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Sign Me Up

by bauer on January 18, 2017

So, I finally get what Steve Bannon is doing. If you’re going to take control of the planet (at least the good parts), then everything makes sense. First and foremost, obviously, is to turn your biggest threat into your partner. Undeniably, an AmeriRusso Alliance would be the most formidable force in the history of the planet. After that, only China stands in the way. As their way of life pretty much can’t really be co-opted (they invented civilization in the first place) they need to be neutralized. China would be no match for the combined forces of the Alliance. Establishing the Alliance would probably only cost a few Baltic countries. And Ukraine. Maybe the Balkans. Strive for striking a global balance and a new world order.

Should be pretty straight-forward to get the Chinese to attack first. That’s not the real problem. The real problem is domestic. Liberal democracy is the best stepping stone to benign authoritarian rule. It just needs to be tweaked. Have to keep the core group of supporters happy and armed. Get them jobs (or the appearance of jobs) first and foremost. Keep them separate and antagonized, at first at a nearby but relatively harmless threat, one easily identifiable, say other-colored skin. Train them to think about overt defense (build a wall, fuel the already paranoid). Lay the groundwork for training them against the real threat - Truth, Justice and the American Way. Start with making the fourth estate the opposition party. Winnow down any minority rights through a set of appointments to the Cabinet. The real trick is going to be replacing the American Way with the AmeriRusso Way. That’s going to be the fun part, actually.

Europe, yeah, Europe. They’ll probably fall in line. Reach out and stoke the egos of those on the far right that have fascist tendencies. Meet with their leaders, marginalize the existing leaders of those countries. Augment the Russian programs of Kompromat and Dezinformatsiya covertly. They’re the experts. Maybe open some tunnels for them they didn’t know we had. Put together a program for denial, obfuscation, and conflation. Keep throwing stupid things out for the media to keep them occupied. Attack the entertainment industry.

I’m sure I’m missing a lot of details but feel like I’ve got the big picture. So, I’m only going to say this once. All you have to do is ask. Happy to help. Have some free time, obviously.

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Truth, Justice and the American Way

by bauer on January 12, 2017

In my youth, that was just a corny tag line to the Adventures of Superman, that black and white TV show from the 50s starring George Reeves. Truth was always a given; justice something that we just did; and the American Way just jingoism. Truth is now becoming the province of the governing, not the governed; justice becoming by the minority, not for the minority; and the American Way is on the road to becoming indistinguishable from the Russian Way, the culture implicit in the differentiation in the first place, manifested as Communism and revealed upon its dissolution as a corrupt, criminal culture at its institutional core.

This is a culture that has specific words for waging a disinformation campaign (dezinformatsiya) and for spreading compromising content (kompromat). This culture is being embraced by the Trump cadre. Steve Bannon, the shadowy “chief strategist” for Trump proclaims, “I’m a Leninist”. Kellyanne Conway, has been described as a “propaganda minister” by Carl Bernstein, he who exposed Watergate. Sean Spicer threatened Jim Acosta from CNN for asking questions Trump didn’t like. Truth is becoming indistinguishable from Dezinformatsiya. The American Way is becoming the Russian Way is becoming the Imperialist Way.

Is this such as a bad idea? Maybe it’s more realistic. Maybe it’s more effective. All we have to give up is American Exceptionalism. All we have to do shut up, stop asking questions, and believe what we’re told. It won’t be that hard. Spend a little time on Russia Today, the English language outlet for the Russian government. It’ll show you how. Should already be familiar to readers of Breitbart.

I remember being back in Lancaster, down by a bend in the Conestoga, drinking a Yuengling, watching my homies play cornhole. Bunch of guys, some women, around mid-life, a few more, a few fewer less. I only really know my oldest friend personally since college but I really know most everyone else. I can kind of tell we all grew up, more or less, in and around Lancaster - everyone pronounces the name of the Red Rose City correctly. Electricians, painters, carpenters, masons, truckers and me.

I imagine a number of them voted for Trump, even the union guys. I can understand why. He’d fit right in at the party. He spins some good yarns. Talks some surprising smack. Seems to have our back. So, sure, give him a shot. Jobs are tough, competition’s intensifying, Democrats are weakening. Besides, he likes Putin and Putin’s kind of our kind of guy. Throws people around, shoots stuff, surrounds himself with the most attractive women in the world. And we all like gold.

