The coming war

I’ll try to talk less about politics on the blog in the future (that is, let’s be real, if I get around to writing much at all), but what I am about talk about is of perennial importance.

This week, it was announced that in light of a chemical attack in Syria, and the unverified accusation that it was caused by Bashar al-Assad, America looks set to engage a military campaign in Syria to “punish” Assad for allegedly killing civilians in Douma. Basically, Trump has gone from punitively striking Syria once and saying America won’t invade Syria again, to sending military forces to attack Syria in spite of this position, to openly suggesting a military response to Assad. Remember when people like me supported him instead of Hillary Clinton partly on the grounds that her proposal for a no-fly zone would lead to war with Russia because Russia’s interests are aligned with Syria’s? Well now it appears we’re likely to be involved in conflict with Russia anyway. Thanks a lot Trump.

And it looks like my country, the UK, is going to be in on it as well, as the Prime Minister Theresa May joined Donald Trump and French president Emmanuel Macron in calling for military intervention, without a vote from the House of Commons. Because of that, I’ve officially gone from hating Jeremy Corbyn (even as a recently converted socialist) to supporting him just because he might be the only viable alternative to the decidedly pro-startting World War 3 agenda of the Conservatives. Of course, Theresa May did say on Wednesday that she would be making our participation in the Syrian war conditional depending on if we have more evidence of Assad’s role in the chemcial attack in Douma. Only for her to send submarines to Syria anyway.

So why am I so appalled by this development, you might ask? After all, muh North Korea! Kim Jong-un is a mad man, right? Well, considering that denuclearization is actually on the table with North Korea, and the North Korean state is shedding is Songun (military first) policy, you would frankly have to be a sheep if you still believe by this point that North Korea is the biggest threat to world peace. Not to mention, even I didn’t believe that North Korea was even capable of blowing everyone up. With Syria, however, if NATO presses against Syria long enough, if they depose Bashar al-Assad, and if they consequently encroach upon Russia for long enough, they will not be able to defeat NATO in a straight fight, and so the only option left for Russia will be to use its nuclear weapons against the West. The difference in the level of threat involved is quite clear. We knew this when the American people were making their choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, but for some Trump himself isn’t aware of this and even many of his supporters seem to be lining up like dogs to support his actions, although some of them are outright condemning him (of all people, Alex Jones has outright said “fuck Trump” on the issue).

We are on our way to World War 3 any moment now, and it could well end with nuclear fire, and I wish I were being hyperbolic, and I don’t even know how many people care because people still think North Korea is the one that will destroy us all, even as all pretense of that idea fades slowly and Syria and Russia (and Turkey to some extent) become much more relevant. Just goes to show you that despite all insistence from conservatives that the media is left-wing, they still want you to be threatened by the more communist nations out there (despite the fact that the North Korean state technically no longer positions itself as communist).

I, for one, will oppose my country’s involvement in Syria to the last. I do not want to have any part in this carnival of greed, unjust violence and needless human suffering just so the congloms can make money off of developing missiles to lob at Syria and so that the political establishment can take out anyone who poses a threat to their global economic interests. Even if the Douma attack was Assad’s fault, for which there hasn’t been any investigation, it is not our business to oust him from power in Syria – America already tried that bullshit in Iraq and Libya in recent memory, and it ended up getting taken over by Islamist regimes who proved to be even worse than the dictators that were removed by military intervention. When the time comes, I will do what is necessary to avoid participating in the abomination of a war that is to come, perhaps agitate against it.

If it comes to war and either I drafted (which I hope can be avoided somehow) or bombs drop where I live before I have the chance to get a bunker then, well, it was nice knowing you guys.

(PS: Don’t take the last comment to hard, I do still intend to write some posts, though the pace will likely be as slow as it’s been recently; at any rate, I’ll try not to let my readers think that the worst has happened)

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I’m sick of Trump, among other things

I was going to post about this in a larger post about politics in general, but I’ve decided instead to make this post about Donald Trump, considering all the recent developments concerning his administration, and then try to cover some other things I want to write about as related tangents.

