March 26, 2012

Martin, Zimmerman, Gun Control, and the Popular Imagination


I have now read dozens upon dozens of news reports from every English-language news source on the globe. They're kind of hard to miss, actually. Everybody who is anybody in the world of journalism and opinion has come out with an article or op-ed about the recent death in Florida of seventeen year-old Trayvon Martin. According to the vast majority of these "reports" and "opinions", George Zimmerman is a violent, gun-toting vigilante who prowls the streets of his Sanford, Florida suburb hunting suspicious black children and targeting them for assassination. Unfortunately, their entire case rests on one very flawed and completely unsupported assumption: George Zimmerman confronted Trayvon Martin and shot him down in cold blood as a result of his own racist paranoia.

We really know very few genuine facts. We know Trayvon Martin is dead from a gunshot to the chest. We know George Zimmerman fired that shot from a 9 mm handgun he was licensed to carry concealed. We know Trayvon Martin was on his way back to his father's fiancee's house after buying a bag of Skittles and some kind of canned drink. We know George Zimmerman was on Neighborhood Watch that night and was patrolling the streets in his pickup truck as a way of fulfilling that duty. We know George Zimmerman was on the phone with the 911 dispatcher and Trayvon Martin was on the phone with his girlfriend. We know that as a result of the onsite investigation George Zimmerman was not arrested and the police ruled it a self-defense shooting.

And that's it. Those are the only real facts in this case that have been widely reported. There is one additional fact, but for some reason it has received a lot less coverage. We also know there is a witness who prefers to remain anonymous who saw Trayvon Martin on top of George Zimmerman beating him furiously.

Well, I'm sick and tired of educated, respected, well-paid professionals spouting the confrontation assumption as a fact. It is not a fact. It is pure imagination. It is a convenient fiction they are using to put forward an agenda that would disarm every law-abiding citizen in our nation. It is a bald-faced lie!

However, as long as everyone else is fictionalizing the events of that night, I might as well give it a shot in the dark. Unlike the professionals, I'm going to tell you up front that this narrative is pure imagination. I'm making it up based on the available facts, my degree in comparative culture, and my own life experiences. Here's what I think happened:

Trayvon Martin reluctantly accompanied his father on a visit to his fiancee. His father coerced him into it because he wanted Trayvon and his future mother to have some quality time together. Once they arrived, the fiancee was far more interested in spending quality time with Trayvon's father than with Trayvon, so Trayvon pulled on his favorite hoodie and headed out into the night to relieve his boredom. His first stop was a nearby convenience store where he purchased his bag of Skittles and canned drink. In no hurry at all, he began slowly making his way back to the fiancee's house, stopping occasionally to study this new neighborhood more closely.

George Zimmerman was on Neighborhood Watch, so he took his truck out and began driving around the neighborhood. He spotted a bored-looking black adolescent in a hoodie carrying something shiny and immediately assumed it was either a gun or a knife. That was definitely suspicious. He dialed 911 and began slowly following the kid down the street.

Trayvon Martin noticed the pickup truck with the chubby middle-aged white guy following him and immediately became suspicious. Middle-aged neo-Nazis with time on their hands and nothing better to do are overly fond of beating up solitary blacks in some parts of our otherwise fine country. Trayvon picked up his pace and began looking for some way he could cut across the yards of the houses and ditch the truck following him.

George Zimmerman noticed the increased pace and assumed rightly that this kid was looking for some way to lose him, which in George's mind made the kid appear even more suspicious. Now George Zimmerman is starting to shift from being merely suspicious to feeling a bit fearful. The kid is much younger than he is, athletic, and possibly armed. When the kid vanished between two houses, he stopped his truck and got out to investigate more closely.

Trayvon Martin knows the chubby guy isn't about to start jumping fences to chase him down. His adrenaline is running high now, because he noticed the truck stop and the guy get out. Along with the adrenaline rush, his youthful testosterone starts to override his common sense and he begins to question why he should have to run and hide when he wasn't doing anything wrong. So he circles back to confront the middle-aged white guy and finds him headed back to his truck. Now Trayvon is furious. Not only is the white guy stalking him, he's gone back to his truck to summon his friends. So Trayvon ambushes the old guy, knocks him to the ground, jumps on top of him, and starts pounding on him.

