The Year of the Scam

Did I mention that a few months back somehow a crook got hold of my debit card information and used it to place two purchases, one to an online retailer I’ve never shopped at and the other to a utility company in the Northeast U.S.? Yeah, that happened as well. A little over $270 in charges, all reversed by my bank once caught and reported that same week. Bank representative told me it was likely that my information was collected through a gas pump skimmer scam and that I’d be better off going inside to pay for fuel purchases in the future. That’s a bummer. So I began paying for gas in cash more often than not.

Then when I was finally filing my taxes after having filed an extension to put off doing so, when using TaxAct (which is the site I normally use) I had to deal with their relentless upsell attempts throughout the process. And because I didn’t have a discount code this time around and did have a second source of income from a side job (if you can really call that income since the fuel costs involved nearly equaled my earnings — certainly wasn’t a money-maker, come to find out, at least not for us independent contractors), my taxes were complicated a bit, prompting TaxAct to claim I had to upgrade to a higher plan in order to continue filing. Before all was said and done, TaxAct was wanting to charge $87 for federal and state filing of what’s normally been a very straightforward and basic tax return. Everybody’s trying to get their cut this year it seems. Considering not filing through TaxAct next year as a result, especially considering the upgrade didn’t seem any different whatsoever from the usual plan used. Didn’t even import last year’s tax information for comparison purposes.

But my financial problems are relatively minor compared to what’s been going on out in larger society. Did you hear about how after Avast took over CCleaner this summer it then somehow was corrupted and placed malware on a bunch of private and corporate systems (2.2 million affected), using that established backdoor to deliver more malware so as to collect data? The word is that that was the handiwork of a Chinese hacker group, said to be the same ones responsible for hacking into Google’s infrastructure back in 2009. Learned about all that while researching what CCleaner was when I noticed it (or a faux application by that name) was left on my computer by the Indian tech support pretenders I dealt with last week.

Now, the cyber-security and antivirus giant Kaspersky is under fire, with the Los Angeles Times reporting today (based off of the NYT’s story that ran yesterday) that the Russia-based company was found (by Israeli government hackers) to be in possession of hacker tools coming from the United States’ N.S.A. Which then makes one wonder why it was so easy for an N.S.A. contractor to take home so much classified information in the first place. And I’m not clear on why U.S. federal agencies were utilizing a Russia-based company’s security products when so many in our government claim to be extremely skeptical of all things Russian. Just doesn’t make sense.

Then there was the curious case of the hacker group known as The Dark Overlords made infamous in its attempt to collect ransom from Netflix this summer by threatening to dump full episodes of their exclusive show Orange Is the New Black, along with other shows on the site, turning its attention recently to hacking into a suburban Iowa school district and scaring the hell out of parents and students alike. Bunch of bastards those hackers are. Their link to this crime was made known through Twitter when members of TDO themselves took responsibility for the school hack. How lovely…

And in other news, there now appears to be a vulnerability on Android phones thanks to something called the Dirty Cow bug. So make sure only to upload any apps directly from the Play Store.

Then there was the Equifax breach (which, btw, in case you weren’t aware, when you clicked the link on their site to find out if your data possibly was compromised and sign up for their credit monitoring offer you’re also agreeing, per the fine print, to forfeit the right to sue them and instead to accept arbitration if problems arise — just so you know). But fear not others like me who procrastinated and are behind the times — public outrage forced Equifax to back down on trying to enforce that arbitration clause this time around. Though it wasn’t likely their little arbitration clause would’ve held up in court anyhow. A class-action lawsuit is already underway.

Now, the Cato Institute has come out saying that Equifax isn’t a one-time security concern and that all data-collectors, including those within our own federal government, are vulnerable to being compromised in a similar fashion, as was demonstrated by the 2015 hack of the Office of Personnel Management databases (resulting in data on 21.5 million government employees, security clearance applicants, contractors and their relatives and associates being breached — the major exception being employees of the CIA, conveniently enough straight_face  — as always, those guys move in mysterious ways) as well as the 2016 hack of the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) that was made public only within the last month.

“Not All”

That video was by a youtuber named Colttaine. First heard of his channel through one of I, Hypocrite’s videos. Very reasonable guy from what I’ve watched thus far.

