Your Comprehension of History is Laughable (A response to Extra Credits)

Something I have always hated is people who look back at history and don’t learn shit from it.  Combine that with people who believe that entertainment somehow will “normalize” a societal value, and you have a good amount of stupid that one can pick apart.  Which is where Extra Credits comes in.  I’d heard of these guys around, but never really seen much of their content.  But this video has been making the rounds lately, and I just had to respond.  It’s so fucking stupid.  They talk about how we shouldn’t have Nazis in video games anymore because it normalizes them.  Oh boy.  I’ll have the video on here so you can see it with me, then we’ll talk about it.

Alright.  We start with little Billy playing his game, when suddenly he is a Nazi in multiplayer!  Now, this is a game centered in World War II, and in multiplayer that means that someone has to play the opposing side.  That’s how it works.  And most people wouldn’t even think about it.  You’re thinking about taking out the people you’re against in the game.  You wanna do better in the game than the other side.  Would you rather the Allied forces kill each other?  There’s some meta commentary about the nature of warfare.

Apparently, this is bad on so many levels.  Let’s hear it.  The dude starts off saying that by having it so you can play as the Germans in a World War II focused multiplayer game, you’re alluding to the fact that German soldiers are on the same level as the Allied ones.  Um…what?  That is INSANE levels of reaching to make your point.  Nobody is saying that, dude.  Nobody.  Find me someone who says that who isn’t a white nationalist.  It’s saying that when you have two sides in a game squaring off against each other, you typically have them as the enemy they are fighting so that it fits.  Otherwise you’re having allies kill each other.  Is what you want?  Want Americans to kill each other in-game?

Man, people say that I overthink things.  This dude makes me look like a fucking amateur in this department, because this is some quality overthinking.  It doesn’t matter if the game tells you that the person you’re playing as was forced into military service for Germany during World War II.  Hell, that was pretty much all men at that time, so yeah.  It’s how the game works.  What proof do you have that playing as a Nazi in a game does any real damage?!

The narrator goes on to then say we need to stop forcing people to play as terrorists in games like Counter Strike.  What is the rationale this time?  Here the dude goes into more details.  See, people have been hurt by terrorists and Nazis.  Not even gonna talk about those still alive who were hurt by the Nazis, because the amount of Holocaust survivors goes down every year.  There are very few left, if any at all by this point.  It’s been almost 80 years since the war ended.  So the amount of people hurting because of this is a VERY small number.  As for those hurt by terrorism, it’s weird to hear this coming from an American.  Yeah, 9/11, but fuck that.  You wanna talk about those hurt by terrorism, Europe has a MUCH bigger leg to stand on at this point.  Radical Islam has been killing so many people there over the last few years that it’s almost commonplace at this point.  Kinda like mass shootings here in the US.

His argument is that nobody should be part of an ideology they don’t like without their permission.  So then don’t play the game.  Nobody’s holding a gun to your head.  It ain’t like the game is making you swear allegiance to the Nazi party.  It’s a skin for your character to fight the other side.  It’s just a place-holder, which you said you’re against, but the one argument you’ve made so far is just bullshit.  If they are so abhorred by the idea of playing as a German soldier in a game where the goal is to be better than the opposing team, with nothing political involved save what skin you have on, what’s the problem?

Finally, we get to the meat of his argument, and it’s so fucking stupid.  By having it so you can play as a Nazi in a video game, we “normalize it”.  It becomes just another part of life.  That Nazis stop being super bad, and just become “meh.”  Then he asks if we’re ignoring history with this statement and says the answer is no.  Um, fuck yeah you are!  This is blatantly ignoring history.  And because you’re almost-certainly an American, I’m not surprised.  It’s not exactly a mystery that American education doesn’t even do the most basic of stacking up against other developed nations.  Education in this country is a fucking joke.

The Nazi party isn’t something that just came from the ether.  They didn’t just come out of nowhere and say “let’s start killing Jews, homos, and gypsies!”  No, there is a long and ugly history.  Like the Treaty of Versailles, which was an egregious document that destroyed the German economy.  Then there was the burning of the Reichstag, which galvanized the German people.  Then there’s the fact that, historically speaking, blaming Jews for people’s problems has a LONG history.  During the Black Death, whole communities of Jews were killed, because people thought they were bringing the plague.  Mostly because they weren’t getting sick nearly as much, partly because of their social isolation and partly because they had more standards of cleanliness than other people of the time.

So when this dude says that the concept of Nazism is being “normalized” by playing CoD: World War II and being on the Nazi team, I’m left to wonder something – what the fuck is he talking about?  The dude goes off on this tangent of how if it’s normalized, you might go to Nazi websites and read their ideas and become radicalized.  What?!  This is so fucking stupid.  Like some kid who is raised in typical, accepting and pro-diversity America is just gonna go “you know, I looked at Nazism, and I think it’s a good fit.”  Let’s totally ignore that white nationalism ideas are typically taught by families who are racist as fuck.  That you don’t just go onto a website and believe an ideology.  That wanting to become a Nazi is WAY more complicated than “I played a video game and was a Nazi in it, so now I’m gonna become one in real life!”  Jack Thompson 2.0.  Well, maybe 3 or 4.0, at this point.

The dude then says one of the dumbest thing I’ve EVER heard.  That after playing over a thousand hours of CS: Go, you’re gonna be celebrating terrorism!  Are you fucking kidding me.  What fantasy world does this delusional fuck live in?  What absolutely bonkers fucking reality does this intellectually-vapid moron live in where he can think that all it takes to become a terrorist is seeing in a fucking video game?!  Never mind that terrorism as we know it today almost-exclusively comes from a very violent and very bigoted religion that is pretty popular, worldwide.  Granted, there are plenty of people who subscribe to a much less radical version of that religion and just want to live in peace.  Good for them.  But the more radical element of that religion has a pretty big stake in terrorism as we understand it.  I don’t hear a lot of these games praising Allah.  So what is your proof of this, troglodyte?

So we get to the moron’s solution to his intellectually-insipid non-issue that exists only in his vacant mind – make PvP just training exercises or color everyone red and blue, a la Halo.  He then makes the argument that people who claim that needing to have Nazis or terrorists in games multiplayer for historical accuracy is stupid because it isn’t historical.  A guy who literally ignores ALL of history associated with EITHER of the groups he is decrying in games is telling me that people arguing for historicity is bullshit.  Um…pot, kettle on the line!

