Friday, December 20, 2013

Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness

File Under: Biblically Speaking



Source: Free Domain Radio, Copyright (c) 2013 Stefan Molyneux

Philosophers should teach philosophy, economists should teach economics, astrophysicists should teach astrophysics, and theologians should teach theology: to each their own intellectual lane. I grow weary of atheists pretending to be theologians, or worse, trying to ensnare Christians with a limited understanding of the Bible. The only people these persons dupe are people who know even less about the Bible than they do.

Fruit of the False Premise

First, Phil Robert's paraphrased a passage from the Christian-Greek Scriptures (The New Testament), not the Hebrew-Aramaic Scriptures (The Old Testament). Linking Robertson's statement to Leviticus is patently dishonest, ignorant, or recklessly negligent, because the context of the quote reveals exactly what book of the Bible his paraphrase came from:
Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he says. Then he paraphrases CORINTHIANS: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”
I can assure anyone – Corinthians DOES NOT instruct anyone to put anyone else to death for their sins:
“Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who have sex with men, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” – 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 NIV

Is Christianity Indifferentiable from Judaism?

The oblique reference to Matthew 5:17, completely misinterprets Jesus' meaning, which is simply that he was the Messiah, here to fulfill the prophecy by establishing a new covenant with Israel (see: Jeremiah 31:31-32). The religious leaders accused Jesus of being a seditious heretic, who sought to lead the people astray with his blasphemous teachings. He assured the gathered crowd that he was not there to insight rebellion or religious anarchy. There was prophecy yet to be fulfilled, so his presence was not a release from the moral strictures of the Old Testament. Indeed, Jesus spent the rest of Matthew 5 reaffirming and bolstering the Ten Commandments. However, in further fulfillment of Jeremiah, Jesus later told his apostles that the way to a close personal relationship with God (and the new promise of everlasting life) was now by repentance of sins, acceptance of Jesus coming sacrifice, and works born of faith. No longer did Christians have to offer up sacrifices and put sinners to death – Jesus was THE sacrifice to end all sacrifices. He “bought” all of their sin, and took it up himself. Therefore, faithful Christians could look forward to the inheritance of God's kingdom, whereas unrepentant sinners were to expect eternal damnation.

Is the Bible "Hate Speech?"

Phil Robertson did not “accurately” quote the Scripture he had in mind, and he made no reference to Leviticus. The Bible does not advocate nor mandate the hatred of, harassment, or persecution of any sinner. In fact, when Saul of Tarsus became the Apostle Paul and ceased killing Christians, he did not turn around and begin executing Jews and gentiles. Rather, he attempted to convert everyone, and he left non-believers and unrepentant sinners to their own devices. By contrast, Ancient Israel was a Theocracy and the law stated that individuals guilty of certain crimes (“sins”) were to be executed after they were found guilty. Modern support of homosexuality as a life choice and opposition of the death penalty does not make the laws of that ancient civilization “hate speech,” nor does it make the command to execute lawbreakers “murder.” Especially, considering modern adherents of Christianity have no doctrine endorsing those abandoned laws. Moreover, modern perspectives do not negate the countless parables, fables, common sense principles, and object lessons found in the Old Testament.

Does God Contradict Himself?

Christians do believe the Bible is the divine word of God, and his word was given in two distinct Testaments, ultimately for two distinct people. The ancient Israelites repeatedly broke God's commandments, then tortured and killed his Son, the Messiah. Therefore, God ended the covenant with the Israelites (the one mandating the death of gays), and created a new covenant with all of humankind – sans stoning.
True Christians DO accept God's command to abstain from homosexuality, and they DO accept God's command to no longer execute homosexuals for their sin. There is no contradiction.




The Big Non Sequitur

Phil Robertson was (is?) an independent contractor of a private, secular entertainment organization. Priests are employees of churches – private, religious organizations. Whereas the firing of Phil Robertson for denigrating his client's customers makes perfect sense, retribution for priests teaching the Bible in churches does not. The only people who have a problem with what the church teaches are people who are not members of the church. A&E does not believe (or want to have the appearance of believing) their homosexual viewers are the same as practitioners of bestiality and terrorists, or that black Americans were happy as sharecroppers during Jim Crow. Therefore, they fired Phil Robertson. It is NOT the religious segment of society that is trying to paint Robertson as a hatemonger (or the Bible and God vicariously through him) – that clamor is probably coming from the atheist and liberal crowd. Religious persons appear to be just fine with Robertson practicing his First Amendment right to free speech and free religious exercise, inaccurate and coarse though it may be.

For the Record

I think at this point we all know and accept that Christians do not stone sinners, but sinners will not inherit the kingdom of God if they do not stop sinning. Some people will try to construe that as meaning Christians are to accept everyone and everything without discrimination. So, let's go ahead and set the record straight on what the Bible DOES say about how Christians should deal with people who do not follow God's law:

“I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”” – 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 NIV
There you have it.

This video is not the deeply thought out and well-researched, scholarly excellence I am accustomed to from this channel. This comes off as less “what they aren't telling you,” and more like an impotent, half-baked attempt to skewer theists for their beliefs on the end of a blunted spear that completely misses the mark. Whether you believe the doctrine of your intellectual enemy or not, you should at least know and understand it
BEFORE you criticize it. I am sorely disappointed.

"Spirit in the Sky" by Norman Greenbaum from "Spirit in the Sky" released 1969 on Reprise

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Men In Hats

File Under: Common Sense


Today's lesson will be brief.

These Are Law Enforcement Officers


This Is A Soldier  (Note the firearm: soldiers have firearms)


These Are Civilians in Silly Hats (a.k.a. Law Suggestion Officers)


If have written about the growing police and police brutality before. You can Google search and find dozens of stories collected over the past several decades. I prefer to be self-reliant and only call the authorities for situations I should not handle myself.  However, those of you who are not big fans of the Second Amendment and self-reliance, you have to ask yourself: in a world where people eat their neighbor's faces do I want to be served by people with firearms, or civilians with silly hats and rape whistles?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

#LaRevolucion: One and Done?

File Under: Politicking


Are term limits the answer to our problem with government?

It would seem like we already have a built-in "term-limiter" - the ballot - and it is not working.  People seem to want term limits (on bad politicians) but have no qualms re-electing someone decade after decade, whether good or bad.  However, would limiting the number of years an individual can do damage in office, stop them from doing damage while they are there?  It seems to me that if people knew they only have one or two terms to to get their fingers in as many pies as possible, they would spend even less time doing their jobs than they do now.  It would become a revolving door of bad politicians, and good politicians would still be squeezed out by bad politicians with more campaign capital.  One of the side effects of not having a term limit is that a person amasses more political pull over time, which they have to use to the benefit of their constituency every so often so as not to get hanged on election day.   The ouster, by popular vote, of a long-seated politician for their lethargy or corruption is significantly more emphatic to the next would-be hack than simply waiting for the new guy's act to finish in the term limit circus.

