A new low for this dreary isle

Let me ask you a very simple question: if you had a kid who had a rare disease, and your only chance of saving your kid’s life was to take him to another country, should you be allowed to do it?

That was the question given to the British courts in the case of Charlie Gard, a baby who had a rare genetic disease called mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, which gradually deteriorates the brain and the muscles of the infant. There is no known cure, but in America one doctor, Michio Hirano, offered an experimental treatment. It was considered unlikely to have worked, but in any case the parents of Charlie Gard wanted to try it out. But Great Ormond Street Hospital wouldn’t let them try out any experimental treatment, because they decided it was futile, the British High Court ruled in their favor. The hospital withdrew life support for the child, not letting their parents do whatever they felt was necessary to save their child. And in the end, after a long legal battle, the parents gave up and decided simply to let him die, once they realized that it was too late to save him after all this trouble because Dr. Hirano told him that he examined him and found that, in some areas of his body, there was already no muscle left, and thus it is too late to save him. And even after that, the British High Court decided that the child would be moved to a hospice, and their parents wouldn’t get to spend more time with him before he died.

I feel nothing but contempt for the British system after all this. They denied a family their right to try any kind of experimental therapy to save their child rather than just let him die. The doctors know what’s best they say, that’s why it’s their business to deny the family the choice to so much as attempt to save his life. Shit like this is why the Americans are right to criticize we British for the way we do things. The British system is rotten. That is all I have to say.

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You bastards!!

I woke up after July 4th to find this fresh pile right before us. During the weekend before hand, Donald Trump posted to his Twitter account a GIF of him brawling with WWE chairman Vince McMahon with the CNN logo superimposed on McMahon’s head. Trump posted it not long after the investigations into his alleged collusion with Russia found no substantial evidence for such collusion, after non-stop accusations by the press that he was the agent of Russia. By this point, it has also been revealed that some on CNN’s own team know that the Russia story is not supported by any solid evidence – in other words, it’s bullshit and they know it. So the GIF can be taken as Donald Trump essentially gloating over the fact that his side of the story is winning over the mainstream media.

And how did the media take it? They thought that Trump was signalling a violent, authoritarian crackdown on his critics. Over a fucking meme!

That’s right, anti-CNN memes are considered to be a form of incitement to violence. Before this, there was a whole other shitshow from the right about how Kathy Griffin and the Trumpesque Caesar of Shakespeare at the Park and how these were supposedly violence against the President, and now I find the media and their liberal supporters proclaiming that their lives are in danger because Trump shared a meme on his Twitter. There are few richer hypocrisies than this!

And CNN were so offended and scared by the meme it was their top story, their reporters and their friends screeching all day about how Trump reemed them in the ass with simply a moving image that mocked them. But, that’s where the fun ends. Since they wouldn’t take being mocked by a meme for all to see, or perhaps because they believe memes are incitement to violence, CNN decided that it would be appropriate to try and track down the person who made the meme to begin with. At first it had emerged that the maker of a meme was a Reddit user named HanAssholeSolo, who may or may not have been either a teenager or a 40-year old man depending on who you ask. They dug up some information about the Reddit user, contacted him and were apparently able to get an apology out of him. He promised not to do another anti-CNN meme again, and CNN said that they would reveal all the information they dug up if that changed. In essence, they cyber-stalked a guy they thought was responsible for nothing more than creating a meme that offended them that was shared by the President, and threatened to dox him if he made more memes. That is fucking reprehensible! You’re putting someone’s privacy on the line because of what is just a meme.

The journalistic class can cower all they like behind the excuse that he made other memes that they reckon think are Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, racist, xenophobic or whatever, but none of it changes the fact that there was no reason for CNN to go after this guy. He committed no crime, he hurt no one, all he apparently did was offend some powerful people. So-called journalists and media pundits actually think they have a right to expose someone and take away their anonymity in order to expose their “hate”. What the fuck kind of thinking is that!? In a different time, these people might have been aristocrats looking for seditious critics of the monarchy, Catholic elites searching for suspected heretics, or imperial Romans going after Christians. “We have the right to expose people for their subversive thoughts and expressions” is their mantra, and to that end they will stop at nothing, even if it means targeting innocent people, to satisfy their lust for control. And they’re proud of what they do.

