Sunday, January 23, 2011

Oh, really? Say it ain't so!

In the past week, the entire world has seen Egypt explode into a massive outbreak of Libertarian revolt. Prior to being banned from the country by the Mubarak gov't, I was watching the live feed of the protests in Tahrir Square on the Al Jazeera English website.

I've been, for the past several months now, working for a friend of a friend on nights and weekends. This man has Fox News running 24/7 in his store, and the talking heads on the television are spewing the exact opposite of what I'd been seeing unfold right before my eyes. It's almost like they intentionally don't see life from a realistic perspective...because all we keep hearing is bullshit about the Muslim Brotherhood taking over when Mubarak is forced out of power.

Who would benefit from this, and how? It's simple to follow, if you use your head a bit. Here are the facts:
1) For the past 30 years, the nation of Egypt has been ruled by Hosni Mubarak. Mubarak is seen as an "ally" of the US, and we give him two billion dollars in "aid" every year. Half a billion dollars' worth is in the form of military equipment, and the other half is in your standard "foreign aid"...that must be spent on US-made goods. That's 60 BILLION dollars that have been given to Egypt in the past 30 years.

2) Egyptian society, for the majority, associates itself with the Muslim religion, but this is mainly due to cultural tradition...not because Egypt is a hard-line Muslim theocracy. Mubarak has outlawed the "Muslim Brotherhood", mainly because they were seen as a challenge to his power. He could honestly give a damn about stopping "extremism", he just didn't want anyone to be stepping in on his turf. Egypt is "majority Muslim", in the same manner that America is "majority Christian". While America has the Jim Jones, Fred Phelps, et cetera, the majority of America identifies as "Christian"...but we aren't hard-core fanatical. We get drunk at football games. We laugh at flaming homos at Walmart...but don't drag them into the town square and stone them to death. Egypt's Islamic population isn't much different, in this regard.

3) The Muslim Brotherhood has a strong following in Egypt, and generally has more respect than the Mubarak government. This is known fact, and shouldn't surprise anyone. While the MB is not exactly advocating a free society, they aren't torturing political prisoners. When the police are busting heads for looking at you wrong, and the other alternative is the mafia who occasionally whacks their enemies but leaves "civilians" alone, the populus is going to side with the wiseguys who look after the neighborhood. When the people see what's going on, they'd choose one over the other if that's their only two choices...but it doesn't mean that they don't know what the mafia is, and will welcome them into their homes with open arms. Same holds true with the MB in Egypt.

4) Even though the Egyptian army gets their paychecks from the Mubarak government, they are almost entirely conscript. The official state police aren't. This is why, when all hell broke loose, you saw footage of Egyptian tanker crews cheering on the protesters, shaking their hands, and shielding them from the rubber bullets of the police with their tanks. They simply won't fire upon their brothers, regardless of the orders they are given.

5) 60% of the entire Egyptian population is under the age of 30 years old. That means two out of every three Egyptians have never known an Egypt that wasn't under the rule of Mubarak. They've never lived in an extremist theocracy, because it has never been allowed. They have, instead, been living in an extremist totalitarian state, because that's all they've ever known. When it came time for the masses to have a spokesman, they didn't turn to the head of the MB. The turned to ElBarradie, a secular leader. The Egyptians have seen what their neighbors in Saudi Arabia go through. Egyptian 20-somethings relax with a glass of scotch at night, whereas their Saudi brethren may suffer dire consequences for the same thing...and they know this. The Egyptian populus has risen up against a totalitarian regime, and said "No. No more. We won't allow it." It's foolish to think that this has something to do with Islam, when the rallying cry of the protesters has been "Muslim! Christian! We're all Egyptian!" the throngs pushed back the policemen in fire trucks. The idea of allowing the Muslim Brotherhood to simply step in and erase the historical events of the past week is just ludicrous. As one MB leader said yesterday, "This revolution does not belong to the Muslim Brotherhood. It belongs to Egypt."

So, with this in mind, realizing that it has nothing to do with "militant Islam" or "anti-Americanism", what would be the point of repetitively throwing out the idea that Egypt is in dire straits and the "Grandfather of Al Qaeda" is going to take over the cradle of civilization? Again, Cui bono?

Let's take a good look at what would happen if the American people were so frightened by the prospect of a big bad terror organization popping up in Egypt, that "Team America: World Police" had to rush over there and invade the place in order to stop it.

1) We get another foreign base or 19...which makes a shitload of money for US war profiteers, just as our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have done.

2) Israel benefits...because that puts yet another layer of American military defense right there in their back yard.

