May 31, 2012
Everybody knows the Zombie Apocalypse is coming. That is to say, everyone who's extraordinarily bored with the mechanical oppression of every day life would prefer an exciting shoot-to-kill apocalyptic scenario and fantasizes about it to escape the ever-suffocating sensation of being alive. (Everybody needs an escape. More on that later.) More intellectual Zombie enthusiasts often like to discuss the actual scientific possibility of a Zombie apocalypse. They predict super viruses, biological weapons research gone wrong, or something natural and not foreseeable could trigger such events. However, with this week's horrific stories coming to light: That of a man stabbing himself and throwing his intestines at police, and that of man pinning down and eating the entire face of a homeless man, among other earlier stories- a new trigger has been identified which was right under our noses(so to speak): The War On Drugs.
Since time immemorial, after satiating the basic appetites required for survival, man has altered his consciousness. Since becoming industrialized and domesticated, some people have come to view intoxication as a bad thing, and for some good reasons. The most puritanical individual, however, would be completely intellectually bankrupt if he made the claim that certain drugs hadn't co-evolved with humanity. Alcohol, Cannabis, Opium, Tobacco, Coffee, DMT, Psilocybin...and those are just the ones I like, all have a long controversial history of human use. Besides the anthropological arguments, there's a strong case for legalizing the use of drugs from a purely political standpoint also, best summed up in this quote:
"If the words "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" don't include the right to experiment with your own consciousness, then the Declaration of Independence isn't worth the hemp it was written on."
"Bath Salts," recently implicated in the face-eating incident and gaining more public scorn, do not have a long history of human use. Calling them Bath Salts also serves to confuse the Layman. They are experimental synthetic research stimulants created to skirt by drug laws and serve a similar effect as cocaine, methamphetamine, or methylenedioxymethamphetamine ("The Love Drug."). Unfortunately, not only are these drugs not tested, but they're physically more dangerous than prohibited drugs because they cause over-heating and delusion. Because our drug prohibition laws operate by identifying chemical structures, even if we prohibit current research stimulants, a new (possibly dangerous) drug can be made at the drop of a hat and sold legally. This is your War On Drugs. It's stupid, it kills and incarcerates countless people, and victory will never, ever be in sight.
But back to eating people. In this run of the mill corporatist media ABCNews article, the author spreads misinformation when they quote an E.R. physician talking about bath salts as saying:
"You can call it the new LSD."
LSD, while only having about 100 years of history of human use, is extraordinarily well studied. Bad Trips happen, but to date, no incidence of Face-eating has ever been documented. No jumping out of windows, either. When will this drug-war madness and misinformation end?
In summation, LSD doesn't cause people to eat people, Research chemicals don't cause people to eat people, a system in which high-quality LSD is not available and people have to turn to dangerous 'legal highs' to achieve the in-born and natural desire to alter their consciousness (mixed with some mental illness) causes some individuals to eat people.
The War on Drugs ate Ronald Poppo's face. The attacker, Rudy Eugene, was another Drug War casualty.
May 29, 2012
International Monetary Fund
Bullies, young and old alike
The War on Drugs a.k.a. The New Jim Crow
Hoarders, of all scale
Religious collusion in Government
Christianity Of All Forms
Institutionalization Of Children
Censorship Of Information/Media for Children
Taxes For War
Taxes For Religion
Individual Taxes for Corporate Tax Breaks
Israeli Lobbies in the United States
Nuclear Waste, so Nuclear Power
The Death Penalty
May 17, 2012
Pictured Above: Ramarley Graham
I've been fascinated by Black People since I was a child. Since I first saw one. My initial vague impression was that they were strong. Perhaps because they're over-represented in most popular american sports. Perhaps because of some more mysterious in-born bias. I often wonder what black kids think about white people without knowing anything about them or history. According to this preview of the documentary 'dark girls,' and some studies, it's more or less that black children think white people are 'pretty' and 'smart.' I'm flattered.
Youth and innocence is lost quickly and spectacularly. As soon as I learned about american chattel slavery I had a knee-jerk reaction. I thought 'I didn't put anybody into slavery. My family is poor. My ancestors arrived after slavery.' I felt defensive about it immediately. Some people never outgrow this and turn it into some collaboration of bad ideas called 'conservatism.' Conservatism's modern position on race, as espoused by both Radio-godfather Rush Limbaugh as well as many politicians, is that they advocate a 'colorblind society.'
