Archive for the ‘Ranting’ tag
After the news of the bombings in Boston I took to social media sites to discuss the event. My first comment was posted on Facebook and said “Brace yourselves. A new wave of state power grabs are upon us.” That comment lead to a short discussion amongst me and a few of my friends regarding the incident. Two hours after posting my comment another friend commented about how I was the only person on her friends list politicizing the event and that it was “too soon.”
Looking at Twitter, Reddit, and other comments from friends of friends I’m lead to believe that the only acceptable way of dealing with a tragic event is to say nothing besides the event was a tragedy and my heart goes out to the victims. This is more politically correct bullshit. Political correctness exemplifies the thing I hate most about collectivism, it attempts to socially engineer us all into perfect carbon copies of one another. Here’s the thing, we’re not all perfect carbon copies of one another. We’re each unique little snowflakes. All of us have different views, beliefs, hobbies, outlooks and ways of dealing with things. While remaining solemn and saying your heart goes out to those affected by the bombings is a perfectly acceptable way to cope with the event it is not the only way.
Some of have different ways of dealing with tragic news. I, for example, upon learning about a tragic event desire to discuss it with friends. Since many of my friends are political the political aspects of the event are discussed. Because of this I am apt to make a comment on Facebook that is political in nature. My intention isn’t to politicize the event it’s to spur up discussion with my friends, many of whom are political.
Another way I cope with tragic news is introducing humor. I have a dark sense of humor that can border on being outright morbid at times. That doesn’t mean I find the event funny, nothing about the event is funny to me. What it does mean is that I try to lighten the mood by making witty (to me, not to most people) remarks about the event. Not only did I rip off a well-known Internet meme but during the conversation I also said “Perhaps the FBI accidentally handed one of their self-created extremists a real bomb instead of a fake bomb. Jim down in ordinance is going to catch Hell for this.” That comment was a play on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) habit of recruiting nobodies, urging them to commit terrorist acts, and arming them with fake bombs just so “bust” them and brag about how they stopped a terrorist. It was a smart ass remark meant to lighten the mood.
For those who believe it’s “too soon” to discuss the event let me ask you, when can I discuss the event? What is the proper time where my discussion goes from being insensitive to acceptable? I’m sick of this “It’s too soon!” bullshit. I like to discuss current events as they’re happening, not a week after the fact.
Also, why are my comments about tragedies that happen in other countries acceptable? When I make quips about the United States government’s habit of bombing brown people in sand regions most of my friends who are currently screaming “It’s too soon!” either laugh (out of the absurdity of the situation, they don’t find the situation funny) or join me in denouncing the violence. But when tragic events happen here suddenly there is a prohibition on making any comment other than “My heart goes out to the victims.” When a wedding in Afghanistan is bombed I can make any comment I want but when a marathon in Boston is bombed I’m expected to keep my mouth shut. Where the fuck is the logic in that? Shouldn’t all tragedies be viewed as such? Shouldn’t we deal with those tragedies in a consistent manner? Are people living outside of the United States somehow lesser and undeserving of solemn respect? This inconsistency probably pisses me off more than the nagging that my comments are being made “too soon.” Maybe my way of dealing with tragic news has developed because I read about tragic events every — fucking — day. Every day there seems to be a story about a bombing in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, or some other part of the world where people have likely become callused to shit blowing up because it happens all the time.
In summary, we’re all different. We deal with things in different ways. I deal with tragic news by discussing it and attempting to lighten the mood through humor. There is no such thing as discussing an event “too soon.” Some of us like discussing events as they’re happening. I’m not politicizing, I’m not being insensitive, I’m merely coping with the news in my own way. We’re not all perfect carbon copies of one another and shouldn’t be assume as such. Let me also close by saying “Fuck!” Why? Because I feel like it’s the only appropriate end to this rant. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go about being a horrible human being and discussing the bombings.