Moreover, what happens when we actually get a good politician in office, he or she spends the term limit fighting against the establishment, and then is gone forever?  Of greater primacy to the securement of a functioning republic would be campaign finance reform, increased transparency, performance standards, and increased accountability for reaching those standards.  If elections are fair and cannot be bought.  If politicians create policies that encourage business and job growth.  If politicians respect the Constitution and civil liberties.  And, if politicians regularly pass balanced budgets.  Then what difference does it make if they are in office 2 years or 2 decades?

"Doom and Gloom" by The Rolling Stones from GRRR! released 2012 on Capitol

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

#LaRevolucion: Kiss the Dollar Menu Goodbye, and America Right Along With It.

File Under: Slave to the Wage


I listen to people, especially to people with whom I have personally connected. Therefore, when friends, associates, and acquaintances of mine lambast low-skill workers, who want an increase from the Federal Minimum Wage to a more liveable wage, as being unambitious and lazy, I took note. This is especially confounding when this criticism comes from individuals who at one point in their lives sailed in the same boat. I need to see if their is any merit to either side of this discussion.

What We Agree Upon

The Federal Minimum Wage is currently $7.25 per hour for most types of hourly workers.  In some localities this minimum is higher, up to $3.00 more in fact.  Minimum wage jobs are usually low-skill, entry level jobs designed to be occupied temporarily by young, inexperienced workers before moving on (ideally) to bigger and better things. However, what we are seeing is that this supposed teens-first-job type of job is turning into a dead-end job and thus a career for more and more people. In reality, the age of the average foodservice worker is currently 29, half a decade beyond college-age and a full decade beyond the teenage years.

Businesses Are Not Charities

Businesses are not charities and even charitable organizations have to be profitable.  Economists believe minimum wage standards and higher wages will lead to higher unemployment because corporations will respond by: downsizing, reducing plans for expansion, and raising prices.  More expensive products will become less in demand and you get a self-fulfilling loop of socioeconomic nastiness.  Additionally, these positions are designed for their turnover. Better wages would decrease turnover (also increasing unemployment) and cause deleterious effects (to everyone but the workers and consumer) we will get into in a short while.

Nobody Forces You To Work There

Why do not these "low-skill" workers get more skills, and in turn better wages or jobs?  To the teenager getting ready to graduate high school back in 1978, McDonald's might have been a great first job.  Today, however, working through college on minimum wage is a bit harder than you think considering the cost of tuition has increased 1,120 percent over what it was 30 years prior.  In case you are wondering, no, the minimum wage has not increased anywhere even remotely close to that amount.  But, the cost of living (which includes things like food, clothing, shelter, transportation, education, and healthcare) has done its darndest to keep in line.  In Washington, D.C., our nation's capital, the current minimum wage is $5.43/hr below the living wage.  Unless two and four-year colleges are going to start handing out free certificates and degrees, increasing your skills on minimum wage is going to take some "Machine Gun" Kelly / Bernie Madoff-esque accounting and budgeting.




What's really ridiculous is that the competition for low-skill jobs has increased so much those seeking to fill these positions have started looking for candidates with college degrees in some instances, further squeezing out the people who need to be working there in the first place.  As you can see, in a world where: financing education is astronomical, individuals with degrees fight teenagers for jobs, the cost of living has outpaced earnings, American jobs are shipped off to foreign lands, illegal labor devalues American workers, manufacturing jobs are becoming extinct, schools no longer teach practical skills, and unionization is an antiquated notion ...people are, in actuality, sort of forced to work where they can work, with little hope of advancement.

"Inner City Pressure" by Flight of The Conchords from Flight of The Conchords released 2008 on Sub Pop

The Dreaded Evil Socialist Living Wage

Let's crunch some numbers.

Roughly 8% of the United State's population work in the foodservice industry.  Not all of them are low-skill, minimum wage employs (less than 10%), but for the sake of this discussion let's assume they are to keep things simple.  So far we have about 2,368,720 full-time employees making about $15,080 a year.  Again, that number will not be 100% representative because some make more than minimum wage.
  • Foodservice workers: 2,368,720 foodservice workers
  • Annual wages: $35,720,297,600 in annual wages
  • Non-wage labor costs: $4,429,316,902.40
Every year some nearly 40% of all food and hospitality service workers voluntarily terminate (quit), while some nearly 20% are involuntarily terminated (fired).  That is a turnover rate of about 60% annually for the industry as a whole.  According to Lisa with WyckWyre, an online HR service provider for the restaurant industry, some segments of the foodservice industry, like fast food restaurants, exceed 100% turnover rates, meaning they lose all the workers they had the year before and some of the ones they hired this year.  For jobs making less than $30,000 per year turnover costs about 16% of the terminated workers salary to cover for and replace the missing worker.  It is probably a safe assumption to say that most people leaving the foodservice industry are making less than $30,000 per year.
  • Cost of annual turnover to foodservice industry: $5,715,247,616
  • Total real labor cost: $45,864,862,118.40
What would it cost the foodservice industry to raise the hourly wage of their workers from the Federal Minimum Wage of $7.25 per hour to the Washington, D.C. living wage of $13.68 per hour for a single adult?  Let us find out.  Keep in mind that not every worker makes $7.25 per hour so the gap that needs to be covered is actually less than represented.  Also for the sake of this exercise let us assume that increasing the wage of these workers will bring turnover down to the level of similar paying jobs, such as those in the public sector.
  • D.C. living wage: $13.68
  • Annual wages: $67,400,506,368
  • Non-wage labor costs: $8,357,662,789.632
  • Rate of turnover: 4%
  • Cost of annual turnover: $2,696,020,254.72
  • Savings via turnover reduction: $3,019,227,361.28
  • Total real labor cost: $78,454,189,412.35
  • Final cost of wage increase: $32,589,327,293.95

$32,589,327,293.95 !? Oh, the humanity!

That's a fairly steep bill to foot just so a bunch of lazy, ambitionless burger-flippers and coffee-pourers can live comfortably ...right?  Wrong.  It is no paltry sum, for sure.  However, when you take into consideration that just ten of the highest paid CEOs in the industry make a combined $766,450,849 in salary, it is hardly unjustified.  Even if we could get the CEOs to take a compensation reduction, to help ease the burden, it will fall to the consumer to pay the piper so these bums can afford to live.  Darn socialism. So, what is the damage to the American consumer?  Sadly, not as much as they would have you believe.
  • America's projected fast food bill for 2013: $200 billion ...with a "B," per year.
  • Added cost of the wage increase to America: 16.3%

What the heck?  I thought this was supposed to break the economy?  That is not even a quarter on the dollar.  What gives, why do we not go ahead and do this for goodness sake?

