And the new face of the resistance is…George W. Bush?

For the first of the political posts I want to get out of the way, you might not believe what the American media has been up to this past week: promoting America’s 43rd president George W. Bush: the man who got America into a war in Afghanistan in the aftermath of 9/11 while never going after Saudi Arabia in any way, effectively lied to the American people about Saddam Hussein having chemical weapons so that he can destabilize Iraq and whose administration instituted the PATRIOT Act, diminishing civil liberty in the name of patriotism and security, and paving the way for the Obama administration’s own legacy of authoritarianism, all while pontificating about the higher power of Jesus Christ.

Yes, that man has gone from being the face of everything wrong with the GOP to being adorable in the eyes of the left. In the last week or so he spoke of his “affection” for Michelle Obama, with whom he scooped an opportune photoshoot, he made an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres show (with whom he had another photoshoot) where they talked about some stupid wet poncho photo that was taken during the Trump inauguration ceremony, as well as on the Jimmy Kimmel show for laughs, and I’ve seen lots of articles promoting his paintings. And the Guardian, the supposed bastion of journalism and left-wing commentary? They are hailing Bush as a “welcome return”.

What the fuck happened here? I mean I get that you can’t go around hating George W. Bush all the time given that he’s no longer President and up until now he was pretty much not active in politics, not even pressuring the Obama administration as far as I’m aware. But now I find the “liberals” lifting up a man who they should’ve been opposed to. And why? Apparently because he is opposed to Donald Trump. Because he called insinuated that Trump was a racist and because he thinks Trump is attacking freedom of the press by not allowing media organizations into his press conferences – which is exactly what the media thinks as well. George W. Bush, it seems, is being embraced by the liberals and the media for one crucial reason: the rationale that the enemy of their enemy is their friend. And to that end, the left will ignore the ramifications of the policies of Bush’s administration, which they themselves opposed, to wage their ineffectual war on Trump. And don’t kid yourself. Bush’s policies had considerable ramifications in the eight years that Obama was president, namely that it gave the state more power over the rights of its subjects. Obama was an authoritarian, sure, or at least very illiberal, but upon election he ultimately just jumped a machine that was already geared towards the erosion of civil liberty. I have to wonder if “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” is such a good reasoning to have.

Bush and Obama, united at last

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 popular 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.

Goodbye, and good riddance, Barack Obama

Ever since the middle of the 2016 US presidential election cycle (in other words, by the time primaries were drawing to a close),  I have been waiting to send off the outgoing Barack Obama in my own way. So here is a list of the things I dislike the most about the Obama administration, and why I will be glad to see him gone.

 

Auditing political opponents

There’s a reason, among others, that certain people in America have begun to think of Barack Obama as kind of a dictator. In 2013, it was revealed that the IRS (a.k.a. everyone’s favorite tax collectors) selectively targeted conservative organizations – particularly groups that had the words “Tea Party” or “Patriot” in their names – while Obama was running for re-election in 2012, and IRS officials admitted that they were doing it. Under the Obama administration, it seems that the IRS felt that they had the authority to deliberately target certain political organizations for financial auditing. However, they did claim that it was an error of judgement on their part, which they did apologize for.

 

Continuing to fuck up the Middle East

I remember when I was a teenager hearing about how Obama was supposed to bring peace to the Middle East. Which he did. Right?

Wrong.

US troops did not withdraw from Iraq until 2011, and did not cease fighting in Afghanistan until 2014. In 2014, US forces would later return to Iraq to lead the international military intervention against ISIS. In 2015, the Obama administration began aiding Saudi Arabia in its military intervention campaign in Yemen by supplying weapons to the Saudis and helping them bomb the country. Oh, and the US has continued to drop bombs on Syria and Iraq, and in some cases the US military is has been conducting drone strikes that have injured innocent people, including children. Obama’s foreign policy regarding the region has also helped to create the vacuum within which ISIS would exploit the opportunity and rise to power and earn their current status as the one of the great menaces of the Middle East. The USA, under the Obama administration, has also pursued military intervention in Libya, which helped to overthrow the dictator Muammar Qadaffi (and don’t get me wrong I’m still kind of glad he’s dead) but also left the country unstable due the failure of democracy to replace the tyrannical regime of Qadaffi. I’m sure Hillary Clinton had nothing to do with it as Obama’s Secretary of State, right?