The rest of the video is just him restating what he already talked about.  This is stupid.  This is so fucking stupid.  This is the Anita Sarkeesian argument that violence against women in video games normalizes violence against women in real life.  There’s no measurable difference between these arguments.  Meanwhile, there is a lot of history for both sides that we as a society could learn from and not repeat.  But this stupid fuck wouldn’t even know where to begin on that.  It’s clear that he is historically illiterate.

Until next time, a quote,

“Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it, while those who do learn from history are doomed to watch other people repeat it.” – Anonymous

Peace out,

Maverick

I’m Not Afraid of Death

The terror attacks in Brussels have gotten a lot of people scared out of their wits about the idea of a terrorist coming into their lives and fucking up their day.  But that’s not me.  Make no mistake, I am not afraid of the idea of being killed by a terrorist.  That doesn’t frighten me one bit.  The fact that it is unlikely in the extreme is not even part of that.  Though it is true that you are more likely to get bitten by a shark than you are to be killed in a terrorist attack.  At least in the First World.  In the First World, you are more likely to be crushed by a vending machine.  You are more likely to be stomped to death by a moose.  There are lots of things you are more likely to be a victim of than terrorism.  Thus, I am not afraid of death by terrorism.  But the reality is that I’m not afraid to die at all.  Not one tiny bit.

My mortality is a companion, to me.  It’s something that I know will come to an end one day, as it will for everyone.  I don’t get why people are so frightened of the idea of dying.  I don’t believe there’s an afterlife waiting for me.  I like the concept, but I don’t actively believe it.  Besides, if I were going to believe in an afterlife, I would believe in the one from Beyond: Two Souls.  An infinite existence where you can go anywhere and see anything.  Time and space mean nothing, and you can explore at your whim.  That sounds cool to me.  But that’s just wishful thinking.  I realize that the fact is that when I die, I am likely going to just blink out of existence and that’s that.

I was talking to a friend the other day, and he told me about how he carries a gun wherever he goes because he is afraid of being accosted by a criminal.  It apparently happens quite a bit where he is.  Someone nearly got shot out there.  I don’t get his need to have a gun.  Never mind the fact that a would-be criminal would likely get the jump on him, and his gun wouldn’t protect him at all.  I just don’t get why he is so eager to defend his life.

This ties in to my absolute abyss of depression and how I don’t really like this mortality bit all that much.  What is so great in life that it’s worth being constantly afraid for.  You die, and that’s it.  Whatever happens to us after we die, the fact is that all of your problems are over.  It’s the ultimate release from all the stupid BS that we have to deal with in the mortal plane.  There’s a book called the Hagakure, which I read because it has this great passage about life, which I have emulated in everything I do.

It is a good viewpoint to see the world as a dream. When you have something like a nightmare, you will wake up and tell yourself that it was only a dream. It is said that the world we live in is not a bit different from this.

That quote is the personal view that I live to.  I don’t actively care about most anything that happens in life.  I have to care about my finances and whatnot, but I have no existential crises that I fear on a daily basis.  Death just seems like the end to all the nonsense that I have to deal with every day.  When I die, I won’t have to care about my bills.  I won’t have to care about my lonely apartment.  I won’t have to care about my nigh-dead friend life or my utterly-dead personal life.  Death is the ultimate liberation from those concerns.

So why does my friend worry so much?  He never answered when I brought this thought up.  Is it just something that is accepted that life is supposed to be cherished.  Why?  You die, and that’s it.  All of your problems are done.  Nothing else matters.  In that last moment, you get to slip away and let it all go.  That sounds like the most freeing thing in the world.  The reality is that our existence in this plane is the thing that is so much ugliness.  Childhood is the greatest time you will ever have, and all of us neglect to see how good it is.

I guess this rambling post was just to tell you that you all and your attachment to this world interests me.  I want to know what is so important for you to fear for it.  If you believe in God, then doesn’t the idea of dying seem appealing to you.  You get to go to God.  If you don’t, then all of your problems are about to end.  Eternal rest.  It’s interesting.  But I guess that’s it.  Let me know what you all think about mortality in the comments.

Until next time, a quote,

“When I was younger, I wasn’t afraid of anything.  I didn’t have the slightest fear of dying.  No reason for it.  I thought that if I die, it was fine with me.  Anytime at all.”  -Spike Spiegel, Cowboy Bebop

Peace out,

Maverick

And It’s Back to the War Chest….

After 9/11, America was very eager for blood.  We had been attacked, and we wanted to hurt the people who hurt us.  Not an uncommon emotion, really.  Someone hurts you, you want to hurt them back.  The hipster crowd won’t admit it, but it’s true.  They want to believe that all people are kind and good underneath it all.  That’s just not true.  We are a vengeful, hateful species.  Hate and the need for revenge come easily to us.  Don’t know what it is about human nature, but that is a part of it.  For sure.  And because we are a hateful, vengeful species, when one group of people attacks another, we have these massive war machines that we can use to hurt them back.  The most shameful parts of our history are made when one group of people decides to hurt the people who hurt us back.  Be it when we attacked the Japanese for bombing Pearl Harbor, or when Hitler used the Jews as a scapegoat for the troubles caused in Germany after the Treaty of Versailles.  We get hurt, and we hurt people back.

Going back to 9/11, there was a critical mistake that was made after that attack.  America decided that we needed to go in and smash and destroy.  We wanted to bomb and kill and make the people who hurt us suffer for what they did.  Or what we believed the did.  Truth be told, so many in the Middle East hardly knew.  It’s not like news traveled fast in those days.  It traveled, but not like it does today.  The people in that part of the world weren’t all tied in to this.  It was just one group of terrorists.  That was the enemy that we should have attacked.  But that enemy isn’t easy to hit.  Why?  Because it worked in cells and was hard to find.  To attack that enemy, we couldn’t use our military bludgeon.  It would require a scalpel.  Again, that isn’t what America wanted to hear.  So, we brought the full force of our military power against Afghanistan, and later Iraq.  In what would become a series of wars that cost this country so much, both in finances and blood.