Republocrats Are Greedy and Stupid, and They Think You Are Too

If the CEOs and other shareholders can get America to pay 16.3% more for the filth they peddle, they most certainly are not going to pass the added profit off to their employees.  And, remember those other consequences of less turnover, yeah, that is bad for business.  One of the reasons it is so hard for foodservice workers to unionize, is because nobody sticks around long enough to join up.  Low wages keep the workers docile and pliant, as they can ill-afford to go long without employment like higher-salaried members of unions in other industries.  Moreover, the longer you keep someone employed the higher your cost will be for unemployment insurance, workers compensation risk, healthcare costs, and any promised retirement benefits.  If you are a McDonald's executive you want to turn-em-and-burn-em, send them packing to your buddy at Walmart, who will send them to his buddy at Burger King, who will send them to his buddy at Seven Eleven.  But it is not just financial, it is political too, which is still financial in the end.

"Money" by Pink Floyd from The Dark Side of the Moon released 1973 on Capitol


The right might not want to share the wealth, but the left does not want to lose the voter base - the source of their wealth and power.  If a Washington, D.C. household of two adults and two children had both parents working full-time for $13.68 per hour they would not only smoke the living wage of $24.95 per hour, but they would obliterate the poverty wage of $10.60 per hour.  Seeing as living wage covers everything including food and healthcare that means no more dependence on food stamps, Medicaid, or Obamacare.  And no more dependence on the left.  One or both parents could go back to school and get an education to get a better job, save money, send their children to private school, go on vacation (Eeek Gads!), plan a retirement (No Medicare Part B *frown*), and god-forbid - open a business and hire some unemployed low-skill workers.  Now we all know what happens when you become educated and wealthy: you become conservative.  If you are no longer impoverished, left-leaning ideologies begin to look very unappealing.  That is why the president proposed that paltry $9.00 minimum wage.  A piddly one or two dollar wage increase is easily offset by cost savings in reduced turnover when added to free/low-cost incentives like flexible scheduling.  Such a wage would no doubt help many American families scrape along and they could be forever grateful to the left for throwing them some table scraps, but that wage would do absolutely jack for most Americans - like those in D.C. - who would still be living in poverty trembling in fear every time the left says the right is trying to take away their food stamps to build more tanks.

Conclusion

The right is callous, greedy, and douchey, but the left is down-right sinister.  The left is going to bark and cry wolf in an attempt to make the right look bad.  The right will rise to the task and oblige them with plenty of anti-middle class rhetoric-by-numbers.  And so the dance goes.  The right keeps their cash and do not have to rub elbows with the nouveau riche at the country club, and the left gets to keep their stranglehold on blue collar America, lording over their empire of kickbacks and political favors.  We can allow Congress, the corporations, and the banks to play games with our country like this is one giant game of Monopoly.  We can deride the man or the woman who got our order wrong at the drive-thru.  And we can twiddle our thumbs as the American Dream becomes the American Nightmare.  Meanwhile, $7.25 per hour still will not be a living wage, no matter how you slice it.

"Slave to the Wage" by Placebo from Black Market Music released 2000 on Hut

Resources:
[1] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/04/economic-mobility-minimum-wage_n_3704799.html
[2] http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505125_162-57552899/how-much-does-it-cost-companies-to-lose-employees/
[3] http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/labor/report/2012/11/16/44464/there-are-significant-business-costs-to-replacing-employees/
[4] http://www.mybudget360.com/food-service-sector-us-economy-top-employment-sector-growth-economic-recovery/
[5] http://illinoispolicy.org/news/article.asp?ArticleSource=4117
[6] http://livingwage.mit.edu/places/1100150000
[7] http://now.msn.com/americans-spent-dollar200-billion-last-year-on-fast-food-and-beer-alone
[8] http://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en/food/meal_bundles/dollar_menu.html
[9] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/15/cost-of-college-degree-increase-12-fold-1120-percent-bloomberg_n_1783700.html
[10] http://www2.qsrmagazine.com/articles/features/118/bottom_line-1.phtml
[11] http://www.wyckwyre.com/
[12] http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes353021.htm
[13] http://www.statista.com/statistics/196614/revenue-of-the-us-fast-food-restaurant-industry-since-2002/

Thursday, August 1, 2013

@bdotTM "Your Struggle and My Struggle are Two Different Things."

File Under: We Are In This Together


That observation comes from an article posted by VIBE magazine on rapper Jay-Z's response to a 2012 comment by historic entertainer and activist, Harry Belafonte, calling for celebrities of today to take a more meaningful role in social change.  The comment really epitomizes the mindset of anyone who could believe that the rapper was justified in his words and manner of attack.  And Jay-Z has plenty of sycophants willing to endorse his utterly classless counter-assault.


How could one person get so much wrong in one statement?  This statement intimates that Harry Belafonte was not struggling for others, but for himself, and that Civil Rights was only about black people.  It implies that the world can be divided cleanly into: black/white, me/you, us/them, rich/poor, Democrat/Republican, Liberal/Conservative, or American/Not.  It says there is no "our struggle," there is only "your struggle" and "my struggle." It believes that "your struggle" ended sometime before I was born and I have no responsibility as a human being of any race/ethnicity/status to contribute to the ongoing fight.  This is the self-serving, me-centric attitude that permeates our society, our politics and our policy.  It is the reason asian children manufacture $200 sneakers in horrendous sweatshops for pennies.  It is the reason starving, AIDS-infected children die in diamond mines or genocides in Africa.  It is the reason thousands of young black men and teenagers are murdered every year in America's inner cities.  It is the reason thousands of women suffer abuse and rape in less developed countries.  Because their struggles are not my struggle.  I have no responsibility to anyone or anything other than myself.  My only duty in life is to amass possessions, and shuck-and-jive for Massa in the hopes that one day he gives me my freedom.