3) America controls the Suez Canal...the passage that almost every oil tanker supplying the western world has to go through, in order to peddle its wares to us without steering around the other end of Africa on the scenic route. If we controlled the Suez, we'd have the middle east's nuts in a vise. We don't need to bomb the middle east if we can cut off their money supply...which is the flow of oil through the Suez canal.

4) Al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and every other "terror organization" that has ever truly and deeply hated America just found their biggest recruiting campaign ever. When you cut off a nation's means of sustainment, you're not really harming the ones in power. They may not be able to get that seventh chrome-plated Mercedes sports coupe, but they won't starve. The guys who are already having trouble finding work, food, clean water, et cetera are the ones who begin to really suffer. They're the ones who will begin to hate us like nothing they've ever hated before. They're the ones who will look around and start to listen when some whackjob Taliban-type starts telling him that America is to blame, and that he needs to go kill the western infidels running the local disco...which, in turn, provides more of a reason to put more US troops on the ground...which leads to more money being spent on "defense"...which leads to more of your tax dollars being siphoned away in the name of "Freedom".

Turn off your television and take a look around. You'll see it, if you try...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Dissecting Maddow

Today, I got home and saw the following video from Rachel Maddow. I'll do my best to dissect this amalgamation of Bravo Sierra, piece by piece and point by point.

0:00-2:12 / A whole bunch of flag-waving jingoist statism, capped off by Obama talking about heaven.

2:13-2:53 / President Obama supports the "assault weapons ban". Like we didn't know this. He supports banning damned near everything more powerful than a water pistol.

2:54-2:57 / "A ban on semi-automatic assault weapons"...there's no such thing as a semi-automatic "assault weapon". By definition, an "assault weapon" is capable of firing full-auto or burst-auto, and these are already heavily restricted...even though they weren't even mentioned in the AWB of 1994-2004.

2:58-3:55 / George Walker Bush is the mentally-retarded half-chimp spawn of Satan himself, but Rachel Maddow is going to show you that even a retarded ape of a Republican supports "common sense gun laws" that disarm only those who are willing to follow the law.

3:56-4:05 / The National Rifle Association can be bought with the public support of old rich old white guys who claim to give a damn about your gun rights, and they'll throw their support behind the campaign of said old rich white guys, because it's a win-win situation for everyone except those who actually understand the Second Amendment and support its intended purpose.

4:06-4:25 / The NRA didn't protest GWB's support for the Assault Weapons Ban, because they are a political entity that doesn't give a damn about your right to keep and bear arms. They want to sell memberships to their club, licenses to use their logo on "special edition" hunting gear, et cetera.

4:26-4:46 / American politicians are either stupid, or they simply lack the balls to speak out about what the Second Amendment is for because they think it may cost a few votes, or they won't discuss it because they do so much shit to the American public that someone might actually WANT to bust a few in their general direction.

4:45-5:05 / Rachel Maddow apparently doesn't know a damned thing about magazine capacity...or the speed at which a practiced individual can change a magazine. After the first round or two were fired, the crowd was moving, period. It's generally easier and less time-consuming to change a magazine, than it is to acquire and accurately hit a moving target, if you've practiced it. Without practice, it would take roughly about the same amount of time...two or three seconds.

5:06-5:25 / Because George W. Bush and Barrack H. Obama, as well as the majority of non-shooting Americans "agree to common sense regulation" of an activity they honestly know nothing about, it is somehow "radical" to support the obvious intent of the Second Amendment.

5:26-5:45 / Thank God! Our politicians haven't started using a random act of violence involving a gun, to institute more asinine gun regulations!

5:46-6:09 / People like me are "gun radicals", because we don't think that an insane arsonist's actions should be responsible for us needing a note from the local sheriff before we buy some matches...and likewise, we don't think there needs to be any restrictions on our right to own guns, because someone killed six people for reasons we don't quite understand yet.

6:10-7:03 / Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia "gets" the Second Amendment.

7:04-7:35 / Yes, there's a reason why I voted (again) for Congressman Dr. Ron Paul to represent my home district, TX-14 US.

7:36-7:43 / Our founding fathers must have been "radical", because they understood what is necessary to uphold the security of a FREE state. That's the key word in the Second Amendment...FREE. I cannot stress this enough. A man with a rifle is a citizen, a man without one is a subject. Even non-violence advocates such as Gandhi and the Dalai Lama understood/understand this.

7:44-7:53 / Alex Jones actually said something that makes sense...which surprises me, considering most of the rambling he spews. If I wanted to slam the guy in the way Maddow is trying to, I'm sure I could have found a better clip!