But more than that, we cost so many lives in that part of the world.  Innocent people who had done absolutely nothing to this country.  We have killed millions of them, be it during the surge, or in the subsequent attacks with drones and the retaliatory bombings from the enemy.  America has so much blood on its hands.  So does all the West, really.  We did this.  The fact is, the rise of ISIS is due in no small part to our military actions in the Middle East.  We destabilized governments, and allowed an unbelievably-radical strain of Islam to take hold, with an army to back it up.  An army, social media, and support of people who don’t want to ridicule them in the name of tolerance.  This was partly our fault.  We need to take some responsibility for that.

I feel for the people in Paris.  For real, I do.  What happened there, I can’t even imagine how awful that is.  But without even missing a beat, once-again, the first thing that their government has done has gone to the war chest and brought out the sledgehammer, to hurt the people who hurt them.  Having seen this all play out before, I have to tell the people of France – this is NOT the way!  If you want to hurt them, you can.  For real, I’m not saying to do nothing.  But the reality is that just like after 9/11, this needs to be done with a scalpel.  Use strategic strikes against ISIS.  Take out leaders.  Hurt them without having to make it another military offensive that will most certainly end up killing innocent people.

The thing about the people of the Middle East is – they are a culture that doesn’t look forward.  They look backward.  They tend to hold grudges for a LONG time.  We in the West have a lot to answer for there.  We need to stop with the mass campaigns of war.  Truth be told, we should have stopped trying to control the Middle East ages ago.  Our war machines there have never brought us good things.  We helped the Taliban fight the Soviets, and then helped bring an oppressive regime to power.  We trained Osama Bin Laden to fight the Soviets, and he used the CIA’s training on us.  In the name of oil and business and revenge, so much violence has been unleashed on them, and they hate us for it.  They have good reason to.  If you had a relatively stable life, then watch it get destroyed around you, with every day being a day you have to worry about a bomb on the side of the road, would you see those people are heroes?  Of course not.  You’d see them as monsters who kill because they wanted to.  And that is, unfortunately, what happened.

To the people of France, I understand your pain.  It is okay to want revenge.  But you need to be smart about it.  Don’t unleash another war machine.  It will just make things worse.  It always has, in that part of the world.  Coordinated strikes against ISIS.  Taking out key officials and key objectives, while not risking civilian casualties.  That’s the way to go.

But what do I know.

Until next time, a quote,

“There are no facts.  Only interpretations.”  -Friedrich Nietzsche

Peace out,

Maverick

Paris Attacks, the Left, and Islam – #NotAfraid

For those of you who didn’t know, there were a series of attacks today in the city of Paris.  These attacks have left over 140 people dead, with countless more wounded.  These attacks were the result of Islamic terrorism.  And I have seen on Twitter that people are already coming out in droves, to defend Islam.

Let’s have a real moment here, people.  There are plenty of Muslims who are very good people.  They don’t want to hurt anyone.  They just want to do the right thing.  That’s good.  I think that that is an excellent thing.  This post isn’t about them.  But we have a huge part of the progressive-left who constantly goes out of their way to defend Islam from attack.  Why?  Well, in the name of tolerance.  Because these people have this strange idea that Islam is a race.  And by insulting Islam, you’re insulting a race of people.  Which is patently false.  There are Muslims of all ethnicities.  I think that these people just think that Muslims are all of Arabic descent.  Maybe that’s the thing.  But it’s not true.  Islam is not a race.  It is a religion.  And that religion…is fucked up, and can go fuck itself.

The simple reality is that Islam has a TON of problems, if you read its religious texts.  Like how their prophet Muhammad (gays be upon him) was a pedophile who married a nine year old girl.  Oh, but he fucked her when she was eleven.  I’ve had that argument thrown at me with the intent of it being a good excuse.  Because the man isn’t a sick pedophile if the girl is older than ten.  Hey, he’s doing better than Sarah Butts.  That thing went after a girl who was eight.  Or there is the blatant misogyny that their holy book promotes.  For those who want to come at me that the Christian Bible is the same, I agree.  I have no more love for that book either.  They are both sexist as shit.  The difference is that Christianity has evolved this left-leaning wing who goes out of their way to pretend that those parts of the book doesn’t exist.  Islam has a significantly-smaller part of their population who does.

Then there is the stuff about how those who do not worship Islam must be killed.  It may not have been the most even-handed documentary, but Religulous did have some great quotes from the Qu’ran showing plenty of quotes, along with Islamic religious leaders who promote murder.  And let’s not get started on the fact that there is a sect of Islam that has taken to turning women into sexual slaves.  Yeah, that’s right.  I’m talking to you, ISIS.  But plenty of the people who defend Islam also defend ISIS.  I think it’s madness.  So, sexism is wrong, until a religion promotes it?  Wow.  The progressive-left and their double-standards are a thing to marvel at.

It’s good to want a world where people are accepting of other people…to a point.  I won’t accept a belief structure that condones the senseless killing of innocent people.  It’s happened more time than can be mentioned.  And every time, the uber-tolerance crowd comes out to make sure that everyone knows that Islam is totally fine.  That it’s the people who antagonize them’s fault that they got killed.  Yes, because the people who were sitting in a cafe that got shot up did something so horribly wrong to the pieces of shit who did this, right?  Of course they did.  Or going so far as to blame the people who get attacked for what happens.  Like what those pedo-defending pieces of shit at Salon.com did before the bodies of the dead went cold.  Seriously, fuck Salon.  I fucking hate those people.  I will never condone violence being perpetrated on someone, but if by some chance the entire staff of that publication all got crushed under a semi, I won’t be shedding any tears..

People are coming together in solidarity with the hashtag, #NotAfraid.  I take up that mantle.  I am not afraid of these pieces of shit.  Fuck Islam.  Fuck the prophet Muhammad (gays be upon him.  Right up his ass).  Fuck any belief structure that can tell people that wanton killing is okay.  Fuck it.  Fuck it right up its ass.

That’s all I’ve got to say about this.

“All you have to say is that murder is wrong.”  -Bill Maher, Religulous

Peace out,

Maverick

You are Letting the Terrorists Win (A response to Sony)

I think the title says it all.  I’m sorry, Sony, but I’m going to have to give you some tough love.  After the hack and all the information getting out, your name has been dragged through the mud.  Part of me is a little sympathetic for the position that you have been put in.  However, your recent actions in the face of threats that I would bet you would be just sabre-rattling is just pathetic, and the fact that people can defend you baffles me.

