Killing Abroad and At Home: Why the VA is Broken by Bill Buppert

 

“Bureaucracy destroys initiative. There is little that bureaucrats hate more than innovation, especially innovation that produces better results than the old routines. Improvements always make those at the top of the heap look inept. Who enjoys appearing inept?”

- Frank Herbert

My father died last year at the ripe old age of 86 and spent plenty of time negotiating the halls of the Tucson Veterans Administration (VA) for various ailments he suffered later in life. He was entitled to VA treatment after his service during the War to Save Josef Stalin when he was posted to Germany just before the end of the conflict. These WWII vets are dropping like flies and it won’t be long before few are even wandering the VA corridors much less this mortal coil.

My Dad did not die because of the VA directly and I suspect he was just ready to go and shift off to his reward after a lifetime of health neglect. But I can count many times where he was misdiagnosed mistaking congestive heart failure for pneumonia or assigning him a mountain of pills for which no one on Earth knows the complete side effects much less the rippling implications of mixing them together. He lived in spite of the VA and simply had a robust constitution.

There was no malevolence on the part of the staff or the medical personnel at the VA. The VA is simply another enormous federal government bureaucracy that loses sight of its mission, and suffers tremendous administrative bloat to shuffle papers from one end of the facility to another; it practices the sclerotic and sovietized penchant for institutional sloth and inefficiency that is the hallmark of government globally. Well-meaning people staff the bright and shiny facilities but the tether to the state does nothing to put this to good use. Much like every federal bureaucracy that lords over the trapped citizenry in America, it cannot possibly achieve its mission otherwise it would lose its relevance. Harry Teaseley’s seven laws of bureaucracy give a keen road map on what is wrong with the state in effecting reasonable change or administration:

Rule #1: Maintain the problem at all costs! The problem is the basis of power, perks, privileges, and security.

Rule #2: Use crisis and perceived crisis to increase your power and control
Rule 2a. Force 11th-hour decisions, threaten the loss of options and opportunities, and limit the opposition’s opportunity to review and critique.

Rule #3: If there are not enough crises, manufacture them, even from nature, where none exist.

Rule #4: Control the flow and release of information while feigning openness.
Rule 4a: Deny, delay, obfuscate, spin, and lie.

Rule #5: Maximize public-relations exposure by creating a cover story that appeals to the universal need to help people.

Rule #6: Create vested support groups by distributing concentrated benefits and/or entitlements to these special interests, while distributing the costs broadly to one’s political opponents.

Rule #7: Demonize the truth tellers who have the temerity to say, “The emperor has no clothes.”

Others in the libertarian commentariat have invested great amounts of ink in showing examples of everything Teasley describes.

The VA is complex not because of the mission but because of the means it employs to achieve it. Some of the more urgent care needed has months-long waiting lists and the appeals process would make Kafka blush. The VA fiasco is a harbinger of things to come once the government further strengthens its grip and sinks its talons through the Obama sponsored national socialist healthcare initiatives that have sailed through the bowels of Mordor on the Potomac.

Much like the mediocre Company employee claims at the Central Station in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, real hope is an illusion. “The atmosphere of officialdom would kill anything that breathes the air of human endeavor, would extinguish hope and fear alike in the supremacy of paper and ink.”

The booboise bureaucratis that is the modern federal employee has no imagination nor anything but perverse incentives in his workdays (a charitable assignation at best). Not only are they not charged with achieving a workable mission that would eventually close the doors of the tax vampire enterprise they labor in but they are institutionally committed to mediocrity by necessity and culture.

Jerry Pournelle put it succinctly: “In any bureaucracy, the people devoted to the benefit of the bureaucracy itself always get in control, and those dedicated to the goals of the bureaucracy is supposed to accomplish have less and less influence, and sometimes are eliminated entirely.[Pournelle's law of Bureaucracy]”

Like ninety nine percent of all state bureaus run by the mandarins in DC, the free market (where it still exists in North America) can take care of all of it with much greater alacrity. Unfortunately, the majority of the population is still suffering a waking fever dream where they insist that society can only be formed through initiated violence and the government gun is the best way to achieve this.

The VA is simply the latest in a long cavalcade of calamities that is the US government in action. One wonders at the captains and pilots of the USS Idiocracy that simply sail forward oblivious to the damage they do. Two solutions come to mind immediately but I would not hold my breath for their implementation.

First, the supply issue for the VA is to stop creating future clients by curbing the mad militarism that has haunted US foreign policy since 1893. Stop sending these soldiers, airmen and sailors overseas to participate in the mass subjugation, maiming and killing of peoples in countries who cannot possibly harm the mainland US any more effectively than the mandarins in DC do already. There is an estimated quarter million humans returning from operations in the Middle East who have been brain rattled and no one in the US knows the long-term effects of the impending crisis. The amputees, PTSD and injury caseload is massive after the latest festivities in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa. More than 900,000 soldiers have been injured in Iraq and Afghanistan but “in March [2013], the VA abruptly stopped releasing statistics on non-fatal war casualties to the public.” I remain unconvinced this number is accurate either way because of the fact that ALL veterans who leave the service are entitled to five years of care after departure from the military. The amount of book-cooking the government engages in is legion so these numbers are suspect whether less or more than actual.

Second, the VA employs almost 15 percent of the total Federal workforce (I use the last term charitably) with 332,000 employees in the second largest department and costs an enormous amount of money. By the way, that is one employee for every three of the newly added Iraq/Afghanistan treatment roster brought to you by Team Bush-Obama in the ME. Today, there are 153 VA hospitals, serving 5.7 million patients.

“The President’s 2015 Budget includes $163.9 billion for VA in 2015.  This includes $68.3 billion in discretionary resources and $95.6 billion in mandatory funding.  Our discretionary budget request represents an increase of $2.0 billion, or 3.0 percent, over the 2014 enacted level.”

What would be the problem with turning this into a cash voucher system to service all the veterans currently enrolled? Especially if the USG can start minding its own business and stop the monstrous work of creating new VA clients everyday with the American war on the world. One realizes this would not fit in the evil plans of the national socialist healthcare system recently adopted but the use of government issued vouchers for cash to use free market doctors would encourage innovation, zero out waiting lists and raze bureaucracies. But those very reasons would, of course, militate against it ever happening.

Hell, what would be the problem of letting these vets go to all the flag-waving churches and charity groups in the US with hat in hand and asking them to foot the medical bill? After all, these folks are among the most vocal cheerleaders of sending these men and women in harm’s way to increase the American Empire Project abroad.

The VA is merely the latest klaxon warning that government bureaucracy is not only ineffective, inefficient and wasteful, it is evil and deadly.

Want to honor the troops? Bring them home, keep them home and let the market take care of them. The only moral and legitimate fight is defense of your own soil.

“By exiling human judgment in the last few decades, modern law changed role from useful tool to brainless tyrant. This legal regime will never be up to the job, any more than the Soviet system of central planning was, because it can’t think. The comedy of law’s sterile logic–large POISON signs warning against common sand, spending twenty-two years on pesticide review and deciding next to nothing, allowing fifty-year-old white men to sue for discrimination–is all too reminiscent of the old jokes we used to hear about life in the Eastern bloc.

Judgment is to law as water is to crops. It should not be surprising that law has become brittle, and society along with it.”

- Phillip K. Howard, Death of Common Sense: How Law is Suffocating America

Lest We Never Learn A Lesson by Travis Wilson

Publisher’s Note:  Memorial Day is another fabricated holiday to remember the exact opposite of what the day should represent. This is the day that should inspire millions to march on DC and every other satellite occupation facility throughout the USSA with tar, feathers, pitchforks and righteous indignation and threaten the rulers with the exact same empty promise they give to veterans and the other willing. The recent revelations of ineptitude and incompetence at the Veteran’s Administration that manifests in every corner of the world that the government touches should be the signal flare that makes everyone take pause. DC won’t fix the VA but it will pile the maimed and wrecked human cord-wood that return form the nasty imperial project planet-wide and shove them into institutions that will most likely kill and subject them to slow death.