Oh and they haven’t just been acting unethically either. They are likely criminals as well. According to Julian Assange of Wikileaks, CNN has violated Section 135.60 of New York’s criminal code, which prohibits coercion in the second degree, specifically the part which prohibits exposure of a secret or publicizing an asserted fact which would subject a person to ridicule or contempt. Senator Ted Cruz also thinks that CNN may have violated the criminal code of the state of Georgia, specifically § 16-8-16 which deals with theft by extortion, in which the public dissemination of any information relating to any person in order to ruin his reputation is prohibited. What’s more, section 241 of the United States Code prohibits conspiracy against a person exercising their legal rights as provided by the laws and Constitution of the United States. I think it’s possible that CNN broke the law and that a legal case that could be brought against CNN, and I hope there is a case brought against them because it couldn’t happen to a more deserving organization. They can pretend to be defending their freedom of the press all they like, but what press freedom entitles people to threaten to dox an innocent person exercising freedom of expression online over a meme?

And to add insult onto injury, it’s possible that CNN got the wrong guy. Buzzfeed claims that the meme wasn’t actually created by HanAssholeSolo, or was a version of HanAssholeSolo’s meme that was edited by someone else. I don’t trust Buzzfeed as a source, but if this is true then it’s entirely people that CNN went through all that trouble only to get the wrong guy. I can’t help but wonder who they’ll go after next. CNN now claims that they still don’t know who the memester was, but they also claim that it’s not the most important issue in the world. Really? If that’s true, why the fuck would they go through all the effort of digging up the personal information of someone who committed no crime or wrongdoing if it was all just nothing!? Better yet, why were you so outraged about the meme in the first place!?

And in the wake of this something’s been nagging me. A professor named Josh Chafetz tweeted that, in his view, freedom of speech only protects you from government censorship and not public censure from private entities. Aside from the fact that, as I’ve mentioned, there are probably laws against that, there’s a bitter hypocrisy associated with this because of how I see this argument from some on the left. I always thought the left as a political umbrella was generally opposed to the power of big business, right? They don’t like big corporations having too much power and doing whatever they want, right? So then why do left-liberals now seem to think it’s OK for CNN, a major media corporation run by a multi-millionaire, to threaten a private citizen’s right to freedom of expression? Because the government isn’t doing it? But then they go on about how right-wing billionaires such as Peter Thiel are supposedly silencing the freedom of the press for whatever reason. And I’ll tell you something else: I bet the makers of Nobody Speak, a pile of utter apologia that asserts that Gawker was innocent of wrongdoing despite outing several private individuals without their permission, probably don’t have anything to say about Jeff Zucker’s organization censoring a private law-abiding individual. Of course they don’t, because it’s not Donald Trump or Peter Thiel doing it. You’ve got someone who’s basically being censored over memes by a multi-million dollar corporation, and the left is telling us that’s perfectly fine even though they’re supposed to be against big business! Almost like they don’t actually care about that on principle, after all it’s OK when they’re being fascists isn’t it!? If you think you’re fighting the rich and billionaires because you think they’re coming after the freedom of the press and freedom of speech, but you’re OK with this shit from CNN, your cause is frankly fucking worthless to me!

Finally I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a man at the centre of the HanAssholeSolo debacle: one Andrew Kaczynski. After all, he’s the guy who dug up his information in the first place and he was the author of the article wherein CNN gave their veiled threat to begin with. And for this service, he is congratulated by his media colleagues who, like the fascists they truly are, laud the fact that he gave CNN leverage to dox a man over a meme by proclaiming that those who oppose them will “change their tune once identified”. This is not the first thing Kaczynski has done. He has ruined the life of another private citizen, one Justine Sacco, over what was supposed to be a joke tweet about her being a white person in Africa by publicly outing her for an angry Twitter mob to target, which led to her losing her job. But even worse was when, in 2013, he gave out the identities of two people – Mike Mulugeta and Sunil Tripathi – who he falsely believed were the perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombings, and he reported that falsehood as fact. One of them, Sunil Tripathi, committed suicide after the false accusation resulted in him and his family being constantly harassed and threatened. All he’s known for otherwise is digging up dirt about politicians. So CNN basically hired a professional muckraker who is also known for ruining people’s lives for a paycheck. He is a scumbag, and I hope one day he gets what’s coming to him.