Post-9/11 has become a very paranoid and stupid world.  For real, America is constantly trying to stop terrorists attacks that just happened.  Some guy tries to put a bomb in his shoes?  We gotta take our shoes off.  Someone trying to bring a water bottle with a suspicious substance inside?  We can’t take bottled drinks on airplanes anymore.  Hell, we now have to be subjected to full-body scans, just to be sure that you aren’t bringing any kind of weapon with you.  Just how willing is everyone to let fear override reason?

The justification has always been, for all the INSANE security measures – if we don’t do this, then the terrorists win.  People like me have always been of the mindset – the terrorists did win.  I mean, you see what we are doing to people in this country?  Yeah, the terrorists won, ages ago.  And if this doesn’t convince you, then you should check out what Sony is doing because of the film ‘The Interview,’ and the butthurt reaction that North Korea’s sad, pathetic loser of a leader, Kim Jong-Un has said in response.

For those who have been under a rock or something, Sony has recently been the victim of a malicious hack, that has gotten a TON of their dirty laundry thrown out in the public eye.  It’s gotten a lot of egg on their face, and they have even gone so far as to try and threaten journalists with lawsuits if they talk about what has been uncovered.  Class act, Sony.

So, here’s the thing about North Korea – it is a shithole of a nation.  If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend a book called “Escape From Camp 14.”  It’s about the only person who was born and raised in North Korea to escape from an internment camp.  It’s a powerful story, and it highlights a lot of the insanity of that country.  Not only is the nation piss-poor, but they are lead by an oligarchy of inbred lunatics.  Kim Jong-Il was a piece of shit, to be sure.  However, if there was one thing that he was able to do, it was take a joke.  At least, from people outside his nation.  He has been the butt of every single joke about North Korea until he died.  The creators of South Park even made a movie with puppet people and that unbelievably-catchy song, where you see the “Glorious Leader” get his puppet head blown off.

Kim Jong-Un is a sad, pathetic little man with an ego complex.  He killed his uncle for partying to hard at his inauguration.  That’s right, he killed his uncle, a man with a lot of respect and military prowess behind him, because he partied too hard at HIS inauguration.  Stuff like this has led a lot of political analysts to conclude that his reign will be short-lived, and end with him getting his throat slit, or something to that effect.  When you see how butthurt he gets over stuff, it’s easy to see why.  When Sony announced that they are making a film where Seth Rogen and James Franco are recruited by the CIA to use their press pass to North Korea as a chance to kill Kim Jong-Un, the new “Glorious Leader,” made it clear that he was not going to let this go unaddressed.  The little prick had to make a big to-do out of this, and look at where it’s gotten him.

The hacks of Sony have been unsubstantiated.  While North Korea said that they loved it to death, they claimed to not be responsible.  There is some evidence that it was the Chinese, but the truth is unknown.  Some suspect help from butthurt people who got laid off recently.  Whatever the case, there were threats made against the release of The Interview, stating that it would be a “9/11 situation.”  That’s right, a bunch of terrorists have threatened that they are going to kill people, unless their demands are met.  So, what has Sony done?  Well, after a few pussy-ass movie theater companies stated that they won’t be showing the film, they decided that they would just cancel the release of the film altogether.  Not just in theaters, but on DVD and digital streaming.  In essence, Sony is taking all the money they put into this and flushing it down the shitter.  Why?  Because if they don’t, then the terrorists might attack!

George Bush II was a fucking retard who should be arrested with Dick Cheney for war crimes, but you gotta give him credit – he stuck to his guns.  In his mind, we didn’t negotiate with terrorists.  Granted, that ideal was a little bit subverted by the whole airplane security debacle, but that’s neither here nor there.  You gotta give credit to a man who gives the finger to terrorists and says, “fuck you!  Bring it!  America will fuck you up!”  It seems that Sony, like the rest of the public, has decided to not stick to their guns.  The public has been totally cool with how insane the efforts have been to stop terrorism.  Now, with some fucking hackers doing some sabre-rattling, it seems that Sony decided to just give them what they want.  Gee, I wonder if that will set a precedent for other groups to do the same?  Hm, big mystery, there.

The terrorists won.  There is no other way to look at this.  The terrorists won, and Sony – you helped them win.  I hope you’re happy.  You’ll cloak yourselves in “we were protecting the people!” but the truth is, you are cowards.  A lot of people are choosing to cut you some slack.  And I can kind of see where they are coming from.  But at the end of the day, you still gave in.  You still wussed out.

Nice going.  Tell me – what do you all stand up for?  Anything?

Until next time, a quote,

“If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”  -Alexander Hamilton

Peace out,

Maverick

Joseph McCarthy and the NSA

One of the most interesting parts of American history was the McCarthy witch hunts for Communists.  It was a dark and insidious time where a demagogue in the Senate was going after innocent people during a time when America was scared.  It was a sad and dark part of our history where everybody was afraid.  They were afraid for their jobs, for their families.  They are always afraid.

One of the biggest things to take away from the era of Joseph McCarthy was that he was treating every American like they were a Communist.  He traded on people’s need to feel safe and their fear of a foreign enemy who was overall faceless and could be anyone.  They could be your neighbor.  They could be your friend at work.  Communists could be anyone.  What a wonderful thing for McCarthy.  The public was as much an accomplice to this insanity as the media, military and every other group of people were.  Anybody who blew the whistle on McCarthy had to fear for their freedom, because he would come after them.  Sound familiar?

We are living in an interesting era.  Americans are very afraid.  There are those like me and me who are not.  We know that this “terrorist” enemy is not some boogieman who is waiting to jump on us in a closet.  Who is not going to hijack every plane and kill us all tomorrow.  We know that this whole insane runaround is nothing but a waste of government’s time and money.  However, the government seems to disagree.

The NSA has grown in power to a level that would make even McCarthy jealous.  They have a tap on every phone, every email, every interaction online.  They have free access to anyone’s entire life and absolutely ZERO oversight that isn’t toothless.  This is deliberate.  Because the American people are now the enemy.  The American people are all terrorists until proven otherwise.  The common argument is that if a person has nothing to hide, they have nothing to fear.  So vapid and insincere that it boggles the mind.  But the people accept it.  After all, their hero, Barack Obama, is for it.  He said himself, “You can’t have 100% security and have 100% privacy.”  Ben Franklin sure would agree, wouldn’t he Barack?

