America is great

I have no intention to cover the Trump administration specifically on this post, because what I intend to defend is not the United States government. What I’m defending is the country that is the object of a long-standing affair of mine – the United States of America. I mainly want to address an idea which seems to have some traction in the American imagination particularly among modern progressives, and that is the idea that America was never a great nation, and brings nothing but bad things to the world. Nothing could be further be from the truth, and I hope I will adequately demonstrate why without going overboard.

Let’s begin with the event that started it all, the American Revolution. At its heart, the revolution was in essence the act of a people the majority of whom were tired of the burdensome will of a monarch and decided they no longer wanted to be governed by him. And what’s more, while the French revolution ended in yet more autocratic rule for a time and future revolutions would lead to far worse systems being implemented (i.e. communism), the American revolution ended in the establishment of a government in which real tyranny, despite whatever autistic screeching goes on these days, still has yet to occur, and the principles of individual are enshrined in the principles by which the government is established, and it is at least partly through the guidance of these principles that America has progressed.

America has achieved much since then. Over the years America brought to the world the photo camera, pre-natal care, flight, world series’ of sports (in this case, the first world series in baseball), the phonograph (and by extension recorded music), air conditioning, the assembly line (and thus mass manufacturing), the light bulb, the telephone, the tractor, rockets and many other inventions. America also helped shape modern culture. Through the achievements of capitalism and mass production, the American economy boomed owing to a period of greater leisure for Americans. Around the same time, youth culture as we may know recognize it had its beginnings. America was also the father of video games and modern comic books, which by the 21st century have become decisively influential in modern culture. Not to mention, it was in America that jazz, blues, rock and roll, punk (The Ramones, not The Sex Pistols, were first) hip hop and pop as we know it were all born over the years. And during the 80’s, America was one of the leading powers that led the ideological battle against communism, and while the weren’t the first people to lead to the fight against fascism they certainly won. Truly, American culture and invention has been a gift to the world. Oh and for all the complaints I have heard about gender equality from feminists, America was actually the first country to make it illegal to pay someone based on their gender rather than the work they put in through the Equal Pay Act of 1963. America was the father of the Internet, the method of global communication that you and I are using to share a world of information to be accessed at your fingertips, and which continues to revolutionize the media and the world, rapidly outpacing the old media, and until last year America was the guardian of the Internet via its ownership of ICANN.

The most important thing for me about America, however, is simply the ability of ordinary people to say whatever they damn well please, without undue restriction by the law and sometimes unburdened by social norms or courtesy. We Brits may be aghast at the idea that there’s a country where someone like, say, a Westboro Baptist Church member can go on a protest saying “God hates fags” all day, but that is the freedom that America allows: anyone can say what they want, and if you don’t like it you can criticize them publicly. Meanwhile, in my country, not only is there a man who faces jail time over a video of him training his pug to say Nazi slogans as a prank, but you have the police in general spending more time worrying about “Islamophobic hate speech” than actually catching terrorists. For however much is wrong with America, and there are still many things wrong with it, this is the country that its people love and cherish – the freedom to say what you want, without fear, protected by the iron letter of the Constitution.

Happy July 4th everyone, especially my American followers. Keep being the people that you are. I hope that some day I’ll finally set foot in your country once more.

Advertisements

Arkansas Ten Commandments monument smashed by a lunatic

I was planning to write something else this week, but I’ve been developing writer’s block or something to that effect. However, I have recently been made aware of some news that struck me as very familiar, which I think you might appreciate.

You may recall a couple of years ago the story of the Ten Commandments monument in Oklahoma, and how it was opposed by The Satanic Temple who famously campaigned to get a Satanic statue of her own placed alongside of it. Well this story involves yet another Ten Commandments monument, this time in Arkansas and it was very recently built. In fact, it was only a day after its unveiling before it was demolished by a man named Michael Reed in his car. Early this morning, at around 4am UTC, Reed apparently drove his car through the monument while shouting “Freedom!” as he was streaming it to Facebook.

