“States are merely temporary monuments designed to order our lives, maintaining power for those motivated enough to seek it. But the state needs perpetual maintenance in order to remain relevant, and while the power-hungry cannot divorce from the state, the rest of us who merely wish to lead happy and peaceful lives can. And that is where our power lies. The notion that the state is a con is gaining momentum. It’s a notion that doesn’t need to be backed by guns. It just has to take root in our minds, for it is in mind where all failed states go to die.”
Clover does not grasp that each time he submits, he has surrendered a piece of his life. And much worse, the lives of others, too.
Eventually, there will be nothing left to surrender.
But this ugly inevitability does not trouble Clover. He agrees to allow others to direct and control his life, to make his decisions for him. And because he has accepted this “direction,” so also must others. If they do not, if they object in any way, then they deserve what comes to them.
It will please Clover to see them punished.
Unfortunately, Clover’s psychological S&M routine is not his private perversion – which incidentally would be ok, in a free society. If he likes being told what to do – and punished when he does not do as he’s told – he has every right to live that dynamic provided it’s just between him and his dominatrix. What’s not ok – if society is to be free – is Clover’s demand that everyone else don the Gimp suit and rubber ball in the mouth, accept the lash and say “yes, Mistress” (that is, yes, Officer) on cue.
Each Volt – which has an MSRP sticker price of $39,145 – costs GM about $89,000 to build. So GM is losing – roughly – $50,000 per car. That’s a helluva way to do business.
“Also, what kind of a contract allows for one party to unilaterally change the terms of the deal? Congress passes new laws almost every day. The bureaucracy issues new edicts. The tax system is changed. The pound of flesh they got already wasn’t enough; now they want a pound and a half!”
I was stunned. “You’re f—— kidding me,” I said in response. I pushed for an explanation of why the pilot was willing to overrule/ignore the judgment of the trained security officers. “Why can’t I board? What’s the concern?,” I asked.
His response left me even more stunned: “Just use your imagination.”
Wow. Let’s just consider that for a moment.
In short, security screenings and any other evidence-based assessment method have been deemed irrelevant. Whatever I do, I am suspicious. Why? Not because the shirt I’m wearing presents some sort of legitimate threat. Not because I have weapons or potential bomb-making tools in my luggage. And not because I’ve shown any other indication of any sort that I’m a potential terrorist. Rather, the pilot and some Delta rep can project upon me their worst fears of what I am possibly capable of. If that’s the case, why even bother with the bloated security apparatus — since Delta pilots have discretion to kick off passengers who’ve passed multiple checks, after all?
I was […] questioned by TSA about the significance and meaning of the shirt. I politely explained that it was “mocking the security theater charade and over-reactions to terrorism by the general public — both of which we’re seeing right now, ironically.”
Neo-conservatism has been around for decades and, strangely, has connections to past generations as far back as Machiavelli. Modern-day neo-conservatism was introduced to us in the 1960s. It entails both a detailed strategy as well as a philosophy of government. The ideas of Teddy Roosevelt, and certainly Woodrow Wilson, were quite similar to many of the views of present-day neocons. Neocon spokesman Max Boot brags that what he advocates is “hard Wilsonianism.” In many ways, there’s nothing “neo” about their views, and certainly nothing conservative. Yet they have been able to co-op the conservative movement by advertising themselves as a new or modern form of conservatism.
Here is a brief summary of the general understanding of what neocons believe:
They agree with Trotsky on permanent revolution, violent as well as intellectual.
They are for redrawing the map of the Middle East and are willing to use force to do so.
They believe in preemptive war to achieve desired ends.
They accept the notion that the ends justify the means – that hard-ball politics is a moral necessity.
They express no opposition to the welfare state.
They are not bashful about an American empire; instead they strongly endorse it.
They believe lying is necessary for the state to survive.
They believe a powerful federal government is a benefit.
They believe pertinent facts about how a society should be run should be held by the elite and withheld from those who do not have the courage to deal with it.
They believe neutrality in foreign affairs is ill-advised.
They hold Leo Strauss in high esteem.
They believe imperialism, if progressive in nature, is appropriate.
Using American might to force American ideals on others is acceptable. Force should not be limited to the defense of our country.
9-11 resulted from the lack of foreign entanglements, not from too many.
They dislike and despise libertarians (therefore, the same applies to all strict constitutionalists).
They endorse attacks on civil liberties, such as those found in the Patriot Act, as being necessary.
They unconditionally support Israel and have a close alliance with the Likud Party.
When discussing the issue of politics most people will argue that if you don’t vote it’s because you’re lazy, unpatriotic, or part of the problem with society. These are people who were taught what to think, not how to think.
In trying to come up with a side business idea, the two richest veins are 1) hobbies you already do for free, and 2) stuff people are unable or unwilling to do themselves. That latter category keeps on growing, as people are increasingly “outsourcing” their lives and becoming averse to doing little unpleasant tasks and chores themselves. However you feel about this trend, the market is definitely there for more and more outsourcing niches.
Some of the older citizens could still remember better times, before everyone seemed to hate each other so much. All this conflict over what used to be considered a relatively minor detail, one which was once celebrated.
Those who laughed respected those who cried, and vice versa. Laughers and Criers sat peacefully at the same tables, worked and played side-by-side, and made the most of their complementary personalities.
Those who did not laugh often had prescient warnings about dangers that threatened all, and were respected, mostly. Sure, a rare few seemed to take it too far, crying ‘wolf’ at the first hint of any trouble, even easily mitigated trouble. Those who did not cry were likewise respected for seeing new possibilities, ways of improving life for all.
Some even remember when most people both laughed and cried, before the factions became so divided that admitting to being one in the presence of the other became a deadly risk.
The change was so subtle, no one even noticed. Political power was the culprit, but few would recognize the process by which it corrupted the people. Each faction had similar support, and thus political power. The Laughers and the Criers, both. It was a balance that tolerated even those who both laughed AND cried, now such a rarity.
For political power provided the corrupting influence that turned the Laughers into ‘Those Who Do Not Cry’, and the Criers into ‘Those Who Do Not Laugh’, and those who did both into suspected infiltrators from the opposition. The Laughers had sought to shape the entire State into a force for progress, the operative word being ‘force’. The Criers sought to shape the entire State into a force for defense of the gains already made.
Since force, rather than voluntary participation was the method of ‘doing business’ in this bipartisan society, relationships eventually degraded, even among like-minded individuals with similar values. A society once filled with both laughter and mourning no longer showed any emotion at all, as the Laughers now defined themselves by not crying, and the Criers defined themselves by not laughing, and everyone else, fearing the political powers of the major factions, found themselves neither laughing nor crying, out of fear.
Ironically, progress stalled and security wavered, when forceful power was shared by those trusted to defend both progress and security, leaving ‘Those Who Neither Laugh Nor Cry’ to rule over the rest, in an emotionless world where the values they used to cherish had been abolished.