Even if you set aside Jay-Z's unmitigated hubris and his gross impertinence for speaking to a man four decades his senior in such an irreverent manner, you have to see that Jay-Z (and those like him) are in prime position to positively impact the lives of millions in a more than monetary way, and they absolutely are not.  No one expects every celebrity to be Mother Theresa, and despite his sizeable giving, Jay-Z is far from the gold standard of charity and philanthropy.  Every able-bodied, sound-minded man and woman who walks this Earth has a responsibility to leave it better than he or she found it.  Those who have more or are given more, should do more.  This is not because celebrities are special or have special insight.  This is because if those with less are always the ones putting forth the most effort to turn the gears of change, then we as a species are going to get nowhere fast.
"The end is not yet. This is a beginning. The times ahead are just as difficult as the times behind." ~Charleston Heston

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

America's Pandemic

File Under: Inconvenient Truths

Mamie Till: "Two months ago I had a nice apartment in Chicago. I had a good job. I had a son. When something happened to the Negroes in the South I said, 'That's their business, not mine.' Now I know how wrong I was. The murder of my son has shown me that what happens to any of us, anywhere in the world, had better be the business of us all." (Source)

Does anyone know what is the leading cause of death in the United States of America?  I'm sure you can guess by the picture that it is not cancer, car accidents, or comorbidities of obesity.  It isn't violent crime either.  The number one killer is something called Cognitive Dissonance.  Cognitive Dissonance Theory, devised by Leon Festinger in 1956, is a fancy way of saying whenever we as humans are presented with information or facts that do not fit with our expectations of reality we feel very uncomfortable.  We do not like feeling uncomfortable; therefore, in order to create equilibrium something must change. To reduce dissonance there are three things people usually do:
  1. Focus on more supportive beliefs that outweigh the dissonant belief or behavior.
  2. Reduce the importance of the conflicting belief.
  3. Change the conflicting belief so that it is consistent with other beliefs or behaviors.
We "accentuate the positive," devalue our beliefs, tell ourselves it is not important, tell ourselves we like the thing that conflicts with us, and find other people to co-sign our new beliefs.  It is this process of "dissonance reduction" that is the killer, because it makes us believe things that are not true, hold onto beliefs that are unreasonable, not take beneficial action when we should, and take detrimental action when we should not.


How do you know if you are suffering from Cognitive Dissonance? Here are some tell-tale signs:
  • Is it 2013 and you are still smoking cigarettes?
  • Do you believe McDonald's and Pepsico made you fat?
  • Do you believe you are big-boned and not obese?
  • Do you believe I can _____ (drink/text) and drive safely?
  • Do you believe in "clean" coal?
  • Do you believe coal-burning factories contribute more pollution than automobiles?
  • Do you believe global warming is a myth?
  • Do you believe the Second Iraq War and the U.S. War in Afghanistan were warranted?
  • Do you believe George W. Bush and Barack Obama are NOT war criminals?
  • Do you believe the death of one black male is more outrageous than the death of thousands of Arabs, Muslims and Middle Easterners?
  • Do you believe the shooting of one black man by a non-black man is more outrageous than the hundreds of shootings of black men by other black men?
  • Do you believe that the uncharged, unindicted, unconvicted "terrorists" who are being held as political prisoners in Guantanamo Bay should starve, right along with the guilty?
  • Do you believe the USA PATRIOT Act was necessary?
  • Do you believe the Affordable Care Act is Constitutional and well-thought out?
  • Do you believe the provision in the NDAA allowing for indefinite detentions will never be applied to U.S. citizens?
  • Do you believe that Danny Manning and Edward Snowden are traitors?
  • Do you believe that genetically modified organisms are nothing to be concerned about?
  • Do you believe the War on Drugs is money well-spent?
  • Do you believe the War on Terror is winnable?
  • Do you believe the key to making human beings less violent is the regulation of inanimate objects?
  • Do you believe in pro-life but tacitly approve the murder, torture, and dehumanization of millions?
  • Do you believe in pro-choice but deny the choices of unborn children and their fathers?
  • Do you believe that Democrats are the party of the people or that Republicans believe in small government?
  • Do you believe that what side of the isle you sit on in Congress makes a difference?
  • Do you believe that the President or even the Congress controls the fate of the country?
  • Do you believe we are not all in the same sinking boat and those who control the life boats will decide who lives and who drowns based upon what you look like rather than what you can do for them?
  • Do you believe that problems are so vast, so big, and so long-standing that you couldn't possibly do anything about them?
If you answered yes, to any of these questions then you are suffering from Cognitive Dissonance and you are killing America.  Cognitive Dissonance is the disease; cancer, diabetes, stroke, violent deaths, poverty, racism, partisanship, warmongering -- those are the symptoms.  No matter how severe your case of Cognitive Dissonance is, it does not have to be a terminal affliction.  The world has shown America the path to the cure.  If Germans can bring down the Wall, if Russians can dismantle Communism, and if the Arab world can depose dictators and resist religious extremism, then we in the United States of America, the progenitors of modern democracy,  certainly can overcome the pandemic that is devouring us from the inside.
"Anytime there is insufficient reward, there will be dissonance.  The general principal seems to be that people come to believe in and love the things they have to suffer for." ~Leon Festinger

"Da Art Of Storytellin' (Part 2)" by Outkast from Aquemini released 1998 on LaFace

Saturday, July 13, 2013

People's Exhibit Zero

File Under:  Clear and Present Danger


As the world waits for the jury to determine George Zimmerman's fate in the death of Trayvon Martin, we must realize what is actually on trial here.  With the mainstream media and the Department of Justice firmly entrenched in the camp of the prosecution, we know this is more than just a simple murder trial: this is a partisan battle with far-reaching political implications.  What we are really waiting on is not just the exoneration or condemnation of George Zimmerman, but also the decision that will play heavily into the fate of Stand Your Ground as a doctrine and the Second Amendment itself.

At this point, I do not believe any reasonable person would, no matter what George Zimmerman did or said, argue against the facts of the case:
  1. Trayvon Martin struck George Zimmerman first;
  2. A scuffle ensued in which George Zimmerman fell to the ground; and
  3. Shortly before being shot, Trayvon Martin was leaning over or straddling George Zimmerman.
We do not, with sufficient certainty, know anymore than that, but more than that is not necessary to know.  The jury must only decide did George Zimmerman have good reason to fear that he could be seriously injured or killed if he did not use force against his attacker.

Critics of George Zimmerman's defense site the age/weight disparity, the severity of Zimmerman's wounds, and the fact that Zimmerman was armed while Martin was not as evidence against Zimmerman plausibly believing he could be seriously harmed or killed.  If you can get beyond the arrogance of trying to assume what someone actually felt in a crisis situation, and examine the situation objectively you see those arguments make no sense.  Age, weight, gender, the intensity of a fight, even being armed are not reliable predictors of how severe injury or likely death could be in a real world close combat scenario.  I turn to the internet to prove the point.

Man vs. Child

Were that a sanctioned fight, a referee would have called it after the first punch.  Age disparity meant nothing.  The younger man proved himself more than a threat.


David vs. Goliath

Size disparity does not mean you are invulnerable, nor that you are able to use size to your advantage.  A smaller fighter is more than capable of causing a problem for a larger opponent.  Back-pedaling in the darkness and the rain, it is perfectly possible to lose your footing and your attacker is upon you in an instant, raining down blows.


Old vs Young

Wrestling is a young man's game, not an old man's game, right?  Wrong.  Someone you wouldn't expect to get the better of you can, if for no other reason that a mistake on your part and good fortune on their's.