I have online coverage of the event from people claiming that the culprit was an atheist launching a personal attack on Christianity, but nothing I have seen of it confirms this. Reed released a video statement affirming his own belief in the Christian religion, but he also stated that he opposes the existence of the monument on the grounds he feels it is a violation of the separation of church and state, saying “no one religion should be represented by the state”. Further reports suggest that Reed was diagnosed with schio-affective disorder and may have heard voices in his head, suggesting that he may also have been mentally unsound. As a side-note, The Daily Mail claimed that Reed was an avowed Satanist, but I have seen no proof of his Satanism. In fact such a claim would run counter to the evidence we have of Reed’s likely motives.

My own personal verdict is that this is clearly the work of a crazy individual who, judging from his willingness to show everyone on his Facebook what he was doing, may have done what he did to gain some attention. Whether or not this was to attract attention to his “cause” is beyond me.

The shattered Arkansas monument

Some post-Inauguration thoughts

Well, here we are. The peaceful transfer of political power in the United States of America has come to pass and Donald Trump is now officially the 45th President. So ends the whole election (and post-election) saga and a really turbulent chapter in America’s history.

Watching the inauguration ceremony, as well as the Make America Great Again concert from the previous day, I did not get the impression that this was some kind of ushering in of some kind of American reich. Far from it. For one thing, there was no evidence of any goose stepping or anything resembling some kind of Nazi salute. Second of all, the gathering was not a sea of Aryans heralding the ascension of their new orange Fuhrer, but rather a gathering of Americans of all races, male and female, irrespective of creed, united by a sense of optimism and a sense of national pride. Trump’s speech seemed to echo this, focusing on talking about how large sections of the population are disenfranchised and focusing on how American and all other nations should put their own interests first, as well as speaking about some his other political platforms. I kind of doubt that we have heard the creed of a reincarnated Adolf Hitler. The idea of “America First”, nothing more than a proclamation of putting national self-interest above the international order of things, was more important than everything put forward by the extreme left and the extreme right.

Thankfully, the ceremony itself seemed to go without a hitch. However, in the surrounding area in Washington D.C., there were fervent protests from people who were opposed to Donald Trump, and there have been examples protesters blockading bystanders and examples of looting and clashes with Trump supporters during those protests. In fact, as I write this, it seems that there is still rioting going on in DC. At least I can be assured that the new President won’t die, and it doesn’t look like that plot by the DC Antifascist Coalition to release a stink bomb at the Deploraball event has not come to fruition, but it does seem that Washington DC has been subject to a lot of rioting been riots. Twitter is of course ablaze with footage of riots carried out by anti-Trump protesters, which even includes footage of protesters burning limousines and other property.

You know, I think there’s a bitter irony here, one that I discussed with my brother. I can’t help but imagine Ted Cruz standing in front of a podium, talking to a lot of these far left protesters and saying “how does it feel knowing you are the losers now”. After all, I still remember back in 2013 when Ted Cruz and his fellow Republicans shut down the government all because they lost on the issue of Obamacare. You know, when the Supreme Court declared Obamacare to not be unconstitutional. They lost, and they acted like crybabies, only they didn’t go out on the streets and smash shit. Now in 2017, who’s acting like the crybabies now? The left-wing activists who hate Trump so much that they’re willing to smash windows, cause trouble and get into fights with pro-Trump bikers. They lost, and now they’re throwing a huge tantrum over it. It was kind of the same with the Remoaners over Brexit, except I don’t recall a lot of rioting done over it. These people who are now screeching at the thought of a Trump presidency need to instead face the reality of the situation: they will not change the fact that Trump is the president, no matter how many windows they smash, how many limousines they burn or how many bikers they get into fights with. Their war is over, and in fact it has been over since the election ended – they had their time to advance their ideas and convince people to vote in their general direction, and that time is over and they have lost the battle. I said this about David Cameron getting elected in 2015, I said it about Brexit and I’m saying it now – get over it and focus on challenging real problems as they arise instead. And maybe be more willing to unite or cultivate harmony with your fellow countrymen regardless of your political differences instead of constantly creating division and acrimony, or else you will only stifle progress further.