Like Veteran’s Day it celebrates the specious and imbecilic argument that the American war on the world will ensure a more stable existence and place on the globe for American when it does just the opposite and lulls the American sheeple to smile benignly on the death machine that is the Department of Defense. But then again all politics is a death cult and this is merely another manifestation.

Travis is a rare and signal writing talent whose contribution today bring terrific illumination to the twisted and wicked legend the state has shrouded institutionalized killing and slaughter in.

Support the troops, bring them home now. -BB

Stop praising veterans for maiming and killing millions who have never lifted a finger against the USSA,;Memorial day is here again. A day set aside by the government to acknowledge all the troops who have died in service to the government, to remember their sacrifice to uphold the want of the expanding empire and to ensure domestic tyranny is broadcast internationally. A day to recognize those that protected opium fields in Afghanistan, oil fields in Iraq and Kuwait, who intervened in matters not involving them. A day to yell “support our Troops, just don’t allow them to come home!” This is a day that people get their panties wet for the stars and stripes and all of the men and women, sometimes children that have been killed in duty to the Government of the United States. That sounds a bit harsh doesn’t it? Think about it though, is it true? Do these service members serve you, or do they serve the government? When was the last time your orders to the “Nation’s Service Members” was answered?

Smedley Butler, one of the most decorated US Marines penned this essay “War is a Racket”.

“WAR is a racket. It always has been.

It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small “inside” group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

In the World War,] a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows.

How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle? How many of them dug a trench? How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infested dug-out? How many of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells and shrapnel and machine gun bullets? How many of them parried a bayonet thrust of an enemy? How many of them were wounded or killed in battle?”

Butler saw this after his years in service and this was written as a warning leading up to World War 2. He saw that through war peace is not ventured towards but thrust aside like a broken toy by a child. Butler wrote his feelings of despair for this nation and all others so conceived to annihilate others for the interest of the governments in control. “So…I say, TO HELL WITH WAR!

Lest We Forget

There are a lot of reasons people adore this day. Maybe a family member or friend died in the struggles of war, maybe a person lost friends, brothers, or even their own sanity, fighting for a lie, deceit and ultimately what was never to be had.  I have always questioned the motives of soldiers. you would ultimately have to agree with the ways in which the system works to be a part of it, in any capacity.  Why have you resigned your self to die or to kill based on any amount of information? Why have you sign away not only your life but every right to your own body? Why have you allowed a few people who call themselves your government dictate what you will do, who is your enemy, who is allowed to live and who must die? Why have you let your mind be deceived to belief the great lie that stifles peace and breeds more war?

What if we did forget? What if we have forgotten how to be humans by being brutal savages to others? What if we have forgotten the value of life? What if we have forgotten how to be civilized and how to resolve differences without force, without killing one another.

I say we have forgotten. And damned if anyone is willing to stop and think, maybe the way to peace isn’t in dropping bombs, it isn’t in destroying villages halfway around the world but by working towards peaceful ends to mutual problems. I am called idealistic, Utopian, a dreamer to think that people in other lands would be interested in peace with us. Well no, I don’t suppose after generation after generation has grown to be controlled by this country, threatened and harmed by this country they would very much like to resolve to peace, it is the bed our government and their strong-armed subservient drones have made for the rest of us to lie in along side them.

Lest We Forget

This day is set aside to remember those who have died in duty to their government. But what do we do to remember those that have died because of our government soldiers. What of the Vietnamese villagers killed at the hands of our troops? What of the Syrians, the Kuwaitis, the Iraqis, Koreans, what of all those killed by policies set by our government and enforced by their troops? Have you ever set to think about those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for those that claim to pay a sacrifice? It is the subjective value of life that is a real hurdle for some to get over? The ability for some to value the life of one person over that of another and to justify their death in relation to some unknown and unseen meter of safety in on country over another. In all instances life is lost, it is the real test of a personal philosophy to drop this hypocritical value of life.

Lest We Never Learn A Lesson

What will this nation and all other nations be if they never learn form the horrors of war?  What is to become of children brought up in a perpetual state of hate for foreigners? What is to be said of the eternal conflict between lands, waging battle after battle until but a few peoples remain to be enslaved by the larger of surviving regimes? What if we never learn our lesson?

Remembering and Honoring are two different things.

I can remember my grandfather and his stories of the Korean War he served in. I can remember his talks with me about his sacrifice and his realization of what it was worth. I can remember him telling me about the blood transfusion after being shot and the lifetime struggle with the disease it left him. I can remember him telling me to not honor his service but to remember that sometimes it isn’t worth losing yourself to gain a few dollars. I can remember the day we put him in the ground. No flag draped casket, no military band, No folded flag, no mention of military honors, not because he had none but because that wasn’t who he was, it was just what he did and what he had to live with and regret.

If you want to remember the troops, bring them home. Shut down the military industrial complex, shut down the 300 bases in 190 countries, stop fueling future conflicts with hate for prior ones, stop sending men to kill and die for a corrupt government and stop trying to impose a tyrannical empire over the world for the blood lust of those who claim superiority and control.

McDonalds and the Minimum Wage by Jacob Bowen

Publisher’s Note:  ZG has undergone a major overhaul to improve functionality and make it more bulletproof for the coming Endarkenment. The sites are now live after much work by the system administrator, KC. In other matters, I am writing a novel and preparing for PorcFest XI where I will be giving three speeches and a half day seminar in NH in June.

I would love to meet some my friends and contributors there. Recently, a group of McDonald’s employees have taken to the streets to protest their admittedly poor wage. Now, there are both reasons why their wage is poor and ways to increase it. The ways to increase the wages, however, will either be bad news for McDonald’s workers or businesses everywhere.

But first for the reasons. Why are the McDonald’s workers paid such low wages and really fast food workers everywhere? Well, there are a number of reasons. First of all, there is an immense labor market for the workers at fast food restaurants. It is a low-skill job that can be completed by virtually every able-bodied person. That means that there is little need for the companies to make their job competitive. There is far too much supply for the wage to be high. Notice how the higher skill a job requires, the less people there are to hire for it, and how the wages are generally higher for these jobs. Another major reason is a lesson in economics to anybody who doesn’t have much of an understanding. Wages are not arbitrarily set, including the minimum wage (although minimum wage is not set for the same reason that wages are in a market). Wages, particularly hourly wages, are set in such a way that employees are paid by their predicted worth to the company. This idea is not infallible considering you cannot reduce labor to a variable I’ll refer to as a “unit of labor” (as it has been referred to by at least Keynes and likely other economists). Individuals are going to differ in their productivity. However, this is generally how wages are determined in any market. If you were to do the math, in 2013 McDonald’s employed about 1.8 Million people and made about 28.11 Billion USD in sales/revenue. That means, that each unit of labor would be responsible for 16,000 USD (rounded up) in sales/revenue. This number will be important later so keep it in mind.

Now, there are two ways in which the wages of these people can be raised. The first is to reduce the possible labor market. That would mean that McDonald’s would hire less people of greater skill. This, however, does not guarantee higher wages especially in areas of recession where a job will be taken even if the wage is poor. Another possible route would be to further automation so that the labor would have to be more skilled so that they can handle the technology. This, again, is not a guarantee but is more likely than the first scenario to produce higher wages. Another option, that is dangerous, is to force the company to pay higher wages through unions and legislation. This is dangerous because it further changes the scale of value for labor. As it stands, a person working at American minimum wage would make (assuming full time every week for every week of the year which of course doesn’t happen) $15,000 in a year (rounded down). Notice how this number is very close to the amount of revenue per employee. A raise to $15/hour work under the same circumstances as the prior calculation would mean that the employee would make $31,000 (rounded down) in a year. This is almost double their expected productivity. This is not a good for a market. Such a policy would obviously favor the very large industries that are capable of paying the costs even though it deeply cuts into their yearly sales/revenue.