I have arrived at a point where I am officially tired of Donald Trump. Over the last year I have seen him make a lot of blunders, and I’ve even seen him pretty much go back on some key promises. For instance, during his first week of office, he scrapped the TPP, and I was quite excited about that, but then early this year I found out that he was considering revitalizing that very deal. Before that, back in April, Trump’s administration bombed Syria after his daughter fucking bauled her eyes out on Twitter over what she saw on CNN, one of the very news outlets Trump rightly identified as being essentially a glorified propaganda outlet, and then (if I recall correctly) said that America would not be going to war with Syria, and then what happens? Last month American forces attack Assad forces in Syria. Not to mention, I’m informed that under Trump, the very same guy who promised Americans an age of isolationism compared to the foreign policy of both Bush and Obama, military spending looks set to go up. Because why the hell not if you’re dealing with Republicans, I guess? Oh, and America is still dropping thousands of bombs across the world. Because that’s isolationism now, apparently.

And more recently, after the Parkland shooting, Donald Trump makes a surprise announcement to implement stronger gun control legislation, even going so far as to say he will basically take your guns and think about due process later (I wish I were exaggerating here), only to basically walk away from that shortly afterwards right after talking to the NRA. Now let me make something clear here: on principle I am not for gun control, but if you’re going to pursue this, no, if you’re going to be the guy who does it and then talks big about how he’s not afraid of the NRA, you almost immediately cucking to the NRA is proof to everyone of how easily influenced by lobbying interests you are, after running against the queen of lobbying interests herself. Let’s face it, that’s what it is: he talked big about doing something that would go against his voter base and the standard Republican Party line, only to chicken out. Even as a supporter of gun ownership, I think this is pathetic. Oh, and on top of all that, it seems his views on violent video games haven’t changed since 2012, going on record to blame violent video games for the shooting. Not only that but he goes on to have talks with video game companies to discuss possibly regulating the video games industry because somehow that is totally consistent with being an economically right wing guy who opposes regulation and also Jesus fucking Christ why couldn’t we just have Bernie Sanders instead. I’m not kidding. At this point I would rather that America had Bernie Sanders as the President, even though I think he’s a foolish, senile old social democrat who touts the mainstream political line.

But one of the worst developments I’ve seen so far is that his administration has become incredibly neoconservative, more so than ever. Before his cabinet seemed to be just filled with his wealthy friends, that was questionable enough for me (not to mention Jeff Sessions who frankly can go fuck himself). But now Trump has a new secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, who is not only an active Russiagate shill, but he was the director of the CIA, is also a supporter of the NSA, believes Edward Snowden should be given the death penalty, wants to crush Wikileaks, wants to invade Iran and wants regime change in North Korea, and is opposed to shutting down Guantanamo Bay. And let me just emphasize for a moment: it was Wikileaks who exposed just how corrupt the Democratic Party was, particularly how they set up the Democratic primaries so that Bernie Sanders would be rigged out of the Democratic Party nomination, and now Donald Trump wants the man who wants to crush Wikileaks as his secretary of state. I supposed I should have been more shocked to find out he was the director of the CIA. Still, what a back-stabbing slimeball. But that’s not even the end of it. The person replacing Mike Pompeo as director of the CIA is Gina Haspel, who was directly involved in the Bush administration’s torture program as well as the concealing of torture. Fuck it, it’s so well known that you can just Google “Gina Haspel torture” and you’ll find among the image search an infamous photo of her standing besides a victim of torture whilst smiling and giving the thumbs up. That’s the kind of sadistic bitch Trump’s got as director of the CIA. And then there’s John Bolton, the man who could be Trump’s national security adviser. This guy was one of the main ideologues behind the Iraq War, and still believes the Iraq War was the correct decision for America despite the all the chaos it caused in the region after it ended and the fact that it was unjustified to begin with. He has also expressed a desire for the United States to “make the Russians feel pain” in response to Russia’s alleged attack on the American elections, and right now he’s talking about how NATO should pursue a “strong response” to Russia after the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, a former Russian spy, and his daughter Yulia. That’s right: Donald Trump, the isolationist president, has one of the biggest war hawks in America in his administration. And do you want to know what the biggest joke is? Trump has gone on record to say he likes his commentary in the past. Hell, speaking of Trump, I swear he himself is looking more like a neocon what with him expressing a willingness to execute drug dealers. Why does he like that idea? Because Singapore does it apparently.