Another thing that is similar is the treatment of people who expose the truth to the American people.  Chelsea Manning exposed the truth, and now she is in a cell for the next 35 years.  Why?  Because it was “putting soldiers at risk.”  They were already at risk, from the wars that Bush II sent them to.  That didn’t change.  What about Edward Snowden?  Who did he put at risk?  There was a rather poignant quote by Snowden about this whole affair that is worth mentioning –

If I am a traitor, who did I betray?  I gave all my information to the American public, to American journalists who are reporting on American issues.  If they see that as treason, I think people really need to consider who they think they’re working for.  The public is supposed to be their boss, not their enemy.

But the public is the government’s enemy.  In their eyes, it’s an enemy who should be tracked everywhere and be monitored in the extreme.  An enemy who they will make sure is aware of its place.  This is the world we live in.

For the age when the government was actually afraid of its people.  For the age when free speech was a championed right and privacy was important.  We now have a government and corporate society who views the people as a threat and is willing to do whatever it takes to keep that threat under control.  We are the enemy.  The war against us has already begun.

Of course, like McCarthy, it isn’t the NSA’s fault.  It isn’t the President’s fault.  It isn’t the fault of corporate America, who is complicit in this rape of freedom.  No, the fault is with us.  After all, it was the people who allowed this to happen.  When we started to accept more and more and more inconveniences in our lives in the name of “protecting our freedom.”  The stupidest line of all time.  Soldiers have died for it and we have become the enemy for it.  Both are horrific injustices.  We did this.

Americans aren’t big on taking responsibility.  We’re finally getting more and more out of Afghanistan.  They said we left there and Iraq, but we didn’t.  We still have forces there.  As we leave Afghanistan, our efforts are being derailed by the forces of the Taliban who still remain.  The nation is plunging back into war.  This isn’t our fault.  It’s not something we could stop.  This is the way it’s been in that part of the world since the days of swords.  With all their technology and money, that part of the world is still very tribal.  War was inevitable.  Our mistake in all of this was getting involved in the first place.  Two nations that did NOTHING to us, we attacked.  So many good soldiers died for that farce.  We let it happen.  We were so scared after 9/11 that we let whatever the government said was good for us happen.  We’re still doing that.

How does it end?  Does it end when we vote?  Probably not.  Everyone in government is bought and paid for.  We have so much broken education and wealth distribution that the idea that voting this problem out will work is almost insane.  Does it end when we revolt?  Probably not.  The police are now militarized in most cities.  They are preparing to have to gun down American citizens.  A revolution would be bloody, violent and short-lived.  Maybe that’s what the people in power want.  After all, so many new jobs would open, once the peasants are a little more dead.  Solve that job crisis problem, eh?  So where does it end?

It probably doesn’t.  McCarthy was opposed by the powerful few who were willing to take a stand.  Thus far, I haven’t seen anyone taking a stand here.  That should scare people, but it doesn’t.

Until next time, a quote,

“Good night, and good luck.”  -Edward R. Murrow

Peace out,

Maverick

The Anarchist (Part One)

(A little side-story, which has been on my mind)

