Thoughts on American exceptionalism and race relations

For all the critiques I may volley at my nation, the truth remains that the American national project continues to be the highest ideal dreamt up on this planet thus far. Not that all of its ideals have materialized or been brought into fruition to their fullest extent possible, but the original dream itself is exceptional and awe-inspiring.

Unfortunately, plenty out here today wish to undermine it, spit upon it, and dismantle it. Why? Because they see it as rooted in evil due to being the brain-child of white men from long ago. White men being synonymous with everything hate-filled and exclusionary, so some like to think. They take issue with the fact that slaves were brought to this country (though it can be argued that America engaged in slavery for a shorter duration than many other countries, particularly those in the Middle East). They also take issue with this land having been “stolen” from the natives who lived here before — as if any land hasn’t changed hands throughout the course of history, typically through much bloodshed. And nowadays they take issue with what they see as inherent corruption that they assume is deeply ingrained and a natural byproduct of a powerful Western nation (though all nation-states are vulnerable to corruption, as were all chiefdoms — and this is hardly a feature unique to the West).

Some take issue with our police forces and accuse them of racism. Though current research provides evidence that cops are actually less likely to use lethal force against black people as compared against white people. Then again, other findings suggest blacks are more likely to be handled roughly than whites by cops, so the narrative that cops are racist marches onward. One could ponder the general demeanor of black folks toward cops in trying to understand why cops might opt for a more rough-handed approach in dealing with them, but that’s a taboo topic to discuss publicly, lest you be labeled a racist as well. Seems to me that the general behavior of an easily identifiable demographic has the unfortunate consequences of leading all of them, even those who comply with lawful orders, to be treated with heightened scrutiny and cautiousness. Now, does that qualify as an inherent, institutionalized form of racism? Hmm. It doesn’t strike me as so since it appears more to do with risk assessment and police taking proactive measures to deescalate any potential threats. Is that unfair? Depends on how far it’s taken and what the circumstances are in a given situation. It’s not as if police officers are known for being extremely kind and gentle to all others suspected of wrongdoing. It seems to me this issue winds up being at least partly a matter of projection, whereby individuals break the law or are highly uncooperative when being questioned by police but then become indignant when any consequences are doled out.

Take, for instance, all the talk on Evergreen’s campus about an event in 2015 where a police officer shot two *unarmed* black male brothers named Bryson Chaplin (21) and Andre Thompson (24) shortly after they attempted to rob a grocery store of beer. In a piece titled “In Solidarity with the Struggle for Racial Justice at the Evergreen State College” written by Peter Bohmer (a member of the faculty at Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA — posted May 29, 2017), he harkens back to that off-campus case:

Two years ago, May 21st, 2015, two young Black men, Bryson Chaplin and Andre Thompson were both shot in Olympia, Washington by white police officer Ryan Donald in Olympia as they were going home on their skateboards after attempting to shoplift some beer from a local Safeway. In a miscarriage of justice and emblematic of the continuing racism here, although there were no injuries to the white police officer, and Bryson Chaplin was shot multiple times by Officer Donald and is in a wheelchair; the police officer was not charged with any crime nor disciplined while the two young men, Bryson Chaplin and Andre Thompson were convicted on May 18, 2017 of third degree assault. They will be sentenced in June. This is part of the context for the movement on campus which also contains demands against racism by campus police.

Peter Bohmer proved especially prolific in writing about that event in various places, every time characterizing the situation as a white cop mistreating black youths in a completely unwarranted fashion.

Evergreen State College’s student newspaper The Cooperpoint Journal contains several articles pertaining to this case, including one describing major protests in front of the Olympia police station the very next day:

“Whose lives matter? Black lives matter!” was the chant ringing out in downtown Olympia Thursday evening as hundreds of protesters took to the streets in response to the shooting of two unarmed black men, stepbrothers Andre Thompson and Bryson Chaplin, by an Olympia police officer, drawing national media attention.

The two men, Thompson, 24 and Chaplin, 21, remain in the hospital and are expected to survive, although Chaplin was still listed as in critical condition as of Thursday evening.

Officer Ryan Donald shot the brothers around 1 a.m. Thursday morning, after responding to a call about alleged shoplifting from the Westside Safeway, not far from The Evergreen State College.