In addition to all this neoconservative slime, he’s hiring a guy named Larry Kudlow as his economic advisor. Now this is just the cherry on top of the shit sundae. First of all, this guy was a host on MSNBC, one of the major mainstream media outlets, the ones Trump hates, remember? And now he’s bringing him into his administration. Secondly, he is a pure free market ideologue. So much so in fact that he predicted that there wouldn’t be a global recession and that the Bush boom would never end. And we all know how wrong he turned out to be. But even after he was proven to be wrong, he continued to deny that there was even a recession. He is the free market capitalist equivalent of Paul Krugman, the Keynesian economist who notoriously predicted that the Internet would not have any significant impact on the economy whatsoever, and now Trump wants him on his team. What a disgraceful and idiotic display.

Between all this it hit me: this guy, although useful in uprooting the order of things and paving the way for something else to come in later on, is just another neocon in a suit. Not to mention, I’m becoming convinced that this guy might just be a culture war president. I mean think about it: he managed to get into office partially because of not just the Democrats’ failure to provide a meaningful economic message (which Sanders might have succeeded in doing if he weren’t rigged out of the Democratic primaries), but also because the Democrats instead insisted on a cultural message consistent with the unpopular social justice warrior version of left-wing politics, which by now is only being kept alive as a relevant political force by the mainstream media occasionally paying them lip service or by obsessive right-wing ideologues who want to do nothing but basically profit off of liberals being offended at everything. Apparently making America great again has not so much to do with fighting globalism (how can he? he said before he’s both a nationalist and a globalist) or helping the forgotten man as much as it is to do with signalling to your voter base how patriotic you are. That’s partly what his Twitter activity is for.

I mean think about it: the people whining about his Twitter being divisive and hateful and all that good crap are missing out on the fact that he does it to piss off the right people. I am not convinced that Trump doesn’t know what he’s doing at this point because he must have figured out ages ago that whenever he does anything on Twitter people go nuts. Hence you have all manner of perennially triggered liberals within the media who do nothing but whine about his tweets. Christ, for a lot of last year the American news cycle was dominated by things said by Trump on Twitter. He’s using his Twitter to wind people up with his rants, as well as appealing to conservative wedge issues and the culture war, so as to distract everyone from what’s actually going on in the world, to obfuscate the fact that he is not only not the reformer he and his supporters billed him as but also just another neocon except less consistent.

And finally, I’d like to add some miscellaneous criticisms. I already mentioned the NRA basically getting him to back off from his shock gun proposals, but would you believe that the NRA talked to him within a day of those proposals being announced? Then there’s the Shayrat missile strike, for which I am convinced the influence of Jared Kushner, who is now known for being massively corrupt, as well as his more neocon-leaning friends in the White House. If you don’t like the Obama era net neutrality protections being repealed, it might interest you to know that the guy Trump picked as the chair of the FCC is tied to private/corporate interests, specifically to the Sinclair Broadcast Group, which is also becoming increasingly known for its political bias towards the right. And right now his administration looks set to deregulate Wall Street in a bipartisan effort between Republicans and Democrats, and it’s getting paid by Saudi Arabia to give them nuclear reactors. For a man who promised to drain the swamp, this administration has gotten pretty swampy over the last year.

Because of all this, at this point, I have pretty much decided to give up on supporting Donald Trump, because, frankly, I can’t take much more of all this happening, particularly while, in addition, I keep seeing his supporters address very little of this and constantly rally behind Trump even as it’s increasingly clear that he is a neoconservative fraud who tactically utilised otherwise legitimate populism and nationalism simply to elevate himself to power. Hell, I keep seeing his supporters act like he saved Christmas simply by being in office instead of Obama. Because having a Democrat president ruins Christmas, somehow, for some reason. You know what, I’ll spare you the bullshit: they’re snowflakes who give the left crap for being snowflakes. The only difference is that there have been snowflakes on the right for decades and their talking points have almost never changed in that time.

Finally, I would like to mention I realisation that I have made, which I might like to cover in more detail in a later post. The fact that Trump is so easily beguiled by corporate and establishmentarian interests despite being an ostensibly anti-establishment character to me suggests not only that Trump is a compromised and unreliable politician, but also that the American political system at large is the primary problem here, as those loathsome interests of corruption are simply far too entrenched within the system for a man like Trump to change them without radicalism. Furthermore, I have begun to think that the kind of populism that I might like to see will not be realized under Trump, or even the current capitalistic economic order because the incentives present within it, namely profit, do not allow for anything other than the ruling economic class to influence the state and corrupt the democratic order. This also means that the economic right does not have any answers, because all they seem to want is more capitalism. But like I said earlier, I will explain this in a future post.