Tony Doesn't Want Any Part of Mom

It looks like Tony had reason to fear he was in danger of serious bodily harm if he pressed this issue with this young man's mother.


No, This Is Over

NOTE: Sarcasm warning, proceed with caution.  When I began watching this I knew the burly, aggressive guy was going to win.  I bet you did too.


"Insignificant" External Injuries

The last two videos were included purely for their comedic value.  But this next one is serious.  Deadly serious.


Notice the man conversing, not bleeding at all, get up, and walk away, only to die moments later from apparently very significant injuries.  Still not convinced?  Well, if you still believe a man has nothing to fear from a boy attacking him, I leave you with this:


That was the family of 46 year-old Ricardo Portillo.  He is dead now.  The 17 year-old "boy" who killed him has been charged with homicide.  The "child" literally punched him to death.  The family sobbing in this video could have just as easily been George Zimmerman's.  I think George Zimmerman has a low-opinion of the kind of people he thought Trayvon Martin was.  He is book smart, but not very intelligent.  He is an over-zealous failure, who has to rely on the good graces of others to bail him out of problem situations. Though I would not have made the same choices he made, the choices he made were not illegal, reckless, malicious, or negligible.  I don't have any reason to dislike him beyond the fact that Trayvon Martin is no longer alive, able to learn and grow into a good man.  The investigation into his death was sluggish and bungled, yes, but ultimately Trayvon Martin is dead and gone and his death was no crime.   There is nothing we can do for Trayvon Martin or his family at this point.  But we can end the cycle of tragedy and bitterness.  We can find George Zimmerman not guilty.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Don't Believe The Hype

File Under:  Shenanigans!

"New Indiana Law Makes It A Felony For Same-Sex Couples To Apply For A Marriage License" ~ The New Civil Rights Movement, 2013

That is the headline of this article.  In a separate op-ed piece, another writer claims that the reason her and her felonious lover (who went 2,400 miles away to accept the only job she could find) cannot be together despite it being legal in their home state is because they are a gay minority couple and nothing to do with her partner's felonious past, the horrible job market in this pseudo-recovery, and her backing a political party that doesn't really care about the poor ...or gays.  This is why we cannot get anywhere.  No, I don't mean because gays are "ruining America."  What I am referring to is the premium we put on promoting our own views, having sensational headlines, and demonizing our opponents. Truth is irrelevant.  Google search keywords from this article and you will find several liberal bloggers and other journalists decrying Indiana for getting entrenched in their position against homosexual equality.  The impression you get is that Indiana has targeted the gay community for persecution by creating a new felony just for the audacity of filing an application for a marriage license.  Someone shared this link with the comment: "Nothing more important to worry about in Indiana?"  Well if you accept the article on face value, it would seem that lawmakers in Indiana got bored and decided to pick on gays. What do you see if you investigate further?

Indiana's marriage law allows for the unencumbered licensing and solemnization of a union between one male and one female age 18 or older, not more closely related than second cousin.  On the application for a marriage license there is a space for the name of the male and the name of the female.  Falsifying an application, registering ineligible individuals, or solemnizing the union of ineligible individuals has been a Class D felony since 1997.  The legislature did not change what was illegal or make something that was not previously a felony now a felony.  So what did they do?  What they did (without regard to gays, blacks, poor, immigrants or any other group) was to revamp the felony system.  Starting 7/1/14 felonies will be no longer "Classed" A-D, instead they will be Level 1-6.  Beginning in 2014 what was a Class D felony will now be a Level 6 felony, meaning those offenses were actually degraded in severity.  So everything that the author spoke about will remain a felony, the least severe felony in fact.

Moreover, nothing about this legislative action stops anyone from engaging in civil disobedience.  You and your partner can still go to the courthouse to apply for a marriage license and if you are eligible you will be granted one after paying the fee.  If you are ineligible you can demand equal accommodation under the law.  If somehow the clerk is having an off day and allows you to file your application, put your partner's name in the free space and claim he or she identifies as that gender.  It will make a fine protest.

Therefore, could we please stop with the lies and the shenanigans?  If you want relevance go out and earn it.  Stop trying to play the American people for fools.  In the meantime, your very fashionable Capri pants have burst into flames.

"Don't Believe The Hype" by Public Enemy from It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back released 1988 on Def Jam

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Knight Writer and Friends' 100 LIKEs Facebook Giveaway

File Under:  Giveaways

Happy Independence Day, America! In honor of you all, my faithful compatriots in The Revolution, and to say thanks for 100 LIKEs on Facebook, I am teaming up with my friends at LightShine Designs and Meisterkhan to bring you this awesome FREE giveaway.  Entering is easy!  Here is what you have to do:
  1. LIKE these pages: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, LightShine Designs, and Meisterkhan.
  2. LIKE and SHARE this picture.
  3. BOOM! You're entered!!!
The contest ends 08/04/2013 @ midnight.  Check out the giveaway below to see how you can earn extra entries EVERYDAY, and increase your chances to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
"Land of Confusion" by Disturbed from 10,000 Fists released 2005 on Reprise

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Martyrs and Pawns

File Under:  The Law Is Not Mocked


This is a spillover of two separate conversations.  In the first conversation, I erroneously stated Zimmerman was charged with first-degree murder.  In response to a photograph highlighting the testimony of the doctor during the trial, which noted Zimmerman's injuries on the night of Trayvon's death were "insignificant," I asked, "how significant George Zimmerman's wounds would have been if he had not shot Trayvon Martin?"  Here is the my two cents on George Zimmerman's second-degree murder trial:

We know who killed Trayvon Martin, why he was killed, with what he was killed, and when his death occurred? What we do not know is how the altercation that lead to Trayvon's death was precipitated?  So who committed a crime first?  Zimmerman certainly committed the first mistake, but did he commit a crime? Following someone is not a crime, asking someone a question also is not a crime, and not listening to a 911 operator is not a crime. 911 operators are not authority figures, they cannot tell you what to do. If Zimmerman stopped Martin and prevented him from leaving or gave him the impression that he could not leave, that would be a crime: false imprisonment.  However, if Martin stopped of his own free will, then no crime was committed.  Approaching someone in a public place is not a crime either. The jury must decide who assaulted whom first.

If George Zimmerman had stayed in his car, Trayvon Martin probably would not have doubled-back to confront him and Trayvon would likely still be alive.  If Trayvon Martin had kept walking, he would definitely be alive today. If Trayvon Martin had called 911 instead of his girlfriend, he might still be dead but at least we would have a reliable record of what happened. As someone else pointed out: "they both did something stupid." The question is who committed a crime first.  Zimmerman is facing a minimum of 25 years.l even manslaughter is a minimum of nine and a quarter. Given the evidence, I think it would be a mistake to convict Zimmerman of murder. That would be a miscarriage of justice.