Fortunately, I did outgrow that knee-jerk response and my position became more nuanced. When my family moved from a trailer-park in Jessup, Maryland to a larger house, we had the opportunity to move into a mostly-black part of Baltimore city. I wanted to move there(when I was 9), but my father refused, saying he didn't want me or my brother to be bullied for being white. At the time I thought that was possible, but improbable. We moved instead to Towson, a highly but not entirely white suburb of Baltimore with the 'best' public schools in the United States.
My interactions with black people were mixed as could be expected. I made 2 black friends in my youth. One moved away, and one never wanted to spend time with me outside of school, I suspected because he didn't want to introduce me to his other black friends. When I was 14, 3 black kids attempted to steal my and 2 of my white friends bikes- directly from us. The kid who approached me was a lot bigger than me. I froze, and I was the only one who actually had my bike stolen, while the others fled. Many of my white friends said that they 'wouldn't blame [me] for being racist.' After all, it was typical racist rhetoric/reality of the "Nigga stole mah bike!" variety. But I didn't become a racist. I read about crime, black people, robbery, and got a new bike and was more careful in the future.
During high school I was in the 'academic' or lowest-level classes because I hated school. These classes contained most of the black people in the school. I tended to think most of them were funny. In gym class, some black students referred to me(and anyone else, white or black) as "that nigga ____." I never decided how that made me feel, but I noticed how it seemed to equalize every one. That's the appeal of the word, I'm sure, it's dual dehumanizing/equalizing power.
After high school I worked delivering pizzas in my own neighborhood, which was half rich and white and half poor and black. My coworkers were mostly black. This experience, more than any other, informed my opinion of black people. For one, I wasn't afraid, even though sometimes white people told me I ought to be. About half of black households didn't tip me at all. The other half tipped about as well as white households. Young Black people sometimes tipped extraordinarily well and were amused to see me in their 'bad' neighborhood. One Young Black guy ordered lunch from us every day and signed 50-100% tips on what all the delivery drivers assumed to be a stolen credit card. When our white manager brought up the idea of turning him in, many drivers said they would quit if she did- and she didn't. My black coworkers showed no ill-will towards me and we got along fine.
One time I delivered to a rowhouse in the middle of the day in the Black neighborhood. As I left the house, A black child approached me(maybe 10 or 11 years old), his friends were standing way further back from him. He said "Yo, lemme hold 10 dollars." I told him No, and kept walking. I was shocked as I walked away, and he somehow he managed to reach up and punch me in the side of the face. I looked over and saw him running away. I did nothing. It didn't even leave a (physical) mark. I wondered about that kids future most of all. Off to a great start.
On 2 occasions young black men swarmed my car as I drove into an Apartment complex at night. They were shouting stuff and I was too freaked out to notice what. On both occasions I managed to maneuver and get away(on one occasion revving up and acting like I was going to run one of them over.) Both times I thought I was 'set-up' or the order was fake, but it wasn't. Just attempted crimes of opportunity, I guess. I successfully delivered both orders without incident 10-20 minutes later. It was my job after all.
One time I delivered pizza to a home at night while no cars were driving by. Across the street I saw 2 young black men looking at me as I approached the house. I made the transaction, and thought about asking the homeowner to watch me all the way back to my car, but I didn't. I hoped for the best, and as I went back to my car I was approached by the 2 men. One said "Don't move." I didn't. The other one had a knife in his hand, and reached into my right pocket and removed some(not all) of the money in my pocket. The other one slapped me and they ran away. I went to sit in my car. I thought about not even calling the police(I don't like the police) and taking the $20 loss or whatever it was, but instead I called the police. They ended up taking me to the station and having me write out a detailed account of what happened. The response was pretty fast. They never caught the guys. My black coworkers joked around about "getting" the guys and talked about times some of them had been robbed, on-duty or otherwise. I kept the job for 2 more days and then got another one in a better neighborhood.
When I was living in North Carolina, 2 years later, I made friends with black and white people pretty equally. The south is funny like that. It was there I first heard the terminology 'dirty' or 'clean' to describe whether a particular black person was 'one of the good ones.' Despite this, one of my friends was one of the 'dirty' ones, complete with a juvenile rap-sheet for robbery. We were friends for about a year. We made music together. I helped him record a lot of music. Then, after he stole something from my roommate, we told him he wasn't welcome back into our home. Later, our house was burgled, obviously by him. Me and my roommate pooled resources and I left North Carolina.