Ben Shapiro on the Alt Right

Gotta love Ben Shapiro. The more I hear from him, the more I respect the guy.

Yes, the end portion of that video is a repeat, but I think it’s worth letting the message sink in.

“CULTURAL MARXISM: The Corruption of America” (plus my thoughts)

This film might strike some as a piece of shameless propaganda:

In it’s own special way, it indeed is. Plenty of truths contained therein, so I would recommend it to others, but only if you promise to sit through the whole 90 minutes. Made me twitch with rebuttals and quibbles, but still I’m glad I watched that tonight because it got me thinking.

Said before and will keep saying that the term “cultural Marxis” has become a misnomer. And this matters because accuracy in language is especially needed on concepts of this magnitude. Previously wrote on here how I view Karl Marx being blamed for all modern problems due to this ideology that continues to bare the name “cultural Marxism” despite it having little to nothing to do with what Marx was actually about. Ok, there are a few points to be made here.

First off, economic class concerns in the 1880s during the rise of Industrialization coinciding with the rise of what we know of as capitalism, which in short order began paving the way toward corporatism. Karl Marx was a product of the 19th century when agrarianism was still common and factories were pretty new. Conditions within those factories hadn’t been regulated yet, so employees could be treated as relatively disposable, creating a situation arguably not a huge step up from slavery. He foresaw what that might develop into, so far as one reasonably could way back then, pre-20th century modernization. And he rightfully protested it, like any luddite worth his salt would. Hell, had I been in his shoes I’d likely have tried sounding the alarm too, and so did plenty of others. Not like Marx was the only one to ever express an opinion on this matter, nor that his teachings were the primary ones to prove super influential on the predecessors to those now known as SJWs. Lots of thinkers contributed to the ideology being referred to as “cultural marxism.”

It’s obvious what it is now is an ideology fashioned over the last century to suit the interests of globalists and power-seekers. Certainly not benefiting the people Marx ever had in mind. Complete reversal instead. That’s what’s so insidious and destructive and outright dishonest about continuing to refer to that ideology as “cultural marxism.” How can opposites both be forms of Marxism? Because it’s evolved, you say? Then why keep calling it by defunct language? Only confuses people, like the maker of that otherwise pretty interesting documentary. Or maybe for some people the term “cultural marxism” really just serves as politically-less-incorrect code for Jews. That’s what I’m starting to think this business of holding onto that term and warning people off of having anything to do with the Frankfurt School authors as though their books were possessed by the devil.

I’ve read number books by Erich Fromm, and guess what, folks! He’s on our side. Read him and see. He wrote against us becoming automatons and corporate and/or government slaves. Not on the side of the globalists. Which people might realize if they actually took time to read the authors they’re criticizing (or in Fromm’s case there, a title page merely flashed across the screen — deemed automatically guilty by association for being a member of the Frankfurt School — no one who studied Marx’s writings could possibly be nuanced and critical in his treatment of it, right? NOT IF THEY WERE IN THE FRANKFURT SCHOOL. Oy.  rolleyes_smilie  Yet another example of how we remain willfully blind.) Excerpts from a few of Fromm’s books I’ve transcribed onto this blog for anyone curious enough to take a glimpse into the sort of things he actually said.

So anyway, Marx wasn’t aiming to be some sort of malicious devil or usher for the rise of totalitarian states. Goes to show how much control we have over what’s done with our ideas once we’ve shared them. Can take on a life of their own. Or be co-opted. Maybe also inverted so that the public gets the message that being class conscious is no different than being race or sex/gender conscious. All are the same and all belong on the political Left. And that’s where there’s a serious problem, considering how much class consciousness really ought to matter to so many of us relative to the few who’ve become an enormously influential economic elite. That’s on a special level way above snowflake identity politics or even race relations seeing as how we’re all in the same societal basket headed in the same direction. That is key, and I don’t think it’s a mistake that the situation has been framed the way it was in that film in relation to so-called “cultural marxism.” Plenty of other sources do the same thing, I’ve seen.

