About me: Everyday guy. US Air Force veteran (honorable discharge). AmeriCorps alumus. BA in Business, Associates in Applied Science in Contracts Management, and Master of Science in Management with Operations Management focus. I’m black American, but supposedly with some Muskogee Creek heritage (allegedly) but my last name is Scottish (crazy story). I was raised a US Army military brat having lived in Florida, Kansas, Germany, Washington State, and Georgia. My grandads fought in World War II and Korea. I’m a pro-military, patriotic, Progessive who enjoys Left Wing thought but I’m more of a 3rd way thinker, i.e., I see capitalism as a tool rather than something to worship. My socialist sympathies actually comes from being raised in the military. I used to be in the Young Democrats but grew up in Ronald Reagan suburbia (interesting upbringing). I was raised all over from truck driving, gun owning Georgians to Seattle or Olympia Hippies to Washington DC civil servants. I was born “poor” or “lower middle class” but my parents worked hard to make it upper middle class.
Read the full list since there’s no order to it.
Be a little weird and think outside the box.
Participatory Budgeting where citizens vote on what percentage they want their taxes going, everyone’s submissions are averaged out, but then legislators do the same thing. Both are averaged and used as a baseline for Budgeting.
Merge the census with tax returns to cut costs if not by law then by executive order
Review federal acquisition procedures to ensure procurement practices are optimal
Better publicize what the federal government does in fun commercials such as what’s going on in science, agriculture, historic preservation, national parks, environmental efforts like the restoring animals on the Endagered Species List, Army Corps of Engineers, NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration)
Instill a spirit of customer service amongst public (civil) servants so the general public improves their perception of government
The possibility of using Enterprise Resource Planning system tools like SAP in government agencies to better coordinate finance (as to comply with rules such as the bona fide need rule, Misappropriation Act, colors-of-money), procurement offices, auditors, senior leadership, etc. One government, one language as far as ERP, SaaS (Software as a Service), Asset Management Tools, freight carrier guides with 3PLs (third party logistics).
Encourage telework and refurbish commercial space into residential space
Deflate the College Cost Bubble by using the Department of Labor to challenge hiring criteria of businesses where many require expensive advanced degrees when jobs might require less costly education, i.e., increasing the value of a high school diploma again, etc; requiring schools getting federal assistance or whom have had past substantial federal assistance on financial brink to consolidate to cut costs
Allow negotiation of Medicare drug costs
Establish a federal corporation that invests in prescription drug stocks because by doing so this agency can better negotiate by buying or selling shares
Medicare Now! Let people use thru Medicare earlier before retirement
Lay the ground work for single-payer Healthcare by flipping the FICA formula so out of the 7.65% where 6.20% goes to Social Security and the rest, 1.45%, towards Medicare/Medicaid (where your employes matches your contribution), you flip it but you do it slowly so those who paid into Social Security and are near retirement can get their full benefits (unless they opt for more Medicare). Raise the overall 7.65% to 8-10%.
E.U. style data protection for US consumers
Regulate crypto currency such as requiring exhanges to obtain private insurance and to get rated by rating agencies, apply Glass Steagall Act like regulations such as Banning a merging of crypto exchanges with hedge funds or banks, but ban federal insurance or bailouts altogether.
Also require digital currencies be backed by some sort of convertible asset like gold or silver
Issue a Defense Production Act edict to gold miners to mine more gold and silver to continue increasing our vault reserves
Presidential Council of Elders where ex Presidents convene yearly to show unity across political lines and for them to consult and come to consensus where they feel laws should go or issues to address. More of an opinion panel.
Not to Exceed Age Limits for Justices such as 70 or 80 as opposed to term limits so we don’t get activist judges who constantly flip on laws as one judge takes over from the other, etc. Yet, we don’t get judges who are always in the hospital once very old
A Total Energy Policy that includes both green and fossil fuels including converting nuclear weapons into energy fuel for reactors, while handing over fuselages to the aerospace industry such as to send satellites into in orbit
Full Legalization of Cannabis and help with military recruitment by disallowing the asking about prior or post service (in the case of re-entry) Marijuana usage.
The possible establishment of a US Space Force Academy in a place like Cape Canaveral or Daytona Beach (near Embry Riddle Aeronautical University), Houston, Hunstville AL, or Santa Barbara (even if it has to still fall under the guidance of the USAFA and Air Education Training Command). Even if the school has to start off as a two year school for junior and seniors who do their first two years at the USAFA. An academy size comparable to smaller academies such as US Coast Guard Academy or US Merchant Marine Academy. Name facilities after famous astronauts.
Operation Gerbil or Gerbil Maze with NASA and companies like Blue Origin, SpaceX, Astra, etc. Replace nodes on the International Space Station with new sections but send the old ones to the Moon so we have materials to establish a small research facility. Scrap junk missions to land materials on the moon such as wiring, aluminum, etc.
Re-establish mental asylums with funds and grants to states via DHHS to help with the mentally ill homeless population.
Separate mental asylums, drug rehab, and jail where in many cases these are merge to cut costs especially as jails become more privatized
Fund clean needle exchanges and promote one-time use needles.
Urge cities that have lax policies on homeless peoples to encourage these people to clean their areas, aka, you can stay here if you clean the streets. This can be done by coordinating with non profit organizations, local police, etc.
Urge ISP service providers to require adult sites have Two Factor Authentication to prevent minors from accessing pornography
Reform federal sugar subsidies
Transition After Training (TAT) for Transgender service people where recruits after basic training, completing trade school and upon reaching a rank that permits off base living or single quarters will have the ability to transition.
Department of Justice mandate to protect Trans people if jailed be it local, state, or federal such as solitary confinement or protective custody to prevent them being abused or harassed
Artic Defense Pact as an extension of NATO, NORAD, and AFNORTH with Canada, US, Denmark, UK, Japan and Nordic countries to exercise and coordinate defense of the arctic especially as climate change opens waterways
NOTE as of 1/11/13 Update! I wrote this too soon. I wanted to be merciful towards Andrew Tate, because despite his flaws and now his criminal accusations coming to light, I was trying to see if there was a redeemable person within Mr. Tate. After I wrote the below post, Mr. Tate was arrested in Romania for possible sex trafficking. If true, and I say that only because the courts have to work themselves out, then Tate should face punishment. My initial reason in trying to reconcile Mr. Tate’s beliefs was because I felt frustrated that the Left appears at times to think a space for men is childish, and I felt the Right Wing gaining steam by appropriating masculinity which of course…angered me as a man. But, I spoke too soon. The type of masculinity Mr. Tate promotes isn’t progress at all. [End Note Update 1.11.23]
I’m proud that I’m a regular guy. Especially as I write my thoughts out. I have no real skin in the game, and I’m doing this for free for now. I am just sharing my thoughts.
I don’t hate Andrew Tate, but I just don’t agree with him on most things, but he does make good points, or rather I can appreciate his ability to question things to attempt to find any latent hypocrisies in arguments.
But, it is easy to blame the Left because they represent A) change & inclusion, B) represent a threat into how we view economics by challenging “winner take all” games. It easy to put the Left into a bubble even though it’s very diverse ideologically speaking which ironically why it often stalls, e.g., anarchists vs social democrats vs democratic socialists vs reformists or revolutionaries vs communists who may or may not adhere to frameworks like Marxism.
I will be writing about an episode of the YouTube podcast called PBD Podcast I watched, under the larger Valuetainment Media Group, hosted by Patrick Bet-David and Adam Sosnick, titled: Exclusive: Andrew Tate UNCENSORED Interview with Andrew Tate, published on September 13, 2022.
I don’t think Andrew is evil. Maybe a little too intense for me, but that’s fine. Let him live his life.
Some good points or insights he has is (1) Men value respect/honor and some of the most dangerous or damaged men who do irrational things are often those who feel the most disrespected – granted, men have responsibility for their actions even if their egos are hurt, i.e., no excuses for violence, but Andrew is not making an excuse but giving an insight; (2) Men are emotional creatures capable of intense and deeper levels of love; (3) Modern men in many ways are “drone” like figures, and many lack a sense of purpose or meaning, considering institutions like marriage aren’t socially required anymore, so more and more people are more lonely that ever. Having kids can be a motivator for many because they have something to live for outside of themselves. The future has literally been labeled as not being of “men”, i.e., The Future is Female, however, I understand this catch phrase isn’t literal but serves as an inspirational battle cry; (4) Men in certain ways are held to what I call the “standard of disposability”, i.e., men are often seen as worthy of being sacrificed when times are rough because nature is rough, and women carry life. However, this isn’t entirely true because in many ways women who don’t comply to traditional norms are often seen as disposable too; (5) our society is being dumbed down with social media, however, I would argue that his is a collective effort by foreign enemies and not simply the Chinese, but also the Russians, Sauds, Iranians, etc. It’s also just a natural extension of capitalism where you need consumers who produce goods under division-of-labor, i.e., people specialize in one part of the production process without understanding the whole [I don’t know how to make a cellphone from scratch for example. And, no one was going to teach me how to, especially for free], etc.
I would also agree with Andrew calling out some annoying elements of certain segments of feminism such as saying men aren’t needed, but when something bad happens, calling out men for not being there.
For example, there was the sad case of the murder of Sarah Everard, who was killed by an active-duty cop, who stalked, sexually assaulted, and then killed the young women. A horrible case for sure. However, while surfing around Instagram, even in the United States where the story broke into the news cycle, I noticed many feminist pages calling out men collectively for her murder because they didn’t save her.
What were men supposed to do when they didn’t know she was in danger? She didn’t even know she was in danger. Many good men have been encouraged to not talk to women for fear of being a catcaller, a creep, “not reading signals” well enough, being accused of another guy just trying to get laid, or to be secretly recorded and used as a pawn in someone’s Tik Tok video about “trash men”. The reactions seemed borderline fanatical to me, i.e., people who have adopted a specific framework of seeing the world, so much so, they never question it, and when they apply this blanket framework to everything it creates distortions in people’s heads (i.e., they see flaws or contradictions). But they don’t question it because the ideology isn’t simply about equality but power, and it seems this power is being achieved pragmatically, i.e., by any means necessary, even if unfair criticism or outright hypocrisy is utilized.
Some of the women (emphasis on some) are saying they don’t need men, but men are supposed to magically appear when they’re in trouble and protect them, and if we don’t then it proves how crappy we are as men?
Which is it? Some want this free or expected protection, while never saying anything good about modern men, let alone ever sympathizing with men. But what’s funny is, is that that most men if they knew Sarah was in trouble would have intervened but they weren’t around to help her. They would have helped her without even knowing if she was a “radical feminist” or not.