Since then, I haven't had any confrontational experiences with black men. I live alone and work with all whites and latinos(coincidentally.) To this day I've never been the victim of crime at the hands of a not-black person. Since those encounters I've mentioned here, I've begun to consider myself something of a lazy activist. I've had a particular interest in hearing what black activists are interested in and care about. I agree with almost all of them. They have the same qualms with the United States, the police, and society that I do but from their own perspective. Why can't we be friends? Ya'know?
We're facebook friends at least. Violent crime, and property crime, is down all across the nation(to extremely varying degrees, if you don't count police misconduct, and I do.) I've been following the Trayvon Martin case with compassion and skepticism. With all the new information coming out, and Florida's existing laws, it doesn't seem to make the best 'pet case' for the injustice faced by black males in this country. The Extraordinary incarceration rate, NYPDs 'stop-n-frisk' madness, and the case of Ramarley Graham make better ones. But I suppose you have to fight for justice wherever people are paying attention at the moment.
All of my experiences are true, and informative to me, but anecdotal. The only thing close to a 'conclusion' I can draw is that White people and Black people(and all people) are indeed, different. That doesn't mean, of course, that you should treat them differently. In particular it doesn't mean that society should treat them differently(and it does.)
What got me thinking about all of this is that yesterday Republican Maryland Delegate Patrick L. McDonough warned of "roving mobs of black youth" at Baltimore's Inner Harbor, and urged Governor Martin O'Malley to institute some kind of police-lock-down until "order" could be restored. I had to laugh. I'm sure his rhetoric and announcement were informed by the St. Patrick's day beating, robbing and stripping of a white tourist perpetrated my blacks, who have since been arrested.
There's this idea that some black activists have espoused that black people can't be racist. I'm not so sure about that- but you always have to consider the individual. The motive of the St. Patrick's Day incident seems to have been 1. To act as crazy and stupid as possible and 2. to post a video on "World Star Hip Hop.Com." These perpetrators are the scum of the earth. Black or white- but they're certainly black. I have a problem with what delegate McDonough said because it's silly and irrelevant at this point in time. Not because he mentioned black youths. I'm more upset, like usual, by the emasculated play-book response by the liberal media(yeah, the liberal media. maybe I am a hick.) Who claim that simply because he mentioned blackness- he's a vicious racist and bigot. I mean, from context clues, he is a racist and bigot, but not because of what he said.
If your mirror conservative-liberal Obama-flavored 'post-racial'(Read: 'color-blind') attempt at utopian society is one in which every mention of race is 'racist,' then I'm not interested in participating. Race ought to be talked about. It's a thing. And it's not going to be solved after one 'national dialogue about race' that people tend to propose whenever there's racial tension. It's an ongoing process. We ought to be interested primarily in societal institutional racism. Policing people's words and thoughts will get us all precisely fucking nowhere. The only thing I hate more than racism is the allegedly 'anti-racist' response in all it's stark cowardice, ignorance, and lack of insight.
May 10, 2012
Yesterday I realized I was not a liberal.
I almost never self-identify as a Liberal. When I do, I do so out of necessity, since I abhor whatever being “conservative,” “moderate,” or “centrist” seems to mean. None of these terms, including 'liberal,’ carry their original purpose or historical meaning anymore. I will call myself a ‘liberal’ only when I’m trying to stress that I’m not a right-winger while trying to avoid any further discussion of politics. Which is typically when I’m at work.
However what most people imagine a ‘liberal’ to be, economically, is not what I am. I have no ‘left-wing’ sympathies any more, and by that I mean I have no pipe dream of an ideal Socialist or Communist society. I did, at one time, think I was a Socialist(who doesn’t?) but it was mostly spite-driven because I hated the material injustice of Capitalism(or whatever this is) so much. Marxism(particularly when it claims to be ‘scientific’) is just as horribly out of touch with the modern material world as ‘land of opportunity’/”free”-market/meritocracy dogma is. I’m only a ‘Leftist’ insomuch as I entertain a notion of Economic populism. Basically, I’m Huey Long(only the good die young.)
Another element of modern Liberalism is a ‘live and let live’ attitude. Or that is- it ought be and element of modern Liberalism. As it stands, the strongest fragment of this attitude which survives, lives and breathes is in the striving for Gay rights. Gay rights is easy. Should homosexuals have equal rights? Of course.