It was a cool day in Miami.  Winter had been unusual for the entirety of the United States.  Alaska was warm as all get-out, the rest of the states were freezing solid.  Even Florida, the state which was synonymous with heat and humidity.  At 50 degrees, the coats were coming out.  It was a strange day, to be sure.
This day found Arthur Hugo walking down the street.  He was having a very good day.  Something he had been waiting on was going through.  As he walked down the street, he was enjoying the cooler weather.  Nothing was going to get to him today.  He didn’t even care when a young woman bumped shoulders with him.  She was on her phone, of course.  It was to be expected, since it was pretty much every woman who was on their phone and not paying attention to the world, now.  At least, that’s how he saw it.
“Excuse me,” she said, continuing on her way.
Well, at least she’s polite, he thought, rolling his eyes.  His mood was too good to be bogged down by anything.  Too many things were going right.  There was a ding on his phone.  It was a new text coming in.  His wife, asking what he wanted for dinner.  That brought a smile to his face.  He texted back that he didn’t care, wanting her to pick something she liked.  Nothing was going to bring him down.
It was then that he saw something.  There was information following him.  It was following him on every screen he could see.  Every time he would walk by, information on the screens would change.  He looked close and his eyes went wide.  It was him!  His picture, information about him and other things.  There were video clips of him talking with some of his associates.  Not at work, but at another task.  His side-job, that was bringing in the real money.  It showed him brokering deals on him selling American women to foreign buyers.  He was the broker, making millions on the sex slave market.  The man frantically looked around.  People were looking at him.  There was anger, fear and resentment.  He grabbed his phone, just in time to see his wife calling.
“Honey, I’m a little busy right now!”
“What am I seeing here?!  What the fuck is this?!”
“I’ll explain later, honey, but I’m a little busy!”
“No, you explain now!  What the fuck am I looking at?!  What the fuck have you done?!”
“Shut the fuck up, bitch!  I can’t think with you bitching at me!”  He hung up the phone.  People were moving.  People were angry.  This didn’t look good.  He started running.  His car was just up the road.  If he could make it there, then he would be safe.  He could get out of dodge, maybe turn himself into the cops for protection.  He’d rat on his “friends” that he worked with, get them to take the fall.  Go into witness protection.  His wife would leave him, but that was an acceptable loss, in his eyes.  There were people running after.  No matter how fast he went, the changes in the screens followed him.  Tears were running down his face.  Who the fuck would do this to me?!  Why the fuck am I their target?!  What the fuck’s going on?!  No answers were coming.  Nothing was making any sense.  All he could was keep running.
His car was in sight.  Relief came to him.  Just then, he was smacked in the back with something hard.  He lost his footing, slamming to the ground.  He tried to regain his footing, but there were kicks and punches.  The crowd was attacking him.  It went on for a few minutes, before there was a loud crack.  His rib cage felt like it ripped open.  He looked up, to a TV screen in a cafe.  The display changed.
Answer for your sins.
James Fitzroy was one of the most powerful Wall Street executives there was.  His company was one of the few that weathered the recession pretty well, which had made them even more rich.  In this world, there were always people willing to buy cheap crap.  It was the easiest thing.  As his driver was bringing him in to work, he turned on the TV in his car.  He wanted to check some stocks, along with get the latest financial news.  Couldn’t be too careful in this world.  But the image wasn’t what he expected.  It showed video footage of him and some of his friends.  It was when he was a much younger man.  The memory was vivid in his mind.  He had devoted a lot of drunken hours trying to forget it.  They had got some call girls for one of their friend’s birthday.  They wanted to have some fun with an old pal.  What ended up happening was that they got some blow that was bad.  Killed three of the call girls.  Everyone panicked.  The others threatened to call the cops.  They were intimidated and bribed to keep their mouths shut, while him and his buddies got rid of the bodies.  It was still a painful memory.
And this video camera footage was bringing it all back.  He started looking around, wondering how many other people had seen this.  Just then, he noticed something – where was the driver?  They had been there just a moment ago, but they weren’t there now.  What happened?  Something felt wrong.  He didn’t like this.  That was when a semi, coming around the corner, completely destroyed the back half of the car.  Fitzroy never even had time to process.  The last thing he had seen was a message being displayed.
Answer for your sins.
A young detective, Jennifer Wolfe, was walking into work.  Being a NYPD detective was never an easy job, but she loved every minute of it.  She was one of the youngest detectives on the force, which was to the envy and sometimes jealousy of her counterparts, but they were a tight group.  A family, as she knew them.  Sure, there were always the assholes who would talk about her ass and hit on her, but she was no pushover.  Fit, trained and great with a gun, she held her own with the best of them.  Anyone who grabbed her ass ended up with some broken bones.  But those guys were typically punished in a more serious way by the guys in the office who she had grown up with, helping on cases or knew from her family, which had always been police.  If someone really messed with her, those guys would make sure they paid dearly for it.
She got into work that morning with a tan from a vacation she had just gotten home from.  There was a smile on her face.
Sergeant Monroe, one of the people who were family, came walking over.
“So, how was visiting the family?”
She rolled her eyes.  “Fucking Florida.  I swear to god, everyone who goes there goes to die.”
He laughed.  “Well, maybe your parents thought to do just that.”  That got him punched in the arm.
“They better fucking not!  I’ll kick their asses if they up and die on me.”  Just then, there was her partner, Detective Ryan Deacon, running over.
“Grab your shit, Wolfe, we gotta call!”
“Already?!  I just got in the door.”
“Yeah, some bitch up on Broadway got her fucking head blown off!  Not long after…”  He didn’t have to say.
“Fuckin’ A.  Not this again!”  The people were calling this person or persons The Watcher.  They were becoming a bigger and bigger problem around the department.  Someone was finding powerful people and exposing their crimes to the rest of the world.  They would somehow follow the person everywhere they were.  It was like their crimes were with them.  The people who saw it often reacted violently, because the crimes were severe.  The first instance of this was in Miami, where a guy was beaten and shot after it was revealed that he was involved in human trafficking.  Now, it took off.  Sometimes it was in other places, but New York appeared to be the epicenter.  After the deaths of two CEOs, a Wall Street banker and a police lieutenant who was hiring gay hookers to beat them, this person was public enemy number one, and that designation wasn’t about to change.
The Watcher was viewed as a cultural hero by the public, airing out the trash for their judgment.  Vigilante violence was becoming a much larger issue.  Others had followed this person’s lead, but they were a lot easier to catch.  Whoever The Watcher was, they were an amazing hacker and clearly nigh-perfect at covering their tracks.  And they had a growing legion of followers who were ready to lay down and die to save whoever it was, if it came to that.  Every time new information got out, they took it upon themselves to deal with whoever was outed.
The country at large was not dealing with this well.  The stock market was turning, the cops were nervous and the government was getting more and more frightened.  The Watcher had changed everything, and it wasn’t likely to change back.  This had gotten the attention of more than a few people within the law enforcement networks outside of the police.  The FBI had this person on the top of their Most Wanted lists.  People saw it as only a matter of time before this case took center stage, nationally.
At that moment, at their headquarters in DC, an older man who was something of a career legend within  the FBI was looking at some information.  It was a brave new world to be a cyber-terrorist.  With pretty much everything linked to the Internet now, if you had a program that could crack through a barrier, you could do whatever you want.  Steal bank account numbers, track anyone you wanted.  The NSA made a career out of following people.  The reality was that, if the goal was to follow this problem in cyberspace, he could go anywhere.  No, this problem had to be solved like any other case – on the street.  Thankfully, because real people were involved, it could be.  This case looked like the kind where one would just scour the online world to find, and they had some of the best they could get doing that.  But this person was too good to track that way.  This case had to be solved more traditionally.
This was where this man, Edmond Bradley, came in.  He was one of the oldest and best investigative agents in the force.  He had come up through the DC police, being thought of as something of a prodigy by his commanders.  Now, he was viewed as the best.  The man who could solve cases that no one else could.  There was gentle music playing as he looked over the information they had.  A hypothesis was coming into his mind.  It was time, to take a trip to New York City.
They got to the scene of the crime, and it was every bit the circus they believed it would be.  The screaming people, yelling that the cops were nothing but slaves to the sinners.  They had to get SWAT teams to corner the area off, it was that bad.  It was like riots were about to start.
Wolfe and Deacon got out of the car, walking over.  A patrol cop met them.
“Sorry about the noise, detectives.  It’s a fucking mess out here.  Whole town is turning into the asylum!”
Deacon nodded.  “I hear that.  So, what’s the story here?”
They got to the body and the EMT flipped back the sheet.  He had already gotten his pictures.  “Not very complicated.  Gunshot wound to the face.  Not much face left, actually.  Bullet went right through the back of her skull, taking most of her brain with it.  Judging from the impact and trajectory, I’d say we’re dealing with a .44 or .45 pistol.”
Wolfe looked around.  “Any idea who the shooter was?”
The patrol cop pointed toward his car.  “Yeah, we caught him trying to get rid of the gun down a storm drain.  Damn lucky we stopped him.  We saved the gun and it’s got his prints all over it.  Open and shut.”
She liked the sound of that.  “So, what were her ‘sins,’ as our Watcher gave us?  What got her here?”
The EMT pointed up to the screens above Broadway.  “See for yourself.”
It was showing documents from a charity organization that she was using to pay for her trips to the Caribbean.  The last image was of her doing blow off a muscular and very tan surfer’s abs.  That’s when the image came up that they knew so well.
Answer for your sins.
Deacon grit his teeth.  “It’s like this asshole is toying with us!  Like he knows that we got shit on him, so he can do whatever the fuck he wants!  I swear, when they finally bring him in, I hope we get a chance to fuck him up a bit.”
Wolfe gave him a cold look.  “Watch your mouth, detective!  We’re cops, not the mob.  Don’t be like them.  If that happens, he wins.”
The man let out a sigh.  “You’re right.  I know.  It’s just, so damn frustrating!”
“I hear ya, but we gotta keep our heads.  Otherwise, he really does win.”  She looked back down at the body.  “Alright, nothing more we can do here.  We got the shooter, this case is cleared.  Just another clearance that we can thank the Watcher for.  Asshole.  Cart the body to the morgue and clean it up.”
“Yes ma’am,” the EMT said, moving to comply.
She walked back to her car, getting inside and heading out.  As the cops were leaving, the image stopped.  It was back to normal again.
Getting back to the station, she saw that the place was buzzing.  One of her friends, a young clerk at the records office, ran over to her.  The girl was beaming with pride.
“What the fuck’s going on?  Someone get promoted?” Wolfe asked, nonchalantly.
“No, it’s big!  We just got a fax from DC.  The FBI is finally moving on this Watcher guy!  They’re sending down their best guy tomorrow!  He’s a legend with them!  We’re finally gonna be rid of this problem!”
That got a smile out of her.  “That’s good news.  They gonna be working with us, or are we out?”
“According to the fax, him and his people are coming tomorrow to meet the people in homicide, since you’ve had the most direct contact with him.  Isn’t that exciting?!”
Wolfe patted her on the shoulder.  “Calm down, kiddo.  You’ll give yourself a heart attack.  Still, it is pretty cool.  Guess this Watcher problem is going to be solved.”
“Damn right!  It’s gonna be great.  Anyway, I’ll let you go.  You probably gotta write a report about the shooting.  Grab a drink, later?”
“I’m down with that.  I’ll text ya when I get off duty.”  The two went their separate ways, each having a long day still ahead of them.
Late that night, there was a room that was only lit by a computer screen.  In it, someone sat in darkness.  They were looking at a copy of the fax that was sent to the precinct.  A smile was on their face.
“So, it begins.”
Until next time, a quote,
“Tonight’s the night. And it’s going to happen again, and again. It has to happen. It’s not what I want. But what I want doesn’t matter. This is the only way I know how to survive. I’m coiled and ready to strike.”  -Dexter Morgan, Dexter
Peace out,
Maverick