 

The NSA scandal

Before Obama got elected, the George W. Bush administration attacked the civil liberties of ordinary Americans by instituting the PATRIOT Act, supposedly in the name of protection from terrorism. Surely Obama would take care of it right? Far from it. Obama continued the legacy of Bush in the form of the NSA’s mass gathering of private information from ordinary Americans. The NSA gathered the phone and internet records of millions of ordinary Americans, in violation of American civil liberty and constitutional law, without any oversight. When this was exposed by Edward Snowden and Bradley (or rather Chelsea) Manning, Snowden was rewarded with basically exile in Russia and Manning was thrown in jail for what was to be a 35 year long prison sentence. That sentence was recently commuted, which means that now she only has five months left before she is set free, but this was only during the last week of Obama’s term. As positive as Manning’s commuting was, I suspect it was a cynical political move, not a sign that Obama suddenly is concerned with human rights or privacy.

 

“Islam dindu nuffin'”

As Islamic terrorism continued to be a major issue, particularly over the course of the rise of ISIS and in the aftermath of the Pulse massacre, Obama has been very reluctant to even speak of radical Islam, not even by name. In fact, one of his notorious sayings was “Remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ”. In the case of the Crusades, not only does this oversimplify a rather complicated historical issue, one in which there were no good guys, but it insinuates that the fact that Christian powers fought against Islamic powers (not terrorists as we would call them) is somehow consolation for the fact that Islamic terrorists still continue to murder innocent people, including other Muslims (on the basis that they are not faithful enough in their eyes), by the thousands, and they seem to be doing it on the basis of a radical political and religious ideology that is supported up by barbarous religious texts. I have explored this in detail throughout August 2016 as part of Haram Month. Obama has given the impression to Christians that the actions of their Crusader ancestors are equivalent to the horrors inflicted by ISIS and that they should feel some guilt because of it, and this is a mantra repeated by the political left to this day. His main reason refusing to talk about radical Islam is supposedly because he doesn’t want to lump the terrorists in with ordinary Muslims. An understandable goal in theory, but in practice all it does is whitewash the religiosity of the crimes of Islamic terrorists when we should be confronting the ideology that continues be the primary source of continued Islamic terrorism. Oh but he considers that to be just a “manufactured issue“. Manufactured in what respect? Is the killing of ordinary people in the name of Allah a “manufactured issue”. Is the discussion of radical Islam a “manufactured issue”. What a callous clown.

 

Being the Celebrity in Chief

I don’t think I have ever seen a President so beloved by the media, to the point that the press has not been particularly adversarial towards him, more than Barack Obama was. I don’t remember any president whose inauguration compels a contingent of celebrities to declare themselves loyal servants of the President. No wonder they wanted the Democrats to win so badly in 2016. The media has not been adversarial towards him. No, every time he makes a media appearance he’s always smiling, and I remember that time where he was dancing on the Ellen DeGeneres show while America was still at war in the Middle East and bailing out the banks. In fact, they are now busy establishing a shining legacy for him. And during the election debates, Obama seemed to be treated as some kind of sacred cow, where one candidate saying something bad about him seemed to amount to a strike against that candidate. It’s like the reality of the Obama administration never sunk in with some people. He was indicative of a kind of celebrity politics – the kind where the worst woman in politics can be treated as a hero to women,  where the Catholic Church is absolved of its sin by another religious fraud (by which I mean “fuck Pope Francis”), and where people who are normally unconcerned with religion can look at a bird landing on Bernie Sanders’ podium and treat him like he’s the reincarnation of Rochindas Gandhi or Jesus fucking Christ!

 

Surrendering ICANN

In the fall of 2016, the Obama administration handed US control of ICANN, the institution responsible for oversight of the Internet and maintenance of web domains and databases, over to the global private sector, ending US control over the regulation of the Internet. This will, of course, open the door for foreign powers or foreign companies to make changes of their own. The problem with this is that the US government usually observes the value of freedom of speech in accordance with the principles of its Constitution. Other countries do not have the same principles – in fact, Europe has been pushing for more legislation to combat “hate speech“, which will require them to control the Internet, and China has been talking about “global governance” of the Internet. By surrendering control of ICANN, the Obama administration has opened up the possibility for foreign powers who are uninterested in First Amendment style freedom of speech and expression to exert their own control over the internet.