All those dots connected around the 1-hour mark onward — valuable. Too bad they’re packaged in with”cultural marxism”-declaring propaganda. Reduces the whole film’s credibility, that along with the hokey voice-overs and lack of informative explanation on what was proposed by Marx and Frankfurt School authors. Basically just pointed to them and sneered, booing us away from paying too much mind to them other than aiming to avoid them at all cost. Not useful. Propagandist dick move there. Inaccurate for the sake of protecting some semblance of what capitalism was envisioned to be. We’re now post that, whether we like it or not.

This is where I deviate sharply from this film and others like it. Is there a conspiracy of Jews influenced by Marx and whomever else trying to run the world? Who cares? Would it really matter what ethnicity they happen to be? Followers of a globalist agenda obviously aren’t all Jewish (like the Clintons and Bushes and Obamas). Everybody like to form an elaborate theory about who’s angling for power and why and what all they may be tied into. Here’s all we need to know: totalitarianism is the ultimate threat. It’s anti-capitalist, anti-true socialism even, anti-individual, anti-social, anti-human. Whatever form it may take isn’t of particular importance, not in the big picture. At least not outside of comprehending the steps of that rise and consolidation of power.

Are certain relationships about power? Yes, they are. Probably not all, but when it comes to politics there’s most definitely always the threat of a power grab.

Now, in my own personal opinion, I don’t rightly care to nitpick anymore over what elements involved may have come about via intentional collusion and what might simply be the luck of the draw or mounting consequences of short-term opportunism or whatever else. Lots of moving parts at play in the 20th century. The convergence of a plethora of technologies inside growing nation-states and the rise of consumerism and a public education system and wars and exploring the sciences (including psychology) and corporatism and the explosion of our economy….on and on it goes. So much unprecedented shit happening all at once, coming in from every which way. Distractions galore. Looks to me to simply be a conspiracy of Life. So much culminated into the conditions we’re experiencing now, so much that couldn’t have been foreseen or predicted. And some people take advantage of the situation, as to be expected.

Tyranny lurks and seeks out opportunity. Why? Because power does matter to us humans, and to some a whole lot more than others. The will to play god will probably never go out of style. Something psychological within inclines us that way. And some succeed from time to time. Tragic when that happens.

Acknowledging all of that, the part in the film where they talk about our U.S. Constitution and the visions of our forefathers I am deeply in agreement with, BUT we nowadays face the conundrum of living in such complex societies that are indeed already globally connected through markets and military threats. The notion of doing away with our standing army at this point would strike nearly all as ludicrous and surely national suicide. Having a standing army (or in our case, a whole military-industrial complex) is deemed a necessity to at least remain sovereign. But then, of course, that’s never what a military remains limited to, especially not one as powerful as ours. Then there’s also the concern about how the U.S. military is essentially an employment sector by now, and a huge one at that. Employs over a million citizens, I believe. How would anyone wish to go about dismantling that mammoth? Would prove political suicide for a candidate to even suggest such a thing.

See, this is where we’re wrapped up in paradoxes of our own human creation. Not sure how we wriggle out of this mess. It’s become self-perpetuating. And, unfortunately, increasingly less transparent as well as less accessible by the average citizen. I completely agree with the documentary-makers’ sentiments expressed about state and local rights, but how do we check federal powers at this point? Sure, absolutely most of Congress deserves to be impeached. I’ve been saying that for over a decade. But how? We’ve become so divided and are firmly bogged down arguing over so many less important matters. Which propaganda aided in bringing about.

Sure, people should cancel their cable subscriptions and quit believing what’s put on by the mainstream media. Stop paying for pop culture garbage over intellectually-beneficial content. Easy to say, but no way to enforce it. Barely can entice those who aren’t already curious and seeking. Demonstrating how Americans got in this mess in the first place: we suck at remaining vigilant and principled.

Is pessimism also a feature of “cultural marxism”?  lol  He claimed so, but that’s ridiculous. One can recognize the present situation for what it is and still work toward protecting what we’re able. I won’t pretend to be optimist about what may lay in store. But we work with what we can. We start clarifying our values and living in accordance. Whether we ultimately triumph as a people in the end or not, it’s the journey that’s of most concern since that’s day by day. One foot in front of the other. Less overwhelming when we each try to take it on as that.

