Sunday, November 27, 2016

Chomsky Sunday

Here is Noam Chomsky on the rise of Trump. While Tea Party Republicans are likely to be butt-hurt by his comments, he is correct about Trump's intellectual inconsistencies. Chomsky also expresses concern about the growing tensions between NATO and Russia. He is correct that this poses an existential threat to humanity, especially the nations along Russia's border.

I'd add that if there's one lesson the left can learn from its loss in this election, it is that political correctness is a dead end. Safe spaces at college campuses richly deserve ridicule. The nation's overwhelming rejection of sensitivity politics shows that it is a liability in the end. The left should go back to the drawing board and develop more intellectually rigorous and consistent positions. Frankly, it shouldn't be hard to defeat a group of people that rejects evolution and still believes marijuana is as dangerous as crack.

Where I differ from the alt-right is that I believe their views are becoming mainstream and commonplace, and that the time to criticize political correctness was 15 years ago when it was less fashionable and personally riskier. The alt-right, amorphous as it is, will probably end up with the same fate as the vapid ideology it seeks to crush. There is hardly any innovation in the mainstream.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Bright Side

Florida now has effectively legalized medicinal marijuana. This is important because cannabis has been used as a medicine for thousands of years, and possibly has coevolved with humans for that specific purpose, given selective cultivation by humans. The next step is full-blown legalization, which more states have voted to support, so that we can end the imprisoning of millions of Americans for a victimless act and relieve the courts of their burdens.

Also, as I pointed out before, the Clintons have sociopathic tendencies. Sociopaths can put on a good face for the public, yet still do plenty of damage behind the scenes. I tend to think where there's smoke there's fire, and with Wikileaks revealing what they have, it looks like the crimes of this family have been covered up for political reasons.

Another potential positive is that relations with Russia will warm up. This would be a good thing, since Russia is a nuclear power with the capability of destroying any nation on the planet if it so desires. There are no winners with nuclear war, contrary to what some politicians think. My guess is that Trump has serious backers in the Deep State who understand this. The fight for positioning in the Middle East will continue, but hopefully we will join forces with Russia to destroy ISIS. There is no point in toppling secular leaders in that part of the world -- this is a stupid neocon idea that simply will endanger everyone, including Israel.

Hopefully Trump will not trample on worker rights. His opposition to "free trade" could bode well for American workers, given that third-world wages drive down the wages in this country. We'll just have to wait and see.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Man Dies in Jail After Being Pepper Sprayed

In a case that has been circulating online, an African-American man, Michael Sabbie, died in a jail after being pepper sprayed and denied proper medical treatment. In the video below, he can be heard repeating "I can't breathe." What's notable about this case is that his death has been ruled to be due to "natural causes," despite the fact that the video shows he was brutalized and denied medical treatment. His obesity likely contributed to his death, but that still does not justify the use of force and the denial of emergency aid given the very clear signs of a medical emergency.

This case also highlights the tendency of authorities to check "death by natural causes" on a piece of paper -- it's the easy route, and surely limits liability for those involved. It also highlights that the effects of pepper spray are far from being fully understood, even by the scientific community. This weapon needs to be thoroughly studied if it is going to be applied by law enforcement and prison staff on a regular basis.

Here is a Huffington Post article on this tragedy.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


Our republic is in crisis, apparently, not only because of the economic problems it faces, but also because the Democratic candidate for the White House appears to be ill. I saw the video of her apparently having seizures from Infowars, and I have to agree with them that it shouldn't be considered a "conspiracy theory" to raise questions about her frequent falls, coughing fits, and seizures. Though the Clintons seem to have sociopathic tendencies (to be fair, Donald Trump seems like a narcissist, and it's not clear if one type is worse, since sociopaths can channel their minds to do positive things for society -- take surgeons, but I digress), they have done some good for this country, and the economy was powerful under Bill Clinton, though he played a role in the repeal of Glass-Steagall, which led to the 2008 financial crisis. Hillary Clinton also represents a continuation of the neoliberal and neoconservative status quos that have dominated American economics and politics, respectively. Trump, contrary to what his fans believe, probably does not have the wealth he claims to have and has filed for multiple bankrupcies, and also outsources the manufacture of his products, though he is on target regarding the problems with economic neoliberalism. He's also the least Christian of any politician I have seen, going by his character and insults, though evangelicals and Christian conservatives are enamored with him. It's not clear, though, that protectionism will provide the immediate boost to the American economy as Trump claims, since the very reason why products are cheap at Walmart -- where no doubt many of his supporters shop -- is precisely because of the lack of tariffs and open trade. There needs to be manufacturing back in the U.S., but there are no quick fixes, and as the Germans and Japanese prove, developed countries can flourish with third-world labor pools competing against them by emphasizing quality and innovation. Trump probably does not know how to navigate through this complex system without disturbing the lives of millions of Americans, given his lack of experience outside of his multiple bankruptcies related to real estate. Mark Cuban would be a better fit as an entrepreneur, given that he is wealthier and more intelligent than Trump, but I doubt Cuban wants to run.

Anyway, it is a very serious problem to have a front-runner with a serious illness, and with all due respect for Hillary, she should consider passing the baton to Bernie Sanders. Like Trump, Bernie is opposed to the neoliberal regime, and Bernie is more practical about the situation. If this nation invested in its infrastructure and education instead of bailing out banks -- which it has spent trillions on since 2008 -- as Bernie proposes, would the nation really be worse off? Besides, there is currently a deflationary crisis afflicting this country, given that wealthy Baby Boomers are retiring in droves. Generally, people spend less when they retire. The entire developed world is engulfed in a deflationary spiral due to demographics, including Japan and even China. Printing billions of dollars to offset these very powerful forces to spend on infrastructure and education instead of bailing out zombie banks would probably bring the economy more in balance, and create a better standard of living for most people. The helicopter drops of money from the world's central banks to counter deflation are coming anyway, so we might as well channel the funds intelligently for the social good.  The reality is, printing money that simply sits on bank balance sheets does nothing for Main Street except harm and destroy it.

