Author: <span class="vcard">acshurte</span>

New Essay- “Resurrect Constitutional Law”

There’s another new essay posted under the political heading: Resurrect Constitutional Law. It’s, like the old Anarchy in the USA essay, about the current revolutionary climate and things falling apart in general. You can look at both via the links, or the essays page.


Hospitalization

So something happened and I found myself in a hospital in North Carolina for about eleven days, two in an ER bed, nine in a behavioral health ward.

I am back now, and plan on diving back into regular writing once again. Hopefully new work will start to show up tomorrow.


Corruption

I guess we’re like a year into Trump’s presidency and people are still attacking his character like we didn’t all know he was a narcissistic asshole probably forty years ago or something. Which is fine, but believe it or not, political cartoonists were lampooning him and his ah, shall we say, more corrupt characteristics and habits, about ten years before I was born, probably; failing that, at least as long as I’ve been alive. So none of this is revelatory, despite the army of reporters who can’t stop jawing off about him like they’re the first people on earth to come up with their insights; I grew up reading some of those cartoons, and hated the man well before I properly knew who he was, let alone before he was a reality TV craze. Looks like that hatred was well founded even if I wasn’t an adult at the time with more developed adult critical thinking capacities.

It also looks like America in general lacks developed adult critical thinking capacities, because he’s our President. He ran on an anti-corruption platform, and won, in large part because our society is kinda corrupt across the board and rotten. The irony here is that he’s an avatar of American corruption in the flesh. I don’t buy the “fake news” argument; anyone watching TV news is not going to be informed, regardless of whether you pick MSNBC or Fox or CNN; TV news is corporate owned (and likewise, modified as per the demands of money), in addition to being a really bad medium for conveying an accurate worldview (You’ve got one hour to explain everything that happened in the world today without fudging any details or creating any misconceptions in the public. Best of luck.) to the democratic/still pretending to be democratic population of the globe. Blaming Russian whatever on whatever your favorite social media outlet (By the way, is social media a great way to stay informed?) is really just an obnoxious way of side-stepping the obvious: the Democrats ran Hillary Clinton when they could’ve run Bernie Sanders. She’s widely hated, for good reason. Big surprise that Trump was able to (barely) weasel his way into office with that lineup. The aforementioned side-stepping- a dramatic example of avoiding responsibility for something that’s, say, your own fault- is, by the way, ethically unsound (corrupt) thinking. Get used to the fact that this isn’t going to resolve itself overnight, or if the Democrats win every election coming up in the next few years; we’ve got deep systemic problems to unravel here. Our current “choice” in leadership isn’t the issue; there is no leadership to choose from, and the people in office aren’t leading, they’re doing things for their handlers- you know, the people we all have to casually admit bought them by funding their elections.

The sad truth is if people are ignorant, they need to hit the books, not the television and the newsstands. Don’t run around trying to fix tabloids and yellow journalism when education is completely and utterly broken. You learn the way the world is and works by reading up on it, and reading fairly academic stuff at that, and then you stay up to date with the news when the media aren’t playing with yellow journalist tactics to increase revenues. You probably don’t have time for that if you’re working three minimum wage jobs to barely make rent and feed the kids all while praying to every God and Goddess that ever was that your car won’t break down, because that’d make you homeless. But, again, we go back to the miracle of capitalism and how it certainly doesn’t breed corruption, or situations where plenty of people have to work three jobs to break even and plenty of other people can’t even find work and the folks on top of the pyramid mysteriously continue to get richer and richer til they’re like Gods themselves. I can’t wait til I can buy little brass statues of Elon Musk.

I hate to break this to you, but just as everyone who voted for Trump was a shill or a racist or a theocrat or worse, we really do have a fundamentally corrupted society, and until we find some way to fix the system, things are only going to get worse. Everything is for sale right now- not just products on the market, but every political office and increasingly every desperate slob on Earth who’s looking for honest employment (It doesn’t exist anymore, by the way). Expect plenty of bad things to come along as a result.

If I had to I’d loosely define corruption (here’s a dictionary definition or two, if you’re curious) as setting any and all ethics aside in the name of doing what you want instead, usually for reasons of unmitigated greed or other unsavory things; that’s the real unspoken issue of our day. We haven’t got ethics anymore, besides effectively feudal loyalty to corporate and wealthy overlords. Do we want to change that for a retreat into democracy and human rights, or do we want to see a rehash of feudalism with terrifying computer and weapons technology in the hands of the powerful?

Because it’s definitely looking like we’re all going to be serfs again before long. Expect the neofeudal paradise to manifest literally if we refuse to address radical issues in favor of things like sports team tribalism in politics.


On Leaving the Left

This isn’t much of a post, but it’s basically here for anyone who wants a good and short synopsis of my political views. Let’s get down to it.

I don’t know about you, but after a lifetime of radical left to left-liberal views, I can’t in good conscience call myself a member of the political left in the USA anymore. It’s gone insane. I suspect something like COINTELPRO poisoned our collective minds, but as it goes with such things, there is no proof of that whatsoever anywhere; you wouldn’t be able to find it without running a Snowden style assault on the security state anyway, assuming it’s there, so it’s not worth worrying about. What we were before the Obama years died and got replaced with something monstrously authoritarian, lockstep, and eerily devoid of critical thinking capacities.