John Brown Gets His Gun by Bill Buppert

“All men dream but not equally.  Those that dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that is was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible.”

- T.E. Lawrence

I maintain a catalog of inspirational speeches and they speak to me like the epochal union of literature in music and literature in opera or the powerful poems that set fire to our hearts. I love great speeches and have a collection of some of my favorites whether Shakespeare’s Henry V homage to the “band of brothers” or Charlie Chaplain’s speech or Churchill’s magisterial speech condemning the Amritsar massacre in India in 1919 which may very well have paved the way tangentially for the liberation of Eire from the English manacle in 1922. It may have been Churchill’s most masterful speech.

John Brown’s short but powerful and poignant speech is one of the finest in English letters and helped to set the world on fire in the worst way when instead of liberating the slave, the Lincolnian war on Southern secession put every human in the tax jurisdiction known as the USA in shackles that have grown heavier and more oppressive by the decade since. I don’t hold John Brown personally accountable for the tragic conflict from 1861-65 in the USA. Like all history, the causes and effects and the eddying concourses from many sources that joined to effect those very things make a complex tapestry especially in retrospect and professional hindsight.

John Brown fought a fundamentally different fight from the abolitionist campaigns of the likes of Garrison and Douglass. John Brown took a violent fight to an evil so great in his mind that all his campaigns against the slave power were justified. He was that most dangerous man that TE Lawrence spoke of: a visionary who dreamed during the day. Hence, the following speech by John Brown at his trial before he was hanged. Brown was the kind of man you simply don’t find in humanity today. Many would applaud his absence but I would think more men like Brown would inspire the changes that need to be made now. Brown was neither a military genius nor a competent rabble-rouser who could inspire others to follow his lead and actually spark the change.

In the modern American landscape, the prison state is here and firmly entrenched. The servitude in America is ingeniously dressed as freedom when in stark Orwellian terms, it is a nation where everyone excepting the outlaw is a vassal and employee of the enormous Federal state that lords and rules from the former swamp in DC. Brown faced a similar evil before the War of Northern Aggression, a nation North and South that lived in a Constitutional steel cage that codified slavery and in 1850 established the fugitive slave law to put the full faith and credit of the US government behind the ownership of other human beings in perpetual chattel slavery.

Brown weaponized ideas and knew that voting at the ballot box would not free the four million men, women and children in chains; the bottom-most rung of chains in the increasing web of control and corruption that emanated from DC. Brown did in a few months what decades of abolitionist scribbling did not attain. He brought the entire question to a head in living technicolor fully animated by his Old Testament sensibilities.

A proper condemnation of Lincoln is well outside the scope of this essay and many others in the commentariat have dealt with that malevolent and murderous specter that haunts America to this day.

 

 

John Brown’s speech:

In the first place, I deny everything but what I have all along admitted, the design on my part to free the slaves. I intended certainly to have made a clean thing of that matter, as I did last winter, when I went into Missouri and there took slaves without the snapping of a gun on either side, moved them through the country, and finally left them in Canada. I designed to have done the same thing again, on a larger scale. That was all I intended. I never did intend murder, or treason, or the destruction of property, or to excite or incite slaves to rebellion, or to make insurrection.

I have another objection; and that is, it is unjust that I should suffer such a penalty. Had I interfered in the manner which I admit, and which I admit has been fairly proved (for I admire the truthfulness and candor of the greater portion of the witnesses who have testified in this case), had I so interfered in behalf of the rich, the powerful, the intelligent, the so-called great, or in behalf of any of their friends, either father, mother, brother, sister, wife, or children, or any of that class, and suffered and sacrificed what I have in this interference, it would have been all right; and every man in this court would have deemed it an act worthy of reward rather than punishment.

This court acknowledges, as I suppose, the validity of the law of God. I see a book kissed here which I suppose to be the Bible, or at least the New Testament. That teaches me that all things whatsoever I would that men should do to me, I should do even so to them. It teaches me, further, to “remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them.” I endeavored to act up to that instruction. I say, I am yet too young to understand that God is any respecter of persons. I believe that to have interfered as I have done as I have always freely admitted I have done in behalf of His despised poor, was not wrong, but right. Now, if it is deemed necessary that I should forfeit my life for the furtherance of the ends of justice, and mingle my blood further with the blood of my children and with the blood of millions in this slave country whose rights are disregarded by wicked, cruel, and unjust enactments, I submit; so let it be done!

Let me say one word further.

I feel entirely satisfied with the treatment I have received on my trial. Considering all the circumstances. it has been more generous than I expected. But I feel no consciousness of guilt. I have stated from the first what was my intention and what was not. I never had any design against the life of any person, nor any disposition to commit treason, or excite slaves to rebel, or make any general insurrection. I never encouraged any man to do so, but always discouraged any idea of that kind.

 Let me say, also, a word in regard to the statements made by some of those connected with me. I hear it has been stated by some of them that I have induced them to join me. But the contrary is true. I do not say this to injure them, but as regretting their weakness. There is not one of them but joined me of his own accord, and the greater part of them at their own expense. A number of them I never saw, and never had a word of conversation with, till the day they came to me; and that was for the purpose I have stated.

Now I am done.

Orson Welles recitation of the speech is masterful and knows no peer short of witnessing John Brown himself.

I am not a religionist so his appeals to higher power in the supernatural coil leave me underwhelmed but his conviction did not simply come from his religion. His notions of right and wrong were animated by everything he saw around him in his country. The comfort of watching an entire people chained and controlled like livestock had been taken for granted by everyone not in those conditions; they knew that change was difficult and would come with inconvenience and the burden of having to work a little harder to look in the mirror and question the image staring back at them.

John Brown looked in the mirror and came up with an answer that led to his trial and his death. He sought an immoral means to bring about a just end and paid the price.

He would no longer take the easy wrong over the hard right. He would no longer bow to the power of might makes right nor to brook the shabby rationalizations of a political document whose coup in 1791 localized the tyranny the colonials originally fought the UK for eight years to unshackle themselves from. Brown knew that pacifism was nothing more than an elegant slow-roll self-extinction event. Brown had internalized the violence that was chattel slavery and decided that action would trump the decades of writing and speeches that Garrison and others had labored under.

John Brown wagered his life and lost but he was not overseas murdering the inhabitants of a foreign land that had crossed the geopolitical machinations of a cowardly ruling class or a criminal predator plying his malum in se trade in the night. Brown was not an over-fed badged statist predator protecting and serving good and hard the unwitting population that expected better treatment. Brown fought a war on his own soil to right his perceived wrong.

John Brown made his peace and started his war. America would never be the same. His death would animate the conversion of many pacifist abolitionists into something different.

Murder begins where self-defense ends.

I Am Simon Jester: Grokking the Underground by Bill Buppert

Barbed_wire.svg.hiBack in February, I was invited to speak at the Liberty Forum sponsored by the Free State Project in NH. I did this talk and two more on Zero Government and the Police State USSA respectively, I will post these once production and publishing is complete by LF. I will be speaking at PorcFest in June. I will be giving three speeches and a seminar on Irregular Warfare.

Here is the video of my first speech.

I Am Simon Jester

I spend considerable time talking about non-violent resistance and its utility in the coming Endarkenment in the USSA. My experience in the Legions during most of my adult life gave me significant insight on the mechanics and landscape of violent resistance and rebellion. I have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t. America is not a free country and the entire legal system is rigged against freedom of expression when it comes to discussing defensive mechanisms and the dominant ecology of the SLAVFOR (as opposed to FREEFOR) so that information remains safely tucked in my skull until the glass needs to be broken during the inevitable national emergencies the future holds for all of us.

