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Archive for the ‘Freedom(tm)’ Category

The next 40 years

This is the main reason that Kavanaugh had to be confirmed immediately, before the Democrats got control of the Senate and could block apartheid supporters. The fact is that white people are becoming a minority within America. When that happens depends on who you ask, but it is happening, and will happen.

Given that, the only way that angry white males, of which Kavanaugh is one, can retain power is via apartheid — by taking away the vote from populations that, well, aren’t white. They dream of a return to the pre-Voting Rights Act segregated South, where black people were denied the vote by any number of means from poll taxes to lynchings, except nationwide and applied to non-whites across a broad spectrum. They really don’t have any choice. George W. Bush had made outreach to Hispanic populations, but Donald Trump has done nationwide what the California Republican Party did two decades ago — via racist acts against Hispanic populations, especially by kidnapping and losing children at the border in order to punish parents, they’ve lost the Hispanic vote for a generation.

The thing about apartheid, however, is that it is not a long time stable situation when it’s the majority of an entire nation that is being suppressed. South Africa and Rhodesia found that out the hard way, they managed to keep their non-white populations suppressed, but the violence needed to do in the face of guerilla warfare by the majority resulted in international repulsion and eventual collapse of their economies and the army of suppression that was funded by their economies. But our angry white male leaders think they have the answer to that — our current cradle to grave police state that tracks everybody from birth to death will allow them to take out the leaders of any opposition with ease, while also being used to remove information about them from the Internet so that angry mobs that wish to hang them from the nearest lamp posts won’t know where to find them.

But of course police states aren’t stable either. They can be maintained for a long time, but only at the expense of collapsing the economy and the impoverishment of the nation, because smart people don’t like police states. Smart people flee police states, or tuck their heads down and refuse to do the sort of entrepreneurship and innovation needed for an economy to thrive for fear that they might attract police state attention. But perhaps the angry white males view being on top of an impoverished failed state is preferable to being ruled by non-whites.

Given how many guns there are in the United States, I am not seeing any way that this situation does not result in bloodshed. Apartheid worked in the American South only because those being suppressed were a minority in the nation as a whole. But I cannot believe that the majority in states like California that are already “majority-minority” will sit by idle while their brethren elsewhere are being suppressed. Either there will be bloody military suppression of resistance, or secession followed by war. All I know is that a hard rain’s gonna fall.

— Badtux the Apocalyptic Penguin

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By 2040 or so, because most young Americans (and immigrants) are migrating to the few large metropolitan areas in states where jobs are plentiful, 70 percent of Americans will live in 15 states. Meaning 30 percent of the population will choose 70% of the senators. And the 30% minority choosing 70% of the Senate will be older, whiter, more rural, more male than the 70% majority who are only getting to vote for 30% of the Senators.

I do not see how the United States is going to survive this. Not as a democracy, anyhow. We have a name for a nation where 30% of the population rules the other 70% of the population. That name is *not* democracy or even republic. That name is “tyranny”.

Americans have thus far shown a remarkable tolerance for living in a police state, as long as that police state is primarily targeting brown people. (For details of this police state, read Radley Balko’s columns in Reason and the Washington Post). But once 30% of the population is using police state powers to impose their rule upon 70% of the population, they may find that the tolerance of Americans is limited. I don’t see a good outcome from that end state. At least, not an outcome that is nonviolent.

– Badtux the Demographics Penguin

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There is apparently a new law, Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA), which allows the FBI to seize and prosecute the owners of any site that has posts on it where people advertise sex for money. The infamous classifieds web site Backpage.com was removed from the Internet and its owner charged with crimes after passage of this law.

Now, about Backpage.com, they knew what was going on, especially when underage children were being peddled on it, and they did nothing about it, so I’m not particularly concerned that they’re gone. But here’s the problem. Want to get your favorite sites shut down? Just rent yourself a botnet on the darknet (it’s easy, requires nothing but some bitcoin and a bit of trawling through the darknet), create thousands of fake ID’s, flood the site with advertising offering sex in exchange for money, and call the FBI. Voila. You’re done. Site gone.

Congress tailored the law specifically to take out Backpage. The problem is that since the Constitution doesn’t allow laws that apply only to a specific listed individual or company, they had to write a general law. Which can basically be applied to *anybody* who allows users to post comments. Heck, even Facebook could end up in trouble.

Just chalk it up to the law of unintended consequences…

— Badtux the Law Penguin

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Her name was Nasim Najafi Aghdam. She claimed to be a vegan body builder, though with her tall thin physique you couldn’t really tell it unless she was actually flexing, like in this photo from her now-disappeared web site:

And on Tuesday she snapped and took a California-legal handgun (i.e. 10 round limit) onto the YouTube campus, managed to injure four people (consider what she would have done with an AR-15 with a 30 round magazine! But those are illegal in California), and then committed suicide.

All of her social media accounts have been disappeared down the Orwellian memory hole. All of her writings on the Internet have been disappeared down the Orwellian memory hole. Only fragments can be found in various caches and archives on the Internet.

What is interesting is that, in the few writings that I can find, she claims that there is no freedom on the Internet and that the big Internet media companies dictate what you will see or not see. It is interesting that then the big Internet media companies immediately validate her thesis by disappearing her social media presence Orwellian fashion after she snaps. It’s almost as if they don’t want you to see what she was saying. Interesting how they prove her thesis. Too bad about Nasim though, she committed suicide for no real reason, since virtually nobody actually decided to go look for what she was actually saying as versus what the big media companies claim she said. Not that it’s easy to do so — I expect even those various caches and archives to be cleaned out shortly to finish “disappearing” her down the Orwellian memory hole, leaving us only with the prefabricated image of her generated by the big media companies rather than her own words.