I’d like to also mention that I as a Satanist am rather embarrassed to find members of The Satanic Temple apparently joining in on the protests, as well as joining in on the delusions that they have been fed by the mass hysteria generated by the progressive media – mainly the delusion that Donald Trump is the reincarnation of a certain fascist dictator who will destroy everyone’s rights. Yeah, as if America’s system of government isn’t designed precisely to limit how much the President can do to your rights. Some bastions of independent and critical thinking they are proving to be. I can only assume that they are going to take part in the more peaceful side of the protests rather than the pure vandalism we’ve seen from some of the protests. Also, I suppose now that Trump is the President it will only be a matter of time before they can at least cling to the idea that they are rebels, particularly because up until now they could only truly be seen as rebels in the Bible Belt or other more religious parts of America due to the fact that much of their ideals dovetailed nicely with the kind of left-liberal/progressive ideology that was already mainstream in urban America. The irony of this is that on the same day, I find that The Satanic Temple was willing to defend Milo Yiannopoulos’ right to freedom of speech by disavowing anti-Milo protesters, with Lucien Greaves stating that “If you defend Free Speech, you don’t only defend that which you agree with”. Which of course is fantastic because it gives me some hope that these guys are still willing enough to defend liberal principles. It’s just unfortunate that this has to mingle with the fact they seem to have the same mindset and, in some cases, political philosophy as mainstream progressives. And just like every progressive when it comes to Trump, they act as though the end of the republic is coming and the reincarnation of Hitler is going to take away everyone’s rights. It’s just that unlike their more fanatical counterparts outside of the Satanic movement that comprise the social justice warriors, they aren’t willing to compromise liberal principles (such as freedom of speech for everyone) and they prefer peaceful civil disobedience over mob violence. Don’t get me wrong that’s no bad thing – in fact by all rights I ought to applaud them for going down the route of purely civil disobedience -, but they’re still deluded enough to think that they are protecting your rights from some kind of made up fascist apocalypse. Well thanks but no thanks but I don’t need your protection. No Satanist who actually holds true to Satanic philosophy rather than merely using it as a costume for what is basically pure atheism ultimately does.

I’m not foolish enough to believe that Donald Trump will be the second coming of Jesus, as some of his more die hard supporters seem to believe he might be, and I have my doubts. Indeed often times I sat through some of Trump’s speech and responding with “well I can only hope”. I guess that speaks more to the realist in me mind you. But unlike many people in my country I think I can hold out some hope that Trump will do something of a good job. From what I understand, Trump has already been writing execute orders and set to act on some of them as soon as he gets into office and he has apparently been busy in the months between his election and his inauguration, so he’s certainly giving the impression that’s he’s ready to roll as President. All he has to do in the next four years is live up to most of his promises or, at least, prove that he is a better president than Obama, which honestly might only take being perceived as an average president in contrast to Obama, who many outside his circle of fans (read: CNN) consider to be a failure.

At the end of the day, I am happy enough not only to see Obama out of the White House, but also his chosen successors, the Clintons, defeated electorally and thus denied the opportunity to take power, and in that regard the people who voted for Trump have done well to ensure this. I hope that, at the very least, Trump manages to upend the old order of things in whatever way he can and dispel presumptions many people have of how his Presidency will pan out. Given that America now has the Republicans in pretty much full control of the government I am somewhat concerned about the return of social conservatism, but I also know that Trump isn’t like most conservatives, in fact he’s often been at odds with many conservatives (just ask Ben Shapiro, The National Review or Glenn Beck – the man who, by the way, went from bashing Obama throughout his career to unironically praising the Obama family). If he fails to do this, then I think that will ultimately be the main reason I become disappointed with him.

