Tag Archives: USA

Are the USA heading towards a military coup?

ObamaNation
This is the kind of Propaganda I’m talking about  – Image by fletcherwarren via Flickr

I’m seeing way too many right-wing secessionist alarms coming from the US lately and the trend is much too concentrated and much too supported to be extremist scaremongering imho.

The Army generals have already declared their distrust for the current administration and I’m willing to bet that the ruling elite are funding most of the secessionist movements. They’ve already uncovered that the “Tea Parties” and “Spontaneous Rants” were setup by the NeoCons so it’s not really a stretch to imagine that much of the rest is as well. We already know that Faux News wouldn’t fart without Murdoch’s approval so their latest stunt gives at least some credence to that theory.

Personally, I’m starting to believe that this is in psychological preparation for a military coup. They want a large amount of the populace supportive of a forceful takedown of the current government. I can’t really foresee how this will go down but I assume an increasing secessionist/revolutionary movement through astroturfing and viral messages, playing on popular disenchantment and anger.

Once the kettle has been brought to a boil, all it will take will be a crisis1 that will give the cause for the generals to step in and declare the government null or somesuch.

The sad part is how the “Liberals” of the US are joking about these threats as if military coups have never happened before. If anything, with the increased reliance of the US on Mercenaries under the control of private individuals (with very strong ties to the NeoCons) such a move would be impossible to resist through democratic means. The Democrats will still be thinking that this can never happen in the land of the Free while the fascist flags are being raised on the white house.

So I see this coming and it’s scary. The signals are all loud and clear. The secessionists are proudly proclaiming their plans for terrorism and nobody even blinks (while of course animal-rights activists are labeled terrorists and detained at the drop of a hat).The ironic insult to injory is that a very large proportion of the mess the US is in right now has been caused by NeoCon policies. And now that the opposition is in the rule, they are going to use the disaster they’ve helped create to push forward something even worse.

The most unfortunate thing is that the reactionary feelings of general populace are being guided into supporting fascists instead of being agitated to struggle for their freedom. If what I foresee comes to be, US Citizens will be tricked into exchanging a Plutocracy for a Junta or a fascist regime and all their revolutionary energy will be sapped once they realize the result they’ve helped accomplish (or failed to stop).

Perhaps it can’t be helped. The Socialism movement of the USA has been hamstrung through persistent and extreme propaganda to the point that the mere word is used as slander. As such, there are few people that can push the coming reaction to the right direction and while a crisis of Capitalism can turn people Socialist overnight, a sustained misinformation campaign, such as the one going on at the moment, can easily polarize in the opposite direction.

For your sake Americans, I hope I’m being horribly wrong on this.

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  1. I’m assuming a catastrophic economic event, such as a nationa default or the disuse of the dollar as the global exchange currency []

2008 was an interesting year for USA…at least according to this guy

Even though not a U.S. American, this Year in Review is still quite funny.

The games themselves are dominated by swimmer Michael Phelps, who wins eight gold medals, thus putting himself on a sounder financial footing than the U.S. Treasury. China wins the gold-medal count, although critics charge that some of China’s 11-year-old female gymnasts are under the minimum age of 16. Chinese officials refute this charge by noting, correctly, that they have tanks.

Check it out 🙂

(h/t to the Barefoot Bum)

Political "Refutability"

Diagram showing a refutation of a false dispro...
Image via Wikipedia

In the scientific method there one of the most important concepts is refutability. It is so imperative to have a falsifiability in your theories that if you do not include one, one might as well consider them as having no credence.

A very simple way to define refutability is to ask oneself “What would it take to prove my theory/idea/phislosophy wrong”. Once you ask this, and you are being honest with yourself, you should have a few conditions which, if they are met, will show you that you might be wrong and, at the least, need to rethink your theories.

The lack of refutability is the easiest way one can tell science from crackpot theories and woo-woo. How do you prove that Homeotherapy does not work? You can’t. How do you prove that ghosts do not exist? You can’t. How do you prove that the theory of evolution is wrong? Rabbits in the Precambrian.

This lack of refutability is also the main reason why religious belief cannot be awarded any factual standing.Is there any way to prove that Jesus did not exist or was not a deity that has not been done already? And yet the religion persists.

So basically, in very simple terms, it is all about asking oneself “What would it take to convince me I’m wrong” and it is the most powerful in any skeptic’s arsenal. However science and philosophy are not the only places one can apply this very powerful too. One should seek to apply this question to any and all beliefs they hold. And one of them that many people do not is Politics.

