Author Archives: The Head Seminarian

I’m Not Your Problem, Ladies

I’ve been using computers to communicate with people for nearly 35 years. I started in the chat rooms of Yahoo, looking for interesting people to chat with, to include women. Those days of carefree anonymity are gone; now we have social media, which is a much more restrictive form of communication. It is highly policed, and you can get kicked off of it if you say the slightest wrong thing to a sensitive person.

Facebook was my first experience with social media, and I wasted no time getting myself in trouble with a girl I knew from high school. Pretty, bookish, but a total snob. Would not give a nerd like me the time of day. I friended her, and she friended me back. Now I talk politics just about everywhere I go online, and in the course of doing so, called Allan West an Oreo Cookie, which was racially charged shot, but one I did not consider racist because Allan West is working for massa.

This girl wasted no time in publicly “unfriending” me for what I said. I got super pissed and went after her online. This would be the first time I ever went after a woman online. It wasn’t because women make me mad or that I am threatening in any way; I was done being judged by a high minded bitch. I lost control of the situation, which dragged out for days.

I’ve graduated to Twitter now. I’ve got the hang of it; hundreds of people “follow” me because I pass along interesting information, or have good quips. But recently, I got myself in trouble again. A woman made some comment about Joe Manchin, and I told her “He’s a Republican”. She came back telling me that it was an ignorant and uneducated take and that I didn’t understand red state politics. I live in Georgia; I told her I didn’t mean it literally, and used the word “hon” in my response.

Holy shit, people. I found myself jumped by nearly 300 women telling me I was a misogynist and a rapist. I argued with them for six freaking days until I exhausted all of their patience. I don’t feel bad about what I did. I went a little too far and called one of them a bitch, but still, that’s a long way away from being a woman hater or an abuser. Well, my behavior apparently crossed a few lines and people who know how to work Twitter better than me got me suspended for 12 hours. A mere slap on the wrist. It’s not like I don’t have better things to do.

Social media can be a warzone. Tread carefully out there, there’s a bunch of people out there waiting to misunderstand you.

I Never Knew So Many People Hated Democracy

You would think it was self evident that democracy is a good thing. After talking to many right wingers, I have found that we are mistaken. Believe me now and hear me later but they literally think democracy is the most dangerous form of government. They think our American Republic is juxtaposed to democracy. In the minds of the founders, that’s true-but it’s overly doctrinaire to suggest that the republic does not require and use a great deal of democracy to function.

The right wing has no idea what the left is, either. They rely on caricatures, and worse yet, fail to understand what constitutes lefty thinking. If you try to tell them that democracy is about having a voice and being able to participate in a system that positively affects your life, they will come back at you with canned phrases like “Democracy is mob rule”. They refuse to engage their noodle no matter what you try to tell them. They are so caught up in originalism and right/left axis thinking that no true facts about our system can emerge.

What most people don’t seem to realize (and this spans across the political spectrum) is that we are about to have a showdown with Christian white supremacist fascism. Democracy itself is literally on the menu. Anyone “different” will be an enemy of the state when they are done. So I’m a little worried that too many smart people on the left are leading a charge to disengage from this system-as if it has any other choices save for civil war or revolution. If disaffected people on the left disenfranchise themselves and think they are going to resist this movement, they had better learn how to shoot a rifle because the right is already armed to the teeth.

That leaves us with the Democratic Party as the only defense against the coming storm of oppression. Are they perfect? Fuck the fuck no. But they do share your values and you can change them from within. We need your voice INSIDE the party. Tell us what we need to hear. Lots of sleepy Democrats need your input. Some of them, like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, simply have to go. And we need your help getting rid of them. Good Democrats want to rein in capitalist excess and corporate overreach just like you, they just don’t have the support or the votes to make it happen.

This is really two posts in one, but these things are on my mind today as I watch the political winds blow from my computer.

Don’t Look Up-An Attempt At A Movie Critique

This movie has completely managed to split the left in half opinion-wise. Was it nothing but back-patting for being clever enough to figure out what was truly wrong in American society, or was it an effective call to get serious about our future before we don’t have one anymore?