At this critical point in time, the Democrats should think like members of an Olympic relay sprinting team and get someone else in who has a fighting chance against Trump. This man is Bernie Sanders. Bernie will get us out of the deflationary depression and rebuild needed infrastructure and jobs. Bernie will remove the debts weighing down millions of college graduates and destroying their futures, thus further stimulating the economy at a time of demographic crisis. It just does not look good to have a seriously ill person as a candidate for the presidency.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Bill O'Reilly Is Filth

Bill O'Reilly and Fox News are once again embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal, this time due to Andrea Tantaros filing a lawsuit in New York claiming: "Fox News masquerades as defender of traditional family values, but behind the scenes, it operates like a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency, and misogyny." This is interesting, considering that O'Reilly and Fox constantly pitch themselves as representing family values.

Actually, while we can't say anything about the merits of the complaint, it's obvious that Fox uses women as sex toys for the visual pleasure of its aging male audience. The women on the shows look really good, and they are revealing in their attire, clearly in an effort to boost the audience of the programs.

This is a station that constantly pushes for war against other countries and tries to convince its aging audience that locking up an entire generation of whippersnappers for smoking a plant is a way to promote the philosophy and practices of Jesus. While I'm no Christian, I fail to see what militarism and the War on Drugs have to do with the teachings of Jesus. Bernie Sanders behaves much more like a Christian than the allegedly prurient cretin O'Reilly.

Frankly, while I'm lifting weights in my community gym I'm sick of seeing this disgusting prune preaching to me why we must devote billions of dollars to fighting a war against cannabis (I do not smoke it, by the way, but I think adults should have a right to if they choose, since this is supposed to be a free country). Rush Limbaugh, a fellow traveler of his, was exposed as an opioid addict a while ago, but last I heard he hasn't changed his views about marijuana. Meanwhile, thousands of Americans are suffering or dying because they are denied access to medicinal marijuana, or are instead being pumped with pharmaceutical concoctions with risks that Big Pharma -- undoubtedly sponsoring these jerks -- downplays.

O'Reilly's shady background is well-known on the internet and is on his Wikipedia page, so we won't go into detail about it here.

I hope Tantaros succeeds in her suit and bankrupts Fox. However, a much more likely scenario is that Fox will settle to try to brush this embarrassing problem under the rug.

Here is a pretty good analysis of the situation from the Young Turks:

Sunday, July 17, 2016

NYPD Officers Allege Quotas and Retaliation

A bunch of minority NYPD officers are suing the city claiming they are harassed to meet quotas, which, they believe, bring about unnecessary confrontations with minorities in their communities. They also claim they are more severely punished for not meeting these quotas. Though there has been increased polarization and fragmentation in our society due to recent high-profile cases of perceived excessive force and random attacks on police officers as a result, the reality is that the U.S. excessively incarcerates people of all colors, with minorities disproportionately locked up.

Americans need to stand unified against the prison-industrial complex, and emphasize education and rehabilitation over incarceration. No matter the color of one's skin, no one should be thrown into a jail cell for smoking a plant. The quota system and "War on Drugs" that incentivize arresting people for non-violent offenses need to be ended for a fairer, more just, and ultimately healthier society. Imprisoning massive numbers of young men for no other purpose than to meet quotas will only bring about waves of hardened gangsters once they get out of prison.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Prison-Industrial Complex and Urban Communities

Because of the recent tragedies that have made the news, we will shift our focus to some of the more immediate concerns facing minorities and poor Whites in this country. We will be providing coverage of the protests occurring nationwide due to excessive force among police especially against minorities. We'll be collaborating with African-Americans who are allies of ours behind the scenes to extend coverage to the blogosphere. In the meantime, Twitter is exploding with rage and consternation over these tragedies, with frustrations boiling over as the same story gets repeated over and over. The fact of the matter is this nation incarcerates more people -- in absolute numbers and per capita -- than any other nation on earth. We have a system that incentivizes the imprisoning of huge chunks of the young male population. This system prevents these young men from getting decent jobs when they are free, due to the electronic records that follow them. Furthermore, there is a disturbing trend of states spending way more money on building prisons than schools. Some counties now depend on these prisons to support their economy. These prisons affect the society as a whole in very negative ways.

More will be coming in the following days and perhaps weeks regarding this very critical topic.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Noam Chomsky on Existential Threats

Noam Chomsky spoke for the Massachussetts Peace Action in Cambridge, MA about a whole range of topics in an epic hour-and-a-half tour de force, discussing the dangers of nuclear weapons proliferation, man-made climate change, political and academic censorship, and economics, among other things. It's rare to see someone who can speak with authority on such a wide range of topics. Among the striking features of this noted intellectual are his calmness and poise, as well as his concern for the direction of humanity.

For an interesting perspective on how America's high-tech economy was funded by the taxpayers, skip to 46:30. Skip to 1:21:00 to listen to his powerful critique of modern libertarian thinking and how changes in the conception of human nature have shaped economics.

Kent Security employees may want to share this video and discuss it with one another in person, via text messaging, on Facebook, or by leading others to this page. It's important for employees to discuss and shape the corporate culture, and to ponder what roles they can play in making society as a whole better. We have to see our lives not as an end in themselves, but as a means to something much greater and more noble.