The Boston Bombing and My Thoughts

Today there was a bombing in the city of Boston.  At the time of this post, two people are confirmed dead, and dozens are injured.  From reports, there were two explosives.  This is an act of terrorism, and it saddens me that there are people in this world that would do things like this.  But I do have a few thoughts.

We Americans take for granted how safe we actually are.  In countries like Afghanistan or Iraq, they don’t have that luxury.  I will never for a second condone this tragic event, but the fact that Americans are so complacent is interesting to me.  After 9/11, the people were terrified.  American soil had been attacked.  Over 1,000 people died.  This sort of thing made our nation so scared that it immediately had people willing to throw away their freedoms to feel safer.  You can bet that the media had a field-day with this fear.  The reports that were coming out were about as gloom-and-doom as it gets.

Then you have the other side of this equation – the people who want to believe that danger is every single place.  They had absolutely no problem throwing away freedoms after 9/11.  I cannot tell you how many people in my immediate area were saying stupid hyperbole like, “people shouldn’t be worried if they’ve got nothing to hide!”  That sort of sentiment just drove me up the wall.  But hey, that’s America for ya.  And when the government decided to make some unbelievably stupid decisions following a tragic event, we all went along with it, because fear and sensationalism were rampant.  I am hoping that this tragedy is not another repeat of that, should it be found out that a terrorist organization was responsible.  If we are EVER going to get out of our species infancy, we have to start being able to talk about things.  Otherwise, this kind of tribalism is going to drive us into the ground.  That is, to be honest, how I think the human race will end.

Though all things being said and done, here’s what we need to remember – we need to be able to talk about this.  I am one of the people who thinks that when we are going overboard about these issues, we are basically just selling out our freedoms for not even close to what they are worth.  What’s more, these discussions need to be rational!  I cannot tell you how many people are already online saying that this is the Muslims.  Then there are the conspiracy whack-jobs who are saying that this was all one big government scheme.  I swear, those people must think that our government is the most well-oiled machine in the world to make every single national tragedy happen without a single open omission or confession from one of the people involved.  But the reality here is that we aren’t rational about this.  Battle lines are already being drawn and we are already starting to fight it out.

Another thing that I want to add, if this was a terrorist attack, is that I have a very galvanizing opinion about terrorist attacks (if that is indeed what this was).  See, here is my thought – I have a TON more respect for the tradition mob hitman than I do for a person who kills innocent people for what they believe is a cause.  There are a couple reasons why.

The first is that the mob hitman doesn’t do this because of some delusion of it being a for a good cause.  The hitman is doing it for money.  They are doing it to survive.  They do a job that they know they are good at (if they have been alive doing it for a long time, they know that) and that they know will earn them the money they need.  This person has an understandable reason for their work.  Whether you agree with it or not, that should make sense to you.

The second reason is that the mob hitman doesn’t kill innocent people to do their job.  Don’t go off on me before you think about it.  They have a target.  A professional enforcer for the mob will know to take out their target in the most efficient way possible.  Does gunning that person down in a large crowd sound efficient to you?  Absolutely not.  They do their work in a way that can maximize efficiency while minimizing risk.  That’s the smart way to do these things, and criminals are a lot smarter than people give them credit for.

Look, this is a tragedy.  We should take time to mourn the victims and try and help those who can be helped.  One of the refreshing reports I got after this was that people were running in to where the blasts were to help those who were hurt.  That’s the kind of attitude that we should have.  We should come together and work together, instead of taking to the internet to fight it out.