George has just headed back to his truck after losing sight of the strange kid wandering through the neighborhood. He's planning to redial 911 and let them know he lost sight of the kid, where he lost sight of the kid, and what direction he last saw the kid heading. That shiny whatever in the kid's hand still worries him. He's afraid, and he knows he's afraid. Suddenly the kid jumps him from behind and knocks him to the ground. Before George can react, the kid is on top of him and pounding on his face. He screams for help but nobody seems to be listening. He pulls out his gun and shoots the kid through the chest.

The 911 dispatcher receives a flurry of calls about shots fired in a normally quiet, middle-class neighborhood. She sends out a call and every car within a few miles hits lights and siren and rolls to the scene. They find a shaken, armed George Zimmerman standing over the body of a teenage black in a hoodie. As they get closer, they see the kid is a boy. Guns drawn, they order George Zimmerman to put down his 9 mm. As soon as he does, they swoop in and start demanding answers.

The next day the local press publishes the story. The day after that CNN picks up, AP picks it up, and Reuters picks it up. Forty-eight hours later the whole world knows that a crazy American redneck has shot a black kid in cold blood, or at least that's what the journalists are reporting. It takes another forty-eight hours for the world to learn that George Zimmerman is hispanic, not white, but nobody pays attention to that because it doesn't fit the far more delicious narrative they've already been circulating for the past three days. Then a British paper publishes a story about an anonymous witness who claims to have seen the black kid on top of the white guy beating him up. That violates their narrative even more, so they ignore it completely and starting hitting the mailing lists behind the scenes asking the British paper to pull the story. The British paper refuses, but it doesn't matter because now the op-ed writers have worked themselves into a fever pitch, kids are wearing hoodies to church, the OWS folks are tearing down barricades on Wall Street, and the NAACP is sponsoring marches in every major city.

Sources:

CNN: Calls for Justice Rage a Month after Trayvon Martin's Killing
Mail Online: Anonymous Witness Claims Martin Attacked Zimmerman
Orlando Sentinel: Zimmerman Says Trayvon Martin Decked Him with One Blow

Noteworthy Op-ed pieces:

CNN: Fight for Justice in Martin Case is Fight to Remove Stereotypes
Reuters: Modern America's Wild West Gun Laws
American Spectator: The Politics of Tragedy
MSNBC: "Gunshine State": Shoot First Survivor Tells His Story
Miami Herald: Self-Defense Law Could Hamper Prosecution





March 23, 2012

Crystal Clear Media Bias


By now, everyone in the nation with an internet connection or cable television knows that George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin after acosting him during a Neighborhood Watch patrol. The reaction has been predictable and boring. A vast majority of news reports, and as a result a vast majority of viewers, assume that George Zimmerman's choice to shoot a teenage black youth wandering in an upscale Florida neighborhood is a clear sign of latent racism.

And yet, a week before Trayvon Martin was shot, a white youth in Kansas City was chased down by two older black teenagers, doused in gasoline, and set on fire. Clearly, this was a race-based hate crime. Additionally, being doused in gasoline and set aflame is a tortuous way to attempt to kill someone, a method designed to arouse in the attacker a pure sadistic glee at watching another human being suffer.

So why the difference? Why does no one know the name of the white youth attacked in Kansas City while the entire world mourns for Trayvon Martin? Do not misunderstand me. Trayvon Martin's death is a terrible tragedy that could have been prevented with common sense and better training. The sadistic attack on that thirteen year-old in Kansas City is not made more or less tragic because the boy happened to be white. It just disgusts me that we can have a clear case of racially motivated brutality that receives almost zero media coverage simply because the victim was white and no one used a gun.

You see, that is the real goal of the media. The real goal here is not to report a horrible tragedy. The real goal is convince everyone who reads the story or watches the news reports that white men with guns are all dangerous racists who need to be regulated out of existence. White men with guns are consistently demonized in the news. If a black gangster or a Mexican cartel foot soldier kills someone with a gun, the media uses that story to demand white men be prevented from buying more guns because "obviously" white men with guns are a dangerous breed.

This is completely and totally insane. It strikes me that the real racists are the journalists and editors. For some reason they hate white men with guns simply for being who they are. How is it that with this much hatred being poured on white men with guns the political elite and even the journalists themselves continue to complain about "latent" prejudice against blacks and hispanics?