CNN is the most immoral company in media, and they’re what’s wrong with journalism today! They spin either lies or half-truths constantly, their journalists have no fucking clue what’s going on and make shit up but they expect you to take them as fact, but they consider themselves an untouchable class of people who cannot be criticized or else you’re against the free press. And for that reason, CNN and others like them think they can just do whatever they want, even if it’s flagrantly unethical. Can’t imagine why so few Americans trust the media. Can’t imagine why Trump is their President to begin with. Anyone who defends them, in my view, is not worthy of my time or trust. I don’t think I’ve been so outraged as I am about this whole thing.

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Please don’t burn reason

So this week something terrible happened in the Kensington district London. On Wednesday, a fire broke out in the Grenfell Tower flat complex, resulting in the deaths of about 30 people and counting, with the final death toll as yet uncertain at the time of this writing, and the destruction of Grenfell Tower, with 76 people missing and feared dead. It is a national tragedy.

And it didn’t take long for the event to politicized. Many people took to protesting the government for its perceived inaction regarding the event, with Prime Minister Theresa May criticized for not visiting the victims. It is worth noting that May did visit the fireman in order to talk with them, presumably in order to try and assess the situation. Jeremy Corbyn meanwhile spent half an hour at a church hugging people, and then used the issue to advocate for the wholesale confiscation of private property in order to house those displaced by the fire.

Worse still, people are seriously trying to proclaim that the Grenfell fire was a crime – either the result of criminal negligence or an act of deliberate corporate malfeasance – without any evidence to suggest this and without an inquiry to produce any evidence of the kind. Labour MP David Lammy was a vociferous cheerleader of such a rush to judgement, advocating that arrests should be made and powerful people should be put in the dock for “corporate manslaughter”, without offering satisfactory evidence of course. Sadiq Khan, a man usually known for his inaction in the face of tragedy, is actually calling for “action and justice” in response to this whole thing. There is actually a movement now titled “”Justice for Grenfell” operating in the vein that this was indeed an act of criminal negligence and corporate malfeasance, and I’m just baffled because I’m not confident that we have any evidence yet that this is the case. Yet here I find people storming the Kensington town hall in what looked like an angry mob, demanding satisfaction, and some people claiming that the government is actively hiding the truth from the people, all without direct evidence. Are we going to start seeing Grenfell truthers soon?

More crucially, are we truly going to be allowed to give into mob mentality like this, rushing to judgement based only on reactionary whims? I know this must be horrible for the people in Kensington, and you can hardly blame them for having an intense emotional reaction to what is, by all accounts, a tragedy. But there is a danger that too little patience is being exercised for the government. It will take time to find all the answers, and a full inquiry will likely be a pretty slow process. In the meantime, there should be focus not just on gathering the facts in a calm and rational manner but also on recovery as people will need to find new homes, preferably in a manner that doesn’t entail full blown socialist confiscation of private property. I sincerely hope we don’t throw our sense of reason into the fire as well.

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A photograph taken of Grenfell Tower at the time of the fire

When shit hits the fan

I did not plan to write something like this right now, and I am still supposed to working on my next post about Satanism and all that, but something happened recently that hit somewhat close to home, and I have reflected on it, as well as the reaction and possible ramifications.

As I’m sure you know, there was a terrorist attack on an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester in which 22 people were killed, including children who have been subject to horrific injuries. It was a suicide attack carried out by a 22 year old man named Salman Abedi, and the possibility that he was operating as part of a wider terror plot rather than as a lone wolf is seriously being considered. I have two people who I work with who are from Manchester who have been talking about it yesterday, and I’m sure have contacted their relatives to see if everything is OK. As of today, the terror threat level in the UK has been raised to Critical, meaning that more terrorist attacks are expected to occur very soon. The country is putting itself on high alert, and there’s talk of troops being sent to patrol the streets as though this country has turned into fucking Israel!