 

The lie of the great unifier

Back in 2008, the fact that he was the first African-American to be elected as President was a big deal, for some reason. So much so that he won a Nobel Peace Prize in September of 2009, only nine months into his first term when all he did was bail out the big banks and fuck all else. Americans were willing to believe, somehow, that a first African-American president would magically bring about racial togetherness in the country. But the reality is that, as time flew by under his watch, things have pretty much gotten worse. The rise of groups such as Black Lives Matter and trendy left-wing identity politics, particularly in the form of today’s “social justice” politics, has contributed to increased hostility and mistrust between the races. And this has been apologized for under the odious curtain of liberal guilt, while the facts contradict the narrative that support it.

 

No, you didn’t

“Yes we can”, “Change”, “Hope”. These were the slogans that surrounded an optimistic political campaign for a charismatic politician. Who in the end turned out to be just another politician, cut from the same cloth as all the rest – including the Bush administration. Obama turned out to be a nice little slogan for the Democrats to use in order to get back into power.

And let me tell you something else about Obama: Obama can play 300 rounds of golf, often with Bill Clinton or David Cameron joining in, while he’s doing his taxpayer funded job and nobody’s brow gets raised at least once. His predecessor George W. Bush gets shown playing golf whilst pontificating about how America must combat the threat of Islamic terrorism, and he is crucified as showing the classic hallmark of a typical politician (which, in all fairness, he was).

Oh, and what about the fact that the middle class has been shrinking, or the fact that Americans are poorer now than they were during the Bush administration? What was that again about hope and change?

 

Endorsing Hillary Clinton

Say you have an election on, and one of the candidates has a history of corruption under her name and one of the most hated politicians in the country because of it. What’s one thing you don’t do in that situation? Back that candidate and endorse her as an unofficial successor to your legacy. I can hardly think of anything more damaging to the Hillary Clinton campaign, other than Wikileaks or Project Veritas, than this. What this essentially communicates is that one of the most disliked and reviled presidential candidates ever, one who has been treated with contempt as a politician for longer than Donald Trump has I might add, and one of the most dishonest politicians I can think of is being endorsed by a President who has failed to be the change that he promised to be in the eyes of many. Imagine you are the kind of American voter who, prior to the 2016 election, supported for Obama and voted for him in either 2008, 2012 or both, and afterwards you become disillusioned by the Obama administration because, in your eyes, things have not gotten much better under his watch. How are you going to feel knowing that this guy has deemed Hillary Clinton as fit to carry out her legacy? You’re probably going to think “this guy was a failure of a politician and a charismatic liar, and he’s just endorsed one of the biggest liars and most corrupt people in politics”.

 

Really, the only good things I can see coming out of the Obama administration were the nationwide legalization of gay marriage and the end of the Cuban embargo, as well as marijuana being legalized in parts of the USA and the last-minute commuting of Chelsea Manning.

 

Gary Johnson, Donald Trump and a bit about legal vs illegal immigration

I know I said I’d try and refrain from talking about American politics for a while, and I guess in a way I did for a whole month. But there is a development concerning Gary Johnson I feel I need to talk about, as well as a certain issue on my mind.

Gary Johnson has come under a lot of criticism from conservatives for supposedly not actually being very libertarian in practice. He has suggested a “climate tax” and put it forward as a “free market solution”, never mind that it’s basically the same thing a progressive would suggest. He suggested mandatory vaccinations, something that I would think most libertarians are necessarily against because it means that a vaccination is mandated by the federal government. Of course, I’m pretty sure Johnson back-peddled on those issues recently as well. But what really irks me is his response to somebody using the term “illegal immigrants” as opposed to “undocumented immigrants” to refer to, well, illegal immigrants. I would see no problem with that term – after all, they are entering the country through unlawful means. His reason? It’s “incendiary” to the Latino population. Why? “It just is”, apparently. And when he criticizes Donald Trump, he starts by referring to what he is saying as “incendiary”. He didn’t say it was wrong, outlandish or incorrect. Just incendiary. That’s it. He then proceeded to flip out and go on a short rant where he basically acts as some kind of white knight, almost as though he’s some kind of libertarian SJW or something.