Prepare, steel your mind for the coming unpleasantness and realize it is not a matter of if but when the political ruler’s Janissaries will be pounding on your door or stealing you in the middle of the night. SLAVFOR will not stop until their Orwellian vision is fulfilled.

You may not be interested in they way they work or stick your head in the sand but they are paying very close attention to you through the vacuuming of every conceivable electronic transaction including this screed you are reading right now. They use association matrices to tip off who and how humans will be targeted.

It all comes down to the decision you make on the price of your obedience and what you are willing to pay to stand on your refusal.

John has a long mustache and the chair is against the wall sooner than you think.

Notes in the Margin:I continue to recover from my heart attack in April but am now nearly 100% recovered from that surprise pre-extinction event. I take very good care of myself but in this case, I lost the genetic lottery which is a predictor for 50-80% of your physical ailments. I have just completed chapter 10 of my novel (roughly one third complete) called The Cancer Club which goes to the editor in September. The book is about a cranky group of widowers with terminal diseases who decide to make their deaths a bit more festive to strike a blow against leviathan. -BB

Resist. Rinse. Repeat.

 

Befehl ist Befehl: Why Cops Are Morally Wrong by Bill Buppert

“The police cannot protect the citizen at this stage of our development, and they cannot even protect themselves in many cases. It is up to the private citizen to protect himself and his family, and this is not only acceptable, but mandatory.”

- COL Jeff Cooper

Befehl ist befehl means orders are orders which is the usual explanation given for barbaric behavior by Nazis on trial after WWII. The malefactors were hanged who attempted this defense yet this quaint notion is the bedrock of all US police behavior and explanation for its excess.

Officer safety is part of the evil trifecta that enables much of the police violence and

have taken all these things to task in past essays, so I won’t bore you with the details. The remaining legs in this are police unions and qualified immunity, which many in the commentariat have handled with alacrity.

It bears repeating, absent police forces, no political bad actor can deny one freedom or erase any liberty from any individual or group. The police exist to serve and protect their political rulers no matter how much they naysay to the contrary. The aforementioned trifecta is the deal with the devil to ensure that the police have a license to kill and guarantee all investigations are conducted by themselves on themselves. Imagine how the economically illiterate bedwetters on the left would scream if corporations were left to investigate their own supposed transgressions. This is why police, robed government employees and their sycophants in the entire legal system are immune to justice, a moral compass and restitution to victims of the wretched system in place in the USSA.

National Socialism died in Germany in 1946 at the Nuremberg trials but the key components of the trials that enraged so many humans planet-wide at the conclusion of the War to Save Josef Stalin was the insistence of both low and high ranking Nazis alike that they bore no responsibility for their actions because they were merely following orders. The original trials started in 1946 but were followed by other trials:

All of these Allied legal trials very specifically targeted the barbaric behavior of the Nazis while excusing any such behavior of the Allies such as the gruesome and murderous strategic bombing campaigns world wide by the Allies. The duplicity and wink and nod to Soviet crimes was especially nauseating but at least the Germans were held to account in spite of the double standard imposed by the West.

The crimes were grouped in three categories in international law: crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The superior orders defense so beloved to the criminals on trial was ruled as inadmissible and this was further complicated by the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which did give some interesting escape clauses to governments which sought to skirt the meaning and isolate the indefensible superior orders defense to genocide and crimes against humanity. This may be the international get out of jail free card for governments that need to provide legal coverage for the ravages and immoral behavior of their constabulary.

I happen to think the superior orders defense is ludicrous and merely excuses willing barbarians in the conduct of their mayhem. But this very notion of superior orders is the standard defense for the police brutality, malpractice and savagery that is everyday business for the US law enforcement apprartus.

What does this brief history lesson in power politics and the hanging of the deserved have to do with American policing? Officer safety. This notion means that any ”officer” who feels threatened or in danger may kill whoever they perceive to be doing so and get away with it with the fully faith and backing of the Federal government and its puppet regimes in the states. This murder and mayhem has easily ramped up and accelerated to unprecedented levels since the ironic War on Terrorism began after 911. That unfortunate event has Bin Laden and his entire crew of misfits cackling at the incredible success they have foisted on the American people and the West by making the West strangle itself and extinguish its individual liberties by its own hand.

Nuremberg Principle IV states quite clearly:

“The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.”

Police behavior in the US in concert with the American legal system has embraced this to protect its agents and praetorians in the conduct of their everyday duties. Again, the impossible moral equation is supposing that immoral ends can midwife moral ends but this is the wickedly evil calculus that animates most government activity in the US.

Those Germans dangling at the end of a rope after WWII died. If they had been dressed in the absurd garb of modern American cops, they would have not only have gotten away with their crimes but would have had the full support and entire legal system to defend their indefensible behavior against all comers. They probably would have been adorned with medals and applauded for their barbarism.

Terrorism is politically motivated violence against non-combatants and innocents and that is the very definition by which all governments maintain and expand their power. There is no mean coincidence that police in America behave like an occupying force enforcing laws that have no place in a free society whether the illegal vegetation laws or ordinances against consensual behavior that ensure America has the highest per capita prison population on Earth. Much like the military industrial complex for which overseas martial adventures are sophisticated money-laundering operations, the same applies to the government-legal complex that gums up the US economy, ensnares innocents in a host of malum prohibitum laws and justifies the mass surveillance activities of a government that seeks total control over its tax cattle.

The entire rotten American judicial system and its badged janissaries derive their disproportionate power from a number of sources but the most important is the absurd notion that the bodies stacked up like cordwood in the US gulag system or the room temperature corpses littering the roadside as frightened cops use deadly force are excused because some are more equal than others. In this case, the cops who initiate violence for a living are given carte blanche to maim or extinguish anyone who dares to make them feel unsafe. When one looks at the mortality rate of this policing profession, the numbers speak to an extraordinarily safe profession despite the mewling of the presstitutes fellating the state fawning admiration over their protectors. They are excused because the poor overweight and cognitively challenged “thin black and black line” is merely following orders. They are merely enforcing the law. They don’t make the law, they simply administer it good and hard.

These worthies don’t interpret the law nor establish a moral compass to test its virtue, they do what they are told. Whether one agrees with the tremendous moral indignation that animated the Nuremberg trials or not, the forum asked a very keen question: “Can the agents of the state be excused from the conduct of morally indefensible behavior because they were following orders?”

The answer then was a resounding no and remains a resounding negative to anyone who looks at the trail of tears known as American policing across the fetid plain as armed government employees fine, kidnap, cage, maim and kill depending on the level of resistance. Nearly seven million humans in the US are on probation, in cages or on parole. Those unfortunates have families that number in the tens of millions and they are getting mighty tired of watching the news every night or the thousands of videos on the internet that portray a police who maim and kill with abandon. Rarely are they held accountable and the predictable response of the killers investigating themselves and justifying the mayhem is Exhibit A in why the American legal system has no moral authority whatsoever anymore.

What’s the answer?

In the best of worlds, the total abolition of state police mechanisms period but until humanity can wrap its arms around the problem and wean itself from the collectivist fever dream, this is merely the ideal. Since there are no good cops, this would be the optimal solution. Modern society is simply yielding to the worse people in charge to protect the frightened from a few bad people.

Several things can be done now:

  • Immediate requirement for all police to be wearing functioning video cameras during the conduct of duties.
  • Immediate surrender in the drug war and the instant demolition of all Federal drug laws.
  • The revocation of all malum probihitum laws at the Federal level. As a matter of fact, no Federal enforcement power over the states whatsoever.
  • The immediate disarmament of all statist law enforcement officer indefinitely.
  • Elimination of all government unions and the abolition of all police unions.
  • Bonding and ensuring of all individual officers on their own dime so taxpayers no longer foot the bill for the absurd lawsuit payload of most large departments. No more qualified immunity.
  • Officer safety is no longer an excuse for maiming and killing the citizen.

