A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for the ‘You Can’t Cure Stupid’ tag

Conservative Political Correctness

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If you mention the words “political correctness” to a conservative they’ll often respond by acting as seemingly offensive as possible. You’ll also listen to them scream about how everything is terrible because of liberal political correctness. But cognitive dissonance is the staple of any political diet. Conservatives love political correctness, they just love a different form of it:

But conservatives have their own, nationalist version of PC, their own set of rules regulating speech, behavior and acceptable opinions. I call it “patriotic correctness.” It’s a full-throated, un-nuanced, uncompromising defense of American nationalism, history and cherry-picked ideals. Central to its thesis is the belief that nothing in America can’t be fixed by more patriotism enforced by public shaming, boycotts and policies to cut out foreign and non-American influences.

If you want to “trigger” a conservative try sitting for the national anthem. When they start complaining double down by telling them that it’s a shitty song. If you invite your conservative friends over for dinner keep in mind that it’s acceptable to wipe your mouth with American flag napkins but if you have a flag outside and it touches the ground you’ll be getting an ear full. The next time a white cop shoots a unarmed black man under very questionable circumstances bring up the topic of racism as it pertains to policing. Just make sure to have a handkerchief on hand to wipe their spittle off of your face as they’re screaming incoherently at you.

Everything conservatives make fun of liberals for, such as political correctness and safe spaces, is something they also tend to exhibit.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 9th, 2016 at 10:30 am

Posted in Politics

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The Mythical Five Percent

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One of the reasons that I have a hard time taking political libertarians seriously is because many of them operate in a fantasy land where the electoral process is fair and the only thing needed for another party to gain prominence is hard work. Take the Libertarian Party struggle to reach the mythical five percent of votes. Many political libertarians naively believe that if their party can get five percent of the national vote that their party will be granted federal campaign dollars. But that’s not how the political process works. Washington is giving us a glimpse of what will happen if the Libertarian Party ever obtains anywhere near five percent of the national vote:

In order to gain gain major party legal status in the state of Washington, the Libertarian Party needed to get 5 percent of the vote in the presidential race. As the final counting for the state dragged on for weeks, the state party looked on eagerly as it seemed they’d just make the cut.

And indeed, according to the public data on the Washington secretary of state’s website on election results, they did! 5.01 percent as of this morning for Gary Johnson for president in that state. Seeing this, Ballot Access News thought major party status was a done deal.

But you didn’t think the state would make it that easy, did you? This week, as later reported in Ballot Access News, the secretary of state Kim Wyman announced that the L.P. did not in fact qualify.

Why? Because that public total doesn’t include the sacred-to-Washington-process write-in vote.

This is despite the fact, as Winger reports, that the state has never even announced any counts of such votes for the past 24 years. But Wyman insists that including the write-ins will be done, and will dunk Johnson’s percentage below 5.

This is another example of the layers of protection that exist within the State to protect it from unwanted influence. In this case the write-in votes, which haven’t been counted in almost a quarter of a century in Washington, appear to be the layer of protection against the Libertarian Party achieving major party status in Washington. Once major party status is denied to the Libertarian Party the politicians of the state will likely pass a law upping the required percentage to 10 percent or more to protect against this kind of thing happening again.

Politics by its very nature is a practice of deception, lies, and changing rules. Libertarianism is an anti-statist philosophy, which means it will never achieve success in the political realm.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 5th, 2016 at 10:30 am

Debating the Important Issues

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The politicians in Minnesota always prioritize the important issues. While this fine state is facing several minor issues such as skyrocketing health insurance costs, stupidly high taxes, and the idiocy of the medical cannabis law that was written in a way that ensures the continuation of the drug war there is a very sinister issue facing us: senators can’t drink water on the floor:

Early in the upcoming legislative session, the Minnesota Senate will again take up an issue sure to spark debate and division among its members: whether to allow senators to drink water while on the Senate floor.

The upper chamber of the Legislature has long prided itself on tradition and a particular view of decorum. Senators are banned from looking at each other during debates, and are required to instead look only at the president of the Senate while speaking. Men — including both senators and members of the press — are required to wear a jacket and tie on the Senate floor, while women have less specific rules but are expected to dress professionally. Anyone on the Senate floor is banned from bringing in food or beverages, including water.