Certain feminists have based their entire empowerment by challenging men. But, I’m too old to care, yet, I can admit this mentality has in part created a reactionary modern male movement, full of very impressionable people, which can get dangerous, considering the realities of our late-stage capitalist existences. [Note: Feminism is not bad. It is a broad spectrum of various ideologies where women are central, so hating on feminism objectively, is nonsense because you can’t lump all feminists together]
However, many of his concerning statements about women aside (or, at least crude analogies he might use to prove his points), one main issue with his rhetoric is it would be better suited if he criticized both sides, yet, as a chess player, I suspect Andrew is encouraging the more right-wing adjacent sentiment because it’s simply more conducive to his lifestyle at the current moment.
However in his interview on Valuetainment’s PBD Podcast, he stated he was apolitical, and he said some very progressive things (such as how the world rallied around Ukraine but traditionally the West exploited Africa and the Middle East and no one cared), etc.
He’s smart enough to know that any system has inherent flaws, but he’s also smart enough to know his audience and the reactionary elements within the political-right.
However, I am a proponent to the belief that even though Leftist thought is not perfect by any means, it will always be better than the political right, because the political left at least believes in humanism and inclusion. Yet, I’m critical of certain frameworks and mentalities in the contemporary left such as what I perceive as a “progressive form of segregation”, rather than focusing on uniting the proletariat around economic issues. Granted, I understand that intersectionality where identity is central is vital in analyzing injustice.
But, his persona aside, I think Andrew is funny, more so because after hearing his life story I can relate to him because he and myself were…military brats who are Americans of varying black ancestry living overseas. In other words, I know he’s funny. He reminds me of a relative. Sure, I don’t agree with him, but I don’t hate him. He is not dangerous to the world or rather he doesn’t want to harm the world. His dad is from the South, my dad is from the South. His dad was Air Force, my dad was Army even though we lived on an Air Base for many years (I, myself served in the USAF). I know he was raised in England and as a Cold War Era and later 1990s military brat living in Germany, I knew of the British bases like Lakenheath, Mindenhall, Alconbury, etc. His current persona aside, he reminds me of a kid I would have grown up with, notably since the military is so diverse, full of interracial families, etc.
Andrew Tate talks about The Matrix a lot and to some extent he has valid points, i.e., we live in an ever-growing and more interconnected world where a few people at the top of power structures and institutions can craft narratives, especially though mass media. Basic stuff really. From a Leftist perspective, it’s basic Noam “Manufacturing Consent” Chomsky 101. Talking about The Matrix is a smart business and marketing move, even if he truly believes it, because we do live in a “paranoid”, “they are out to get us” world especially as people subjectivity interpret data, often with their own preconceived biases, fears, etc. But those fears are not unfounded entirely, yet, how we act on what we learn is important though (e.g., violence isn’t the answer, or, it does more harm than good, it accelerates to chaos, etc.).
Ludwig Wittgenstein said it best that the “limits of my language is the limits of my world”. This is true about everyone, me included.
And, Andrew using the film reference is simply because the movie The Matrix was popular, and a recent version was released (fresh on peoples’ minds), so saying The Matrix creates a subconscious pathway (I suppose, neural-linguistic programming) that people can understand since the movie is embedded into pop culture (people know it even without seeing it).
Yet, Andrew, like many in the digital “Manosphere” space, keep making this basic mistake of thinking in dialectical terms, yet, they claim to be free from the matrix. These men in these spaces as they “revolt against the modern world” (a Julius Evola reference), always blame the political-left and are incapable it seems of checking their own ideology, including their love for capitalism, i.e., the capitalist bro culture that now encompasses the crypto-coin bro culture (which Andrew spoke out against in his interview with PBD and Adam of Valuetainment).
I would argue that they’re stuck in the matrix. In theory, that’s even the point of the films or a theory of them I would argue. There was no real escape. The blue pill, red pill dichotomy was largely manufactured by the engineers of the matrix, so just people you think you’re free, you’re sort of stuck in a Nietzschean “eternal recurrence” nightmare, i.e., you keep coming back to where you started, such as in the Greek myth of Sisyphus.
Andrew acknowledges that “we’re under control” and I agree with him. Our data is being tracked with coding such as “Meta Pixel” by Facebook (now Meta). Cameras are everywhere and software firms with government contracts are specializing in facial recognition. Every app on your phone even if dormant is sending your data to 3rd party “data brokers”. Most of our food is made a few producers (which has benefits and negatives). Every aspect of modern life has been commodified. Mental health apps or Teladoc firms for example, though serving a real need, emulate the business model of social media companies and sell your data too. Our diets and lifestyles. Our retirements are pegged to the success of a stock market where the rich own most of the stocks to begin with, etc. It’s a rigged, pre-planned, Walt Disney – inspired, meets Patrick Bateman from American Psycho nightmare. Cities like Atlanta are building “cop cities”, while elsewhere there’s no affordable housing or cities don’t have drinkable water.
Capitalism in the West, not socialism, is turning more and more Orwellian by the day, but oddly, people support capitalism, since its so good at shrouding actual fear and intentions. In other words, acting like the” Alpha capitalist” might be covering up a person’s racism, fear, sexism, what have you. Capitalism being more individualist in nature is of course preferred by many on the political-right because it affords a passive aggressive way of segregating and maintaining historical hierarchies away from government regulations that might attempt at creating more equity for all. However, it could be argued that capitalism since it is individual creates an egalitarian state where capable individuals regardless of identity.
But, don’t you think the powerful are smart enough to already be one-hundred steps ahead?
It is chilling to think that your whole worldview and ideology, be it on the right or the political left, was designed and intended to serve a role as warring binaries? I truly believe, especially from an American perspective, that our countries were designed by the capitalist oligarch class using theories such as system’s theory where groups are treated like “commodities” to be pitted up against each other, so they never look up at power.
The people in power don’t care about capitalism or communism because they are smart enough to know that these ideas are things, i.e., tools, i.e., pragmatic concepts created to achieve certain objectives but within specific ways. For example, Communism tends to centralize resources which can be exploited, whereas capitalism has the tendency of exploiting labor to forge materials into finished products able to be jacked up in price with insane margins to make profit for a few owners.
Many of these men in the Manosphere, blame people of color, women, the LGBTQ community, etc., yet never seem to point to the fact that the misery they are trying to “Alpha Male” themselves out of is the result of a capitalist system that atomized society with concepts like division-of-labor, the monetization of time, wage theft, the notion of “sex sells” in advertising, pollution, poverty, gentrification, etc.
For example, I support women working because no woman is happy if she feels she didn’t at least try to own her life and own her own agency (considering men will guilt trip them if they aren’t able to earn their own income, i.e., “you’re living in my house”, “I buy the food”, etc.).
Yet, capitalism made women work because A) they were able to be exploited more easily and underpaid, and B) inflation over time caused by a confluence of diverse events over time and space created the need for two income households. The very fact that capitalism needs consumers inspired the two-income household, because more workers earning wages means more goods they will likely buy, thus more rich people. Yet, since growth must be a constant in capitalist systems, otherwise “people freak out” (market panics), to sustain this hard growth, capitalist either automate with machines, merge job specialties with management principles such as Lean Management or zero-defect Six Sigma, offshore to cheaper and more destitute waters, The truth is that many men got away with being able to marry women by simply providing them things they couldn’t get on their own in a more regressive and anti-woman environment, such as women being disbarred from owning property or obtaining insurance.
Many of the men in these “Manosphere” spaces often refer to the video-game boss-like figure of Dr. Jordan B. Peterson. Peterson sold this myth to impressionable and angry young men raised by meme culture, Taco Bell, and video games, that their blight is the fault of the “Postmodern Neo-Marxists”, a type of hybrid scapegoat terms that mashes Pat Buchanan with covert nods to the Nazis themselves (who called anything they didn’t like such as modern art or Bauhaus architecture degenerate).
Peterson flat out lied about postmodernism, knowing that most people have no clue what it is. Postmodernism, as I’ve said many times before, is simply “after modernism”, i.e., it is a broad framework that challenges the structuralism, objective truth-claims, etc. The intention wasn’t to be “relativist” but to analyze or deconstruction objective truths because objectives can’t be oppressive but also very biased, e.g., just because history is written by winners doesn’t mean their version of history is accurate. Postmodernism is a result of capitalism, because capitalism built modernity (the Industrial Revolution which opened the door for the psychological revolution over religion), yet, postmodernism is simply when this capitalist system reaches its apex on some level and starts to create simulation of itself, and it becomes hard to discern what is real or what is fake, be it an object (for example, is a GMO apple a real apple?) or reality itself. Because, truth becomes more relative, even in the face of empirical data, society starts naturally becoming nihilistic, apathetic, etc., because people by way of capitalism have been reduced to what Nietzsche would call the “Last Man”, i.e., the coach potato, near sexless conspiracy theorists, whose food is produce by one mega corporation, works in a cubical farm, and lives amongst extreme wealth disparity and urban decay, with the last statement being the result of capitalist systems being rigged by the “winners” (buying out competition, paying off politicians, writing laws that gives them universal right to copyright claims, etc.).
Postmodernism is both a condition of living in late-stage capitalism where it’s hard to discern what is real or fake, but also a study of the condition and the study of the condition occurs in traditional philosophy discourse (e.g., the work of Fredric Jameson), experimental literature, art, etc.
As already stated, I don’t think Andrew Tate is the worst person on the planet and even though he is a figure that has worked with many figures in the “Men’s Rights” or “Manosphere” space, I think that Andrew out of most of these people is authentic, or more authentic than most. Andrew didn’t need the Men’s Rights movement, Manosphere or YouTube to become successful, unlike others in these spaces, so he is able to be more honest. He doesn’t need to chase the algorithm or escalate toxicity to get likes (for example, the Fresh and Fit podcast), because the truth is most men in the Manosphere are faking it to they make it and are using their followers to fund their lifestyles. Tate had a particular lifestyle before the popularity of the Manosphere. However,
3 hours:48 minute:15 second, Andrew states that nations that are not privileged, such as the Global South or Eastern Europe, etc., are more prone to traditionalism because they need to rely on survival more so than spoiled Westerners. So, if Andrew is complementing these societies for being tougher because they are poor, then what made them poor to begin with? Capitalist exploitation, colonialism, divide-and-conquer politics meant to destabilize nations such as in African or Middle Eastern nations where borders were arbitrarily drawn by foreign powers and smashed warring groups with ancient feuds together (for example, the Tutsis vs Hutus in Rwanda, Sunnis vs Shias, Pakistanis vs Indians, etc.). Andrew often talks about how the Left, progressives, feminist, people who take the “blue pill”, socialists, etc., are the problem and weakening society, yet, he praises the strength of societies that are exploited by a globalist capitalist system for the benefit of the West, China, United States, etc. From predatory loans, all out invasions, intelligence agency orchestrated overthrows, narco-terrorism, eco-terrorism, political terrorism, and a general objective of exploiting people with nothing else to live for.