I must be the crazy one, because it seems to me that our political, academic, and journalistic elites are all dangerously deluded about life in America. And you know what they say, "If everyone around you appears to be insane, they aren't the problem!"

Fox News: Arrest Demand Grows in Florida Teen Trayvon Martin's Shooting Death
LA Times: Trayvon Martin Case Grows as National Issue, Pres. Obama Weighs in
Huffington Post: Why George Zimmerman Must be Arrested and Tried for the Murder of Trayvon Martin
NY Daily News: Teenagers Poured Gasoline on Boy Walking Home from School and Set Him on Fire

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Addendum, March 24, 2012

It turns out that in the same week the boy in Georgia was set aflame by black teens, another even more horrifying black on white crime was committed in Knoxville, TN. It's not white people that are struggling with racism these days. Far too many black and hispanic youth seem to feel that just because they are not white they should be allowed to advance materially and socially without bothering to learn a skill or to behave in the barest minimum of a civilized manner. This culture of entitlement, driven into them by decades of media bias and Marxist academics, is inspiring them to acts of violence their parents and grandparents would never have considered, not even for a moment.

I'm not saying everyone needs to be the same. Absolutely not. Our great diversity and individualism is the foundation of our national strength and individual success. But this growing move toward violence to resolve a perceived slight has got to stop. There is no place for it in the modern world. The only end result it can achieve is to return our entire globe back to an age of tyranny and oppression the likes of which these youth cannot even begin to imagine. The sad truth is, if they succeed in bringing back the tyrants, these violent youth with their delusional sense of self-aggrandizement will be the first ones executed in the public square.





March 16, 2012

Book Review: Reality is Broken




Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World contains a wealth of good ideas for improving how the real world functions. Unfortunately, like any utopian treatise, none of them will work. For in the end, behind all the self-adulation, pep-talk language, and feel-good persuasions, this book is little more than yet another utopian daydream about how the writer believes the world really ought to work. After all, if it worked according to her vision everyone would be so very much happier, especially her.

Dr. McGonigal has collected public and private grants throughout her career and used this "free" money to develop and deploy a series of "alternate reality games". Two of the more successful ones were "The Lost Ring" and "EVOKE". However, even here "success" is measured in the thousands of global participants, not tens of thousands, and certainly not the millions that she hoped for. A game designed to motivate people to participate in and evangelize what in the end is yet another version of Marx's worker's paradise just does not provide the kind of intrinsic rewards that a player derives from Halo 4 or World of Warcraft (or even my personal favorite, City of Heroes!). This is because the fatal flaw in Dr. McGonigal's theory is the recognition that games carry zero real-world risk while "alternate reality games" involve meeting real people, treating them with real respect, tolerating their bad moods, and cooperating with them in achieving a goal designed to improve someone else's life and not your own. Sadly, the vast majority of hardcore gamers do not subscribe to any form of alturism. They are generous with their guildmates and no one else.

Most of this book is very evangelical. It preaches the "need" to provide "meaningful" rewards in the workplace. It assumes that everyone (or at least, almost everyone) hates the work they derive their living from. While it is true that many people hate their jobs, it is equally true that many people love their jobs. The core aspect of job satisfaction does not come from anything any employer can provide. It comes from the individual's own ability to see the value of their job and to gain satisfaction from the contribution they are making toward a larger enterprise, irrespective of their salary. This internal mechanism is always "on" for some of us and never "on" for others. Making work more "meaningful" in the ways she defines might help a few people, but unless the individual is predisposed to perceive the value in their work it will only generate more cynicism and bitter feelings.

Many companies around the world have expended great effort and expense looking for ways to make employment more meaningful. Outdoor Products, National Panasonic, Honda Motor Company, Goldman Sachs, Starbucks, and even McDonald's are just a few of the tens of thousands of global employers who have entire departments dedicated to finding ways to increase the level of employee satisfaction and morale. These companies are already using MMORPG-style reward systems to motivate their employees, or as Dr. McGonigal might say, "to create meaning" in their workforce. But Dr. McGonigal does not provide a single example of a real-world company using game techniques to enhance the work environment. Not even McDonald's, who she worked closely with while developing "The Lost Ring".

