July 4, 2020. American Carnage.

Twitter (I consider it a personal insult that these pieces of shit live in my house at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. I’ve endured this insult for almost four years. Patience is what is needed now. -ed.)

The post asked me to defend the words in the image when it appeared in the Facebook group. Defend the words in the image? Why? But then one of the Stormtrumpers asked the question.

What’s wrong with it?

What I see in the image is two guys standing at urinals talking trash. That’s what I see in that image. Oh, wait. There is a Spacex launch in the distance. Neither of them are Spacex employees. Not sure what they have to do with that. They have everything to do with the fact that there are 120,000+ Americans dead due to the Coronavirus pandemic rampaging unchecked across the American landscape, but they have very little to do with the success of private industry taking us back to the Moon.

Manifest Destiny? We are the children of the enslavers, the inheritors of the fruits of genocide. That is who we are, that is what Manifest Destiny meant. To conquer the continent and claim it as our own at any cost. Going to the Moon? Spacex is going to the Moon. Corporations will slice the Moon up and fight each other over the spoils if we continue on the current course.

Americans are the collected rubbish and cast-offs of every other continent, fueled by their own aggrandized image of themselves. That’s what is wrong with Manifest Destiny. Our destiny is what we make of it, and it certainly isn’t manifest. Don’t get me wrong. Humanity should spread throughout the solar system and explore all the places we can get to in order to discover everything we can about the universe that makes us what we are. I’m just not comfortable with the first and last White president and his Christianist cohort declaring that it is our destiny to own the moon.

Youtube – New Book Shows Depravity Of Trump Admin Family Separation Policy – Rachel Maddow MSNBC – Jul 7, 2020
Separated: Inside an American Tragedy by Jacob Soboroff

We cannot continue as we are. We cannot look toward the future while standing on the bodies of this many innocent people. To do that is inhumane and cancels any hope you might have for a brighter future.

The US has to find a new way now. Better to fail than to spread these corrupted beliefs any further than our shores. We need to accept that not only are we the conquerors and the enslavers, but that we are the conquered, the oppressed and the descendants of slaves. We need to liberate ourselves from our own history, and we do that by rejecting the racist notion of Manifest Destiny right now. Today. We can do it if we try.

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Youtube NPR.org – Frederick Douglass Descendants Read His Fourth Of July Speech

Oh, you think I’m piling on now? You think this negative attitude isn’t warranted on Independence day? Listen to the voices of those children recite the words of their father from over a hundred years ago and realize that we haven’t done anything to deliver justice for these people. Don’t point to the Civil War as proof of doing something. We restored the nation and then turned our backs on the former slaves. A hundred years and we still have cops killing them in the street over a minor provocation. We trample on the poor and the homeless and leave the refugee starving on our doorstep.

ranthonyings.com

We don’t deserve to go the Moon. Maybe the next country to raise its head above the level of shit we’ve left floating in the common pool will be worthy of escaping this planet. But not us, and not now.

That is what is wrong with Manifest Destiny.

The Ezra Klein Show – Bryan Stevenson on how America can heal – July 20, 2020

I’m just so worried that my grandfather might have been one of the people that lynched that man.

Editor’s note. This was the first article written for ranthonyings.com.

A Libertarian President

The question was presented.

Is Trump a libertarian?

Facebook – Dan Carlin Fan Page

Is Trump a libertarian? I don’t think Trump has an ideology. He is a con artist and this presidency is merely his latest con. He caters to the conspiracy-minded, the wilfully ignorant, etc. He’s said it right out loud, like he always does. “I love the poorly educated.” He loves them because they are easily manipulated. It is our job to see him punished for his crimes. The first step on the road to seeing justice done is to discover what is real and what is fake, and to adhere to the real.

Libertarianism is not real.

Libertarians sold their souls to the Republican party when they nominated Bob Barr and then sold them again to the next Republican retread for president. That is, the ones that didn’t outright leave and form the Tea Party and screw up the GOP to the point that it became the party of Trump. I was a Libertarian once. Luckily that fever passed.

Libertarians, like the Orange Hate-Monkey, sneer at expertise in general. They set aside all government theory as statist. Libertarians are anarchists in everything but name, and anarchists are happy as pigs in a wallow when government fails. Government failure, and the population shrugging and accepting government failure, is evidence of their ideals successful incursion into the population. With just a bit more apathy they’ll finally be able to topple the US government (just like the anarchists helped do in Russia in 1917) and replace it with whatever comes next.

Trump is a direct result of the Tea Party’s influence on the GOP, and the Tea Party movement started as a Ron Paul lead incursion into the Republican party. Trump is the result of Libertarian ideals, just as the S&L debacle and other deregulation fiascos are results of libertarian influence in politics.

I have no doubt that they are out there leading the charge right now, demanding their right to infect their fellow men with their uncovered faces, because telling people to wear masks, citing public health concerns, is a violation of their right to contract. If it was only them dying from the infection then I would wash my hands of the subject and let them spread the infection among themselves and then withhold medical treatment on the grounds that they should have known the risks when they refused to wear masks. But that isn’t how public health works, and herd immunity remains the only way out of this pandemic.