And what did we do immediately following the Manchester attack? The usual. We cry, we mourn, we change our Facebook profiles and whatnot, pretend that they will not divide us, preach about diversity and inclusion, and then Muslims come out and pretend that they are the real victims, not the people that Islamic radicals blew to smithereens. Oh and don’t forget the Sadiq Khan message: terrorism is just like the weather now, “part and parcel of living in a big city”, just the bread and butter of the modern world. I can’t be the only one who’s had enough here.

Oh, and the Metropolitan Police have decided that any rabble-rousers who aren’t going on about peace and unity and all that bullshit and instead speak against Islam can be investigated for “Islamophobic hate speech”. Isn’t that just the cherry on top of the shit sundae?

Lots of terrorist attacks have happened in my day, not just in the UK but also the Western world, Europe in particular, and in my opinion too many. And every time it feels like the same cycle. For over 20 years, we in the West have tried dealing with this shit by either creating borderline police/surveillance states to diminish the civil liberties of their own people, we go to wars with Middle Eastern countries and then we try playing nice and needlessly shielding all Muslims and their shitty religion from criticism when most of us are mad at the terrorists rather than all Muslims, going so far as to discuss race where the issue does not belong (and both extremes seem to forget that Islam is not a race). None of this changes the problem. We strip away liberty, we cause destruction and then we bend over backwards to a force that wants us dead and our values defiled, all for nothing. And one someone comes up with a different solution, any at all. They are dismissed as xenophobic. The simple idea of controlled immigration is automatically deemed racist, because they believe that opposing immigration can only be based on hate. The idea that we should be tackling Islamist ideology is seen as “Islamophobic”, and racist, because people stupidly confuse Islam to be a racial group, rather than a religious one. The idea of promoting integration, promoting your own societal values and looking out for the interests of your own country is automatically, without context, denounced as fascistic, funny enough by people who don’t seem to know what actual fascism is.

And this whole spell that we should all just live with it is odious. Terrorism is treated like it’s a natural disaster, something that always has been and always will be with us. But that is madness! Terrorism isn’t something that occurs normally as part of civilized society. It is the product of the will to kill innocents on the part of violent individuals, in many cases an ideology that demands the radical and violent overthrow of a given social structure in favor of a typically authoritarian or totalitarian worldview and an array of societal ills that contribute to the growth of terrorism. You can’t just say this is a normal thing and an inevitable course of modern life that we can’t hope to solve. Sure, we will never be able to *completely* eliminate all terrorism from society at large, but to suggest that we shouldn’t even try and instead just live with it as though you would live with heavy rain and thunderstorms is not just defeatist, it’s also callous. We’ve tried carrying on as things were before, and I don’t think things are getting better. Not that such a thing ever happens when you decide to ignore a problem. And don’t give me any bullshit that this is some kind of blowback to the West, when terrorists kill lots of people in the Middle East just that no one notices, and right now the Philippines is in a state of martial law because of an Islamic terror group taking over a city in the country. What the hell did the Philippines do to deserve getting attacked by Islamists I wonder!

I think we need to come up with far better solutions than the kind we have offered for the problem, and we need to figure something out soon. Because the longer people keep seeing nothing change, and being told that nothing ought to change, eventually we’ll reach a point where they’ll say “we’re not gonna take it anymore”.

Je suis sick of this shit

So I imagine you might already know what happened recently, but yesterday a terrorist killed four people outside of Parliament before being shot by police officers, after which Westminster went into lock-down for the day. At first the attacker was identified as a radical Islamic preacher named Abu Izzadeen by the likes of Channel 4 and The Independent, but it emerged that he is currently in prison serving a two year sentence for attempting to illegally leave the UK, contravening the Terrorism Act of 2006. Today, however, the attacker has been identified as Khalid Masood, who apparently had a string of convictions for non-terrorism related offences and had been under investigation by the state over concerns of violent extremism, and eight more people have been arrested after the attack. It was a small attack, but it does seem to be a case of terrorism that may be tied to radical Islam.

Oh, and just today someone tried to run over a crowd of people in Antwerp, Belgium, with his car. The suspect has apparently been identified as a man named Mohammad R, a Tunisian national. And as both these things happen, we are only a year removed from the bombing that occurred in Brussels.