At the end of the day, though, I can’t believe we’ll give up being Americans. I remembered being little and seeing how the talking man in the suit sitting behind the desk on the black and white screen inside the little wooden cabinet was terrifying my parents. I’m sure we all share something similar in this regard. We don’t spread rumors, make innuendos, and outright lie to each other. Our principles don’t allow us to tolerate that kind of behavior. This is not about left vs right; at the least this is about violating the Constitution; at worst this is about committing treason.

Truth, Justice and the American Way. This isn’t corny to me anymore. It’s becoming sacred.

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Modern, Medieval, Ancient

by bauer on June 13, 2016

I was thinking the other day, watching the eulogies for Muhammed Ali, that that’s the Modern America. All faiths - and none - commemorating a Being, a Human Being, in resonant celebration. Before I could post my thoughts about how this was counter to Trump’s campaign to Make America White Again, Orlando happened. I reflected upon the Medieval Monstrosity that is Radical Islamism, and their inspiration to turn back Humanity a millennium. I dwelled upon the Trump doctrine, the thought of killing the family of that racist, homophobic animal. I thought back further, to the dawn of civilization, when the ruling elite butchered entire villages, rolled severed heads down pyramids for days on end, bathed in their blood, and wore their skins as cloaks - all while taking the finest hallucinogens and singing songs of retribution. I feel the draw of the ancient. But then I feel that draw slip away. This was one perverted, sick “humanimal”. How can a modern civilization respond? By listening to our Founding Fathers: It’s right there in our Constitution. We should only BEAR ARMS IN A WELL-REGULATED MILITIA. AR-15s have no other purpose than killing human beings - THEY ARE ARMS - and they should only be BORNE by members of a WELL-REGULATED MILITIA. An INDIVIDUAL does not have the right to bear arms ALONE. SOMEONE ELSE NEEDS TO VOUCHSAFE THAT INDIVIDUAL - and accept the MORAL responsibility if that individual does what this deranged psychopath did with that weapon. NO MORE INDIVIDUAL OWNERSHIP OF AR-15s. THIS HAS TO STOP. HOW ABOUT IT, NRA? HOW ABOUT STEPPING UP? HOW ABOUT ACCEPTING SOME MORE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THIS? HOW ABOUT FORMING A WELL-REGULATED MILITIA?

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Relentless Inquisition vs Free Speech

by bauer on May 6, 2015

This morning I was watching CNN. Chris Cuomo was interviewing Ben Ferguson about the attacks in Texas. The issue of free speech was raised. Ben Ferguson made a series of statements concerning an unnamed conference where unnamed speakers had called for violent jihad. His point being that free speech protected these statements and that the Texas conference should be afforded the same consideration. I had never heard of this conference let alone these statements. I wondered if this was held somewhere in similar scale and prominence to the Texas event. Chris went on to make some statement that it seemed to be liberals that were the ones who didn’t think the Texas conference was so much free speech as it was hate speech. I can’t quite quote the specifics as I didn’t record the show. The specifics aren’t quite important. What happened next was.

I tweeted to Chris under my pseudonymous handle: “@ChrisCuomo don’t bother verifying @benfergusonshow Islamic anti-American conference claims yet feel free to paint left in broad strokes?” The point being it seemed like it would be pretty basic to ask what conference was being referenced yet a bit of a stretch to associate half of the political spectrum with having the same perspective on a first amendment issue.

Chris’ response was “ben will tell you I was testing his side as well. don’t confuse your bias with my line of questioning.” I could see Chris was doing just that and had no idea what point was being made about bias. I replied “I was asking for verification of the @benfergusonshow claims and restraint on painting left. How is this bias?”

Chris replied “being openly hostile is not a way to get verification. ask a question. please.” In the interim, both Ben Ferguson and another favorited Chris’ tweet about “confusing my bias”. I followed up saying, “really feel you misrepresented me, I was asking about journalistic practice - verification and characterization.” With no reply I concluded with “I just asked to verify what conference @benfergusonshow was talking about and what claims were made by whom. This is hostile?” No response.