I think the former criticism is fucked up, personally. There was something in it for everyone, liberals and lefties at all stages of wokeness. Yes, we do have a fact-free wing of this society. But we don’t have to let them drag us down with them-we can still fight by sharing knowledge, passion and talent. If you didn’t like “Don’t Look Up”, two things may be wrong with you-you either don’t really like art, or you have ingested so much media you are impossible to please. In either case you are just as useful as the people who won’t look up.

The themes of the movie were screamingly obvious. There’s the overarching environmental metaphor. But there’s more to see-the death of news as information, the obsession with mindless, distracting entertainment, weird billionaires holding sway over the government, out of control meme culture, the silencing of outrage, denial of facts, and there’s probably more shit in there that I missed. In short, there is plenty to talk about, all of it teachable. And like it or not, it also reminds us that time is running out. It was almost 80 degrees on Christmas Day where I live in Georgia, so maybe “Don’t Look Up” made me squirm a little more than most.

I have kids. They are not sanguine about the future. And I am guilty as fuck if I see a movie like that and don’t reflect on what kind of world I am leaving them. I’ve decided to get mad instead of sitting on a high horse judging the fucking messenger when we aren’t doing jack shit to address the problems that the movie brings up.

I have been a cynic many times in my life. Part of me still is, but there’s still enough life left to resist a world without hope. See the fucking movie. At worst, it will relieve you to know that someone still cares, and you are not alone.

The best joke in the movie is that the scientists who get booked on the infotainment show to discuss the end of the world get slotted for the third and last segment.

I Moved On Democracy Like A Bitch, But I Just Couldn’t Get There

In December, Bernie Kerik, former NYPD police commisioner and Guiliani associate, were involved in talks about plans to have mass demonstrations all around the country around December 17. Obviously, nothing came of it, perhaps there just weren’t enough soldiers and outraged citizens to do the job. But that’s not the story-it seems that Trump actually considered seizing election machines that delivered unfavorable results to Trump in key swing states.

Under what pretense? Obvious candidates would be the declaring of a national emergency, or invoking the Insurrection Act. But first, you need an insurrection or an emergency. None materialized, leaving the Kerik/Flynn/Guiliani plans on the table. But it’s worth noting that Trump was going to do something monumentally illegal to flip the election.

This story is bad enough. What we should truly be concerned about is the legalization of these tactics by the Republican Party. Across the nation, Republicans are seizing control of the election apparatus, making sure they can do in daylight what they were trying to do in secret.

Democracy has a long climb right now; I am currently short on suggestions on how to resist. As has been the case before, the next election will be decided in the courts. And that may be the only hope we have; that we can get these laws declared invalid before Republicans start calling for do-overs, disallowing votes and mass audits when they don’t like what they’re seeing.

I hate watching Trump skate, but it’s the next generation of Trumpists that worry me a bit more. Trump’s out of power.

Sedition By Any Other Name

Today on Twitter, Marjorie Taylor Greene introduced some of us to the concept of “National Divorce”. She’s open to the idea of the dissolution of the Union. It’s an extremely radical right-wing idea with lethal implications.

What does a supporter of National Divorce believe about the left in general? Phantoms. Dreams of a violent left obsessed with power and control. Here’s one of its adherents:

Why a civil divorce won’t happen — if a divorce comes at all — is that it fails to account for the opposition; that is, the hard left — Mark Levin’s aptly described “American Marxists” — who’d regard a friendly national divorce (or any divorce) as contrary to who and why they are. 

First of all, there’s no such beast as a “civil divorce” in this scenario. We already did this in 1861. Secession was bad for the Union and it’s bad now. This isn’t Brexit. And these people are kidding themselves that they’d do it amicably. Let’s not forget, it’s not the left in this country who are buying arms by the cartful.

So basically anyone for the preservation of the Union is part of the hard left, eh? News to me. Who are we, in their paranoid minds?

There’s ample history, dating back to the Russian Revolution, that Marxist-Leninists (or variations, like Maoists and fascists) are never about subtraction.  They’re about addition.  They’re about power acquisition — often through violence.  They crave domination.  They seek to impose their wills on the unwilling.  Need we look any further than Xi Jinping’s China today? 