Olympians awoke Thursday morning to news of the incident, and began organizing throughout the day, culminating in a march to city hall, where the Olympia Police Department is headquartered.

The biggest protest began around 6 p.m. in Woodruff Park, directly next to the Westside police precinct, and about a mile from the site of the shooting.

As hundreds gathered—predominantly from the Evergreen community—they formed a circle around organizers and community members who spoke about their experiences with police, the larger national context of police violence against black people, and organizing and resistance tactics. The speakers continued to discuss these issues over a megaphone as the crowd swelled to an estimated 400 people by 7 p.m. when protesters took the street on the corner of Harrison Avenue and Perry Street.

Protesters marched down the hill, blocking traffic in both directions on Harrison Avenue, while yelling and chanting “black lives matter” and “no justice, no peace, no racist police.”

Crossing the Fourth Avenue Bridge into downtown, the crowd’s numbers reached an estimated one thousand people, shutting down Olympia’s main thoroughfare on their way to the city center.

Once in downtown, protesters stopped and held the intersection of Fourth Avenue and Columbia Street, for the first time becoming quiet. Organizers asked the crowd to participate in a four and a half minutes of silence, symbolic of the four and a half hours Michael Brown’s body was left in the street after being shot by police earlier this year in Ferguson, Missouri. Everyone sat silently in the street, before beginning call and response chants of victims names: “Andre Thompson, Bryson Chaplin, we honor you.”

When the demonstrators reached city hall, they blocked the intersection of Fourth Avenue and Cherry Street, many demanding that Ryan Donald be indicted for his actions. They continued to hold a rally in front of city hall for nearly an hour, with more speakers and chants, before marching back through downtown and over the bridge to Woodruff Park.

On their way back, at least two motorists instigated confrontations with demonstrators, but the march resolved peacefully, with people dispersing between 9:30 and 10 p.m.

Later that night, a smaller number of protesters rallied again at the Artesian Well and occupied the intersection outside city hall. Most wore all black and covered their faces, marching behind a large banner reading “cops=murderers,” and “judges=executioners,” and emblazoned with a circle A, an anarchist symbol.

This group was more antagonistic towards the police, and the situation escalated when they began to clash with pro-police demonstrators in front of city hall. Police then used flash grenades to disperse the crowd at about 12:15 a.m. Friday morning, leading to moments of chaos in downtown as demonstrators and confused bystanders scattered, running and yelling.

The anger of protesters and community members is exacerbated by disputes about the details of the shooting. More information and facts concerning the incident are still being discovered. However, based on what we already know, many believe that Officer Donald’s use of force was not only unnecessary, but also racist.

Even a vigil was orchestrated for the shot brothers. And this year (2 years later, mind you) they circulated news of another gathering to show more support. Why? Because those students and faculty members view the incident as a clear-cut example of police brutality and the shooting of unarmed suspects, period. This is an ideologically influenced position they are taking, convinced that police are automatically in the wrong in pretty much all cases and that racial minorities are rarely deserving of whatever consequences befall them based on their actions and choices.

This is a problem nationwide currently, the spreading of this attitude. The narrative it promotes is not only anti-police and pro-minorities but it’s also recently showing itself to be outright anti-white and anti-American.

Some would say if you can’t beat it, then burn it down. That appears to be what’s trying to unfold at present across this land…

Nevermind the history — the same sort of people are responsible for tearing down Southern statues and monuments and have since been turning their attention toward trying to remove museum displays. So the modus operandi there appears to be to erase history, or any signs or mention of it.

Take as another recent example the case of a student group called “Reedies Against Racism” protesting a required humanities course at Reed College, wherein a student reportedly stated: “forcing students to take a mandatory Western Civilization course is really harmful.” That being a course said to focus on great thinkers from ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, and Mesopotamia.

The protest continued this school year, as students interrupted the lecture, got in screaming matches with students, boycotted classes, and vowed to have silent protests during every lecture. The student activists have also brought in mental healthcare advocates for students who have reported having “panic attacks” due to the course material.

