by conceptualizing artistry in the classically aesthetic manner, as the synthesis of “aesthetica artificialis” and “aesthetica naturalis,” in addition to the understanding of active seeing as integral to and inexorable from passive perception and vice versa, one may regard an artwork as intrinsically instrumental irrespective of its efficacy being intentional. In harmonizing aesthetic instrumentalism’s emphasis on utility and aestheticism’s insistence on “art for art’s sake,” a reconciliatory ontology of art emerges: a work's function is fundamentally fettered to its form. If it is indeed the case that “the object stares back,” as James Elkins affirms, then the attended and the attendee are reciprocally altered via this aesthetic process. Therefore, even a painting created non-instrumentally is inherently performing a function qua an object of attention. In artistic and spiritual activity, there is something sought after which lies just beyond the veil of our perception: an ideal. Art strives for “the beautiful” while religion seeks “the good,” both of which are transcendent but nonetheless immanent. The matter of embodied faith as artistry itself is exemplified in the notion of ritual, a structured and intentional activity in which one's attention is honed towards a sacred idea, event, or deity; communication is also often sought through liturgy. A ritual and an artwork share teleological, or at least ontological, elements: when attended to, these products of intentional agents bring about a change with respect to both the object of attention and the attendee. This idea is strengthened by much neuropsychological research relating to sensory perception and aesthetic appreciation in addition to the latter’s codependence on religious perspective. Art is a cultural category in which objects which elicit this aesthetic affection are placed; this could be seen as a separation of the pure from the profane given the stark compartmentalization observed in many religious rituals and ceremonies. Concerning the shared cognitive features of religion and art with respect to this phenomenon of sacred/profane segregation, an interesting psychological analogue is found in obsessive-compulsive disorder characterized by contamination concerns. “Beyond compulsive prayer, some persons with ROCD find themselves consumed with the compulsive need to treat religious books or symbols with excessive care. Religious books, statues, jewelry, and images are sometimes the focus of ritualistic cleaning, straightening, and checking behaviors for persons with ROCD. These routines can last for several hours at a time and are often paired with ritualistic prayers.” To be in the presence of a work of art is to be its viewer or spectator. However, to engage in the seeing of a painting is to be both its benefactor and beneficiary in that one is contributing to the beauty being offered in the act of attending, which is not merely perception, but participation. Likewise, to be merely a believer in the propositions of a particular religious belief system is to be a passive member of an audience; it is only when that belief or faith is intentionally embodied in practice, i.e., ritual, that one may effectively derive meaning and produce good. This approach to religion and art is, of course, reliant on a classical understanding of both. A prevailing school of thought, postmodernism, posits a different point of view. Originating in France in the mid-twentieth century, though its roots stretch much further into the history of ideas, postmodernism is a philosophical movement with thinkers such as Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, and Jean-François Lyotard being considered its foundational members. Cornerstones of this movement include the dismissal of objectivity and the rejection of grand narrative. Premodernity in Western culture is characterized by the grand narratives of the Judeo-Christian corpus and the notion that truth is a derivative of faith. Conversely, modernity, the age of the Enlightenment, is the era in which truth was affirmed as a reality to be discovered solely through reason, scientific inquiry, and investigation. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, along with many of his enlightenment-era contemporaries, asserted that a divorce, as it were, had taken place between religion and art in that the employment of the latter as a means of expressing truth, which hitherto had been spiritually understood and construed, was no longer beholden to said task given the burgeoning age of reason-centric rationality. Just as in any divorce, both parties involved are quite altered by the ordeal. Postmodernism, therefore, is an attempt to move beyond the principles of both eras. This point is validated by postmodernist Richard Rorty. He writes, “Both the Age of Faith and the Enlightenment seem beyond recovery.” Stephen Hicks, in his work on the subject, juxtaposes modernist tenants with those of postmodernism, saying “Instead of natural reality—anti-realism. Instead of experience and reason—linguistic social subjectivism. Instead of individual identity and autonomy—various race, sex, and class groupisms. Instead of human interests as fundamentally harmonious and tending toward mutually-beneficial interaction—conflict and oppression. Instead of valuing individualism in values, markets, and politics—calls for communalism, solidarity, and egalitarian restraints. Instead of prizing the achievements of science and technology—suspicion tending toward outright hostility.” In the domain of artistry, this worldview may characterize a postmodernist’s aesthetic endeavor, subjugating the aim of beauty, which is, at least, the cultural conception of the aesthetic ideal, to the proliferation of a political idea, resulting in a disordering of intention. However, a work of art may be regarded as beautiful in a particular context given its intent, despite its peddling a moralizing message or not “pleasing when seen.” The work of Hieronymus Bosch exemplifies this point; however, the devil exists in the details, as it were. The nature of the message may intend to revere and aspire to an ideal. The Garden of Earthly Delights, circa 1515, by Hieronymus Bosch In Bosch’s case, this ideal is the ethical good. In his work “The Garden of Earthly Delights,” Bosch is setting before the viewer an admonishment against sinful behavior in the Christian understanding by depicting the consequences thereof. While the work may not necessarily “please when seen,” it calls one to the good, a central point of Thomistic beauty. Aquinas’ conceptualization of the good is as that of both a formal and final cause, in the Aristotelian sense, this is to say that it is both an end and a means to an end; beauty, on the other hand, “does not have the nature of a final cause.” Rather, it is that beauty “bids all things to itself,” that is the form, which is “the Good.” Thus, beauty is a means to the end of good. Returning to postmodernism, one sees an abdication of this aspiration to the good through aesthetic practice. Marcel Duchamp, a celebrated French artist and proto-postmodernist, rightly recognizes the nature of aesthetic experience as a kind of transubstantiation, a process wherein the matter of the work is imbued with aesthetic value via the attention of the spectator meeting the intention of the artist; “The serious spectator's aesthetic re-affirmation of the painting is a kind of re-creation of it, serving the same spiritual purpose as the artist's creation of it.” Duchamp also acknowledges the inexorability of aesthetic judgment and culture. Indeed, as religious ritual strives to re-present a deity, which is at least an ethical ideal, art endeavors to convey an intimation of the aesthetic ideal, which is at least a product of cultural consensus. For Duchamp, individual expression of the artist is paramount over re-presentation. As such, intending to elicit an aesthetic experience de facto subjugates the work to judgement and cultural critique. Therefore, the postmodern artist endeavors to divorce art from the aesthetic realm, declaring it beyond judgment, for it was not intended to be judged. However, given the ontology of art established here, an art work will elicit an aesthetic experience and the post-requisite judgement qua object of attention irrespective of the artist's intent. Thus, the inevitable effect of work conducted unintentionally is an aesthetic experience and judgment that is qualitatively lesser than that which is done intentionally, and the re-presentation of banality, not an ideal, is the consequence. Marilyn Diptych, 1962 by Andy Warhol Abstract artist Frank Stella seems to affirm this conclusion, saying of the postmodern approach, “The artist becomes, without irony, a willing representative of society's everyday value, losing the integrity of his alienation, and art becomes an instrument of social integration – a sign of social belonging – losing aesthetic purpose and power.” The postmodern reduction of art to the “commonplace” results in qualitative, cultural deterioration in aesthetic creativity. Indeed, “in postmodernity, we no longer see the painting, only the reproduction.” C.S. Lewis, in his essay “Good Work and Good Works,” makes reference to this twentieth-century shift in artistic sentiment: “Artists also talk of Good Work; but decreasingly. They prefer words such like significant, important, contemporary, or daring. These are not, to my mind, good symptoms.” Lewis also acknowledges this need for working in concordance with the framework of cultural ideals in saying “When an artist is in the strictest sense working, he of course takes in to account the existing tastes, interests, and capacities of his audience. These, no less than the language, the marble, or the paint are part of his raw material; to be used, tamed and sublimated, not ignored nor defied. Haughty indifference to them is not genius nor integrity; it is laziness and incompetence.” The impact of postmodern ideal-death, the Nietzschean death of God, is not limited to aesthetics; the religious act of ritual practice, when divorced from a pursuit of the ideal, i.e., adherent to a high-order qualitative standard and goal, the spiritual experience elicited is lesser than. As Don Saliers explains, “In nearly every communal religious tradition congruence between the ethos of the enactment and its content is paramount. Casual indifference to words and symbols in funeral rites, for example, diminishes the meaning of the participation in the rite.” To lose sight of the ideal and to have “the high brought low” with respect to art and religious ritual is to reduce them both to the “commonplace.” Insofar as art and ritual are means of communication, from artist to viewer in the former case and from deity to follower in the latter, postmodern thought “defeats every attempt to bring [the intent of the artist] into contact with the external world, remaining the medium and symbol of the artist’s inner world.” Acknowledging this, it becomes evident that ignoring the cultural ideal results in aesthetic sin and ethical uptake failure, as it were. This is to say that, to the degree that aesthetic and ethical ideals, the beautiful and the good, are cultural conceptions, engaging in artistic and ritual practice without these ideals in mind results in miscommunication, hence the aesthetic and spiritual experiences being lesser than; the term “sin” was employed in the sport of archery in ancient Greece to denote one “missing the mark.” One may return to C.S. Lewis for a rather helpful synopsis of this matter: “Great Works’ (of art) and ‘Good Works’ (of charity) had better also to be Good Work. Let choirs sing well or not at all. Otherwise we merely confirm the majority in their conviction that the world of Business,” the mundane and commonplace, “which does with such efficiency so much that never really needed doing, in the real, the adult, and the practical world; and all this ‘culture’ and all this ‘religion’ (horrid words both) are essentially marginal, amateurish, and rather effeminate activities.”Bibliography Anchor, Robert. The Enlightenment Tradition. University of California Press, 1967. Apostolos-Cappadona, Diana. Visual Arts as Ways of Being Religious. In Frank Brown (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Religion and the Arts. Oxford UP, 2014 Elkins, James. The Object Stares Back: On the Nature of Seeing. In Brent Plate (Ed.), Religion, Art, and Visual Culture: A Cross-Cultural Reader. Palgrave, 2002. Gregory, Richard. From Eye and Brain: The Psychology of Seeing. In Brent Plate (Ed.), Religion, Art, and Visual Culture: A Cross-Cultural Reader. Palgrave, 2002 Hicks, Stephen. Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault. Scholargy Publishing. 2004. Himle, Joseph A., et al. The Relationship Between Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Religious Faith: Clinical Characteristics and Implications for Treatment. University of Michigan, 2011. James, William. The Varieties of Religious Experience. Penguin Classics, 1985. Kant, Immanuel. The Critique of Judgement. Translated with analytical indexes by James Meredith. Oxford UP, 1952. Kuspit, Donald. The End of Art. Cambridge UP, 2004. Lewis, C.S. The World's Last Night, and other Essays. Harper Collins Publishers, 2017. Plate, Brent. Aisthesis. In Brent Plate (Ed.), Religion, Art, and Visual Culture: A Cross-Cultural Reader. Palgrave, 2002. Saliers, Don. Artistry and Aesthetic in Modern and Postmodern Worship. In Frank Brown (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Religion and the Arts. Oxford UP, 2014 Scruton, Roger. Beauty: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP, 2009. Sevier, Christopher. Aquinas on Beauty. Lexington Books, 2015. Viladesau, Richard. Aesthetics and Religion. In Frank Burch Brown (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Religion and the Arts. Oxford UP, 2014.
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Longhouse Vision Pro
Bobby Mars
 March 16 2024 at 12:33 am
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Postmodern Retinal Burn Apple Vision Pro is finally available. Eager hordes of nerds lined up at their local Apple stores, ready to fork over three thousand five hundred United State Dollars to consoom content in a new way. Spatial computing, augmented reality, this is the future! This is the new world designed by the good little boys and girls in Cupertino, inventors of the iPhone, the Macbook, the Airpod—heralds of all that is good and true in the world. Reactions online were telling. They ranged from cautious enthusiasm, to sardonic irony-posting, to ecstatic revelation, to sheer unbridled horror—future shock. The most telling part was that there was a reaction at all. No other VR/AR headset can claim this, all having been released and mostly forgotten except by a small group of enthusiasts. This is the first headset that provoked a widespread societal reaction, and there are profound reasons for that. The core of Apple’s new design centers around what the tech-heads have long called “Augmented Reality.” Graphical computing systems are overlaid and integrated into reality, floating amongst it, ethereal visions of pure light transcending the clunky physicality of the screen. The promise of this, opposed to mere virtual reality, they tell us, is the integration of their interface into the real world. Apple CEO Tim Cook in a 2017 interview stated, “I’m excited about augmented reality because unlike virtual reality which closes the world out, AR allows individuals to be present in the world but hopefully allows an improvement on what’s happening presently.” VR, in a way, is more honest. It’s closer to the legacy of the 90s internet. When the internet was limited to stationary desktop computers, you had to make a deliberate choice to sit down and use it, your experience was limited to that place. The real world was the world you lived in, and you could escape it and retreat to the internet within that stationary device. VR is similar, if less contained; you’re making a deliberate choice to escape physical reality for a while, and spend time in a different visual environment. Perhaps that’s why it’s been less popular—people prefer to sit on their couch scrolling their phone and watching TV, hanging out in the real world while interacting with the digital world simultaneously. Deliberately choosing to focus your interaction onto one world, even a virtual one, feels limiting. We don’t want to totally eschew physical reality in exchange for pure digital experience except on limited occasions. Here’s the thing though; we stopped living in physical reality a long time ago. Human society and our experience of reality, since the advent of mass media, have long been a simulacrum, a constant feedback loop of simulated fantasies entirely divorced from real experience. Guy Debord called this the spectacle, a “social relation among people mediated by images.” We encounter the world as signs and symbols of our own design, not as a plain reality.The most unsettling characteristic of this world we’ve made is that there are seemingly no fixed truths—everything is malleable and subject to our whims. Academics call this, “postmodernism.” Apple Vision proves horrifying for many because it is the first crude step towards the final furtherance of this world, in which the post-modern world takes over physical reality not merely as a concept, but as a literal new visual world right in your damn face. The digital ether is no longer confined to a far off void, emerging through the cracks through physical devices placed in reality. It’s right there in front of you now, everywhere, in a way that cannot be ignored or abstracted away. So long as your iPhone travels with you everywhere, this is already conceptually true, but the experience of spatial computing makes it so obvious that it’s impossible to ignore. Physical reality, in the experience of spatial computing, in fact becomes a de facto simulation itself. Apple Vision is not a true pass through device. You don’t see physical reality through glass, with the little screens laid on top of it. The goggles capture your surroundings with cameras, process them digitally, and feed them back to you through the synthetic screens in the goggles. It doesn’t matter how seemingly realistic this is (device reviews seem divided on this point). Your surrounding physical reality, in the context of Apple’s spatial computing, is simply another digital environment processed and fed to you through the interpretive black box of the device. It’s almost irrelevant, it might as well be the surface of the moon, and in fact it very well can be, as you can change your visual environment to any number of simulated settings at will. The malleability of this new reality is endless. You can replace your girlfriend’s face with a pornstar, you can make your goon cave look clean and tidy, you can make the weather outside look sunny on a cloudy day. Physical reality in this context holds no claim towards any inherent truthfulness, it's a mere interpretative framework for a complex array of LiDAR sensors and micro-OLED displays. Even in the so-called realistic visual pass through effect, physical reality is merely interpreted into the digital displays, with their own intentional biases and whims. Nothing you’re seeing here is real. Even Apple’s name for the device signals this profound change. They’re not called goggles, or glasses, or anything that places them as a physical device itself. They’re called “Vision,” because they’re a new way of seeing, Apple’s interpretive method of sight for their brave new world. The device itself, clunky, heavy, with a battery tethered to it, is meant to be forgotten. Surely it will be eventually, as the crudeness of this first generation is increasingly refined into something ignorable compared to the new reality it allows you to see. This is their new world, transcending the old one, and you need their new eyes to see it. Just hope you don’t stub your toe on your very real coffee table while walking the surface of Mars. The real question is, if Apple made synthetic eyeballs, would you rip your own eyes out of their sockets and replace them? Is this really what we want, to have our entire visual cortex mediated through their techno-corporate hellscape? It does sound very cyber punk… perhaps there’s an answer here. Leather trench coats, colored hair dye, synthetic organs. Man, I wish the future looked more like Neuromancer than this played out Apple gray. They should have made the goggles black, more leather, embraced the dystopia angle. Postmodern retinal burn goes hard if everything is black. Someone get me on a call with Tim Apple, I have important things to tell him.
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Panicked Elite
Numapepi
 March 17 2024 at 03:39 pm
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Panicked Elites Posted on March 17, 2024 by john Dear Friends, It seems to me, we all know the democrats, bureaucracy and elite, are in a complete panic over Donald Trump getting elected. Despite the fact Trump played ball with them at every turn. He appointed Federalist Society picks to the courts (who then turned around and stabbed him and us in the back), he ditched his most ardent supporters who the establishment hated, like Newt Gingrich, and Trump even appointed deep state operatives to key positions, Like Bill Barr, that they then used to undermine his policies. So why do they hate the man so? Before Trump ran for President, he was loved by the elite, or so they claimed. Now his election to office must be stopped as a threat to democracy. Is It because he can’t be bought, intimidated or because he cut two regulations for every new one? The absolute insanity Trump creates in the elite has led them to exposed themselves as the wire pullers they are. Their unhinged reaction and continuing to pollute their own wells, to get the man, shows there’s something very wrong. Why would people who are conniving, if not smart, so expose their illegality? To the point of regularly perjuring themselves before Congress? Like Chris Wray. Obviously, there are no criminal consequences for a deep state operative to perjure themselves, that’s expected, so why would they ever tell the truth? Moreover, why would anyone believe such bold faced liars? Like when 200 top deep state operatives signed a letter, claiming the Biden Laptop was Russian disinformation, effecting the 2020 election. They had to know we would find out they were lying. People who rise to the level of the elite generally know better than to poop in their own well. That’s what other people’s wells are for. Yet here they are, polluting the source of their authority, with obvious lies? Why are they so afraid of a man they can’t buy, intimidate or otherwise control? We can only speculate, based on actions and likely intent… as a jury must in any criminal case. By their actions, the elite have shown they’re not sane, but in a blind panic. Because only panic causes someone to act crazy in public. A person having a psychotic break with reality will scream crazy talk, become violent, and disrupt everything with their antics. Because they’re in a psychotic break… like our elites. In their panic over Trump they’re having a fit, one that they can’t control, because they’ve gone daft. One can come up with a myriad of reasons the elite are in a demented state. Criminal activity sets at the top of the list. Perhaps for the same reason they had Jeffery Epstein murdered and covered it up… the pedophile pimp to the elite. The FBI raided pedo isle so they have the blackmail videos. Making it possible they worry about their pedophilia being exposed without plausible deniability? Even as the tidal wave of evidence Biden is corrupt as vulture vomit is ignored by the deep state. While they go after parents at school board meetings and citizens protesting for election integrity instead. Violating dozens of laws in the FISA process in their vindictive persecutions. It could be possible the elite don’t want their illegal activities to come out, because they would go to prison, for life. Government is a gravy train that keeps on rolling… until it doesn’t. No one riding a gravy train wants it to stop. What’s worse is getting off a gravy train and into a prison cell. Now that’s a strong motivation to terror. Would Trump derail the gravy train? Does anyone think it’s even possible, the elite are protecting democracy, by violating every oath of office, law, precedent and our Constitution itself, to keep him out of office? It would take a strong motivation for them to so soil their own source of power. The prideful will do anything, to protect their image, let alone stay on a gravy train and out of jail. Nevertheless, the elite who have gone mental, have proven they’re unfit for service. Especially given the probable reason they’ve gone berserk. Their panic belies their corruption… their actions prove it. Sincerely, John Pepin
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The DEIfication of the Self
rich_cromwell
 March 18 2024 at 07:04 pm
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The DEIfication of the Self Self-fulfillment isn’t gained by navel gazing “If it feels good, do it” was the mantra of the hippies, one adopted around the time they began “marching through”the universities in the 1960s and 1970s. Family, church, and community, were too limiting and not sufficiently celebratory of the supreme being of the universe – the self. Along the eat, pray, love path to full self-actualization, self-fulfillment, and self-absorption, the self as the primary means of success, happiness, and legacy crept out of the universities where it was inculcated and into the wider culture. The old hippies, not as concerned with socialism when it came to their wallets, didn’t stay in the universities or the communes, though. Lots of them got real jobs and brought their ideas along. For a while, things seemed okay. It was not a rapid revolution, but a slow boil. Then came the unofficial quotas on sex and race in both hiring and college admissions decisions. From there, it was a short trip to declarations of self. I am who I’m attracted to. I am my favorite music. “As a black woman.” “As an indigenous accountant.” “As a Mexican drone pilot. “As a white man.” Okay, the last one usually precedes an apology. Not all selves are created equal when it comes to the modern intersectional hierarchy.We people of pallor have always been and always will be the oppressors. Regardless, how did we get here, to this deification of the self on a grand scale? You can’t spell “deification” without DEI. DEI, the strongman of ESG. What you know by your chosen porn categories The self reduced to a two-dimensional object devoid of any texture or depth. Values on a spreadsheet. The DEI regime is supposedly on its heels. Businesses have stopped carrying on about their commitment to ESG. Universities are slashing their DEI staff and departments. Mostly, though, it’s a rebrand on both fronts, not an actual pivot, just as sustainable gave way to regenerative. Businesses now talk about “belonging” instead of inclusion while still working toward the same goals. Universities can eliminate the departments with the knowledge that the infection has spread and the host will continue producing the same results. For the time being, then, we’re stuck with a nation of individuals who expect special treatment because they are, contra Tyler Durden, special and unique snowflakes, ones in need of a personal spiritual journey that takes them to a place of personal fulfillment. Spiritual journeys and personal fulfillment aren’t bad things, though, but we do not attain them by navel gazing. We definitely don’t attain them by joining resource groups at work in which we focus on our superficial qualities. We don’t attain them with quotas. We attain them by looking outward, by working together on the old things, the scapegoated unions of family, community, and churches. There is more to life than what is on the surface. Staying on the surface will never get us to the transcendent place the hippies propose to take us via an obsessive focus on skin color and “finding ourselves.” We are to be free men and women voluntarily interacting based on what unites us rather than obsessively focusing on what divides us. We were never meant to be DEIdeified simply for existing, and the sooner we stop obsessing over divining special meaning from the superficial, the better.
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A Guide to Social Justice Paradox - Part 2
Robert "RSnake" Hansen
 March 20 2024 at 01:03 pm
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In today's article on the Hilbert Problems for Social Justice, we venture further into labyrinthine ideas that challenge the increasingly deafening and confused idioms of social justice. Together we will further confront the paradoxes that fly on the masthead of progressive dogma. Unless untangled, these slogans threaten to undermine the very objectives they claim to value. On a brief personal note, I greatly appreciate your feedback thus far. As this series continues, people may find their strongly-held assumptions broken, destabilizing them. For me it was useful to absorb the concepts unemotionally, and only then it became easier to discuss openly. I won't pretend ensuing conversations went well but they felt wieldy with emotional distance. I concluded I was guilty of pushing propaganda. Introspection became my opportunity - opportunity to look in the mirror and grow. Hopefully you, dear reader, find this to be a useful catalyst in the same vein, or find a useful truth buried in the analysis. Like the first article, the following paradox originated from Weinstein, but I felt compelled to begin with his ideas. Without further ado: We are similar enough that any deviation from 50/50 shows how much sexism you have in a workforce AND we’re all so different that if you include diversity, you will see great benefits. - No difference between men and women: https://www.apa.org/topics/personality/men-women-difference - Benefits of diversity: https://www.aihr.com/blog/diversity-hiring-reasons-hiring-for-diversity-matters/ Said another way: Ginger Rodgers can do everything Fred Astaire can do but backwards and in high heels. At the heart of contemporary social justice rhetoric lies a paradox: the simultaneous demand for absolute equality and the celebration of diverse identities. This dichotomy posits that we are, on one hand, fundamentally the same, warranting identical treatment and opportunities. On the other hand, the left insists on the intrinsic value of our differences, arguing that diversity enriches our collective experiences and capabilities. The assertion that any deviation from a 50/50 gender representation is indicative of systemic sexism is predicated on the assumption of absolute sameness in capability and interest between genders. Then why do we observe disparities in the representation of women in various sectors? Is it not curious that despite the purported equality in all measurable areas, capitalist structures and even military organizations do not reflect this in their gender compositions? Business hasn't favored female employees. Why would a CEO ignore a huge chunk of the labor force? As of Feb 2024 the Department of Labor documented that 77.7% of females are in the labor force versus males at 89.3%. * https://www.dol.gov/agencies/wb/data/widget The United States Army lowered standards for female recruits. If there is an objectively uniform utility in an human, given all the other realities of hiring that individual, like potential for maternity leave, or less upper-body strength, then capitalism and the war machine would naturally collapse to the mean of equal numbers... and yet. * https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2022/03/23/army-combat-fitness-test-debuts-with-major-changes-to-scoring-april-1/ None of this is to say say women provide no or less value - in fact female contribution is likely greater in some important areas. However, even the US Army can't reconcile the pass/fail rate across even the singular physical dimension, and there are asymmetries across a spectrum of capabilities/capacities for work. I hate that it feels necessary to state this, but if men and women were identical, the terms “man” and “woman” would be synonyms - they are not. A variant of this conflated thinking includes race: Race X is just as good academically/in the workplace as Caucasians, AND we need to lower standards of school/job admission. The unspoken thesis is: equality of outcome is superior to equality of opportunity. The former, while appealing in its simplicity, ignores the complexities of human potential and individual differences and preferences. Equality of outcome de-facto promotes the ostensibly less capable or less prepared and stymies the more capable or more prepared unfairly; ironically to promote fairness. Equality of outcome therefore transmutes into a bigoted philosophy, given that it looks at all candidates through a lens of immutable traits, rather than uniformly giving all candidates an equal opportunity to succeed. When someone says that they believe in “equality” they are typically smuggling in “of outcome” rather than believing the playing field should be equal. One reprehensible effect is that people who are admitted under affirmative action quotas are questioned from that point forward whether they were accepted on on merit or quota. Before affirmative action it would have been undoubtedly racist to question a minorities' abilities and presence at an ivy league university... and now? Is this progress? This not only undermines the achievements of these individuals but also perpetuates a condemnable cycle of skepticism and resentment. Enforced diversity will create new, albeit less studied, problems where it attempts to solve others. Enforcement of equality of outcome has innumerate unknowns. How far should equality enforcement go to help a group of people - should it include hurting other groups? Who is the judge/arbiter/oracle of equality of outcome? What rubrics gauge breaches of equality? What if an employee lies about their sexual organs/race? What then if they proclaim to be a different gender/race after hired? Will employers be required to observe the sexual organs and DNA test each potential new hire to ensure they fit the rigid hiring requirements levied upon them? Where now such a thing is illegal, will I be required to ask people's race during interviews? More progress? No, it's madness. One could define equal in many ways - it could be based on the percentage of applicants, the percentage of people of living in a region, the GDP of the peoples in question, the amount of money the group makes as a whole measured as a percentage… the options abound. I rarely if ever see Eskimos or Aborigines or Sinhalese or Nauruans on stage at conferences - is that the organizer’s fault? Every law has natural consequence... the "or what?" Some jack booted thug will be anointed to break doors and necks for diversity audits failures. What if new laws enforce quotas and I summarily refuse to hire based on sexual orientation/proclivities or their gender/age/religion, etc. Am I a bigot? Should I be arrested or harmed for non-compliance - that’s the logical outcome. My, how quickly the word bigot evolved to mean something else entirely. Since when does hiring, regardless of immutable traits, equal bigotry? Yet, this is where the equality of outcome mantra naturally concludes. If one changes a bar of a system to be bigoted for or against a certain group, they are doing so systemically, and creating systemic bigotry seems patently counterproductive. A more forthright approach is to confront the feelings of groups who feel marginalized, while admitting the opportunities in question may not be ideally suited to them at this point with their skill level/abilities. What aid might we deliver to the marginalized without dismantling meritocracy? Success should not require vilifying excellence in the process. This approach acknowledges an individual's worth while celebrating the diverse experiences and perspectives they embody. This conversation is a rigorous examination of our assumptions and the consequences of ideological platitudes. In its extreme form, this rhetoric risks promoting a homogenized standard that ignores the diverse human experience and capability. Who is the beneficiary? Genuinely beneficial ideas rarely fit on a tee-shirt. True equity will require embracing the richness and utility of our differences. I hope you found this second article interesting. This series will document many of these conflated social justice issues and there will be more, God willing. Please subscribe, and comment, if you would like more of the same. If you want to know about me or my show, The RSnake Show, please visit https://rsnake.com/ for details.