In a very real sense, "The Lost Ring" is as much a product of the fertile minds in McDonald's marketing department as it is a product of her own ingenuity. Yet, like most modern academics, she ignores the contribution made by McDonald's staff and talks about "The Lost Ring" as if it were entirely her own idea, implemented on her own initiative, and deployed with her own money rather than a collaboration between she and McDonald's well-funded, well-organized, and highly creative international marketing team. Her book gives the very clear impression (and a false impression it is!) that McDonald's is a faceless, heartless global corporation that needed her sunny disposition and brilliant gaming mind to find a way to reach their customers. She lies about the "The Lost Ring" in order to inflate her own reputation and reinforce a Marxist view of corporations as evil.

Throughout the book she repeats the mantra that by 2023 she expects the Nobel Prize Committee to award their prize to a "hardcore gamer". Her entire book is, in far too many ways, nothing more than a sales pitch to the Committee to convince them that she alone is deserving of that prize.






March 15, 2012

The pace of change is accelerating




Okay, so here is my reality. I am in Tokyo visiting my family. I will be here until March 20th, arriving back in Ohio on March 21st. However, there is a caveat. Over the past week Tokyo has experienced earthquakes almost every single day. These earthquakes are increasing in frequency and intensity. A year ago the northeast jumped eight meters, causing a devastating tsunami that reached California and parts of South America. Physics being what it is, that sudden leap put huge tension on the southern half of the Japanese archipelago. Tokyo is the hinge point. In the past, whenever the northeast has experienced an earthquake and tsunami, sometime within the next twenty-four months Tokyo has suffered a devastating earthquake as well. In the really bad times, Mount Fuji erupted within twenty-four months of the earthquake in what is now Tokyo.

Everything in our world is linked together. Move one link, everything else must eventually shift as well. The most recent shifts began with the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991. The Kobe quake in 1995 carried it another step forward. This shifting continued with the Indian Ocean earthquakes and tsunamis in 2004 and 2006, reaching a new peak with last year's earthquake and tsunami in northeast Japan. Tokyo is next in line. There is no avoiding it. There is no pretending otherwise. The sequence will end with Krakatoa, probably next year or the year after; certainly sometime within the next decade at the absolute latest.

There are people hovering in the shadows waiting for all of this to unfold. As this year continues, you will see greater and louder cries for a global government. I am assuming that 2012 will be the year the collectivists make their final play at unifying the world under a single monarch. It does not matter what title they give him (or her!), he will be a monarch in the traditional sense. Some kind of divine status will be attached to him and everyone will be expected to "serve the greater whole". His elevation to divine status will come on the heels of an assassination attempt that at first appears successful.

You will face a choice sometime in the next twelve months. Your ability to live a "normal" life will depend on what choice you make. Once the political infrastructure is in place, you will be asked to become a loyal servant of the chosen master. You will be asked to enslave yourself to the elite's new world order. Once that choice is made there will be no going back. You must be absolutely certain you choose the side you are willing to die for because depending on how everything unfolds, you might be one of the unlucky few who face the necessity of sacrificing their life in support of the side you've chosen.

The time is here and now. This is the year you will be forced to choose.

I hope I'm wrong. I really do.


March 14, 2012

Imagination vs. Reality




It strikes me that one of the great problems facing the modern world is the inability of many people to distinguish between reality and fantasy. I am in the midst of reading a book that proposes ways to make reality more like an online game. Unfortunately, that's impossible. Any game, and especially a computer game, represents a static, unchanging environment with precise rules written into its operation. If you play City of Heroes, for example, it does not matter how unskilled you are, how overweight you are, or how clumsy you are, for the time that you are playing your ingame persona is heroic, villainous, or something in between. Anyone who sees you sees the computer generated image you assemble from pieces created by professional artists. You couldn't make your City of Heroes avatar look like you even if you tried. You could make it look similar, but it would never be more than a beautiful and imaginary representation of your reality.

Online games are not reality and reality will never function like an online game. Efforts to combine the two are doomed to fail because the game is controlled and reality is uncontrolled. Nothing can change that.

Here's another example. A couple of videos. This first one is one I found on YouTube. This is how most people believe Japan to be, including most Japanese people who live here!



This video is one I took myself. I was at Koenji Station last fall waiting for my wife to come home from work. She appears right at the end, by the way. Sadly, she very nearly walked right by me without noticing me standing there hiding behind my camera.