It has become the rule rather than the exception that people associate themselves with one party and stick with it no matter what. I have very rarely seen people seriously considering the question “What would they have to do to lose my vote?“. People simply choose one party and make excuses on why they need to keep supporting them. Simply because this question has never been set, one can keep supporting a party long after most of the core values he or she holds have been overrrun.

I can’t think of any more obvious example than the US Democratic party. The party that what passes as “left” in the US, endorses. The reason most often than not is “Because they’re not as bad as the Republicans”. How many of these liberals have asked themselves this simple question? “What do they democrats have to do to lose my vote?”. Support the Iraq war? Done. Support Wall Street Bailout? Done. Increase military spending? Done. Lie? Done. Oppose Atheists? Done.

So what values exactly is the Democratic party sharing with you again? If you still have any, how many of those do they need to step on before you stop supporting them? If the only threshold you place is “They need to become worse than the republicans”, doesn’t that condemn you and your society to erosion? All the Republicans then need to do in order to achieve the agenda is move more and more to the right and the Democrats will follow (so as not to be labeled as “extreme left”) while their supporters create excuses for them. Eventually you end up with Democrats simply being the republicans of the past, as is what has happened now. You no longer have left and right, simply extreme right and lunatic right.

And all the people who voted them into power don’t have anything in common with them anymore.

Do yourself this favour. Set your political refutability and stick to it. Do not simply move the goalpost whenever they bypass it or else you’re simply deluding yourself into the illusion of Democracy.

So tell me, what would it take to lose your vote?

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What do corporations resemble?

WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 12:  (L-R) John Krenick...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

I am not the most experienced person but I have a bit of it in working in small & big national or multinational companies. In any company I’ve worked for, I’ve noticed a very distinct authoritarian way of doing things but I never got around to thinking exactly what is is. Fortunately, my recent post regarding proprietary software companies led me to an insight on this.

A corporation works in a very distinct way.

  • Non-Management workers in it, have no political rights, as in, they have no say in the direction the company takes and in the choice of the people who rule them. Indeed, the people who rule them, are selected by each other with small or no oversight.
  • The workers of a company are always assumed to be working for the best of the company. Those who are not or who do not fully align themselves with the wishes of management, are ejected.
  • The workers of a company do not receive the full result of their work. There must always be some profit which is the difference from what the company makes and what it has to pay on workers, maintenance and raw materials. Thus, one can consider that the profit, divided equally among the workers, is the “tax” they have to pay in order for the whole company to prosper.
  • Workers can be discarded or moved around at any point. Without them having any say in it.
  • Barring external factors (as in, a larger state), workers have no rights. One cannot demand a bigger pay or less hours, or a pension. They will only receive what bonuses the company deems right in regards to what is best for the company. In short, they will only grudgingly give a bonus if they are cornered.
  • The Management has all the power in their hands in hierarchical order. The owner answers to no-one. The owner alone has the last word on “what is best” for the company.

There is one political system that very closely resembles this type of setup. “Socialist” Dictatorships, of which the purest form is Stalinism (But Fascism, Nazism, Maoism etc are all very similar)

In Stalinism, which unfortunately is what most people think of when they think of “Socialism”, the state is simply the ultimate Capitalist. All the conditions I described above apply to Stalinism but in the place of Company, we simply put “Country” or “The Party”.

We can easily agree that such political systems are bankrypt. I know very few people who would wish to live in a Socialist Dictatorship and there are quite a few people, especially US Americans who love to call their opponents “Socialists”, who find the perceived antonym to be the best possibility: Capitalist Democracy.

But my question is this: Do you really have a Democracy when your society’s basic group for production is organised like a Dictatorship? Doesn’t this fact undermine your whole concept of democracy?

Indeed, this is true. Democracy has become a farce of hypocricy under this setup. Because people are living a significant part of their daily lives within a mini-dictatorship, they are conditioned to think in a similar vein. The workers, if they care to at all, only exercise a political action twice per decade and maintain an illusion of democracy. The management live in a constant state of power and thus find it only natural to extend this state to the rest of their lives.

It should come thus as no surprise that Corporations were best buddies with Fascist regimes1 who’s rampart cronyism gives corporations eventually absolute power over the whole country.

Like seeks like.