“The course in its current iteration draws from predominantly white authors and relies heavily on the notion that Western customs are the most civilized because they are derived from those of ancient Greeks and Romans who are considered the inventors of civilization,” Alex Boyd, a main Reedies Against Racism organizer, told The College Fix via Facebook recently.

Check out the list of demands put out by “Reedies Against Racism.”

It would be funny if it weren’t so goddamn obstructive.

So, what do these types of people want? What’s their primary objective here? Do they really detest all that America is or ever was? If so, why? Totally taking for granted the privileges they themselves do in fact partake in? Ideologically-possessed, yes, but what else is this? Is looking more and more to me like a will to destroy. One obstructs when they cannot or will not construct. So how does one effectively react to this? Arguments don’t seem to work.

“A Word To The Muslim Criminal Migrant – Pat Condell”

Damn, Pat. Never thought I’d agree with that man all the way through a video. interesting to take in such a direct and unambiguous European perspective for a change. Sounds similar to how I’m coming to feel in the U.S. This latest entitlement complex from foreign nationals is doing nothing for me anymore. I am so sorry that a relatively small minority among you are responsible for much of the violence and bullshit occurring, but people of that faith and ethnicity are in a better position to check those “bad apples” than the rest of us are. Lest you possibly wind up mistaken as being closely associated with one of the criminal miscreants and so too returned to your country of origin, That appears to be the situation brewing right about now. Heed the warning.

“BLACKS AGAINST BLACK LIVES MATTER”

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

An excellent compilation that I wish others would take time to view. Will add more of the videos when I get back from my afternoon work.

Back in and continuing on…

Part 6:

Part 7:

Part 8:

Part 9:

Part 10:

Especially appreciate that last man’s commentary in video 10.

Part 11:

Excellent response.

Part 12:

Part 13:

Part 14:

Part 15:

Glad I watched ’til the end. A lot of interesting voices there. Also wasn’t what I expected from rapper Lil Wayne (never listened to his music, so far as I’m aware, but have listened at least on one other occasion to his commentary before).

Overall, I’m very glad this compilation series was created.

“Mad, bad or sad? The Psychology of Personality Disorders – Professor Glenn D Wilson”

Prostitution: You don’t have to like it, but it’s still not going anywhere.

Why are prostitutes noteworthy all unto themselves? What really differentiates them from the rest of the herd?

I keep getting into occasional disputes with people, mostly online, about the topic of prostitution and their desire to eradicate it. For the record, I personally support decriminalization and am not much of a fan of legalized schemes, not unless they somehow operated in conjunction with a decriminalized scheme that allowed independents to do what they do without being subject to police harassment and arrest. That’s a pretty radical attitude, I’m sure, and it’s been my stance for over a decade now, as a former independent escort (2003-2009).

Now, what I find mildly amusing is how many folks out here view prostitutes as the worst of the worst, as people needing to be intervened on more and more, as if prostitution is going away anytime soon. I’m full of sneers on this topic, because I see it as perfect hypocrisy that so many folks concern themselves with what others do even (especially) when it doesn’t directly affect them.

People say exchanging sex for money is a crime. But I ask what if a person is exchanging sex for access to resources and money from one individual? Do we not call that a relationship or marriage? That’s not to belittle marriage, seeing as how it can also involve child-rearing and love, but it needn’t involve those things is the point here. What if a person exchanges sex for money from 2 people or 3 people or 5 people on an ongoing, exclusive basis? Is that still somehow a crime needing to be punished by society? I’m asking where is the defining line.

People say a prostitute has multiple clients. Okay, she might. She doesn’t have to though. But folks like to squall about how a prostitute seeing dozens if not hundreds of men is a major problem for all of society. To which I say: Do you feel the same way about people who sleep around with high numbers of partners without accepting money directly in exchange? It remains perfectly legal to go to a bar or a club and to pick up a new sexual partner every night. You can even go out and trade sex in exchange for dinners, drinks, gifts, a place to stay, to enhance one’s professional connections, etc., and who can make a legal argument against that? Some may try to make an ethical argument against it, but that’s outside of the scope of criminality, which is what sex workers are being forced to contend with.