I keep hearing this idea that we need “power”, “domination”, “control”. Here’s their pop psychology attempt to explain it:

American Marxists hunger for control.  They desire to expand their franchises.  That isn’t just a matter of doctrine, it’s a matter of personality type.  In fact, it can be argued that “controllers” create authoritarian and totalitarian models as a means of fulfilling their deepest needs.

The left consists of controllers and followers.  Leftist followers are people who gratefully cede control over their lives.  They trade freedom for perceived security — and not just materially.  They want liberation from the day-to-day struggle of thinking critically, making decisions, and taking responsibility for their lives. 

That’s a lot of bullshit world salad, full of groundless assertions and several strawmen.

As a liberal myself, I hate power, control, and domination. Most of us on the left do too. It’s like you’ve never really met any of us. And China is a piss poor example of the hard left. It’s only Communist in name, you dink. It’s a fascistic authoritarian slave state who exploits workers rather than lift them up. I’d much rather have nothing to do with them, but American capitalists are in love with the cheap labor market there.

Here’s some more paranoid balderdash about “wokeism” and “cancel culture”:

The left, universally, insists on aligning society with their worldview and further insists that all submit, agree or not.  Conformity to their norms is compulsory.  Dissent is prohibited, and dissenters face cancellation, to use the modern parlance. 

Cancellation, in its mildest forms, entails ostracization, loss of reputation, and loss of livelihood.  “Milder” cancellation harkens back to the Nazis’ early treatment of Jews.  Eerily, it’s being replicated by the left here now – except that anyone who dares run afoul woke culture risks being targeted. 

Oh, get off the cross, we need the wood. There’s some serious misgivings on the right about the nature of free speech. They always seem to confuse their right to speak with their right to be heard. You can say whatever dumb shit you like in this country-but where you guys always fuck up is where you think no one can criticize you and ostracize you for it. Maybe you should get better thoughts.

I don’t much feel like ripping more on this poorly written tract that the author probably thinks is the equivalent of “Common Sense”. But this is what passes for thought in the “National Divorce” movement, and while it is a little concerning that we have a sitting congressperson with a fat mouth who is jake with it, I’m not gonna worry for now about separatism.

Plans Beyond January 6

One of the plans to invalidate the 2020 election was to make a 24 hour spectacle out of the counting of the votes. Seems Steve Bannon and Pete Navarro thought they could get national attention from the press by having 100 or so congressional objectors making speeches about election fraud. After that, the legal arguments brought up would be taken to the courts. It’s pretty clear that they were aiming to undo The Electoral Count Act, which forbids the practice of attempting to send alternate slates of electors to Congress and that disputes over the validity of objectors to the count were to be handled in Congress. The endgame was to throw the elections back to the states, where a series of complex maneuvers would conceivably have handed the election to Trump. They weren’t done ratfucking the election on the 6th. The controversial election was to be dragged out much further than that.

Then a riot broke out and the Capitol was attacked, interrupting the count. Seven hours later, the counting resumed. Objectors, chastened and nervous, allowed the official proceedings to complete, declaring Joe Biden president.

Well anyway, that’s how Peter Navarro is telling it in his new book. This does raise the question: was the violence part of the plan to stop the count? Because if Navarro is telling the truth, the insurrectionists fouled up the plan that was unfolding on the congressional floor. In fact, they fouled up everything, blackening the eye of the Trump movement. Even Fox News knew it was bad shit.

There’s still much to be learned about who, if anyone, planned the invasion. We know that the crowd was primed for violence by Trump supporters, operatives, members of Congress and Trump himself. It could have easily boiled over due to incitement. I am still left wondering what the point of the Capitol attack was if it was a plot. What was the next move? It’s still illogical to me. Some say it would allow Trump to declare a national emergency or use the Insurrection Act, but again, what was the next step? Were we looking at a hard coup that would have installed Trump as an unelected despot? How close did we come to the end of democracy? That’s still shrouded in mystery. And if the Navarro/Bannon plan was working the way it was supposed to, there was no need for a second, parallel operation that worked at cross purposes with it.