I really don’t know what happened, or how it happened, but it happened fast. Liberals (and everyone left of them) got demonized fast by this new iteration of the old Progressive movement. It’s like a political religion now. I’m not one of them, and frankly, I hate the movement. It’s okay with neoliberalism and genocidal foreign policy (like the War on Terror), not to mention the anti-Russian Red Scare 2.0 (let’s have a war!), while not giving a shit about blanket surveillance, and all those things are pretty much unforgivable actions and policies that need to be ended immediately to me. Until we’re rid of them we really shouldn’t be working on much else in my opinion. I have no idea how it’s progress to keep waging a global eternal war, to kick off a new cold war, and to pursue laissez-faire capitalism til we’re all feudal serfs again, all while dutifully recording everyone’s pornography viewing habits, but apparently we have Uber and computer cell phones so it’s all good. A movement that’s okay with those things doesn’t have the brains or ethics to take on someone like Donald Trump, and it shows; he’s in office (the Presidency, no less) despite non-stop scandal.

If you want to know what my views are, they are strictly party independent, and about 95% of them line up with the Green Party and Jill Stein’s views; I’m not a total pacifist, and I don’t think gun control is an important issue- any way the policy goes there is fine with me. So I wouldn’t call myself anti-war dogmatically, but at the same time- hey, I’m way more opposed to our current adventures and attempted adventures than your average holier-than-thou Progressive is. I’m a little green, a little libertarian, a little socialist, and if that’s too many contradictions for you to handle and your head’s about to pop off your shoulders as a result that’s too bad.


New Essay, A Brief Declaration of Faith, Posted

You can read it right here. If you’re one of those fine upstanding types it’s addressed to, I suggest you read it several times, and let it all sink in.


New Essay

Finally an update: I just wrote an essay under Spirituality entitled The Wrong Religion. Go check it out.

In addition to that I’m still working through my old notes for new material, as well as a slew of new notes and insights, etc. For now, it’s going to be essays; I’m shelving the article writing, book-writing, journalistic stuff, etc., til I’m feeling a lot better (been in a mental health slump for a few months now). But I’ll be posting periodically, and hopefully a little more regularly in time.

Expect blog posts to resume (newslinks and brief commentary, etc.) as well.


Gun Madness

Here’s another fun link to something macabre: the gun casualties from 2013 onwards in mass shootings (casualties meaning, injuries and deaths, and the deaths in the inforgraphic are red, the injuries, yellow). That does not cover standard murder type incidents, by the way.

Most of this doesn’t get reported stateside. Last night, due to the high death toll, we got reports on another school shooting, but most of this stuff just doesn’t make national coverage. This is the second time I’ve looked at gun violence statistics and decided stronger gun control needs to be a thing (and I’m for gun ownership rights- to an extent). I don’t see how you can look at that and be okay with assault rifles, machine guns, etc., in the hands of the civilian population. You might not have noticed but the government’s fairly tyrannical and nobody’s overthrowing it anywhere.

Again, I say this as someone who doesn’t mind semi-automatic pistols, rifles, and shotguns, if regulated, for a number of reasons. I am a person who, thanks to a mental health diagnosis and sane gun control, is not allowed to handle firearms, and who would simultaneously like to own at least a pistol for self-defense. I think those laws and regulations are sane, however, even if I don’t get to do whatever I want (own and operate firearms of any sort). However, regarding the wider population, what we have instead is insanity. You can pick up military firearms pretty easily if you’ve got a clean- or even, clean enough- record, and as the Vegas shooting proved, cause widespread devastation.

I like the second amendment in principle but I think it’s time for it to be heavily altered or outright removed. There’s no such thing as a “well-regulated militia” going on, and violent uprisings against the current state are a ludicrous idea (as in, it’s impossible)- not to mention a horrible idea (as in, think loose nukes if successful). So the right-wing argument for that stuff is bunk. On the other hand I’ve never been frightened by anyone open-carrying a pistol or knife around in public, because I know about weapons and I’m comfortable around them. To me, all that says is “don’t fuck with me, I will fight back.” The reality is people, when not using criminally, use firearms largely for self-defense and for sporting/hunting purposes, and those are sane uses of them- uses which do not in any way require automatic firing capacities.

On the other hand, as I’ve mentioned, when using criminally, if military arms are widely available, anyone can take out dozens of people before being stopped for no reason whatsoever. And we haven’t touched violent crime in general, just mass casualty incidents here.

I totally expect this to continue to be swept under the rug. I don’t see how you can look at the statistics and not be for some form of gun control.


The Dirt on AA

What I’m linking to below is a report on Alcoholic’s Anonymous, something like one of the pillars of the Dominionist movement- 12-step recover programs.

The reality is it treats a small fraction of attendees successfully, and that it has the potential to harm the majority of the remaining attendees.

I’d know; I went for a few weeks. I was utterly destroyed by the end. I went from being very badly off to being totally traumatized. Oddly enough I don’t have a drinking problem these days, no thanks to them.

Anyway here’s the dirt on AA, in an old NPR report.

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I’ve got two thoughts on this.

One is that the entire “recovery” industry is broken, just as AA is. The other is that it ties into Dominionism; AA is more about converting you to Christianity, prohibitionist style, than it is about making anyone actually get better. It’s a scam, and merely Christian brainwashing dressed up as a medical effort to cure/reform substance users. That doesn’t show up in the article, but a cursory examination of the 12 Steps and high school level critical thinking will show you otherwise.

More on the above later.