As an anarchist who refuses to take part in the political system I’m often derogatorily referred to as a purist or idealist. Those calling me a purist usually consider themselves pragmatists. Pragmatists like to harp on idealists because, in their view, idealists bitch while pragmatists get things done. What pragmatists seldom see is the cost of, as they say, getting things done.
This rant was brought on by the recent death of Margaret Thatcher. For some reason many pragmatist libertarians love Thatcher because she reduced the political influence of public unions and privatized a great deal of infrastructure. I, on the other hand, don’t view Thatcher as a bastion of libertarianism who rode a white horse and delivered freedom to the suffering serfs of the United Kingdom. Because of my unwillingness to ignore the results of her actions I’m accused of throwing the baby out with the bath water. Unlike so-called pragmatists I would not support Thatcher were she alive and running for a position of power. The cost of her actions were too great.
Thatcher may have bitch slapped socialism back in the United Kingdom but she did so by replacing it with fascism. Under Thatcher’s policies the denizens of the United Kingdom suffer under a police state. Their every action is captured by Closed Circuit Television Cameras (CCTV) that rise above most street corners, their Internet is censored, and their every communication is recorded by the state. Thatcher’s advancement of the police state was the catalyst for these modern problems.
I already hear the pragmatists screaming, “But she privatized nationalized industries!” Privatization, as defined by the state, is another word for nationalization. Instead of the state directly owning an industry a crony, who is part of the state in all ways that matter, is given ownership over the industry. The state gets away with this practice by claiming the nationalized industries are natural monopolies. That claim fools many libertarians into supporting the state’s definition of privatization but the truth is natural monopolies don’t exist. Natural monopoly is a made up label used to sucker free market advocates into accepting the state’s transferring of ownership from one branch of itself to another. True privatization would require entirely deregulating nationalized industries so anybody wanting to compete in those markets could compete.
It’s also worth spending a few seconds looking at Thatcher’s foreign policy. One of the biggest criticisms libertarians aim at the current United States government is its interventionist foreign policy. The United States loves to go around the world and start shit with other nations. Thatcher also enjoyed this practice. I’m not talking about the Falkelands War, which a minarchist may consider legitimate as it involved Argentina invading a British colony. I’m talking about her insistence that the United States invade Iraq and her support of Pol Pot. While some may be willing to forgive her support of starting the Gulf War I don’t see how anybody can forgiver her for supporting a man who murdered an estimated 2 million Cambodians. Even the most flexible of pragmatists must admit that supporting such a murderer goes against everything libertarianism promotes.
Pragmatism is a term most often used by those who aren’t principled. By calling themselves pragmatists, people can claim the label libertarian without actually supporting libertarian principles. I understand why they do it, working within the currently established political system offers a path of least resistance. Using the political system to force your beliefs onto an entire population is much easier than leading by example and living your life in accordance with the principles you claim to support. I also understand why pragmatists berate idealists. When a pragmatists looks at an idealist they see everything they want to be but can’t bring themselves to be. In order to cope with the guilt of betraying their own principles they accuse the idealist of wrongdoing. Pragmatists blind themselves and, in so doing, end up working against the ideas they claim to support. They may, as they say, get things done but they get all the wrong things done.
I love smartphones. Ever since I started carrying around a Palm Treo 700p I realized having access to the collected knowledge of humanity from a pocketable device was glorious. Back then the limited hardare of portable devices required the use of mobil optimized websites. Fortunately we’ve evolve from that point in time and now our smartphones are able to display full websites. Unfortunately we have another problem, every website on the planet seems to believe requiring users to download a special application is far better than allowing directe access to their website from a mobile device. They’re wrong. Applications have their places. Games, personal information management, and e-mail clients are useful to have installed on your phone but requiring the installation and use of an application to gain access to news articles is not a smart design decision.
I know, I’m not saying anything that the general public is unaware of but I really must state, for the record, that I think Joe Biden is an arrogant ass. Consider the following statement made by him:
During a press conference on gun safety in Philadelphia, Vice President Joe Biden said that any reports that suggest that he was trying to take weapons away from gun owners was a “bunch of malarkey.”