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Conan the Barbarian comics are romance novels...
nateybakes
 March 19 2024 at 11:01 pm
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That’s right, I said it. I’m really not sure what the average Conan the Barbarian comic book reader looks like, but I’m one of them. 38 year old white guy who lives in suburban Texas with his wife and son. While my son is getting into Venom, I started picking up issues of Conan and some other adult oriented titles (e.g. the new Basic Instinct series from Sumerian comics). The first time I read Conan comics was years back when Dark Horse was publishing the IP. I got back into it recently as going to the comic book shop has become a common family activity I do on the weekend. Titan Comics re-launched Conan the Barbarian in 2023 and has been getting some buzz in the industry. So much so that the new Savage Sword of Conan series they launched in late February of this year has been sold out in comic shops across central Texas. One thing you’ll find in the new Savage Sword of Conan series and most any Conan comics from the past 20 years: sexually charged character dynamics. Conan stories are romance stories, but for men. The priorities are all about the basic instincts of men. Conan is an antihero who lives how he want to live and does what he wants to do. He’s after riches and glory. If someone gets in his way, they’re toast. He’s a man of duty in the traditional masculine sense too. He doesn’t chase women, but women are drawn to him. Sometimes he goes with them, sometimes he doesn’t. It’s always up to him and what’s on his current agenda. Conan hooks up with a lot of women during his travels and the relationships usually don’t last long. The women are always hot. Some certified babes. Conan wouldn’t accept less. He’s got some old flames who cross his path in various series such as Bêlit, the “fearsome yet beautiful pirate queen of the Hyborian Age.” But that’s kind of an on-again-off-again sort of thing. Then there’s the will-they-won’t-they dynamic between Conan and Red Sonja, the chain mail bikini clad warrior (and certified babe). But under the veil of that hot & sexy sword and sorcery action, Conan the Barbarian has greater subtext. Conan hates magic. He hates con-men. He hates overcomplicated & byzantine systems and the rulers who take advantage of them for their own benefit. Conan is a force for anti-corruption. Conan is all about that “what you see is what you get” lifestyle. You try to deceive him with trickery? Sorry, but your head is getting chopped off and he’s taking your gold too. Perhaps popularity for Conan rises and falls with the fluctuating disillusionment of the systems we live in. I’m sure a lot of people would like to see Conan the Barbarian deal with corrupt members of Congress, for example. Robert E. Howard created Conan and these anti-corruption narratives way back in the 1930’s during the height of the Great Depression. Time is a circle and Conan the Barbarian needs to fulfill his role from time to time. And he’s gonna get some hot tail in between time.
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The Russian-American Conflict II
David Reavill
 March 21 2024 at 02:03 pm
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Russia’s Sputnik: The World’s First Manmade Satellite ** In Part I, we discussed Russia’s move from a World War II Ally to a self-imposed isolation behind the “Iron Curtain” and how Russia went from friend to enemy. Today, we look at the Second Cold War.Cold War I For the next 46 years, the Soviet Union operated under the self-imposed Iron Curtain. Initially designed to keep control over its vast populace, it was seen as an object of paranoia by those of us in the West. We wondered what was happening in this very mysterious country. Only years later would we learn of the starvation and oppression that took place in the USSR, thanks mainly to writers like Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. He made terms like “Gulag” commonplace and opened our eyes to the evils of Soviet Communism. A fascinating series occurred during this emerging Cold War, primarily between the USSR and the United States. These events are especially relevant given Russia’s recent Ukraine Special Military Operation (S.M.O.). The first event was the launch, on October 4, 1957, of the world’s first manufactured earth satellite. Remarkably, it was a Soviet satellite. The United States assumed it had the lead in all rocket and space technology. After all, the U.S. had collected some of the finest rocket scientists in the world when it won the War with Germany. In a program called Operation Paperclip, America brought the cream of the crop of German rocket scientists and engineers to this country. We thought we had an insurmountable lead over the USSR in space and rockets. And now, here were those up-start Soviets beating us. For three months, most Americans could see the tiny, silver dot over their homes about sunset each evening. It terrified the country. Before this, we thought that we were immune to overseas armies. That our twin oceans, the Atlantic and Pacific, protected us. Here now was vivid evidence that America could be reached by satellite. John F. Kennedy campaigning. ** The triumph of Sputnik did not go unnoticed by the Junior Senator from Massachusetts, John Kennedy, who was already planning to run for President in the next election. Kennedy recognized that the Soviets were far ahead of where the military establishment claimed. He coined the term “Missile Gap” to explain that Soviet Missile Technology was a real and present threat. It infuriated the military establishment, especially its former leader, current President Dwight Eisenhower. Eisenhower was livid that Kennedy would point to any weakness in national defense, especially on Ike’s watch. To this day, articles suggest that Kennedy exaggerated the threat and that the Soviets did not have the inventory of missiles and rockets that Kennedy implied. They miss the point. Kennedy’s message could be taken to indicate that America faced a genuine challenge, and we needed to wake up to that reality. A message we’ll see later is as accurate today as 60 years ago. The Iron Curtain Falls From Stalin’s death until the early 1980s, the USSR had two rulers: Nikita Khrushchev and Leonid Brezhnev. (Georgy Malenkov ruled for less than a year and had little impact.) Both were strong leaders who maintained a fierce grip on their people and upheld the Iron Curtain. They also continued to develop the USSR Military into a significant strategic foe. However, it was notable that Brezhnev’s health declined significantly during his rule’s last years. That would be in 1980 through 1982, at just the time when an audacious American President, Ronald Reagan, was elected. Like Kennedy, Reagan recognized the Soviet threat and proposed to meet it. However, Reagan suggested a new deterrence strategy, unlike the American presidents before him. American military doctrine throughout the Cold War was based on a strategy of “Mutually Assured Destruction” (MAD). Reagan considered this to be little more than a “suicide pack.” Ronald Reagan's campaign with Nancy Reagan, Governors Pete Willson, and George Deukmejian ** Reagan proposed a series of missile defense strategies, which the Press dubbed “Star Wars,” after the famous George Lucas film of the same name. Mainstream media and most of Washington considered Reagan’s idea as little more than fantasy. But apparently, the Soviets took Reagan at his word. Then General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, then leader of a failing country, decided that this “Star Wars” challenge was the final straw, that the Soviet Union could not keep up with this increasingly formidable America, and still maintain the USSR’s needed economic growth. Nearly two years after Reagan left office, the old Soviet Union collapsed under the weight of a failing economy, an overextended government, and the added boost of Reagan’s Star War challenge. America had played to its strengths: a solid manufacturing base that could produce and develop the military force needed to carry through on Reagan’s vision and the technology infrastructure to create such a program.Cold War II Post Soviet Russia As Charles Dickens said, “Old Marley was as dead as a doornail.” So, too, the Soviet Union in 1992 was as dead as dead can be. The former satellite states of Poland, Hungary, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, East Germany, Albania, and Croatia (formerly part of Yugoslavia) all fled. And more than that, they all became members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the American-centric defense pact. So, by the early days of 1992, there was little left of a corpse. A mere shadow of the former empire that would henceforth be known as the Russian Federation. A country in dire straights, barely able to keep order across its vast expanses. It is, after all, the world’s largest country by territory, expanding across 11 time zones and bordering 14 other nations. In 1992, Russia was on the dole, relying upon the generosity of the United Nations to feed its population, which was hardly a threat to anyone, much less NATO. East and West Berliners meet at the Brandenburg Gate for the first time in decades (1989). ** The Iron Curtain had crashed and burned in the most extensive conflagration since World War II. And yet, it had all been accomplished without the loss of life. A quiet implosion that many in the West failed to see. In Churchill’s immortal phrase, an Iron Curtain “…from Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic…” ceased to exist in 1992. At least the eastern half of the Iron Curtain fell. But that likely is not the case for the western half. Throughout the Russo-Ukraine conflict, increasing evidence has emerged that America is implementing a new Iron Curtain. Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Lab in Ukraine ** Shortly after Russian forces crossed over into Ukraine, rumors emerged that the Americans had been operating a series of clandestine Bio-labs in Ukraine. If the Russian troops continued their assault, they would find the labs. At first, the U.S. Government flatly denied that any such Bio-labs existed. However, some internet sleuthing revealed that under the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction (C.T.R.) Program, such labs did indeed exist. (See: https://www.defense.gov/News/Releases/Release/Article/3057517/fact-sheet-on-wmd-threat-reduction-efforts-with-ukraine-russia-and-other-former/) Although the U.S. Department of Defense indicated that these labs were in place only to dispose of old Soviet Union bio-weapons, two salient facts remain. First, the labs were operational from 1992 until 2022 (the time of the Russian Invasion), an extraordinarily long period. And secondly, the number of labs increased during that time, from about a dozen immediately after the fall of the USSR in 1992 to an estimated 46 in 2022. In light of these two facts, it would appear that the lab’s mission, far from declining as Soviet stocks were destroyed, kept increasing. Odd. As suspicions continue to rise about whether the United States is continuing the old Cold War, the New York Times published a blockbuster article that confirms many of our worst fears. The article is entitled “The Spy War: How The C.I.A. Helps Ukraine Fight Putin’s Russia.” CIA Headquarters, Langley Virginia ** The Times article outlines the increasing role of the C.I.A. and other European Spy Agencies in monitoring Russian activity in Ukraine and worldwide. Ukraine, bordering Russia as it does, provides the perfect outpost for the U.S. and NATO to keep tabs on its neighbor. We’re not naive to believe that all “spying” is terrible. I think that some monitoring is essential to avoid catastrophic missteps. I wish that we’d had better “spying” when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Had we seen them coming, we might have avoided all-out War. But as the Times points out, the C.I.A. activities included active targeting of Russian Troops, Ships, and Planes, giving Ukraine real-time positioning, weapons, and troop levels. The Times also implies that the C.I.A. provides overall strategies and battle plans. The question then becomes, is the C.I.A. an active participant in the War? More bluntly, is the U.S. at War with Russia? Putin’s Strategic Vision Through these past three decades of Russian history, one man has been the common denominator: Vladimir Putin, the unbreakable thread that has led the nation. The West, and particularly Americans, like to vilify him. He reminds me of some of the best of American corporate leadership. He is a true technocrat who has welded together the divergent elements of a multicultural society into a smooth-operating war machine. Vladimir Putin ** Putin saw firsthand how Ronald Reagan’s formula of a robust manufacturing economy and cutting-edge military technology defeated the old USSR. Like any good manager, Putin has used the best of his opponents’ strategies against them. Putin took Russia from when food needed to be imported to feed its people to the most significant food exporter in the world. Today, Russian war factories outproduce America’s by a factor as high as ten to one. That’s how many more artillery shells Russia uses compared with Ukraine. Remember, Ukraine shells are the product of all of NATO, which includes much of European and American production combined. Yet Russia still outproduces them all. When the War began, Russia had little apparent drone technology available. Instead, they imported Drones primarily from North Korea and Iran. Today, Russia has caught up and enjoys an advantage over the NATO/Ukraine forces in drones. There is one unconfirmed report that by early next year, Russia will be producing a drone for each Ukrainian soldier, a frightening thought! All of this is right out of the American Textbook. Every history written about the Second World War indicates that the power of the American factories was the vital element that turned the tide against Germany and Japan. Production and logistics win wars. The Americans perfected that a generation ago; the Russians are today’s masters. “Rosy the Riveter, ” many women worked in factories during World War II to support the war effort. ** But there is one Russian development that should have us all concerned. This Ukraine war’s one “super weapon” has out-shown all the rest. Twice in less than 70 years, the United States has woefully misjudged the capability of its most capable opponent. Once again, Russia claimed to have developed a super weapon, a missile capable of reaching a hypersonic speed of Mach 10 (ten times the speed of sound). They named it the Kinzhal Missile. Nonsense, said Washington, hypersonic speed is not possible with today’s technology, and indeed, the Russians can’t produce such a weapon. Moscow vividly demonstrated that the Kinzhal could meet such speeds, as they used the Kinzhal to destroy not one but at least two of America’s premier anti-missile batteries, the Patriot System. Since 1984, the Patriot system has enjoyed great success in such diverse battlefields as the Gulf War and the Iraqi War. It is the Army’s principal High to Medium Air Defense System and is projected to be used against any Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM) that might attack the homeland. The U.S. anticipates using the Patriot System as its principal air defense for the next 16 years. Those plans may need to be revised. Russia’s Dominance In The Ukraine War Despite all the propaganda and spin, the reality is that Russia has demonstrated capabilities that we never thought they possessed in the Ukraine Special Military Operation. They have proven to be a technologically advanced, highly lethal fighting force. Today, Russia stands at the apex of victory, having defeated the Ukrainian Army and the combined resources of the United States and NATO. It’s no small accomplishment. The Russian Army in Ukraine. ** Yet Washington continues to ignore this reality, pretending that money can substitute for soldiers. Ukraine President Zelensky said they need 500,000 recruits to continue fighting Russia. America’s answer: send them $60 Billion. Unfortunately, the War in Ukraine will be won on the battlefield, not by throwing money at it. Well, I remember the fear and anxiety that Americans felt as a small satellite, Sputnik, passed over our heads. The Sputnik did not represent a threat to us at about the size of two basketballs, with only a couple of radios. But for Americans, the terror of World War II was still fresh in their minds. The G.I.s returned home only 12 years before. They understood what a threat that little silver ball represented. Suddenly, Russia could send a satellite to our shores, and people literally “freaked out.” Today, we live in a world where a genuine threat exists, yet we seem to ignore it. Our President is so nonchalant that he hasn’t even picked up the phone to call Vladimir Putin. That is a significant miscalculation. It is well past the time that we engage Russia in diplomatic negotiations to end the War in Ukraine and ease the tensions between the two most significant nuclear powers. Let’s talk before we are missing an aircraft carrier or a city.* From the Inaugural Address of President John F. Kennedy: "So let us begin anew — remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate." ** Follow me here on ThinkSpot for more stories from the ValueSide.
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Streaming Politics & Philosophy @destiny...
DarrylN
 March 22 2024 at 12:47 am
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Streaming Politics & Philosophy @destiny Episode 433 Jordan Peterson It is worth a mention that Jordan Peterson is at his intellectual sparring best here around the 44 min mark or so, when he dissects the green argument for climate change “sin taxes” on the basis of the fundamental leftist/progressive premise that destiny himself put forth earlier. That is destiny was personally drawn to the left out of a compassion for the inequitable poor. But Peterson notes that cheap energy is what empowers the poor like nothing else, and how the Workd Bank is strangling the South from accessing that energy. destiny actually slips into the argument that “better they die now, because their death will save so many more in the future. Point by point, Peterson uses data of the millions of more on the brink of absolute poverty as a direct result of green policy to “save the future from ourselves”. He shows the shabby science behind, for example, loading an tentative economic model of the future on the tentative climate one, and how logically ludicrous it is to think that we can predict anything 100 years into the future, as if the people goldrushing in the 1890s could have predicted Clinton inheriting the Clinton economy a century hence. He is on about the WEF as I pause, but destiny is clinging to the fact that ‘there are hot days now like never before since the Industrial Age, even 150000 years ago’.. oops, little hyperbolic slip into hyperbole with that… JP catches it right away. Sharp as a nail.. Peterson has really put an effort to temper his arrogance, even as the passion of his actual compassion for the poor and the inequitable of the world shines through. But he is not making the conservative, right wing argument, pull yourself up by your bootstraps sort of moralizing, but is concentrating on the paucity of the current left wing position on green, that stifling cheap energy is a good thing, even as the poor are the ones on the brink. destiny is in the denial stage, that this is not really happening, that green policies will mystically help the poor in some undefined and likely undefinable way. I will continue to watch to see how much destiny needs to belong, if he is true to his ideology even as the goal of Karl Schwab on depopulation makes even the Devil in the Apocalypse look quaint in his wiping out the populace by successive thirds.
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The Democratic Element
Numapepi
 March 22 2024 at 04:14 pm
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The Democratic Element Posted on March 22, 2024 by john Dear Friends, It seems to me, while the US is a republic, the democratic element of that republic is ruined. Democracy, or better, polity, is the agreement of the people in a political organization. Without the agreement of the “governed” the governors are merely oligarchs. Sometimes masquerading as representatives, “but if my cat had kittens in the oven, I wouldn’t call ’em biscuits.” -old Yankee proverb. There’s reality, and there’s theater, only one can be true at a time. If the paradigm is theater acting like reality, then there’s no democratic element, it’s a scam. If polity is a scam, then we live under despotism. Because, only when the democratic element is in fact reality, is there democracy. Therefore, any hindrance to polity, with propaganda, censorship or election fraud, is despotism. Tyranny, oligarchy and democracy are Aristotle’s wrong forms of government. Contrasted to his right forms, monarchy, aristocracy and polity. A republic blends the right forms. The wrong forms have in common they only serve the rulers. While the right forms serve the whole of the state. A tyrant rules for his or her own interests and against the interest of the people. An oligarchy rules for the benefit of themselves and against the interests of the nation. Then there’s democracy, where the people vote themselves largess from the treasury at cost to the nation, society and prosperity. A monarch serves the people, an aristocracy serves the state, and a polity rules for the best interests of everyone. Today we confuse democracy and polity, I suspect, because it serves the oligarchy’s interests. Polity, or as we call it today, democracy, is only possible where the voters have access to information, the vote is fair, and the tally is honest. Today, what passes for democracy has none of those attributes. The government deluges us in propaganda, censors even our private conversations, (if they’re over social media), and makes certain we have only the information the oligarchy wants us to have. That act alone insures there isn’t polity, or even democracy, it’s theater. A toxic concoction masquerading as milk. Like Romans lacing their wine with lead oxide. In the US at least, the vote isn’t fair anymore. Because of the oligarchy’s constant stream of lies and censorship. Remember when the oligarchy passed us a letter, just before the 2020 election, assuring us the Biden laptop was all Russian lies? The oligarchy’s doing everything in it’s power to eliminate election integrity, as they register non citizens to vote, allow ballot harvesting, and mail in voting without verification. Destroying any possible fairness in voting. If people who aren’t legally allowed to cast ballots, are, how is that polity, or even polity’s evil twin, democracy? It isn’t. The oligarchy decides who wins by deciding who votes. Moreover, they also decide who can even be on the ballot. Look at the legal trouble Robert Kennedy JR is having getting on the ballot. Elections without integrity aren’t elections at all, but theater pretending to be elections, to manipulate us into compliance with an oligarchy that lies to us. With the perversion of elections, by the oligarchy, the “democratic” element of our republic is null and void. Even with their ill got advantages the oligarchy isn’t satisfied. Because, when ruling so obviously against our interests, it becomes harder to manipulate us into thinking we agree. That’s why they have to cheat even in the counting of votes. Once democrats count the votes… ours don’t. In 2020, the court system participated in the election fraud, coiling the crookedness. So, our republic lacks a democratic element. Therefore, it’s not a republic, it’s an oligarchy. An oligarchy that’s so corrupt, it pretends to be a democracy, to swindle us into complying with their anti American rule. The problem is, they’re too obvious. Mesmerized with their power in the courts, mockingbird media and DOJ, they’ve overplayed their hand. We’re onto them. Do we have the stomach to take back our republic though? Sincerely, John Pepin
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BETTER THAN JUSTICE ft Marcus Aurelius x Pete...
Akira The Don
 March 22 2024 at 06:59 pm
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GREETINGS MIGHTY WAVE RIDING INDIVIDUAL! I am back from my trip to Texas, and I am happy to confirm… IT’S A BEAUTIFUL DAY TO BE ALIVE! And… THE FIRST MUSIC VIDEO FROM THE FEVERISHLY ANTICIPATED MEDITATIONS VOL, II ALBUM IS OUT NOW! And… THE SONG IS ON ALL STREAMING PLATFORMS! It’s called BETTER THAN JUSTICE It’s got Pete Parada (THE OFFSPRING/THE DEFIANT) playing drums on it! AND IT’S A BANGER! Watch the video here! Stream and download the song on your platform of choice here! And back the MEDITATIONS Vol, II campaign here today! We’re at 90% of our founding goal! HELP US BRING THIS LIFE-CHANGING MUSIC TO THE PEOPLE THAT NEED IT! Enjoy the video, and see you on stream tonight! LOVE TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY! AKIRA THE DON DON STUDIOS MEXICO, MARCH ‘24 ‎‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎
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Friday, April 5 2024 Rand Debate
CanadianLibertarian
 March 22 2024 at 07:02 pm
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My thoughts regarding the debate...Sadly, while these two gentlemen, who I have a lot of respect for, argue over the role of government, their audience will not come away with a full grasp or understanding of an inescapable truth that very few people understand regarding government. The unbridled truth is, the belief in Government authority is not grounded in fact, logic, or universally consistent ethics, but on fully mystical and impossible concepts that can be proven to be wholly contradictory and fallacious. Statism is a religion that even many proponents of freedom believe in. They have been trained to believe that without Rulers (Government), society would instantly break down into complete and utter chaos, or a full on civil war of political/tribal interests. They have been trained to fear a world without Rulers, and it works like a charm on most people as long as they can avoid being confronted with some cold hard truths that very few people know, and are willing to share in the face of overwhelming opposition. The reason for that is because they are not thinking from first principles or allowing their preconceived notions to be challenged, due to the fact that it will rock the very foundations of the beliefs they, and everyone they know, have held for the entirety of their lives. Very few people seem to possess the courage or character needed to break free from the mental enslavement they have been subjected to all their lives. Avoiding learning this kind of truth is profoundly easy to do in the modern world of distractions, conformity, and the tendency for people to surround themselves with other likeminded people who believe the same things they do. By never questioning or challenging these mystical concepts, a person can avoid conflict with the many other true believers in their lives. However, the long term consequences of maintaining this illusion will ultimately prove to be far worse than allowing your mind and psychology to develop beyond a slave-like mindset. However, those of us who do let go of that fear, and embrace the journey that comes with learning what it truly means to be a free human being, are forever changed, and would never wish to go back to having our minds shackled in such a way ever again. They may enslave my body through the plundering of my productive labor, but my mind is free as a bird.CL 2024 Rand Debate A lively debate inspired by Canadian Supreme Court Justice Ivan Rand "Logic must yield to common sense as well as to justice." www.eventbrite.ca
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Are You Offended?
Healthy & Awake Podcast
 March 23 2024 at 01:39 am
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In today's discourse, it's easy to fall into the trap of being offended. Yet, this reaction often signals a relinquishing of our emotional autonomy. When we react defensively to words, we unwittingly hand over power, allowing others to dictate our emotional state. It's important to distinguish between personal attacks, which are understandably hurtful, and mere differences in opinion, which should not have the power to unsettle us. Being offended is an emotional reaction, not a logical stance. Surrendering to this emotion undermines our capacity to respond thoughtfully and critically. It's a sign of mental fragility, and, frankly, those who maintain their composure are less susceptible to manipulation. On Healthy & Awake Podcast (ep. 33) we champion the strength of intellectual fortitude. The ability to control your emotions, rather than allowing societal noise to control you, is a cornerstone of mental resilience. The world is full of provocations, but true mental health and strength are rooted in emotional sovereignty. How do you fortify your mind against the barrage of opinions and statements aimed at eliciting a reaction? What practices or habits have you found effective in maintaining your emotional equilibrium? In moments of potential offense, what steps do you take to assess the situation before reacting? Healthy & Awake Podcast: Apple: https://bit.ly/44pEBV6 Spotify: https://bit.ly/47KVbBM Rumble: https://bit.ly/3HPzG6V YouTube: https://bit.ly/3SKeZjn Substack: https://bit.ly/3TI9Jgw X: https://bit.ly/43sR7oa Mike Vera isn't your average Board Certified Health Coach (NBC-HWC). Armed with an MS in Exercise and Health Promotion and extensive experience as a seasoned personal trainer, he's the strategic mind behind Red Pill Health & Wellness and the engaging voice of the Healthy & Awake Podcast. With a strong foundation in cognitive psychology, Mike is adept at unveiling the hidden influences that impact our health.