Digital Evangelism

I think there’s a significant portion of people who turn to God because their lives are a mess or they’re just too painful. The theory being, if they can’t find comfort in this life, they will have a better one when they leave it. I get it; life is a bear sometimes and it’s a nice thought that suffering will end and you will be enveloped by eternal love if you just hew to Jesus. Really, I don’t have a problem with it at all. Generally, I only object when it pushes itself into my government. I am a firm believer in freedom of religion, and I am one of those atheists who believe that I am afforded freedom from religion as a corollary to that simple, effective concept.

It’s the 21st century, and COVID has been a major disruptor of regular society. People are afraid to gather in groups, and that’s poison for churches. There’s now a technical solution to the problem, though; there’s this new company named Gloo that is doing data mining for churches and looking online for people with troubled lives for churches to reach out to. It’s a little creepy, as the company says it has data on 245 million individuals. If people can’t go to church, say some users, the church can now come to them.

A good part of the internet is a bazaar to fleece people out of their money. It’s taken over the job televisions used to do. I do hope that this technology isn’t perverted to impoverish the vulnerable with false promises of salvation. But I may be hoping too much. Things turn to shit really quick.

Nazi Homeschooling

To me, homeschooling does a tremendous disservice to children. There’s few parents that can give a basic, well-rounded education to a child. Parents don’t have the requisite degrees to guide a child through trouble spots in their education. It is best left to professionals. When COVID shut the schools, I was of a little use to my boys, but I was under no pretenses that I could teach.

Homeschooling is now making a comeback, thanks to people like Madison Cawthorn, Candace Owens, and Steve Bannon denigrating the value of public education. The right wing in this country do not place a premium on learning. Why is that? The simplest answer is they don’t want children to learn how to think and ask questions. They don’t want our young people to have access to information nor exposure to new ideas. Those are future voters/citizens who will be easier to control. In an authoritarian utopia, asking “why?” is anathema.

Well, there’s a new kid on the block in the homeschooling world. The School Of The West is not content with teaching the three Rs. They’re also shamelessly promoting classes in “white wellbeing”. I took a look at one of their free videos aimed towards pre-teens, and it’s shocking white supremacist propaganda. After showing the child a very implausible situation in a public school classroom, they tell kids that there are people who are just jealous of all the great things white people have done. And larger society is teaching whites to feel bad about themselves when they believe these things. White pride is re-labeled as “going free”. Yep, they’re feeding that sewage to young minds.

The school touts the work of the Institute For Historical Review, which, if you poke around, is very busy promoting anti-semitism and Holocaust revision.

So the Nazis have infiltrated the homeschooling business. Great. It’s icky stuff, but I wonder which of our white nationalist public figures will be first to tout this institution as a great place to help raise your kids.

Shifting Sands

It seems that President Trump is futilely clinging to the idea that he can protect his White House documents under executive privilege. Joe Biden put his abuse of that doctrine to rest. Now Trump is going whining to the Supremes after getting no satisfaction from lower courts:

The fight over the documents stems from a lawsuit Trump filed against the Archives as well as the House Committee, seeking to stop the records’ disclosure. Trump is arguing that those documents should remain secret under the former President’s own assertions of executive privilege, though so far, lower courts have rejected his arguments. Thursday’s filing with the Supreme Court marks an escalation of the dispute, in which President Joe Biden has determined that withholding the documents based on executive privilege is not in the interest of the United States. In a letter to the National Archives in October, White House Counsel Dana A. Remus said that the President had declined to assert privilege because Congress has a “compelling need in service of its legislative functions to understand the circumstances that led to these horrific events.” In their filings with the Supreme Court Thursday, the former President’s lawyers said that the House’s request for the Trump White House documents was “untethered from any valid legislative purpose and exceeds the authority of Congress under the Constitution and the Presidential Records Act.”

The lower courts can’t really find any legal basis to find the Biden guidance troubling:

“Former President Trump has given this court no legal reason to cast aside President Biden’s assessment of the Executive Branch interests at stake, or to create a separation of powers conflict that the Political Branches have avoided,” the DC Circuit said in its opinion earlier this month.

Will his Supreme Court save him? We know for a fact that they do not simply do his bidding already, so we will see.

Depopulation Weirdos

Up until today, I could not, for the life of me, understand anti-vaccine hysteria. I still don’t, because some of it is so illogical and wackadoo that it gets hard to follow.