That’s enough to say on this for one evening.

“Interview: Christopher Cantwell”

Karen Straughan’s interview with the self-described white nationalist Christopher Cantwell:

Very interesting talk, not knowing who he was prior to this past week.

I can understand where he’s coming from in some areas, just can’t get behind framing this all in terms of race. Looks to me to be more about values. Good to hear his views out of his own mouth and not as second-hand hearsay.

She handled that conversation fairly. More talks like this ought to occur rather than people just bashing one another and refusing to seriously consider the other’s perspective. No crime in being curious.

“Black Lives Matter Police Hatred Anti Trump Protesters Attack”

Colin Flaherty is too often misunderstood

I am a fan of the man’s channel. On break from watching it much lately, focusing attention on other matters. But his content is a showcase of what’s happening out in society. He’s not making this stuff up — he’s documenting it very publicly. For doing this, some folks accuse him of racist motives and dismiss his material presented. Swept away and ignored. Out of sight, out of mind. People say it about him so it must be true, right? Wrong.

First off, it doesn’t matter what his motives might be — his content stands on its own merits. He’s opted to turn his focus to black crimes news because a disproportionate and significant amount of crime in this country is currently being committed by black people. It’s a relevant topic. Very much so. This is impacting all of society. Stating facts isn’t racist. Can telling the verified truth be racist?

Colin Flaherty doesn’t offer up speculation on why there’s a higher crime rate within the American black community. In fact, he resists doing so even when asked by interviewers. Because to him that isn’t what’s most relevant. What is is that VIOLENT CRIMES ARE BEING COMMITTED AND IMPACTING ALL OF SOCIETY.

Many have been asking why for years. Politicians responded by orchestrating the funneling of evermore financial aid to poor (also disproportionately black) citizens and inner-city schools, as well as implementing anti-discrimination legislation and affirmative action programs in workplaces and universities. Measures have been taken, yet black crime remains on the rise. Why? Who knows?

Dr. Thomas Sowell answered that the very problem lies in these social welfare programs and altered racial standards. But who listens to him anyway? People claim to want answers but won’t accept any that are provided. Won’t even take time to consider the proffered answer if it doesn’t fit the narrative one wishes to believe. So then we bog down arguing over which cause(s) are most likely the culprit…and the problem worsens while we’re all sitting around bickering and accusing people of racism.

Meanwhile Colin Flaherty is offering up abundant evidence of what is actually going on, year after year and with no signs of relenting, regardless of what theories are being tossed around to explain it.

Can we deal with the facts as they are here on the ground? Is it now racist to point out reality?

The truth’s not always pleasant, but we still have to deal with it. This is the current situation. And if you pay attention to some of the people involved in the crimes he documents, they’ll give you clues as to why they do what they do. Some show clear signs of feeling entitled to do so and are themselves racist toward members of other races and indifferent toward the lives of members of their own. Or at least that’s how their words and actions come across to me. You can form your own judgments.

The videos and news stories shared by Colin Flaherty form a collection of data to support his assertion not only that black-on-everybody-else crime is persistent and increasing but also the quality of violence is remarkable. That’s worth taking serious note of. (Might provide a couple more clues as to why this keeps happening.)

Plenty of black people themselves state that there is severe dysfunction within the black community (despite often resulting in them being bombarded by their fellow blacks with accusations of being “race traitors,” “coons” and “uncle toms” — further proving how swiftly and surely hostility arises when anyone dares to make the black kids angry). And that spills out and affects everybody else in society, hence why it is our business and we’re curious to learn information about it. Colin’s channel is one that offers that. It’s not racist to want to be honestly informed.

This is where deflections like to enter the conversation, redirecting our attention back to select cases of white crime and claims of “white supremacy” and “racism” (a worn-out accusation if there ever was one). How does “white supremacy” make you a criminal in this day and age? Especially considering how much social and financial aid this tragically “racist” society doles out to black Americans and actively panders to their political causes. Yet that’s not enough — it’s even viewed by some vocal folks out here as not amounting to squat. There’s something wrong with all the rest of us apparently. We’re the culprits. We’re all to blame. Apparently because we deserve mistreatment. Is that not the message being sent?