7:54-8:45 / Maddow actually says some shit that is factual, and makes sense. You can sense the sarcasm in her tone, and tell that she really doesn't like the facts she's stating!

8:46-9:04 / Again, I'm proud to call myself a "radical", because I'm apparently just as "radical" as Benjamin Franklin!

9:05-9:12 / Maddow makes the assumption that our entire military would gladly shoot the very people they are charged to protect, for exercising the rights guaranteed to these people under the constitution our military is sworn to uphold. Perhaps when the "Don't ask, Don't tell" thing is finally settled once and for all, she can ask one of the residents in her Gayborhood for a clue as to what the Oath of Enlistment says?

9:13-9:42 / Again, Ms. Maddow is apparently not up to speed on the usage of thermonuclear weapons. For the same reason that you don't use a hand grenade to take out an enemy in the same room you happen to be standing in, you don't use nukes near your own shit.

9:43-10:03 / You're damned right, that's what they're for!

10:04-10:34 / Congratulations, Ms. Maddow...I think you've finally grown a brain!

10:35-10:49 / Nope, nevermind. You were just kidding...

10:50-10:56 / Don't screw up, Rep. Broun! You've put yourself in a very bad position to do so!

10:57-11:13 / Up until 1934, a six year old could buy a machine gun via mail-order catalog...provided he had enough money, and was able to read well enough to fill out the order form. Today, America lives under the most oppressive anti-gun laws it has ever seen. Which time period would you consider to be safer for a child to grow up in?

11:14-13:14 / The only half-way relevant thing E. J. Dionne said in this part of his diatribe was this: "If the guys down the street are now tyrants, then you have to go all the way!".

13:15-13:25 / "It's very likely, fewer people would have gotten shot in Tuscon..." Yeah. Fewer people would have gotten shot with the first magazine. Do you know what people like my grandfather did, if they needed to carry 120 rounds during the war? They carried 15 magazines of ammunition. Today, a soldier needs only to carry FOUR magazines. I own an M1Garand, identical to the one my grandfather carried through Europe, as well as a semi-automatic version of the rifles our troops are currently using. It takes me about the same amount of time to change magazines in either weapon...which ain't much at all. It takes far less time to load the weapon, than it does to accurately hit your target, if you've had any practice at all. The only advantage my AR15 has over the M1 is that it has never given me "Garand Thumb"!

13:26-13:45 / They didn't do it because they lacked the testicular fortitude.

13:46-14:15 / No, it's not. Six people were killed. A congressional representative ended a day with a pair of holes in her head that weren't there when she woke up in the morning. Shit happens. We don't ban cars when people use them as murder weapons, why would we do the same with guns?

14:15-14:30 / Charles Schumer, one of the most useless tax-feeding statists to have ever been on the US payroll, is smart enough to roll strapped. It's the smart thing to do. Homicide by conventional means, such as getting a serious case of lead poisoning, is an occupational hazard of being a professional politician. Don't believe me? Ask the Kennedy brothers! Oh, wait. Nevermind...

14:31-14:57 / Really? It damned sure wasn't a cop that stopped Jared Lee Laughner. Or the UT Observation Tower sniper. Or any of the hundreds of thousands of other people who have been stopped by private citizen gun owners while attempting to commit violent crimes.

14:58-15:29 / The anti-gun crowd exists only to stir the "right/left" crowd, amongst people who don't understand the reason for having a Second Amendment. There haven't been any test cases, because they simply don't hold up in court. The Brady Campaign (formerly "Handgun Control, Inc."), the Violence Policy Center, et cetera have no rational reasoning behind their stupidity...and they know their idiotic ideas only serve to disarm law-abiding citizens. They gather support from idealists, which is why they go after people who support socialist programs and whatnot, because these people think that if they can just get enough people to play the game, everything will be rosey. The rest of us live in the real world, and we're not going to give up our guns because a bunch of idiots got played by politicians who promise them a safer, better tomorrow.

On that note, thank God it's over. There's only so much Maddow I can handle in one sitting!

Why I've stepped away...

There's that monster hiding under our bed, and it calls itself The TEA Party".

I must confess, I was once involved in this movement...back when it had meaning. It was a short time ago, just a few years back, when I intentionally took a day off work without I wouldn't be taxed on April 15. On this day, in 2008, I went to Jones Plaza in Houston, TX to the "Taxed Enough Already" event.

Surprisingly, I felt at home. A metric shitload of tax protesting, pro-gun, anti-police state, generally pissed-off-at-government, freedom-friendly people were there. It was there, on that day, that I bought my first Gadsen flag.