In other words, capitalism not only makes stronger societies more apathetic and spoiled (self-destructive), but it also creates great inequities in the developing world. The same people who control the “matrix” as Andrew puts it are responsible for both, but these people aren’t Communists, they’re corporatists, capitalists, etc. There’s a reason why every aspiring socialist nation received military hostility from Western powers because they jeopardized the cheap resources needed by capitalist to insanely mark up their items built with the sweat (surplus labor value) of workers.
It’s also interesting to note that people like Andrew lean towards people like Donald Trump because of the way he carries himself, yet, Trump called developing nations, “shit holes”. So, is Andrew saying that people from “shithole” developing nations that are exploited by a global capitalist system, stronger? If he has administration from them, then why not stand up for them against the powers of capitalism, and not just this manufactured hysteria regarding “wokeness”?
It is also interesting how Right Winger thinkers who espouse these strong-men beliefs are often xenophobic to some degree, yet, if immigrants have traditionalist cultures, then why not accept immigrants?
The irony of the Left and Right relating to immigrants is that progressive movements often accept immigrants, e.g., the notion of Borders Don’t Exists or Borders are Illegal, yet, once these immigrants come to their nation, some over time become conservative, either because they’re still adapting to the free libertine nature of Western societies, and/or they comply with the assimilation and supremacy mindset of conservatives, i.e., the immigrants want to fit in so they emulate those who oppress them. Yet, conservatives often don’t want immigrants coming despite exploiting their cheap labor at home and abroad, largely because of a sense of racial, ethnic, and/or group preservation sentiments.
Let’s say Andrew knows all I am saying. Cool. But, do the world a favor and call out capitalism. It’s popular to call out socialism or communism, but what is affecting the US for example? America was already in decline even before it was OK for Americans to identify as socialists.
Terrence Howard, Kanye, B.o.B, Tyga, DeSean Jackson, Will Smith…something is going on.
I appreciate Umar standing up for black people but I disagree with him on things.
He’s another talker in a sea of people doing the same, chasing that easy money from the “algorithm”
I wonder how many women Dr. Umar Johnson sleeps with after his seminars while touring the country considering a lot of the applause in his crowds seems to come from black (maybe single, maybe not) women. Seriously. He’s selling a product that many want, and I figure many women might want the honor of saying they’re the muse to the “honorable” Dr. or “Chief” or “Emir” Umar Johnson.
For such a judgemental person he’s out of shape and should cut back on the deep fried lemon pepper wings.
Considering his misogyny and bigotry, like the “reject modernity, embrace traditionalism” “black people were better under segregation” of thinkers like Kevin Samuels, with the late Mr. Samuels having been associated with podcasts like the Fresh and Fit Podcasts (which leads to Rollo Tomassi, Andrew Tate, Stefan Molyneux, Lauren Southern, The Young Americans, etc.), I wouldn’t be surprised if Johnson, with his version of Pan-Africanism, is a proponent of polygamy, considering many men are doing whatever they can these days to “get their balls” back, even though I’d argue they were never taken/they’re embarrassing themselves/saying things they might not be able to take back one day. But, who knows? That’s just speculation my part…
I guess according to Umar… people who love each other and have children across “racial lines” have to get…divorced? Split time with their kids? Feel shame?
Umar chirps about staying in your race and that black men should only date black women but this puts all the blame on men as if black women don’t set the criteria. Marrying someone simply for their race and no other characteristic is stupid to me but it works for some.
There’s plenty of black men for black women and if a woman can’t find a partner that’s more of a sign of her than men. There’s always a willing man more than a willing woman in my opinion. Black women are also allowed to date outside their race and this doesn’t offend me. I remember growing up and there was no love thrown my way and I can admit that. I also grew up traveling as a military brat where environments are very diverse and non-segregated.
Honestly all the anti-whitey talk is a turn off. It’s a turn off to air this supposed dirty laundry. Hate is a turn off. Ignorance is a turn off.
I admit, I’m dating a white woman but black women are beautful but my lady isn’t black. Cool. She makes me feel supported, free, and she doesn’t think she knows better when I speak about race. I can be a nerd. I don’t have to worry about appearances. I can listen to whatever music I want. She simply listens. She shows me affection and there’s no real power struggles. I support her.
No one supported me so why turn my hand away from someone I care for just because of a fat and fat mouthed bigot rapping off black stats and woke talking points I already know about?
I use to live in “Hotlanta” and went to high school there but it wasn’t my style 100%. Bougie. Fast. Heartless. Fake it to you make it. Avarice. Leased cars. Shootings. Strip clubs. Hook up culture. Some of the most spoiled black children I’ve ever seen living in mansions but making fun of poor kids or bullying white kids. Granted there was plenty of old Dixie hate around. I know the S.W.A.T, Ben Hill, Greenbrier, Fort Mac, Old National, Riverdale, the West End near Morehouse and Spelman, just as much as I know the burbs where I grew up where my school was 50% black. Church on Sunday, wings for lunch with extra bleu cheese or Publix chicken with “fixins” on the side. To be honest I miss old days of black culture before rap, before “woke”, but I’m not hating. I grew up with two parents, one from the hood of Miami near Liberty City by way of kinfolk from Alabama near Selma (my grandmother grew up near Coretta Scott King), and my other parent is from the backwoods country of Georgia.
Yet, Umar Johnson has no right to tell a black person who lives the black experience, which is an experience of many experiences, from poor to bourgeoisie, rural to urban, Northern to southern, East to West, native born American or new African immigrant, part black, extrovert, or introvert, straight or gay, tall, or short, “proper sounding” or ebonics, that they aren’t black because they don’t meet his criteria.
When will black people ever stop this? Time and time again…This purity testing? Blackness could be this all-encompassing and loving movement, happy to spread sacred wisdom of the Motherland to influence all mankind, but instead it comes off as hate against hate.
And, who care’s if he’s “eloquent” or “funny”. Hitler was eloquent. Idi Amin was eloquent. Mao was eloquent. Grand Wizard’s can be eloquent or funny.
Dr. Umar who is essentially in the Intellectual Dark Web, like quacks such as Jordan Peterson, Stefan Molyneux, Eric Weinstein, etc. He’s not building anything. He’s not engineering anything. He’s not coding for anything. He’s just another…talker. A paid, viral, algorithm chasing talker with some papermill doctorate, in our postmodern hellscape of self-help gurus with fascist underpinnings hidden under Joseph Campbell Jungian analysis or whatever.
I find it offensive that Umar as one American guy thinks he can single handedly define what Pan-Africanism is. His Pan-Africanism seems like a black man’s wet dream of Hitler grandeur with his Pan-Aryan ideas or some George Orwell 1984 dystopia. Pan-Africanism, Umar aside, despite the noble intentions and the many contributions of self-ascribed Pan-Africanist is inserting a black framework into larger discussion, seems like a form of reverse colonialism where predominately American voices are dictating the narrative, despite America, compared to black countries abroad, is privileged. Yes, systems do oppress black people, but one black American has more opportunity than many black Africans abroad.
I understand the need for we as black people to regain a sense of our roots, but often Pan-Africanism seems like erasure, oddly. It attempts to merge all black aesthetics into one on the grounds of unity, but incidentally might erase the unique nuances that makes the black experience so unique. Further it might not even include things which some might not consider “black enough”. It also might insert toxic elements from the America’s into the family oriented, rural, and pastoral cultures of many African groups. It’s not that Pan Africanism is bad, but how it has come to be, seems slightly problematic but questioning it in certain circles is grounds for something akin to “excommunication”.
And, by the way if you’re some white liberal reading this. Respectfully, all love to you, thank you for being allies to black people in time of need, but on this matter… white liberals have a tendency of listening to the loudest black voice in the room because they’re constantly searching for the blackest “diamond” in the rough.
Pan-Africanism in one way could be considered a bridgehead for the United State’s growing interests in Africa to hedge countries like China, and the US State Department (and intel community) could use “Pan-Africanists” to insert US ideas into Africa.
Adding insult to injury as Umar goes around threatening the existences of interracial couples who are already receive hatred from certain parties, he also DID NOT go to a Historically (emphasis on historically) Black College and University (as if it matters or makes you less black if you don’t go to one). Sorry, is Obama not black enough for going to an Ivy League college, a place where black people were denied for most of American history? Why are we shaming black dance teams at “white colleges” when this could be a showcase of black culture, etc.? Black people act like white folk don’t have (or, didn’t invent) remote controls. It’s not hard for others to watch Grambling vs Southern or the Celebration Bowl.
Umar went to Millersville University and got an advanced degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, where osteopathic medicine is heavily criticized by traditional medicine, but it’s not that Umar cares, or many of his follower’s care, considering we live in a world of Zodiac followers and hand-readers, because he simply needed a Dr. in front of his name to give himself more credence. Good on him for achieving it, but simply because you’re a “doctor” doesn’t mean your prescription to the world’s problems are entirely accurate.
He’s even been caught lying talking about his ancestry to Frederick Douglass according to The Root (2017) article by Michael Harriot, titled: We Fact-Checked Umar Johnson’s Hotep Tantrum with Roland Martin Because Someone Had To. That should have cancelled him, but his hotep followers don’t care, his black female followers obsessed with black men with white women don’t care, no different than Trump supporters not caring for his multiple lies.
The further irony of Umar is that he’s some type of Muslim, but for whatever odd reason, black Americans never question the fact that Islam played a huge role and still does play on in the enslavement of black people. Muslims, whom I have no problem with, but relating to the history of slavery in Africa, weren’t permitted to enslave fellow Muslims, so being in Northern Africa and the Sahel, Muslims made raids into Sub-Saharan Africa or traded for slaves for goods with black African tribes or kingdoms. Tribes who didn’t want to be enslaved and wanted to make money from the gold trade routes converted to Islam as a business decision. These gold trade routes helped Timbuktu flourish, but the wealth of gold trading Muslim African Kingdoms likely tipped off the Europeans who had contact with Islam (for better or worsts).
After the Reconquista of Spain and Portugal over the Moors, the Portuguese simply sailed to areas that Muslims were familiar with, and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade began in the Age of Discovery, especially after Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand sent Christopher Columbus to what would be the new world.