…that means following the guidelines of the experts in the field, and allowing government to do its job ensuring that there are medical facilities for everyone who needs them when they need them. Because we will all ultimately need them and almost none of us can afford to foot that bill.

Letting government do its job successfully is something that they and their Orange Hate-Monkey president are simply not willing to do. If government works then they can’t point to it and say “see, it isn’t working.” I’m not so fond of my ideals that I’d see other people die for them, myself.

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Juneteenth

Today is Juneteenth. On June 19, 1865 enslaved people of African descent in Texas were told that slavery had ended, and we celebrate that message of emancipation every year on this day.

Morning Edition – Celebrating Juneteenth: A Reading Of The Emancipation Proclamation June 19, 2020

However, black people fought for freedom long before that time in history. From the underground railroad to protests in Ferguson to this revolution, the fight for freedom has never stopped.

Throughline – American Police – June 4, 2020

Throughline – Strange Fruit – August 22, 2019

Throughline – On The Shoulders Of Giants – August 29, 2019

Take action with the Movement for Black Lives.

Planned Parenthood Action

The Grand Delusion

In the field of psychology, cognitive dissonance occurs when a person holds two or more contradictory beliefsideas, or values; or participates in an action that goes against one of these three, and experiences psychological stress because of that. According to this theory, when two actions or ideas are not psychologically consistent with each other, people do all in their power to change them until they become consistent.[1] The discomfort is triggered by the person’s belief clashing with new information perceived, wherein they try to find a way to resolve the contradiction to reduce their discomfort.

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Imagine a circus – the spotlight is on the entertainment while all the real issues take place behind the scenes. The convention takeaways are never the back-room deals and the negotiations that take place off of the convention floor. The show never includes those details anymore than it includes beating the elephants and the other entertainers into submission. Cleaning up the trash that the audience leaves behind.

Third parties being entered into the mix allows for a full three-ring circus, but again, the things that are of important are those subjects that are in the ring farthest from the one that the barker tells you to pay attention to, and probably not even taking place in the ring at all.

The bigger problems remain unaddressed as the media continues to prattle on about issues that are not really issues. Brown suits and laziness. Age and sickness. Individual enforcement transgressions instead of the central codifying theme of policing (which is racist and racism to the core) I’m still boycotting the news, myself. Let me know when Trump implodes, please?  Wouldn’t want to miss that, and the political discussions will only be relevant after that point.

America spells competition
Join us in our blind ambition
Get yourself a brand new motor car
Someday soon we’ll stop to ponder
What on Earth’s this spell we’re under
We made the grade and still we wonder
Who the hell we are

STYX

Editor’s note. I wrote this on October 30th, 2016, with the exception of what is in italics in the text. It’s funny. I quit paying attention to the news in 2016 because it ceased to be news in 2016. Every now and then I come up to sample the air, but it still isn’t worth spending my time paying attention to closely. We still have a reality TV president with delusions of grandeur, and the media is catering to his Stormtrumping supporters who are equally deluded.

The media does this because they are deluded into thinking that Stormtrumpers represent a legitimate majority of the population. They know, intellectually, that only a third (at most) of the voting population supports Trump. But their experience tells them that the status quo has a tendency to be maintained. Ergo they weight the political field (erroneously) in favor of what they see as the status quo.

It isn’t. Joe Biden represents the status quo, and the majority of Americans know this. The Orange Hate-Monkey will never be the status quo because he simply doesn’t have the depth of knowledge to be able to heft a telling argument in support of his ill-defined Trumpist movement.

There is a reason that Trump’s hardest core of support comes from Evangelicals and White Supremacists (but then I repeat myself) They are the ones with the highest levels of cognitive dissonance. They are the ones that see the most disruption between what they believe and what they see in the world around them. If whites are superior then cops killing the darkest skinned people more often is the way the world is supposed to work. If the Bible (and what the average Evangelical believes about the Bible that they haven’t read) is true, then anyone who makes you feel wrong inside is an insult to god and should be driven out.

They are trying to make their wrong-headed beliefs real. It is our job to stop them. This is the one instance where not bargaining with my opponents is the only way to victory, because bargaining with my opponents means they have the right to hurt people that never hurt them. This circus has to end.

Featured image from Flickr – H. Michael KarshisWelcome To The Grand Delusion

Good Pun is an Oxymoron

An effective pun causes brain hemorrhage. Something akin to a stroke should occur.  You should feel a distinct pain when observing a pun.  A pain in the brain. If a pun is funny it is a failure. The proper response to an effective pun is the overwhelming urge the throttle the person who uttered it. If the hearer doesn’t feel murderous rage, at least momentarily, the failed punster should probably go back to flipping burgers for a living. Wordplay is not their forte.

This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy punning; but it does mean that engaging in the practice places you solidly in the sadomasochistic realm, somewhere between schadenfreude and outright self-loathing. Torturing language in that fashion should be painful.