“I know that’s a word that you’ve never heard before, although it’s now in the dictionary,” Biden boasted.
He knows that malarkey is a word that I’ve never heard before? He could have fooled me. Needless to say the rest of what he said was equally idiotic.
It should be no secret that I hate politics. Politics, in my opinion, is the biggest waste of time that the human race has ever developed. Think about the vast amount of time, money, and effort that is sunk into politics, then consider the fact that politics is nothing more than one set of individuals trying to rule another set of individuals. Yet, somehow, we humans have made politics so pervasive that one can’t even enjoy a trade show for consumer electronics without some jackass taking a stage and injecting politics into it:
12:05 PM yesterday | by Josh Lowensohn
Samsung now rolling a video narrated by Bill Clinton about his foundation and role as Samsung’s Hope for Children ambassador.
12:07 PM yesterday | by Josh Lowensohn
And the video’s over. Woo back out on stage to introduce Clinton.
12:08 PM yesterday | by Josh Lowensohn
Clinton’s going to talk about mobile technology in the developing world. Clinton comes out with a big smile. And Clinton’s getting a standing ovation from the crowd here.
12:22 PM yesterday | by Josh Lowensohn
Clinton talking about gun control and the death rate in the U.S. compared to other countries. “I grew up in this hunting culture, but this is nuts,” Clinton says. “Why does anybody need a 30-round clip for a gun?” Half of all deaths have occurred since the assault weapons ban expired, Clinton offers.
I enjoy consumer electronics a great deal. Personal electronics allow individuals to have access to the entire knowledgeable of mankind using nothing more than a device that fits in their pocket. Think about how amazing that is. As you can guess I enjoy seeing the new products being rolled out that are aimed at making my life easier and more convenient. Then, while I’m trying to enjoy myself, things turn from making my life better to making my life worse because some statist wants to disarm me for the crime of doing nothing wrong. Can’t politicians leave me in peace with at least one thing I enjoy? Get they stop infecting every hobby I partake in with stupid attempts to grab power? If Clinton wants to grandstand and declare to the world that he wants nonviolent gun owners disarmed because of the actions of a few violent individuals he should do it at the damned White House, United States Capitol Building, or at a private speaking gig.
Everybody who lives in Minnesota is well aware of the slight snowstorm that descended upon the state Sunday. Due to the storm it ended up taking me five hours to drive from Southeast Minnesota back to the Twin Cities (a trip that normally takes two and a half hours). It also took me a little more than an hour to drive to the Eluveitie concert in Saint Paul (which kicked ass) and another hour to drive back home. This morning it ended up taking me two hours to drive to work and another two hours to drive back home. All in all I spent roughly 11 hours driving in this shitty weather during the last two days.
The weather problem was made worse but the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MNDOT) and the absurdly high number of incompetent drivers. MNDOT is in charge of plowing the major highways, which it appears to not have done. Since the snow stopped on Sunday night the major highways have remained in an almost unusable condition. I can honestly say that denizens of Minnesota would get more value from their tax dollars by taking every cent that was appropriated for snow removal and using it to build a bridge to nowhere. While the bridge to nowhere will be relatively useless there would at least be something to show for that wasted money.
The other issue are incompetent drivers. I cannot even begin to estimate the number of dumbasses I saw stalled in between two lanes on the highway. That’s right, not only did they stall on the highway but they stalled in between two lanes, which managed to take major sections of 694, a three land highways, down to one lane. Numerous individuals were in the ditch and there was a notably high number of fender benders. I really wish people who are unable to safely or competently drive in this weather would just stay at their fucking house. They’re a danger to everybody else on the road and slow everything down to an almost unbearable crawl.
In summary fuck this weather, fuck MNDOT, and fuck incompetent drivers.
This will likely be the last update for today since I spend last night (I usually write my blog posts the night before and schedule them to automatically post the next day) fighting with my laptop again (which is the system I keep material I’m planning to post). As far as I can tell I managed to anger some deity somewhere because the headaches I’ve been experiencing with my laptop can only be describe as a divine conspiracy.