If certain black people are so committed to “de-colonization”, then why not go further, and return to nature-worship which is more indigenous than any Abrahamic religion? However, our ancestors in the USA fought with Christianity inspiring us, so why throw away what our ancestors fought with simply because we want “consciousness”? Why can’t you be a Christian or a cultural one at least (identifies as one, but not a hardcore follower) like most Americans and be equally as intrigued with African culture? Are we better than our ancestors because they were more oppressed than us, but they didn’t “fight hard enough” according to or modern standards? I dunno…
I would argue the existence of black people is miserable because not only are you oppressed by systems out of your control that inherently criminalized or stereotype you, but you’re also policed, haggled, and harassed by your own black people where everyone walks around purity testing the authenticity of the other instead of owning their own lives. You’re a target of white supremacists and get the ire of black nationalists.
Yet, maybe I can’t be mad at Umar because black people are human and most humans care about what other’s think and try to fit in as to not bring negative attention to themselves.
II. Want to Hear a Conspiracy?
Want to hear a “conspiracy theory”?
Ok. Here we go…
White supremacists love black separatism.
Oh, wait, that’s not a conspiracy.
It’s as if the Founding Fathers who supported slavery but knew that the freedom of black people was inevitable, knew that one day, particularly with black people being treated so poorly, would segregate themselves, because they would hate white people, which was their plan all along.
There’s something odd going on to me, but it seems we as a people have accepted the contemporary discourse of self-determination and tribalism as a needed tenant for a more just world, yet, to me, I suspect that this tribalism, particularly in the United States, where white and black are more similar than we given credit for, is and has been pre-planned or is the expression of past segregated/nationalistic ideas still echoing into the present (for example, even the hippies of days past were still racially regressive compared today’s standards but their views or analyses on race, gender, etc., largely remains unchanged to this day).
The Great Replacement Theory” or “Kalegri Plan” is something spouted by conspiracy theorists, white nationalists, and Nazis (and, Fox News) alike, but I would argue that the future is the “Great Re-Segregation”.
The Great Re-Segregation is the innocuous herding of groups into defined spaces (maybe, even “smart cities” with “themes” and within meta-verse spaces, i.e., no different than racially segregated neighborhoods) in a globalized world where groups are essentially herded like animals (without thinking of it as such), where our data is collected (genetic information included), surveillance is everywhere, and the mass media is used to stir up unrest in the public, yet, since levers of power will be largely influenced by Westernized European inspired ideas, policy, etc., but also the growing influence of the homogeneous Chinese.
A society ruled by a technocratic elite (i.e., like things already are), indifferent to progressivism or conservatism, who operate with a pragmatic and “syncretic” viewpoint and manages the species, like a Darwinist exhibition. Sure, we will still have overlap between the groups, because we as a species have always had overlap, because sharing genetics helps “keep gene pools” humble (not inner-bred), which helps the overall longevity of the species (i.e., genetic vigor), but most people will be herded (socially groomed) to segregate and the political right and political left are both responsible.
Countries are essentially “centers” overseeing commodified groups where all nations answer upward to institutions and systems effectively ran by a small group of people, i.e., a pyramid scheme. When consumer bases start to slow down in how fast they replicate while also demanding more rights as they climb the economic ladder, economic down-turns are manufactured, new bodies from around the globe are shifted into industrial ones, and process of segregation in one hand and assimilation in another takes course.
However, I don’t want you to lose faith in all institutions, and institutions in many ways are highly effective at mitigating risks and subsidizing costs to help the public; however, there’s players within these systems that seem to have an agenda, or maybe these leaders are simply operating subconsciously the way the system was designed to, i.e., an empiricist, scientific, sterile mindset of mitigating groups, creating grand narratives, managing the scarcity of resources, etc.
III. Trauma, Conspiracy Theory, etc., etc.
But on black people.
Terrance Howard is flying around the world telling people that he has disproved gravity. Kanye “Ye” West is having a psychotic episode for our sick entertainment as he is handled by white nationalists and antisemites using him as a “pet to prove that they aren’t has “unstable” as Ye. Rapper, B.o.B., attempted crowdfunding to raise money to help prove the Earth is flat. NFL Wide receiver, DeSean Jackson was called out for saying antisemitic things. Rappers such as Tyga often talks about “Jewish money”, etc., the irony is that there’s likely Jewish management working on his albums (with rappers also somehow allowed to say terms like “white bitches”). Will Smith, likely feeling emasculated by social media and his wife (or, life partner, what have you, whom had a relationship with Tupac – who holds a messianic status amongst certain black people), calling his manhood and even blackness into question, assaulted another black man on stage, in front of the whole world, at the world’s most prestigious acting award (even if the event has fallen off in popularity in recent years as far as ratings). Kyrie Irving did share a post of a “Black Hebrew Israelite” adjacent documentary (not to be confused with black people who practice Orthodox or Reformed Judaism) that has antisemitic tropes.
The comedian, Godfrey, and even the radio personality, Charlemagne the God, whom I would say have their heads on right for the most part, sometimes praise the Farrakhan’s of the Nation of Islam, which as a group espouses…Black Nazi rhetoric, even if they make certain good points analyzing power, how things work, etc. I found it interesting that everyone called out Ye for his obvious hatred, yet, there this veneration for figures like the Farrakhan’s which is often a way of proving “how down you are” in a culture were purity testing, i.e., sizing each other up seems prominent.
Black people have been taught that we cannot be racist, but only prejudiced, since we lack institutional power, yet, the irony of this idea is that A) it allows black people to not challenge our potentially bigoted ideas and to feel empowered within those beliefs because traditionally we lack power, and B) this notion seems like a form of infantilizing black people by saying our actions aren’t as comparable to that of our supposed “superiors”, and this can be problematic on multiple fronts such as empowering sociopaths who already lack the ability to take self-accountability, and yes, black people can be sociopaths as well.
Bullet point (B) in my opinion tends to be promoted more by non-black liberals or non-black Leftists, who struggle with how to help or listen for fear of offending. Building empowerment solely on the idea that we as black people don’t have power or haven’t had an impact on power systems, seems defeatists to me, i.e., a victim-based mentality, which sure has plenty of merit – considering black people were and are victims in many ways – but, this tendency also has elements of “erasure”, i.e., it erases the impacts black people have been able to insert on power systems.
We as black people always focus on depression as black people. Our movies are either hilarious comedies or the most depressing family or slavery stories. It’s one extreme to the next. It reminds me of the Greek mask where one half is smiling and the other is sad.
Many self-ascribed black nationalists don’t know every single black person who contributed something of prominence, and we often talk about social leaders and celebrities, as opposed to our engineers, scientists, doctors, etc., which interestingly is something that all groups do, further showing we’re no better or worse than anyone else.
Before I go on, I want to state that I want all humans to be inspired by blackness. I do not want black exclusivity, black segregation, black hierarchies, black gatekeeping, purity testing, etc. We are all humans and should find inspiration and commonality amongst each other because we all have different ways of seeing things, so it’s intelligent to learn and adapt to each other. The same way how when I was kid found a moral is tales like Robin Hood who fought the rich and the state for the benefit of the common man, I want a white kid feeling lonely in the boonies to be inspired by Shaka Zulu.
I’ll get to the point of my beliefs. I don’t like segregation. I was raised with a Christian inspired Abolitionism that seeks a future where are people judged by their actions solely and not for their race.
Even though I am by no way a good Christian, and many Christians would reject me as being a Christian because I’m not an extremist, I still place merit on the teachings on mercy, love, humility, etc., that Christianity teaches.
Interestingly, my political left leanings are in part inspired by Christian mercy.
I believe that racial segregation is social engineering derived from our colonial roots and is a way of dividing the public by manufacturing dialectical (diametrically opposed) tension, cultures., etc.
I find it “funny” that white nationalists support the rhetoric of black separatists, so…if logic is to persist, and black people or the political left say that the US is white supremacists (i.e., Amerikkka), then maybe black separatism was intended to be another force that keeps the races separate, so they can be “farmed” “herded” etc. I find it interesting that certain elements of Left-Wing thought, with its anti-colonial, post-colonial, and de-colonial framework calls for self-determinism, yet, white nationalists or other Right-Wing forces call for self-determination too.
I believe that those in power use both left-wing and right-wing because they have a pragmatic view of power, to maintain racial segregation, hierarchies, etc., but these people, seeing themselves as entitled to “evolve the species”, use tension to merge elements of bipolar opposites, so from the explosion of these opposite agents, you create a new paradigm, but the later repeat the cycle as new diametrically opposed binaries reveal themselves.
There’s a Darwinists and Enlightenment Period based mindset (which includes liberalism, Communism, fascism, and capitalism) that sees chaos and flux as essential in the process of evolution and these concepts are embedded into Western thought, didactic, etc. The common man, burdened by the grind of existence, where the system knows and manipulates our Maslow Hierarchy of Needs by creating scarcity (competition, unemployment, etc.), is more likely to find solace in their identity (the cheapest form of currency in my opinion), and not question how those identities are constructed to be binaries in a system of control for the benefit of a few.
For example, the Nation of Islam, which is listed as a hate group by the US State Department, Southern Poverty Law Center (who helped take down the KKK in the 1960s), and Anti-Defamation League, believes that black scientist named Yakub (insinuating Jacob from the Jewish tradition) created white people and other races with an unspecified birth-control method to be “diametrically opposed” to blackness, and to conquer black people.
Nation of Islam by the way was allegedly created by a man impersonating a black man, and he mysteriously disappeared, potentially stealing money from membership fees of poor blacks. Many poor black people fled up north, and the creator of the Nation of Islam, using the then popular trend of secret groups, like B’nai B’rith, the Klu Klux Klan, etc., focused on these new black migrants who became jaded by racism up north. Before the twentieth century, after the Civil War, the United States saw an increase in spiritualism, mesmerism (hypnosis), seances, etc., because there was a lot of death from the war and a changing of America as new immigrants came in. The N.O.I., is simply a byproduct of these events. Today, the Nation of Islam has ties to Scientology, which is further proof of the mind-control elements the N.O.I. seeks out.
Simply reading this I can pull so much. A) black people descended from slaves often make similarities to that of the ancient Jews in captivity since that was the only book that slaves were allowed to read (or, be read too), granted it was redacted by slave owners to justify slavery, B) because of Christianity being forced upon us – my people, as it was for most groups, including tribal Europeans in the Dark Ages, newly freed black people after slavery, notably those exposed to other ideas in Northern Cities, were searching for identity and some chose a religion that was perceived as polar opposite to Christian, rural, and Southern, yet still beholden to the credibility of Abrahamic faiths, and chose unorthodox Islam, and C) the figure of Yakub – a rip off of Jacob – is essentially the concept that not only chirps to anti-Jewish thought, but also the notion of the “Uncle Tom”, “sell-out”, “race traitor”, etc., meaning that the Nation of Islam inserted this character, as a “purity testing” trip-wire figure, as a means of taking the high ground to call any detractors or critics “enemies of the race”, which is a pretty low and lazy way of winning arguments.