That would be a good start and I am sure plenty of other suggestions can be offered to diminish and eventually eliminate the existential threat to human liberty – the cop.

If any un-badged citizen were to conduct themselves as cops do on a daily basis, there is not enough cell space to house the miscreants. It’s time to hold them to the same standards as the Nuremberg lawyers did in 1945-47. Following orders is no excuse for bad and lethal behavior.

Bad laws were meant to be broken.

“After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn’t do it. I sure as hell wouldn’t want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military.”

- William S. Burroughs

 

 

 

Fear is the Liar by Jim Klein

Publisher’s Note: Jim Klein wrote this short but pithy response to this essay published on STHF: http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/the-reason-why-there-will-be-a-second-american-civil-war-american-citizens-are-soon-to-become-an-endangered-species_05012014. I highly recommend SHTF as a website source. Jim is the Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at zerogov.com and the senior graybeard. Enjoy. -BB

Obama has almost nothing to do with any of this.  How could he…he’s got almost nothing to do with anything.  You could say he’s single-handedly the Commander-in-Chief, and so theoretically has sole control over the strongest military in the world, but even that doesn’t amount to so much these days, for the reasons the author noted.  Besides, that guy could no more command a military than I could design a space shuttle.

We’re here because virtually everyone wants us to be here.  If you took a sincere vote door-to-door, nearly every person would say, “I don’t really want this and I know there’s some deep problem, but the idea of doing anything differently is so overwhelming and frightening, that I choose to stay the course.”

That’s it, isn’t it?  As uncomfortable as people are, they’re more afraid of what it could be otherwise.  That’s what keeps them going.  That’s what happens when you’re emotionally driven—the fear is greater than the want.

What gets me is the plain denial.  It’s no secret what Tyranny is, and it’s no secret to where it leads.  Always.  No exceptions.  How could it not?  Even if we had no evidence, the logic of it is plainly clear…Tyranny can’t stop, for then at some point it would be defeated.  It must grow.  Since the essence of Tyranny is to incentivize thuggery–thuggery on behalf of the State where it gets removed from Individual Responsibility–how could it not continue to grow?  What in the world would cause it to stop?

That’s the logic of it.  It stands on its own, but unsurprisingly the evidence supports the logic 100%.  Evidence always will, when the logic is tight.  Correspondence, we might call it.

So most everyone knows where this goes, and everyone even knows that the next time is inevitably worse than the last time.  We can pull data point after data point to demonstrate in plain reality what has happened.  We know about the lack of production, we know about the unfunded liabilities, we know that there is an immense force sucking away every drop of production that’s left, into the service of the “Public.”  We know who does the actual sucking and what they actually do with that wealth; we know about the contracts and the subsidies and the Free Shit Army and the retirees and on and on and on.  It never ends with places to distribute the loot.  Even now, they’re working on ever more, from immigration to more war on terrorism, to starting WWIII.  Anything to keep the Machine ever-growing.

But none of that matters to people.  What matters is what they feel, and what they feel is terror…the kind of terror that freezes you into inaction.  Terror, terrorism, Tyranny…it’s all the same; it’s a way to incapacitate free-willed thinking humans.  It’s done by denying the “thinking” and enhancing the “feeling.”  And by doing that, it causes otherwise rational people to ignore what they know and go with what they feel instead.

I think that for an organism that has a mind capable of abstracting the nature of the reality in which it finds itself, that’s a huge error…one that can only possibly, at some point in time, lead to the death of that organism.  Seems to me that the choice amounts to, “Wake the fuck up and do something about it,” or “Ignore the facts and try to pass the time feeling as comfortable as possible, and wait to see how death will come.”

Anarchist, Libertarian or Voluntarism: Why I Use One Word Over Another by Travis Wilson

Publisher’s Note:   I welcome Travis’ energetic and scintillating attempt to refine the definitions of the stateless society he and I are trying to make a concrete idea for humanity. I use the term abolitionist now but he makes a string case for his choice. Enjoy. -BB

I have been thinking about the meaning of these words and of their reaction in society lately. There seems to me to be a very large majority of people who have a negative connotation to two of them and not so much knowledge of the last. So it is here that I will begin.

What Anarchy is and what it is not.

The vast majority of the public will react negatively to the use of the word anarchy. Through false description and definition imposed on them through government run schools and reinforced by media and social entertainment they have been lead to believe that only bad things could happen in a world with no government. Thunder Dome would become reality in their minds. Would it really though, would they allow that to happen in their presence, would everyone just go around murdering and looting?

“Anarchy is all around us. Without it, our world would fall apart. All progress is due to it. All order extends from it. All blessed things that rise above the state of nature are owed to it. The human race thrives only because of the lack of control, not because of it. I’m saying that we need ever more absence of control to make the world a more beautiful place. It is a paradox that we must forever explain.”

Jeffrey Tucker

It is generally described to be a world with no government. The term goes deeper than that though. It leaves a world with no central government and not without rules. Rules would still be in effect throughout the world, it would only be the enforcement of those rules that would change. Webster defines Anarchy in the typical false way as its main definition (: a situation of confusion and wild behavior in which the people in a country, group, organization, etc., are not controlled by rules or laws). This is the definition that most people are taught as the truth but further definitions by the same source state (a: absence of government //b: a state of lawlessness or political disorder due to the absence of governmental authority//c: a utopian society of individuals who enjoy complete freedom without government) These are definitions that most self-proclaimed anarchist would somewhat agree upon.

The automatic connotation of Anarchy being a bad thing is something we must overcome. The changing of definitions is something that must be done through actions rather than words. So how do we expand the idea of peaceful anarchy and destroy a negative connotation to the word? To be sure this is a monumental task and one that would require the utmost care in its expansion. The idea that there are no rulers but rules still remain isn’t an easy sell for most people. The idea of self-reliance and self-control frightens people, and it should. They have lived in complete servitude to a government for too long. By relying on an outside entity to control the personal and economical habits they have castrated themselves from the ideas of freedom, free will, free choice, personal responsibility, and self- sufficiency.

Anarchy doesn’t have to mean the things that it is believed to mean now, and it will take some real positive work to bring a positive thought to the word. Through peaceful cooperation and discovering new ways to subvert the power of the state in our everyday lives we can bring the world to anarchy and not be a fearful thing.

Are you libertarian enough?

Within libertarianism there seems to be a litmus test that some will use to determine ones placement in the vast collection of the term. It is truly a broad term and a very much inclusive term and as such most people have a hard time defining it or determining their place within it. Libertarians believe for the most part in smaller government, some believe in constitutional government some do not. The term generally includes both Voluntarists and Anarchists in the definition, though there is some debate on that in my mind as well as others. But I like to leave that topic to self-discovery and the subjective view of the issue. The degree of your libertarianism is of much debate and discussion among other self-described libertarians and the actions and theory that you portray has a great deal to do with how you are perceived.

Some will say that certain traits within libertarianism are dangerous to modern life; Non-intervention foreign policies, pro-choice on abortion, ridding the country of drug laws and allowing uninhibited use of hard drugs, open borders. Those are the types of issues most Neo- Conservatives and Neo-Liberals will vehemently attack with illogical fallacies and hyper sensitive emotional responses. Now everyone is entitled to their opinions, I would have to recommend further education in these issues to gain a better understanding of the positions held by Libertarians.

Libertarianism is popular, and this can be a bad thing. Why do I say this? It has been increasingly apparent that some people will do whatever it takes to grasp or remain in power, even so much as to pretend to hold beliefs they certainly do not. It doesn’t take much looking to see the false prophets of the liberty movement and the libertarian creed. Now the Libertarian I am talking about is the philosophy, not the party. The party is just a vehicle for those who hold the philosophy, and of course those that falsify their claim to it.