What is on trial here is not really George Zimmerman: Trayvon attacked Zimmerman - case closed. What is on trial is the handling of the investigation, the racial profiling of Martin by Zimmerman and the police, and the validity of stand your ground laws. If Martin had killed Zimmerman he would have went to jail that night and been held or no bond or a bond of ridiculous proportions. The shooter not the victim would have been subjected to a toxicology screening. If the media covered the story at all, the media would have spread images of Trayvon that portrayed him as the violence-loving, rebellious, drug-using wannabe thug that he was.  Trayvon has been made a false martyr and Zimmerman, should Zimmerman be convicted, will become the sacrificial pawn that helps someone else jockey for position to execute their political checkmate.

"Hurricane" by Bob Dylan from Desire released 1975 on Columbia

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Diagnosing America's Cancer

File Under:  It Is In Our Hands

V22.2, how many of you know what that is?  Can you guess?

To many of my compatriots in the health industry, you will recognize what that is immediately.  That is the ICD-9 diagnostic code for "Pregnant state, incidental."  In laymen's terms that is: a normal pregnancy, without complications.  This is what a doctor would put in your medical chart or on an insurance claim to denote that the patient is pregnant.  Why is this important? It is important because:

You only diagnose diseases.

If you look at pregnancy as a disease, it makes an ironic sort of sense: everyone who has ever been diagnosed with pregnancy has died.  Making children the most lethal disease to ever afflict humankind.  That might bring a chuckle to some of you with children, but therein is the problem with abortion, women's health rights, and the debate surrounding the two.  In the modern world children are considered, and thus treated like, a disease.  Children are suffered not cherished; they are something to be avoided, medicated, or destroyed.  We have already, however grudgingly, conceded that everyone has a right to suitable healthcare.  How dare someone dictate to someone else what is appropriate healthcare, or more precisely what they should do about a disease that is infecting their own body?

Conservatives have latched onto the very valid point that unborn children are not diseases without human rights, and they are using it as a cudgel to bludgeon Liberals.  Liberals, with their ideology threatened, have hidden behind the shield of women's health rights and freedom of choice and are firing back.  What has essentially happened is that the issue of sanctioned murder has metastasized itself onto women's health like a cancer, rendering it inoperable because Liberals will not sacrifice the cancer to save the host.  In this stalemate millions of unborn children continue to die, healthcare reform suffers, women suffer, and the country suffers from divisive politics and a lack of leadership.

If you have a defective heart valve, a chemical imbalance, a stroke, underdeveloped lungs, a calcium deficiency, a traumatic head injury, amenorrhea, or any number of other illnesses, these are all valid illnesses with definable root causes inside the body and mind.  Everyone deserves access to technologies which alleviate the suffering from these diseases.  However, to address unborn children, ovarian cysts, amenorrhea, and erectile dysfunction with one policy, so as to say that they are one-in-the-same is morally, ethically, scientifically, and spiritually bankrupt.


Some 40% of pregnancies are unplanned, and of those perhaps 50% are unwanted.  According to scientists, humanity was unplanned, and judging form all the species that once existed but now do not or all the species, in all the galaxies that never existed at all -- one could say the Universe probably doesn't want us.  And yet, here we remain -- unaborted.  Without question both men and women deserve access to comprehensive healthcare for all their bodily systems.  That care does not have to be sacrificed in order for us to redress this Nation's position on medically unnecessary abortions.  To do so, all we must do is put down our cudgels and shields, and divorce the issue of women's health from the cancer of abortion.

"Waiting Between Worlds" by Zack Hemsey from The Way released 2011 on Zack Hemsey Publishing

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What Would You Do?

File Under:  Think About It


What if human beings didn't give birth to live young?  What if they laid eggs like birds, reptiles or fish?  What if what you see in this picture is not the beginning of scrambled eggs, but rather the end of a human life, oozing out of that cracked shell?  Human beings might not be the only animals to kill the young, but humans are the only animals who willingly kill their own young.  Penguin fathers die in the freezing cold protecting their unborn children, because to them what is inside that egg isn't just alive, it is the future of all penguins as far as that father is concerned.  Is an unborn human any less important than an unborn penguin?

If in the mid-twentieth century Strict Constructionists had not fled the Democratic party, would the murder of unborn children be judged along party lines?  If humans did not carry babies inside them, would a father still have no say in the fate of his unborn child?  If all you had to think about is the person growing inside that egg, would the "Pro Choice" argument finally focus on the unborn human's rights?  If there were no GOD in a mystical far-off Heaven, would the wholesale slaughter of millions of future scientists, engineers, philosophers, and musicians be a good thing for humanity?

If you had to think about someone other than yourself, your rights, your choices, your ideas and beliefs ...if you had to think about someone else, some innocent as-yet-unborn person, their rights, their choices, their ideas and beliefs -- what would you choose?  If you could hold the essence of life in your hand, would you protect and preserve it -- or would you crush it and discard it like refuse?

"This Woman's Work (Director's Cut)" by Kate Bush from Director's Cut released 2011 on Fish People Music

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

#LaRevolucion: Eyes Not Wide Shut

Reading about the documentary, “Assaulted: Civil Rights Under Fire,” hosted by rapper and actor Ice-T, I had an epiphany.  I finally realized what the problem is: guns are not sexy. Not guns themselves, but the idea and those who represent that idea. I'm not saying Ice-T is not an attractive man. However, there is a certain segment of society who considers anything he has to say, no matter how right it is, to be fruit of the poisoned tree – especially if it is something they do not like or care about. They are prejudiced, and rightfully so if those prejudices are based solely upon his works as a younger man. The real problem is the Wayne LaPierres, the Larry Pratts, and the bow-tie-wearing Alan Gottliebs. They scream rich, white, stodgy, out-of-touch, aloof, abrasive, and corporate. And in Gottlieb's case, dorky and a little creepy. Frankly, the only thing unapologetic about being rich and white that remains popular right now is cheesecake, and even that could be burned upon the low-carb/no-carb cross at any moment. Moreover, when the CEO of Bushmaster breaks a six-month silence to comment on the tragedy of Newtown and what he has to say is about as deep as a kiddy-pool, you really begin to not want to invite Second Amendment Advocates over for dinner.  They are desperately in need of some "regular guy" in black-face to shuck-and-jive and show Americans that guns are OK, cool, and sexy.

"I would like to talk to you about protecting your civil liberties from encroachment by your corrupt government officials"  Did you say it in Snape's voice?