2018. It’s 1984+34. War is peace. Tyranny is freedom. Censorship is patriotic. I love Big Brother, he wants only the best for me. Don’t you love Big Brother too?

– Badtux the “Hmmmm…..” Penguin

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Where white folk celebrate the kindly Uncle Tom caricature that they’ve made of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was a nice negro (in their caricature version of him, not in real life, where he was righteous and fiery and said tons of things that white people wouldn’t like to be reminded of today).

So fuck that. I’m more sad about the death of Dolores O’Riordan, whose Irish lilt and clear enunciation made for a distinctive and refreshing voice on a radio filled with sloppy slurred drugged-out singers in the early 90’s. She was only 46, and still in fine voice just a few months ago…

Fuck reality. Donald fucking Trump is still alive despite consuming more Big Macs than the entire city of Detroit, and someone who actually contributed beauty to this world dies young? That’s why I know if there is a God, he’s a vicious and vindictive son of a bitch and I want nothing to do with him. Besides, Hell would have better company.

– Badtux the Sad Penguin

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Apparently he wants to get on that $100K/speech wingnut welfare rubber chicken circuit, showing up at Young Republicans conkkklaves at universities and public rallies calling for white pride and giving speeches about how the white man is oppressed, oppressed I say, oppressed by The Man. But to do that, he has to raise his profile. Like, for example, by actually filing a lawsuit against Google:

<blockquoteMore specifically, it accuses Google of singling out, mistreating and systematically punishing and terminating employees who “expressed views deviating from the majority view at Google on political subjects raised in the workplace and relevant to Google’s employment policies and its business, such as ‘diversity’ hiring policies, ‘bias sensitivity’ or ‘social justice’…”

There’s one problem with this: California is an “at will” employment state. You have no right to a job in California. You can be fired for any reason in California other than for membership in a protected class enumerated in law. And “conservative asshole” isn’t a protected class in any law of the country.

In short, Google would have been in the right for firing him because they didn’t like his hairstyle or his shoes, because California requires no cause for firing — you can be fired for any reason, no matter how stupid, as long as it’s not because of your sexual orientation, sex, race, or religion, or the special case of “whistleblower” (which requires reporting illegal conduct to the government). Damore claims he was fired for being white or male, but chances of him proving that via discovery are virtually nil. There will be no smoking gun saying “let’s fire this guy because he’s white!”. No, the only smoking gun they’ll find is “let’s fire this guy because his opinions are an embarrassment to our company!”. Which is an entirely legal thing to do in the state of California, because employment here is a private contractual relationship between employer and employee that can be terminated by either side. The Governor Reagan era employment laws in California were written in an era where having Big Government telling a private company who they must employ or not employ would have been considered Communism and thus evil, thus basically your only remedy if you’re fired is to get another job.

But hey, this isn’t actually a real lawsuit anyhow, it’s just to raise Damore’s profile on the wingnut welfare circuit, so it doesn’t matter that a judge will take one look at that and bang “Dismissed” upon receiving Google’s “motion to dismiss for lack of cause”. That’ll give Damore just one more talking point about how he’s being oppressed, oppressed I say, by Big Liberal Meanies. I just find it amusing that Damore is whining about being fired for his opinions, when it’s perfectly legal to do so outside of a union contract or a socialist country. Amazing how Damore hates unions and socialism — both of which probably would have kept him in his cushy job at Google. Talk about reaping what you sow!

Once again, James Damore: Right wing asshole is not a protected class under California law, thus Google can decide they don’t like you so they won’t employ you. It’s called FREEDOM. Google has it. Why do you hate FREEDOM, James Damore? Oh wait, because hating FREEDOM gets you those cushy wingnut welfare speaking gigs. Alrighty, then!

– Badtux the Snarky Penguin

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The most dangerous place for a reporter to be in America today is at a protest. Not because they’re attacked by protesters. Rather, because police officers regularly attack the press at protests and regularly destroy their equipment. 1st Amendment guarantee of a free press? The Constitution is just a piece of paper, right?

Meanwhile, even when reporters do get the story, media outlets are afraid to print investigative reporting about oligarchs because the oligarchs own the courts and can put them out of business.

Indiana proposes licensing only “responsible” people to be reporters. Presumably any reporter who dares report on a protest or reports things the oligarchs don’t want reported is “irresponsible”.

And of course the Orange Racist Russian Stooge keeps trumpeting that any media critical of him is “fake” and his deplorable followers regularly threaten reporters.

Combined with the fact that most reporters now aren’t full-time staffers of newspapers, they’re part-time stringers for wire services who don’t have access to the legal resources of a major media outlet, and you get a serious issue where proper reporting is being suppressed by the government and the government’s supporters.

One of the first things that fascist regimes try to do is shut down any media that’s critical of them. Erdogan has done that in Turkey, and it appears the deplorables and their God-Emperor Donald the Trump are bound and determined to see that happen here too. Because remember, people. The Constitution, and the 1st Amendment that it contains, is just a piece of paper.

Or is it that the Constitution just has one paragraph, the 2nd Amendment?

So confusing!

– Badtux the Press Penguin

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