I find it irritatingly bizarre how people refuse to comprehend how blurred the lines are when it comes to human sexuality. Humans exchange sex, according to supply and demand, for all sorts of perks and benefits. Sometimes it’s simply for attention, but it can also be utilized to secure one’s place in an ongoing arrangement that indeed does involve money but is not exchanged transactionally in a tit-for-tat way. Yet people have little to say about that. But is it not prostitution essentially? If I chose to marry a man for money and granted him exclusive access to me sexually, is that eerily similar to prostitution? In fact, what would be the real difference?

If a woman chooses to see a handful of men fairly regularly and exchange sex for money, an agreement all involved are on board with, why is this deemed a crime? Or is it only a criminal concern in the minds of most when the individual takes it to the streets? Well, either way, in the eyes of the Law both are viewed as prostitution and cops indeed do waste time and resources going after under-the-radar escorts who arguably don’t pose a big problem for the rest of society.

I’ve always found that irritating and just this morning conducted a search online and found a blog of some vigilante from a city I used to work and live in who posts up information he dug up on the local working girls, claiming we’re destroying families and marriages and that we’re disease-ridden.

Can’t speak for the rest of you, but I was STD tested FAR more than ANY CIVILIAN I EVER MET. Period. And I never contracted an STD from a client, nor spread one. Why? Because condom use is the norm in that industry, for one, and because I wasn’t jumping in bed with just anybody and everybody who waved money in my face. Imagine that. There are screening requirements in order to stay safe and to reduce the chances of dealing with drug-addicted and/or dangerous men. BUT…on the topic of STDS…

Anyone can go out and contract an STD, no money need be involved. Of the two men I’ve known who contracted HIV, both did so in their personal lives. One was a gay man, one was hetero. Neither case involved them paying a prostitute (though one did in fact involve a personal relationship with a, come to find out, knowingly infected street-walker — pisses me off to no end — tragic fucking case). Of the females I’ve known who’ve contracted STDs, none were prostitutes. They met men at bars and slept with them for free. The one time I contracted an STI (one and only, in 2008. luck has been on my side there) was from a jerk (truly turned out to be the case) I casually met at a bar, wearing a suit (vouched for by the bartender even — and I had been going in to that wine bar from time to time for a few years by then, bringing clients even), who readily acknowledged and claimed to appreciate upfront that I stated I would go with him to listen to music but wasn’t interested that evening in sex. Tough titty said the kitty…  Not a good memory of a randomly met guy I seemed to jibe with while out at a bar. Luckily Trichomoniasis is easily and quickly curable and I was treated ASAP through Planned Parenthood.

I point that out since people love to blame escorts/prostitutes for STD transmission when it’s plain as day that people are spreading diseases just through sex alone, regardless of whether money is involved. And in fact, there are statistics that claim in the U.S. prostitutes have a 30% lower STD rate than the general population due to much stricter condom usage. That was reported in a book titled Prostitution: On Whores, Hustlers, and Johns by James E. Elias (Ph.D.), et al. (which included a forward written by former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders). So put that in your pipe and smoke it.  [Update: Been years since I read that book. Need to find a used copy and quote the actual stats mentioned. Will eventually do so, or someone else can post up the relevant portion of the book if they have access to a copy. I’m going on personal recollection here, having read the book back in 2003. Would like to quote it accurately and thoroughly and will do so and make mention of it here.]

As for wrecking family values… What family values? A man who wants to remain a family man and not part with his money or engage in sex with someone outside of his marriage is free to do so. No one is forcing him to go visit a sex worker. Hell, I’m on board with the notion that people who agree to be exclusive with one another probably ought to uphold those vows. But how do you stop them? By removing all temptations?  lol  Good luck with that. Plenty of people engage in affairs that, once again, have nothing to do with exchanging money directly for sex. So what can be done about that? Should all women be put on lock-down and made to wear burkas and not allowed outside of the house without a male family member escorting her?  tongue_out

It seems to me when it comes to so-called “family values” that the only people capable of maintaining such values are those who willfully do so. Can’t force it. Can’t legally sanction it (beyond what’s already on the books relating to divorce law in some states). People possess a measure of free will to decide how to conduct themselves, right or wrong, so if we’re going to talk about the problems our society faces it would help to place responsibility on all involved rather than to see it simply as these poor men being taken advantage of by advertisements on the internet luring them into driving to hotels and parting with their money. As if they don’t possess choice. As if they aren’t grown men capable of comprehending the risks they take, not only with their bodily health but also the well-being of their marriages. So give credit where it’s due.