I feel compelled to share this in public for the following reason. ISIS represents an existential threat to the entire planet. This threat is diabolically sophisticated. It is literally a matter of life-and-death that we get our facts straight and have the utmost self-awareness in our response. Setting us upon each other using our greatest strength - free speech - may very well be a deliberate tactic. This is why I’m acutely concerned about getting attribution and verification about who’s accusing whom of what. The free press stands our post here and needs to be particularly vigilant this time around. Frankly, the free press let us down the last time. Had they questioned those who spoke at the UN and not merely taken their word - as I seem to have been asked to do in this instance - then we might not be facing this looming peril in the first place.

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Rationality Required

by bauer on October 1, 2013

I’ve had it with this government shutdown over the Affordable Care Act (I refuse to call it Obamacare anymore). From what I can find, the arguments on the right have revolved around the notions about being “right”, or about “morality”, or “America”. These are emotional drivel. They have no meaning whatsoever. I can just as easily say you’re wrong, evil, and Nazi. None of these arguments have any validity. They don’t get us anywhere. To me, this is coming down to being RATIONAL. It’s about producing evidence, supporting hypotheses with logical arguments, and simply knowing what something like “statistically significant” means. If you are incapable of producing such, you have no standing to participate in serious discussion. Provide evidence, work within the system, and act like human beings. If you’re worried about something, make your case. You want to change my mind, do that. Otherwise, go get your guns, come on over to my house, and put me out of the misery of having to deal with you, because I’m sick of it.

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Lunaticistan

by bauer on October 1, 2013

lunaticistan-small

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Far Right Intervention

by bauer on September 27, 2013

Am wondering if it’s just too late for this but I’d like to see a call for an intervention on the far right. Honestly, I’m worried that deep-down, the right has simply going insane. I don’t quite know what to do but have really progressed from anguish to outrage to fear. Reason, rationally, and reality have long-since gone by the wayside. Obamacare has become worse than slavery; if you don’t agree you’re either Nazis, Commies, or Redcoats; you take a reasoned approach to healthcare, you’ll take away our guns, our family, and our American way of life. It’s sick and needs professional intervention. Of course, will have to wait till the first of the year but there is hope.

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Steward of Internet.Org

by bauer on August 21, 2013

I thought of myself as the “steward” of Internet.org. As the original domain name registrant of internet.org (@internet_org) I had evolved a vision for the domain name to further Internet Freedom, Openness, and Access. Hope the new initiative around the domain will help realize that vision. Am excited for the future.

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New Izakaya Den

by bauer on May 30, 2013

I got invited to an opening reception for the new Izakaya Den in Denver (an extension of the famed Sushi Den). Never saw a restaurant like this outside of Las Vegas. Forty foot tall bamboo trees line the stairwell. Fully retractable roof on the second floor (although only got to see the first floor). A tour-de-force that should change the restaurant scene in Denver. With sushi that is probably some of the best in the western half of the Northern and Southern American Continents, this is going to be worth a day’s layover in Denver. My iPhone video is
here.

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We are #OneBoston

by bauer on April 20, 2013

From the first moment the first responders ran towards the bombing site to the last moment of students applauding law enforcement leaving the scene of the ARREST, Bostonians and all in Massachusetts showed the world what it means to be American. The birthplace of our country bestowed upon us our true spirit and it radiated from there these past few days. Apparently, that spirit never permeated these despicable little boys. Truly losers in many ways, as their uncle put most aptly. You want to talk ideals? Freedom, courage, and compassion. I’ll take those any day over any other twisted worldview that drove these punks to take the lives of the innocent, the sweet, the venturous, and the honorable. Somewhere, there’s the feeling that the survivor should be flayed alive, pissed upon, and then burned at the stake. Not here. Maybe in places where they think we staged this, we framed them, we made examples of them in our continuing war on other beliefs. Not here. Here, we will bring the survivor to justice. Here, we will still welcome your tired and your poor. Keep coming, Chechnya. Thanks for being here, Ruslan Tsarni. By all means, keep coming here and share our spirit. But any of you who’ve come here, who’ve felt the American spirit, and don’t like it - then, by all means, please just get the fuck out. We are #OneBoston.

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