The Church of Satan? Progressive?

A rather fascinating article from The Guardian caught my attention, titled “Hell freezes over: how the Church of Satan got cool”. And by fascinating I mean this was just a puff piece. The article in question goes on about how the Church of Satan suddenly got hip and cool in the eyes of progressive commentators because some imbuing of left-wing radicalism into the Satanic zeitgeist (by the way, please no), and lamenting the fact that Chelsea Clinton isn’t a Satanist. I don’t see why that last part is a problem: the last thing Satanism needs is the Clintons tarnishing its image.

And a strange puff piece indeed. As you’ll see in the link I’ve left at the end of the post, most of the article deals less with the Church of Satan and more with a Los Angeles Times article (which I will also leave a link to at the end of the post). The LA Times article in question makes the case that  ̶a̶ ̶b̶u̶n̶c̶h̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶e̶d̶g̶y̶ ̶C̶a̶l̶i̶f̶o̶r̶n̶i̶a̶n̶ ̶h̶i̶p̶s̶t̶e̶r̶s̶ ̶  a new breed of Satanists are channeling their affinity for the dark side towards progressive political causes to unite against Donald Trump.

Yep, it’s more bourgeois left-wing political activism with a layer of pop occultism on top. Just like last year, when you had “witches” casting “spells” against Trump and then nothing came of it other than they looked ridiculous.

Essentially, these people buy into the idea that the world is going to hell, that American life is never-ending chaos, and that, because of this premise, they’ve decided to mix Satanism with feminism. They earnestly believe that without a sense of magical community centered around their version of Satanism, you’d have the rise of groups such as The Proud Boys (Gavin McInnes’ no-fap PUA brigade), and they, seemingly without any sense of irony or  self-awareness, describe the fact that people have those groups as “black magic”. It’s so bizarre to hear that complaint when that’s what you’re into. I mean, the idea of just people forming social clubs as a form of magic is stretching, hard, but even if it’s true, why are you complaining? Is it good when you have black magic, but not when they have it? For me but not for thee, is it? They also talk about how one of their main advantages is being more well-versed in Internet culture, which is ironic because, anything, the anti-leftist political circles seem more savvy than they are in Internet culture because of their skill in making irreverent memes – the right arguably helped a President get elected through memes for shit’s sake. And then later on, the article goes on about how it’s all connected to African belief systems like Voodoo (which have nothing to do with Satanism) and how, predictably, The Satanic Temple is promoting inclusivity in Satanism and that sort of thing. I must say, for a bunch of spiritual rebels they certainly are very politically correct. But we’ll get to that later on. And to say that the new direction is more feminist than nihilist is rather accurate: there’s really nothing intrinsically nihilistic about it, because the progressive movement is, fundamentally, one that vies for its own brand of meaning, however vapid it may be.

But I see no sign that this current has anything to do with the Church of Satan. In fact, the funny part is how in the LA Times article they actually acknowledge that supporters of the Church of Satan believe in resisting liberal pieties as well as Christian ones, referring back to LaVey’s opposition to the hippie movement. So The Guardian went and promoted the Church of Satan as being more feminist, based on an article where they outright say The Church of Satan is still against liberal and progressive orthodoxy. The Guardian article just goes on to extoll the virtues of autistically responding to everyone casually using the phrase “satanic” in a manner not consistent with their beliefs. Funny, I’ve seen them accuse all Christians of being pedophiles just because a bunch of Christian priests came out to defend Roy Moore, who was accused of child molestation during the Alabama special election. I wonder, is that just a part of their “laconic” wit? Because to me it sounds like the take of a bitter teenager who still unironically listens to Antichrist Superstar and thinks he’s got religion all figured out. And the way they quote the FAQ section is rather pretentious. They seem to be under the delusion that the universe being indifferent to humans and values being subjective doesn’t apply to their own brand of progressivism as well: as in, surely it’s just as meaningless as Christianity? But hey, self-serving leftists rarely have that consistency about them.