I am so tired of this. I’m so tired of seeing more terrorism happen and it seems there’s a Muslim radical or radicals behind it. And every time it happens I’m fed up with the tiresome virtue signal that comes in the form of the prayers from those who think that’s supposed to make it all better. People have prayed for Paris, for San Bernandino, Brussels, Orlando, Nice, Munich, Ansbach and Berlin and what in nebulous fuck did it accomplish? Nothing. They’ve changed theirr icons on Facebook or whatever to those flag overlays in solidarity with the country where the attack happened, and nothing happened. And now they’re all praying for London like nothing happened over the last two years. And no matter what, the response we need to see does not manifest itself. There is no conversation about the threat of radical Islam, there is only apologizing for Islam. There is no action taken against terrorist networks, and no rebuking of those who fund terrorism in the Middle East. The powers and that be and the media class sing the same tune, seemingly without end. I know it may sound like a cliche, but it seems to me that madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result each time.

That’s it. That’s all I have to say on this, for there is not much else to say on the matter.

The Scottish referendum: meh

The past week or so I’ve heard discussion about the possibility of Scotland having a second referendum on its independence from the United Kingdom, and today I have just learned that Scotland intends to carry out this referendum some time between 2018 and 2019. And you know what I think? Go ahead.

Yes, go ahead. If Scotland wants to pursue self-determination as its own country independent from the UK, even if it causes a major shake-up, then so be it.

Don’t think I don’t know what this is all about. It’s patently obvious, at least to me, that this is the SNP trying to get Scotland into the European Union separate from the rest of the UK because almost all of the Scots voted to Remain. That they chose to stay a member of the UK in 2014, thus staying as British citizens and therefore voting in the EU referendum as British citizens, appears to be irrelevant in this at least for Scots who want to secede from the UK.

And to be honest this is actually what bothers me, not the premise of Scottish independence in and of itself. Essentially Scotland’s plan is to secede from an existing national power and become its own nation-state, only to try and integrate into a larger supra-national political/economic union. One that is run by elite bureaucrats whose power cannot be affected by a democratic vote. That just seems like a damned farce to me. What’s the point? And from what I understand, the Scots won’t be automatically granted EU membership if they secede. They will have to apply to become an EU member state. And that’s assuming they’ll be accepted by the European Union at all.

Now this is just a hunch on my part, but I have a suspicion that the European Union isn’t interested in Scotland as a standalone nation. To me, a United Kingdom is too valuable for the European Union for them to take in only separate parts. Why do you think the EU leaders pursued the punitive measures that it did in response to the Brexit vote? Because they were about to lose a member state that they considered to be an important benefactor, whose separation from the union may well have inspired a succession of populist triumph across the rest of Europe and undermine the stability of the project as a whole. Beyond that, I suspect that a United Kingdom is simply of greater economic value to the European Union than Scotland, which has been hit with a major oil crisis in recent years.

I currently see two potential outcomes of a Scottish secession: if they succeed in leaving the UK and in entering the European Union, then it will be a farce; Scotland will have gained independence only to hand some of its power to the European Union – and make no mistake, the EU is very much on the path towards becoming its own supranational empire, with its own army, and its own central bank. If they succeed in  leaving the UK and fail to become an EU member state, then it will still be a farce, for Scotland will have pursued its independence only to fail – essentially they’ll have done all that for nothing, and that’s important because I don’t believe for a minute that, in this instance, Scotland is interested solely in its own independence.

But then there’s the elephant in the room that is the SNP itself. If Scotland becomes indepenedent, then barring a Scottish general election afterwards I presume that the new nation-state of Scotland would be governed by the SNP. That’s a little worrying because I suspect that the SNP has an authoritarian bent, an example being their advocacy of the named persons scheme which requires that children have a state-appointed guardians intefering with their lives on a regular basis, and another being Alex Salmond’s desire to “ban all Donald Trumps”, and then there’s the super ID database they proposed a while back. So needless to say, I worry that an independent Scotland won’t actually be freer at all, and may become more authoritarian instead.