Before I continue I want to express my general frustration with the way I see Americans talk about immigration. It’s usually all about illegal immigration. The left wants to do more to help illegal immigrants, while the right wants to kick them out. All the while, how much talk is there of legal immigration, and any meaningful reform for the nightmare that is the US immigration system? I am so fucking tired of hearing people talk about how we should be kind or cruel to illegal immigrants and say nothing about people who want to come to America through completely legal means. And I find my sentiments echoed only by people like Lauren Southern.

If anything it should be harder for people to get into the country through unlawful means, not for people who want to come in through legal means. I would have thought this was a sensible position. But apparently not.

So anyways, I was beginning to lose patience with Gary Johnson over this. And then someone told me that he threw away a gun that he was given by his rival Austin Petersen as an olive branch, which he actually did. To me it struck me as a dick move in the extreme, and left me in doubt as to whether someone like that will protect the Second Amendment when even Trump has commented about tightening gun laws.

Which of course, leads me to Trump himself. You’d think I’d ditch Gary Johnson in favor of Donald Trump, and I do fear that it looks like I might be forced into that position. On some issues, Trump is still very much the only one speaking truth to power, such the migration crisis, the threat of Islamism and jihad and the forces of globalization, despite that he sometimes seemingly exaggerates the threat of rising violent crime in America. He’s also the only current candidate with the guts to point out that the African-American community has a crime problem, which it does, while Gary Johnson has come out in support of Black Lives Matter – you know, that group who decides that antipathy towards law and order and destroying communities is a valid substitute for consulting the actual facts regarding police shootings and actually dealing with the broad social ills facing the African-American community that weren’t actually created by racism. This movement, this sad identitarian movement with proven violent inclinations mind you, has the support of Gary Johnson who claimed that they opened his eyes to racial discrimination and said Americans need to do the same – you know, again, instead of talking about the actual issues such as poverty, fatherlessness and the breakdown of the nuclear family, the ghetto and gang culture in those communities. That, to me, suggests that he is actually an imbecile – a useful fucking idiot at that. And this might be what we get for our money when the Libertarian nominee spends his campaign since the end of the primaries appealing to the left while losing the right.

And yet Trump is still a buffoon, he still has a lot of bad ideas. It is hard to imagine me supporting Trump wholeheartedly. Even if I told you right now that Trump is better than Clinton or Johnson, that’s not saying much. It’s still saying that America’s options are a career criminal, a goddamned buffoon and a craven, and I would be only ever be forced into thinking Trump might be the “best” option because the other candidates are either worse or simply unworthy of trust. The way things might be going, why should I side with any of them on principle?

Whether it’s Gary Johnson or Donald Trump, I don’t think I would get everything I want out of either of them, even on the matter of principles.

So it’s come to this

Well, it looks like the US presidential primaries have yielded Donald Trump as the Republican nominee and Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee. I have to say, I’m not entirely surprised. Ever since April or May I had the impression that this outcome was all but inevitable, and whatever miracle that could possibly have saved Bernie Sanders simply did not materialize. And to be honest, even Sanders did get a miracle, it might not have helped considering that as of this weekend Wikileaks revealed that the Democratic National Convention basically rigged the competition in favor of Hillary Clinton, or were very inappropriately agenda-driven for an organization that was supposed to be neutral towards the Democratic candidates.

That said, I’m now going to give what are probably my two cents on the two people that most Americans will probably vote for.