Supporters of the rules, who have continually voted down attempts to change them, say they are needed to enforce order — and protect the Senate’s antique desks from water damage.

I hope these senators come to their sense and realize that the wisdom of the no water rule is so self-evident that the only sensible choice is to expand it beyond the floor. The no water for senators rule should be expanded to encompass the entire state. Imagine how much better this state would be if elected senators were never allowed to drink water. Minnesota’s most significant problems would be solved in approximately three days!

Written by Christopher Burg

December 2nd, 2016 at 10:00 am

The Hierarchy of Symbols

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Another day, another stupid political controversy. This time the controversy involves that symbol everybody loves to lose their shit over, the flag of the United States of America. Donald Trump tweeted that he thinks flag burners should be punished, which is yet another position he shares with Hillary Clinton. As expected, neocons have been jumping for joy at his proposal.

The nation’s skycloth is a symbol and as George Carlin once said, “I leave symbols to the symbol minded.” I’ve never burned a flag nor do I worship it. Another symbol of the United States of America is the Bill of Rights, which is a list of amendments that granted temporary privileges. The very first amendment states that freedom of expression is a protected right. So what we have here is an argument over which symbol sits higher on the Hierarchy of Symbols.

What takes precedence, the nation’s skycloth or the list of temporary privileges? I don’t really care what anybody’s answer to that question is but I feel that it’s important to clarify what people are actually arguing about.

Written by Christopher Burg

November 30th, 2016 at 10:30 am

A Vision of the Future

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If you want a vision of the future, imagine a greeter at Costco saying “Welcome to Costco, I love you.” — forever.

Written by Christopher Burg

November 30th, 2016 at 10:00 am

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Who Would Have Guessed

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Americans love torture. Republicans are at least honest about this as they campaign to bring back waterboarding but the Democrats love it as well so long as their guy is in charge of it. During the campaign Donald Trump stated that he wanted to bring waterboarding back. Hopefully he changed his mind about that though. Waterboarding was one of the things discussed in Trumps meeting with James Mattis and Mattis pointed out the bloody obvious:

Trump said that the advice from Mattis, a front-runner for the defense secretary post in a Trump administration, would weigh heavily on whether he will go forward with campaign pledges to bring back waterboarding and torture in interrogations by the military and the CIA.

In his meeting last week with the man he calls “Mad Dog Mattis,” Trump said he asked, “What do you think of waterboarding? He said — I was surprised — he said, ‘I’ve never found it to be useful.’ ”

Trump said Mattis told him, ” ‘I’ve always found, give me a pack of cigarettes and a couple of beers and I do better with that than I do with torture.’ “

Who would have guessed that treating somebody at least somewhat decently would net you more reliable information than beating them until they told you what they thought you wanted to hear in the hopes that you’d stop beating them?

Statists seem to believe that if violence isn’t solving your problem then you’re not using enough of it. But violence doesn’t solve all problems. For example, if you want to get reliable information out of somebody beating it out of them isn’t the way to go. When you start beating them they will simply tell you what they think you want to hear, not what is truthful. On the other hand, if you build a relationship with them that makes them feel positive about you then they’re more apt to give you reliable information because they like you and want to make you happy. It’s the same reason why bombing a people until they like you is much more difficult than establishing positive business relationships with them via trade.

Written by Christopher Burg

November 29th, 2016 at 10:30 am

Cognitive Dissonance

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Fidel Castro’s death really brought out the cognitive dissonance.

He was a communist so the leftists love him even though he rounded up homosexuals for “reeducation” and had a very iron fist attitude when it came to crime in that he liked to execute “criminals” in mass.

He was a communist so the rightists hate him even though he rounded up homosexuals for “reeducation” and had a very iron fist attitude when it came to crime in that he liked to execute “criminals” in mass.