Other than that, I don’t feel compelled in any way to oppose the Scottish referendum ultimately, or its outcome. Either way they vote, then bully for them. If they’re doing this because of Brexit, then I am willing to accept an independent Scotland and/or potentially a divided United Kingdom as the price to pay for us leaving the EU (not least because that was my vote).

Oh, and if the British government or whoever does decide to rename the UK if Scotland successfully secedes, then whatever you do don’t call it England! I have a funny feeling that it might just piss off Wales.

Sounding off on that “mass spell”

So I guess, better late than never, I ought to briefly comment on that “mass spell” nonsense from this week. Last week, a group of “witches” (specifically Wiccan fluff bunny style witches) announced that they planned to cast some kind of “mass spell” on Donald Trump and, presumably, his supporters in order to “bind” him and cause him to fail in some dubious, ill-defined way.

Seriously. How do they want him to fail? What do they want to have happen to him? There’s no specification. I’ve looked. There’s nothing. I would’ve thought that typically a magician or an occultist would design a ritual tailored to a specific desire, but this “mass spell” is vague as shit as far as specific desires go. The only clarity is that they want Donald Trump to fail, but not how.

But that’s not the only thing I find wanting here. Insert magical cliche here, colored candles and heavenly hosts, even a reference to demons, for good measure, with generic progressive political platitudes thrown there. It is, without question, a joke for people who aren’t interested in all the magickal things in any way, and an embarrassment to those who are. And then there’s Michael Hughes, the man who spread this. Looking at his website, he’s the kind of guy who shills textbook pop superstitions alongside some stuff about psychedelics and UFOs (at least one of the latter two is at least actually worthy of some interest). And apparently he’s also a DJ and “psychic stage entertainer” who makes a living performing at parties. I can’t help but wonder why I’ve never heard of him until this whole Donald Trump “mass spell” shit. Hmm…

By the way, pop singer Lana Del Ray was also involved in this buzz, and is planning on conducting other ceremonies later this year. Apparently her involvement is still getting headlines, including on The Independent, and celebrity and entertainment magazines have picked up on the story, including one magazine involved another celebrity criticizing her for her anti-Trump witchcraft shenanigans.

You know, I’m starting to wonder how much of this is all about accruing attention from wide audiences. In Lana’s case perhaps even to promote a new album? I suppose it worked for Gaahl (a former lead vocalist of the Norwegian black metal band Gorgoroth) didn’t it?

I honestly think this is one of those make me think “magick isn’t one of those things that you can use to influence world politics or affect the seat of power”. But then I’m reminded of the pro-Trump meme magick courtesy of the Cult of Kek and the wonderful world of 4chan. I’m still not entirely sure on the veracity of that by the way, but I am fascinated by the memetic stuff all the same. At the very least I’m more fascinated with memetics than I am with the New Age/Wiccan fluff that this “mass spell” constitutes. Then there’s all the conspiracy theories surrounding Hillary Clinton and alleged devil worshipers. Bear with me for a moment. Let’s assume it’s all true: that Hillary Clinton has a whole network of devil worshiping magicians at her disposal (or that of George Soros, of course). If that’s true, then given the results of the US presidential election on November 9th, I am guessing that either these magicians are practicing pure unadulterated woo, given that one of the “devil worshippers” is the performance artist Marina Abramovic, or they are incredibly crappy magicians. Either way, we can assume that whatever magic they may have practiced was no match for the might of Kekist memetics. Satanicviews assured me that her only magicians were her PR team (which is arguably true), and it looks like they failed all the same, funny enough possibly proving that a mainstream media isn’t exactly mind control. Ultimately I remain pretty skeptical about the whole magick and politics thing. All’s I know is that traditional witchcraft, let alone New Age Wiccan fluff, won’t do anything to influence politics.

As I said before in my post about a Bustle article on social justice witches, if a bunch of brujas (practitioners of Mexican witchcraft) in Mexico couldn’t hex Donald Trump, what chance do these witches let alone Lana Del Ray have?

Possible opportunist Lana Del Ray leads a trustafarian drum circle lighting candles to pray the Donald away.

Possible opportunist Lana Del Ray leads a trustafarian drum circle lighting candles to pray the Donald away. Also those people next to her look like they were dragged out of the 1990’s.