Donald Trump

Over the course of his campaign Trump has become the great bogeymen of American politics, in fact he is widely perceived as villain du jour. And do not be fooled into thinking he is the apex of the Republican Party or American conservatism: even other Republicans and conservatives such as Ted Cruz, Mitt Romney, John Kasich, Ben Shapiro and even Glenn Beck are against Trump. I think that might be because he advocated for a higher minimum wage, has flip-flopped on the gun issue and apparently is willing to support more protectionism than would be favorable to Republicans (at least that’s what they think Trump “fixing” trade is going amount to). So it’s not just progressives and liberals who are against him. Personally, I am still concerned about what might happen if Trump got elected, and he is not my candidate of choice. But I have gone from practically fearing the prospect of a Trump presidency to the point that I declared that I would not want to emigrate to Trump’s America, to being ultimately rather skeptical of the idea that he’ll destroy the country. Put simply I was being hyperbolic. Granted, he still has quite a lot of bad characteristics: he is a buffoon, he is not very intelligent and there are worries from scholars that he may threaten the rule of law and go against the US Constitution. Not to mention, I have not heard anything about Trump changing his mind about forcing the military to kill the families of terrorists. But even with that, I think he may not be as villainous as he’s painted out to be. He has had a history of being very unpredictable, and his lack of intelligence may yet be a sign that he may be too inept to do much. What he has going for him is his ability to appeal to the portions of the working class that are disaffected or disillusioned by the Obama presidency and loathe the political establishment for what they perceive to be its ineptitude. And the problem is that they might have reality on their side, as was revealed by Brexit, the migrant crisis and the increasing number of terror attacks plaguing Europe – all of these events have exposed the political establishment’s true colors, mostly their indifference to the concerns of ordinary people and their detachment from ground-level reality. Recent events in America, such as the Orlando massacre, recent shootings carried out by police officers and the slaying of police officers by a Black Lives Matter supporter (not to mention the violent rhetoric from many Black Lives Matter supporters) may be convincing Americans that they’re country is suffering an epidemic of violence and that there is a need for a strong “law and order” president, despite the fact that that crime rates overall are still lower than they’ve been in the past. At any rate, I think he is certainly not comparable to Hitler. In the post I linked, I implied that Trump’s campaign may have, as others have suggested, been similar to that of Adolf Hitler, but I have learned that this was mostly hyperbolic. At any rate, there is no evidence that Hitler ran on a slogan of “make Germany great again”. In the end, despite everything about Trump as a person, I find his treatment to be a joke – ironic, considering that when he started his campaign Trump himself was seen as a joke. Hell, Trump even got compared to jihadists recently by Barack Obama on the grounds that “they always fail” – the day I see Donald Trump strapping a suicide bomb to himself or shooting cartoonists to death whilst shouting “Allahu Akbar” is the only time I’ll be more inclined to believe him and others like him. It is a rare person in America’s political climate to understand why Trump has managed to be successful, and most simply resort to “MUH XENOPHOBIA” or “white people are evil” (the latter especially egregious considering that there are African-Americans and Indian-Americans who are willing to support Trump and I don’t see them thinking so heavily about race; mind you they probably get referred to as Uncle Toms or something like that due to the tradition of demographic propriety). To the people voting for him, he is an outsider who dares to say things that the establishment doesn’t want to be said, even if they are rash and unintelligent. Until Trump’s opposition can deal with the same issues that he is addressing in a reasonable and intellectually honest manner, and through doing so convince Trump’s supporters that he is the wrong person for the White House, then I think that Trump’s opposition will fail to defeat him. And since I’m still not entirely enthusiastic about a Trump presidency, it might be better that Trump’s opposition succeed in meaningfully deconstructing his campaign.

Hillary Clinton

As I already pointed out already in a previous post, Hillary is a different creature entirely. She is not interested in serving anything besides her own interests, which at the very least is highly inappropriate given not only the fact she is seeking to run for an office where she will be expected to lead the nation but also that, in her capacity as a government official, so is supposedly expected to serve the American people. And I haven’t got a doubt in my mind that Hillary Clinton has wanted the top job for a long time. One of my main problems with Hillary Clinton is her odious appeal to identity politics over the course of her campaign. When she last ran for the Democratic nomination in 2008, she wasn’t running as a woman. In 2016 she is, and that’s being treated as proud and historic. She can even get articles written about her defending the idea of voting for her based solely on her gender. She is also of the opinion that white people need to “change” in order to reduce the number of African-Americans killed by cops. She doesn’t think all Americans should change, just white people. And people say Trump is the racist! Never mind that that the statistics on police homicide suggest that the majority of people killed by the police are actually white. In 2015 she spoke to Black Lives Matter and she told them “you change laws, you change allocation of resources, you change the way systems operate”, which to me only says that she encourages whatever Black Lives Matter does to that end. Like Donald Trump, she is willing to play the fear card when it comes to violence in America. Only for her it is specifically gun-related violence that is the subject of sentimental manipulation. Then there’s the fact that Hillary Clinton is known for her dishonesty and duplicity. She famously claimed that she landed under sniper fire in Bosnia with no greeting ceremony, but of course there exists footage of her landing in Bosnia to a greeting ceremony and no sniper fire. She also claimed to be an instrumental part of Northern Ireland’s peace process. Not to mention, there is a lot going around about the email scandal surrounding her in March, which to me is enough to suggest there was a lot that she didn’t intend the average public to know about, like her history of interventionism (which to me suggests that she will probably make the situation in the Middle East much worse than it is now). It also bothers me that, at one point, she refused to say whether or not the right to bear arms was protected by the Constitution. Then you have the fact that she is backed by several large private corporate interests, including billionaire hedge-funds, as well as the revelation that the Democratic National Convention, both of which I mentioned in my previous post. There’s also the matter of the Clinton Foundation, which apparently only gives a small portion of its money to jobs and charitable causes while the rest goes to the Clintons and their friends. Finally, I remain unconvinced that she will be on the side of civil liberty, given her history of promoting censorship and government surveillance. At any rate, I am not convinced she has changed her mind on whether or not national security is more important than human rights. Needless to say, I am very much dead set in my refusal to support Hillary Clinton regardless of Donald Trump being the Republican nominee. Negative partisanship just isn’t for me, at least in principle anyway.