It is the biggest irony that for all the U.S. American’s foaming at the mouth against “the evils of socialism”, they are more than happy to work their whole lives in exactly the same state they would be, were their fears to materialize.

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  1. Not with Socialist Dictatorships though, as those actually took their power away and gave it to the state officials instead, making them equal to the workers []

The Internet has a well known liberal bias

The other day while I was browsing through the articles linked from The 5 stage of Republican Grief and reading the bugfuck crazy comments, I came to the realisation that I just do not see this kind of inanity in most of my online activity.

But why is that? Why is the conservative presence so limited in most of the online nexus points? Not only will you very rarely find sentiments such as those expressed in popular news sites like digg and reddit, not only will you rarely find them in online fora and commenting on random blogs, but when they do come up, they’re immediately striken down in flames either through rebutals or downvoting, which just shows how much in the minority such commenters are.

My take on this is that they simply cannot survive in this world. The reason for this I believe lies in the following

1. Conservatives are, well…conservative.

As a result they have not started using the internet as much as the more progressive members. They were late to get online, late to start doing anything other than surfing&emails and the last to go social. As a result most places are already filled with progressive regulars1 and when a conservative attempts to take part, they are skewered. This of course turns them off and they slither back into the depths from which they came which of course does not allow a critical mass of them to gather and start shifting pushing the status quo.

Many, I’m sure choose to lurk instead where then, in combination with the Libertarians (see below), they have a chance to make themselves heard on specific topics.

2. The internet is an extremely toxic environment.

The conservative mind is a sensitive beast. There is a profound sense of denial necessary to avoid cognitive dissonance when you are not only a fundamental christian but you consider that the Bush regime was doing a damn good job.

Reality has a well-known Liberal Bias
Image by oztenphoto via Flickr

As the saying goes, reality has a well known liberal bias and as the internet does not have the strict filters this denial requires, so does it. As a result, the hapless conservative is assaulted on all sides by information conflicting his preconceptions. Not only do they have to dodge surprise buttsex Daily Show videos and ridicules of their personal zombie saviour, but whenever they so much as open their mouth to protest in an online dialogue, they are shortly refuted, to say the least.

Indeed, there is precious little a conservative can do when the hard facts are staring them in the face and there is no Fox Network to hide or twist those uncomfortable truths. As an extra bonus, because of the dynamics of online conversation, it is not unlikely for someone to take the time to educate the unfortunate conservative which further shakes his psyche.

Since it is pretty much impossible now to both deny reality and muster the presence required to “detoxify” the online environment (see point 1), the conservatives prefer to simply huddle together in their own little corners of the internet, where they can preserve their groupthink.

There is not better example of this point than the creation of Conservapedia which happened because the disorganized nature of Wikipedia and the liberal nature of reality meant that Conservatives either had to avoid using an online encyclopedia or suffer more cognitive dissonance.

3. They are suddenly in a very small minority.

Whereas in the USA the Conservatives have roughly half the population (or at least are vocal enough to seem this way) online, where location is meaningless, they suddenly find themselves very, very lonely. They cannot even expect support from conservatives of other cultures since:

  1. They usually have wholy different values.
  2. Conservatives of other countries would be considered liberal for U.S. American standard. It is not simply a joke when people say that in the US you do not have left and Right but only the Right and the Extreme Right. For everyone else outside the US, it definitely seems that way. Your Obama would probably be quite capable of leading the Right party of any European country without batting an eyelid.

Thus, not only do the conservatives have to argue against their own countrymen who happen to be liberal, but they have to tackle with the liberals of other countries who they must think are like the extreme fringe left. I sometimes get the impression that if I ever had to discuss with such a conservative, their Left/Right compass would not have any position left for me except than outside the range.

They are in a way a bit fortunate that most of the world does not speak English as then they would have seriously have been the footnote in this story. Unfortunately for them, there are enough English speakers from many countries to seriously outnumber them.

The only thing somewhat pushing the conservative agenda is…you guessed it

The Libertarians

It is a well known fact that most Libertarians are only by name. Like true game theory defectors they declare loyalty to the Libertarian party but come election day, they cast their vote for Republicans as they promise to cut taxes2 and let them keep their guns. They conveniently ignore how the Republicans end up doing the opposite of what they say and have subsequently expanded the Government more than ever before, which for a Libertarian should have been anathema.