A few weeks ago I started experiencing problems waking my laptop from sleep. Due to the amount of time it takes me to get my system booted and setup the way I want it I usually put the laptop to sleep instead of shutting it down. This hasn’t been a problem until recently. Instead of waking from sleep my laptop has begun to randomly go into a state that I can only call undead. While the fans come on, indicating the system has powered up, the screen says off and the keyboard and mouse appear to be unresponsive. The only way to bring my laptop out of this state is to hold the power button for a few seconds to turn it completely off. Upon restarting the keyboard and mouse will usually remain unresponsive until I power cycle the laptop again. If I manage to power cycle the laptop before the decryption prompt appears I can restore the system from the sleepimage file (it’s the file that stores the contents of random access memory (RAM) when OS X goes into sleep mode).
During these last few weeks my procedure for bringing my laptop out of sleep has been to cross my fingers open the lid, and breathe a sigh of relief if it comes on or curse all that is holy if the laptop enters the state I mentioned above. If the laptop awakens to it’s undead state I power it off and hit the power button a few times before letting the decryption prompt appear.
After numerous hours of debugging I eventually determined that the problem is most likely hardware related. Due to the rather odd nature of the problem I believed the issue had to do with either the RAM, logic board (the term Apple uses for the motherboard), or the hard drive. I ruled the hard drive out because the Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology (SMART) stated that the drive was fine. That lead me to test the RAM.
The reason I believed the RAM could be the culprit is due to one of the times I booted the system up only to have it report 4GB instead of the usual 8GB available. Doing some searching online I found a couple other people who experienced the same issue and ended up having to either replace a RAM module or the logic board (which is how the logic board became a potential culprit). I ran memory tests on my RAM overnight only to have the testing software report no issues. Thinking the problem may be missed by the testing software I removed my 8GB or RAM and replaced it with the 4GB that the system originally came with. I ran the system is this almost crippled state for six days without any issue. Believing the RAM to be bad I ordered new modules. The day the new modules arrived my laptop experienced it’s undead state again (obviously some deity was having a spot of fun at my expense). At this point I lost all hope as it appeared my logic board was going out.
It appears that the logic board may not be the issue since the hard drive appears to have died last night. Out of the blue the system almost entirely froze up for several minutes whenever the disk was being accessed. After I powered the laptop off I was unable to power it on again (granted the hard drive continued to run and wasn’t giving me the click of death, it just wasn’t accessing data). Fortunately I keep a spare drive around and have relatively effective backups so this problem is more of an annoyance that a major problem. Unfortunately swapping drives and restoring the new drive from my backups is time consuming and ensures my laptop remains in an unusable state for many hours.
I have a pro tip for those of you who find yourselves traveling periodically for work: never arrive at the airport when the president is supposed to be there. Yesterday I was in Las Vegas, Nevada for work and, lo and behold, Barack Obama was there campaigning. When the president arrives he not only gets exclusive rights to whatever road he’s traveling on but he also gets exclusive rights to the airport.
After returning the rental car I was standing on one of the shuttle buses heading for the airport when the driver informed us that we were going to have to wait. Obama was heading back to the airport at the same time as I was but, being the king, Obama and his staff had priority. The bus driver also informed us that people in the airport weren’t being allowed to leave. Effectively the entire airport was shutdown so His Majesty could drive his army of servants to his tax victim funded private jet where he would get on board and fly to his next campaign stop. Yes, not only do we have to grant him sole use of the airport but we also have to pay him to campaign.
At least we were fortunate enough to be granted use of His Majesty’s airport after he left. There is some humor in the fact that this country’s founding fathers fought a war with Britain because they were sick of the king only to have the position of king reestablished.
I know the election is looming and I know Obama has openly stated, again, that he supports a new “assault weapon” ban but we really need to talk.