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Huberman Has It Half Right
UserJ7o1B79iV2
 March 25 2024 at 03:25 pm
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“ Choice of attention – to pay attention to this and ignore that – is to the inner life what choice of action is to the outer. In both cases, a man is responsible for his choice and must accept the consequences, whatever they may be. ” — W.H. Auden Andrew Huberman, Ph.D., specialist on the eye and vision, advises us to get outside for a few minutes every morning. "View morning sunlight!” is one of my common refrains. Viewing sunlight within the first hours of waking (as soon as you can, even if through cloud cover) increases early-day cortisol release (the ideal time for elevated cortisol) and prepares the body for sleep later that night. A morning spike in cortisol will also positively influence your immune system, metabolism and ability to focus. Further, morning sunlight helps regulate your “circadian clock” — the body’s mechanism for anticipating when to wake up and go to sleep — and it manages other biological processes like hunger and body temperature. So, by going outside we hit reset button on our circadian clock. By getting sunlight into our eyes early in the day (through the windshield does not count) we are effectively helping ourselves be more alert in the daytime and sleep sounder at night. But I think that’s only the half of it. It’s not just about the light that gets into your eyes when we add this to our morning routine, it’s also about subtraction. There’s a war going on for eyeballs. Eyeballs equate to attention. Attention means dollars, votes, or status. Perhaps there is an equally beneficial effect: resetting your brain – owning your focus and your thoughts. Going outside is more than good for your body, it’s good for your soul (or at least your mind if that is too esoteric for you). For his light exposure advice see: Using Light for Health – Huberman Lab Also, Huberman also has a lot of great advice on developing focus and attention. If you read this, the title is just to attract eyeballs (so, if you’ve read this far, I made my point!). Andrew, if you read this, I wish people like you were around when I studied physiology and started a PhD., you show that being condemned to the lab full time wasn’t my only fate. K. Wilkins is the author of: Stoic Virtues Journal: Your Guide to Becoming the Person You Aspire to Be Rules for Living Journal: Life Advice Based On the Words and Wisdom of Jordan B. Peterson
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The Victims Of Chaos
Numapepi
 March 24 2024 at 03:12 pm
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The Victims Of Chaos Posted on March 24, 2024 by john Dear Friends, It seems to me, it’s probable the Hegelian manipulation the elite have unleashed on us, may turn on them, forcing them to accept our terms… a return to Constitutional rule. Waves of terror are about to sweep across our nation. Visited on us by elites in Washington DC. Elites who, to this point, have been safe. Because conservatives… conserve. The terrorists crossing our borders on the other hand are violent extremists. So far, only trannies have done mass shootings, and once CCP infiltrators take over an Air force base and fly the B1 bombers to China, Islamic terrorists go home to home, and crime becomes utterly out of control, the elite expect us to run to them, begging to be tyrannized. When in fact, it may be the elite who run to us, for protection… from their own Frankenstein’s monster. The mass migration the elite are pushing on the world will result in violence, crime and perhaps civilizational collapse… if the elite are “lucky.” Depending on your definition of lucky. If luck is getting what you want regardless of the consequences, then they’ll be very lucky, but if it means escaping the consequences of stupid decisions… then no, they’ll have terrible fortune. Because the people in a penthouse may think the building can collapse under them and they’ll be safe. Riding the collapse and stepping off at the last moment. Reality is, they’ll be going the fastest when they hit bottom, because they have the greatest distance to fall. Private armies will help, but once the US devolves into chaos, an estate won’t be an asset, it’ll be a target. Typically, chaos pushes people to embrace tyrannical government, if for no other reason than to just make it go away. This Hegelian manipulation is dependent on a people incapable of self defense, ignorant of the reason for their predicament, and weak minded. In any nation there will be the foolish, ignorant, and inept, that will turn to the oppressor for succor. As long as the stupid make up enough of the population, and there are no strong minded people willing to stand, the manipulation works. If however, there is a cadre of smart men willing to stand up, with ability, the manipulation fails. Because armed citizens will ban together to defend their communities. If the elite are psychopathic and stupid enough, they’ll clamp down on the “vigilantes,” and create civil war. The problem is, the elite aren’t really safe in their gated communities, so the chaos they’ve unleashed will eventually visit them. Probably more acutely than it will the general populace. Because criminals are looking for victims… not a gun fight. Why try to break into a hardened home, when the only possible profit would be a few jeans, a lap top and a TV… when for the same effort you can break into a mansion, and bag jewelry, gold and cash? The elite’s standard of living will collapse along with our civilization. Being the most dependent on it. They think they’ll sit back, eat popcorn, and watch us murdered in our homes, our women raped, as we starve or eat bugs. When the reality is, they’re the ones who will suffer the most. Having the most to lose. The idiots. If we hold out, defend ourselves, our communities, and allow DC to collapse in the chaos they’ve created by boycotting system… they’ll turn to us for help. No amount of money printing will stop a bullet, no propaganda will stop a gang of criminals ransacking a mansion, and corruption at the DOJ won’t stop a riot. Those with the most to lose, will lose the most, by the collapse. Bringing it on themselves with their utter stupidity magnified by their malevolence. The elite think, in their fevered nightmare, that they’ll be gods once they collapse civilization. They’ve convinced themselves of it. Using every bit of intellect they can muster, they’ve proven, theoretically, that if they burn down the house we all live in… a new one will magically appear. Thinking they’re wicked smart. I agree… they’re wicked. Sincerely, John Pepin
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Program Yourself, Or Be Programmed By Others
Healthy & Awake Podcast
 March 25 2024 at 01:57 pm
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It's often much easier to fall into bad habits than to cultivate good ones. Whether we're talking about health, wealth, or happiness, the good habits require effort and dedication. This challenge is magnified in an environment where the easiest choices—like fast food, excessive consumerism, and high dopamine but low reward activities—often lead us away from true contentment. These choices, seemingly benign at first, can ultimately steer us towards unhappiness and ill health in the long run. At Red Pill Health and Wellness, we empower you to take control of your health journey. We don't just help you meet your health goals; we guide you through the maze of modern life's unhealthy temptations. Our approach helps you harness the tools of influence for your benefit, rather than being swayed by the agendas of corporate executives. Interested in taking the first step towards a healthier you? Send me a message to learn more about our Board Certified Health Coaching (NBC-HWC) services. How have you noticed the environment influencing your health choices, and what steps have you taken to counteract these influences? In what ways do you think society could better support individuals in making healthier decisions? Have you ever experienced a moment of realization that led you to change a harmful habit? What inspired that change? Healthy & Awake Podcast: Apple: https://bit.ly/44pEBV6 Spotify: https://bit.ly/47KVbBM Rumble: https://bit.ly/3HPzG6V YouTube: https://bit.ly/3SKeZjn Substack: https://bit.ly/3TI9Jgw X: https://bit.ly/43sR7oa Mike Vera isn't your average Board Certified Health Coach (NBC-HWC). Armed with an MS in Exercise and Health Promotion and extensive experience as a seasoned personal trainer, he's the strategic mind behind Red Pill Health & Wellness and the engaging voice of the Healthy & Awake Podcast. With a strong foundation in cognitive psychology, Mike is adept at unveiling the hidden influences that impact our health.
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A Guide for Social Justice Paradox - Part 4
Robert "RSnake" Hansen
 April 03 2024 at 01:01 pm
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Part four of the "Hilbert Problems for Social Justice" takes on gender vs racial politics and how the documented rules differ for different out-groups. It is precisely this lack of consistency we're after in this series. Our quest is to unravel the inconsistencies that pepper the moral landscape, seeking clarity amid the cacophony of social justice rhetoric. An anonymous reader shared a thought-provoking observation, noting the escalating 'ante' for social acceptance within these groups, "I do find it interesting that so much value of one’s leftist ideology comes from the ability to be accepted by a group that would have them. Where the blind (in poker parlance) was relatively small… a desire to find one’s self among the lost only took the desire to play dungeons and dragons or magic the gathering sneak a cigarette or the occasional hit of weed… now takes the desire to write off the entire history of your country, set aside all logic, and declare yourself as lgbtq+… the ante seems to has gotten quite larger to find a group that will have you." This reflection addresses the evolving nature of social conformity and potential alienation from mainstream norms. The goal post has moved for what is required to maintain friend groups, and perchance that is what younger generations are facing - a greater divide from normative behavior and FOMO to keep up with the out-group politic. Keep those comments coming! Today's issues stemmed from controversy arising from the Rachel Dolezal/Rachel Moore/Nkechi Amare Diallo story that broke in 2015 where she was outed for pretending to be Black, but born Caucasian. She was president of the NAACP in Spokane Washington until the story broke at which point she resigned in disgrace. In an odd irony, it turns out prior to this event, Rachel Dolezal once sued Howard University for racism against Caucasians, amongst other charges. - https://thesmokinggun.com/file/rachel-dolezal-lawsuit So with that background... People can identify as whatever they want if their strongly held belief is sincere AND Rachel Dolezal can never identify as black. - Someone else’s gender identity is whatever they say it is: https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2022/06/28/americans-complex-views-on-gender-identity-and-transgender-issues/ - Rachel Dolezal can never be black: https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2017/03/03/518184030/why-rachel-dolezal-can-never-be-black These statements taken in totality create a disconcerting paradox: the societal decree that one's gender identity is sacrosanct, juxtaposed against vehement rejection of Dolezal's racial identity claim. The pitchfork wielders after Rachel’s job quickly changed their tune. No longer was her crime about her racial identity but about her honesty. Why the shift? Is it because of the obvious racism baked into the former complaint? Is trans-racial-phobia a thing? Calls for her job were despite any evidence that she would fail to work hard for the NAACP and yet: “We do not feel that she is in a position to properly reflect the values of our diverse community or the Spokane chapter of the NAACP. The questions surrounding her integrity may discredit the work that has been previously done to better the movement of social justice and equality in our community.” I ask you, dear reader, what is more diverse than a trans-racial woman? - https://sign.moveon.org/petitions/its-not-about-race-its Perhaps you're thinking that she has paved the way for more trans-racial persons in the future. If Rachel Dolezal is off the hook for representing herself as Black but was instead ostracized for not saying she was trans-racial out-loud, then perhaps it is okay for the next crop of would-be trans-racial persons to risk their job and reputation to appropriate another’s race. Knowing what happened to Rachel Dolezal, what naïve soul would test those shark infested waters? I wouldn’t bet on a warm reception, given that the verdict of public opinion is that Rachel Dolezal has created incontrovertible "harm" to the Black community. - https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/rachel-dolezal-s-claim-she-black-whitest-possible-way-deal-ncna871656 The uncomfortable questions become:If trans-racial people can harm the race that they are transitioning to, why would trans-sexual people be incapable of similar harm to the sexes they are transitioning to?If Rachel Dolezal is potentially bad at her job because she a liar, what about “closeted” people who lie about their sexuality? Are closeted homosexuals and transexuals similarly incapable of holding important positions? A kissing cousin to this line of thinking is: Cultural appropriation is racist AND replacing Caucasian characters isn’t racist. (E.g., The Little Mermaid) - Dressing up as another culture is racist: https://nativeappropriations.com/2013/10/so-your-friend-dressed-up-as-an-indian-now-what.html - Analysis: A definitive rebuttal to every racist ‘Little Mermaid’ argument: https://www.cnn.com/2022/09/17/entertainment/little-mermaid-racist-backlash-halle-bailey-disney-cec/index.html To engage in discussions over Disney casting choices might, at first glance, appear to be inane or trivial. Yet, there lies a more profound ethical landscape - one that merits attention. The act of reimagining stories for a contemporary audience embodies a form of personal expression that is, in principle, ethically sound. Throughout history, storytelling has evolved, incorporating embellishments and adaptations that breathe new life into ancient tales and myths. This practice of reinterpretation is not only permissible; it is a testament to the dynamism of human creativity and cultural tectonics. However, the ethical waters become murkier when we consider fidelity to an author's original vision. The integrity of storytelling is compromised if adaptations misrepresent the foundational intentions of the original creator without explicitly saying so. Ethical quandaries emerge not from the act of reimagining itself but from the unethical intentions of the changes, where the author's intent is obscured or misrepresented in the pursuit of presentism and social warfare. Tension between innovation and authenticity is worth discussion. In The Little Mermaid for instance, Hans describes the Mermaid thusly (translated to English), “...her skin was as clear and delicate as a rose-leaf, and her eyes as blue as the deepest sea; but, like all the others, she had no feet, and her body ended in a fish’s tail.” - http://hca.gilead.org.il/li_merma.html One could consider the word “clear” to mean transparent rather than Caucasian but given that the Mermaid eventually seduces a human it is likely that he did not mean literal translucence where her blood and organs would be visible - a rather off-putting mental image. When Hans Christian Anderson wrote, “...holding out her white hands towards the keel of their ship...” he likely didn’t mean anything other than he imagined the Mermaid as being a Caucasian woman atop and fish on bottom, in all but the most charitable stretches of imagination. And surely by saying that her eyes were “...blue as the deepest sea...” he did not mean “brown” as Halle Bailey’s eyes appear to be in the 2023 release of The Little Mermaid. Is Hollywood appropriating Danish culture, or Caucasian fish-tales? If appropriating a culture was a thing that can be done against stories, folklore, fairytales, and/or religion, yes, it appears so. What describes culture? Perhaps beyond physical traits and beliefs, it is a way of life, customs or even food. Why then, would the progressive movement blissfully enjoy spicy food anywhere outside of the western hemisphere? Capsicum was only introduced to Europe and Asia by way of the Columbian exchange. Most spicy foods should, therefore, be rebuked as appropriation of western cuisine if there was any sense to this philosophy. Indian and Chinese and Vietnamese and Thai and Pakistani and Indonesian and Malaysian and Sri Lankan and Japanese and Korean and Nepalese and Filipino diets 500 years ago were vastly more tepid. If foods marked Halal or Kosher might be marked as unique to Islamic or Jewish foods respectively, recipes and ingredients can be discussed in a cultural context. A “Mediterranean diet” has no meaning without thinking about the culture and food available in that region of the world. Appropriation of things people love or enjoy could and arguably should be seen as a sign of enjoyment, interest, and respect. It should be cultivated not admonished. A child who cosplays their favorite anime is no more that anime character than an Asian restauranteur is a Native American when he makes a spicy meal and disrespect is meant in neither action. Nor is reimagining the characters with honest motives, showing a new take on an old story, recipe, apparel, etc. This discussion extends beyond mere casting choices, and forces conversations around the criteria for 'authentic' representation. During Halloween years back whilst accompanying a small Caucasian boy dressed as Spiderman, we happened across a black couple and their young boy also dressed as Spiderman. The Caucasian boy in my charge said he was the character Miles Morales who appears to be Black in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and subsequent movies. The Black couple was visibly upset that a Caucasian child would appropriate a Black character. The irony was lost on them, that the very character they are referring to was a re-imaging of other Caucasian variants of Spiderman. Does any of this matter to a child? Absolutely not - they just want to have fun and there is zero racism intended. When the intent is innocent admiration we need to drop our weapons. What is better - telling a child that they can't admire another child because of their skin tone? As a child I wanted to be a Ninja - did that make me racist against the Japanese? How is this thinking progress? However, if the intent is to misrepresent that characters have any physical or cultural aesthetic or to argue any counterfactual interpretation other than what the pages actually say, is dishonest. Re-writing or lying about the author’s provable intent is disrespectful to the work. Re-imagining works in a new light with a new aesthetic or with new characters, on the other hand, has no ethical issues. How many times has Shakespeare been re-done in a modern context, like the 1996 Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes version of Romeo and Juliette illustrates. The risk comes when the themes are perverted and seen through the lens of presentism and the intent lied about. And to what end? Similar paradoxes can be written: Cultural appropriation and colonialism is bad AND renaming a group of people Latinx is good. Why rename an entire group of people based on progressive US values when the bulk of Latin America does not agree with these values or appreciate the term chosen? Forget appropriation - be concerned with forcing your values on other cultures. - One-in-four US Hispanics have heard of Latinx but just 3% use it: https://www.pewresearch.org/hispanic/2020/08/11/about-one-in-four-u-s-hispanics-have-heard-of-latinx-but-just-3-use-it/ These paradoxes could be more honestly and coherently written: certain groups feel that they are at risk of, and don't feel comfortable with, losing their culture; and why should they? The accompanying lies, presentism, and outright racism are unnecessary to accomplish preservation of culture. If anything, making curious people feel that appropriation is abhorrent pushes well-intentioned people from feeling welcome to educate themselves. There is a difference between cultural respect and cultural appropriation. I hope you found this article interesting. This series will document many of these conflated social justice issues and there will be more, God willing. Please subscribe, and comment, if you would like more of the same. If you want to know about me or my show, The RSnake Show, please visit https://rsnake.com/ for details.
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TEXAS! MARCUS AURELIUS! STRETCH GOALS! THIS...
Akira The Don
 March 25 2024 at 10:03 pm
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BANGER WEEK IN THE MEANINGWAVE UNIVERSE! New single! New music video! Podcast! Trip to Texas to do a fire TV show! MEDITATIONS II campaign stretch goals announced! And more! Phew! A banger week it was indeed. BETTER THAN JUSTICE, the first single from the feverishly anticipated MEDITATIONS II album dropped… As did the music video! Featuring Pete Parada (The Offspring/The Defiant) on drums, it’s an instant classic punk rock stoicwave NUKE… This time I drew on THREE translations of Marcus Aurelius, going back to 1862, to get the most accurate and musically maximal transmutation of the text… Mere hours after the video dropped, we smashed our funding goal on the MEDITATIONS II crowdfunding campaign unlocking our most epic and exciting set of stretch goals yet… Who wants new GOGGINS? New Wattswave? MEANINGWAVE LIVE SHOWS??? Back today and make dreams real! Meanwhile, it was a bumper week for podcast and other such Don In The Wild appearances, including a trip to Texas to make a second appearance on Blaze TV’s NORMAL WORLD show! NEW RELEASEBETTER THAN JUSTICE ft. Marcus Aurelius | SINGLE & MUSIC VIDEO INTERVIEWS & PODCASTSNORMAL WORLD: Dan Schneider's Super Sincere Apology, Beyoncé, and Akira the DonAkira joins Dave Laundau and Qtr Black Garret for a glorious episode of chaos and lunacyChrissie Mayr Podcast LIVE with Akira The DonAkira joins comedy legend Chrissie Mayr to talk about babies and art and universe creation and gets into some deep Lore about early ATD yearsThe Works interviews Artist, Wavelord, and professional Vibe RegulatorAkira joins MAZ legend Kalei and goes deep on geek stuff, including the mysterious magical Anime Shop he manifested at school. STREAMS: Not many streams this week, due to international traveling and whatnot, but those we had were awesome! 🔴 REAL PHONK CLASSICS | MEANINGSTREAM 532Two hours of nothing but pure 100% OG phonk CLASSICS! 🔴 SUPER REQUEST SHOW | MEANINGSTREAM 533An epic Meaningwave show curated by the fine citizens of the MAZ! 🔴 PARTY! | MEANINGSTREAM 534Epic party set soundtracks the smashing of campaign goals! 🔴 STRETCH GOALS | MEANINGSTREAM 535Akira announces the epic new stretch goals and plays Meaningwave bangers. AND THAT WAS… THIS WEEK IN MEANINGWAVE! We’ll be back tonight on stream with another epic show! And hold right for a new mixtape tomorrow… And myriad epic activities all week long! Love to you and your family!! AKIRA THE DON, Don Studios, Mexico, March 2024 ‎‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎
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The Student: A Poem Fragment
William E. Godwin
 March 26 2024 at 10:46 am
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“How might one appeal? How might one atone? I have come to feel That neither may be known. For who can say forsooth That he has been forgiven? In searching for the Truth, To madness he is driven! Upon what divine alter Must oneself be cast In order not to faulter And be redeemed at last? Where does salvation lie? How odd to so inquire; For one could not know why He ought to flee from fire.” So went the scholar’s lecture To his pupils in the hall; For retort, one might conjecture, They were void of wherewithal. Yet one lone student bold Stood swiftly to commence An ill-considered scold Of his teacher’s tall pretense. “And error, sir,” he began, “Forms foundation for your thought; You find folly in the quest of Man To seek what you see not. How could one of intellect So hastily assume The absence of an Architect Who has designed his room? Though our homes and draftsmen vary, The former in form and latter in name, The latter agree we ought be wary, For the former to flame all burn the same.” The scholar, taken aback By the audacity Of his student’s attack On his claims veracity, Paused before he spoke In response to his protester, Laughing as though at a joke Told by a witty jester. “You speak with such conviction, For that I count you brave. Yet, you suffer an affliction: You have yet to leave your cave.” “If I may,” the student started With no less confidence, “You may not!” the scholar darted From his lectern in defense. “Another interruption I shall not tolerate As I impart instruction Do not altercate.” The student, somewhat wise, Ceased argumentation. Silence at times concession implies, At others, contemplation. “As I said,” began the scholar, “Inferno is subjective; The treasures of a pauper A prince deems dull, defective. This should be the basis For all moralities: Seek not some god’s oasis, Embrace base banalities.” “No!” exclaimed the student, To the horror of the rest; Being impatiently prudent, Wayward words he works to best. “Your cynical refrain Of utter disenchantment, Akin to screams of pain On a battlefield encampment, Brings to all with ears And a humble, humane heart Fear-inspired tears, From weary eyes they part. I beseech you, sir, Consider my objections. Do not our sorrows stir With woeful soul infections.” The hall’s air hung haunted, Silence starves audition. The scholar, dumbstruck, daunted, Declared, without contrition, “Quiet, you fool! Take your leave at once! Elsewhere may you sling your gruel You call 'the Truth,' you dunce!” Search "The Godwine Cellar" Home | Substack Discover and discuss great writing with the world’s smartest readers on Substack. Substack.com
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Upper Columbia River: The Human Health Assessment
Nancy Churchill
 March 26 2024 at 08:04 pm
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This is part four of a series of articles about the proposed EPA Superfund site on the upper Columbia River. The previous articles are available here on thinkspot. In this article, we will dive deeper into data provided in the March 2024 Human Health Assessment. As part of the work being done after the 2006 settlement agreement between Teck American and the EPA, several intensive scientific studies have been underway. The work on these studies is being done under the supervision of the EPA. In addition to the Human Health Risk Assessment which documents the impact of the pollution on humans, a baseline ecological risk assessment is underway. After that is published, there will be a feasibility study, which will outline the proposed future remediation actions to be taken. The studies will conclude with EPA’s selection of final remedial actions following which EPA will issue a final record of decision (ROD). At this time, it is anticipated that EPA will complete the ROD in 2028. Who and what was studied? The release of the Human Health Risk Assessment is significant, because it seems to have been used to justify the proposed listing of the Upper Columbia River on the National Priorities (Superfund) list. According to the executive summary, “Multiple rounds of data have been collected at the site over the past 15 years, including samples of UCR surface water, beach sediment, soil, air, and tissue (fish, macroinvertebrates, and plants).” Chemicals of potential concern (COPCs) were found in surface water, public and residential beaches, soil in the “uplands” and in wild plants, birds, fish and wild game. COPCs included lead, arsenic, zinc, cadmium, copper, and mercury. Exposure was measured in several population groups: residents, outdoor workers, recreational visitors to Lake Roosevelt, Colville High Intensity Resource Users, and the Spokane Tribe of Indians. Results of the Human Health Risk Assessment According to the HHRA Executive Summary, “The following generalizations can be made based on the results of the HHRA for the residential, recreational, and worker populations: “Residential exposure to soil sampled from 588 residential areas and 142 larger randomly selected areas exceeded lead and non-lead risk benchmarks. Removal actions were taken between 2015 and 2018 at 18 properties that were heavily contaminated. Lead in soil poses the greatest risk, the soil is generally more contaminated in areas that are closer to the international border and closer to the river, and undeveloped lands are generally more contaminated than developed (residential) land. “None of the three metals (arsenic, cadmium, and lead) monitored in air from 2002 to 2009 near Northport or at the international border exceeded risk benchmarks. “Open public beaches and the UCR are safe for recreation. Bossburg Flat Beach is closed to the public due to high lead levels, and the State of Washington is remediating the Northport waterfront. Human health risks from recreating in river water and sediment are low in other areas of the river. “Fish, other than sucker, have low levels of lead...Fish consumers are encouraged to follow the Washington Department of Health Fish Advisories for the UCR and Lake Roosevelt. “Risk to outdoor workers is minimal. Upland soil does not present a risk to outdoor workers.” And finally, regarding exposure to airborne emissions from the Teck smelter over the years, “Exposure to airborne contaminants from the Teck smelter do not pose an unacceptable risk to site residents, recreators, or workers.” Protecting the children? Let’s consider the concern regarding children’s exposure to lead. Lead exposure risk, for both current and future children is estimated based on soil levels of lead. It’s a guess, not something based on testing actual children living in or visiting the area. We should also consider that Northport is a very small, remote town. We’re talking about a small population of children who might be impacted. Why would the entire upper 150-mile reach of the upper Columbia River be designated as a superfund fund because of this tiny population? However, we don’t want any children to be endangered! Why haven’t the children living in the exposure areas had ANY blood testing done? Parents would be worried about their children if the EPA notified them of the lead exposure risk. Unfortunately, despite supposed urgency of the problem of lead exposure, the EPA has made NO efforts to get the local children evaluated. Why? Don’t they care about the children? Or, are they simply using the children as an excuse to justify the superfund designation? More questions than answers The fish are safe to eat, the water is safe for recreation, the most contaminated problem areas have already been remediated, and children do NOT appear to be in any immediate danger. Reviewing the HHRA Executive Summary leaves me with many questions about the timing of the EPA’s proposal for a superfund site. Since the worst properties have already been remediated, how much more remains to be done in the uplands? This question will probably be answered by the baseline ecological risk assessment. Without knowing the actual scope of the remaining problems, we don’t know what future remediation actions are necessary or appropriate. These points will be answered by the future feasibility study. Given these two important reports are outstanding, why would the EPA move forward on a superfund decision RIGHT NOW? In our next few articles in this series, we’re going to look at the state, tribal, and local governments impacted by the Superfund proposal. Then we’ll take a look at the Superfund rules and discover how to make a comment on the proposal. We want to understand this topic well enough to make impactful comments to the EPA. Nancy Churchill is a writer and educator in rural eastern Washington State, and the state committeewoman for the Ferry County Republican Party. She may be reached at DangerousRhetoric@pm.me. The opinions expressed in Dangerous Rhetoric are her own. Dangerous Rhetoric is available on thinkspot, Rumble and Substack. Thank you for supporting Dangerous Rhetoric! You can subscribe to the column here on thinkspot. If you'd like to hit the tip jar, it's always greatly appreciated. I'm grateful for your support! Sources: (1) Teck, Upper Columbia River Project. https://bit.ly/4chdXmx (2) HRS Documentation Record, https://bit.ly/3VsY06T 3) Executive Summary, Final site wide Human Health Risk Assessment, https://bit.ly/4asx8YV
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Our Crazy Elites
Numapepi
 March 27 2024 at 03:29 pm
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Our Crazy Elites Posted on March 27, 2024 by john Dear Friends, It seems to me, future historians will get rich, writing about the insanity of our elites. How could the most well educated people ever, go utterly insane? That will be the theme. Millions of words will be carefully crafted into pages and books about it. Novels will be fashioned about the lives of those who allowed it to happen. Statisticians will count up the deaths in the hundreds of millions, again, because of government action. Another annul in the history of malevolent government will be written… and probably ignored by the next crop of stupid egoistic elites. Our times surpass the French Revolution, WWI, WWII, or Mao’s Great Leap Forward, by an order of magnitude. Both in the death count once it’s all over and the stupidity and malevolence of the elites who brought it about. In the moment it’s easy to forget we’re part of history. Remember, this moment will be recorded on a government data bank, in an NSA computer… forever. Perhaps as the physicists say, time moves like a film, an image of reality flickering on for a moment then gone, but the frame rate of reality is the Plank length. Each passing cell in the film of time, the wise try mightily not to surpass their past selves, in stupidity. Sadly many of us seldom achieve that goal. When you or I fail, it leads to our chastisement at the hands of fate, but when the elite do stupid things, and fail, it leads to millions of deaths and untold suffering for mankind. Each passing cell of time the elite surpass themselves in stupidity, making the world worse for themselves, and everyone else on it… for whatever stupid reason they’ve concocted. History is a recount of the exciting… not the mundane. No one cares if on Dec 2, 1805, there was a great bar fight, someone had a good meal, or if Eggbert Slokum pitched hay that day. We’re interested in the Battle of Austerlitz, the rise and fall of Rome as well as Alexander’s psychopathic conquering. Famines, wars and empires are interesting, because in them are lessons to be learned. Some are just outside our ability to comprehend. Other lessons urgently taught by history are unpalatable so are ignored. Because history’s consequences aren’t immediate, like eating night shade salad, they seem immaterial. Those who survive though, won’t make that mistake again, and will pass on the information. Unfortunately, an out of control elite leading a people to destruction, are always illiterate. The lessons of history are lost on those who are admonished by them. The elite, who are the primary targets of history’s schooling, find them unpalatable. Psychopaths intent on power, will cross any bridge, then burn it behind them. Every example of an elite or tyrant who does that is a similar tale… disaster for the tyrant, oligarchs and the people. Oh, historians might misallocate the blame to an invasion, famine or climate change… but reality is, collapse always and everywhere is the result of stupid leadership. Invasion would have been unthinkable when that state was powerful, famine is temporary and wise leadership with stores of grain can stand long periods, even as Anthropogenic climate change is man made, in that it’s made up… like King Kong. We’re in it now, we can stand and fight, run and hide or lay down and die. The choice is up to each of us to make. The smart will make it better for everyone, the stupid will make it worse, psychopaths will seek to profit, and martyrs will lay down and die. History is filled with examples of what works, what plays into the despot’s hands, and the innovative. Speaking up, refusing to lie, and even civil disobediance have worked. Uprisings have seldom restored a system, they typically install a new despot, taking revolution off the table, unless the elite start openly killing people. Its not the system, that’s bad, its the elite that are running it. They need to be removed and replaced. With people who will do their job. Overseen, by someone with the power and motivation to police them, like a Numa. Sincerely, John Pepin
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Pharmaceuticals or Lifestyle Medicine?