Nevertheless, because they are committed to the Republican ticket, they feel the need to defend their choice whenever they can. They will thus attack the Government tactics when it is going against their libertarian stances (Drugs, Abortion, Religion)  but  defend it when it reduces taxes to the rich, cuts healthcare and welfare etc, even if all of this is against their own hide.

The only thing saving them is that because they lack true faith in the Regime and they also tend to be more liberal in their faith (if not outright irreligious) they suffer much less of a cognitive dissonance and can much more easily take part in the social networks.

And this is of course the only way the Conservative agenda can ever appear. The Libertarians are generally active because they can, while conservatives probably just lurk around for fear of the intellectual smackdown. When however a topic where their two worldviews merge appears, they can combine their voices and votes and downvote the opposition effectively. Thus the reason why libertarian topics happen now and then to bubble up to the surface.

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  1. Not to mention that because of the distributed and geeky nature of the Web, most of the early adopters are liberal and…Geeks []
  2. for the rich []

Seriously U.S. Americans, What the Flying Fuck?!

List of military tactics
Image via Wikipedia

In the last few days I’ve been absolutely stunned to learn of the current insidious events going on in the USA. While the spotlight is grabbed by the huge financial disaster caused by the known shortfailings of Capitalism and greed, the US Government is slowly putting the pawns into position to initiate martial law and eventually a police state.

And what is the reaction in mainstream blogs and news sites? Basically nothing. Everyone is just pointing and laughing at Palin bumbling around or gnashing the teeth and pointing fingers for the bailout or simply doing business as usual.

And in the meantime you’re got the Army deplying in US grounds to “quell civil unrest and unruly individuals”.

You’ve got your own US Army. In your own country. Answering only to your “Decider”. Getting ready to Quell you!

You should be marching in the streets right gawddamn now and asking for Bush’s head on a plate. Where’s your anger? Where’s your freedom spirit? Where’s your outrage?!

You have none. You keep on going as if the world is not crumbling slowly around your ears. People don’t even care to ask “Why is the army in our borders? What Civil unrest are they talking about? Is there something that our police force cannot handle?” No. You just accept that they must know what they’re talking about. There must be some unrest where you need the army. You know which? The unrest that’s going to happen when the final piece of their dictatorship falls into place.

But it’s too fucking late for you now. If you people are still so asleep that even after you have standing army taking up positions you still don’t act, it is with great sadness that I conclude there is no hope.

If you’re one of the few who are worried, or more appropriately, scared shitless about what is going on and you can’t mobilize everyone to go on the street, then get the hell outa dodge. You can come to Europe and at least help us fight the creeping islamization.

One thing you must know. Nothing is going to happen when you rant and rave on reddit, alternet or any other site. They want you to do that because then you’re not doing anything else. Unless you take very immediate and drastic action to chimpeach then you won’t have the chance to peacefully avoid this. If they don’t cancel the elections while declaring martial law because of a “National Emergency”, they will steal the elections for McSame. They’ve done it before so they know if works because, hey, you just let it pass then anyway…

So, Dear U.S. Americans, you have now you last chance to put your freedom where your mouth is. I don’t think you will but I sure as hell hope you prove me wrong, for your own good.

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You could have been so much more America

tatteredYou could have been so much more America1. You could have become a land of great culture, where the free exchange of ideas and created a rich culture of new and interesting art. Instead your copyrights and your intellectual properties have created a culture where the thing it is known for is shallow sensationalism only fit for mass consumption.

You could have been so much more America. You could have become a shining bastion of science and progress where the greatest minds in the world moved in to so that they could have the chance to express and create. Instead you are drowning in the murky pool of fundamentalism and new-age mysticism. A large part of your population is actively opposed to knowledge..

You could have been so much more America. You could have used one of the greatest and more progressive constitutions to become the Democracy everyone wants to imitate and thus change the world by example. Instead you have tried to change the world by using your power to create brutal dictators again and again and again, and then topple them when they don’t turn up to be the willing pawns you expected.

You could have been so much more America. You could have used your extraordinary wealth to extinguish poverty and suffering in your society. Instead you are trying so hard to dismantle and prevent any social security and now your poorer people have to live in fear of a sudden illness that might leave them bankrupt. Instead of taking money from the filthy rich and bettering the lives of the poor, you have taken the money from everyone under the guise of foreign aid and siphoned it to the filthy rich.