What I find really, almost insultingly hilarious, is when at the end it says that “Satanism’s latest mutation is something else, a contrarian uprising against a patriarchal world order that deserves its comeuppance”, which gives you a very good idea that these people have no idea what contrarianism is. Feminist progressivism? Contrarian? Well I mean it has to be, that’s why in my country you have an entire political party embracing the zeitgeist. No, two! Labour is now thoroughly progressive in its socialism, and the so-called Conservative Party are actively in the business of diversity hiring with their most recent cabinet reshuffle. I mean it’s definitely contrarian, because you see so many Hollywood celebrities virtue signal about equality. Yeah, that’s what contrarianism is: going with the flow!

Whereas, here’s what Anton LaVey had to say about his conception of the “modern Black Mass” in The Satanic Bible:

Any ceremony considered a black mass must effectively shock and outrage, as this seems to be the measure of its success. In the Middle Ages, blaspheming the holy church was shocking. Now, however, the Church does not present the awesome image it did during the inquisition. The traditional black mass is no longer the outrageous spectacle to the dilettante or renegade priest that it once was. If the Satanist wishes to create a ritual to blaspheme an accepted institution, for the purpose of psychodrama, he is careful to choose one that is not in vogue to parody. Thus, he is truly stepping on a sacred cow. A black mass, today, would consist of the blaspheming of such “sacred” topics as Eastern mysticism, psychiatry, the psychedelic movement, ultra- liberalism, etc. Patriotism would be championed, drugs and their gurus would be defiled, cultural militants would be deified, and the decadence of ecclesiastical theologies might even be given a Satanic boost.

It amazes me how no Satanist movement that I have seen seems to be interested in tapping into this, because the simple fact is that we don’t live in the 1980s anymore. Even in America, the age of people like Bob Larson or Pat Robertson is long over. There’s still Satanic Ritual Abuse themed conspiracy theories spread around today, but it’s not the media phenomenon that it was until the early 1990’s. And despite the left’s fears in the wake of Trump getting elected, we see no signs of theocracy in the United States. If anything, despite the government being in the hands of the GOP, the zeitgeist of the wider establishment seems to be against him (including most media outlets). The idea that anyone’s being contrarian by embracing progressivism is dubious at best, and incredibly deluded at worst. It’s disappointing that there are no Satanists out there, that I know of, who are exploiting things like the reactionary movement as a form of rebellion against contemporary culture. Whatever your opinions on them, you can’t deny that they are at the opposite end of the establishment political zeitgeist, and exploiting the energies of such movements would play right into the kind of thing LaVey was talking about. But nope. If the LA Times and The Guardian are to be believed, it seems that modern Satanism is looking to embrace an ideology that, frankly, oozes with not just conformism and moral purity, but also (that’s right, I’ll say it) Christian universalism.

I fear that this will lead to the loss of a chaotic, rebellious edge that was classically associated with the Satanist movement, and if that happens, then I think it will be the end. Satanism’s primary impact and appeal came from the fact that it was rebellious towards the establishment, it placed the individual in opposition to outside social forces and institutions aligned against it, intent on corralling it into conformity in opposition to its will, and dared the individual to think for himself, treat these ideas with derision and mockery, and laugh at those stupid to embrace such hollow dogmas. But whereas in the 60’s it was Christianity and the hippie movement, and in the 80’s it was fundamentalist Christianity, in the 2010s, the popular zeitgeist is progressivism. You can be fired for publicly expressing ideas contrary to progressive ideology, that alone should be enough of a reason to channel rebellious intent against it. But instead a new breed of Satanists are embracing it. This will undo the original spirit of Satanism, rob of its chaotic, rebellious vitality, and turn it into just another whiny progressive movement based on what is, ultimately, feminist emotional porn. It would be sad to see such a defiant movement fall like this.


Link to the Guardian article: https://www.theguardian.com/world/shortcuts/2018/jan/08/chelsea-clinton-church-satan-got-cool

Link to the Los Angeles Times article: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/la-et-ms-satanism-music-20180105-story.html

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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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 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.

A further excoriation of The Satanic Temple

You know, I think my musings on the inauguration of Donald Trump and its aftermath would be incomplete without talking about The Satanic Temple, and its role in all this. I talked about them before in “Some post-Inauguration thoughts“, but I intend to excoriate the organization further in late of their involvement in the Women’s March, which took place the day after Trump’s inauguration. After this, I swear I’ll go back to my planned content.