In contrast, who doesn't want to have dinner with Matt Damon, Morgan Freeman, Beyonce, Will Ferrell, or even Barack Obama? They are sexy, talented, smart, funny, and charming; but most important they are famous and adored by millions. They are in the business of being likable, and have cadres of lawyers, accountants, and bodyguards to see to the liberties they encourage you to disregard as they sit isolated in in their gated communities on hill-top mansion estates. In a world where Justin Beiber, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne can not only be considered musicians, but also be wildly successful or where Jersey Shore is entertainment is it any wonder nobody cares about serious things like Constitutional Rights or government corruption?

"I'm Morgan Freeman, and this is Matt Damon.  I think you should let Matt Damon have his way with your daughters.  And don't go listening to those cookey conspiracy theorists either.  Your government loves you and is here to protect and serve.  Morgan Freeman, Morgan Freeman ...Morgan Freeman."

To all the flannel shirt-clad, Pabst Blue Ribbon hipsters born after 1989, they think revolutionaries are convicted felons or the likes of Che Guevara because their formerly anti-American, ex-convict professors or some ex-convict musician told them so. At the other end of the spectrum are the battered, betrayed, and frightened individuals, from boomers to 70s babies, whose economic trains ran out of fuel long ago and who are now merely hoping they can pay for that hipster's education and coast into retirement in one piece. America is choking to death on the Left/Right Paradigm, and those vacuous celebrities are so well-liked because they are the icing and cherries on a crap cake. Celebrities make the common people feel good about how bad things are, ignore how bad things will become, and feel happy or righteous doing doing absolutely nothing of meaning about it.


I get it: you have a lot on your plates; you have been lied to, used, and abused; and, you are just plain old sick and tired. I get it, I honestly do. However, it is not our piece of icing and sprinkle-covered excrement cake passed off as The American Dream that is at stake here. We are fighting for so much more than that. The decisions we make, the causes we support, and the stands we take are all for the future of America and the future of the world. We can not allow a mindless face-for-hire to dictate to us what is beneficial or detrimental for us and our families. We must dig deep into our hearts and souls for personal truth, use our own minds to think logically, and use our own voice to speak our will into existence. The time is now to do away with superficial values or distractions. Refuse to prostrate yourself before the false idols set before you on your TV screens by the media, corporations, and government – and cast them down. A revolution is coming. The world as we know it is ending. You have to decide for yourself whether it will be a good change or a bad change – whether it will be a world in which you wish to live.

"Arrival to Earth" by Steve Jablonsky from Transformers: The Score released 2007 on Warner Bros.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

We Cannot Legislate Evil

File Under: Handwriting on the Wall

(If you cannot see the article above, refresh this page or view article on webpage)
You probably will not see this give much if any attention at all in the American Mainstream Media (MSM).  However, you need to bear witness to the simple truth that no matter what laws you pass, it is not the law, but rather it is failed governmental policies and the evil in humankind's hearts that leads to violence.
“When he was dead, they dragged him out into the road and left him there. It was strange, they didn’t run off, they just stood there as if they were waiting for the police. It must’ve taken about 20 minutes for the police to arrive, I think it must’ve been because they were waiting for armed police. [...] Lou Peluola, 53, arrived on the scene shortly after the incident when he saw one attacker standing over a body before the police arrived 20 minutes later. He said: "People were afraid asking: ‘where are the police?’ They took a long time to arrive. [...] I panicked, rang the police and ran away."
This happened not in Iraq, or Afghanistan, or some Sub-Saharan African war zone, but rather this happened in broad daylight, in the middle of one of the world's leading First World nations.  How many people could have put these two sociopaths down while the police took their time arriving?  What if they had targeted civilians?  Well Lou, when your right to defend yourself is violated by your government, that is all you can do - wait 20 minutes while the police find firearms - because, when you criminalize the right to bear arms, only criminals will bear arms.

What will the UK do now: ban cars? Ban kitchen knives? Ban Islam? Give each one of these murderers two consecutive "life" sentences?  Which one of those measures would have prevented this man's untimely, grizzly demise?  None of them.  Not one law could have saved this man because no law would have dissuaded these two monsters from committing this heinous act by any means necessary.  They did not care about having concealable firearms or how many people they could shoot before reloading - hell, they did not even care about escaping justice.  They were intent on venting their hatred and emotionally traumatizing as many people as they could in the process.


All those years ago, when the UK thought they were doing something about the violence in their country all they did was turn their backs on it, close their eyes, stick their fingers in their ears, and pretended it no longer existed.  Ignoring it, did not make it go away.  Evil exists.  It can take root inside anyone one of us; and, no amount of legislation will protects us from ourselves.

"We Didn't Start the Fire (Original)" by Bill Joel from Storm Front released 1989 on Sony

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Moment of Choice

File Under: Conundrums and Other Oddities


If you would take a moment to read the following and respond to the survey, I would greatly appreciate your feedback.  Thank you.


"Circles" by Incubus from Morning View released 2001 on Epic/Immortal

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Great Gotcha?

File Under: Dangerous Thoughts


Here is a sociological experiment that shows what happens when a prepared person with an agenda asks deep philosophical questions to random, uninformed, and sometimes inarticulate people who willingly buy $8 dollar coffees, buy packs of cancer causing dirt weed rolled in paper, don't know what Ruby Ridge refers to, and do not remember who Ted Kaczynski or James Earl Ray were.  Let's watch:


Fascinating.  This obviously proves his point.  Right?  Wrong.

We are talking about two things here: attraction and preference.  I am sure the post-PC scientific community and most lifestyle advocates are going to disagree with this assessment.  However, here we go anyway.  Attraction is a biochemical process which can, to an extent, be influenced by culture and societal norms.  While there are near universal constants which describe how a male or female brain responds to certain external physical and biochemical stimuli, the details of attraction have change throughout time and in different regions due to factors such as evolutionary stress, scientific enlightenment, and social mores.  Attraction is innate, and again near universal, it predates exposure to the object of attraction.

This is where the discussion gets hairy.  Preference is almost exclusively a learned thought or behavior that is predicated upon exposure to an object, culture, or societal norms.  Unless the topic is biochemical aversion (i.e. food allergy), which is not truthfully a preference, humans are not born with preferences without the presence of a physiological abnormality whether it be biochemical or structural in nature.  Preferences require  exposure, experience association, and usually repeated indoctrination.  In other words you have to become aware of something, some event has to create a positive or negative memory in your brain, and usually that association needs to be reinforced some way in order for a person to form a preference.