There was also an aversion to the COVID-19 vaccines, despite black Americans in certain categories being at increased risk for contracting it due to high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, etc., but also black and Latin workers often work in businesses that were prone to outbreaks such as warehouses, meat packing facilities, restaurants, etc.
Sure, my last point about COVID-19 is more understandable, because to be frank, the virus was new, people had limited information, the virus did fundamentally change how we operate (such as tele-work, social distancing, etc.), and there is a general mistrust of institutions; however, for all the other previous points stated, there is a trend of black men, notably popular black celebrities, descending into what I consider to be postmodern solipsism, relativity, and conspiracy theory.
Further, as this phenomenon of black celebrities going mad is happening, which is not necessarily new, there are public figures willingly to use this distortion or confusion of what is real or what is not real to mix it with Pan-Africanism so these public leaders to ascend to prominent positions.
Umar Johnson, for example, is a Men’s Rights Activist, likely inspired by the late yet controversial Kevin Samuels (whom like Jesse Lee Peterson, tells the story that black people were better off segregated).
IV. Fascism hiding under Postmodernism
Misinformation affects all people regardless of demographic because as a society we are now living in a hyper-reality of late-stage, globalized capitalism – full of parody, pastiche, bad actors, i.e., trolls or agents of misinformation, and recycled pop culture – where the distinction between real and fake, or simulation and simulacra is hard to discern.
We live in a world where corporate power for example is so strong, innocuous, and entrenched and it pervades all aspects of life, including the commodification of race, culture, sexuality, orientation, ideology, religion, education, healthcare, and just about…everything. Even misinformation is commodified.
I say that postmodernism is the chameleon skin that shrouds the predatory animus of capitalism.
The disorienting “skin”, i.e., postmodern culture, is simply a way of capitalism to sustain itself by a) creating relativity so we don’t know what is real or fake, and b) recycling culture, often in anachronistic fashion, because most growth or markets have already been exhausted, and most production isn’t from labor value but is from financialization, i.e., using fiat money to speculate on assets to create artificial demand where those at the top benefit the most, and manipulate business cycles to their own benefit (knowing government’s, already being privatized, will insure their loses at taxpayer expense).
As a result, we live in a world where “Continental Philosophy” encompassing fields such as metaphysics and existentialism merges with “Analytical Philosophy” encompassing fields like linguistics, game theory, logic, etc. In other words, we have a lot of intensive research and data alongside endless subjective interpretations of said data thus leading to a “collective flux”, i.e., mass solipsism, resulting in statements such as “my truth”.
Even though this democratization of information can be inspiring and helpful (e.g., checking institutional power), it does lead to a “triumph of the will” of ideas, i.e., the strongest survives, hence we may be subject to constant and ever-growing ideological conflict as ideas battle each other with no sense of moderation or consensus in sight.
But as a fellow black man, I can understand why there’s this need for truth among black people, yet, it seems to be leading black men (not saying more so than anyone else) down conspiracy rabbit holes.
The truth is, of course, black people had our diverse and often differing indigenous identities stripped and were forcibly yet partially assimilated into Western Civilization, to be labor power, but also to serve as an aesthetic binary to whiteness, where blackness became the magnet for the vileness of white supremacy.
Black Americans were designed to arouse a sense of supremacy in white settlers, many who had nothing but the value of being white.
Black people historically were denied education, reading, the ability to speak up, and our own destinies. Yet, this doesn’t mean that black people lacked aptitude, but rather we were disbarred from understanding the civilization which fell upon us, and which also devalued us. There’s a tendency to think that we’re not getting the entire story, or, there’s a paranoia of some higher deeper and nefarious truth – which is true but can be untrue depending upon on how we seek those truths.
But, how far black people have come is a true miracle.
We must be willing to check our own theses.
Simply because we feel something doesn’t mean that it is true, and the also the simplest path towards a solution is often not the truth but its tempting to take the less arduous path. For example, antisemitism is often a gross simplification of the truth, because Jews don’t run the world, even though, of course, there are powerful players that are Jewish pulling the levers of power, but to time and time again blaming Jews is intellectually lazy and ironic. If Jews really ran the world, why would they not just bulldoze anyone in their way?
White nationalist for example, preach that they are superior one second, while claiming to be victims at the same time, and most of the bad ideas that are affecting everyone – white people included – were created by white people. Karl Marx, a Jew, or a BIPOC person didn’t steal your job, but Mitt Romney working in Leveraged Buyouts did.
The temptation to jump to antisemitism, is disingenuous, and an easy scapegoat, but black people do this too, i.e., we try to find a simple explanation without understanding all the nuances, conflicts, inner diversity of various groups, etc.
When you add all of this with the fact that black men are often the most criminalized, black people in general – traditionally speaking – are often seen as having “less quality” or “less refined tastes”, etc., there is an insatiable thirst for truth to rebuild or regain our “consciousness” “regalia” “honor”, but the trauma on black people, both present and past, both anecdotal and institutional, seems to corrupt the path towards truth. This corruption, which objectively is from a good place I would argue, seems to have some black people questioning everything, even basic principles such as Terrance Howard arguing against basic arithmetic (something all humans developed and understood on their own).
History is already a confusing and rigorous endeavor, but most people fall for conspiracy theories, where I defined conspiracy theories as theories where the conclusion is already predetermined, but the researcher with a specific or ideological bias uses facts that simply serve their point, instead of actively challenging their own thesis or idea. Conspiracy theories as opposed to let’s say investigative journalism often lacks rigorous peer review, panel presentations, debates, etc.
Not sure where to begin so this will be a series of bullet points in a stream-of-consciousness format…
I already talked about how Kanye “Ye” is essentially acting like the main character of Pink Floyd’s The Wall (played by Bob Geldof). It’s too similar it’s scary. A rock-n-roll star driven to madness who has delusions of being a fascist leader, where this imaginary character built from his psychosis, is meant to purge all his inner fears and trauma ranging from the. loss of his parent, difficulties with women, and the stess of being a celebrity.
This next comparison I’ll write is how other musical artists play with fascism. Whereas David Bowie with his Thin White Duke character, Marylin Manson, maybe even Nico of The Velvet Underground, Darby Crash of The Germs (who adored Bowie and later died by suicide), etc., played with fascism as an aesthetic or for shock value (Nico, maybe not so much….because she was actually racist).
Artists play with fascism often by being ironic to bring into light how celebrity worship is similar to the cult-of-personality of an authoritarian (a character study), but Kanye isn’t playing or maybe he is but he’s so far gone that its not funny. It’s disturbing.
But, Ye might be in part attempting to out do Bowie etc by being real and not just symbolic.
Ye has internalized fascism but I wouldn’t be suprised if Ye is also lazily impersonating Pink Floyd’s The Wall, and trying to out do Bowie on top of him having mental health issues. I’ve experienced loss, sadness, etc, and like Kanye, a forner hero of mine, I had a vast wealth of knowledge bubbling in my brain. But I didn’t go crazy. Thats what’s sad. Ye for claiming to be so strong but isn’t. If I could pull myself up as a regular guy then Ye can too but he’s lost in the sauce of his out of control brain. Part of me feels that Kanye is not profound but rather he vibes off other people’s stuff and mashes it together in a sort of postmodern pop culture mash up like how Tarantino smashes Italian spagethhi western with French New wave with Japanese Harakiri inspired revenge Cinema. Kanye is profound simply for the fact he inserted a sense of deeper thinking into mainstream hip hop which by the late 90s was still gangster rap but that genre – come the new millennium – was over done, particularly with the two scions of Biggie and Tupac being killed.
Mainstream Hip hop culture was mostly limited in its expression (unlike underground or alternative artists) but many fans of Kanye never picked up the sources, pop culture references, etc.
For example, I talked about how Ye is very similar to Otto Weininger, a Jewish philosopher from the Vienna Scene that gave us the likes of Carl Jung, Sigmund Frued, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Stefan Zweig but also Hitler, Tito and Stalin. Otto renounced his faith because he felt Judaism was effeminate whereas Western Christianity was the masculine ideal. Otto took his own life and later the Nazis used his work to justify their ideology. This appropriation of Otto by the Nazis seems similar to what Nick Fuentes of America First is doing.
Ye, black man to black man, is that he’s battling between a sort of “either/or”(Soren Kierkegaard), “to be or not to be” (Hamlet) dilemma. A black man in Western Civilization where you’re torn between the old notion of the “house” and “the field”, but what if there’s no distinction? Maybe such simplistic “dialectcal” distinctions are simply social engineering to ensure black folk don’t “learn too much” about the society that landed on us?
To ask such questions and go up against the status quo be it against black people, the white racist, or white liberal, is an act of punk rock.
Before Ye’s Antisemitic fall from grace, he was a a black man telling everyone he wasn’t going to be a slave. He was going to “will himself to power” (i.e., Triumph of The Will or Fredrich Neiztche, etc.) and transcend what I call the “racial dialectic” and express himself the way he wanted. If anything another profound thing of Ye is he’s sort of like Icarus. He tried to fly to the sun but his wings melted and he lost his mind.
Ye is like Yukio Mishima before his suppuku.
Ye is done. Good. Instead of the light he chose the dark. But I don’t feel anyone is talking about him like I’m talking about him. Everyone else is focusing on the speech which is valid and needs to be addressed yet no one is going talking about Ye being a black man who simply wanted to forge his own path, make his own style.
(Updated on 2/15/2022 by author) To me it’s not about war but about courage. Why should the US feel bad for not “living up to its end of the bargain as far as NATO expansion” when Russia hasn’t lived up to its role of being a true democracy. I mean, that’s what the US justifies its wars with right? So, if Russia hasn’t had a legit democracy, then why should America care if former states that were ruled by Russia decide to join NATO? From Russian puppet state in Belarus pumping in refugees to throw Baltic States and Poland off while they engage with NATO. To Russia using psy-ops to infiltrate the US and Western Far Right to cause domestic tensions. To, Russia intervening in Syria to save Assad despite them not holding up their end of the bargain considering Trump bombed Syria on alleged chemical weapons despite Russia promising to remove such weapons when negotiating with John Kerry during the Obama Administration. Or, what about Russia harboring American Neo-Nazis such as Rinaldo Rizzaro, founder of The Base, who has influenced hate crimes in the USA from Moscow. Or, Russia invading Ukraine. In theory Russia was always more of a threat to the US and Europe than Saddam Hussein was in Iraq, even though Saddam tried to price his vast oil reserves outside of the Petrodollar system. There were no Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, yet, when it comes to Russia, the Americans pump the brakes oddly, even though nuclear war is simply off the table. The goal for the US isn’t to invade Russia but rather draw a firm line that their border is their border, and it doesn’t include any nation they used to rule over. such as Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Hungary, etc.