Consensus is possible.  Our species doesn’t have to follow its usual pattern of immediately finding ways to get mad at each other.  But maybe I am just being too hopeful.  Keep the people involved in this tragedy in your thoughts.  Pray for them, if you must.  But most of all, please, keep an open mind and try and think about this rationally.  Please?  I am tired of hearing reports about how another school shooting has devolved into an argument about gun rights, when it should be us looking at what the causes of people’s violence are (and please don’t insult my intelligence by saying violent movies and video games.  That’s ignorance at its worst).  I am sick of tragedy being a battle over which rights that we lose.  We need to be smarter than this.

Otherwise, the point that others have made countless times before me is true – the terrorists have won.

Until next time, a quote,

“But it’s pretty obvious that a lot of people, in the absence of any kind of definitive answers, are clamoring for someone to blame.  And, really, in my opinion, that shouldn’t be our first imperative.  We shouldn’t immediately say ‘who can we blame for this?’  We should be all about finding the truth.”  -TJ Kirk, THE BOSTON BOMBING – What happens now?

Peace out,

Maverick

Christians Terrorists Threaten to Rape and Murder a 16 Year Old Girl?

I wish that title was hyperbole.  I really do.  I wish that I could say that no Christian or no person would threaten another human being in this way.  But I have come across a story that has just angered me down to my core being.  This goes beyond just the usual annoyance.  The people responsible for this are the worst kind of scum.  But I won’t stoop to their level and say that we should do to them what they want to do to this teenage girl.  That would be validating their evil, hateful, bigoted existence.

Perhaps you all remember the story of Jessica Ahlquist.  She is a 16 year old girl who won a lawsuit against her school to get a prayer banner removed.  She was well-within her rights, since this was a public school and there is the 1st Amendment, seperating church and state.  She fought for the Constitution, which these conservative slack-jawed idiots claim to be so in support of, and immediately afterwards, she was the target of bullying and threats.  But there is a new one that has come to light.  She tweeted a picture of it.  Here is the text, with the expletives –

The cops will not watch you forever.
We will get you good.
Tell your little asshole sister to watch her back.
There are many of us “Crusaders”, We have a betting
pool going to see who gets you first!
Your fuckin old man move or keep you
locked up if you know what’s good for you…
We know where he works, what kind of cars you
have + the plate numbers of the cars.
GET THE FUCK OUT OF R.I. you BITCHIN’
WHORE. You are nothing more than a sex-toy
of a slut. Maybe you will gang-banged
before we throw you out of one of our cars.

WE WILL GET YOU-LOOK OUT!

Fuck the grammar problems.  Let me say it clearly – the people who wrote this are terrorists.  They are no better than the Muslim terrorists that I’m sure that they hate so much.  They are threaten to rape and murder a 16 year old girl, along with her sister and her father.

It’s moments like these, looking at it critically, that I just have to wonder – how do thinking people rationalize believing in God?  I have a friend, one of the smartest people I know, and she is fervantly faithful to the tenth degree.  Why?  These kinds of terrorist threats are nothing new.  Christianity has years and years and years of violent bigoted blood-shed under its skin.  The problem in this country is that Christians have such a high view of themselves that they don’t acknowledge the history of their religion.  If anything, these people are faithful to its origins and behaviors.  Don’t believe me?  Here are some lovely tidbits that show you what I am talking about –

Christians absolutely destroyed the pagans, killing thousands.
The Crusades killed thousands of innocent Arabs.
The Spanish Inquisition killed thousands of innocent people.
They burned “witches” who were never proven to be witches.
Native Americans were massacred in the thousands because they wouldn’t convert to Christianity.
The Holocaust.  Yeah, in Mein Kampf, Hitler wrote that he was doing what he was doing in defense of his God.  The Christian God.
Charlemagne had 4500 Saxons killed for not converting to Christianity.
And let’s not forget the million upon millions of people that God himself murdered in cold blood at places like Sodom and Gamorrah, Egypt, Jerico, when he commanded his armies to rape and murder, and when he flooded the entire world, killing all men, women, children and babies.

So, if anything, these “Crusaders,” what an appropriate name.  What an absolutely appropriate name.  The original Crusaders were nothing but terrorists too.  They had an entire army of people who were being used to strike terror into the hearts of the saracens.  It just is so fitting.

But these people are domestic terrorists.  The police should find them and throw them into a prison cell. But what are the chances that they will?  Not much.  This is America, after all, a “Christian” nation.  What a joke.  The bulk of the Founding Fathers of this country were deists.  Thomas Jefferson rewrote the New Testament getting rid of all the divinity shit.  Thomas Paine wrote that Christianity was nothing but a system made to enslave and terrify mankind.  John Adams wrote that this would be the best of all worlds if there were no religion in it.  Ben Franklin wrote that a lighthouse is more useful than a church.

This is not a Christian nation.  What’s more, I hold stuff like this up to people who believe that religion does no harm.  I can’t count the number of times when I am talking to a person and they say to me –

Oh come on, Lucien, let them have their beliefs.  It doesn’t do any harm!

Such a naive and stupid viewpoint, but whenever you try to argue with them, they close their ears and their minds.  But hopefully this message sent to Miss Ahlquist will send a clearer message.  Hopefully it will finally get through to them how socially corrosive religion is.  But probably not.  These are the people who elect psychopaths like George Bush.

Faith is corrosive.  It is doing damage, and it is potentially doing real harm.  And faith won’t take responsibility for what has been done.  Should these “Crusaders” do what they say that they will do in this threat, the church won’t say that they are sorry for progating a world view where people think that this is acceptable.  There are plenty of churches in this country that preach that violence should be acceptable against those who disagree with them.

Now, I don’t think for a moment that all Christians are like this.  Of course they aren’t.  But if you aren’t going to stand in solidarity against this kind of thing, then you are just as much to blame for when this kind of stuff happens.  If you back an institution with as much murder, rape and death under its belt as religion without taking some responsibility for what happens because of that faith, then you are an enabler.

But for those who do believe what is being threatened against Jessica Ahlquist is okay, let me just say – fuck you.

Until next time, a quote,

“If you belonged to a political party or a social club that was tied to as much bigotry, misogyny, homophobia, violence, and sheer ignorance as religion is, you’d resign in protest. To do otherwise is to be an enabler, a mafia wife, for the true devils of extremism that draw their legitimacy from the billions of their fellow travelers.”  -Bill Maher, Religulous

Peace out,

Maverick