Fantasy versus reality. I'm sorry, but they are two separate things and they will always be two separate things. This is why utopianism is always delusional. Utopian thinkers honestly believe that the world they imagine inside their minds is possible to realize in the world around them if only they can convince the rest of us how wonderful it would be. When utopian thinkers become politicians, or convince politicians to help them, the rest of us inevitably suffer. Any effort made to create a utopia here on Earth can only bring about some version of dystopia because in order to realize your utopian vision you must force me to conform to your vision of an imagined ideal citizen and the only way to do that is through violent oppression.

Many people believe we can realize heaven on earth. They are delusional. Life has beautiful moments, but life itself is not pretty and that's just the way it is.


March 02, 2012

Collectivism, Conservatism, Sanity, and Dissent




I am appalled and horrified at how narrow-minded the western world has become. Even worse, the most "progressive" among us are in reality the most narrow-minded and deeply prejudiced of us all. Progressivism has become so deeply entrenched in their worldviews that they cannot even perceive that they themselves are using a corrupt, poisonous filter to interpret the world around them. Please take twenty minutes or so and read these two articles:

CNN: How partisan politics drove Olympia Snowe Away
Mad in America: Why Anti-Authoritarians are Diagnosed as Mentally Ill

Please, if you have not done so, click on those links and read those articles. It is very important to understand exactly the message I am trying to communicate and if you haven't read them you won't understand anything beyond the merest surface impression of my words.

First, the CNN article.

The core message I pulled from that piece, the message I am reading in John Avlon's words, is that Sen. Olympia Snowe is a centrist politician, open to debate, reasonable, mature, and always balanced in her decisions. As far as I can tell, that is the message he wants me to hear. Unfortunately, that message is a complete falsehood. Senator Olympia Snowe is a deeply prejudiced woman who hates conservatism, seeks to use her position to bring about a utopian society, and considers anyone who disagrees with her to be insane. This is vitally important to realize. Sen. Snowe considers her opposition to be insane. She doesn't consider them to be her equals. She doesn't consider them to have a different worldview. She does not consider them to be capable of rational thinking because if they were, they would understand that her views on every issue are the only correct views. She believes that her personal opinion reflects sanity, rationality, intelligence, and reason. Therefore, by definition, if you disagree with her you are insane, irrational, and unreasonable.

This is why she is leaving the Senate. She no longer considers Republican senators to be sane representatives of a sane populace. The very fact that neither those senators nor their constituents can see the inherent and essential rightness of her opinions has made it impossible for her to continue fixing the problems of her constituents. It never, ever crosses her mind, not even slightly, that she might be wrong. The very possiblity that her opposition might have a valid position is unthinkable for her, therefore, any form of compromise that is reached must involve the wholesale adoption of her platform for solving the needs of her constituents. The simple fact that people oppose her forces her to conclude that her opposition is creating a partisan climate based on party lines and John Avlon agrees with her, thus he wrote this op-ed and CNN gladly published it.

So, what evidence might I have to demonstrate that both John Avlon and Olympia Snowe are, in reality, the problem and not the rational parties in this "debate"? Well, John Avlon's own words clearly demonstrate his inability to see the world outside narrow party affliation:
"Republicans might soon learn to regret the departure of centrists like Olympia Snowe for purely practical reasons: Their attempts to take back control of the U.S. Senate in the 2012 election just got a lot tougher. Snowe was hugely popular in her home state despite some tea party grousing. It is, after all, one of the states where registered independents outnumber Democrats or Republicans. But now her seat is likely to be won by a Democrat, leaving Republicans fighting to pick up another."

In other words, the Republicans are not being good Republicans unless they vote in agreement with rational Republicans like Sen. Snowe who believe in big government, endless deficits, collective action, and destruction of the American meritocracy in order to support a Democratic agenda based on "fairness", which in practical terms able to be realized in the real world actually means, "favoritism toward homosexuals, women, and minorities irrespective of individual competence, legal citizenship, or demonstratable ability to perform a given job".