With the election coming up the arguments, as expected, are getting very heated. What I can’t fathom is why advocates of gun rights are getting into such heated arguments over the presidential race. Many gun rights activists are actually arguing over which anti-gunner will be “less” of an anti-gunner. Is this what we’ve reduced ourselves to? Have we fallen so far that we’re actually willing to support an advocate of gun control so long as they’re not “worse” than another advocate of gun control? Will we throw our support behind a candidate who favors an “assault weapon” ban so long as his opponent supports an “assault weapon” ban and a ban on private sales?
This is getting ridiculous. I honestly can’t believe so many activists in the gun rights community are arguing in favor of an anti-gunner like Romney just because he’s not as anti-gun as Obama. I know people love politics and using the political means to achieve their goals. That’s fine, you can keep doing that without having to sell your soul. The president is only one piece of the political gun rights puzzle and a rather minor piece at that. In order to get a new “assault weapon” ban through legislation needs to be passed by the House and the Senate before the president even has the opportunity to sign it. Since the presidency is a lost cause when it comes to gun rights why not focus on controlling Congress? So long as one of the two houses are held by pro-gun candidates getting gun control legislation through will be difficult.
The bottom line is this: the more energy you expend on the already lost presidential election the less energy you’ll have to expend on congressional battles. I realize that the president is the most well-known political figure in this country and therefore he’s the guy you want to focus on but there’s no point if neither candidate will deliver what you want. Why not focus on the potentially winnable battle even if it will be less glorious? Sure, nobody will likely hear about whatever congress critter you’ve worked to get elected but if he is a supporter of gun rights you’ll have actually achieved something.
Of course you don’t need to rely on the political means to achieve victory. You could always practice civil disobedience, jury nullification, or agorism. We now have the technology to render gun control entirely irrelevant, let’s use it.
Brace yourself, I’m about to go on a rant. If you don’t feel like reading a rant just scroll up to the next story.
I’m easily irritated by inconsistency, which is why I loath the /r/Libertarian subreddit. While the subreddit is a great source for libertarian news the contributing members are extremely inconsistent. Yesterday I posted about the story of Leah Plante. She is facing cage time because she is refusing to testify against her fellows in a grand jury. Most libertarians would find such a situation reprehensible as one has the right to remain silent. This story made it to /r/Libertarian and, in general, most comments were on the side of Leah. As expected a large number of libertarians were opposed to the idea of coerced testimonies and witch hunts against political dissidents. That was until somebody pointed out that Leah has been involved in the Occupy movement. Suddenly the general consensus of /r/Libertarian went from “This case is bullshit, you shouldn’t be coerced into testifying against somebody!” to “Fuck that bitch! Occupiers deserve everything they get!”
What the fuck? People only have rights so long as they’re not involved in political movements you detest? A person has the right to free speech or to remain silent unless they’re not a libertarian? That, ladies and gentlemen, is a hypocritical stance if there ever was one.
As a libertarian I’ve found myself defending some very unsavory characters. I find myself defending the right of racists, bigots, etc. to speak freely. I find myself defending the right of those who have committed fraud to keep and bear arms. I find myself defending lots of people who I vehemently disagree with because libertarianism is, at least I thought, supposed to be able equal rights for all. It shouldn’t matter if you’re black or white, man or woman, libertarian or communist. If you’re a human being you should enjoy the same freedoms as every other human being. These freedoms, at least according to most libertarian philosophies, include not being coerced into actions you have no desire to take.
This “us” vs. “them” tribalistic bullshit needs to end. I’m not a big fan of collectivism and spend quite a bit of time arguing against it but that doesn’t mean I will suddenly do a 180 degree turn on my beliefs when a collectivist is facing a bad situation. Remaining consistent is important when you’re trying to make a philosophical argument. If you’re preaching one thing but doing another people will soon ignore everything you say. Arguing that everybody should live free of coercion one moment and then claiming coercion is perfectly acceptable the next moment makes you a hypocrite and nobody listens to hypocrites.
That’s my two cents, spend it however you want.