I’m also not impressed by either of their vice presidential picks. Donald Trump’s pick – Mike Pence – strikes me as just another neocon, while all I know about Hillary’s pick – Tim Kaine – is that he is apparently a favorite of Wall Street. Neither of those things are very encouraging to me.

If these are the two candidates that most Americans will be faced with choosing, I can’t blame the American public for being so sharply divided. These are of course two extremely polarizing candidates, albeit in a country with an already frequently polarized political environment often divided among rather tribal and fiercely dogmatic lines. At the same time though, I think there might be another option. I am of course talking about the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. Say what you will about the Libertarian Party, but I find that he is certainly more appealing a candidate than Trump or Clinton. For GOP voters now stuck with Trump but still despise him and would never vote Clinton, he is surely the sane option. For Democrat voters who supported Bernie Sanders but got Clinton and would never support Trump or Clinton, he offers hope as another outsider, at least to the two-party dynamic that dominates American politics. If I lived in America, I would probably spend some time campaigning for Gary Johnson and trying to convince people that he is the better alternative to either. As a moderate libertarian, albeit with some liberal leanings, he is certainly the candidate that more closely represents my own views or values. But according to Johnson himself, his best chance is if he gets into the national debates, and that requires him to poll at least at 15% in five mainstream news polls. I would very much like to see Johnson have the opportunity to debate Clinton and Trump publicly, so that the American public can see what kind of politician he is compared to both of them. It may be unlikely to happen, but Johnson is the only candidate I can support wholeheartedly. That said, however, there is a part of me that would like to see how everyone reacts to a Trump victory. Will I laugh? Will I cry? Will I convulse with anger or horror? Or will I be fairly indifferent? There is only one way to find out…

I sincerely hope this is the last post I write about American politics for now, aside from maybe the odd mention – at least until November or until Gary Johnson actually succeeds in getting into the national debates. Until then, Good luck Gary.

More madness about guns and gun laws

Just yesterday a murder-suicide style shooting occurred at the University of California, Los Angeles. From what I’ve gathered, there are those who wish to use this event as proof that America needs tighter gun controls before the bodies of the victims have even gone cold, and everyone on the anti-gun camp has once again opted to straw-man the NRA and gun rights advocates. Especially Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks, whom I suspect I will have to pick a fight with one of these days because of how obnoxious the man is. One phrase that comes up among anti-gun advocates is the term gun-free zones, which are spaces where carrying and using firearms are forbidden. The thing is, the UCLA was a gun-free zone. There is clear evidence for this as the institution has a policy clearly forbidding weapons on university property including firearms barring some exceptions.

What can clearly be drawn from this is that there were explicit restrictions on the presence of firearms on the UCLA premises, and those laws were still broken. And just like seemingly all these shooters, the perpetrator committed suicide thereby evading lawful justice. It seems obvious that rules were in place and presumably observed by everyone on the premises except the shooter, who obviously would have no intentions of observing these rules. And yet in spite of the facts of the matter, the anti-gun progressives still call for stronger laws. It begs the question: how much stronger do you want your regulations before you realize that the law, rules and the power of the state don’t change much.