Now, don't misunderstand me. Nepotism and despotism are destroying the American meritocracy as well. Far too often internal promotions in major corporations, in government, and even in small businesses are strictly based on family lineage, shared hobbies, and shared prejudices. We, you and I, have a very dangerous tendency to use positions of authority to damage people we disagree with and to stop the careers of people who either have a different lifestyle than we do or who don't spend "quality time" joining us for our favorite hobby. This is a very real problem. It happens every day. The problem is both John Avlon and Olympia Snowe are doing exactly the same thing, only instead of helping along the people they claim to support they are forcing you and I to do it for them. The real problem with American politics, and even with American society as a whole, is we have reached a point where competing oligarchies are trying to prove they aren't oligarchies by forcing anyone who is not part and parcel of their inner circle to change the way they conduct their daily life by passing laws specifically targeted at their competition.

This is why Sen. Snowe votes in favor of GE, Monsanto, and GM while consistently voting against opposing bills intended to advance Sony, Merck, and Honda. The "partisanship" that is happening is not the result of Democrats vs. Republicans or even Liberals vs. Conservatives. The real source of partisanship in Washington D.C. is opposing lobbyists representing competing global corporate interests while real laws that could make life better for real people never leave the hundreds of small committees that write bills and present them for voting by the larger Senate and House of Representatives.

The first crack to appear in this monolith came with the 2010 elections that saw dozens of new Congressional Representatives and Senators backed not by the traditional party apparatus but by a grassroots initiative that calls itself the "Tea Party". These freshmen Senators and Representatives stand in bold, uncompromising opposition to the traditional way of doing business and have either stalled or destroyed numerous bills that career politicians like Sen. Snowe favored because those bills would have helped the oligarchies that got her elected and kept her in the Senate for eighteen years. This is also why the House of Representatives has passed over 300 bills since these freshman Representatives took over, including two different Federal budgets, while the only thing to make it through the Senate has been West Point appointments and new names for Boy Scout camps.

And that brings us to the second article.

The second article is written by a psychologist (Dr. Bruce Levine). It proposes that American mental health professionals have begun to habitually diagnose as mentally ill many young people who are, in fact, sane. The only problem these young people have is they oppose the authority of their teachers, parents, and part-time employers because they consider those in authority to be "illegitimate authorities". In short, those in authority over these young people don't deserve to be in authority over them. In point of fact, the writer is none too fond of those who have from time to time been in authority over him. He points this out here,
"In graduate school, I discovered that all it took to be labeled as having "issues with authority" was to not kiss up to a director of clinical training whose personality was a combination of Donald Trump, Newt Gingrich, and Howard Cosell. When I was told by some faculty that I had "issues with authority," I had mixed feelings about being so labeled. On the one hand, I found it quite amusing, because among the working-class kids whom I had grown up with, I was considered relatively compliant with authorities. After all, I had done my homework, studied, and received good grades. However, while my new "issues with authority" label made me grin because I was now being seen as a "bad boy," it also very much concerned me about just what kind of a profession that I had entered. Specifically, if somebody such as myself was being labeled with "issues with authority," what were they calling the kids I grew up with who paid attention to many things that they cared about but didn’t care enough about school to comply there? Well, the answer soon became clear."

A caveat, I'm one of those "good boys" who adults respected. I was not a rebel. Except in one point, I became a born again Christian when I was sixteen and ever since have annoyed people with endless sermons and opinions that more often than not, ran counter to what they themselves regarded as "true". I was a good boy, but also a rebel, which made it very hard sometimes for those in authority to know what to do with me. They liked my compliance and hated my non-conformity.

The opening paragraphs of Dr. Levine's article fascinated me. I was cheering him on wholeheartedly until he brought up Saul Alinsky. Books like "Rules for Radicals" and those who enjoy it have been a thorn in my side ever since I became a Christian. I have zero respect for Saul Alinsky. Personally, I consider him a great fraud and a hypocrite because he spent his life making millions off of the capitalist system that sheltered and nurtured him while pretending to oppose it. His followers tend to fall into two groups, the conformists who deny conforming (like the good Dr. Levine himself) and the social dropouts who live parasitic lives enabled by the very things they claim to hate: hard-working, tax-paying captialists.

Seriously, people. If you don't like capitalism then why are you living in America? If "being one with nature" is so vitally important to you why not fly down to Brazil, Argentina, Pakistan, or some other country that has a strong tribal culture still living the same way they did five hundred years ago and join one of those tribes? I live in Ohio. Every single day Amish people in their horse and buggy ride past my house headed for the local feed supply. I love and respect the Amish for all I'm worth. They are completely consistent in what they believe and how they live. Their way of life deserves to be respected and allowed to flourish. However, I do not believe that everyone should live the same way. If I did, then by God I would sell everything I own, walk down the road to that Amish farm and sign on as a hired hand.