American Republicans despite their constant warmongering against militarily weak nations (often of people of color), are quiet all of a sudden. North Carolina Representative, Madison Cawthorne, admits to having been compromised in Russia while oddly on a honeymoon in Russia (not the best honeymoon, no offense). Supposed libertarians (only libertarian for corporations) such as Rand Paul, went on “diplomatic missions” to Russia for Trump. We all saw Trump’s weak show of leadership with Putin at the Helsinki conference. We’ve seen American hate groups hail Putin as a “savior”. I’m not sure what the GOP’s deal is regarding Russia. Knowing how crazy they can be, such as using religion, etc., maybe the Republicans seen a commonality with Russia for Putin’s “tough guy” antics, let alone the fact that Russia is objectively a “white country” (while they’re totally fine with warmongering with China who of course isn’t white). Maybe, there’s some ties to Israel in the mix, compounding the latent white supremacist and Christian Zionists tropes prevalent in the GOP, considering many Israelis are Russian, thus there’s a natural multinational connection between Russia, Israel, the United State (and, the United Kingdom). With so doubt much about fiascos such as Russia-Gate by both the political-right and the contrarian dovish Left (I’m a Bernie Sander’s supporter by the way), I noticed as an average citizen that many people seem to not acknowledge other threats Russia has done, even if the Russia-Gate Camp failed to acknowledge these. Russia, just like China, in theory are benefiting from American’s since of jadedness and loss of faith in institutions, and this has been further compounded by the COVID-19 paranoia, lockdowns, talking head podcasters, proliferation of conspiracy theories, etc.
The US must engage Russia more head-on-head on by moving troops into Poland and at an extreme into Ukraine because Russia won’t engage in military conflict on mass scale in my opinion.
This fear of nuclear weapons is off the table. The notion of Mutually Assured Destruction is an outdated concept that no one wants or would do, otherwise we would have seen nuclear weapons been used since WW2. But we haven’t. Why didn’t we use them in Afghanistan or Iraq or anywhere else since Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Because, everyone fears them. The fear of nuclear weapons seems more from non-state actors who end up getting a hold of nuclear weapons or technology (such as the ability to use yellow-cake uranium) rather than the threat being from nation-states.
This is a poker match, but fear within the Western consciousness is facing the possibility of folding despite the Kremlin not having all the cards they think they do. Russia already has a launch pad into Europe with Kaliningrad between Poland and Lithuania, but did the US invade that place in response to Crimea? No. Always saying that America is the aggressors is false.
(A) Move troops into Eastern Germany at a minimum, including working with German authorities to curtail the influence of the AfP Party (Alternative for Germany Party which is Far-Right and has fallen victim to Russian psychological warfare campaigns considering Eastern Germany is more poor compared to Western Germany, due to the Cold War, i.e., Easter Germany was Soviet controlled, and this economic disparity has resulted in Far-Right ideology taking hold particularity with the refugee crisis caused by NATO wars), (B) move troops into Poland at a minimum to establish a forward operating positions closer to the Suwalki Gap, where despite Poland’s shift to the Right Wing as of recent, there is still a deep rooted fear of Russian invasion considering Poland was annexed into the former Soviet Union. Continue to court Poland with military assistance and possible economic benefits to better link the Polish economy by way of the EU into the US economy (C) possibly move US NATO troops into Ukraine as a direct stand-off, where it’s my belief that Russia won’t invade if American boots are on the ground. They’ll likely invade if America retreats and continue their silent takeover by courting Russian Ukrainians in the Eastern part of the country, and then (D) use this show of force to negotiate for a hopeful de-escalation of force but the American’s will not nor should not retract its military position.
We’re seeing history repeat. In 1234 from 1480, the Mongols (who controlled China) had ruled over the Russian, Ukrainian, and Belarusian peoples. The Russians figured paying suzerainty to the Mongols was better than possibly facing conquests by the Catholic warrior Teutonic Knights and Livonian Order of the Holy Roman Empire (modern day Germany mostly) who had already set up Crusader States in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, etc. As the Mongols (the Golden Horde) were invading Russia from the East, the Russians met the Western knights at the famous Battle on the Ice in April 1242, where the Russians under Aleksandr Nevsky defeated the Catholic Crusaders. Yet, shortly thereafter, Russia was under the thumb of the Mongols, but this relationship worked out since the Mongols cared only for tribute rather than micro-managing their vassals.
Russia today is similar in scope with their relationship with China but instead of being a follower to the Mongols of old, simply out of necessity, Russia is in effect a willing tool for China, considering the ruler of Russia (former KBG agent Vladimir Putin) wants to re-expand Russia’s borders to a fairy-tale empire based on the hyper-nationalistic and vehemently anti-West ideology of Eurasianism under thinkers such as Aleksandr Dugin (who has actively courted Far Right personalities in Europe and the United States) as a form of asymmetric warfare (where by proxy, this nexus between the Far Right and Russia fell under the larger umbrella of MAGA politics with Donald Trump). Imagine a world where Russia can’t shut off gas to Europe whenever it wants, and China dominates global supplies.
It’s centrally located between the West, i.e., Europe, and the Chinese. For most of Russia’s history, as far as early human civilization with peoples of the steppes riding along Central Asia’s wild frontier from Far East to Far West, to the Dark and Middle Ages, and now in current times, Russia has always had crunched in between empires, hence why Russia has a propensity for autocratic centralized authority and hyper-nationalism. One could make the same comparison to Germany of old, where its central location in Central Europe created a natural sense of territorialism, while also a sense of needing to expand constantly outward to acquire land (such as the Medieval conquests of the Western Slavs, Wends, Pomeranian Slavs, etc.).
Russia currently is deeply invested with China and both China and Russia are openly establishing economic partnerships to control Central Asian states, while also courting nations like Iran, which is geo-strategically important by both land (a corridor for the Belt and Road Project) and sea (with the Strait of Harmatz being vital for global oil transportation). This conflict in Ukraine isn’t’ merely the West vs Russia but is passively aggressively about Russian and China vs the US and West. Russia is effectively a proxy of China, or could very well be one, in that if Beijing isn’t happy with the US or NATO, it could easily convince Russia to shut off natural gas to Europe (such as before EU elections to sway the masses), particularly as a strategy if a possible conflict with China were to occur by making the conflict into a two theater campaign by agitating its most western bulkhead by proxy of Russia to sure up its resources for its Eastern (home) defense.
With the current tensions in Ukraine involving a possible Russian invasion as Russia and NATO standoff, it is very important for United States to maintain its current position of power within the world and to show strength with a mixed approach of counter-force mixed with diplomacy, but that counter-force has to be moving US troops into Poland at a minimum, keeping US troops levels in Germany high at a minimum (reversing Trump’s move to withdrawal troops from Germany suspiciously as he faced scrutiny for plausible ties to Russia), and at a maximum moving US troops (or, observers/trainers) into Ukraine. Ironically, the US spent nearly 20 years in Afghanistan not far from both Russia, China, and Iran, yet, that conflict, though making sense to think-tanks who follow the Grand Chessboard Strategy (i.e., controlling Central Asia gives whichever superpower global leverage), the US has in theory already engaged Russia, yet, we didn’t engage them head-to-head, but rather passively through a very expensive war which little to no return-on-investment for US hegemony (if anything it hurt US synergy, unless the secret plan was to weaponize the Taliban all along to make a hostile state towards any encroaching power such as China to the East, Russia to the North or Iran to the South – despite Iran sharing a common Persian language, tribes more Iranian in nature such as the Hazaras are one of many in a diverse country, so a nexus between Iran and Afghanistan is unsure).
It’s not a simple matter of Russia as the sole threat, where critics of escalation with Russia claim Russia’s economy isn’t strong, etc., but it’s a matter of the Sino-Russian relationship that stands at the door of Europe, where every inch they make towards the Atlantic, either directly through military force or indirectly through economic/cultural influence, it means they, i.e., Russia or China is closer to the US. The traditional policy seems to have been to take the war to them rather than to bring it into our hemisphere.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands during their meeting at the Grand Kremlin Palace on Wednesday in Moscow. Creator: Mikhail Svetlov | Credit: Getty Images
I do support sending US troops in Poland and Ukraine, because it is my personal opinion that Russia won’t act. This is a poker match and the United States for too long has entertained this dragged out match, enabling Putin to bluff, talk, eat, drink, psyche-out, and call (a poker move) consistently, at the expense of the image of the United States and its Western allies. Russia will not invade Ukraine further if the United States fills the void in Poland and Ukraine with its allies. Moving in troops is vital to have diplomatic talks but on America’s terms.
That’s the ultimate thing. Which side are you on?
It’s my feeling that the US should have withdrawn from Afghanistan sooner, despite the crying to think-tank strategists and defense contractors, and instead used those re-mobilized troops to sure up NATO’s eastern bulkhead. I hear people who don’t support America’s boldness in this conflict as being America’s fault, i.e., the West negotiated with Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union to not move NATO closer. But my opinion is, who cares? Especially since in theory Russia didn’t’ hold up their end of the bargain by fostering a true democracy considering Putin has been dictator of Russia for nearly 30 years. We’re talking about a Kremlin regime who has poisoned dissent journalists, thrown political opponents into jail, jailed religious minorities scapegoating them as being intel assets, legalized wife beating, has fostered a policy of “plurality” in relation to the concept of the liberal democracy so Putin could consolidate power with a hyper-nationalistic, monarchist, misogynistic, homophobic, and xenophobic ideology. Why should the West and NATO feel bad about “not living up to their end of the bargain” when Russia hasn’t either? Why would the US feel bad especially with Russian asymmetric warfare has menaced democracies online across the globe?
For pacifist on the US and Western side of the debate, did we forget that Russia already invaded Ukraine. What gives the power to the United States is its military reach spanning dominance of airspace and its global naval fleet able to protect global supply lines, its political allies, it’s influence in global institutions, it’s cultural dynamism (culture, art, expression, mobility, diversity, etc.), and the fact the US greenback is the world’s global currency reserve. Being soft on Putin will be another example of the Americans defaulting to diplomacy after someone encroaches on its global role. Despite, me having progressive sentiments, I am an American and I’m under the impression that for now, we call the shots.
I’m for Russian inclusion into the US West NATO power bloc, however, on our terms. We very well could be friends, but on our terms. By showing force against Russia, this might undermine faith in Putin’s leadership thus causing Russian to try a different path to democracy and diplomacy. Undermining Putin specifically on his most previous tool, his warlike bravado, might cause him to lose control of the oligarchs, while also the people, who do suffer from police abuse, sexual health disease epidemics, unemployment, etc., as they protest the state of daily life in Russia. My gripe is not with the Russian people.