Shortly after, it turned into nothing more than the cheerleading squad for the Republican party, whom I hold as much disdain for as I do the Democratic party...because honestly, they ain't much different.

Today, your typical "Tea Party" type will rage on and on about how we need religious freedom...all the while, claiming that we need to reinstate official prayer in our public school system. Did I mention that most I've run into claim that we're "fighting a war against Islam", instead of a "war on terrorism", or at least try to equate Islam with terrorism?

You'll hear of "ending welfare for those who don't deserve it"...while supporting programs that give billions upon billions of dollars every year to massive corporations, whose largest customer is often the US government, for random useless (and often over-priced) shit the government doesn't need.

You'll hear of "freedom of choice in health care"...but continued support for a "war on drugs", including marijuana that is often smoked by cancer patients (like my grandma did, while she was dying).

You'll hear of "patriotism", what it means to be a citizen, et cetera...unless, of course, your parents immigrated from another country.

Essentially, you'll hear a whole lot about "following the law"...when the laws we currently have are largely pointless, and are the biggest reason you're being taxed so much. It isn't about "patriotism", it's about a loving loyalty to a particular brand of statism. It's not about "taxation", it's about YOU being taxed less, which shifts the tax liability to one of two places...either it's on the shoulders of someone who isn't able to take advantage of a tax law loophole, or it's going to the national debt. It's not about universal freedom, it's about YOUR freedom...and your ability to impose your will upon others. The "TEA Party" doesn't give a rat's ass about freedom, any more than groping a seven year old kid at an airport protects us from terrorists.

It's all smoke and mirrors. Isn't it time to wake up already?

Here's a good starting point: LEARN THE DEFINITION OF "CONSERVATIVE".

It's not "conservative" to continue to fund failed policies based upon peoples' emotions. If someone burns an American flag, in America or elsewhere, it's not going to destroy our society or make us "less safe". "Drugs" don't cause crime, a "War on Drugs" creating a black market, in which all dealers of illegal drugs are criminals by default, leading only the criminally-minded to deal or use drugs in the first place. People who now sell Vicodin to pill addicts in pharmacies would be selling cocaine if it were still legal...just like they did a hundred years ago! Illegal immigrants aren't destroying your economy, nor are the employers who hire them. That's part of the "free market" you're always hearing about, in its prime form! What kills the job market is the fact that immigration has been criminalized, leading the hiring of illegal immigrants to be more economically viable because there is no taxation or government regulation involved. If lawful immigration were simplified and faster, these immigrants would be on the tax rolls and subject to the same regulations you and I are subject to...making it more viable to hire a hard worker who speaks fluent English, as opposed to someone willing to work for three dollars an hour. Gay people getting married DOES NOT AFFECT YOU. You aren't going to catch "the gay". It isn't going to cost you anything. It isn't going to destroy the sanctity of YOUR marriage. You're not going to die in a "terror attack". The guy who sells you coffee and gasoline on the way to work every morning isn't secretly plotting to kill you, because he hates your freedoms. He's here in America, because he actually kinda likes your freedoms. Duh! Sarah Palin doesn't like you. In fact, there's a good chance she wouldn't give you the time of day, unless you were standing in line to buy an overpriced and poorly ghost-written book with her picture on the cover. She sure as hell doesn't have a clue. Voting for John McCain in 2008 wouldn't have changed a damned thing in this country.

Most importantly, NONE OF THESE ISSUES AFFECT YOU, AND THEY SURE AS HELL DON'T AFFECT HOW MUCH YOU'RE PAYING IN TAXES. If you care about your tax bills that much, do yourself a favor and find out why you're really paying so much. Stop blaming "liberals", "welfare queens", "democrats", or anyone else but yourself. Your continued support of those who blame these groups, and the laws they help to pass, are why your taxes are so high.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

On a more personal note...

So yesterday, in the wake of the Arizona shooting of congresswoman Giffords, I remarked about the senselessness of shooting into a crowd of innocents, and how causing the death of an innocent child was the improper way to "kickstart a revolution".

In the wake of this, some banter went back and forth on the interwebz between myself and another individual, and I found it rather humorous that someone would assume to know everything about another person. What I found more interesting was that this individual appears to think I'm essentially blowing smoke, because I don't subscribe to the beliefs he thinks I should when identifying myself with a particular political or religious philosophy.