Blocking Stormtrumpers

I am literally sick at the posts some of my ‘friends’ and family are posting. No one cares about people dying. No one speaks about injustice. They all post pictures of looters and rioters. I am thinking about literally cutting myself off from them all. Even the relatives

Talk me down someone

Private Facebook Group Member

I won’t be talking you down. I blocked my Stormtrumper family members years ago. The ones that wouldn’t shut up about it anyway. Similarly I’ve had to stop reading and reposting a lot of the negative Trump crap. If no one is going to do anything about it, I don’t see why I need to keep myself informed about it. I’ll claim a seaworthy sailboat from an abandoned marina in some dead city along the gulf coast sometime next spring and slowly make my way to a better clime somewhere. This country is done unless it wakes the fuck up.

What if he fucks with the election? The Orange Hate-Monkey is legally barred from altering that, and his term in office automatically ends on January 20th, 2021. He will no longer be president at that point if the election is not held.

…Now, he could have his base scare people into not voting. That would be par for the course for White Nationalists everywhere. We have to be willing to lay down our lives to vote if we want to have the pleasure of continued self-rule. He could also alter the count through his cheating criminal friends. This is why we need our own observers present for all counting of votes. Getting out the vote is important, perhaps the most important thing that anyone of us can do. I applaud any and all efforts to increase participation.

The one true thing that Trump has said in 4 years was his observation that if everyone votes no Republican will be elected to office again. We need to do our best to make that a reality until Republicans forswear White Nationalism and Christianism (like Islamism) those ideologies are contrary to freedom and the American experiment.

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Civilization

…any complex society characterized by urban development, social stratification, a form of government and symbolic systems of communication such as writing.

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

We called ourselves civilized long before there was any evidence that we were civilized. I still don’t think we’ve reached civilization yet. Civilization should mean that no one has to kill another person, steal from another person, just to eat. Civilization should mean that no one goes without shelter or medical care unless they refuse to be sheltered or to seek care.

Until we reach that demonstrably low bar, that members of our society need not fear for their lives and property being taken from them to feed some other needy person, then we are not civilized and it is false advertising to suggest otherwise.

Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response

I’ve experienced this all my life. Some of my earliest memories are of sitting in a library or a classroom with people reading all around me, books quietly being opened, pages being turned, people whispering what they are reading to themselves, whispering to each other, and this feeling of being tickled in my brain, up and down along my arms and legs, a feeling of static electricity all over my skin surface would occur. It happened a lot.

I could not explain it. I didn’t even dare tell anyone about it for fear of being laughed at or being told I was hallucinating. The feelings persisted though, throughout my life. Anytime I was in a quiet space and these soft, rustling sounds would occur, I would get that familiar feeling.

I wondered about it a lot. I have a very active imagination. I wondered if I was telepathic or empathic or…? Even in my wildest flights of fancy, I couldn’t explain it. I dismissed the telepathic fantasy because I couldn’t actually hear people thinking, try as hard as I might. Dismissed the empathic fantasy because it didn’t seem to have anything to do with a particular emotion or set of emotions.

It was sounds and textures. Touching skin and moving my fingers softly up and down the skin causes the sensations, too. A few years ago I stumbled across the phrase autonomous sensory meridian response or ASMR, and I filed away the fact that there was an explanation for this weird thing I experienced. It was brought back to mind with this episode of Shortwave.

Short Wave – The Squishy Science Behind ASMR – October 17, 2019

It’s an encore episode, yeah I know. This was the video that I first watched way back when. Back when I first ran across the term ASMR and wondered if this was the thing that I experienced.

Accidentally GracefulASMR Unfiltered | Simple Sounds and Soft Whispers – Apr 30, 2015

Last year, when the Shortwave episode first aired, The Wife and I queued up some of the kinds of videos that the episode airs clips from. ASMR Darling, CosmicTingles, JellybeanASMR and others. We established pretty quickly that she did not get a reaction from any of the videos. She also noted the thing that the host of Shortwave first questioned. These are all young women. Is this sexual?

It isn’t sexual, although it might be related to a sexual response. Hard to say. I am not turned on by these young women. I find their crowding the microphones creepy. I understand that they have to be close to the mics in order for the soft sounds to be captured, but still. The mic isn’t the camera. Try backing away from the camera. You might discover that the ASMR response is higher if you aren’t looking at the video but just listening to it.

I haven’t tried playing with floam, the gag that Shortwave ended the episode with. The response can be triggered by tactile sensations, as I mentioned previously. I’m not a big slime enthusiast. It just isn’t my thing. Slime with styrofoam bits in it always struck me as pre-dirtied slime. Really not my thing. But put me in a crowded library with people quietly reading any day. It is an interesting (if slightly distracting) sensation to experience.

Sacred Life

No, if we truly value LIFE, if we truly believe it to be SACRED, then before it even begins we as a people and as a nation must bend every effort to ensure not only its survival, but that it thrives to reach its full potential.

Twitter – Stonekettle

Editor’s note – I planned to add this quote to the end of Roe-v-Wade Was a Conservative Decision If I hadn’t broken the blog (05/16/2020) Now that it’s back up, I think I will add it to something even better than that post.