However, despite my theories, we must consider that if the US does show courage and force against already proven Russian force and interference, then China might act more aggressively in Asia particularly with Taiwan and the South China Sea. China has already flexed its muscle by standing with Russia on the Ukraine matter, logically because they want Taiwan back. (End of updated on 2/15/2022)
(Start of Original Posting) This paper will discuss similarities between the real-world Belt and Road Initiative to the forward-thinking speculation of Orson Scott Card. Despite, Card’s personal failings regarding personal comments, there was a lot of humanity and wisdom to be learned within in Ender’s Universe series. Card in the late-nineties and early two-thousands accurately predicted Russian and Chinese joint-efforts, which are now being realized in the Belt and Road Initiative, also known as the New Silk Road Initiative or Project. The city of Rotterdam plays an important role in the plot of Card’s Ender’s Shadow (1999), but the major Port of Rotterdam in real-life plays a central role in the Chinese, Russian, and Eurasian economic ambitions via the Belt and Road Project. Towards the end of this paper, I will also touch upon how Aleksandr Dugin’s Eurasian ideology poses a threat to the United States, Europe, and its allies, and possibly even the everyday Russian citizen. I will also touch upon the psychological operations inspired by the Kremlin which has invaded (noticeably) the West and USA via the Right-Wing movement largely under the top-cover of white-identity politics.
This paper isn’t to indict or discriminate against the Russian people or people of Russian descent, nor is it to marginalize the Orthodox Church. In my view, the Russian people and Orthodox Church have more to lose by being used the far-right, than they do to gain. Russia has a rich culture, history, and liberal tradition in certain cases, and I would assume the average Russian citizen has a lot in common with Americans or Europeans and there’s a desire for true democracy. However, appeasing and tolerating regressive far-right ideologies will not be tolerated and will be called out, especially as try to find credence within American discourse. Another paper will be written exploring Israel’s relationship with China, Russia, and the Belt and Road Project with emphasis on the Jewish Autonomous Oblast of Russia, i.e., Birobidzhan, since Israel has been central – although its understated in the American mainstream media – to the trilateral political intrigues regarding the current Trump administration (Israel via Chabad Lubavitch and other agent groups, Russia, and the USA). Israel has a separate Sino-Russian foreign policy as a possible contingency in case US relations wane in the face of its aggressive Zionist agenda.
According to the Michiel Jak (2018) in a press release for the Port of Rotterdam, ” What does it mean for a deep sea port like Rotterdam – or Shanghai for that matter – to end up at the end of the chain? Right now, Rotterdam serves as the gateway to Europe: the point from where incoming cargo is distributed across the European hinterland. But with the arrival of the ‘Silk Road Railway’, the port will undergo a radical transformation: from gateway to, for a considerable part, final destination.”
Further Jak (2018) states, ” The Chinese government is investing some USD 100 billion per year in the construction of the New Silk Road. Right now, contractors are working on the track itself, but actually the Chinese government has been influencing existing transport routes for the last decade or so via a careful, methodical, step-by-step programme. They have done this by investing heavily in areas between China and Europe. They’re acquiring shares and sites, constructing new infrastructure: motorways, terminals, railways, everything. For example, China has bought Piraeus, a port in Greece – and gained a new gateway to Europe in the process. This development is at the expense of the ports of Rotterdam, Antwerp and Hamburg. “
The book Shadow of the Hegemon first starts off with the depiction of the City of Rotterdam overran by abandoned street children who are struggling to survive. The children are forced to live in gangs to survive such as gathering food but also avoid sexual predators. The Netherlands in this story is just one of the nations of an international political body, i.e., a United Nations type of world government that created in response to attacks from an alien enemy (yet, this science fiction trapping shouldn’t distract from this paper).
“There was plenty of danger to watch for. The cops for instance. They didn’t show up often but when they did they seemed especially bent on clearing the streets of children. They would flail about them with their magnetic whips, landing cruel stinging blows on even the smallest of children, haranguing them as vermin, thieves, pestilence, a plague on the fair city of Rotterdam.” (Shadow of the Hegemon, Card, p. 8)
“A couple of twelve-year-old hookers who didn’t usually work this strip rounded a corner, heading toward Poke’s base. She gave a low whistle. The kids immediately drifted apart, staying on the street but trying not to look like a crew. It didn’t help. The hookers knew already that Poke was a crew boss, and sure enough, they caught her by the arms and slammer her against a wall and demanded their “permission” fee. Poke knew better than to claim she had nothing to share – she always tried to keep a reserve in order to placate hungry bullies. These hookers, Poke could see why their hungry. They didn’t look like what the pedophiles wanted, when they came cruising through. They were too gaunt, too old-looking. So until they grew bodies and started attracting the slightly-less-perverted trade, they had to resort to scavenging” (Shadow of the Hegemon, Card. p. 10)
The character Poke is the female lead of a street crew of desperate kids. She has to fight off bullies, predators, etc. She eventually discovers a street kid named Bean, who shows high intelligence, but Bean has to earn his way into the crew. Bean would go on to be the central character to this book and sequels such as Shadow of the Hegemon. Shadow insinuates in the shadows of Ender Wiggins, the hero of the franchise. Bean has a genetically engineered intelligence (that comes at a price as revealed in the series) who can match Ender Wiggins.
“Normally she wouldn’t have paid him more than passing attention. But this one had eyes. He was still looking around with intelligence. None of that stupor of the walking dead, no longer searching for food or even caring to find a comfortable place to lie while breathing their last taste of the stinking air of Rotterdam. After all, death would not be such a change for them. Everyone knew that Rotterdam was, if not the capital, then the main seaport of Hell. The only difference between Rotterdam and death was that with Rotterdam, the damnation wasn’t eternal.” (Shadow of the Hegemon, Card, p. 9)
A map from Zbigniew Brzezinski’s The Grand Chessboard
Bruce Barnard (2015), a special corespondent, stated, “The port of Rotterdam has established a strategic partnership with the Bank of China focused mainly on Beijing’s “Belt and Road” strategy to boost trade links with Europe.”. Further, Barnard (2015) states, “The initiative, formerly known as “One Belt, One Road,” already has roughly $50 billion in backing. The initiative add up to $2.5 trillion in trade to China over the next decade, according to a Kuehne + Nagle analysis.”
Nadège Rolland, a Senior Fellow for Political and Security Affairs at the National Bureau of Asian Research, published an article for the International Institute of Strategic Studies, titled, A China–Russia Condominium over Eurasia: China and Russia share similar views of what a future Eurasian order should look like.
Rolland (2019) states, ” For the moment, however, the evidence points to an increasingly deep condominium between the two powers. French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said that ‘love does not consist in looking at one another, but in looking together in the same direction’. China and Russia are certainly looking together in the same direction with equal yearning towards Eurasia. Both powers perceive the Western presence on opposite sides of the Eurasian landmass – US alliances and presence in East Asia for China; NATO and the European Union’s normative power for Russia – as threatening to contain and ultimately undermine them. Both continental powers consider Eurasia their strategic backyard, and both have launched ambitious initiatives to strengthen their influence over the region: the Eurasian Economic Union and the Greater Eurasian Partnership for Russia, the Silk Road Economic Belt – the land component of the Belt and Road Initiative – for China. But their common focus does not mean they are necessarily competing against each other in this vast continental space. Rather, China and Russia share similar concerns about Eurasia’s political stability and security, and similar overall objectives regarding what a future regional order should look like. ”
Further, Rolland (2019) states, “With the EAEU integration process already under way, a group of Russian experts led by Sergei Karaganov gathered under the aegis of the Valdai Club (most probably on commission from the Russian government)5 to brainstorm about further options for Eurasia’s integration. In April 2015, the group published a report entitled ‘Towards the Great Ocean’ that advocated the transformation of Eurasia into a Sino-Russian zone of joint development. During a visit that month to the China Institute of International Studies (CIIS),6 Karaganov announced that his ‘Greater Eurasia’ plan had been submitted to Russian President Vladimir Putin.7 He apparently liked the idea: at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum held in June 2016, Putin proposed building a ‘Greater Eurasian Partnership’ (GEP) that would include the EAEU and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries, in addition to China, India, Pakistan and Iran. “
The information provided by Rolland (2019) speaks echoes by relating to the thesis of Zbigniew Brzezinski in his book, The Grand Chess Board: American Primacy and its Geopolitical Imperatives, but the Sino-Russian relationship is referenced by Card in his books Shadow of the Hegemon and Ender’s Shadow.
Brzezinski (1997) argues that American foreign policy must remain concerned with the geopolitical dimension and must employ its influence in Eurasia in a manner that creates a stable continental equilibrium, with the United States as the political arbiter (p. xiv), and, the ultimate objective of American policy should be benign and visionary: to shape a truly cooperative global community, in keeping with long-range trends and with the fundamental interests of humankind (p. xiv).
“Potentially, the most dangerous scenario would be a grand coalition of China, Russia, and perhaps Iran, an “antihegemonic” coalition united not by ideology but by complementary grievances. It would be reminiscent in scale and scope of the challenge once posed by the Sino-Soviet bloc, though this time China would likely be the leader and Russia the follower” (Brzezinski, p. 55). This relates to Rolland (2019) who stated that Vladimir Putin liked the idea of Sino-Russian participation in the dealing with treating Eurasia as a common economic zone that would also possibly include Iran.
However, Iran and Islamic nations might pose a threat to Sino-Soviet relations regarding Eurasia which is largely Muslim. Despite, the USA being at hegemonic odds with China and Russia, the one thing that all can agree upon, including Israel (which has trilateral relations with all three powers), is the “Muslim problem”. Since Iran is the last remaining Muslim independent nation outside of the control of the powers, it seems that if Iran is ever attacked that all three parties would agree on force. Yet, if the Americans were to take out Iran, it might tip the scale of power more to the Sino-Russian sphere of influence. The US military’s exercise of force in the Middle East was a projection of US capabilities, yet, it was costly for the American Empire and gave rise to asymmetric warfare, i.e., terrorism, both within the Middle East and through blow-back within the American and European homeland. It might be wise for the Americans to continue peaceful diplomacy with Iran as a hedge against Sino-Russian power which will only be increased by the integration of the Belt and Road project. Yet, Iran understands this and seems to have positioned itself into a position akin to Turkey, who can play both East and West off each other. Regardless, Iran is within the economic and political ambitions of Russia and China, so it is best that the Americans hedge this, such as potentially reactivating a reformed version of the Iran Nuclear Deal, meeting with Iranian diplomats for democratic reforms (if US conservatives try to block this, then simply remind them of Trump’s direct face-to-face talks with North Korea and Russia), etc.