What does all of that have to do with the above video?  It is very simple.  Is the questioner talking about attraction or preference?  If we are talking about attraction, we are talking about a biochemical process within the physiology of a human.  If my heart valves form differently, my spleen forms differently, or my spine develops differently science says I have a disorder, an illness or disease if you will.  In the same way that if a person's brain forms differently and that abnormality affects biochemical processes then that person is said to be suffering from a neuropsychiatric disorder.  Just like rage, depression, anxiety, paranoia, autism, pedophilia, and psychosis are biochemical processes often influenced by the structure of the brain, so also is attraction.  Validly so, a person cannot choose (in the traditional sense) to have a disease and are in fact often born with it.  As such, individuals with disabling conditions are already protected by laws such as The Americans with Disabilities Act.  However, that would require reversing the notion that homosexuality is in fact not a disease, which I do not think that is going to happen.

On the other hand, if the questioner is asking about preference, we are getting into a completely different animal.  I want everyone to think about exactly how they learned to: talk, read, use the toilet, and develop affection for people other than your mother.  Cannot do it, can you?  That is because all this indoctrination happened at a time which predates your greater consciousness and "random access memory."  But, do not be misled that information is in your brain somewhere.  Just like the demarcation between when you had no concept of differences and benefits of gender and when you began to be indoctrinated to prefer one over the other for certain societal roles.  For most people this is a relatively smooth, trauma-free experience that commences from the moment of birth.  For others this process is marked by dramatic tribulations creating revolutions in thinking, a post-indoctrination re-indoctrination or brainwashing.  However you come to a preference there is a point wherein A) your indoctrination begins, B) your preference solidifies and C) you make a choice.  For the vast majority of people, this entire process usually happens in their individual "prehistory," in the nebulous time before your "first memory."

This difference has two bearings on this video.  First the questioner asked the respondents to comment on a process they could not scientifically observe or remember without significant assistance if it can be remembered at all.  Secondly, and more interestingly, the respondents do not realize that between when as an infant or toddler they first formed preferences and when they encountered the cameraman, society had continually exposed them to other ideas.  Therefore, at some time after the point where all earlier memories are gray and fuzzy (when they first formed a preference) they reaffirmed their preferences.  In plain English: several times in their lives, every last one of them chose to be straight.

"Outside" by George Michael from Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael released 1998 on Epic

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Fanaticism Goes Full-Retard

File Under:  I cannot make this stuff up.


The "true" Klan (Ku Klux Klan) is not racist, doesn't believe in hate, and is against violence.  That wasn't a joke, at least not on my part.  Check out the video:


All-righty.  As the great-grandson of two sets of sharecroppers from the deep south, one of which died as a result of injuries suffered in a house fire set by the Klan, that certainly is shocking news to me.  To the Inter-webs I went a-looking.  Here is an excerpt from the Wikipedia article on The Ku Klux Klan:
"The modern KKK is not one organization; rather it is composed of small independent chapters across the U.S."

Since as early as I can remember, the Klan has always been one unified, national organization all about White Power and the death of anyone who was not White Anglo-Saxon Protestant.


So how did we go from lynching blacks, burning crosses to terrorize people, and filibustering civil rights amendments on Capitol Hill to joining forces with Black gang members to thwart a Klan rally?  Here is Imperial Grand Wizard Bradley Jenkins in his own words from the pages of VICE (click link for full interview):

"VICE: Hi Bradley. What did you mean when you said I'd spoken to a “fake Klan”?Bradley Jenkins: We call these other Klans "pop-up Klans." Our government made it very easy for people to call themselves Klans by splitting all the Klans up. The United Klans of America are the true Klan—we have a history, we have a charter. We're not a hate organization, we're just a fraternal white organization. [...]
And you consider Thomas Robb’s Knights of the KKK to be a pop-up Klan?Oh, I won't even tell you what I think of that man. He used to be a good Klansman, but look at the difference between his website and ours: he's begging for money on every page. Sure, it takes money to operate, but begging for $40 to $50 a month from people who are losing their jobs just isn't right. [...]
So you don’t see the UKA as a hate organization?Putting on public rallies with the robes and the hoods and screaming and hollering doesn't accomplish anything. Let me tell you what I hate: I hate that my country is going down the tubes and that Europe is going down the tubes. I hate that we have people who are totally blind to the Islamization of our world. [...]
The UKA has been linked with some very serious incidents in the past, though?That was a different time and it's something you can't change. But if you look at other Klan organizations, they have scum in their ranks because they don't do background checks. It's all about quantity to them, whereas United Klans of America is concerned with quality. I'm a military veteran and an ex-cop. In fact, child molesters and immigration are two of our biggest issues. The Klan leadership figures out ways to inform communities about those issues without telling them it's coming from the Klan. We don't really want them knowing it's coming from the Klan, actually. The Klan is a means to an end. [...]
If you're not racist, why not start a new organization than become the leader of one with a long history of racism?Because there has to be someone who stands up and establishes what we're about. Myself and the four other Imperial wizards have come to the conclusion that 2013 is the time for that to happen. It will be the year that people realize the Klan is not a huge hate organization."

Well, smack me on my bottom and call me Susan (I don't know why you would do that, but something needed to go right there for transition).  Fascinating.

So as you probably surmised the title of this blog entry, I am not buying this radical change of heart on Klan ideology.  It seems that as tolerance seeps its way into the deepest roots of hate and divisiveness in America, the KKK (real, fake, or otherwise) is finding its numbers, wealth, and relevance dwindling.  Like the Dixiecrats (who were no longer in power or the mode) and the Republicans (who were getting trounced in elections) of old, this new breed of "true" Klan recognized it is time for the old flippity-flop and some good ol' fashioned spin-doctoring.  After decades of White Bashing over active and passive white complicity in hundreds of years of discrimination, suppression, and genocide one of these "educated" Klansman got the idea that White Pride would be a much more appealing draw than the messy business of killing in the name of White Supremacy.  Furthermore, maybe, just maybe if they could successfully remove themselves far enough away from the negative image they created for themselves then they could navigated the Hate Boat back into the waters of the power elite, thus reintroducing their extreme ideology back into national policy.


However, am I wrong?  Is there room for organizations like UKA in America, or the world?  Are they different from groups like: Aryan Nations, IRA, Hamas, Hezbollah, and Al-Qaeda?  Moreover, is there any reaching across the isle of moderation and civility with open arms to formerly militant extremists in the wake of a true enlightenment and reformation?  In essence, is a change of  this magnitude possible and are we as reasoned people obligated to embrace it?  I do not know.  Maybe we are co-dependent on our connections to the past, even the negative ones, and like Albi and the badly-burned Albanian boy, it's just different, very different.  Maybe I am an intellectual dinosaur and DaJuan Horton and Bradley Jenkins are the what the new face of America will be: an inconceivable coalition of diverse people with hard to categorize and label beliefs.  Mayhaps, we will come to judge this new Klan by the same criteria we judged the old -- by its words and deeds.

"Don't Let the Man Get You Down" by Fatboy Slim from Palookaville released 2004 on Astralwerks