I’m damned tired of human beings and all the excuses we drum up for why this class of people deserves to be vilified while that class over there is nothing but a bunch of helpless victims of circumstance because they happen to be men with families. And I’m damned tired of people acting like everybody else’s sex lives is somehow their business. Look, if you don’t agree with prostitution, fine, but this dream of eradicating it isn’t realistic. Sex can be and is exchanged for all sorts of things and always has been. Always. Look back through history, especially getting back to primitive relations. None of this is new. The only thing new in the equation today is the capitalist economy, which does add a special type of burden since we’re all in need of money and yet not all are constituted equally. Supply and demand. You don’t have to like it, and in some ways I don’t even like it, but it is what it is.

To regulate the sex of sex workers would require the regulation of sex for ALL CITIZENS. And since that is impossible, all we’re left with is this cat-and-mouse game. Some play it for years and are never caught. Thanks to the internet it’s much more easy for sex workers to conceal what they’re up to, and since it keeps the activity off the streets and confined to apartments and hotels it’s not exactly presenting a public nuisance. And yet some folks can’t be content with that either. Why? I guess some folks seek out something to hunt down and track and expose to the light. Why? I’m of the assumption that they take great issue with humanity at its core, that they can’t stand the “dirty underbelly” of human nature and economics, and some I think just want to feel like better humans than others. Well, have at it, assholes. You still won’t ever win. There’s too much demand and too many people to try to keep up with.

This is indeed more unwinnable than the drug war.

But you can’t convince people of anything when they’re convinced they’re morally in the right.

I’ve tired of humans in a major way throughout this whole learning and living process. I’ve tired of so many of your laws and your drive to micromanage one another and your righteous indignation in the face of something that truly isn’t your business. There’s plenty in this life I don’t like either, but who cares? Nobody. So I went about earning a living and taking care of myself in a way I knew how, and I still don’t regret it, though I don’t necessarily recommend it either. Everything comes with tradeoffs and life isn’t peachy for plenty of people. Isn’t so simple and sweet and innocent. I’m sorry, folks, but life is complicated, and we can’t live up in a society together without transgressing on one another’s ideas of how society should rightly function.

Hell, I took supreme issue with the corporate bailouts and saw that as a far worse crime than any prostitute could manage. But do others see it that way? Apparently not. Yet they want me to care about their feelings when it comes to my getting by in this world? Get the fuck out of here with that.

Here we stand, a herd of cat-like individuals doing our own things, pissing each other off non-stop. Some like to imagine if they keep fighting “the good fight” they’ll eventually triumph over that which they deem to be “bad,” but in reality it’s going to go on and on and on. Because that’s how humans operate. Criminalize something and you wind up with a game of whack-a-mole. Try to legalize something and you’ll still find outliers who say “fuck your scheme, it’s not for me.” Always. I see no way around that.

These thoughts were generated this morning thanks to a fairly brief exchange with a user who goes by the screenname “MRAsExposed” on Divinity33372’s latest video’s comment section: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6mks484h6E&google_comment_id=z12at1fqlmyvdbtj504cgf35evbfuduo1jw  [I noticed since posting this that MRAsExposed deleted at least one of his/her comments on that thread, for the record. Namely the last one where he or she told me to not reply to him/her again.]

But it’s the same argument I’ve had with people for years. Nothing really new. No minds wind up changed. Just is what it is, and on and on it goes. I don’t claim to have the answers, just observing life unfolding…

“RE- The Story of Your Enslavement (Stefbot)”

A video I stumbled back across from Professor Corey Anton in 2011 in response to what remains a very popular video by Stefan Molyneux:

He was responding to this 2010 video from Stefan:

Zeroing in on the State while ignoring the roles of banks and major corporations. Hrmm. In the final analysis, I can’t go for that out of fear and loathing toward all those mammoths. How do we go about checking transnational corporations’ power without the aid of some form of government? Do people think they’re bound to play fair in mediation?  Ha!  Yeah right! See the track record.