Leaning libertarian. This is one of those terms that make no sense to me at all. I just don’t see how anyone can lean in the direction of philosophy but not accept it or live by it. I feel that those that claim to be “leaning” are those that are merely using the followers to their own self gain, what that gain may be is different among people, but the use of the followers remains the same.

I believe in a Voluntary Society.

What is Voluntarism? It is the belief that all actions of individuals should be free from coercion or force, they should be voluntary. The creed of Voluntarism is to allow all voluntary means so long as they do not interfere or impede on the rights of others and so long as the actions are not forced or coerced in any way.

Voluntarism does allow for governments to be formed but they may not touch or try to overtake those that reject their influence or control. This is a hard concept for many. True voluntarism should not prohibit those that wish to be governed to their choice. Those that wish to be governed and those they elect or choose to be the governors should have no say over the lives, property or actions of those that choose to live outside of that governance. Someone told me once that this is just a copout, an easy way to not address the issue, but I say this, if everyone chose to define themselves and their philosophy around the voluntary acts of individuals we would see the downfall of most forms of political control and governments around the world, with no need to say that these aspirations are anarchistic at all, and well beyond the goals of most libertarians.

So why say Voluntarism instead of Anarchy or Libertarianism?

From prior experience using all of these words I have found the greatest ability to progress the ideas and message of individual liberty by not using the word Anarchy for the simple reason as it invokes an automatic negative thought in the minds of the masses. The same is true of the word Libertarian. In the minds of Democrats and Republicans alike there is a negative connotation associated with the word. To be able to speak to those who hold these feelings against these words or labels we must move past the blockade of the definitions, we must find another route.

By choosing to use the word Voluntaryist rather than Anarchist or Libertarian it lends the speaker the chance to express the ideas without the over shadowing of the connotations of the latter two words. This is one way that we can progress conversation with others on like-minded goals or solutions to current problems. This is how we can influence the progress to goals and see real change in the power structures around the world.

Twitter: @patriotpapers

http://thejeffersonpapers.blogspot.com

 

A Slave Society is a Polite Society (For The Government) by Bill Buppert

Publisher’s Note: It appears my notoriety as an anti-government zealot has come to the attention of the rulers and they use both me and my site as an exemplar of non-violent anti-government writing and speaking. I may be the subject of a number of classes for the government’s cop-roach enforcers at all levels. If this turns out to be the case, I wear the badge proudly and hope against hope that some of the mandarins who read my screeds discover a burr in their intellectual saddle or the tiniest seedling of doubt planted in their minds on the wrong-headedness of maintaining and expanding totalitarianism on the North American continent much less the collectivist impulse that makes America an armed and dangerous agent of the state disease planet-wide.

Zero government is not a wild-eyed notion of fantasy. A world without rulers but abundant with rules in a voluntary society riffs off human nature in a far more effective and moral way than any self-professed statist government. The true fantasists are the long train of psycho- and sociopathic rulers and their collaborators who insist that initiated violence and the creation of prison states is the only proper way to organize society and serve humanity. Throughout the ages, from the Stoics to Wilberforce to the abolitionists and the modern abolitionist movement in small pockets of humanity, the notion has been both simple and elegant: how can a man be free if his choices of not harming others ultimately puts him in jail or worse? It is no harder than that.

The world is at a tipping point where the forces of statist darkness are gathering strength while the brotherhood without banners fights a constant rearguard action as it retreats into insignificance in the face of totalitarian ambition.

Your choice is clear: either you are a slaver or not. -BB

“But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.”

-Lysander Spooner

 

Slavery was codified in the founding documents of America in deeply flawed and tyrannical instrument called the Constitution. The abolitionist spirit in America as exemplified by Garrison and Douglass were a tremendous boon to awakening Americans to the cause but it never took despite the alleged reasons for the War of Northern Aggression being fought to free the slaves which became a cynical Lincolnian calculus to boost flagging efforts to get the North behind the eradication of the South.

The Constitution simply guaranteed the “peculiar institution” in the US and the addition of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850 weaponized the Federal government’s ability to maintain the institution of chattel slavery. The post-war amendments abandoning slavery were nice window-dressing but simply drove the overt impulse to chattel ownership underground into a more under-handed and devious form of slavery to make the proceeds from servitude more palatable to the masses and the twentieth century would provide the progressives and collectivists with the tools they would need to make slavery more profitable for the rulers than they ever imagined.

There are a number of markers of true freedom but the most telling is the ability to opt-out of the chained condition once harnessed. So what is slavery by definition?

The Oxford English Dictionary (American) put it thus: A person who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey them. If you doubt in modern America, you are not a slave, be advised you are delusional.

The US government owns you in so many ways, you haven’t a shred of self-determination short of suicide. Many in the commentariat to include myself have detailed ad nauseum the tremendous tax burden in the US for producers, the leasing of employees by the Federal government to employers at a terrific burden to the efficacy and virtue of any above-ground American business and the raft of regulations and rules that make every American a felon in their day to day life. If you run a business and have not been paralyzed from the neck up in a skiing accident and become a collectivist, the truth is crystal clear. If you are simply a salaryman, one look at your tax liabilities once “paid” should further clarify your status as a slave.

After years of government schooling, I am still investing thousands of hours to deprogram myself from the nonsense and dig myself out of the epistemological hole that the entire wretched system is designed to bury us. Civics is nothing more than a clever moniker for government obedience training. A system that celebrates slavery as freedom and peace as war in a war that would embarrass both Huxley and Orwell.

America is not the celebrated home of the brave and land of the free because it lost all its apparent freedom in 1791 on adoption of the Constitution. The Lincolnian War against the South was a mere mopping-up operation to put every human in America on the plantation permanently. The “Civil War” was a mere adjustment of the shackles on the body politic. If you doubt that, then stop paying your taxes and start disobeying the legions of cops surrounding you on a daily basis when they insist you comply with an idiot rule or law these lackeys are in charge of enforcing.

One can list all the Amendments they wish after the unfortunate conclusions of the Second American Revolution and you still remain distinctly un-free in a nation that plays at shadow-boxing with political meat-puppets who claim to hail from different political viewpoints but are united in the fervor to ensure the survival and expansion of the Sovietized central planning organs emanating from Mordor on the Potomac. The kabuki dance between the major permitted parties in the very lucrative “advance auction in stolen goods” known as voting is comical at best and incredibly cynical at worst.

Despite Gandhi’s sufferings in 1906 in South Africa and the institution of apartheid and all the nastiness and bitterness generated by internal passports, America de facto and de jure enforces an internal passport system with the ubiquitous requirement of “government identification”.

Hell, if you wish to unfetter yourself from the USSA, you will be charged a 550 dollar fee for the privilege of getting the IRS out of your knickers forever. The only way to surrender the slave chains of US citizenship is to land in another country’s citizenship program because the US will not allow its tax cattle to become stateless.

America may be one of the most well armed slave plantations in human history and one can see that the relationship between private ownership of firearms and the docile behavior of tax cattle being ranched does not give the tyrants pause. One can look at the silly Second Amendment held up as a virtual tablet from God being peppered with holes in the twentieth century by the gigantic federal arms regulation enterprise enshrined in the jurisprudence of the 1934 National Firearms Act, 1939 US v. Miller, the 1967 Reagan legislation to disarm the black man in CA that bolstered the passage of the 1968 Gun Control Act and all the other hoplophobic nonsense that has been enforced by the goons at the Federal level and their willing collaborators in the provincial establishments in the states.