Apparently, I'm not a "real" libertarian, because I "want anarchy". I'm assuming this man knows all about libertarianism because he saw a bumpersticker once for the Libertarian Party, and because of this, he knows that no "real" libertarian can be opposed to the government if they have a party wishing to take part in government. Ever read the LP platform, genius? They have bumperstickers reading "Vote Libertarian...they only want to repeal shit!". The terms "libertarian" and "anarchist" are not mutually fact, they're a lot more synonymous than most people on the outside looking in seem to realize.

Then again, when your working knowledge of anarchism is reduced to something you once saw on CNN about communists (with government intervention being required for communism to function, it's the complete antithesis of anarchy!) wearing ski masks and throwing bricks at office buildings during a protest because they want to promote socialism and destroy capitalism, I suppose it might be easy to come to such a conclusion.

Did I mention that apparently, I'm borderline schizophrenic, because I took the time to load a program called "PeerBlock" onto my computer so I could know what other IP addresses were communicating with my rig? I obviously think the government is out to black-bag me in the middle of the night, because IP addresses from all over the world show up when I look at a particular website...and these happen to include networks run by the DoD, DoJ, CIA, and FBI. But pointing this little fact out just means I'm paranoid, right?

Do I hate the fact that government intervention in my life is growing in scope, as it has been doing since the day I entered this place we call Earth? Absolutely. Am I a fan of people who walk around acting like they own the place, because this government has given them a gun and the lawful authority to use it while enforcing the unjust laws which have been placed upon us? No, not really. In fact, you might even say they really piss me off! But wait, that is going to put my girlfriend and her kids in danger, because I'm obviously some psychopath who hates cops and other government officials. Yeah, that's it. Sorry, babe...I guess we have to break up now? Really, I read it on the interwebz. I'm crazy!

I bet there's one more thing you didn't know about me. I'm not a "real Christian". I'm really an atheist. Yep, that's right. Apparently, my own belief in Jesus Christ isn't enough to be a's my duty to ensure that no one else ever gets to make that decision on their own. In fact, I must be an enemy of everyone who has ever had an independent thought in their skull, and must make absolutely certain no one else can ever pray in a different manner or even to a different god than the one I believe in...even though my Bible says the exact opposite. Until I start doing this, I guess I'll just be content with my atheism?

Wow...I haven't even mentioned my guns yet! Apparently, being an avid shooter and collector of firearms, combined with my irrational paranoia of government entities, somehow makes me a danger to my girlfriend and her kids. See, babe? We really have to break up now! It's for the children! Then, there's the part about how I'm a "big p****y", because I own guns and am willing to use them...but don't go running around shooting up post offices or junior high schools. Guess what, genius! I'm willing to undergo major surgery if I get cancer...but that doesn't mean I'm gonna go cutting one of my lungs out for no good reason, just because I'm willing to do so if it ever became necessary!

No, sir...I don't "run around flaming people all the time". I simply call people on their bullshit when I see it posted on my personal page. I didn't remove you and your idiotic posts because you "confronted" me, nor did I "run" from anyone. I removed you (and again, your posts, as well), because you were being illogical, annoying, and accusatory. You did accuse me of claiming that an innocent child was somehow responsible for a madman gunning her down with no rhyme or reason, and you were given several opportunities to correct this accusation. On top of this, you decided to bring my girlfriend and her two children into the mix. You proceeded to claim that I'm "heartless and cold", because I call things like I see it, instead of immediately rushing out to install some sort of memorial bumpersticker on my car or something of that sort, so that my outrage about this senseless death can be proven to the world.

I'm sorry, sir, but this is the honest truth.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

An action even I can't defend...

Today, congresswoman Gabby Giffords of Arizona was shot point-blank in the side of the head, in front of a large crowd of people. In addition to Mrs. Giffords being gunned down, several other people were also wounded. As of this writing, the prognosis is optimistic.

In all reality, it doesn't matter. She got capped in the head. Even if she survives, she's incapacitated at best. Think "James Brady".

Honestly, when I first heard the story, my thought was that this was a troubled young man intent on starting some sort of "revolution" in an effort to steer this nation away from the socialist direction it's heading into. As it would turn out, it appears to be a troubled young man influenced by Marxism and notions of "social justice", who was upset because Mrs. Giffords wasn't quite "liberal" enough.

So he shot her. And several other people. Several people died, including a young child.

I can typically find the good in most people, even people who act in a manner that most people find despicable. I am pretty firm in my belief that a man has the right to defend himself against aggressive force in all forms, even if it takes the form of a statist politician.

To kill several people because you think someone wasn't stealing "enough" from others so that it may be redistributed amongst "the people" is something I simply can't defend, period...