We’re looking fucked either way right about now in the U.S. Not trying to be a “downer,” just sayin’.

Prof. Anton’s channel is very interesting and always offers up valuable food for thought and helps break inquiries down in new ways.

“…standing on the edge of the road, thumb in the air…” (on patriotism)

The song “Ride On” by AC/DC is still running through my mind. Such a sad tune. But a real one. Raw, real music. Unlike so much of the mindless bubblegum crap the music industry likes to spit out.

Music is art, and art is one depiction of life, framed, captured, isolated and beckoning for our inspection. Art isn’t appreciated merely with the mind — it goes deep to the heart and soul. All talk of logic and rationality and reasonableness becomes laughable, nonsensical, in the glorious realm of art.

Guess that’s why music matters so damn much to me.

Some of ya’ll want to talk politics and chatter about the latest news story and juicy gossip before moving on to the next and the next and the next. Some of you want to jump behind movements and parties and labels and fight one another on those ideological grounds. Well, have at it. Holds little to no appeal for me. I’m being drawn back to basics, back to my own core and to my own problems and questions. Politics can’t help me there.

I got to thinking earlier while driving that I wouldn’t consider myself a “patriot.” Watched a video on YT recently where a gal was coming out against war and in the end referred to herself as a “patriot,” and I couldn’t help but smirk a little. Maybe for a few years back in the day I wanted to look at my own objective as that, to be “truly patriotic” by resisting political chicanery and wars killing innocent people on all sides, arguing that this country needs to be turned in a different direction. The notion of patriotism had obviously been co-opted by charlatans and their blinded followers, and some of us wanted to strip it down and drag it back to where it rightfully belonged: in defending the U.S. Constitution.

Part of me still wants to believe that. I’m still anti-war and sick nearly to death of so much political and societal bullshit, and yes, we’re definitely headed toward a strange and uncool future in the U.S.  Probably unavoidable at this point. But the word “patriotism” means almost nothing to me anymore other than being a relic from an era in history, defending a great idea of setting up a representative constitutional republic based on the principle that a government that governs least governs best, structured with checks and balances built in. It was a phenomenally radical idea for its time, unprecedented, and people have fallen in love with the notion ever since.

Too bad people were not so motivated to maintain it. By the time I rolled onto the scene in the early 1980s, this country had already turned into something much more sinister. The government’s now bloated with power and money and cock-sucking leaches pulling huge pensions for the rest of their lives for simply having “represented” the people for a spell. Back in the 1700s there was no way for those folks to have imagined what a game-changer the corporation would prove to be, but they warned us to be vigilant.

It was a great idea, though it was constructed in an era where only landowners had a right to vote, leaving out the working majority and what may have been in their best interests. But once voting rights were extended out, society then ran up against the problem of most folks being ignorant and too easily misled. This problem has only worsened as society and our government have grown in size and complexity and technologies have advanced at break-neck speed. We don’t know what the hell is going on, not all the way around. There’s no way to know. It’s too big, too much to take in, and now there are too many secrets and lies and cover-ups and sleights of hand. We live in Bullshitville today. This is no longer America, not according to the dreams held in the imaginations of citizens of bygone times.

This is not America. But it does claim to be “too big to fail,” so most people will defend its upkeep tooth and nail, even while this society makes slaves of us all. Economic slaves — tied into earning a paycheck because everything requires money. Money comes from the banks, ultimately controlled by an “independent” Central Bank that maneuvered so as to be able to play puppet master to our government. Here’s how the Federal Reserve describes itself:

Who owns the Federal Reserve?

 The Federal Reserve System fulfills its public mission as an independent entity within government. It is not “owned” by anyone and is not a private, profit-making institution.

 As the nation’s central bank, the Federal Reserve derives its authority from the Congress of the United States. It is considered an independent central bank because its monetary policy decisions do not have to be approved by the President or anyone else in the executive or legislative branches of government, it does not receive funding appropriated by the Congress, and the terms of the members of the Board of Governors span multiple presidential and congressional terms.

 However, the Federal Reserve is subject to oversight by the Congress, which often reviews the Federal Reserve’s activities and can alter its responsibilities by statute. Therefore, the Federal Reserve can be more accurately described as “independent within the government” rather than “independent of government.”