Healthy & Awake Podcast
 March 28 2024 at 02:55 pm
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While I often voice concerns about the medical system and the influence of the pharmaceutical industry, it's clear to me that the majority of doctors genuinely strive for the well-being of their patients and recognize the importance of lifestyle medicine. Certainly, there are those who may be overly influenced by what can sometimes appear as pharmaceutical propaganda, masquerading as 'rigorous studies'. Yet, many are enlightened and aware. A glaring oversight in our current healthcare model is the lack of emphasis on lifestyle as a fundamental component of health. This is precisely the void that health coaches aim to fill. We emerge in response to this oversight, acknowledging that while most individuals, particularly those battling chronic conditions, understand the need for healthier lifestyles, putting these understandings into practice can be daunting. The challenge often lies not in knowing what to do, but in how to implement these changes sustainably and effectively, without faltering in the absence of a supportive structure. At Red Pill Health & Wellness, we bridge this gap. We don't just hand over a generic plan and send you on your way. I, Mike Vera, engage directly with you to understand your aspirations and collaborate on a tailored approach to achieve them. Have you ever felt overwhelmed by trying to make healthier lifestyle choices? Do you find it challenging to maintain consistency without someone to hold you accountable? Healthy & Awake Podcast: Apple: https://bit.ly/44pEBV6 Spotify: https://bit.ly/47KVbBM Rumble: https://bit.ly/3HPzG6V YouTube: https://bit.ly/3SKeZjn Substack: https://bit.ly/3TI9Jgw X: https://bit.ly/43sR7oa Mike Vera isn't your average Board Certified Health Coach (NBC-HWC). Armed with an MS in Exercise and Health Promotion and extensive experience as a seasoned personal trainer, he's the strategic mind behind Red Pill Health & Wellness and the engaging voice of the Healthy & Awake Podcast. With a strong foundation in cognitive psychology, Mike is adept at unveiling the hidden influences that impact our health.
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Subscription to Scam
edXanthony
 April 01 2024 at 04:48 am
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Subscriptions for programmes, or applications, or 'apps' to some, is a scam, plain and simple. They produce it one time, and then expect money for your lifetime even though they aren't doing anything more for you, or even if you don't want any of their updates. Previously, they sold an application. If there were any new features, they sold it in the next version of the product and you bought it if you wanted it. Now, that choice is taken away simply because they own the company. That is when they can release an application with half the features, and then charge you monthly or yearly for the rest of the features they can then slowly release over a 100 year period. This is no different from paying a gardener a daily subscription for enjoying his one day of work throughout the month. This is no different from paying a restaurant an hourly subscription for all those hours it takes before you shit it out because you are benefitting from the food till shit happens. Alright then. Let's say we go for this 'subscription model'. How about working for a company for one day, and then charging them a daily subscription from profitting from whatever work you did for as long as they profit from it - which should be as long as the company exists unless they can prove that they did not profit from your employment in any way that would not have positive effects of their profits always? How about paying the road sweeper an hourly subscription for relatively cleaner streets throughout the time before he comes to clean it again, even though throughout that time he is out playing golf. Or how about paying a taxi driver an hourly subscription for the fun you are having at a pub for all the hours you are at the pub he took you too? Or how about a psychiatrist charging you a monthly lifetime subscription for enjoying better mental health for the rest of your life after that one hour consultation? That is no different from these scamming companies. If people need a product, and they are prevented from making it themselves because they are deprived of the money to do it, then the company should be handed to the people to continue to develop it and enjoy its products. This whole thing is a scam. The moment a company breaks even from the sale of its product, all those who bought the product have actually paid for the production of the product and become its shareholders. Profits should thereon be shared equally, not used to enrich its directors and whatnot at the expense of the people. That is the only true justice. All that happens if that does not happen is a scam. From this you know who your government, courts, and police, truly work for, if not by intention, damn surely by consequence. edX
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Think You Can't Be Fooled?
Healthy & Awake Podcast
 April 02 2024 at 11:34 am
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Sometimes, what's right in front of us isn't what it seems. Our brains, in their quest for efficiency, employ heuristics and biases—shortcuts that, while useful, can make us susceptible to influence. Propaganda exploits these shortcuts through narrative control, fostering group conformity via bipartisan politics, and leveraging authority to forge a consensus. These are just a few of the ways it shapes our thoughts and perceptions. Similarly, marketing mirrors these tactics but focuses on consumer behavior—crafting compelling narratives in advertising, using influencers to shape our perception of status, and catchy jingles designed to linger in our minds. These pervasive strategies don't just influence our views; they subtly nudge our behavior, often in less healthy directions. As a Board Certified Health Coach (NBC-HWC), I guide you through not just adopting healthier habits in nutrition, exercise, sleep, and stress management, but also in recognizing and countering these external influences. Our unique approach empowers you to use these very tactics for your own benefit, turning the tables on the forces that shape your decisions. Reach out to explore how we can redefine your health narrative. What unnoticed influences have you identified in your life, and how have they shaped your decisions? In what ways do you think recognizing and repurposing these tactics could lead to more empowered health choices? Share your thoughts and experiences on navigating through the noise to find your path to wellness. Healthy & Awake Podcast: Apple: https://bit.ly/44pEBV6 Spotify: https://bit.ly/47KVbBM Rumble: https://bit.ly/3HPzG6V YouTube: https://bit.ly/3SKeZjn Substack: https://bit.ly/3TI9Jgw X: https://bit.ly/43sR7oa Mike Vera isn't your average Board Certified Health Coach (NBC-HWC). Armed with an MS in Exercise and Health Promotion and extensive experience as a seasoned personal trainer, he's the strategic mind behind Red Pill Health & Wellness and the engaging voice of the Healthy & Awake Podcast. With a strong foundation in cognitive psychology, Mike is adept at unveiling the hidden influences that impact our health.
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Climate Uncertainty & Risk w/ Dr. Judith Curry...
Healthy & Awake Podcast
 April 02 2024 at 04:27 pm
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In the latest captivating episode of Healthy & Awake Podcast, I'm joined by Dr. Judith Curry, a distinguished figure in the realm of climate science, for a conversation that dares to question the prevailing climate change discourse. With an illustrious career that spans over a decade at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the foundation of the Climate Forecast Applications Network (CFAN), Dr. Curry brings a depth of knowledge and expertise that is both rare and invaluable. This episode not only highlights her significant contributions to climate dynamics, extreme weather, and risk science but also dives into her courageous shift from endorsing to critically examining mainstream climate narratives. A pivot sparked by her scrutiny of the ClimateGate emails, Dr. Curry's story is a testament to the complexities of scientific integrity and the consequences of politicizing climate science. Throughout this enlightening discussion, listeners will explore:The parallels drawn between COVID-19 and climate change narratives, focusing on the exaggerated risk management strategies and the drive for consensus, which have led to notable societal repercussions.Dr. Curry’s call for a nuanced understanding of climate change that prioritizes pragmatic energy policies and real environmental solutions over the singular focus on CO2 emission reductions.Her critique of the climate movement's hypocrisy and the advocacy for adaptive strategies to mitigate extreme weather events without resorting to extreme dietary changes, such as the controversial suggestion of replacing steak with insects.Insights into Dr. Curry's personal commitment to sustainable living, which challenges the mainstream climate change mitigation strategies. This episode is a must-listen for those seeking a balanced and informed view on climate science and policy. Engage with Dr. Curry’s insightful perspectives by tuning in on Apple, Rumble, or Spotify. PS: Please rate us 5 stars on Apple or Spotify to help spread the word.Upcoming Episode: Dr. Suneel Dhand - A Revolution in Health and Wellness Next on Healthy & Awake Podcast, we delve into the world of lifestyle medicine and metabolic health with Dr. Suneel Dhand, an Internal Medicine Physician whose work transcends continents and conventional medical narratives. Born in London and educated at Cardiff University before moving to the United States for his medical residency, Dr. Dhand has not only practiced medicine across the East Coast but has also become a vocal advocate for preventive medicine through his popular healthcare blog, YouTube channel, and authorship of three well-being books. His current focus is on the natural reversal of type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes, a testament to his commitment to combating chronic illnesses through lifestyle changes. Highlights of our upcoming discussion include:The pressing need for a paradigm shift in healthcare towards preventive medicine and metabolic health.Dr. Dhand's critical perspectives on pandemic responses, the influence of “Big Pharma”, and the dietary misinformation perpetuated by "Big Food".Insights into natural approaches to reversing type 2 diabetes, challenging the pharmaceutical narrative, and the crucial role of diet and exercise in maintaining health.An exploration of Dr. Dhand's latest book which intriguingly intersects health insights with American history, alongside his views on the future of medicine rooted in first principles. Tune in for an episode that not only questions the status quo but offers a visionary look at the future of healthcare and wellness.🔥 Post of the Week: Provoking Thought and Sparking Dialogue "The news isn't what it used to be. Whether tuning into Fox News or CNN, it's evident there's an underlying agenda. This agenda aims not only to keep you engaged but also to echo what you're inclined to believe, serving you your preferred flavor of propaganda. Moreover, a significant part of this agenda involves pushing specific political narratives, shaping public opinion under the guise of unbiased reporting...." Read the rest of this post and join the discussion by clicking HERE.Elevate Your Health This Spring Spring is a time for new beginnings, and your health journey is no exception. As a Board Certified Health Coach (NBC-HWC), I specialize in crafting lifestyles that enhance nutrition, physical activity, stress management, and sleep. What sets us apart? We flip the script on the tactics often used to lure you into unhealthy habits—like those irresistible junk food ads—and teach you how to apply these strategies for your well-being. Transform your environment to champion your health goals. Interested in learning how? Reach out to start your personalized health coaching journey. Stay healthy & awake,Mike Vera
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THE POWER! - MEANINGSTREAM 537 | STREAM
Akira The Don
 April 02 2024 at 05:26 pm
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Back MEDITATIONS II today! Join in Akira and the gang in a celebration of, and an execution of... THE POWER! TRACKLISTING Kanye West x Point Point - PowerAkira The Don - OPPORTUNITYAkira The Don - How I Made Meaningwave (feat. Jordan Peterson)Akira The Don & Danika XIX - WHO WILL PLAY GODAkira The Don - Mind Over Mind (Instrumental)Akira The Don - my mind 145 G#minor - 12A - 145Akira The Don - Watch What Is Going On (Instrumental)Akira The Don - Your Biggest Enemy (Instrumental)Akira The Don & Jordan Peterson - The AntidoteAkira The Don & Danika XIX - MENTAT GENERALIST (THINGS I KNOW)Akira The Don - MENTAT GENERALIST (THINGS I KNOW) (Instrumental)Akira The Don, Marcus Aurelius - BETTER THAN JUSTICEAkira The Don, Marcus Aurelius - BEHIND CLOSED DOORSAkira The Don - BEHIND CLOSED DOORS (Instrumental)Akira The Don & Jordan Peterson - more powerful than you thinkAkira The Don & Stan Lee - Just Because Someone Has A SuperpowerAkira The Don & Danika XIX - A PAST WHICH NEVER EXISTEDAkira The Don & Jordan Peterson - StrengthAkira The Don ft. Joe Rogan - MY FAVOURITE STORIESAkira The Don & Paul Harvey - Thank You GodAkira the Don & Alan Watts - Our Revels Now Are Ended (24 Demo)Akira the Don & Alan Watts - Our Revels Now Are Ended (24 Demo)Akira The Don - Doing On The Job (Inst)Akira The Don - Ayahuasca (Instrumental)Stan Bush - The TouchAkira The Don - Self Control ft. Marcus AureliusAkira The Don - My Adopted Father (Instrumental)Kanye West - POWER You can also listen to our streams as audio on your podcast feed of choice. STREAM HERE ‎‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎
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thinkspot Newsletter 4/3
thinkspot
 April 03 2024 at 04:25 pm
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A Guide to Social Justice Paradox - Part 3 By RSnakeWhen Race Trumps Merit: How the Pursuit of Equity Sacrifices Excellence, Destroys Beauty, and Threatens Lives By Heather Mac DonaldClick here to join us for a discussion on Race and Merit with Heather Macdonald and Phil Magness this Thursday, April 4th at 6pm EST. Manu: The First Man and Keeper of the Law By Sadhika PantRetrograde spins forward - tomorrow, tonight - I post. By DavidGetzinAcademia Isn’t a Pit, It’s a Ladder By BobbyMarsApple, Amazon, And Google: Are They Monopolies? The Government Thinks So. By ValueSideJoin the conversation Here's a reality check regarding those Carbon Tax supporting so called 'experts', who are mostly comprised of professors in Academia
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Disparate Impact Thinking Is Destroying Our...
Heather Mac Donald
 April 05 2024 at 09:02 pm
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The most consequential falsehood in American public policy today is the idea that any racial disparity in any institution is by definition the result of racial discrimination. If a cancer research lab, for example, does not have 13 percent black oncologists—the black share of the national population—it is by definition a racist lab that discriminates against competitively qualified black oncologists; if an airline company doesn’t have 13 percent black pilots, it is by definition a racist airline company that discriminates against competitively qualified black pilots; and if a prison population contains more than 13 percent black prisoners, our law enforcement system is racist. The claim that racial disparities are proof of racial discrimination has been percolating in academia and the media for a long time. After the George Floyd race riots of 2020, however, it was adopted by America’s most elite institutions, from big law and big business to big finance. Even museums and orchestras took up the cry. Many thought that STEM—the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—would escape the diversity sledgehammer. They were wrong. The American Medical Association today insists that medicine is characterized by white supremacy. Nature magazine declares that science manifests one of “humankind’s worst excesses”: racism. The Smithsonian Institution announces that “emphasis on the scientific method” and an interest in “cause and effect relationships” are part of totalitarian whiteness. As a result of this falsehood, we are eviscerating meritocratic and behavioral standards in accordance with what is known as “disparate impact analysis.” Consider medicine. Step One of the medical licensing exam, taken during or after the second year of medical school, tests medical students’ knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and pathology. On average, black students score lower on the grading curve, making it harder for them to land their preferred residencies. Step One, in other words, has a “disparate impact” on black medical students. The solution, implemented last year, was to eliminate the Step One grading disparity by instituting a pass–fail system. Hospitals choosing residents can no longer distinguish between high and low achieving students—and that is precisely the point! The average Medical College Achievement Test (MCAT) score for black applicants is a standard deviation below the average score of white applicants. Some medical schools have waived the submission of MCAT scores altogether for black applicants. The tests were already redesigned to try to eliminate the disparity. A quarter of the questions now focus on social issues and psychology. The medical school curriculum is being revised to offer more classes in white privilege and focus less on clinical practice. The American Association of Medical Colleges will soon require that medical faculty demonstrate knowledge of “intersectionality”—a theory about the cumulative burdens of discrimination. Heads of medical schools and chairmen of departments like pediatric surgery are being selected on the basis of identity, not knowledge. The federal government is shifting medical research funding from pure science to studies on racial disparities and social justice. Why? Not because of any assessment of scientific need, but simply because black researchers do more racism research and less pure science. The National Institutes of Health has broadened the criteria for receiving neurology grants to include things like childhood welfare receipt because considering scientific accomplishment alone results in a disparate impact. What is at stake in these changes? Future medical progress and, ultimately, lives. Standards are falling in the legal profession, which came up with the disparate impact concept in the first place. Upon taking office in 2021, President Biden announced that he would no longer submit his judicial nominees to the American Bar Association for a preliminary rating. Why? According to a member of the White House Counsel’s Office, allowing the ABA to vet candidates would be incompatible with the “diversification of the judiciary.” This claim was dubious. The ABA, after all, cannot open its collective mouth without issuing a bromide about the need to diversify the bar. Its leading members are obsessed with the demographics of corporate law firms and law school faculties. This is the same ABA that gave its highest rating to a Supreme Court nominee who as a justice would make the false claim during a challenge to Covid vaccine mandates that “over 100,000 children are in serious condition [from Covid] and many are on ventilators.” State bar associations are also busy watering down standards to eliminate disparate impact. In 2020, California lowered the pass score on its bar exam because black applicants were disproportionately failing. Only five percent of black law school graduates passed the California bar on their first try in February 2020, compared to 52 percent of white law school graduates and 42 percent of Asian law school graduates. The lack of proportional representation among California’s attorneys was held to be proof of a discriminatory credentialing system. The pressure to eliminate the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) requirement for law school admissions is growing, because it too has a disparate impact. As a single mother told an ABA panel, “I would hate to give up on my dream of becoming a lawyer just due to not being able to successfully handle this test.” Note the assumption: the problem always lies with the test, never with the test taker. The LSAT requirement will almost certainly be axed. The curious state of our criminal justice system today is a function of the disparate impact principle. If you wonder why police officers are not making certain arrests, or why district attorneys are not prosecuting whole categories of crimes—such as shoplifting, trespassing, or farebeating—it is because apprehending lawbreakers and prosecuting crime have a disparate impact on black criminals. Urban leaders have decided that they would rather not enforce the law at all, no matter how constitutional that enforcement, than put more black criminals in jail. Walgreens, CVS, and Target would rather close down entire stores and deprive their elderly customers of access to their medications than confront shoplifters and hand them over to the law, because doing so would disproportionately yield black shoplifters, as the viral looting videos attest. Macy’s flagship store in New York City was sued several years ago because most of the people its employees stopped for shoplifting were black. The only allowable explanation for that fact was that Macy’s was racist. It was not permissible to argue that Macy’s arrests mirrored the shoplifting population. Even colorblind technology is racist. Speeding and red-light cameras disproportionately identify black drivers as traffic scofflaws. The solution to such disparate impact is the same as we saw with the medical licensing exam: throw out the cameras. The result of this de-prosecution and de-policing has been widespread urban anarchy and, in 2020, the largest one-year spike in homicide in this nation’s history. Thousands more black lives have been lost to drive-by shootings. Dozens of black children have been fatally gunned down in their beds, in their front yards, and in their parents’ cars. No one says their names because their assailants were not police officers or white supremacists. They were other blacks. UNCOMFORTABLE FACTS We need to face up to the truth: the reason for racial underrepresentation across a range of meritocratic fields is the academic skills gap. The reason for racial overrepresentation in the criminal justice system is the crime gap. And let me issue a trigger warning here: I am going to raise uncomfortable facts that many well-intentioned Americans would rather not hear. Keeping such facts off stage may ordinarily be appropriate as a matter of civil etiquette. But it is too late for such forbearance now. If we cannot acknowledge the skills gap and the behavior gap, we are going to continue destroying our civilizational legacy. Let me also make the obvious point that I am talking about group averages. Thousands of individuals within underperforming groups outperform not only their own group average but great numbers of people within other groups as well. Here are the relevant facts. In 2019, 66 percent of all black 12th graders did not possess even partial mastery of basic 12th grade math skills, defined as being able to do arithmetic and to read a graph. Only seven percent of black 12th graders were proficient in 12th grade math, defined as being able to calculate using ratios. The number of black 12th graders who were advanced in math was too small to show up statistically in a national sample. The picture was not much better in reading. Fifty percent of black 12th graders did not possess even partial mastery of basic reading, and only four percent were advanced. According to the ACT, a standardized college admissions test, only three percent of black high school seniors were college ready in 2023. The disparities in other such tests—the SAT, the LSAT, the GRE, and the GMAT—are just as wide. Remember these data when politicians and others vilify Americans as racist on the ground that this or that institution is not proportionally diverse. We can argue about why these disparities exist and how to close them—something that policymakers and philanthropists have been trying to do for decades. But in light of these skills gaps, it is irrational to expect 13 percent black representation on a medical school faculty or among a law firm’s partners under meritocratic standards. At present you can have proportional diversity or you can have meritocracy. You cannot have both. As for the criminal justice system, the bodies speak for themselves. President Biden is fond of intoning that black parents are right to fear that their children will be killed by a police officer or by a white gunslinger every time those children step outside. The mayor of Kansas City proclaimed last year that “existing while black” is another high-risk activity that blacks must engage in. The mayor was partially right: existing while black is far more dangerous than existing while white—but the reason is black crime, not white vigilantes. In the post-George Floyd era, black juveniles are shot at 100 times the rate of white juveniles. Blacks between the ages of ten and 24 are killed in drive by shootings at nearly 25 times the rate of whites in that same age cohort. Dozens of blacks are murdered every day, more than all white and Hispanic homicide victims combined, even though blacks are just 13 percent of the population. The country turns its eyes away. Who is killing these black victims? Not the police, not whites, but other blacks. As for interracial violence, blacks are a greater threat to whites than whites are to blacks. Blacks commit 85 percent of all non-lethal interracial violence between blacks and whites. A black person is 35 times more likely to commit an act of non-lethal violence against a white person than vice versa. Yet the national narrative insists on the opposite idea—and too many dutifully play along. These crime disparities mean that the police cannot restore law and order in neighborhoods where innocent people are most being victimized without having a disparate impact on black criminals. So the political establishment has decided not to restore law and order at all. CIVILIZATION AT STAKE It is urgent that we fight back against disparate impact thinking. As long as racism remains the only allowable explanation for racial disparities, the Left wins, and our civilization will continue to crumble. Even the arts are coming down. Classical music, visual art, theater—all are dismissed as a function of white oppression. The Metropolitan Museum of Art mounted an astonishing show last year called the Fictions of Emancipation. The show’s premise was that if a white artist creates a work intended to show the cruelties of slavery, that artist (in this case, the great 19th century French sculptor Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux) is in fact arguing that the natural condition of blacks is slavery. Prosecuting this nonsensical argument required the Met to ignore or distort almost every feature of the Western art tradition—including the representation of the nude human body, artists’ use of models, and the sale of art. Only Western art is subjected to this kind of hostile interpretation. Chinese, African, and Indian cultural traditions are still treated with curatorial respect, their works analyzed in accordance with their creators’ intent. As soon as a critic turns his eye or ear on Western art, however, all he can see or hear is imperialism and white privilege. It is a perverse obsession. We are teaching young people to dismiss the greatest creations of humanity. We are stripping them of the capacity to escape their narrow identities and to lose themselves in beauty, sublimity, and wit. No wonder so many Americans are drowning in meaninglessness and despair. We must stop apologizing for Western Civilization. To be sure, slavery and segregation were grotesque violations of America’s founding ideals. For much of our history black Americans suffered injustice and gratuitous cruelty. Today, however, every mainstream institution is twisting itself into knots to hire and promote as many underrepresented minorities as possible. Yet those same institutions grovelingly accuse themselves of racism. The West has liberated the world from universal squalor and disease, thanks to the scientific method and the Western passion for discovery and knowledge. It has given the world plumbing, hot showers in frigid winters, flight, clean water, steel, antibiotics, and just about every structure and every device that we take for granted in our miraculously privileged existence—and I use the word “privilege” here to refer to anyone whose life has been transformed by Western ingenuity—i.e., virtually every human being on the planet. It was in the West that the ideas of constitutional government and civil rights were born. Yes, to our shame, we had slavery. What civilization did not? But only the Anglosphere expended lives and capital to end the nearly universal practice. Britain had to occupy Lagos in 1861 to get its ruler to give up the slave trade. The British Navy used 13 percent of its manpower to blockade slave ships leaving the western coast of Africa in the 19th century, as Nigel Biggar has documented. Every ideal that the Left uses today to bash the West—such as equality or tolerance—originated in the West. *** The ongoing attack on colorblind excellence in the U.S. is putting our scientific edge at risk. China, which cares nothing for identity politics, is throwing everything it has at its most talented students. China ranks number one in international tests of K-12 math, science, and reading skills; the U.S. ranks twenty-fifth. China is racing ahead in nano physics, artificial intelligence, and other critical defense technologies. Chinese teams dominate the International Olympiad in Informatics. Meanwhile the American Mathematical Association declares math to be racist and President Biden puts a soil geologist with no background in physics at the top of the Department of Energy’s science programs. This new science director may know nothing about nuclear weapons and nuclear physics, but she checks off several identity politics boxes and publishes on such topics as “A Critical Feminist Approach to Transforming Workplace Climate.” What do we do in response to such civilizational immolation? We proclaim that standards are not racist and that excellence is not racist. We assert that categories like race, gender, and sexual preference are never qualifications for a job. I know for a fact that being female is not an accomplishment. I am equally sure that being gay or being black are also not accomplishments. Should conservative political candidates campaign against disparate impact thinking and in favor of standards of merit? Of course they should! They will be accused of waging a culture war. But it is the progressive elites, not their conservative opponents, who are engaging in cultural revolution! Most conservatives today are not even playing defense. How about legislation to ban racial preferences in medical training and practice? How about eliminating the disparate impact standard in statutes and regulations? Conservatives should by all means promote the virtues of free markets and limited government, but the diversity regime is the nemesis of both. Lowering standards helps no one since high expectations are the key to achievement. In defense of excellence we must speak the truth, never apologize, and never back down. Originally published at imprimus.hillsdale.edu
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Pop-Punk: The Aesthetics
Dre Carlan
 April 04 2024 at 02:54 am
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The staples of an average millennial high-schooler’s bedroom: a skateboard propped up against the wall, a closet full of Hurley, and a Tom DeLonge Signature Strat in the corner. The fact that most of us can relate isn’t an accidental coincidence. Pop-punk reigned king of the airwaves during the late-90s/early-2000s. While various sub-genres such as midwest emo and shoe gaze had already been around for a while, nobody could’ve really predicted the rise of simple four-powerchord choruses with catchy hooks. Thanks to a plethora of the era’s bands and record labels—most notably blink-182 and Drive-Thru Records, respectively—a ceaseless wave of wide-eyed dreamers invested in the scene with utmost sincerity. And so the story went that with the sound came the image and finally, the characteristics of any pop-punker the world over: wearing one’s heart on their sleeve, being overly emotional, and having a very stylized flair for the dramatic. The romanticized idea of “soulmates” wasn’t a new one and certainly not unique to any genre of music. It was, however, deeply embedded within the sentimental lyrics like an on-demand cookie-cutter. High school sweethearts were essentially doomed for inevitable heartbreak that they could then nurse with their favorite songs on repeat. This isn’t a criticism. I myself was a frontline pusher of the aesthetics in every way with scraped knees from failed kick flips and calloused fingertips from constant “What’s My Age Again?” riffing to match. I embodied the look every chance I could and while it never really did much for me in return, it did make me feel part of something bigger than myself. I suppose the same could be said for nearly all counterculture movements. The ultimate consequences to this lifestyle weren’t just a bunch of nautical star tattoos and a colorful wardrobe thanks to local PacSuns everywhere. It created a generation of excessively softened hearts. Those who would jump at the sudden sight of a failed relationship. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with wanting things to work out with a loved one. But the reality is that it often doesn’t when you’re still in the midsts of adolescent dreaming. And if it’s one thing we all eventually learn along the way toward adulthood is that there is always someone else to give our hearts to. The sea is big, the fish are plentiful. That’s one thing they don’t teach in the school of pop-punk: a goodbye is not the end of the world. Now in my 30s and having a new perspective on all-things-love, what are my lasting thoughts of it all? I can safely say that it was well worth it. Not just for the sense of belonging that it brought or the memorable concerts or even the self-made punk songs, but for the way that if one wasn’t around during that very specific time, they wouldn’t have those very specific memories. The oversized Discmans stuffed into our front pockets may’ve been uncomfortable, but the peeling back of a new CD’s sticker more than made up for it. Mostly though, those who lived through the era will always remember the subtle innocence of it all. That’s something that can’t be replaced and for that, I’m forever grateful to have experienced it.