Not only do we live in a slave state but necessarily a police state to ensure the minions don’t get too uppity and start to question the mandarins in charge. I have written endlessly of the absurdity of the well-armed population blithely obeying and even engaging in hero worship of the worst society can bear in the modern police forces. If there were any good cops, why are they not policing the militaristic and violent behavior of their more Neanderthal brethren? Because good cops don’t exist anymore. The slave state and the police state must go hand in hand, one cannot exist without the other much like the totalitarian Spartans and their captive Helots that permitted them to gallivant through the Hellenic states and kill at will. America has done much the same in the post-WWII program to make the world safe for collectivism and communism with the latter providing gentle ideological cover for the former in different clothes.

Slavery was never abolished but merely reformed to make it a more palatable condition for the millions of humans trapped in the North American continent after the war. Chattel slavery may have started to disappear but an institution just as sinister and malevolent took its place as the US started to embark on expanding the plantation world-wide after the Hawaiian annexation of 1893. The money laundering required to keep the burgeoning military-industrial complex afloat would require an intensive retooling of the tax and regulatory function to sate the vampiric host of ever-growing government. Slavery would wear a newer and “happier” face.

I say again, absent initiated violence and the use of force and the complete abandonment of the Ten Commandments, no state on Earth could exist. This is equally true in the US and since the demise of the USSR, the US has been first among equals in its insistence on violence as the mortar by which it keeps the bricks of civil society together.

If any readers doubt this, practice civil disobedience, refuse to obey the police state and you will discover that you will be fined, kidnapped, caged, maimed or killed depending on your level of resistance for so minor an infraction as not wearing a seatbelt.

Welcome to America.

And then the disaster of democracy sealed the deal but that is another conversation.

Move on, slave, nothing to see here.

 

 

 

Social Trolling by Craig Harms

Publisher’s Note: This guest post draws on a guerrilla tactic known as social trolling to diminish and destroy government psychological operations directed against captured populations whether a result of invasion or the occupation of land masses by the usual  suspects to organize and regulate tax cattle farms. Make no mistake that governments are merely the vampire writ large and various defenses need to be erected to disorient and eventually disrupt their ability to initiate and use violence to organize society. While I don’t agree with everything, his thesis is thought-provoking and gets people pointed in the right direction. -BB

Events in America occur so rapidly that to believe any one person can ever find the full truth about any single event is truly laughable.  We strive, daily, to maintain control of our surroundings; perceived knowledge gleaned from the various sources at our disposal helps us to believe that we possess control of ourselves and the environment we live in.  Are we concerned enough, or perhaps paranoid enough, however, to read through the information that is fed to us in search of a motive?  While I certainly do not promote paranoia or distrust of anyone, I do promote the premise that at this point in history we are being deliberately misled.  I suggest we place less credibility and importance in the social messages presented by media until we can reestablish our own beliefs and our own reality as a people of this nation.  We can accomplish this by examining how media serves to enrage and divide an otherwise cohesive country, taking an honest look at what is happening while we center ourselves around public distractions, discussing traditional attempts to change our direction and how they can be co-opted by division, considering methods of change that have shown signs of success, how we can modify these methods to specifically target the problem of a divisionary message, and what these efforts might accomplish in the larger scale of American social practice.

Division amongst the American people serves to keep us at odds with each other while fear ensures that we stay dependent on our government.  John Avlon at The Daily Beast wrote, “As news of a new ‘credible’ threat swept across the nation on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Americans were abruptly reminded that terrorism is always one bad day away from being issue No. 1.”  Messages of terrorism plots both overseas and at home in the states are a staple of daily news reports.  We are constantly reminded that the next “bad guy” is just around the corner.  Meanwhile, the Trayvon Martin controversy, built in part by a month long media feeding frenzy that has yet to completely subside, set a new standard for building tension among races. If we look closely at our news and media, we will notice that every issue presented has two sides, and two sides only.  It has always been black or white, liberal or conservative, terrorist or citizen, consumer or dangerous individual, good guys or bad guys.  We notice that in the 2012 elections Dr. Ron Paul chose to forego the libertarian title in favor of the republican banner to receive any notice at all.  In the political and social scheme of modern day America independent parties and mindsets that step outside of the carefully erected parameters quickly become silenced.

Meanwhile, as the media presents us two different cages which we may inhabit, outside of the standard press we discover that an incomplete list, found at Wikipedia, with 134 total citations, displays over 63 cases of police brutality between 2001 and 2011 that have gone unreported and unemphasized.  If we follow independent news sources we discover that, on average, a new case of police brutality or a violation of constitutional rights is occurring on a regular, almost daily, basis.  While it would be remiss to state that these cases receive no coverage, most people can agree that they do not receive the same attention as “The Royal Wedding in 2011,” for example.  Most would argue that they should receive equal if not more coverage than such frivolous events.  More startling yet is the signing of the National Defense Authorization Act that occurred under cloak of night on December 31st 2011. “It allocates funding for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, but also includes “counter-terrorism” provisions which would allow the military to detain anyone on US soil indefinitely, without needing to guarantee a trial,” wrote one contributor at The Open Globe. During the first week of 2012 we may have heard a few talking heads on the radio voice their disgust regarding the bill that finally legalized indefinite detention sans trial or lawyer, but if we did it was brief.  The true coverage came from independent news sources which were mostly comprised of online articles and YouTube videos.  By January 17th 2012, the general public was content to go about their lives as displayed by Thetvaddict.com, which listed NCIS, Last Man Standing, and Glee as the top rated television programs for that day.  What is the point in all this? When our media wants us to pay attention to an issue, it is everywhere.  Real issues that actually affect us as a people are glossed over summarily.

Some people, however, observe issues in our society and political system and strive to do something about them.  We have all paid witness to, through one media or another, concerned citizens’ attempts to “Wake people up” or “Change things”.  These attempts usually come on the heels of some perception gained from mainstream media.  These perceptions may include our party based political system, race tensions, religion, or any of the other myriad conceptualized “Issues” gripping our times.  We have all seen how protests have gained attention only to fall unnoticed in their due time, how verbal disagreements have led to violence thus creating  new issues, and how racial tensions serve to further divide us as people.  It seems that our attempts to work within the box to solve our nation’s problems are ultimately futile, if not destructive.  A great example is found in the firestorm of the “Occupy Movement” in 2011.  Michael Calderone at The Huffington Post wrote in his article aptly titled, “EXCERPT – OCCUPY: Why It Started. Who’s Behind It. What’s Next.”, “Occupy Wall Street’s amorphous, seemingly leaderless, and non-partisan movement presented unique challenges for journalists experienced in covering protests with clear demands and cable talking heads accustomed to neatly categorizing dissent as either good or bad for one political party or the other.”  What happened next was only to be expected.  We see the divisionary tactics of the media coming a mile away, and do nothing to hedge against being discredited.  What started as a unified people coming together, regardless of political boundaries, eventually developed into a left-wing jubilee, complete with singing hippies and “Down with capitalism!” workshops.  While we strive so hard to overcome division and make a difference in our country, our efforts eventually end in being co-opted and dismantled.

Other forms of protest and activism seem to have taken a more significant turn.  We begin to edge closer to what I feel is the ultimate solution to ineffective activism when we analyze the anomalous “Anonymous.”  Emil Protalinsky at ZDNet.com points out that vote by vote, the Anonymous collective was voted TIME Magazine’s most influential person for 2012.  Anonymous was the greatest supporter of if not among the arbitrators of the Occupy Wall St. Movement.  How then, are they so influential with their greatest accomplishment torn asunder by the repetitious efforts of divisionary media?  We can answer this question by looking closely at their techniques.  In viewing any of hundreds of YouTube videos or “Pastebins” issued by the hacker collective, one message is clear: Anonymous is leaderless, it is decentralized, it has no specific message, and no specific agenda.  When the media failed to categorize the collective into a political or social group, they initiated a vilification campaign.  Upon that initiative, Anonymous launched a collective effort to destroy corruption and undo censorship.  Within weeks we saw corrupt security firms’ sites defaced and their records published.  We saw companies like Sony and MFGlobal as well as firms like the FBI having their network presence effectively diminished in light of censorship and unconstitutional investigation.