Before I begin my excoriation of The Satanic Temple I think it’s important to establish the following: just what is the Women’s March exactly? It was a mass demonstration that took place beginning on January 21st, the day after the Inauguration and after the Inauguration protests, which devolved into riots, vandalism and clashes with police officers and Trump supporters. Unlike the previous protests, these were not riotous protests in which Antifa, as well as radical communists and anarchists, got involved and started shit. It basically just a movement of feminists taking the opportunity to protest against Trump in a civil manner. I say that because it really does seem like a bunch of people getting together to protest Trump’s inauguration, especially given the time and the high presence of anti-Trump slogans alongside feminist and pro-Clinton. It’s not a response to any legislation, it’s just a response to Trump, driven by the fear that he will bring about the apocalypse of women’s rights. In a way, it seems to me like a kind of opportunistic, johnny-come-lately demonstration. I mean were these people planning to do anything the day after Trump got elected, or even after he was sworn in by the Electoral College?

So what women’s rights are being agitated for? Well, it seems that a lot of protesters showed up because they didn’t want to get their vaginas grabbed. Which is pointless because (1) the 12-year old tape was essentially bragging that isn’t substantiated by anything and that Trump will probably not live up (except, perhaps, in the bedroom with Melania, but that’s a private matter between two married individuals), (2) Trump will not order that every woman be taken to the White House to have their vaginas grabbed by him, that would be logistically impossible, and (3) I cannot see Trump making sexual assault legal, and I mean clear-cut sexual assault not the kind of bullshit that third wave feminists make up to justify not owning up to, say, getting drunk and then sleeping with someone and then regretting it. Then there’s that famous sign which read “Make men pay for razors if we pay for tampons”. I assume this refers to the “tampon tax” or “pink tax”, which can actually be debunked. But besides that, people already do pay for razors, they’re just less expensive apparently. The theme of abortion rights was also present – presumably driven by fear of either the overturning of Roe v Wade (which will likely not happen), the abolition of Planned Parenthood (which also probably will not happen), or simply the prospect that Planned Parenthood will no longer be funded by the taxpayer (which honestly is not a reduction of your rights, it just means you have to pay for your own abortion), who knows? -, as well as a cocktail of environmentalism, LGBT activism, promotion of Islam, and other causes typically associated with the Democrat Party. Not to mention, it seems to me like some of them don’t even know why they’re doing this other than they don’t like Trump, and even then they just feel that he’s going to be the worst President, they don’t know that. Other than that, this has been an entirely Western phenomenon – nothing about the horrors that women face outside the Western world, particularly in Islamic countries (like Saudi Arabia and Iran) and African countries (like Tanzania and Mauritania), where girls can be subject to things like child marriage or female genital mutilation and women can be viewed as commodities or subjects, rather than citizens just as men are.

This whole thing has been a pathetic and confused virtue signal, designed to make thousands of women feel good and act like they give a damn about issues and vainly proclaim that progressivism shall not be defeated, while it is otherwise on the path to being soundly dead, paying the price for its rejection of reason, tolerance and classical liberal values and its embrace of identity politics, postmodernism and ideological bigotry.

And yet who should I find in support of this sad display of witless political posturing? Why The Satanic Temple of course, specifically their Seattle chapter, apparently. But not only that, I did some searching and on the TST website I find that there is a link to their official Instagram account where they seem to be promoting the Women’s March. And what individual member announced her attendance? None other than Jex Blackmore, apparently. The same women who took a folk horror film called The Witch and co-opted it for their own politically progressive agenda. Why am I not fucking surprised? Another link brings me to another Instagram post promoting something called The Civic Engagement Dance Party. Right away, the fist symbol gives me concern, given that it’s pretty much the symbol of black power movements, and similar black racialist causes (like Black Lives Matter), as well as feminism. The event promises prospective attendees that they will meet with like-minded people who want to “build a better world”, the terms for which, for my money, I suspect that will amount to a world aligned with progressive ideology (you know, making everything equal and shit). The description lists some names of some “powerful women”, which are as follows: Najima Jamilah, Zaira Livier and Abida Segal. I can’t find much about Najima Jamilah other than she may or not be a Black Lives Matter activist who is affiliated with the Tuscon chapter of Black Lives Matter. Zaira Livier is a feminist and Democratic Party activist who supported Bernie Sanders and also has the honor of, apparently, not actually being a US citizen, but rather an “undocumented” immigrant, who it seems rather than work to legally become a US citizen spend her time getting politically active with the progressive Latino voting block. Adiba Segal is a blogger for The Huffington Post and a writer for Everyday Feminism, as well as a burlesque dancer at Ravishly and a self-described food addict, and her work for The Huffington Post is typical banal mom blog stuff.