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The Heartbreaking Brilliance of Young Thug
Dre Carlan
 April 04 2024 at 03:45 am
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Trap music isn’t my number one forte, but my playlists are filled with enough of it to know something special when I hear it. Cue Young Thug. The Atlanta rapper is currently the talk of the town due to recent RICO charges that I won’t get into here. But whichever side of the legal discussion one falls on, there is no debate when it comes to his artistic vision and talent. The flow is impeccable. As is the delivery, cadence, and overall confidence. A GQ article once compared Thug’s performance to a Jackson Pollock painting. The comparison isn’t too far fetched. His lyrical style is one that encourages different interpretations and sometimes, it’s nearly impossible to pin down exactly what’s being said. But that again, is brilliant. 
My hopes are that this doesn’t come across as blatant promotion, but instead, as some friendly advice to check out a great artist. There are certainly hallmarks of the genre present, but aside from those over-analyzed topics from the general public, there is a rawness and even slight vulnerability to his style. From showcasing his unique fashion sense to proudly putting his dreams on display, he exposes himself to scrutiny and constant criticism. To be sure, none of it has stopped him. A final point to make is his dedication to his roots. Indeed, so much so that his music label is filled with lifelong friends that others in his position may’ve all but forgotten about. It’s commendable no matter your musical tastes. What’s heartbreaking about his brilliance is the fact that it’s now being overshadowed by things out of his initial purpose. Legal charges with wrongfully-attributed characteristics—a narrative which he never intended on writing. I imagine many people’s hopes are that years from now, music aficionados looking back to our time will remember Thug for the right reasons. Like his interpretive lyrics, there is always at least two sides to every story. With his trial still months away from completion, there remains a glimmer of hope that all of this will be put in the past at some point, and that he will reclaim his status as a cultural icon and be remembered for what it’s all about at the end of the day: his music. For newcomers, I’d suggest the following introductory songs:First verse of "Speed Racer"Third verse of "Hercules"The entirety of "Givenchy"
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All That Blurs By
Dre Carlan
 April 04 2024 at 05:03 am
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Time is running out. I need to be at O’Hare International Airport in under ninety minutes. To go that far west, I should first head south toward the Loop and then take the Blue Line. Everything is a blur—, the studio walls, the commotion outside, the last twenty-some years. Everything blurs by. Michigan Avenue is one long, concrete-runway. It reaches the sunset and then some. Police are posted at most corners, beggars escape the wind within random alcoves, and tourists slow down foot-traffic while trying to take the perfect picture. Still—, it’s the epitome of style. Not just because everything is so designer and so glamorous and so chic—, but because it’s what keeps us coming back. The shine, the next step, the possibility that one day we too can say “we made it.” Couples exit expensive restaurants and reach for each other’s arms, interlocking them as they set off down the street toward a taxicab or café. Either way, it’s a charming sight and one that invites us to see ourselves in that exact position. We keep moving. I hear the announcer say that the Michigan & Lake stop is coming up so I pull the cord, stand up, and ready myself to walk toward the Washington station. Once there, I board the Blue Line and sit in the first open seat I see. The speeding train interweaves through the clusters of structures like a massive steel thread. If only I could reach out beyond the sealed windows, my fingertips would be able to graze the bricks themselves. Everything I’d learned from books and movies was reduced down to mere reference points when I finally moved out into the city. Nothing prepares you for the real world like stepping out into the real world. Of course it can be beautiful. Of course the sunshine beaming off of the stage at Millennium Park is perfect. But it can also be cold. The winters are rough. Ice and sleet cover the streets and everything is grey. Not a pure white with freshly fallen snow, no. It’s marred from the tar off the wheels that run themselves over the slush and dirt of an urban landscape. But even then—, something beautiful can be found within it. Something compelling. Like the city is irresistible even in mid-January, even with the dreariness of unforeseeable blizzards, because after all, it is home. It’s where you sleep and shower and see how far you can go without feeling like you’ve been left behind to fend for yourself, since here, everyone fends for themselves. Time keeps ticking. The rooftops drift by in the late afternoon sun. The ones right past the fiberglass, quickly. The ones way behind in the background, slowly. Either way, they all drift by into the recesses of our memories and only reappear once we pass through again. Coded languages are graffitied onto the stairwells of large complexes and ciphers onto the sides of small apartment buildings. They speak of some type of spiritual revolution while prayer flags are strewn through the streets—, fallen and forgotten. I don’t pretend to understand, I just accept it. I begin to think back to yesterday. The scene floods in like waves of scorching sunlight; thick fumes drift up and through the atmosphere as we take our seats, speak in pieces of broken slang, and seek peace itself. This is nighttime—, personified in two people. Stars sparkle in our eyes. The Windy City’s air courses through our veins and makes its way up toward our brains as the name stays on the very tips of our tongues; “Chi…ca…go…,” she says with such elegance. We keep moving. Time keeps ticking. The world keeps blurring by.
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For Three Days
Dre Carlan
 April 04 2024 at 05:21 am
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Not long after my ninth birthday is when I first began hearing my father violently coughing up blood on a regular basis. Rarely did I hear anymore quiet that lasted longer than a few sparse minutes from the living room where he'd sleep alone in the fold-out bed. It'd been months since I last saw him in actual clothes as he now only wore different sets of the same bland pajamas my mom probably picked out for him in a few different colors. He'd probably never again wear a nice button-up shirt. What a non-issue that must be to a healthier man whose lungs weren't rotting of cancer. They probably wore very nice, really expensive shirts everyday, like my own dad used to do before he got sick. Now, he was on his way out. That much was obvious, even to me. So when one day after school, I opened my bedroom door to find my only aunt who I hadn't seen in years, standing there cheerfully humming to herself while cleaning up my toys for me, I should've put two and two together. She stayed for the next six months. In three my dad would die in his sleep and it'd be her who'd hear the loud gasp in the middle of some random night, not realizing until morning it was actually his last living breath before his body finally gave up fighting. She stayed another three months afterwards to look after her now-widowed sister. I don't remember much from that period of my life. Since I was strategically sent away to live with distant relatives who owned a condo in Queens, it's not like I was around to make many memories anyway. If I try to think back now, it feels like lifetimes ago. All I can tap into is seeing a lot of black clothes and faint whimpering. It feels like the sounds of sobbing were never too far off. It's eerily ambiguous though. Still, the days I was able to spend with my aunt seemed like miracles. Those were the only times during that period where I'd feel truly happy. Like a much-needed return to form for the younger me who laughed constantly as a child. I loved "Mamateta," and even though nobody knows why I gave her that nickname, I used it for years. She adored me and took every opportunity to prove it. Though I left Romania when I was four, I retained many more memories of my aunt than anyone else. How she'd play with me when everyone else was too busy, or how she'd nurse the many cuts and scrapes I'd get on my elbows and knees—, these things must've left quite an impact on my single-child consciousness. I specifically remember an instance where the paper cut on my index finger was so deep that I wanted to burst into tears just looking at it. While cleaning it and putting on a bandaid, I remember my aunt saying, "it feels like there's a tiny little heartbeat inside your finger doesn't it?" I nodded. "I know sweetheart, I've had this happen to me before too." This was her amazing charm. She was easy to talk to. Such a sweet, honest lady. Though she and my mother grew up side by side, they were different people. She took after their own mom, while mine walked in her father’s footprints out of pure admiration. They were sisters nonetheless. So when Mamateta was told that she had a tumor growing within her liver this past year, it was difficult knowing the treatment she'd get wasn't going to be the world's best by any means. As the months passed, her condition worsened and last Monday she fell into a coma. I heard the helplessness in my mother’s voice when she called to tell me. You try your best in these types of situations—, to console your loved ones and make sure they know that you'll be a rock-solid crutch for them during whatever may come. You try to think two steps ahead of whatever's currently happening, just in case. The spur-of- the-moment cross-Atlantic trips have to be every grieving family member's worst nightmare. Just the logistics of it all. And in their mental condition? Of course I was preparing to jump at any request my mom would make. Life does its thing anyway though and so, 24 hours later, her sister—, whose real name is Rodica—, passed away. My family isn't part of the ultra-wealthy in Romania. And because the country's still reeling from decades of deep corruption, the middle class is virtually non-existent. Economists can explain with much more elegance than I'm able to why this is utterly unfortunate for the bottom 99%. If you aren't part of the wealthy, you're part of the poor. And because what you do to one side of the equation, you have to do to the other, they're ultra-poor. It's a sad, sad thing. Either way, my mom begins to explain the finer details of a traditional Romanian mourning process. It's not something I know anything about or ever witnessed in person. After the dearly departed are moved into the living room, they are generally laid down on the center table for viewing. For the next three days, while the men and other experienced woodworkers craft a coffin from scratch, the family serves non-stop coffee and treats to an army of mourners who will randomly pop in and out at all times of the day and night and next day and following night and so on. All this to a constant background flurry of crying, sobbing, sharing stories of precious memories, wails of disbelief, loud prayers, and who knows what else. It's a pure emotional rollercoaster, a dramatic play in so many scenes filled with neighbors from five villages over who you may have never met before, but who've heard the tragic news and wanted to come pay their respects. It's touching but definitely not something an outsider would feel immediately at home around. "And is the body at least covered this entire time?," I ask my mom. "No. For three days, they live alongside it." "Seriously?" "They have no other options. No ambulance comes and takes them away like they do here. Over there, you look after your own dead. And when the coffin is completed, they’ll place her inside and carry it out into the countryside to her burial plot in a procession through town." As selfish as this next feeling was, I didn't want my mom to go. I didn't want her to be apart of it, not these days, not anymore. After so much, I wanted her to just be able to rest, not have to endure something of that magnitude. I can't imagine three hours of nonstop crying let alone three days. Somehow, the Universe seemed to hear my inner-hopes. Our entire family begged her to stay put, to stay home, that there was nothing more she could do. So instead of having to finalize last-minute plans of getting her from one continent to another, she was able to hop on an Amtrak and spend this past week here in Chicago with me. To recharge her batteries I guess. To just be able to find some mental quiet and emotional peace. Now, as I'm close to wrapping up this essay and seeing her off downtown at Union Station for her train back home, I'm sincerely trying to put myself in her shoes. I'm sure losing a sibling you've spent a lifetime growing up with is a weird feeling to have to go through. To outlive them, to think that they could've done a bit more with their life if only they would've had more time. Maybe it makes someone think about their own mortality and where they've gotten in seeing their own personal dreams coming true. Maybe my mom’s running over all of these things in her mind to the point where there's nothing left to think about. Maybe. All I can try and do is my part as her only child, her only flesh and blood, to try and live the best life I can in her name. Time will tell how successful I'll be in doing that, but an even greater feeling though, is when we can think of our loved ones who aren't here with us any longer and not feel a bit of regret. To feel a warmth and be completely calmed by just the mere thought of their name. To feel a deep need to smile because that's what they would've wanted you to do. Like even when you want to just give in to the sadness for a second and purge yourself of tears, your body physically won't let you. A familiar presence fills your immediate space and a gentle touch directly on your heart that makes you involuntarily inhale much deeper than you have in a while. Those are the types of things I hope my mother can feel as she sits down at her window-seat and readies herself for a deep meditative trip into her inner-consciousness for the next seven or so hours. Knowing the peace and tranquility she'll emerge on the other side of this experience with, how can anyone still harbor any doubt that our souls are indeed, things which don't adhere to either the human concept or limitations of "time?" That they transcend realms of possibility. That whenever there's even the smallest hint of real love, not even the giving up of one's own body and leaving it behind for greater vessels can break a bond between two sisters.
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To Devour
Dre Carlan
 April 04 2024 at 05:10 am
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To devour—, and willingly allow yourself to become devoured—, completely, is truly a unique experience for us humans indeed. Unique in how the human spirit is unable to bear the weight of such trauma but only once. No matter the degree of self-hatred any mind may potentially reach, none is equipped with the possibility of repeatedly placing itself on a platter for another’s digestion. Like death; it is irreversible. The blessed are spared from ever feeling it at all. We—, who know its face, memorized its hollow sockets where cloud-filled eyes hang in the shadows and can draw their dark swirls from memory—, are forever cursed to feel its warm breath on our napes. Unique in that it isn’t solely to satisfy a gluttonous urge of gorging our spiritual stomachs with another’s soul, but rather, a craving to consume. Utterly and without pause for logic or reasoning, to consume everything. Their deepest dreams, worst nightmares, most highest-held hopes; it all must be swallowed—, no, choked down! Unique in that much like Escher’s Drawing Hands, it isn’t enough to stand in pride while ingesting their very oneness. They themselves must be doing the same in return, wearing an identical smirk of self-gratification that we’ve got permanently plastered upon our own lips. Unique in that we simultaneously become both The Lover and The Loved. And it’s within that exact line of logic where we find our ability to continue sleeping when the sun sets at night. The guilt cancels itself out. We offered up our own bodies for consumption and without hesitation, they eviscerated our layers like lions, one by one, clawing and tearing and ripping us apart, forever digging deeper down until they reached the most hidden compartment of our hearts we hadn’t even known we were hiding under so much soil and dirt. Just like we’d reached theirs. A mutual feast. Unique in how once that specific door is opened, it can never be closed again. The heart won’t allow it. The soul will change its spiritual composition from that day forward, not unlike the drug addict, we are never the same. Our eyes see through a new lens now. It’s a darker shade, it makes the light harder to see, to feel. Harder, but not impossible. We must look more thoroughly for it. Somewhere, it’s still shining down in our direct line of vision, somewhere that’s a bit tougher to see through the newly descended smoke and ash and dense fog, but it’s there. It’s there and if we squint and remember that what it means to be human is both tragic and beautiful, then when we do occasionally re-find it and feel it once more on our skin, its warmth is that much deeper, it carries that much more meaning and purpose. Precisely because we know how much darkness and frigid cold there truly is all around us, waiting. Waiting for the doubt to creep back inside and whisper through the muddled trenches of our memories; “was there ever really any light at all?”
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Anonymous Jesus: John 5:1-15
Cam
 April 05 2024 at 11:00 am
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Aside from the disciples, of all the people in the gospels to be focused on Jesus, there was one group who seemed to be almost everywhere Jesus went. This group, known as the Pharisees, didn’t watch Jesus because they wanted to believe in Him. Instead, they watched Him because they wanted to catch Him breaking a law or saying something wrong. However, during one of Jesus’ miracles, the Pharisees missed being present, even if they were present in the area where this healing took place. While John doesn’t specifically mention the Pharisees by name in this passage, he simply refers to them as Jews – and these were likely the Jewish religious leaders, and many of them would have been Pharisees. John describes what happened immediately after Jesus healed the man by the pool of Bethesda by saying, “Now that day was the Sabbath, so the Jews said to the man who had been healed, ‘This is the Sabbath! It’s illegal for you to pick up your mat.’” (John 5:9b-10 HCSB) Now the healed man had a problem. He responded that he was basically just following directions. He replied saying, “The man who made me well told me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’” (John 5:11 HCSB) “‘Who is this man who told you, “Pick up your mat and walk”?’ they asked. But the man who was cured did not know who it was, because Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.” (John 5:12-13 HCSB) The man didn’t know who Jesus was when he was healed. This is a powerful thought. In this miracle, we can see that Jesus heals based on our need and not on the condition that we respond by calling Him God. The man had no idea who Jesus was. He simply was obeying the instructions of someone he believed God had sent his way. Reading this portion of Jesus’ miracle prompts me to wonder if God is willing to act and help anyone who needs help, regardless of their current attitude and regardless of whether they will acknowledge Him. The man who was healed didn’t praise God or worship Jesus following his healing. Instead, he was caught breaking the Jew’s legalistic Sabbath laws. In this miracle, we can see a theme that is touched on in other parts of the Bible as well. This theme points us to God’s character and His love. Jesus came into this world to show God to us. This wasn’t because He wanted to help people on the condition that they would worship God with a correct frame of mind. Instead it was to counter the devil’s accusations about what God was like. Satan has done a masterful job of presenting God as a villain, and Jesus came to simply show us a different picture of God – a picture that demonstrates selfless love, and a powerful invitation to respond to His love. This miracle at Bethesda helps us see a loving Jesus and a loving God. God is Someone who is willing to help even if He doesn’t get the credit. God is willing to help even if we are trapped in rebellion against Him. This post first appeared on ReflectiveBibleStudy.com What do you think? Do you agree/disagree? Leave your thoughts below.
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The Lure of City Life
Dre Carlan
 April 05 2024 at 11:05 am
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I’ve always been pulled by the energy and lifestyle of a big city. Nothing really strikes me the same way as walking alongside a nonstop stream of people. May it be the crowds or even the beautiful pandemonium, but there is a lure to it that I can’t exactly pin down. The best way I can describe this are through a couple of excerpts of my time in Queens (aged nine), and Chicago (aged twenty-seven), from a memoir I wrote called A Mother’s Tears, for free here. From Chapter 6 My cousin and her husband drove the entire way there with me in the backseat. They were a nice married couple who I’d be staying with for the next few months. Finally getting to their house in the suburbs, I became more excited about living there. We stayed in a small home on an average street. There was a bookshelf that I’d poke around, seeing what interests they had and trying to figure out why. We’d go outside every few days and I’d take in all there was around me with enthusiasm. As we rode the subways, I stared out their windows at all the graffiti written on the sides of buildings. We emerged from the underground and walked toward the intersections filled with cars and people. There was honking, loud chatter, sounds coming from every direction. With so much mayhem aimed at me, I suddenly felt at peace with everything that’d happened back home. I didn’t have time to think about it anymore—, I was in the city, the Big Apple, I quickly became accustomed to my surroundings. My cousin wanted to stop by a local pop-up shop in a place that was on a lower floor somewhere. We climbed down into a den of confusing commerce one only finds in cities like New York. There were cheap sunglasses that came in neon greens and bright yellows on the folding tables in the center of the room, knockoff purses hanging from the walls—, it seemed that someone could get just about anything they wanted at a very discounted price. My cousin took her time looking around at all the knickknacks on the glass shelves but I was quickly getting bored. There was more commotion outside —, I wanted to be apart of it. Slowly, I backed away from my adult chaperone and started to climb the stairs toward freedom. I exited the shop and was back on the street. I looked around me and took in the atmosphere. There were so many skyscrapers—, each towering higher up than the last. The sun’s rays reflected off the upper windows and blinded me from fully seeing the buildings’ peaks. The cars two feet away weaved through the traffic like fluid. People passed by in large groups and they all seemed to be in a hurry to get somewhere fast. I knew I was at home here—, not just in this specific city, but any city. I needed it; the beautiful frenzy which can only be found in downtowns the world over. Suddenly I felt a tug at my arm and was spun around to come face-to-face with my cousin, who looked a bit distraught and very annoyed. “Don’t ever do that again!,” she berated me. From Chapter 10 My mom and I took the seven-hour train into Union Station. Once there, we exited onto the concrete platform and headed up the steps toward the front doors with the entire Windy City waiting for us on the other side. “I’m home,” I said with a widened smile. The sun shone down on our shoulders and life was everywhere. The people circulated throughout the city’s streets and back alleys like blood cells do within pulsing veins. The buildings all seemed to grow taller towards the sky the closer we’d get to them. They surrounded us in a way only a downtown metropolis could. The commotion coming from all angles sounded like an industrial symphony—, gorgeously layered and strangely peaceful. With all of that around us, I was most excited I could live out the experience with my mom by my side. The L-trains thundered on their tracks up above—, sparks flying off in all directions. We climbed the stairs toward the Brown Line and were on our way to the northern neighborhoods. Lincoln Park was just as beautiful in person as it was in all the pictures I’d looked up the months before. Anything I’d need was a stone’s throw away. I could finish all of my errands within a single city block. One-off shops and chain stores were scattered throughout the streets, bikes and cars intermingled in a way I hadn’t seen back in Michigan, and people of all types walked in flowing waves of movement. I knew I’d found my element. Far from the rehabs and halfway homes of a near- decade prior—, I was finally feeling pure happiness. My mom and I walked down Diversey Parkway with our suitcases in tow and reached our destination within twenty minutes. What was once a rundown hotel with people overdosing in its hallways was renovated into a brand new apartment building. A small two hundred-square-foot studio on the fourth floor is where I’d sleep for the next year of my life. We got the card-keys from the front desk, rode the elevator up a few flights, and walked into an empty space smaller than the size of most kitchens, let alone a full living area. There was no furniture so we each took a corner and slept on the hardwood floor that first night. It was truly one of my favorite memories we’d ever make. The small radio we had with us played Top 40 pop songs as we disinfected everything we could before finally ordering dinner and letting ourselves enjoy the rest of the night and week afterwards in the big city. My mom left shortly thereafter with a tearful goodbye and I was back to being by myself in a new home. From one room over, I’d hear my neighbor singing show tunes. On Wednesday nights, the walls would shake from the powerful music down in the bar below. Things were tight in that small studio. The tiny closet was overflowing with clothes, underneath the bed slid a case full of shoes, and the desk-shelf combo took over half the room. The near-claustrophobic conditions made moving around tough, but once I was on the other side of my front door, I’d walk down the hall toward the elevators with confidence. I was still living in my dream city. No matter how small the space was where I slept, showered, and ate—, I’d do it all with a smile. I started getting used to my situation. The twenty-four-hour store right across the street was perfect for late-night ice cream runs. The cleaners around the corner began knowing me on a first name basis. Everything was as it should be. Slowly, I learned the layout of my new surroundings. I’d be able to stop and get groceries or pick up new bedsheets at the major chains or a pack of cigarettes from the liquor store all while walking home from the L-train. Everyone I’d pass on the street seemed to have the same type of smile—, deep down, they knew everything was interconnected somehow, in someway; the check-out ladies, the taxi drivers, the servers, bartenders, and beggars—, we were all apart of it. An energy that was always right beneath our feet, trapped under the concrete like a circuit encompassing the entire city, we felt its hold on our lives as we continued sailing through the waves and ripples of our everyday decisions. Which corner should I turn down? Which train should I take home? Who will I sit next to and what conversation may spark up which could possibly change my life forever? These were the types of questions which ran through my mind and I loved every minute of it. Fate had brought me here and I felt its grasp on my heart with each choice I made.
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Celebrating Discrimination
Right Away
 April 05 2024 at 09:07 pm
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My oldest son was a good student in terms of grades and behavior in the classroom, but he was mediocre on standardized tests. He wasn’t bad at testing, and I am not belittling him. However, he was average. He went on to play collegiate football, get married, and have kids, all of which are considered good outcomes. But he didn't get the same consideration as my youngest son, who was a good test taker. My youngest son is a rockstar when it comes to test-taking. He has exceptional insight into the patterns within the words and numbers and always scores at the top, regardless of the type of test. He and his brother had similar classroom grades, but the nationwide tests that they both took showed them to be much different. However, he wasn’t at the absolute top of the list. The National Merit Semi-Finalist Qualifying Test (MNSQT) had a rubric that said if the student scored in the top 0.2%, they were given the label of Semi-Finalist. That said, he did well. I don’t remember the number, but he wasn’t in the top 0.2%. He began applying to colleges and playing the game of admission, financial aid, and scholarships. He didn't have the football card that his brother had, but he could appeal to reverse discrimination and get a good outcome. Unexpectedly, our son received a letter congratulating him on becoming a National Merit Minority Scholar. We didn’t know what a minority scholar was, so we investigated. We learned it is a revisitation of his test scores once all the scores from students who list themselves as Caucasian or Asian are removed. With the upper crust of test takers now out of the pool, his score became in the top 0.2%. His name was placed on a form that every university could download, and recognition was sent to his high school. As a national merit minority scholar, he got national attention. On the back end, the guidance counselor received an affidavit to complete that affirmed that Alex was a minority. His word was not enough. A copy of his grandfather’s birth certificate from Puerto Rico was all we needed, and then, the money started to flow from every corner of the country. Without applying, our son received full scholarships at multiple universities. That doesn’t sound strange, but it was. He never applied to most of the schools that offered him full tuition and fees if he had only agreed to attend their institution. They saw his singular accolade, and they wanted it as a feather in their marketing cap. Sure, he has proven himself to be a good test taker, but a lot of applicants are good test takers. They were offering scholarships without looking at his classroom grades, behaviors, criminal background, or the like because he was a minority, and they wanted to show to the world that their student body was diverse. They knew the world was drinking the Kool-aid of diversity as a nearly indisputable justification that diversity leads to all the good things in life outcomes. The mailbox filled up with offers. His phone rang. That all sounded normal. Some schools offered more than tuition and fees. Some offered airplane tickets to come. When we went on one visit, we were met by several other students who had “similar profiles.” My phone rang one time, asking for him. That didn’t seem normal. He ended up selecting one of those schools, and he has long since graduated without ever paying a dime of Fall or Spring tuition and fees. Our son was the beneficiary of a celebrated form of discrimination. At his high school graduation, I watched as his friends walked on the stage to receive their diplomas. I wondered if some of his friends who were at a disadvantage of being Caucasian were going to college for free like he was. A few were. Most weren't. Yet, that pathway is gone. Like the Jim Crow laws, it only resides in stories like these. As of the writing of this post, the National Merit website now reads, “Winners are chosen on the basis of their abilities, skills, and accomplishments—without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.” There is no minority scholar referenced on the site now. That advantage our son got is now gone. The Supreme Court unwound all of this. Yet, it happened. Our oldest son was not the only beneficiary. I put the unused portion of his college savings in a new account for our grandchildren to use when they are old enough to go to school. I wondered. Had our youngest listed that he was white on the standardized test form like his brother did, he would not have received that minority scholarship and that money would not have been passed from one generation to the next. Just because the scholarship is gone, we still reap its benefits for at least one more generation.