Until that time, it would be terribly rude not to give him a chance now that he has been sworn in. I wish Trump the best of luck in achieving the upheaval of the old order, and I will keep an eye on Trump’s America as much as possible.

Donald Trump is sworn in as President

Donald Trump is sworn in as President

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.

 

Some pre-Inauguration thoughts

This week I will be disrupting my plans for the blog slightly in order to release a few posts about the upcoming inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the United States of America, including this one as well as a post on my thoughts on the ceremony itself after I finish following it. I’ll also be releasing a post about Barack Obama that I’ve been sitting on for a long time since the 2016 election cycle, sending him off as he leaves the White House in that special, cynical way that I feel inclined to (let’s face it, if you followed my blog from its early days you’ll no that I just don’t like the Obama administration, for reasons that will become clear as you will see within this week).

Truth be known, however, I write this particular post with a sense of concern on my mind. While I think it is likely that the inauguration ceremony will go ahead on Friday without too many problems, there is a fear that I had at the back of my mind. I know that there will be those who will seek to protest the inauguration, in fact there is a movement of protesters who plan to “disrupt” the inauguration of Donald Trump in whatever way, but that is not my main concern. I know that there is great animosity, indeed I would even say antipathy, towards Donald Trump among many people in America. There are many who refuse to accept him as President, despite having been elected just as any other President before him has been, and it seems the US media is actively against him to the point that they will print or give credence to unverified gossip and even conspiracy theories in order to try and undermine him. You even have people who believe that they are part of some kind of “resistance” against Donald Trump, drumming up the kind of propaganda that some will recognize as echoing the era of the Cold War, and some people who unironically suggest violence against either Trump or the Republicans. It may only a matter of time before some violent ideologue, or some political zealot, uses that to carry out some kind of violent action, kind of like how Micah Xavier Johnson went from a troubled US army veteran to the murderer of five police officers in Dallas.

My main fear is that, and keep in mind that I consider this to be the very worst case scenario, either someone will once again try to assassinate Donald Trump, this time during the inauguration ceremony, or that the protests that occur in the country will eventually become violent after some radical agitates things, perhaps hijacking what may overall a peaceful protest, and cause destruction and harm innocent people in the process. We already know that after the results of the election came in and Donald Trump was elected President, America saw protests across the nation, which then devolved into riots. The fact is that there is a contingent of the politically active American population that is so anti-Trump that that will not allow themselves to accept the legitimacy of a Trump presidency no matter what, and I suspect that some of them will stop at nothing to prevent it from happening if it were up to them. There’s even already talk of political violence among some in the DisruptJ20 movement.

And guess who else is getting involved?

None other than Antifa: that infamous band of far-left brownshirts who don’t even realize that don’t even realize that they are the ones acting like Nazis by imposing their political will on others by violently attacking people who hold the opposite opinion, and the very same group of people who tried to disrupt the International Left Hand Path Consortium last year. I wonder what Augustus Sol Invictus must be thinking right now. Anyways, not only do they intend to show up as part of the DisruptJ20 protests,  which they have announced on Twitter, but if a recent video courtesy of Project Veritas is accurate then they may be plotting some kind of political violence at the Deploraball event. It seems likely to me that these people will stop at nothing to try and thwart the inauguration of Donald Trump by whatever means they deem necessary, and will not have any qualms with their methods.

Honestly, I hope I am wrong and that nothing happens, everything turns out to be fine and everyone including the president elect is safe and unharmed. But I wouldn’t put it past some of the radicals to try and make sure that the inauguration ceremony is marred by political violence. I am hopeful, for the sake of my American readers, that what I anticipate for Friday turns out to be incorrect, and that anyone in the area of the inauguration ceremony or of any potential protests remains safe.