In 2011, at the apex of their hacktivist effort we saw “Operation Syria” which was the first time we had seen an activist group of any kind take on an entire government.  The following was written by an anonymous poster on a Wikipedia page designed to display a timeline of the group Anonymous’s accomplishments: “In early August, Anonymous hacked the Syrian Defense Ministry website and replaced it with a vector image of the pre-Ba’athist flag, a symbol of the pro-democracy movement in the country, as well as a message supporting the 2011 Syrian uprising and calling on members of the Syrian Army to defect to protect protesters.”  We can look at groups like Anonymous and acknowledge their accomplishments.  We can believe in what they do or we can dispute their efforts as being morally wrong; they do not care either way.  Of this I am assured.  What then, can we learn from them if we choose to take on efforts of our own?  If we look at their beginnings, it becomes clear that everything started for this group on the internet and spread henceforth.  Their efforts have always been anchored in aggravation, shock humor or “lulz”, intentional irritation with the end goal resting on enlightenment, or in short, trolling.

According to Paul Gil, who writes for About.com, “An internet ‘troll’ is an abusive and obnoxious user who promotes hate and disharmony in online communities.”  That is an abrasive assessment to be certain, though there is some truth to it.  While many communities find trolling to be an offensive activity that disrupts their otherwise peaceful online encounters, not all trolling is enacted with those purposes in mind.  In many cases trolling will occur with the intention to help people come to conclusions on their own regarding various moral, religious, or political opinions.  Generally, when this happens the troll in question will set out with that goal in mind and will search until he has found an environment that is conducive to his “lessons”.  Though other users will almost always be offended and angered in the process, if they think about something they might have not thought of without the trolls intervention, then the troll has done his job.  The chance of a troll on a website having any sense of morality to his purpose is probably fifty-fifty, but in this modern day, when it seems that the whole world is up in arms with a message to convey, the chances are increasing.  Jared Newman from TIME Techland (a subsidiary of TIME Magazine’s online site) reports that “Being obnoxious on the Internet may soon cease to be a fundamental right in Arizona, where lawmakers approved a measure that effectively makes trolling illegal.”  With this measure setting a precedent in Arizona, and the group Anonymous, being effectively hunted down and arrested by our own FBI, we can make the assumption clearly that trolling and online activism have been raising some eyebrows and stirring the social-political pot.

We know that trolling works and we decide to follow the guidelines that took a group of hackers to international levels of effectiveness, where do we go next?  To look at it simply, I recommend we do just what Anonymous did: take it to the streets.  What does that mean exactly?  Shortly after several successful online campaigns, Anonymous helped organize Occupy Wall Street.  They stepped out from behind their computers, donned “Guy Fawkes” masks, and marched into the streets to stand up for what they believed in.  They committed to traditional protests and demonstrations.  We have shown already how the traditional protest no longer works: it becomes divided and cast into obscurity.  Had they followed their proven online tactics into the public and physical arena, I would not be writing about this topic and “Social Trolling” would be a household name.

Social Trolling, as recommended by this writer, is the act of using the divisive and frightening messages presented to us by our media, and applying it aggressively to the public, in a way that will dull the messages impact thus diminishing the effects of division and fear.  This is not a new concept.  Linda Kiltz with ICMA Publications referred to flash mobs when she wrote, “Generally, flash mobs are groups of people who congregate in public spaces to carry out incongruous acts and leave after a brief period of time.  We have seen such groups on YouTube and television advertisements doing everything from dancing and singing, to freezing in place and chirping like birds.” Traditional protests are also a form of social trolling, though we are familiar, by now with the path they take.

When implemented correctly, social trolling should make people nervous without anyone approaching them.  It should offend people.  The best troll will do his work based off of that week’s news reports.  In 2010, a friend and I set to coughing and sneezing in a crowded gas station.  To the resentful looks of the patrons therein we responded only, “Damn swine flu!”  Exercised correctly, social trolling will lead to laughter, making new friends, and the broadened views of the masses.  Exercised incorrectly will land trolls in jail.  The beauty of the method is that, in the end, everyone involved should appreciate the other individual; the message to be delivered above all others is simple: “I love you because you are a human being, just like me.” This message in and of itself can complicate the masses quickly.  It is the most dangerous thing that someone can say at this place and time in history.  Even if we did away with the “trolling” aspect altogether and simply told people with whom we are unfamiliar that we loved them, the upset over time would be immeasurable.  The message is legitimate if we believe in the goodness of other people and have faith that division will dissolve when we remind them of our shared humanity.  If we choose not to love people or choose not to convey that message, then simply disturbing peoples’ sensibilities can be fun as well; at that point however, we diminish the effectiveness of the act considerably.

What could happen if this message got out?  What might take place if everyone decided that race, gender, sexual preference, religious preference, political affiliation, or potential to inflict harm did not matter?  Imagine if one day the new trend was to allow the nightly news to continue reporting its normal content but to take its messages with a grain of salt when it came time to make conclusions about other people.  The social landscape could be permanently altered.  Cornelius Holtorf wrote in his Museum International article “Ironic Heritage: overcoming divisions between communities through shared laughter about the past,” “In this situation, celebrating a non-existent common national heritage means celebrating the existing divisions within civil society that threaten social cohesions” in reference to an area in which a minority of residents are not native to said area.  I retain and submit that U.S. citizens want to love their fellow citizens.  It is not in the true nature of any person to automatically fear or hold suspicion for another human being.  Division and fear are taught.  Division and fear can be done away with.

We have looked at how fear and division is implemented in our country, what other events may be occurring that we could be paying more attention to, what others have tried and why it has or has not been effective, what methods have had success, how we can use these successful methods to specifically promote social cohesion, and what the effects might be if we were to succeed.  It has become common knowledge that our system is failing.  We have put too much trust in our leaders and forgotten about our fellow man.  In 2012, we can look at our country with fresh eyes and work, under the premise of love instead of hate and fear, towards rebuilding what we have lost.  We started as a nation of the people.  We recognized the power of unity.  Reclaiming that power is the only trick we have not tried.  It is the only method that will work.

Works Cited

Holtorf, Cornelius. “Ironic Heritage: Overcoming Divisions Between Communities Through
Shared Laughter About The Past.” Museum International 62.1/2 (2010): 91-95. Academic Search Premier. Web. 3 May 2012.

Kiltz, Linda. “Flash Mobs: The Newest Threat to Local Governments” ICMA Publications.
ICMA Publications, Dec. 2011. Web. 3 May 2012.

OpenGlobe. “Obama signs controversial NDAA bill into law” The Open Globe. The Open
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Newman, Jared. “Arizona Looks to Outlaw Internet Trolling” TIME Techland. TIME Magazine,
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Anonymous. “List of Cases of Police Brutality in the United States” Wikipedia.
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theTVaddict. “TV Ratings: Tuesday January 17 2012 (Viewership Steady Amidst CBS Reruns)”
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Protalinski, Emil. “Time Magazine readers name Anonymous ‘most influential person’” Zero
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Anonymous. “Timeline of events associated with Anonymous” Wikipedia. Wikipedia
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Avlon, John. “Forty-Five Foiled Terror Plots Since 9/11”  The Daily Beast. Newsweek, 8 Sep.           2011. Web. 3 May 2012.

Calderone, Michael. “EXCERPT – OCCUPY: Why it Started. Who’s Behind It. What’s Next.”

The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc, 11 Jan. 2012. Web. 3 May 2012.
Gil, Paul. “What is an Internet ‘Troll’? How Should I Deal With Trolls?” About.com.  About.com,  ND. Web. 3 May 2012.