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SPECIAL WEEKEND THOUGHT: 👉 Letting Our Light...
Cam
 April 06 2024 at 10:45 am
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“But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. ‘Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.’ But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” (1 Peter 3:14‑16 NIV) “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (Colossians 4:5‑6 NIV) “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14‑16 NIV) Most people who have been Christians for any length of time understand that Jesus challenged His followers to spread the gospel message. However, in today’s culture, many appear to have forgotten what this means. In the past decade, I’ve witnessed many friends get sucked into focusing more on the politics of today’s culture than on the freedom that comes through leaning on Jesus. I’ve seen those who share the same faith become more interested in proving a political point than in following the challenges of Jesus. However, those who choose to stand up for Jesus should remember the words of Peter, Paul, and Jesus. Peter challenges us to be prepared to give an “answer” and to do so with gentleness and respect. While people may accuse us, lie about us, and slander the name of Jesus, Peter challenges us to respond differently. We are to respond with the love of Jesus, with gentleness and respect. About the only harsh words Jesus spoke were to the religious leaders, not to those He came to show God’s love to. Paul challenges us to be wise and to make the most of every opportunity. However, he too challenges us to be full of grace in all our conversations with others. Being seasoned with salt draws attention to saying challenging truths, but the truth should never drown out the love and grace of our message. Jesus challenges us by saying that we are the light of the world. This is more true today than perhaps at many other times in history. However, as the light of the world and as a town built on a hill, He challenges us to live our lives in a way that cannot be ignored — even if we would rather be ignored. Jesus challenges us to let our light shine through our good deeds so that God will receive glory. As we look forward to the day Jesus returns, let’s together accept the challenge found in these three verses and letting God’s light and love shine through us for all to see. 🙏 📖 ✝️ 👍
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Joe Biden And The Back-Door War
David Reavill
 April 06 2024 at 11:14 am
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President Joe Biden speaks with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy days after Russia invaded Ukraine. ** President Biden has pursued the Ukraine Conflict with single-minded ferocity, spending hundreds of billions of US Dollars and costing hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian lives. Here is our perspective. ** The American Political System aims to strike a delicate “balance of power” between the electorate, “we the people,” and those who govern us. The US Constitution seeks to give “we the people” a measure of control over our representatives by providing for periodic elections. However, on occasion, that balance of power slips. Our elected officials assume powers not given in the Constitution. This has led to what Arthur Schlesinger has called “The Imperial Presidency.” Of all the powers the Constitution gives our Government, the most awesome is the power to take us to War. Only five times in our country’s history have we declared War: the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Spanish-American War, World War I, and World War II. Since World War II, the United States has been entangled in a series of conflicts, but none has been a Congressional declared War. From the “Police Action” in Korea to the Conflict in Afghanistan, the nation has committed its fortunes and often its soldiers to skirmishes around the globe. Each time, with the tacit acknowledgment that we can, at any time, bring our nuclear arsenal into play if the American homeland were to become directly threatened. Thankfully, this has all been a bluff, as we have not had to provide these ultimate weapons in a total war environment. Consequently, American presidents have been playing this “bluff” for half a century. From Vietnam to Ukraine, Presidents have committed arms and equipment in a series of brush-fire wars with the explicit understanding that while we can hit you, you can’t hit back. The battlefield has always been in the homeland of another country, not ours. Because to do so might bring about the ultimate American nuclear response. From Richard Nixon to Barack Obama, US Presidents have exercised a delicate balance between projecting America’s power and influence while risking as few military personnel as possible. These Presidents understood, especially following the Vietnam Conflict, that the one thing the public would not countenance was the loss of American lives. The Dawn of the New Century began with the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York and the subsequent declaration by George W. Bush of the “War” on Terror. Of course, like all the other modern American incursions, this was no “War” in the Constitutional sense but a series of discrete military actions as directed by the President. The War on Terror included kinetic actions in Afghanistan, the Philippines, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. Although an American military presence remained in these countries, only Afghanistan remained when Joe Biden became President on January 20, 2021. Just seven months after he was inaugurated, on August 31, 2021, Biden ordered all troops to leave Afghanistan. The twenty-year “War” on Terror was over. Many hoped these endless American “Wars” might finally end. Unfortunately, that was not to be. There was a brewing conflict in a faraway country named Ukraine. A place that Joe Biden had been intimately involved with for more than a decade. As Vice President during the Obama Administration, he had been designated as the “Point Man” in charge of US-Ukraine relations. President Biden visits Ukraine on the first anniversary of hostilities. He ascends the stairs at the Palace of Marlinsky with President Zelenskyy. ** He had seen the Euro Maidan Coup of 2014, up close and personal, when he advised the old President, Yanukovych, to leave and welcomed the new President, Poroshenko, on board. (see my article). Not only did Biden know the players, but history has shown that he helped shape the current Ukrainian Government. So, when Biden became President, this self-styled foreign policy maven saw Ukraine as part of an overall strategy to blunt any future ambitions of its neighbor, Russia. With a growing animosity toward Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom Biden has called a “dictator” and an “SOB,” Biden hardened the American position, encouraging Ukraine to join NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Putin was on record saying that if Ukraine joined NATO, it would be considered an existential threat to Russia. Russia would have no defense from nuclear weapons launched in Ukrainian territory. The Ukraine/Russia border is more than a thousand kilometers long, and atomic weapons placed along that border could be within Russian territory in mere seconds. An additional flash point for Russia emerged in the Donbas region of Ukraine (located in the southeast part of the country). This region was predominantly ethnic Russians — people amalgamated into Ukraine by the old Soviet Union but identified as Russian in language, culture, and religion. A particularly sketchy military group within the Ukraine Army had been targeting the Donbas for years. Amnesty International estimated that 14,000 Donbas residents had been killed by the Azov Battalion over the decade leading up to the Russian invasion. The Russians saw both the existential threat (potential nuclear weapons in Ukraine) plus the oppression of ethnic Russians living in the Donbas as the tipping point to war. On February 24, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, and the War was on. Interestingly, on February 22, two days before the Russian incursion, Biden declared that the Russian troop build-up was a sure sign that Russia would indeed invade. At this point, Biden announced the beginning of a series of economic sanctions designed to bring down the Russian Economy. Was Biden’s speech on February 22 a final provocation or simply an acknowledgment of what was already happening? It’s a fascinating question, especially considering Biden’s prior history in Ukraine (as “point man” under Obama). Be that as it may, America was again embroiled in War. Only this time, it was a Proxy War. A War fought principally by Ukrainian soldiers using American and European arms and equipment. And now, we see, under the skilled advisement of NATO technicians, advisors, and surveillance. From Biden’s perspective, this new Proxy War would solve the old American bugaboo of avoiding American casualties. No Americans would be killed. Instead, it would be the Ukrainian boys and girls who would endure the Russian onslaught. Biden’s note to President Zelenskyy pledging his support. (February 20, 2023). ** At the same time, Biden could pursue his anti-Russian strategy, depleting its military with combat, decimating its Economy with sanctions, and isolating the Russian state by uniting NATO, the United Nations, and other multi-national organizations against Russia. It has all of the essential elements that Biden learned during his half-century in Washington that Americans wanted. As a US Senator, Biden saw the devastation that American battle losses in Vietnam had on the Presidency of Lyndon Johnson. On the other hand, Biden saw the ease with which Bill Clinton could bomb Yugoslavia — bombing the Kosovo Albanians until they were forced to leave their homes in Kosovo. Flying the NATO planes above antiaircraft altitudes, making sure there would be no American casualties. This was a perfect model for American foreign policy from the Biden perspective. The Kosovo conflict was short, lasting only two and a half months, inflicted maximum harm on the enemy, with nearly 15,000 dead and over three-quarters of a million displaced, and it achieved its objective: remove the Albanians from Kosovo. Like the similar bombings of Bosnia and Herzegovina, it had drawn few headlines and little dissent back home. However, the current situation in Ukraine has met none of these objectives. The fact that the Ukraine War lingers over two years after it began proves that Biden’s initial aim of a short, decisive conflict is impossible. Escalation after escalation has not deterred the Russians. As America placed better, more advanced weapons on the battlefield, they were matched by the Russians. Today, American supplies are dwindling; the Russians continue to out-produce and, more importantly, out-shoot NATO and the Americans in necessary artillery, drone, and missile attacks. Even the ultimate American “bluff,” the use of nuclear weapons, is more than matched by Russia. I think that most Americans will find it hard to believe, but Russia has a superior nuclear capability to America, with more warheads and likely better missiles than America’s arsenal. A Ukrainian soldier lies in the hospital, one of the hundreds of thousands of wounded in this brutal war. ** President Biden must face a bitter truth: His strategy is failing. The War in Ukraine has continued far beyond his Administration’s projections. The battles against Russia have not been quick and victorious. The Russian Economy was not reduced to “tatters,” as Ursula von der Leyen, the European President, envisioned. It’s time for NATO and the American President to negotiate for peace. President Putin has said that he’s willing to talk. Why not take him up on his offer? Why not begin to settle this conflict diplomatically? Perhaps a “Peace Time” President would be just what the American electorate would like to see. Follow me here on ThinkSpot for more stories from the ValueSide.
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Science Is Dead
Numapepi
 April 06 2024 at 02:50 pm
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Science Is Dead Posted on April 6, 2024 by john Dear Friends, It seems to me, science is dead, murdered by scientists. The global warming swindle put a knife deep in its chest, the trans movement pushed it to the hilt, and DEI is twisting it. Scientists and indeed the entire new class, as Gouldner called them, are captured by an idea that’s antithetical to their core belief. The vision is so captivating though, they just can’t help themselves. I’ve heard it said that people aren’t really rational, we’re emotional, and then use our rationality to back track, justifying our emotional decisions. The new class was supposed to be above emotion and belief and totally engaged in the scientific method. Yet, as we see play out before our own eyes, the new class, including scientists, politicians and experts, have become mesmerized by a bauble… globalism. If people will kill you for a ten spot in your pocket… what would they do for a billion? The global warming scam makes the swindlers billions of dollars a year. Who gets to spend all that “carbon credit” money? Not you or I. They’ve created an entire exchange to trade their monopoly money, that turns it into real money… at our expense. Both in higher friction to business and lowering the value of our money. Amounting to economic ruin. Nevertheless, the experts who shill for the global warming scam, have a huge economic stake. The rest of us have a cube steak. So, via the “logic of collective action” the global warming connivers will work their fingers to the bone, to push the lie, while the rest of us have more important things to attend to. Billions of incentives to abandon a core ethos. The trans movement is the purest form of anti science. It actually takes empirically proven truths, and flips them upside down… and the experts are expected to “believe them.” Not only believe obvious lies, but cling to them, as if those stupid notions were their own cherished children. The experts charge on, in the face of waves of suicides, by people who’ve been “transitioned” at a young age. Empirical evidence be damned, full steam ahead! Never once considering this course is the opposite of the scientific method. Where evidence is weighed, tested and only considered proven, once the results of the tested hypothesis have been reproduced in another lab. Today’s experts and scientists have no need of methods, hypothesis and tests. Especially when those empirical tests disprove cherished theory. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, DEI, elevates irrelevant qualities above relevant ones, a perversion of the scientific method. In any job, merit is the primary quality. Not a person’s hair style, preference for toast in the morning, or skin color. DEI, abandons the rationally sought attribute, merit… changing it to skin color, religion and toast preference. Resulting in people who aren’t suited for the positions they hold. Damaging their self esteem, the company’s bottom line, and the customers interests. Rippling out to literal safety concerns as in the case of Boeing. Hiring based on irrelevant qualities, in place of relevant ones, has led to a degeneracy in our economy and the products it produces. Enlightened thinkers are supposed to be pragmatic, not blind ideologues, who detest rational discourse. All of these perversions of science boil down to politics. Global warming is political, not scientific, but no one would lower their standard of living so a political faction can have more money and power. So it has to be couched in emotional and pseudo scientific terms. Then strictly enforced with ostracism. It’s not enough to force the new class to abandon their raison d etre’ but to embrace it’s opposite. That’s one reason the trans movement has been thrust upon them. Scientists have to testify, with a straight face, they can’t tell the difference between a naked man and woman. Yet are addicted to porn. Then there’s DEI, which is killing critical thinking, as well as our economy. Let’s face facts… scientists have murdered their father, science… to sleep with their mother, politics. Sincerely, John Pepin
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Concrete Bride: A Reverie
Dre Carlan
 April 06 2024 at 07:53 pm
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Part 1 Back to living in a box. Back to wishing it was different. I hear the call through the airwaves out beyond the clouds in the distance; ‘Find me…’ I see thunderstorms outside my studio window as lightning cracks across the sky. I crash on my bed letting chemicals rewire all parts of my mind as my frontal-lobe explores further. Outside there is so much life—, inside there is only grey ash. I walk her streets at night in ever-search of self-gifted curses, like always. The city becomes my church—, an industrialized nature with permanent smoke gliding across its surface. Her curls cascade down in flowing rivers of taxi cabs and speeding hearses. Her lips part the water and its coastline before swallowing my body’s inner-pulp. My bride’s alive in the electric wires powering our cement sanctuary with trillion-watt bulbs. Through the commotion and constant multi-dimensional regression of self—, I rehear the promise; ‘Find me…’ It flies through the fog like an emotional homing missile. Deep within a dark stare, an inner-spirit slowly points towards me as her eyes whisper, that’s mine. Above an autumn-rainfall’s freshly soaked asphalt shine the peaks of high-rise rooftops projecting an outline of shapes I’ve never seen before—, eclipsing the laws of mathematics; Divine Geometry. She’ll appear like a siren in the seas of forgotten memories; Mnemosyne, reawakened. Throughout the moment; a portrait of future potential by way of rising phoenixes wrapped in Oak Street leather jackets. Sparks will fly off the rails as L-trains thunder down their tracks toward the Loop. Three-inch heels will keep perfect time of our tapered lives through rhythmic-clicks off alleyway-bricks below her stilettoed metronomes. Louder with each step; power sounds of an elegant season will surround us in stereo, ever-guided by the speakers’ bass-driven beats. We’ll enter our dimly-lit kingdoms and take the two tallest thrones with pulled-patent cushions, like always. Lights of fire-glowing lava will branch off in strange sporadic angles through their glass-shaped cages; all restoring life to the smallest parts of the darkly-painted walls with such class-made patience. She’ll sit while looking the room over and silently read its vibe. Part 2 Some dreams I actively seek out in hopes that their hauntings are ever-abstractive and self-implanted deep within the maze of crossed-wire encryptions that maybe—, they might just be real. My chemically-altered lifelong-coma comes with an imagination that remains in a constant state of flux throughout the mixed-media thought-tunnels running on only the highest, if not sharpest—, of stoner frequencies. I gently slide the tip of my finger across the soft edges of her ankles where sole and topside separate for an entire night and not think twice about going any further. I pin her up against the wall by softly biting pierced-earlobes as jeans ease over paralleled-hips in slowed motions before falling to the floor beneath our bare feet below. I am both sinner and saint at once. I feel the cold metal zippers of her open leather jacket repeatedly smack against my chest; the only piece of clothing on either of our bodies as we out-best the breaking of each others’ backs from the Kama Sutraesque-grinding upon the same chair for the past hour plus. Amidst the room; a sensual intuition that turns our two genetic buildups into counter-reactive towers of sexual energy impatiently waits to rip-through by megaphone-amplified moans we’d make certain that the world itself can feel with a diamond’s worth of clarity—, and shine. Dream-wave expanding; Two souls of the same sign—, watching all sides as we hear billions of beautiful gunshots blaze through the night sky marking the start of our week-long royal-wedding event—, it’s official. Her finely stitched bulletproof vest of silken-threaded wires reflects back a past through mastered alchemy of the very Sun’s satin-flowing fire; an ever-beauty bleaching out darkness. Her wreath whispers beginnings of the long-awaited fulfillment under regal soils of a promise stemmed from paralleled-lineages; a potential ever-reaching its markets. Ancestral aims refined through Cupid’s love-arrows, guided by Heavenly Eagles soaring high above in multi-sphered flashes of future ascendence as she nears Her Most Holy Alter & I Mine. “The bride has arrived!,” voices out the gathered loved ones through bouts of loud cheering and commenced celebration as the first gleaming pieces of a mile-long motorcade rolls down in leisured convertible movements accented by thumping sounds of pounding subs coming from out the dozens of duffle bag-sized trunks. Cherry paint-drops sprinkle the ground in Pollock-channeled brushstrokes like the melting lollipops of a humid-conquered Houston Summer from the swerving procession of Princes and Princesses, Kings and Queens—, all sitting atop freshly-coated four-wheeled floats leaving behind midair energy-streams telling the cryptic tales of rival meetings between ivory and burgundy castles through in-rhythm waves set to the chopped and screwed remixes of A$AP and Thugger. Each backseat—, a temporary council of familial aristocracy. Everything; primped and proper. Nothing left to falter. Festivities thrown in the name of revolutionary suicide-pacts by permanent spotlight-stealing martyrdom. The centerpiece is pulled by pure-bred quarter horses. The chariot slowly slides into view. She is not an image of mere perfection nor solely radiates the inner-strength of beatific love; no—, The Bride is Beyond Beatrice. A backdrop of bright blue and red bursts merged through golden lava-filled fireworks light up the dark sky behind the dual-airing dynasties accepting their celestial roles, taking up eternal thrones; setting the stage to a sacred joining of ancient bloodlines with unresolved mysteries that remain in play as the plot continues to thicken. Forever searching for the exact point in our shared dreaming that put into motion the metaphoric split-off and the exact point that it’d re-found itself further down below watching their shapes realign in real time into the symbols of an ever-monarch’s permanent shine; like always—, river; re-merged. Then I wake up.
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And Root Ate Nine! - Female Submission & Why...
DavidGetzin
 April 07 2024 at 01:56 am
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So there was a pleasant and thoughtful comment a woman ( @liberty5300 ) posted to one of my pieces here - I glanced at several of her own think spot posts - and read one she wrote on Andrew Tate. It was almost entirely in positive regard of him and may have come out before the revelations of his abuse and pimping, I'm not sure. But all that aside, here I want to address why he was popular to begin with for saying what I would consider to be fairly obvious things, and really not going very far with them. Firstly, the "male responsibility" rhetoric - yes, this is positive, but it is at the level of a middle school football coach who doesn't really think very much or encounter a broad variety of life situations. "I kick ASS every DAY and I do it SO HARD 'cause I'm MAYNG!" - Considering that the "everyone is equal" rhetoric alongside Gloria Steinem's 1990s (extremely harmful, I think) invocations to raise boys like we raise girls (she had a distant father and didn't have a brother, shocker), I've personally felt in my life how suffocating masculine expression cripples men inside to the point of clinical depression to live daily life in a way that denies who they are as men, even as day to day they don't realize they are doing it. AND BESIDES - women who are not on birth control tend to enjoy and like the expression of natural masculinity - that brings us to the root of what prompted my reply - this woman writing about submission. She liked what Andrew Tate said that submission is natural. I agree. It isn't a straight jacket, but it is natural and women tend to be happier in a relationship where the man lives with a kind of Leading Strength. Note, I said "kind of leading strength" that gets a "not always equal to" sign for oh: owning houses, acting all "alpha," being a "high value male" or (I'm thinking of you here, Knowles,) never sitting in the front passenger seat of a car. You can read my reply in the linked article above to really see what I think about Tate and his ape-level views on submission. What I'd like to do here is to at least touch on what I feel is lacking - namely to give due credit to how genuinely beautiful female submission is. So often it is said that it is "natural" or "biblical" or some such. All of that rhetoric feels forced. The way that it should happen, what I have been fortunate enough to receive (at least before these relationships I was in floundered for… usually issues of money (my responsibility if not always my fault) and relapses of addiction (the women's own mistakes and old trauma resurfacing)). So, a woman's submission to a man in a relationship is much more than "duty" or "biblical" or "natural." It is poetic and sits in her like a heavy magnet, restless (or even dormant but ALMOST never unconscious to her) until finding a home as the correct man's strength draws it out. So often, she pushes against this release, (knowingly and even firmly so for the ones who are playfully passionate enough) to make sure she knows his strength truly does overcome her and sweep away all else until she knows she is his whole world and he is hers. This is what it's felt like to me, anyways. Women today have been for whatever reason pushed away from such intimacy. (I think simple jealousy of lonely women has gone a LONG way to motivate the delegitimization of female submission, but I am sure there are other reasons.) I remember WAY back to 2002, my final year of college, having this DEEP conviction that it was wrong for me to want to take care of a woman. (Can you imagine the absurdity? You probably can - it's the world we've come to live in) I told my girlfriend at the time (whom I was deeply in love with but she didn't want to stay with me or work towards marriage - it got complicated later when she whiplashed that around after some not-me trauma sent on her.) I told her I wanted to take care of her, and she had a feeling that it was wrong for a man to take care of HER! But as soon as I had said the words, that I wanted to take care of her, she just melted to me, leaning and said something like "I've wanted a guy to say that to me so much." Why has this blessing - this beautiful thing - this thing humans seem to LIKE and leads to married homes and babies, why has it been drained from our lives? Hard to say, exactly. And some years after that 2002 moment, - this must have been late 2006 - no - probably early 2007. The assertion of my more-natural self as leading in relationships - (physically, emotionally and socially) had been happening and surfacing intermittently (probably drove the women bats that "he's not GETTING it!" but it's not like they had presence of mined to tell me either, its isn't easy), the one who did say somehtig was an extremely kind woman, with me in a not-super-emotional-or-serious relationship. She one day after months of us together, said to me very directly, "you're always focusing on what I want when we're together. For a while, I just want you to think about and do what you want." This miracle of empathy from her was… something very alien and foreign to me. But I needed it. And she knew that. She was happy to observe and receive it all. And I'm forever glad and grateful for the shift this made in my life. And just as an aside - so many women fairly recently for whatever reason (the distance of online interactions, "mean girl" status-competition with other women etc,) they seem to not realize how HUGE a shift in a man's life the simplest kind things from a woman will do for a man. Treating a relationship like some kind of adversarial congressional lobbying seems to be a more preferred route these days somehow - or the Karen-route of "complain to the invisible manager" for whatever displeases you. Women remembering the natural instinct to kindness, and seeing that this actually IMPROVES their lives probably, instead of "getting taken advantage of" is important. Regrading getting taken advantage of - well, stop rewarding men like Andrew Tate. Stop saying of a man you reject "he was TOO nice!" That's a whole other set of pathologies: Look what has happened two generations into a social situation where men are taught that being nice to women gets you rejected. SO - we have to end the "escalating arms race of relationship strategy" somehow. And in many ways - when things are "safe sane and consensual" as they say, a woman in her own way, letting go and submitting to the man she gives herself to, and him properly stepping up to the plate - this should help. I've felt it help. I just haven't yet had it truly last. But we're all working on that one, aren't we? Thanks for reading - this was a a pretty involved one for me. I've been listening to "Exile in Guyville" a lot these past days, releasing old pain. Can you tell?