While perusing Twitter, I came across this rather excitable person making a Twitter video in her car:

Sorry about how big that rendered. Sometimes I don’t use WordPress right. Anyway, fuck Donald Trump, eh? It may be that under each Trumper is a creature even stranger. She says something about “depopulation” and I’m immediately intrigued. What the fuck is she talking about? I was talking with some friends about how I don’t understand anti-vaxxers and would love to see the story of when a vaccine killed millions rather than save them. Because that story doesn’t exist. But, there is a plot afoot, say the antivaxxers. Buckle up- this is what they believe:

...misinformation claiming that COVID-19 vaccines are loaded with “toxins” … blaming every death reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) database on vaccines, when VAERS is not designed to determine causation and we would expect a large baseline number of deaths in the time periods covered by random chance alone; claiming that vaccines cause Alzheimer’s and prion disease; blaming the vaccines for cancer… “shedding” from the vaccinated … invoking evolution to predict the selection of more deadly coronavirus variants that could wipe out humanity; warning that the vaccines can “permanently alter your DNA“; and that they make females infertile…

All of this in the service of “utilitarianism”. Here’s a little from one of the theorists:

  • Utilitarianism is based on a mathematical equation that some individuals can be sacrificed for the greater good of the majority. In other words, if some people are harmed by vaccines, it’s an acceptable loss because society as a whole may or will reap gains.
  • This discredited pseudo-ethic has repeatedly been used to justify horrific human rights abuses. The Third Reich, for example, employed the utilitarian rationale as an excuse to demonize and eliminate minorities judged to be a threat to the health, security and well-being of the State. Now, utilitarianism is being called upon yet again, under the false narrative that mankind as a whole is in peril unless everyone rolls the dice and gets vaccinated.
  • In the end, the idea is that vaccine refusers won’t be allowed to freely participate in society any longer. This is the disincentive or negative incentive, which is added on top of the positive incentives previously mentioned.

That’s not what utilitarianism is at all, and it’s absurd to say Hitler used a philosophy that promotes the greatest good for the greatest number of people, which is what utilitarianism is in a nutshell. Look people, if you are liable to spread a potentially deadly disease to others, it’s not unreasonable for businesses and other establishments to protect their patrons and refuse you service. That’s the breaks. There’s no plan to cut you out of society. You cut yourself off by not doing your part to stop the spread of the disease. See, some of these people take the idea of “individual” a bit too far. Yes, we are individuals, but we do live in a larger society and have responsibilities toward maintaining it.

Here’s quackeroo Dr. Mercola, getting all biblical:

The point is, once you’re in this system, you’re under someone else’s control. If they say you have to get a booster shot, you have to comply — again and again — or risk losing basic human rights, such as the ability to buy and sell, travel or get an education.

Oh, brother. The “mark of the beast”.

But here’s the coup de grace. Ladies and gentlemen, depopulation:

The other form of population control refers to actual depopulation. A primary problem the global elite have been trying to solve for a long time is that there are too many people consuming too much of the world’s perceived limited resources and polluting everything in the process. The answer, in their mind, is to reduce the global population.

While birth control and abortions are promoted to help with this, these strategies aren’t effective, or rapid, enough. They need a less fertile population and they need people to die sooner.

While many may not want to believe this could possibly be true, you have to remember that the intention is not to cause suffering per se. It’s a form of self-preservation, as their end goal is to concentrate all the world’s wealth into their own hands.

You do NOT want to go down the rabbit hole of depopulation theory. Suffice it to say it has something to do with Bill Gates, Satanists, The Georgia Guidestones, shadowy front groups for the CIA, a plot to pack all Americans in a dozen or so cities, and the reduction of the American population by 90 percent by 2025. On the other hand, if you like conspiracies, you need to check it out. You’ll be fucking with it all night long.

In the end, it’s COVID (and this applies to every other pandemic in history) that is the real depopulator. It has taken far, far more lives than the vaccine has ever purported to do. And it’s going to keep doing it until these paranoid rubes stop “doing research” and realize that vaccines have saved countless lives and will continue to do so. Even Donald Trump, an elite, knows that.

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