So in other words, not only are The Satanic Temple promoting and taking part in the Women’s March, a confused, vain and opportunistic march for progressivism, but they also seem to be allying themselves with Black Lives Matter, an organization that promotes the lie that the police are at war with black people as a whole and think America is an actual white supremacist country (despite that it has several black members of government and even had a black President for 8 years, as well as the fact that black people are quite capable amassing large amounts of wealth on their own), and two no-name progressive activists, one of whom is a fucking blogger. These are not powerful women! These are just nobodies – nobodies who happen to be politically active and advocate for progressive and collectivist political ideas but that’s about it! And The Satanic Temple is taking their side. These are supposedly advocates of an individualistic philosophy allying with advocates for collectivist progressivism. That I find to be insufferable, if not intolerable, particularly from a group that has actually supported liberal ideals in the past, and as recently as the last weekend their leader was willing to defend Milo Yiannopolous’ right to free speech and disavowed the “Satanist” protesters who were planning to demonstrate their opposition to him speaking at California Polytechnic.

I’m going to tell you right here, right now, that these people aren’t doing this for Satanism. All the pentagrams, black robes, the dressing up as the Whore of Babylon and the Black Masses in the world won’t change that fact. They are doing because they are liberal progressives and they got some more supporters after the victory of Donald Trump. Yes, I seem to remember that right after the election of Donald Trump The Satanic Temple received an influx of new members, a new flock of sheep who believe that the end of the free world is coming and that America will be more of a “One Nation Under God” sort of country and seek to satisfy their desire for a resistance movement (and in that regard, at least they didn’t go to Keith Olbermann). They know they’ve got new membership, and they intend to capitalize on this, as well as the hip progressive “Trump is Hilter” hysteria – that’s all this is. And they use their existing political philosophy as a nice package for this progressive activism.

And I have half a mind to suspect that these people don’t actually care much for authentic Satanic philosophy to begin with. These are the kind of people who distance themselves from Anton LaVey’s philosophy primarily because Ragnar Redbeard was an avowed racist (at least according to them), despite the fact that Anton LaVey had excised the racial components of Redbeard’s philosophy when using its ideas to form his own – something that Greaves himself acknowledged – and the founder Greaves emphasizes meritocracy as impossible without an “environment of equality”. Well, what equality? Do you mean equality of opportunity? Or do you mean equality of outcome, or parity? Or do you just mean a bunch of socialist nonsense that will never be achieved because it just doesn’t pan out in real life? In my mind, authentic Satanic philosophy is about individualism and merit first, and equality second, or third, – we are equal in the sense that every man and women, regardless of race or creed, can play by the same rules in a society, can share the same liberty and strive to become more than he or she is at present. Beyond that, equality really isn’t the strongest ideal to be found in Satanist philosophy, which is deeply individualistic. Of course Greaves and co can’t have that – they wouldn’t be siding with progressivism if they are truly committed to any deep-seated individualistic philosophy. They may have some aspects of it right, they may talk about how their Satan is the eternal rebel against arbitrary authority, but their actions in the wake of the Inauguration speak louder than words here. Either commit to individualism as you purport to, or continue down the progressive road and remain a trendy left-wing activist group that conforms to leftist ideological trends whilst simultaneously espousing the idea of Satan as the eternal rebel against arbitrary authority.

The sad thing is, I know that The Satanic Temple is capable of being better than this. They are capable of standing up for positive ideals and in at least a somewhat positive manner. And I know that in the past their trolling of religious institutions, or religious influence in secular governing institutions, was largely a force for good because they were trying to show that individual rights and secular government should come first. They should have been a beacon of how, contrary to the Church of Satan’s assertions, Satanic activism can be a force for good. But instead they have proven the Church of Satan to be correct in their assertion that they represent a Satanic philosophy diluted by Tumblr politics.