The War on Drugs ought to be just as easy. Should people be able to use whatever drugs they want? Should Black people have equal rights and equal treatment under the law? Of course. Yet that differs quite a bit from the modern Liberal position, which appears to be ‘legalize medical marijuana.’ First of all, it’s called Cannabis- speak English when you come to this country. Second, what about all those other drugs? And what about all those other drug users? Human rights only exist for your Stoner uncle or Parent when they have ‘medical needs’? As for black people’s rights, modern Liberalism jumps at the opportunity to sign an online petition to prosecute the killer of a 17-year-old black youth in suburbia, but won’t lift a finger when it comes to defending or advocating for the rights of the city-dwelling Blacks and poor whites that are caged(for non-violent drug and property crimes) in our over-crowded, privatized, rape-blind, disease-infested, repeat-offender-generating prisons.
My strongest connection to Liberalism used to be the Anti-War movement. Throughout the George W. Bush years was really the ideal time to be a non-interventionist and anti-war activist. It was just like opposition to Vietnam, but without the possibility of getting drafted into it, or getting gunned-down by National Guard troops in Ohio. Then you could slap a “War Is Not The Answer” bumper-sticker on your 1993 Honda Accord and wait out W’s presidency in hope of better days.
Liberalism today is much quieter about War-making, War-crimes, War-profiteering, and the ultimate futility of War. Why is that? Is the election of the first Hawaian-born half-black neo-conservative Democratic-party president just enough to suppress the Liberal anti-War gag-reflex?
For me, it isn’t. I felt alone about my evidently illiberal and ‘radical’ economic populism, anti-drug-war and anti-war views until Occupy Wall Street. When I participated in one of the demonstrations, and was arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge, several people carried signs with Obama’s photograph and the caption “WAR CRIMINAL.” I thought, ‘now that’s more like it!,’ and I felt at home for a brief moment.
It’s telling, then; that the Occupy Movement’s methods and sustained efforts, particularly in New York City, are spear-headed by Anarchists. Because you see, I am an Anarchist, I’ve come to realize. And I am not a Liberal Anarchist- because I have no hope for a utopian horizontally-organized society in the not-too-distant future. I am an Anarchist in the sense that I am an eternal skeptic of all Authority. I am just as skeptical of modern orthodox Liberals as I am of the President of the United States. My Anarchism is a political position. It means that I am before anything else an anti-authoritarian. As the old anarchist-atheist saying goes: “No Gods, No Masters.”
May 05, 2012
When debating American politics, I hate appeals to 'what the founding fathers intended.' Every thinking person has already figured out, despite all the hot air and hype about their alleged 'vision' and 'intellect,' that the founding fathers were simply rich white slave-owners who didn't want to pay taxes. There's nothing wrong with (most of) that and I respect them inasmuch as their writings are still relevant today.
However, the documents of the United States which contain our social contract are living documents which have been changed countless times to accommodate our modern ideals. United States history has been shaped by culture and our culture has been shaped by history. Much of this had absolutely nothing to do with 'what our founding fathers intended' but rather with how Americans(once there was such a thing) got along and developed.
So do I really have to look at 'the founding fathers' every time I handle cold hard cash? As Dave Chapelle has said, our money looks like 'Trading cards of Slave-owners.'
Currently, the only non-white person that appears on any of our money is Native-Indian Sacagawea, in the form of dollar coins(Which everyone hates to get in change when they buy a metro-card[Sometimes I think there's some dark cynical forces writing jokes into history.]) Meanwhile there has never been a Black American on the money. I assume that the powers that be suppose that the appearance Abraham Lincoln, who freed the slaves(though not in the same sense as Nat Tuner in Virginia, or John Brown in Kansas) is close enough to plac8 the h8ters/the emancip8ed.
Since our money clearly isn't limited to those who've held office, as seen by the appearance of Benjamin Franklin on the hundred dollar bill, what about Frederick Douglass? Could any American have any principled objection to printing the portrait of the ex-slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass on the money? How about you, Barrack?
There are many things our founding fathers couldn't have foreseen.
Today, somewhere in the United States, a black man drove an electric automobile to buy a pint of frozen ice cream from a refrigerator in a franchised grocery store. The founding fathers didn't see any of that coming. And if the founding fathers could be willed back into existence to see it, they'd either burn that black man as a witch, or worship him as a god. That's the intellect we're dealing with here.