In other words…

Instantly, I feel like this situation also reminds me of something that happened here in the UK. Back in 2010, a man named Raoul Moat took a sawed-off shotgun and killed two people (including himself) and injured two more people in a manhunt that took place in Northumbria. The same year, another man named Derrick Bird killed 12 people, including himself, and injured 11 others in a shooting spree in Cumbria, using a shotgun and a rifle. In the UK gun ownership is viewed as a privilege, whereas in America it is one of the fundamental rights guaranteed in the Constitution. You can’t carry guns, whether openly or concealed, you need a license issued by the police in order to own a gun, and you’re outright prohibited from privately owning even hand guns, whereas long guns (such as shotguns and rifles) are regulated by the law. British gun laws are generally seen as strict, but they didn’t stop someone from breaking the rules – nay, two people from breaking the rules. Surprise surprise, there was outcry over gun control, and The Guardian even joining in. Strangely enough though, David Cameron discouraged what he saw as “knee-jerk” reactions. He was probably quite right to do so – too bad that he . If anything, however, the laws only got more invasive in this country, with the government in 2014 allowing the Association of Chief Police Officers to carry out random checks on registered gun owners for fear of them being “vulnerable to criminal or terrorist groups”, effectively persecuting law-abiding citizens. And funny enough, according to MPs, young people in this country have been managing to illegally obtain firearms over the last three years. And again, this is in spite of the laws in place in this country, which are seen as so strict that some people are calling for them to be relaxed.

The bottom line: the whole furor over gun laws not working is madness. There were laws, but criminals don’t obey laws, and the worst thing about this is that the American public have been compelled to talk about the UCLA shootings as a political issue all while the bodies of two people who died haven’t gotten cold yet, and while you can find a PDF of the UCLA’s gun policy simply by searching for it on Google. What happened at the UCLA was a crime, and the matter of gun control at the UCLA is already an open and shut case. But the progressive majority refused to do something so simple as search for the UCLA’s gun-free zone policy before engaging in pointless virtue-signalling and calling for tighter gun control, all instead of leaving the dead to rest in peace and their families to grieve!

The ballad of John McAfee

Just today I came across a post from defeated Libertarian presidential candidate John McAfee via Facebook. The substance of the post is as shown below.

People are confused about about why I said ‘Shame on us” at my concession speech at the Libertarian Convention. It is simple:

If the Party’s actions matched their words, even remotely, then it would not be composed of 99.7% whites, and nearly 80% men. Yes. Shame on you LP! Shame on you! And shame on those who perpetrate this abject offense against humanity and those who support them. Stop just talking the talk. Start walking the walk. I will shine my light on your darkest corners. And, be warned, nothing will escape my light.

I can’t help but feel McAfee is taking the piss. Seriously, is he actually implicating the Libertarian Party of discrimination, or does it not occur to him that those percentages likely just reflect that most of the people who chose to join the Libertarian Party happen to be mostly white and/or male? Either way, the language seems to imply that McAfee is calling for enforcing diversity within the Libertarian Party’s ranks. In my opinion, this betrays a party that would oppose things like enforced diversity, affirmative action, and quotas because those are attempts by the state to unfairly level the playing field in order to achieve equality of outcome at the expense of meritocracy. Not only that, but it smacks of progressive social justice logic. I can’t help but wonder why McAfee would consider this sort of thing, this thing which smacks of the same progressive identity politics that would be adopted by the likes Hillary Clinton.

And there’s another dimension to this. What’s this talk of McAfee’s “light” coming soon, with nothing escaping it? Does he intend to be some kind of messiah or something. It’s clear that John McAfee is upset that he didn’t get nominated as the Libertarian presidential candidate and that he does not support the nominee Gary Johnson. When he was asked what who he would support, he said he would support himself, which seems to imply he might run as an independent candidate. When asked if he was running as an independent candidate, he said that “running” was being redefined, which to me still seemed like he had ambitions of his own after the Libertarian primaries. Honestly, I am deeply suspicious of McAfee’s ambitions at least from his rhetoric on the matter. I can’t help but wonder if he is simply a bad loser – unwilling to accept that the Libertarian party chose a guy that wasn’t him. And this talk of a revolution and a new world seems about as hyperbolic and emotive as Bernie Sanders’ talk of a political revolution, and look how quickly his “revolution” has failed.