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Stupid Scientists
Numapepi
 April 07 2024 at 02:29 pm
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Stupid Scientists Posted on April 7, 2024 by john Dear Friends, May God save us from stupid scientists, busily engaged in schemes to destroy the world, in an effort to save it from a phantasm. From cooling the planet by spreading chemicals in the atmosphere, to putting up bird choppers (windmills), they’re doing more harm than good. Some half wit directly injecting household garbage directly into the aquifer is doing less damage. The fundamental problem is, people with too much education, too much money and not a whit of wisdom… wielding too much power. No one asked me if I want the planet cooler. Did anyone ask you? I’m an old guy, I like it hot, Je deteste la froid. So much for my opinion… and yours. What if their experiments go awry? They could turn the Earth back into a snowball grinding away our civilization in another Great Unconformity. It’s one thing to push a swindle but quite another to believe your own lies. Then act on them. Showing a total lack of wisdom. The global warming swindle is effectively proven false. How? By dozens upon dozens of failed predictions. In science and under the scientific method, if a hypothesis is proven wrong by experiment over and over, that hypothesis is considered flawed. Not global warming. The more it’s proven false, despite data tampering to promote it, the more shrill the experts get. People who are the best liars, practice their lies, until the lie becomes the truth in their own minds. A seminal liar can take a polygraph and pass standing on her head. The trouble with this tactic is, the liar starts believing their own lies… often to their own detriment. Instead of damaging the intended victim. So we have experts, who have convinced themselves their scam is the truth, setting themselves to cooling the planet. To save it. The trouble is, none of their predictions (hypothesis) have been proven correct. Indeed they’ve been proven false many times. Yet the experts forge ahead with their plans to cool the planet. Despite their total lack of understanding how the climate actually works. One way to know their models are wrong is they discount the sun. If the sun were removed, but CO2 raised, they predict the planet would warm. A stunning prediction. Perhaps before screwing with the only habitable planet we have, it might be wise to do a few experiments on another planet, first? See what happens? Before stupid scientists make Earth uninhabitable. To meet EU climate goals the EU is shutting down farming. You may not have seen it on the mockingbird media, because the elite don’t want it common knowledge, but farmers across Europe are protesting the climate laws. Stupid scientists are convinced Europe doesn’t need farms. They stink, farmers are too independent, and farms harm the environment. Plus, most people get their food from the grocer anyway. So the experts are forcing farmers to sell their family farms, to wild the land again. EU bureaucrats are in negotiations with South American nations, to clear cut the rain forest, insuring elites stay fat. All done to save the planet from global warming. Without getting into it, wilding farms in Europe and clear cutting rain forest, is obviously environmentally counter productive. The global warming swindle has got out of hand. The stupid scientists are implementing possibly civilization ending strategies, to stop global warming… believing their own lies. Like jumping in a frozen lake to protect yourself from saint Elmo’s fire. The plasma’s harmless but the icy water will kill you in seconds. If it were just the experts killing themselves, oh well, they’re sovereign human beings, but they’re threatening us too. We just got over their last disaster, Covid, which killed millions, and the vaccine that wasn’t. Now they want to make a snowball Earth. The morons. Before it’s too late. It may be wise to contact your representative, and demand laws be passed, making it illegal to experiment with climate changing technologies. At least until we have an actual idea how planetary climate works. Sincerely, John Pepin
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Go Woke, Go Broke
Healthy & Awake Podcast
 April 07 2024 at 04:25 pm
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In today's culture, it often feels as though the collective sentiment and mainstream narratives outweigh the pursuit of truth. This pattern is visible in responses to COVID, political discourse, and even in discussions about gender and biology. It's as if our society is grappling with a malaise, having sidelined the value of truth, open debate, and diversity of thought. The consequence? Anyone stepping outside the mainstream narrative faces potential censorship, cancel culture, and targeted attacks—a reality underscored by countless examples. This is why I advocate for open discussion on my platforms, welcoming differing viewpoints. It’s an exercise in mental fortitude: engaging with opposing views without resorting to silencing or shaming. Today’s cultural sickness, as I see it, stems from a lack of mental resilience—a quality honed through embracing discomfort, much like physical strength is built through exercises like squats. Comfort may be appealing, but growth and understanding flourish in its absence. The societal trend towards prioritizing comfort over constructive conversation, frequently associated with 'woke' ideology, avoids the essential effort needed to face uncomfortable truths. Truth, however, is a complex construct, enriched by diverse perspectives and insights, underscoring the importance of open dialogue as both valuable and crucial. I stand firm in my convictions, resistant to pressures to conform, advocating for a balanced approach: be open-minded yet skeptical, and embrace the discomfort that comes with mental strength training. I refuse to succumb to mental fragility, viewing it as antithetical to the principles I hold dear. It’s not just unproductive; it’s a disservice to our collective well-being and, at its worst, a detriment to society. So, I ask you: How do you build mental strength in an era of conflicting narratives and pervasive propaganda? What are your strategies for uncovering truth amidst a barrage of competing voices? Healthy & Awake Podcast: Apple: https://bit.ly/44pEBV6 Spotify: https://bit.ly/47KVbBM Rumble: https://bit.ly/3HPzG6V YouTube: https://bit.ly/3SKeZjn Substack: https://bit.ly/3TI9Jgw X: https://bit.ly/43sR7oa Mike Vera isn't your average Board Certified Health Coach (NBC-HWC). Armed with an MS in Exercise and Health Promotion and extensive experience as a seasoned personal trainer, he's the strategic mind behind Red Pill Health & Wellness and the engaging voice of the Healthy & Awake Podcast. With a strong foundation in cognitive psychology, Mike is adept at unveiling the hidden influences that impact our health.
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Marcus Aurelius: BEHIND CLOSED DOORS MUSIC VIDEO
Akira The Don
 April 08 2024 at 09:28 pm
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Buen dia familia! Music video for BEHIND CLOSED DOORS from the forthcoming MEDITATIONS II album is out now! Lyrics for this song are adapted from Book 3.7 of The Meditations Of Marcus Aurelius. MEANWHILE! CDs have been designed! Trading cards have been delivered to the fulfillment center! Captain Jack will be arriving in Mexico tomorrow to shoot videos! Less than two weeks till MEDITATIONS II! LET'S GO! See you on stream tonight for the SUPER REQUEST SHOW! LOVE TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY!AKIRA THE DONDON STUDIOS, MEXICO, 2024 ‎‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎‎‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎‎‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎‎‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎‎‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎‎‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎‎‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎‎‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎‎‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎‎‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎‎‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎
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The Doom Loop Of Economics
Numapepi
 April 10 2024 at 03:01 pm
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The Doom Loop Of Economics Posted on April 10, 2024 by john Dear Friends, It seems to me, American cities have committed suicide, entering the doom loop of economics. Under the normal progression of creative destruction, you would expect the collapse to be followed by a Renascence. Sadly, in this case that’s unlikely. Because the problem that’s destroying our cities isn’t going away with the economy. It’s entrenched. Diverting the normal creative destruction cycle. Sticking them in the destructive phase… forever. Many cities are stuck in the doom loop of economics. Though not all are, or used to be, mega cities. Small towns sometimes get stuck too. Usually from poor decisions by the town elders. Seeking short term success, and personal profit, over the city’s interest. Leading to a town getting stuck in the doom loop… just like NYC and SF are now. Joseph Schumpeter in his book, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, coined the term, “Creative Destruction.” My take on his idea is that economics runs in a cycle. That cycle is similar to the natural growth cycle of organisms. There is a period of growth, followed by a period of stagnation, then growth again, and so forth. In economics, his theory is that the growth phase (creation) creates malinvestments, high cost and graft. The recession phase (destruction), cleans out the malinvestments, cuts the cost of start ups and cleans out the graft. Then entrepreneurs buy up those cheap storefronts, factories and commercial buildings to start their businesses. The cycle starts anew. The Holy Grail of economics, the cup Keynes clutched at, is to stop the cycle at the top. The destruction phase can’t be overcome by cheap facilities, if regulations, graft and crime make it impossible to do business. The best idea will fail, even with almost no overhead, if the moment the doors open, everything is stolen. Only in places where there’s high profit can graft be successfully maintained. Then there are taxes and regulations. Money is fungible, it’s like water, always seeking level, so a cost is a cost. No matter if it’s for facilities… or lawyers and taxes. Therefore, in places with high taxes and regulations, even a free property can be too expensive to renovate. Especially when those same taxes and regulations are driving away the other businesses and those with means to leave. That’s how big cities and small towns get stuck in the destruction phase of creative destruction. To allow such cities as Chicago, Detroit and Baltimore to rise, the people holding them down must be removed. With the corruption at the ballot box in those cities, that’s not going to happen. So they’ll continue their free fall to oblivion. Despite having cheap infrastructure, a workforce and ideal locations. Because the source of the friction to their rise is built into their systems. Regulations make it incredibly expensive to do anything. Graft and taxes follow any success at all. That is, if a business can get past the rampant, unprosectued crime. Finally, a main tenet of Confucius was that people follow their leaders. From the mayors office and beat cop to the poop gatherer on the street, the entire edifice of government in American cities, have followed. They’re corrupt to the core. Smart people are fleeing. America is being drained. One look at the US debt clock proves it. Our decaying cities and towns are only the physical manifestation of it. The rot started at the top and it’s at the top that we have to address it. Rudy Giuliani cleaned NYC up, and now is public enemy number one… even as NYC has become a disaster zone again. Showing what the elite want. The rush of people with the means leaving is creating a vacuum drawing in freeloaders speeding the descent. Companies are leaving our cities due to crime, the “migrant” crisis and safety. Even as small businesses are on their heels. If a shop owner defends himself from a thug, robbing him, NYC police arrest the shop owner. The problems our cities and small towns face, are largely of their own making, but at least the corrupt are getting rich doing it. Sincerely, John Pepin
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Major surrogacy conference seeks international...
angelobottone
 April 11 2024 at 08:56 am
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The Vatican has just released a new document on the topic of human dignity. Among other issues, it addresses the ethical problems of surrogacy—including the commodification of babies and the financial exploitation of low-income women who are contracted to be surrogates. Ireland is in the process of adopting one of the most permissive laws in Europe on the issue, but elsewhere, opposition to the practice is mounting. A major conference advocating for a worldwide ban on surrogacy was held in Rome last weekend. Experts at the conference argued that an international treaty is necessary to halt the practice. Although national bans have some impact, couples and single men may still travel to countries where surrogacy is legal or unregulated. This is why it is crucial for states to unite and establish a system to penalise corporations that serve as intermediaries between surrogate mothers and commissioning parents. Some countries, such as Italy, are in the process of criminalising international surrogacy, punishing Italian citizens who engage in this practice abroad. Such an approach should be adopted by every country, the conference heard. Banks and financial institutions play a pivotal role in the international surrogacy market, positioning them as critical targets in efforts to achieve worldwide abolition of this practice. At the conference, it was proposed that the responsibilities banks currently have in combating terrorism and money laundering should be expanded to include scrutiny of transactions related to surrogacy. The meeting in Rome saw the participation of international experts and activists, including the Italian Minister for Family, a representative from the Holy See, various politicians, and notably, two United Nations officials. The UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls, Reem Alsalem, and a member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Velina Todorova, attended as observers. The politicians represented a broad spectrum of political affiliations, spanning right, centre, and left-wing parties. Similarly, the experts and activists brought a diverse range of ideological viewpoints to the discussion, including feminism, conservatism, and Christian Democracy, among others. This diversity underscored a rare consensus across political and ideological divides on the perils of surrogacy, a consensus that appears to be absent in Ireland. This conference followed the launch of a declaration in Casablanca (Morocco) in March 2023, signed by 100 experts from 75 countries, calling for the universal abolition of surrogacy. The Casablanca Declaration initiative is led by Olivia Maurel, a French/US feminist activist conceived through surrogacy. The 32-year-old mother of three has faced mental health challenges from a young age, only later discovering the truth about her origins. She has since become one of the most vocal opponents of the “womb market.” At the conference, she gave a moving and powerful testimony about how surrogacy has affected her life, describing the commodification of children and women as a new form of slavery. Before the conference, Olivia Maurel had a private audience with Pope Francis, who endorsed the conference’s goals. In January, the Pope had already called for “an effort by the international community to universally prohibit this practice,” a call reiterated in the new document on human dignity. Maurel is keen to stress that that she does not come at the issue from a religious perspective because she is an atheist. The Rome conference continues the commitment of the Casablanca Declaration and aims to promote national and international initiatives, leading to the adoption of an international treaty among states. At present, Ireland is far behind the curve on the matter, lost in the pretence that any ethical problems arising from the practice can easily be dealt with.
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Thoughts for the End of the Century: ...
ahol888
 April 12 2024 at 07:23 am
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If you pay attention to current events, then you already know that former NFL running back and actor O.J. Simpson died yesterday. After hearing about his passing, I immediately reflected upon the 'Trial of the Century' that occurred during the 1990's in which Simpson was found to be not guilty of murdering his wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. I remember how divided America was at that time between those who thought that he was guilty and those who thought that he was innocent. The polls at that time encapsulated how this trial caught the attention of the country and how this trial caused everyone to see how different aspects of society affected the entire culture. If this trial caused so much division throughout the country, then imagine how much conflict will occur in the hush money trial against former US President Donald Trump that will begin on Monday, April 15. This trial will be the first trial in American history in which a former President will be the defendant in a criminal trial. This trial will be ongoing while former President Trump will be campaigning in an attempt to be elected again in the General Election in November. This hush money trial is happening because the money paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels allowed for Trump to become President in 2016. Almost 2 out of every 3 registered voters view this trial as being somewhat serious. Trump's ardent supporters could be driven off of the deep end once again if he is convicted in this trial. We all remember how his supporters fervently showed up at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. If his supporters had better organization, then members of Congress could have been killed on that day. Better organization from his supporters has the country on edge if Trump is convicted or if Trump loses the General Election in November because many people could die if another Civil War breaks out later this year. Around 620,000 people died in the first and only Civil War from 1861-1865. Hollywood is already capitalizing on this possible scenario with the movie 'Civil War' showing in theaters all over the country now. However, there is one scenario that the masses are not even thinking about the possibility that the stress of the hush money trial will put a tremendous toll upon the health of former President Trump. His health is sort of an issue now because during His Presidency he almost lost his eyesight when he stared at the eclipse in 2017, he had a colonoscopy done in 2019, and he was hospitalized for several days due to COVID complications in 2020. The stress of this trial could put Trump in a state of health in which he would have to suspend his Presidential campaign. If he has to suspend his campaign, then Trump supporters would riot. The events of this impending Civil War would ensure that we would not able to pass down the excellency of this nation to those that will be around towards the end of this century.
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Narcissistic Elites
Numapepi
 April 12 2024 at 03:08 pm
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Narcissistic Elites Posted on April 12, 2024 by john Dear Friends, It seems to me, as the small is an analogue of the large, in physics, chemistry and economics, small relationships mirror large ones. The large relationships are those between groups of people and small ones those between individuals. The analogue becomes apparent when we examine the narcissist and the source of narcissistic supply. In the family a parent is occasionally a narcissist. That parent then destroys the child slowly, feeding off their discomfort and pain, a vampire that drinks suffering. The large relationship between governments and the people is a copy of the narcissist family. They create suffering in the people, then feed off that suffering, as a parasite feeds off a host. Which means the elite epitomize narcissism. Since there’s no curing the narcissist, the only answer is separation. The narcissist loves to create turmoil. When confronted with two options, one will improve the situation, and the other will make it worse… the narcissist, and narcissistic elite will reliably choose to harm. Especially if that problem gives them more power, because they’re the only ones who can solve the problem, (they intentionally created). Our narcissist governments then are the source of most of the turmoil we as mankind face. Out of their boredom they don’t have a choice but to stir up chaos. Which means the narcissist has to move regularly, because of the turmoil they created, fleeing the consequences, and to find new victims. The narcissist government so alienates the people, they seek to replace us, with new victims. Lured in with candy and pleas to help them find their puppy. Narcissists need to be the center of attention. If the people get too much attention, our narcissistic elites get jealous. Have you noticed, any time populism is mentioned in the unbiased media, it’s always in a negative light? “Why Thurston, as you know, that’s a populist notion…” says some authoritative brainiac on CNN. Avoiding the logical conclusion, that the speaker of such a sentence is by definition… an elitist. What’s an elitist? A narcissist who’s so arrogant, stupid and lacking self awareness, they think they can run the world. All they need are enough guns. Any nod to the needs of the ruled is, heavens to Betsy, populist! How can the elite be the center of attention, if we’re paying attention to the needs of someone else? As the narcissist does in personal relationships… so do narcissistic elites in government. Narcissists have big egos and are prone to narcissistic injury. As our narcissistic elites are. I’ve noticed a few times how Biden gets out of place angry when asked a difficult question. Often challenging the questioner to a physical duel… rather than answer the question. As a narcissist would. He’s not the only elite that resorts to anger either. The elite don’t like to be confronted by their lessers. Moreover, it appears, the higher in the hierarchy a person gets, the more narcissistic they become, or is it, only the most narcissistic rise in the oven of power? No matter, the top echelons of power are always filled with narcissists. Like Kamala Harris. No one can work for the woman. Clearly because she treats them so poorly. Isn’t that how you can tell the soul of a person though? The way they treat waiters? Let’s face it, we’re the victims of narcissistic abuse… from the elite. Sadly, there’s no curing narcissism. When in a relationship with one, the only way to stop being the victim of their insatiable need for narcissistic supply… is to leave them. Because you can’t fill a narcissist’s need for validation. It’s like filling a black hole. The more it gets the more it wants. The elitist narcissists that run the world today are a black hole. Their need for power, glory and attention only grows. Not only politicians but especially the bureaucracy. An ecosystem designed by narcissists, for narcissists and run by narcissists… for the benefit of those narcissists. We have to use whatever means are at hand to root them out of power. Then limit that power so the next crop of narcissists can’t do what today’s have. Sincerely, John Pepin
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Thoughts for the End of the Century: Keeping...
Cam
 April 13 2024 at 02:17 pm
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One podcaster I regularly listen to has a saying: “The more things change, the more we must depend on those things that never change.” When thinking about the last three quarters of this century (and beyond), I intentionally anchor this statement at the forefront of my mind. Before looking forward, while reflecting on the last hundred years, we’ve witnessed technology advances shifting and reshaping our lives at an ever-increasing pace. Worldwide events like COVID, or politically charged events like October 7, 2023 and September 11, 2001, act like markers in time—like chapter breaks in the story of history. Events like this can easily change the trajectory of our lives. All this draws attention to the big truth that predicting what will happen next may be a fun exercise, but it is not our most important task. Instead, developing ourselves and our characters is significantly more important. Looking forward, I see the last portion of this century being a mix of technology leapfrogging and ideologies clashing. As technology becomes the materialist’s god, those without a traditional religion will become more “religious” in their view, actions, and attitudes towards the god they helped create. However, this is nothing new, as it is simply a technological upgrade to a primitive person carving an idol out of stone, metal, or wood prior to worshiping it. As robotics technology advances and “artificial” intelligence expands into these machines, the lines will blur regarding what it means to be human. On the positive side, these technologies will solve many diseases, disabilities, and challenges facing our world. On the negative side, the value of human life will decrease because robots will appear to be more human-like, but “better”—challenging what makes humans worth preserving. While it’s easy to imagine what those with power, influence, or status should do, the usefulness of this is not as beneficial as one might think. A long time ago, I heard a saying that stuck with me: “Power attracts the corruptible.” This idea is more nuanced than the cliche that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. It is my observation that there are some people who live with levels of integrity that it would be difficult to imagine them becoming corrupted by power or bending to the winds of culture; having/gaining power is not a motivation for them. Imagining us with the power to influence the course of the world flirts with this power and the corrupting attractiveness of it. It also is a distraction from developing our own character or fixing our own flaws. Two thousand years ago, Jesus challenged those present along these lines: “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? … First take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Luke 6:41-42 NIV) In this statement, Jesus doesn’t challenge us to avoid correcting others. Instead, Jesus challenges us to correct the flaws in our own lives first. Many of the issues faced over the past centuries have been at the hands of people who focused on “fixing” others while they were even more flawed. Some might even describe our world today as a cultural war over who must change (i.e. be fixed) first. However, there is only one answer that can solve this problem: Remove your own plank first. It is possible that once you have removed the plank from your own eye, the spec in the other person’s eye will also be gone. That speck might have been a shadow cast by your own plank. However, even if the spec is still there, we will be more credible without a plank sticking out of our own eye. If the question of who must change first remains unresolved, our future will continue moving towards societal chaos, inviting totalitarianism—both less-than-ideal outcomes. I suspect we face this problem now because of decades (and generations) focused on fixing problems (especially mental/emotional/spiritual problems) through external means. Popping a pill is a band-aid, not a solution—and a risky one at that. Setting aside the side-effects that come alongside medications, we find the monetary incentive of those making the medication to develop dependence. There is no lasting incentive for anyone to make a one-dose solution—or to even try. Equally challenging and questioningly better is paying someone to listen to you vent your problems. This can help, but when the one you are paying has a financial incentive to keep you returning, be wary that resolution may not be a mutual goal. Focusing on our problems may cause our problems to multiply, rather than resolve. We see more of what we focus on. Focusing on life’s problems may not be the way to resolve them. Also, expanding our focus onto others prompts our minds to see an ever-expanding number of ways that other people are our problem. This leads nowhere good. If we want a solid foundation to build on for the last three quarters of this century, we must take steps today to grow ourselves. We must put aside blaming others and seeing other people as responsible for us. While we cannot control everything that happens to us, we can control how we respond. How we respond directly affects what happens next. Our response can bring positive resolution or a descent into chaos. As I think about the last three quarters of this century, while dreaming of the possibilities is more fun, the challenge I have for you and I is this: “To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8b NIV) Let’s seek to keep the first things first and work on strengthening our own character as we step forward into the future together.
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News of the Day Rising Star of Iran
DarrylN
 April 13 2024 at 11:22 pm
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The news today is that Iran seized a cargo ship owned by a Jew, and launch drone attacks against Israel. why wouldn’t they? Queers for Palestine run Biden optic, and the White House is a joke. Inclusive includes mentally derelicts and the gender psychotic to the highest policy of the land. American policy is to hold up their bums and say drill here. As if manna from heaven would be any more of a miracle drop than Biden landing his gig as Leader of the Free Workd. This is Alfred E. Newman stuff, a total farce. Biden shoots duds. That is a guarantee. China and Russia are all on board. The time is right. Trump is no slouch, and tomorrow is a different world. BIPOC is all about the revenge against the West. Jordan Peterson often comes up with “why didn’t conservatives do nothing” as such a world came into being. The thing is in a 51 49 world, the useful idiots are the only ones that can really do any thing. consevatives can’t go more conservative, but it is liberals that have lost their collective minds. Bill Maher for example. He sees babies in ovens and nine month old babies stabbed in Australia just like the rest of us. So what? It is a 99 to 1 bet he is Biden 2024. And Iran has been chanting Death to America all the while, Maher voting for the Obama Biden Team that cozies to Iran. Alls conservatives can do, other than go Marjorie Taylor Greene and Alex Jones’s crazy themselves, is to well, get married, have children, do the mom and dad thing and ride out the apocalypse. Negative birth rates, spiralling down, yea, conservatives can blame themselves for that. But nine of that won’t change liberal crazy one iota, and that is where the rot has set in. But liberals are enraptured by the reflections of their own virtuous beauty. Unlike deplorable conservatives, these students of Elaine Paegel refuse to demonize anybody, not even Hamas. But there are economic consequences of America being a joke, for Americans themselves. But liberals are gonna to liberal. Didn’t say boo about the white trash in Britain being turned into cum dumps for Asian predators, celebrate Hamas victory Oct 7, appease Iran, fund terrorism with those pallets of cash. And blame conservatives for the country going to hell in a hand basket.
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Iran Strikes Israel...The Rest Of The Story
David Reavill
 April 14 2024 at 04:50 pm
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Iran launches the Qader Missile. ** Modern information technology has put the globe at our fingertips. Today’s internet allows information to be gathered from the world’s four corners and instantly transmitted to us here in America. It has led most of us to believe we always have a complete worldview. Consequently, in a situation like Iran’s attack on Israel yesterday, many of us believe that we’re getting the whole story of the conflict. Unfortunately, I’m here to say that isn’t the case. A review of most of the American News Services shows a slight variation of the same perspective. In the American Press version of the story, it is detailed how Iran shot hundreds of drones and missiles at Israel. All of this is true, of course, and an accurate resuscitation of yesterday’s events. But few of the reports indicate that this attack was in response to Israel’s attack on the Iranian Embassy in Damascus, Syria. Inevitably, the news reports quickly transition to describing Israel’s response to the attack and, many times, the statement by US President Joe Biden of unconditional support for Israel should the conflict escalate. Most Americans are left with the impression that Iran, once again, committed a wanton act of aggression without provocation. I see dozens of “comments” from other readers. Many, but certainly not all, Americans see this as an attack on the United States’ principal alley in the Middle East, Israel. With that, many call for America’s immediate retaliation, falling in line behind President Biden’s call for complete military support of Israel. If only those were the facts of the matter, I can see how that response would be justified. But there is much, much more to this story. The American reports on Saturday evening events do not provide a historical context. The immediate trigger for Iran’s attack was Israel’s missile attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria. 16 Iranians were killed in the strike, including one of Iran’s most senior Military officers, Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, along with seven other officers. The attack was an effort by Israel to expand the scope of the conflict now raging in Gaza. By taking out Iran’s military leadership visiting nearby Syria, it is presumed that Israel was attempting to mitigate any support these leaders may give to Hezbollah fighting in Gaza. At least, that’s the only logical reason I can see. No matter the rationale behind the attack, it was an apparent expansion of Israel’s growing war with Hezbollah. A step toward a Regional, if not Global, Conflict. Israel is playing with fire. In International Law, an Embassy is considered a sovereign part of the country it represents. It is a place where citizens of that country can seek asylum and are safe from arrest by the host country. An attack on the Iranian Embassy by Israel was a direct attack on Iranian territory and, thus, an act of war under International Law. Universally, most expected that Iran would retaliate. Do you see now how the limited perspective of the American Press distorted reality? The Iranian drone and missile attack on Saturday evening was NOT unprovoked. Instead, it was a response to an Israeli Attack on their Embassy two weeks earlier. With this simple change of perspective, perhaps we can change how America should react. While the President’s call to unconditional support would have been warranted if, indeed, Iran’s attack was unprovoked, that is not the case today. A simple recitation of this recent history indicates that it was Israel that was the aggressor, at least regarding its attack on the Iranian Embassy in Damascus. Much of the world sees these events in this alternate way. Experts in Turkey, Pakistan, and Yemen were quick to point out that Iran was justified in launching missiles and drones precisely because of the Israeli attack on the Iranian Embassy. And that’s all understandable: allies support allies. We should expect the Muslim world to support Iran, just as the United States supports its ally, Israel. The danger arises when we refuse to look at the other side of the conflict. When lines are drawn in the sand, and positions hardened, conflicts become intractable when we refuse to see the view from the other side. Local conflicts become regional wars and perhaps even worse. That’s where we are today. Each side is digging in its heels, preparing its populations for what may follow — building the momentum for all-out conflict. Someone needs to step back and see the other side’s view. It’s time to pick up the phone and begin discussions. Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening on the American side, where the US President sets the tone by declaring unconditional support of one side before the other side’s drones even reach the Negev Desert. It is a “quick-draw” foreign policy that risks World War III. Follow me here on ThinkSpot for more stories from the ValueSide.
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Upper Columbia River: Comment on the proposed...