You could have been so much more America. Yours could have been the land of the truly free, but instead you are the nation of the deluded. You have exchanged away your freedoms for a false sense of security and thus deserve neither.

You could have been so much more America. You could be loved by the whole world for your status, your example or your culture. Instead practically the whole world despises your blatant imperialism, you disregard for conventions and your gun-ho attitude.

You could have been so much more America. You could have the first culture to break free from taboos  where the human body is not shunned and sexuality or any orientation is not feared. Instead your puritanical culture goes into bugfuck crazy mode at the mere sight of a nipple.

You could have been so much more America. With mere billions of dollars, if not millions, you could have gone totally energy independent and helped retain our planets survivability. Instead you have wasted trillions fighting a needless war that only serves to make your corporations richer and destabilize whole countries. You have fought for the all-mighty black gold with total disregard of the rest of the world.

You could have been so much more America. You could have given the example of a just and honourable civilization acting responsibly to make the world a better place. Instead you are known as the irresponsible bully who tries to play world police, even though nobody wants you to.

You could have been so much more but you blew it America, and now your time has passed. Soon nobody is going to want to play with you anymore.

I only hope you won’t try to take your ball and go home

  1. Note that for the purpose of this post, by “America”, I mean U.S.A []

Where's the outrage?

standiing there fascismSeriously US. Americans, what the fuck is wrong with you? Don’t you see what is going on around you? Raiding homes of non-criminals for trumpted up charges of “planning to riot”? Arresting and beating up reporters?

Have you learned nothing at all from history?

These are the leading steps to fascism people. This is how totalitarianism comes about. It does not suddently appear one day and gives you a fair chance to fight it off with your 2nd ammendment rights. It creeps insidiously, slowly eroding your freedoms and hoping your will do nothing.

And nothing you did.

Where were you when people’s homes were raided? What were the neighbours doing when police & army were marching and singing military songs in the middle of the neighborhood as if you had a goddamn military law in effect. They did nothing. If all the people in the neighborhood came out of their homes and opposed what your government did to your felow US Americans, perhaps this day would not have been so dark.

But they were cowering at their homes, or having a schadenfreude at the expense of the “hippies”.

  • “In America, they came first for the hippies, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a hippie;
  • And then they came for the immigrants, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t an immigrant;
  • And then they came for the Atheists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t an Atheist;
  • And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up.”

Some of you may think that it’s just the government attempting to silence their critics forcefully. Some of you may think that since this can never be achieved with the distributed way of information, that you are safe.

But this is not what they want to achieve.

They want to scare you. They want you to leave in fear that at any point they will be able to barge into your home, manhandle you and take your possetions. They want to show you how none of your copatriots will raise a hand to help you. They want you to bask in fear so that you’re too afraid to speak.

And when the first “accident” happens, you will be.

So keep doing nothing US Americans. Keep doing nothing and see what happens.

Pessimistic but realistic

The Barefoot Bum has once again posted a really insightful article on socioeconomics. I especially agree on the very basic moral values that most people agree on.

[…] but no one should oppose in principle the idea that no one deserves to starve in his old age. No one should oppose in principle the idea that every child should receive sufficient education to participate fully in a democratic society. No one should oppose in principle the idea that everyone should expect a safe workplace as a matter of course. No one should oppose in principle that everyone should expect that the products they buy, the air they breathe and the water they drink have been made safe to the best of our ability.

He then takes it a step further and explains how laissez-faire has not only shown that it is incapable of achieving these goals but it is actually dragging society to the other direction.

What I hadn’t realised however is how much damage the perverted teachings of the Objectivism cult leader have done, not only to the US society but to the world at large. It is telling when you see the US empire slowly1 disintegrating the more they try to follow “laissez-faire” which basically means that the rich are using it as a way to make the poor vote for them to take their money.

I wasn’t aware that the US had a socialistic reform (Roosevelt) but now that I do, the US rise to the forefront as a the first world nation makes much more sense. That US’ position as a developed nation erodes along with these reforms should not surprise anyone but the deluded Right-Libertarians and Objectivists. That Western Europe, where Ayn Rand never got very popular has ended up much more tolerant, secular and generally has a better way of life that the US, also comes as no surprise.

Anyway, go and read the above post. I mostly posted this because I didn’t want to leave him yet another “well-said” comment.

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  1. Slowly for our lifetime that is. In historical standards, it is disintegrating amazingly rapidly, almost as fast as the Macedonian empire []