Written by Christopher Burg

November 29th, 2016 at 10:00 am

Posted in Politics

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Politics is the Opium of the People

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One of Karl Marx’s most famous sayings was “Religion is the opium of the people.” It’s a rather hypocritical criticism for a man whose philosophy makes the State into a religion to make. But as we all know, because we’re all suffering due to it, Marx was the victor in the great political philosophy war. Almost every government has been influenced by his works. Even the United States, which was once heralded as the beacon of individual freedom, has more in common with what Marx preached than what Mises preached. So we shouldn’t be too surprised to see statism become the predominant religion.

Statism has become such a predominant religion that previously established religions have had to step aside. Even Catholics are apt to side with statism before Catholicism:

One significant voice about climate change has been Pope Francis, who released a letter (called an “encyclical”) in 2015 titled Laudato si’ (or Praise be to you). The encyclical acknowledges human-caused climate change as an unavoidable reality and frames action as a moral imperative. Many hoped that this might have an impact among Catholics who still doubted climate science.

A group of researchers led by Texas Tech’s Nan Li neatly planned out a pair of before-and-after surveys to assess those hopes with data. So what impact did the encyclical actually have on American Catholics?

Many prominent climate “skeptics” and politicians demonstrated one possible response that fell somewhat short of sudden conversion—they stuck to their guns and criticized the pope’s statements. They argued that this was a political and economic issue rather than a moral or doctrinal one, leaving the pope perfectly capable of being fallible.

The point of this post isn’t about climate change but the way people are increasingly likely to let their political affiliation guide their ideals over their stated religious beliefs. Statism has become their true religion whether they want to admit it or not.

I don’t know how anybody who has been observing politics from the outside can deny that statism is the new religion. The State is treated as a god that provides all that is good in the world, other states are treated at demons that are responsible for all that is bad in the world, desecrating the symbols of the State is treated as hearsay, and for many political participation is almost indistinguishable from religious worship. The State even has its own prayers, such as the Holy National Anthem, and those who fail to publicly proclaim their faith but reciting the prayer are harshly criticized. People even sign up to be sent off to foreign lands so they can kill the heretics of heathen states.

The difference between Republicans and Democrats is the difference between Catholics and Lutherans. They both worship the same god but they have some disagreements that seem very important to them but absolutely trivial to outside observers. Likewise, the difference between the Republican and Democratic parties seem very important to party members but absolutely trivial to us outside observers.

And now we’re seeing that belief in Republicanism or Democratism is usurping belief in Catholicism or Lutheranism. That being the case, it’s not surprising to see Catholics side with their political party’s beliefs over a statement made by the Pope (and in fairness to Catholics, there are Catholics out there that don’t view the Pope very highly and do cool things like hold mass in Latin but their views in that case aren’t formed by their political affiliation). Politics really is the opium of the people and the people are very addicted.

Written by Christopher Burg

November 1st, 2016 at 11:00 am

Denying Math

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Many of the e-mails released by WikiLeaks about Clinton’s campaign have been, shall we say, embarrassing. Of course the e-mails haven’t dissuaded Clinton’s true believers but they might cause a slight inconvenience during the election if people on the fence begin to perceive her for the criminal she is. The only defense the campaign has offered against any of these e-mails is that they are fake but math doesn’t lie:

In order to bloc spam, emails nowadays contain a form of digital signatures that verify their authenticity. This is automatic, it happens on most modern email systems, without users being aware of it.

This means we can indeed validate most of the Wikileaks leaked DNC/Clinton/Podesta emails. There are many ways to do this, but the easiest is to install the popular Thunderbird email app along with the DKIM Verifier addon. Then go to the Wikileaks site and download the raw source of the email https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/2986.

Cryptographic signatures are wonderful things. In addition to verifying that a communication was sent by a specific individual or organization, cryptographic signatures also indicate whether or not the contents of the communication have been altered. Thanks to anti-spam measures we have a form of digital signature on many e-mails by default. This means that we can verify that the WikiLeak released e-mails remain unaltered.

A failure to understand the technology they’re using continues to bite politicians in the ass. But it’s good for us mere plebs because it gives us a glimpse behind the curtains of the State and that glimpse continues to show uglier and uglier things.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 27th, 2016 at 10:00 am

The American Education System Summed Up In One Tweet

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Apparently Gary Johnson isn’t the only person who is geographically challenged.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 10th, 2016 at 10:30 am