Nancy Churchill
 April 16 2024 at 08:41 pm
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This is part seven of a series of articles about the proposed EPA Superfund site on the upper Columbia River. The previous articles are available at thinkspot.com and nancydchurchill.substack.com. In this article, we discover where to make comments and what to consider as your write your comment. Should the Upper Columbia River be an EPA Superfund Site? In this series, we have explored the scope of the past pollution, the size of the target area, and the remediation that has already been accomplished. We took a look at the massive size of the Grand Coolie Dam, the enormous length of the proposed site, and the importance of the Columbia Basin project to eastern Washington agriculture. We’ve taken a careful look at the 2006 Settlement agreement with Teck American which mandated certain studies be completed under the supervision of the EPA BEFORE a superfund designation would be considered. In spite of the fact that the studies are not complete, the EPA is pushing for an early designation of a Superfund for the UCR, and against the recommendation of local government leaders. Why? The Human Health Risk Assessment is the only one of the scientific studies which has been completed. These study results on their face do not appear to support the need for a Superfund site. Environmental impact studies are still ongoing, and are expected to be completed in the near future. Feasibility studies, also incomplete, will make recommendations about what remediation actions should be done, and how much of the proposed site should actually be considered for designation. Without these missing studies, it seems like the EPA is pushing to make a decision without important scientific data (EPA Fact Sheet). Who Benefits, Who Loses? The EPA, the Inslee Administration (including Washington’s Department of Ecology) get enormous federal and state political power over a large section of Eastern Washington and the vital upper Columbia River. The Spokane Tribe and the Confederated Colville tribes also gain political power and control. All of these entities stand to benefit from payments made the environmental industrial complex for “cleanup.” Perhaps some of the area will be cleaned up. That remains to be seen. The local communities, local businesses, and local governments believe this proposed Superfund designation, which is not yet proven to be needed, will devastate their economies and businesses. This wouldn’t be the first time that entire communities and thriving economic sectors have been shut down in Washington state in the name of “protecting nature.” Remember the northern spotted owl? Turns out that the problem wasn’t logging, but an entire sector of the economy was shut down by mistake. Do we want to repeat that mistake in Eastern Washington? URGENT: Submit your comments to the EPA. We only have until May 6 to submit comments on the proposed listing on the National Priorities List. Comment on the Upper Columbia River Superfund proposal here: bit.ly/4attNZp. On the EPA Comment page, there is a pop-up page with a some tips to consider as you make your comment: "These tips are meant to help the public submit comments that have an impact and help agency policy makers improve federal regulations: Read and understand the regulatory docvment you are commenting on. Feel free to reach out to the agency with questions,. Be concise but support your claims. Base your justification on sound reasoning, scientific evidence, and/or how you will be impacted. Address trade-offs and opposing views in your comment. There is no minimum or maximum length for an effective comment. The comment process is not a vote—one well supported comment is often more influential than a thousand form letters." The complete text of these tips is available at: bit.ly/3PzmV4M. What’s best for Eastern Washington? What ever you do, it's time now to make a comment on this proposed Superfund listing. We all need to show up and let the EPA know what we think about Lake Roosevelt. Should it become a Superfund site or not? Just remember, it's almost impossible to get off the Superfund list once we're on it. Is that what's best for Eastern Washington and the Upper Columbia River? Nancy Churchill is a writer and educator in rural eastern Washington State, and the state committeewoman for the Ferry County Republican Party. She may be reached at DangerousRhetoric@pm.me. The opinions expressed in Dangerous Rhetoric are her own. Dangerous Rhetoric is available on thinkspot, Rumble and Substack. Sources: 1) 2006 Settlement w/ Teck American: https://bit.ly/3Vnhrhk 2) EPA News Release 3/5/2024. https://bit.ly/4acaKmm 3) DR Human Health Risk Assessment: https://bit.ly/4cDamiH 4) EPA Fact Sheet: https://bit.ly/3Pp3cF2 5) Governments supporting: https://bit.ly/3xxfoxk 6) Governments opposed: https://bit.ly/3UhklDw 7) Comment on the Proposed UCR Superfund: https://bit.ly/4attNZp 8) EPA Commenter's Tips: https://bit.ly/3PzmV4M
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My #1 Strategy For Surviving The High Cost Of...
David Reavill
 April 17 2024 at 11:52 am
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I don’t have to tell you that the Cost of Living is skyrocketing. The Consumer Price Index shows that the cost of most items we purchase regularly has increased by over 10% in just two years. But, as you know, that’s only part of it. Some food items are up over 30%, while gasoline prices look set to rise soon due to the conflict in the Middle East. I was recently asked what my number one recommendation for surviving this economic storm would be. Here’s the strategy I’ve adopted for the Reavill household and one I suggest for you. My first recommendation is that we all approach our finances professionally and dispassionately. It’s easy to get emotional in times like this when we look at the monthly bills. Lately, our expenses may be greater than our income, which will likely cause panic. Don’t. I’ve been the financial officer/treasurer of three firms and one not-for-profit. More than once, I’ve seen these organizations nearly bankrupt. And that can cause more than one sleepless night. But you should know this: no one, including your banker, wants to see you bankrupt. It might seem like everyone is against you, but the reality is that if you fail, so do they. Your lenders do NOT want to see you fail. So here is today’s reality: interest rates have risen dramatically over the past few years. The nation’s central bank, the Federal Reserve, has raised interest rates by about 5 1/2% (the Fed Funds Rate). Unfortunately, you and I can’t borrow at those rates; that’s reserved for Fed Member Banks. As consumers, we will borrow at a much greater rate, and choosing just which rate is our task. Of course, as interest rates have risen, the best option is no debt. Pay off all your credit; it doesn’t matter where interest rates go. Unfortunately, for most of us, zero debt isn’t an option. So, our number one priority is finding the cheapest form of debt. Generally, the cheapest debt is secured by collateral because those loans have the least risk for the lender. For instance, a first mortgage on your home generally has a lower interest rate because the lender can always foreclose on your property if you fail to pay. So, the first place we will look for a loan is asset-based loans, like a mortgage, a home equity line of credit (HELOC), or another secured loan. The caveat is that we must be doubly sure we can meet those future loan payments; otherwise, we might lose our home. However, many of us don’t have access to a loan on our property, so we need to look at a personal loan — a loan not secured by some asset. From the banker’s point of view, these loans are more risky and come with a higher interest charge. The most common type of this loan is a credit card. Credit Cars are not secured by collateral. Instead, the lender relies on your ability to earn income to pay off the credit card loan. Here’s where we come to some real anomalies in the Credit Card market that you can take advantage of. A couple of years ago, finding a credit card that charged only 13–18% was typical. Back then, interest rates were low, and US consumers were meeting all their debt payments. (This was due to good jobs and Government Stimulus Payments.) So, credit card interest rates were some of the lowest ever. In the past two years, most credit cards have raised their interest rates by an average of 5%. But here’s the catch: there is a vast difference in the kind of credit card you get. A person with very good credit, with a standard no-frills card, was charged 13% in Q1 2022; today, they’re charged 18% on the same card. It’s not great, but as we’ll see, it’s so much better than other cards. The worst kind of cards in this category are store cards. They’ve gone from 25% interest on average to 30% currently. No one can afford to pay 30% interest. It may be painful, but pay down or remove Store Cards. The same applies to those “bonus” cards, which reward you for your purchases. They’re charging nearly the same as Store Cards. Recently, I got rid of my Amazon Card. Although it gave me a 5% credit on purchases, it still charged me 28%. I can’t afford that either. The 5% credit is a one-time bonus, while the 28% interest is compounded monthly. “Compound Interest” is the natural killer here, and you must avoid high-rate cards like the plague. Currently, the most significant interest charge is the Master Card by First Premier Bank. They charge 35.99%, a rate no doubt matched by some of the store cards we discussed. Credit cards charge compound interest, which is interest on your interest. You get charged interest if you don’t pay off your credit card this month. Next month, assuming you still haven’t paid off the card, you will be charged interest on the card’s new balance, which includes last month’s interest: you are paying interest on last month’s interest charge! That might not seem like a big deal, but let’s see how it works. Assume you borrow $1,000, make no further purchases, and make no payments. In five years, you will owe $5,891 on that $1,000 you borrowed, nearly 6X what you borrowed through the “magic” of compounding interest. It’s the fast lane to the poorhouse. Let’s look at an alternative; it will be a low-interest rate card with no frills. There are still cards out there that charge as little as 15%. Making the same assumptions with this new low-interest card, again borrow $1,000 and make no purchases. In five years, you will now owe $2,107. That’s a savings of $3,784 (72%) — a saving that could make all the difference in your lifestyle. These low-interest rate cards aren’t hard to find. Here are a couple of places to begin your local search. Credit Unions are my number one candidate. If they offer credit cards, they’re often very low rates. As mentioned, I just closed out my Amazon Card and moved to a low-interest Credit Union Card at less than 15% interest. Corporate Cards and Affinity Cards are other good candidates. You may work for a company that offers cards for its employees, often at excellent interest rates. You may be a member of a club or organization like the Automobile Club, the AARP, another Retirement Group, or a service organization like the Kiwanis or Elks. Check to see if any of these offer low-interest cards. Finally, many banks are utilizing a strategy to offer low rates on balance transfers. These usually include an up-front fee, but that’s often well below any interest rate charge. Citibank offered an interest-free balance transfer, good for two years, with an up-front fee. Doing a little math showed it was a desirable loan. So here’s my number one strategy for surviving today’s high-interest rate environment: Avoid Store Cards, bonus cards, or any special gimmick card. Look instead for the lowest pure interest rate loan or card. It’s no time to get fancy. Follow me here on ThinkSpot for more stories from the ValueSide.
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"Consensus" Isn't Scientific
Healthy & Awake Podcast
 April 17 2024 at 03:11 pm
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The concept of consensus isn't inherently scientific. Rather, it's frequently utilized to masquerade as truth, despite the reality that consensus can often be misguided. This can stem from groupthink, where the urge to conform overrides critical analysis, leading to a consensus not built on solid reasoning but on the perception that "everyone else believes this." This was a key point in my recent discussion with Dr. Judith Curry (Ep. 43) regarding climate science. She addressed the widely cited claim that "97% of scientists agree on climate change", illustrating how consensus is sometimes wielded to coerce conformity rather than foster understanding. Such consensus, while perhaps well-intentioned, can discourage further inquiry and dissent. On my social media, challenging prevailing opinions often invites criticism from those adhering to the supposed consensus. However, I maintain that questioning commonly accepted views is essential for uncovering truth, even at the risk of disagreement. Of course, consensus can occasionally align with reality—the sky is blue, after all. Yet, we ought to be particularly wary of consensus that bolsters certain power structures, benefiting those with vested interests in maintaining the status quo. With this in mind, I invite you to reflect and share: Can you think of any historical or current consensuses that have proven to be unfounded? Are there prevailing views today that you believe merit scrutiny? How do you safeguard against the group mentality, ensuring your beliefs are critically considered rather than adopted from the consensus? Healthy & Awake Podcast: Apple: https://bit.ly/44pEBV6 Spotify: https://bit.ly/47KVbBM Rumble: https://bit.ly/3HPzG6V YouTube: https://bit.ly/3SKeZjn Mike Vera isn't your average Board Certified Health Coach (NBC-HWC). Armed with an MS in Exercise and Health Promotion and extensive experience as a seasoned personal trainer, he's the strategic mind behind Red Pill Health & Wellness and the engaging voice of the Healthy & Awake Podcast. With a strong foundation in cognitive psychology, Mike is adept at unveiling the hidden influences that impact our health.
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The Chaotic State Of Food Science
Healthy & Awake Podcast
 April 17 2024 at 03:21 pm
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The world of food narratives is rife with contradictions. There's a faction that vilifies carbs as dietary demons, while another assures us they're perfectly safe. Artificial sweeteners are caught in a similar tug-of-war—some citing health hazards, others pointing to studies refuting such claims. Diets too, like keto and carnivore, are championed by some for solving myriad health issues, yet criticized by others for sustainability concerns or potential health detriments. And while some voices declare seed oils as detrimental, others defend their safety. Such dichotomies lead me to believe that truth doesn't exclusively reside on one side but rather in a nuanced understanding that considers all perspectives. Health and nutrition are arenas of ongoing debate, open to interpretation, demanding personal discernment to navigate. In my role as a Board Certified Health Coach (NBC-HWC), I strive to present all angles, weighing the merits of each argument with the goal of fostering informed decision-making. Remember the turnabout on trans fats? Once deemed safe, now universally recognized as harmful. This exemplifies the evolving nature of scientific understanding. What contemporary health advice do you question? Are there other divisive health topics you believe need more attention? And importantly, how do you navigate these waters to make the best choices for your health? Navigating the complex world of food and health science requires more than just fleeting insights; it demands deep understanding and personalized strategies. If you're ready to make informed health decisions and explore personalized paths to wellness, message me 'health' to schedule your first session with me for just $1. Together, we'll tailor a coaching plan that fits your unique needs and lifestyle. Healthy & Awake Podcast: Apple: https://bit.ly/44pEBV6 Spotify: https://bit.ly/47KVbBM Rumble: https://bit.ly/3HPzG6V YouTube: https://bit.ly/3SKeZjn Mike Vera isn't your average Board Certified Health Coach (NBC-HWC). Armed with an MS in Exercise and Health Promotion and extensive experience as a seasoned personal trainer, he's the strategic mind behind Red Pill Health & Wellness and the engaging voice of the Healthy & Awake Podcast. With a strong foundation in cognitive psychology, Mike is adept at unveiling the hidden influences that impact our health.
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Thoughts for the End of the Century: Life...
DrDave
 April 18 2024 at 01:12 am
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As a kid growing up in the 1970’s, the Cold War dangled the threat of nuclear war every chance it could find in our little minds. We were, at times, paralyzed by the thought of a nuclear bomb being dropped on our neighborhood. Our playground battles with the Russians were almost a daily occurrence. Today, a new threat by Communist China and the Russians has again brought the discussion of nuclear threat to the forefront. Russia’s President Putin has released a target map of potential sites he would focus on should he resort to nuclear arms. Prominent cities include Washington DC, New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles, as well as various military bases and critical targets around the country. Total casualties in those combined cities would approach 10 million people, according to NUKEMAP (https://nuclearsecrecy.com/nukemap/). Infrastructure within a 4.5-mile radius of the blast would be decimated. The long-term effects of nuclear fallout would render those areas uninhabitable for years to come. So, what would the future hold for these areas, and how would it affect the rest of the country? Shelter Of the survivors that remained in the nuclear zones of destruction, one would imagine that many people would seek greener pastures. They would move towards areas with more resources. Better water for consumption, food, and shelter resources would be sought. This migration would be unprecedented within the US and lead to new cities and infrastructure. They would follow routes of least resistance, such as along interstate routes. New York City survivors might travel north via Interstate 95 into New Hampshire or Maine. Those in Washington, DC, might take I95 south into the Carolinas. Chicagoans could take Interstate 80 west into Iowa or I94 north into Wisconsin. Those on the West Coast could take Interstate 5 north into northern California or Oregon. Small cities would grow exponentially with the influx of migrants. Cities like Portsmouth, NH, Davenport, IA, and Kenosha, WI, with access to air, rail, water, and the interstate nearby, would flourish during these growth periods. Infrastructure in these areas would be insufficient to meet the demands initially. Larger airports would take time to build; however, the interstate and rail systems could move building materials to spark the construction. Immigrants to these areas would be put to work in all phases of the projects. Federal monies, if available, would need to be allocated to these projects to ensure success. Water With the Potomac River feeding Washington, DC, and the Hudson River feeding New York City, these water resources may be contaminated and render the water unusable. Chicago provides a more devastating scenario as the city is upstream from the watershed region. This watershed region supplies much of the downstate Illinois region and would lead to undrinkable water for many people. Los Angeles is similar to the cities on the East Coast in that the city lies downstream from the watershed region. Let us not forget about the Colorado River, Lake Mead, and the Hoover Dam, which supplies water to seven states. If that were destroyed, it would be devastating to the country's southwest region. The Hoover Dam also supplies electricity to California, Nevada, and Arizona. This lack of resources would likely cause migration to the east along Interstate 10. Fire/Electricity Our electrical grid is outdated. The Hoover Dam was built to help with the demand due to the growth in the southeast region. However, the rest of the country is divided into four electrical grid regions: the West, the Midwest, the Southeast and Eastern seaboard, and Texas. A targeted missile to vulnerable sections of the grid could mean no power for millions of people in these regions. The reality would be that the damage done to the infrastructure would take years to repair or replace due to limitations in the manufacture of parts. With nuclear damage being done on the east and west coasts, the best-case scenario would leave intact the Midwest and Texas. This would enable the rebirth of these two regions as it takes in the migrants from other parts of the US. Food The food contamination would affect resources as some animals would die initially. If some of the nuclear silos were bombed in the upper Great Plains regions, this would lead to contamination in the Midwest as the nuclear fallout would drift eastward. The cattle and hog farms would be devastated. Inflation on those two commodities would skyrocket, and any safe meat to be consumed would be priced out of reach for most Americans. Massive population shifts would create food shortages in the region. Supply chains would be disrupted and inadequate to meet the demands. Inflation would become prominent and force many to live off limited resources from what nature could provide. People may be willing to eat contaminated beef and pork, which would lead to delayed mortality for those willing to take the risk. In conclusion The population shift to the Midwest and Southeast would cause problems with existing infrastructure and supply chain management. It would take decades for the balance to settle. A nuclear attack would affect the four basic needs in a survival situation (shelter, fire/electricity, water, and food). Our country would be thrown into chaos, and the aftermath would kill millions more as people fought for their basic needs. All of this makes plenty of assumptions. The most significant assumption is that just a few nuclear warheads reach the United States. It would only take a few well-placed missiles to disrupt our economy and livelihood. We should all pray it doesn’t come to fruition. Our kids and grandkids will live the nightmares we feared when we were kids.
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thinkspot Newsletter 4/18
thinkspot
 April 18 2024 at 05:37 pm
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Polarization, AI, Lone Wolf, and more. Join us on Thurs. April 18 with Gregg Hurwitz as we discuss polarization, AI, and his new book By thinkspotthinkspot Writers’ Contest ($1,000 grand prize) By thinkspotThoughts for the End of the Century, Butterflies and All By DanielSandersonThoughts for the End of the Century, Own Your Outcomes : Or They'll Own You! By KaizenAndrockThoughts for the end of the century - the path of the hearth fire By CraigJamesThoughts for the End of the Century: Impending US Civil War By ahol888Thoughts for the End of the Century By CanadianLibertarianThoughts for the End of the Century: Keeping The First Things First By BibleStudyCamThoughts For the End Of the Century: Progress Gives Hope For Change By HandylyonCulture in Crisis By thinkspot
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Moderate Inflation
Numapepi
 April 18 2024 at 02:29 pm
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Moderate Inflation Posted on April 18, 2024 by john Dear Friends, It seems to me, the experts claim inflation is under control, if you simply change what you buy. Instead of beef switch to pork, if that becomes too expensive, switch to chicken, and then roadkill… you see, its all in the budgeting. That’s how they come to a 3% inflation rate. After a few more years of this moderate inflation… only the rich will be able to afford road kill. The rest of us will be eating bugs, greenbriar and grass tops. Meanwhile, the federal reserve wants you to know they have it well in hand, but since raising interest rates in an election year would be bad, for the deep state president, they’ll use the wishful thinking method. That should do it. The fact is, inflation wont stop until the incentive for government to cause it, is stopped. There needs to be consequences for deficit spending. If you believe inflation has “only” gone up 3.8%, there’s a nice water front property on the Sea of Tranquility for you, I’ll sell it cheap. Insurance has doubled in my area. Food has doubled in some cases. Then again, who needs to eat? If you have a dog or cat, has your vet bill only gone up 5%? Mine more than doubled. The price of cars has gone up way more than 10%. A “cheap” car today is 20k. Electricity has risen far more than a mere 4%. Have you filled your car’s fuel tank lately? For the Bureau of Labor Statistics, (BLS) also called Bullshit, Lies and Spin, to come up with that number took some pretty brilliant lying. Then again, exposing the BLS as liars is one reason Snowden lives in Russia and Julian Assange resides in the Belmarsh super max prison. The Federal Reserve is trying to control inflation by raising interest rates. But the government spends two dollars for every one squeezed out of the little guy by higher interest rates. Milton Friedman’s theory on inflation… growth in money must match the growth in GDP to have zero inflation, if the growth in money is less than the growth in GDP, then you have deflation, and if the growth in money exceeds that of the economy, then you have inflation. Which dovetails with, John Meynard Keynes theory of economic growth, if aggregate demand exceeds aggregate supply, you have growth, and of aggregate demand is less than aggregate supply, you have recession. He didn’t make a distinction between government demand and individual demand. Aggregate demand is aggregate demand, no matter who is demanding the supply. Aggregate supply is the ability of the economy to supply that which is demanded. Therefore, the Federal Reserve raising interest rates to drive down aggregate demand, to match aggregate supply, is a fools errand. Since the government increases spending. Keeping aggregate demand higher than aggregate supply. Moreover, government spending doesn’t have the economic effect of individual spending. Economic growth is slowed by toxic government demand. Even as a dollar printed by government is more inflationary than one created by an entrepreneur. Because, a printed dollar comes into being out of nothing, while one created by economic growth, is backed by that growth. Even as taxes are a drag to economic growth. The government can lie all they want, but anyone buying insurance, eating or driving knows it’s gone up closer to 100%. We all know it. The problem is, the people that receive the newly printed money get to use it, before it triggers inflation, so they have no problem with the government’s print and spend policy. In fact, they want more of it. Since they benefit. Societal wealth in the long term, however, is being hollowed out by their profligate taxing, printing and spending. Transferring demand from the people to the State lowers the efficiency of our economy, and increases the monetary base, far in access of GDP growth. So what we have are elites who benefit from rotting our economy from the core out. That’s why we have pernicious inflation. Government’s failed policies are creating it, as they always do. Sincerely, John Pepin
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Thoughts for the End of the Century, or: you...
RaisedEyebrownies
 April 18 2024 at 07:03 pm
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The world is changing too quickly to keep up with. In the past it was possible to feel that you had a general understanding of what's happening in the world (and be wrong, but at least you could pretend from the comfort of your own home). Now, anyone can broadcast their wrongness, live. Is it any wonder? If you wanted, you could pull up a new random fact every fraction of a second to learn (and then immediately forget). It's an unwinnable game. If a fact can be replaced or forgotten without a second thought, it was never valuable. An infinite commodity, and the currency it can be exchanged for is a mirage. "Friends" you've never met. "Subscribers" that may be bots bought in bulk. And maybe this is just me, but I don't particularly want strangers to follow me. The things that really matter change slowly. Survival, friends (original flavor), family, purpose - meaningful things. Things you can't replace on a whim. Everything else is either related to what matters, or noise. The internet has made it impossible for anything to be heard at the volume it was said. It has to be amplified, multiplied, shared, before it even enters your awareness. So in some sense the internet is "about" feedback loops. Creators become more and more attention-grabbing, forcing their competitors to do the same to stay on top, until everyone is shouting over each other. But to be loud is to resonate with what the audience is listening for. You can't binge watch the internet. But it can binge watch you. The companies running the sites are watching. They want you to use their site. They need people in their loop to survive. They WILL bring people something that resonates or slowly fade into nothingness. Well, everyone with any sense listens the most attentively for meaningful things. The feedback loop for meaning is slow; it takes time for each person in the chain to digest. But infinite shouting makes it impossible to hear anything, while infinite meaning could spread without a word being spoken. Too much is happening to follow all of it. So don't. Set parameters. Prioritize what resonates. The internet can be a trap or a tool, but both are missing something essential: the internet is an instrument. Practice, and pay attention to the results. Not just what's measurable, but the tone. How does it make you feel? Pick a key and a tempo, but allow room for improvisation, transitions, and fun little flourishes. Try to pick notes that flow together into a cohesive, beautiful whole. End on a note that fits a major chord in your life. Then remember to leave some silence between phrases. And consider your part. You probably don't need a complicated solo for decades straight, but I bet you do have some part to play. So to those who need to hear it (myself included): quit binge watching an infinite symphony, as if you need to know every note of every part from everyone in the band. You're supposed to be listening for your cue.
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Thoughts for the End of the Century: The...
HistoryAfficionado616
 Yesterday at 08:07 am
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As we progress into the second quarter of the 21st century, two of the most powerful “buzzwords” that continue to make themselves heard are “liberty” and “equality.” It is hard to go a long time in the world of political discussion and commentary without encountering these loaded terms. The former may be utilised in situations such as the defence of gun rights, or the debate over freedom of speech, while the latter would perhaps be used to promote tax changes that will “benefit the disadvantaged” and thus “increase equality.” These terms are inevitably broad in meaning, and even more so in their current application. It has indeed become increasingly clear that they must be elaborated upon, and their meaning defined. Overall, I argue that the term liberty, or freedom, pertains to the removal of unnecessary hindrances on the free expression of one’s will, which begets no natural assurance of equal outcomes. The term equality could, however, hold any number of possible meanings, though chief among these being equality of opportunity and equality of outcome, the former promoting liberty as a principle, while the latter promoting control and the subjugation of individual expression. Furthermore, I contend that, if we are to advance as a society in the coming decades, it is imperative that we properly understand these two powerful words. Both “liberty” and “equality” have, historically, made for wonderful rallying cries, often when used together as a call for change to an established system. However, they have been today employed in conflicting situations, and many would contend that liberty and equality do not naturally go hand in hand. There appears to be a broad consensus in the modern West that equality of opportunity is an end worth striving for, and while, historically, all would agree the common people were severely limited in their access to opportunity, today it would appear to many that we are all given a decent chance. However, the socialist-inclined members of society believe that our modern, globalist and capitalist society has not provided opportunity to vast swathes of the population, and that difficulty in life and limited success is the result of systemic “oppression.” On the other hand, many hold that it is not through such oppression that the outcomes of success in life differ so vastly, and that human beings, through their varying abilities and, sometimes too through the capricious hand of fate, do not achieve equal status. Liberty must, I contend, be recognised as the ending of the restriction of one’s ability to express individual desire over the course of his life and decisions, so long as they do not materially harm another. Such a concept does not ensure universal happiness and fulfilment, as it entails an exceptional amount of personal responsibility that would certainly not have been seen for most of human history. However, the overwhelming complexity of the modern world and the plethora of potential pathways are the challenge that inevitably faces the modern person, and it is essentially impractical to expect otherwise. Although such an understanding of liberty may not lead to the achievement of a utopian outcome, likely no other method will either. Equality is, I believe, even more problematic a term than liberty. What cannot be more thoroughly emphasised with this term is its inherent difference from “sameness.” Equality of opportunity, which the West has long worked incredibly hard to achieve, gives no assurance that men and women will earn entirely equal wages, or that different ethnic groups will achieve equal representation in higher education. Equality, when understood as sameness, will inevitably lead to contradiction and utterly defective argumentation. The only sensible use of the word is to apply to equal opportunity. Whether or not society has achieved this is another matter altogether, one that will be more easily answerable once this definition is adopted.It is certainly desirable to live in a society that promotes both liberty and equality, and should the terms be used according to the definitions I have hitherto provided, it would be possible. However, liberty with the expectation of equal outcomes is not liberty ay all, as this presupposes that all human beings possess exactly the same abilities, that being a total and nonsensical rejection of individual difference. Overall, if liberty, as a term, held strongly to the definition of: “the removal of social hindrance as far as naturally possible to allow the greatest level of individual expression of talent and personality,” and equality: “the promotion of a common, basic level of access to opportunity in order to allow for the greatest natural level of personal achievement and expression” the two concepts would no longer clash, and productive discourse could finally be achieved. Perhaps controversial is my use of the term “natural” in the above definitions. Such a word may lend itself to further consideration, and possibly debate, though it ultimately means: “without any manipulation of the basic order of things that are beyond the man-made sphere.” Liberty and equality are both lovely terms, as they are concepts. This is perhaps why so much blood has been spilled over the centuries fighting under their banners, and why today they remain widely featured in political discourse and used as personal labels. What is truly great is that we, in the West, are blessed with the ability to attain both, though to do this they must be properly understood as part of a system of equal opportunity with free choice of pursuits. As with every other aspect of life, a utopian outcome will likely never be achieved, and it is essentially paradoxical to expect that we may one day have a “perfectly free” and “perfectly equal” society. Nonetheless, the two can go hand in hand and, when understood correctly, one naturally entails the other. If we are to advance culturally in the coming decades, it is critical that these terms are not only distinctly defined, but also widely understood.

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