After the paragraph devoted to Saul Alinksy Dr. Levine's article deteriorated rapidly.

...one of mainstream mental health's leading authorities on ADHD, says that those afflicted with ADHD have deficits in what he calls "rule-governed behavior," as they are less responsive to rules of established authorities and less sensitive to positive or negative consequences. ODD young people, according to mainstream mental health authorities, also have these so-called deficits in rule-governed behavior,...
Albert Einstein, as a youth, would have likely received an ADHD diagnosis, and maybe an ODD one as well. Albert didn't pay attention to his teachers, failed his college entrance examinations twice, and had difficulty holding jobs. However, Einstein biographer Ronald Clark (Einstein: The Life and Times) asserts that Albert's problems did not stem from attention deficits but rather from his hatred of authoritarian, Prussian discipline in his schools. Einstein said, "The teachers in the elementary school appeared to me like sergeants and in the Gymnasium the teachers were like lieutenants."
Many people with severe anxiety and/or depression are also anti-authoritarians. Often a major pain of their lives that fuels their anxiety and/or depression is fear that their contempt for illegitimate authorities will cause them to be financially and socially marginalized; but they fear that compliance with such illegitimate authorities will cause them existential death.
...many anti-authoritarians in highly stressful environments will occasionally take prescribed benzodiazepines such as Xanax even though they believe it would be safer to occasionally use marijuana but can't because of drug testing on their job.
In an earlier dark age, authoritarian monarchies partnered with authoritarian religious institutions. When the world exited from this dark age and entered the Enlightenment, there was a burst of energy. Much of this revitalization had to do with risking skepticism about authoritarian and corrupt institutions and regaining confidence in one's own mind. We are now in another dark age, only the institutions have changed. Americans desperately need anti-authoritarians to question, challenge, and resist new illegitimate authorities and regain confidence in their own common sense.

It turns out that in Dr. Levine's mind, collectivist thinking and Marxism are the only forms of "sane" rebellion. Anyone who opposes this "sane" rebellion is left undefined, the assumption being they are obviously part of the "illegitimate authority" that his "anti-authoritarians" so rightly oppose. Conservatism, the "tea party", and even Christianity are the unspoken enemy of these sane anti-authoritarians. Therefore, just like Sen. Snowe and John Avlon, anyone who opposes Dr. Levine's definition is, by definition, a member of an insane, fascist society desperately determined to keep these poor souls drugged up and compliant. The unspoken assumption being that it is Dr. Levine's critics who are the ones who really ought to be drugged into conformity with his enlightened and rational view of sane anti-authoritarianism.

It's very disappointing to me to see Dr. Levine, Sen. Olympia Snowe, and John Avlon working so very hard to convince the rest of us to adopt wholesale their personal prejudices and biases. Given their way, those of us who believe in smaller government, capitalism, and a society based on meritocracy would be driven out of our homes and jobs in order to bring about their utopian society where everyone is equal and subject to their enlightened oversight. Although it disappoints me greatly, it comes as no surprise to learn that yet again, those who put themselves forth as guiding light to a glorious new future are in fact, old-school monarchists who believe they ought to be in charge and the rest of us ought to accept our natural role as peasants under their enlightened and benevolent leadership.

Well, Dr. Levine, I find your authority to be illegitimate. I find Sen. Snowe and John Avlon's authority to be illegitimate as well. I'm going to exercise my own anti-authoritarian bend and declare here and now that all three of you are nothing more than collectivist oligarches working to advance a utopian agenda based on Marxist principles and I will continue to do everything in my power to see it fail.

I'm all for compromise, though. Since in your worldview someone has to be the peasant, I will sacrifice the ease of peasantry and allow you that role. Unless, of course, you'd rather keep the benefits of modern capitalist living. In that case though, I do ask one thing in return, stop trying to convince the rest of us to think like you, live like you, and worship you as enlightened, godlike authority figures!


March 01, 2012

Illegal Everything






The video clearly says everything that needs to be said. I hope Fox doesn't demand YouTube stop carrying it.

John Stossel on Fox News: Illegal Everything