 The 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks, which were established by the Congress as the operating arms of the nation’s central banking system, are organized similarly to private corporations–possibly leading to some confusion about “ownership.” For example, the Reserve Banks issue shares of stock to member banks. However, owning Reserve Bank stock is quite different from owning stock in a private company. The Reserve Banks are not operated for profit, and ownership of a certain amount of stock is, by law, a condition of membership in the System. The stock may not be sold, traded, or pledged as security for a loan; dividends are, by law, 6 percent per year.

[bold emphasis mine]

There’s part of our problem right there. People following Ron Paul like to come out as “real patriots” wanting to see the Fed abolished. And I’m not against such a plan, assuming replacement ideas surface. But it appears to be a pipe dream these days. Most folks would defend the Fed with everything they’ve got, because we are all so dependent on this system, and some see themselves as doing well enough under it. Start fucking with people’s means of caring for themselves and their kids and they’ll come out with pitchforks at the ready.

See, everything winds up coming back to fighting other people, because we are all the perpetuators of the current system. Most folks can’t imagine it any other way and will scoff at any new ideas. While this system has been all about rapid change since its earliest beginnings, it provides a train for people to ride along on which we’ve grown accustomed to. Scary as this ride might be, people are leery of jumping off and seeing what else may come.

So what does it mean to be a “patriot” in this context? To belong to a minority that helps light brushfires in the minds of others? Lots of ways of going about that, not all of which are positively focused. What I mean by that is there’s another class of people who go their own way whom we commonly refer to as criminals. We tend to negatively associate the term, but when you stop and think about it all it’s really stating is the individual is a law-breaker. And the truth is that as we stand today, some laws deserve to be broken. Probably a great many. If there isn’t a principled reason of greater consequence behind the law, then of what relevance is it? That’s a question I always ask when examining any ‘lawful’ expectation placed on me.

I doubt most folks will have any clue what I’m talking about here, so let me try to break it down a bit. Some of us out here don’t swear allegiance to any particular nation or state or to whatever rulebook it’s decided citizens should play by. Some draw their inspiration instead from moral laws that they recognize as superseding any and all statist bullshit signed into law by stuffed business suits.

Part of what keeps me sane is knowing that the genie is already out of the bottle, technology is in the hands of average people, and we do have the power to circumvent legal channels in many cases. To me, this is an important aspect to freedom, because if we don’t maintain the right and the ability to do with our own bodies and minds as we see fit, we’re not free. Some might take this as a reference to drugs, but I’m referencing everything. Just finding ways to reduce the amount of taxes you pay in is a worthwhile act of rebellion in a time when the government’s aim is to redistribute wealth unfairly, usually taking from us and giving it over to war contractors or to bailout mismanaged industries also deemed “too big to fail.” Insurance companies are next under this so-called Obamacare.

Circumventing to the point of criminality in my mind isn’t necessarily a real crime. Oh, the State will claim it is and will try to lock us up on account of it. But we’re faced with a choice: we can either continue selling our souls for the illusion of comfort and security, or we can start taking risks and living according to what our minds and bodies are aching for us to do. Bending over and taking it isn’t what my body or mind want out of this life.

So I recommend we get creative. Call it whatever you will.

I personally have my own course of action and do what it is I feel is within my power and is correct for me. Others may have different ideas, that’s fine. But what I’m advocating for here isn’t a sense of lawlessness exactly, but rather a meditation of sorts on what is of real value to us, separating it off from the sea of bullshit we’re currently swimming in, and then taking individual action to uphold what we consider sacred. Because politics and laws can’t deliver this to us — it’s always been up to us to decide this for ourselves and then determine a course of action in sync with what it is we think matters most.

Granted, most folks think the current status quo is the best game in town, so they will act accordingly, and I cannot stop them. Can’t even barely reason with them. Hence why I’m better off figuring out ways to opt out in my own sphere, because those commie fascists have numbers on their side and are intent on steering this ship right into that iceberg. I’m on the ship, and I don’t like this one bit. But I only have my own life to live. It’s the only one I have much control over. And I damn sure don’t have to go along cheerfully or silently with this destructive American project.