Anyway, Colin doesn’t get too wrapped up in the ins and outs, preferring to keep his own message straight-forward in identifying the crimes taking place. That’s what he’s about. And I, for one, am glad that he’s willing to do so. It’s not too comfortable showing people what they do not wish to see or hear about. But it’s not his fault if others can’t handle the truth. There’s a problem here that must be addressed. People, including many black people as well, are dying as a result of all this lawless behavior, and that’s not fair or tolerable. Where’s the call for racial tolerance running the other way? Where’s the appreciation for non-black people’s lives and safety mattering too?

People get angry at Colin Flaherty because his channel content, especially when viewed in large volume over time, snaps at us to pay attention and to consider where this is all heading. (Will the crime rate continue to rise?) It also asks of us how police ought to respond. (Can cops do their jobs without being accused of racism and sparking street protests?) This is societal problem, so people other than black people can’t help but take notice and call for some sort of action. There are people out who don’t like that, but it’s not racist to believe our own eyes and to want to talk about it. Better to talk than respond with violence, especially where innocent people wind up concerned.

Which leads me to my last thought on this. Because of the recent events in Charlottesville and the decision of members of various factions of the Political Right to show up at a rally beside people sporting nazi insignia, ending with a woman being run over and killed by a car, we are forced to acknowledge where ramping up violence can lead us and have an imagination for how it might escalate going forward. Colin Flaherty isn’t advocating for that. But he too may well wind up tarred and feathered because some actual racists do watch his channel and put their $.02 in. Because he’s busy he doesn’t tend to monitor his comment section, and outright mean-spirited comments remain up. (Or he might choose not to censor his comment section, as is my policy on my own channel much of the time). But people notice that connection and assume Colin’s producing this material to appeal to those kind of people. He’s not. He’s showcasing it for all of us out here, not only the racists who look for anything to confirm their bias.

I’d liken it to how Donald Trump winds up being accused of being a racist bigot and supporter of the resurrected KKK and neo-nazis and whatever else because some of those people voted for him. That’s not all who voted for him, but of course they’re a group who attract a lot of attention thanks to the shitty things they spew about members of other races. There around, so that’s a fact we have to accept as well. Colin has repeated over and over again that his motive is not racism, that he was a journalist who could no longer ignore the disproportionate amount of crime being committed by black people in this country and how it’s not receiving adequate or honestly straight-forward coverage. That is a disparity begging to be called into question, as to be expected in an open and democratic society such as ours. Whether blatant racists and wanna-be nazis applaud his efforts is irrelevant — none of us can help who all takes interest in us. We can clearly state our own position, but others obviously aren’t under our control. And I doubt what those jackasses choose to entertain themselves with is of much concern to Colin. Those types also happen to like to watch and ridicule videos on WorldStarHipHop — is that the fault or responsibility of that site? I’d argue it’s not.

So, in closing, people do project too much onto Colin Flaherty. The man’s a retired journalist-turned-youtuber. This is what he does. He’s following a story of great interest, which is black crime on the rise both in sheer number of crimes being committed and the quality of the violence involved. That’s undeniably something people deserve to learn about, if for no other reason than to take precautions in order to protect ourselves. If you don’t like this reality, then work on changing it. But it certainly won’t be solved by simply demanding that people cease paying attention.

Nazism is politically left-wing?

Yes, there are different ways authoritarianism can play out. Not all forms are equally problematic. Certainly does become a problem when it’s tyrannical, which is the case with totalitarianism. Both fascism and communism are totalitarian forms of government.

When people say that nazism (national socialists) is actually far-left rather than far-right politically, I’d say 1.) it doesn’t really matter since the end results wind up nearly indistinguishable, and 2.) when it comes to the political spectrum if you far enough you’ll loop back around to totalitarianism.

Observe:

u_shaped

 

 

 

Call it what you will, but the results are still the same.

 

 

 

Democratic forms of government (quite literally) diametrically oppose totalitarian forms. So whether one starts out heading right or left, politically speaking, isn’t of real consequence here. Either way, they arrive together on the opposite end of the political spectrum.