George M. Young (2012) in his book, The Russian Cosmists: the Esoteric Futurism of Nikolai Fedorov and his followers, studies the esoteric elements, especially those relating to Aleksandr Dugin, regarding Russia’s view on Iran, which as stated in this paper, according to Rolland (2019) is being considered within the Greater Eurasian Partnership’ (GEP) that would include the EAEU and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries, in addition to China, India, Pakistan and Iran.
“George Vendasky, for example, sees Russian pre-Christian pagan religion as a development from both Zoroastrianism and Mithraism. And Aleksandr Dugin and other current Russian neo-Eurasianists and neo-nationalists point to ancient Russia’s religious and cultural kinship with ancient Iran to support their calls for a new Russo-Iranian Eurasian continental alliance to counter NATO power and culture”. (Young, p. 83)
Young (2012) mentions Lev Gumilev (1912-1992), a Neo-Eurasianist, “In recent times, Gumilev’s theories have proved especially useful to Russian neonationalists, neo-Eurasianists and other with an anti-Western, anti-Atlanticist political bias, the most prominent of whom is the ideologist, Alexander Dugin – and, some might add, Vladimir Putin.” (Young, p. 228)
“Fedorov viewed Russian culture as a continuation of ancient Aryan Iran, a combination of Eastern and Western principles, struggling against a hostile natural environment, wary of Greco-Roman power to the west and Turan to the East. Similarly, Gumilev views Russia as an absorber and continuation of the great steppe powers of ancient Eurasia, different from and strong than both Western Europe and eastern Asia. For Gumilev, the Mongol invasion by Genghis Khan was not a curse but a blessing for Russia, saving the entire Eurasian heartland from the aggressive clutches of the Catholic West, then presented by Poland and the Baltic Teutonic Knights. Under the khans, Russian Orthodox spirituality was tolerated and allowed to mature, whereas medieval Orthodox spirituality would’ve been crushed under the heels of Teutonic Knights, and the Eurasian heartland would eventually have become simply an extended version of the European spiritual and political battleground of Catholics versus Protestants.” (p. 227-228, para. 3)
The last quote by Young (2012) relating to Gumilev is telling in that Russian nationalists see Chinese partnership as more vital to Russian ethnic identity/political power than Russian appeasement or inclusion with the West. Russia sees itself as culturally incompatible with the West which is traditionally based on the Western Catholic Rite and Protestantism, and felt that vassalage to the Asian Mongols, i.e., Chinese, was better for Russian solidarity. This concept relates to Aleksandr Dugin’s Eurasianism ideology that wants Eurasian solidarity against the West as an anti-NATO land power able exercise economic sanction power (such as shutting off natural gas lines,e.g. Nordstream and power-grids, or possibly imposing tariffs on products), and Dugin uses esoteric ideology such as that of a common Aryan and Indo-European heritage of Central Asia to “spruce” up this idea.
Yet, Brzezinski (1997) describes the inherent instability of Russia in trying to control Muslim lands. “Finally, within the Soviet Union itself, the 50 percent of the population that was non-Russian eventually rejected Moscow’s domination. The gradual political awakening of the non-Russians meant that Ukrainians, Georgians, Armenians, and Azeris began to view Soviet power as a form of alien imperial domination by people they did not feel culturally inferior” (Brzezinski, p. 9).
This statement by Brzezinski (1997), echoes in Card’s fiction with the statement, “Indeed, the only force that stood firm against China and Russia while facing them across heavily defended borders were the Muslim nations. Iran generously forgot how threateningly Pakistani troops had loom along their borders in the month before India’s fall, and Arabs joined with Turks in Muslim solidarity against any Russian encroachment across the Caucus into the vast steppes of central Asia. No one seriously thought that Muslim military might could stand for long against a serious attack from China, and Russia was only scarcely less dangerous, but the Muslims laid aside their grievances, trusted in Allah, and kept their bodies bristling with the warning that this nestle would be hard to grasp.” (Shadow of the Hegemon, Card, p. 428-429, para. 4)
Now, I will go back to the works of Orson Scott Card regarding his reference to Rotterdam, which as we can see in real-life is being integrated into the Belt-and Road Project, and this project increases the Sino-Russian sphere of influence within the Western (European, American, and its auxiliaries) sphere of influence.
“What Bean saw as the driving force of history, however, was the resurgent Russian Empire. Where the Chinese simply took for granted that they were and should be the center of the universe, the Russians, led by a series of ambitious demagogues and authoritarian generals, felt that history had cheated them out of their rightful place, century after century, and it was time for that to end” (Ender’s Shadow, Card, p. 400, para. 2)
“It was Russia that forced the creation of the of the New Warsaw Pact, bringing its effective borders back to the peak of Soviet power – and beyond, for this Greece was its ally, and an intimidated Turkey was neutralized. Europe was on the verge of being neutralized, the Russian dram of hegemony from Pacific to the Atlantic at last within reach” (Ender’s Shadow, Card, p. 400, para. 2)
“For along with their national vigor, the Russians had also nurtured their astonishing talent for misgovernment, that sense of personal entitlement that made corruption a way of life. The institutional tradition of competence that would be essential for a successful world government was nonexistent. It was in China that those institutions and value were most vigorous. But even China would be a poor substitute for a genuine world government that transcended any national interest. The wrong world government would eventually collapse under its own weight” (Ender’s Shadow, Card, p. 401, para. 6)
“As if this vat redrawing of the world’s map were not enough, Russia announced that it had joined China as its ally, and that it considered the nations of eastern Europe that were not loyal members of the New Warsaw Pact to be provinces in rebellion. Without firing a shot, Russia was able, simply by promising not to be as dreadful an overlord as China, to rewrite the Warsaw Pact until it was more or less the constitution of an empire that included all of Europe east of Germany, Austria, and Italy in the south, and east of Sweden and Norway in the north” (Shadow of the Hegemon, Card, p. 428, para. 2)
“The weary nations of western Europe were quick to “welcome” and “discipline” that Russia would bring to Europe, and Russia was immediately given full membership in the European Community. Because Russia now controlled the votes of more than half the members of that community, it would require constant tug of war to keep some semblance of independence, and rather than play that game, Great Britain, Ireland, Iceland, and Portugal left the European Community. But even they took great pains to assure the Russian bear that this was purely over economic issues and they really welcomed this renewed Russian interest in the West” (Shadow of the Hegemon, Card, p. 428)
Before I end this, I want to stress that the Alt-Right is actually an internal threat to both Western conservatism and liberalism (in the modern sense). Many of its followers are being used in ways beyond their comprehension. It is the Trojan Horse for Russian and thus Sino-Russian influence to destabilize the West and United States.
It is important to note that Dugin was a member of Neo-Bolshevik Party, a syncretic party that synthesized elements of both the far-right and far-left, e.g., National Socialism such as that of the Nazis, which was later dissolved and became absorbed with the Other Russia Party, which is a left-wing but nationalist party. The slogan of Other Russia is “Russia is everything, the rest is nothing!” and “Nation! Homeland! Socialism!”. Yet, Dugin would later go to the Eurasia Party, which is far right, though it shares many nationalist, anti-Western, and authoritarian characteristics to that of the Neo-Bolshevik Party. According Dugin’s Wikipedia page, Dugin’s book The Basics of Geopolitics (1997): “The new Eurasian empire will be constructed on the fundamental principle of the common enemy: the rejection of Atlanticism, strategic control of the USA, and the refusal to allow liberal values to dominate us. This common civilizational impulse will be the basis of a political and strategic union”.
Yet, what are liberal values? In modern discourse we ascribe liberalism to progressive, the political left, the Democratic Party, etc. Yet, liberalism is the overarching political school of though in which both Western conservatives and liberals are descended. Liberalism is the Enlightenment-based political ideology, that varies from liberal nation to liberal nation which espouses the rights of individual man; inalienable rights; the pursuit of happiness; freedoms of speech; freedoms of religion; taxation only with representation; an armed citizenry; property rights, legal systems strongly based on common law systems, though civil law systems such as those in Europe are included, and pluralism. Pluralism is vital because it is essentially the ability to agree to disagree, which a core tenant which facilitates and supports free speech. Modern conservatives, liberals, libertarians, and Marxists all have roots in liberalism.
Dugin’s anti-liberalism by way of Bolshevism to me relates to the phenomena of monarchism within the Alt-Right. Pro-Russian mouthpieces such as Orthodox convert, Jay Dyer of Jay’s Analysis, who interviewed Dugin and has made many comments stating his agreement with Alt-Right figures, is a Traditionalist and Monarchist. The Alt-Right movement of the West and United States has been highly influenced by online psychological operations such as Alex Jones’ InfoWars (platformed by Joe Rogan and Jones ironically has links to the DisInformation Company of Richard Metzger who produced his film End Game); Richard Spencer had a Russian wife known as Nina Kouprianova; Lauren Southern interviewed Dugin in Russia and she worked for Rebel Media owned by Jewish businessman, Ezra Levant. Levant was held as responsible for organizing the Charlottesville Unite the Right Rally; and Red Ice TV which was co-founded by Laura Lokteff who is of Russian descent and identities as pagan, which relates to the Hyperborean movement of the Russian Cosmists subgenre as detailed in Young’s (2012) book.
Aleksandr Dugin with a radical sect of Orthodox followers. White Supremacist, Richard Spencer with his now ex-wife, of Russian decent, Nina Kouprianova. White Nationalist and pagan, Lana Lokteff of RedIce TV. She claims Russian ancestry. There is intersectionality between concepts such as the Alt-Right, MAGA, Russia, Orthodoxy, anti-West or anti-liberal conspiracy theorists, traditionalist and monarchist movements, Bolshevism, and libertarian, etc. The “Trojan Horse” tactic into the West is multi-faceted and in the USA has infiltrated the Christian Right with its proclivity for libertarian politics or “3rd or 4th” positions found in the Alt-Right. Yet, Russian infiltration has also been “above ground” such as real estate schemes such as those with Donald Trump, the Russian Mob and Russian Jewish Mob, lobbying, Youtube podcasters such as Jay Dyer, Alex Jones, RedIce TV, and even a softening from the dovish left. The American government’s mishandling of of the Russia-Gate situation, also softened the reality of Russian infiltration into American life, thus endangering citizens to the reality of a new type of coded white supremacy
For example, Putin and Dugin are Totalitarian Communists (not to be confused with socialism) despite them branding their ideology with concepts spanning the spectrum as the far-right, nationalism, Orthodox traditionalism, Indo-Aryan paganism, and even monarchist sentiments. This right-wing glossing of their “crypto-communism” appeals to white supremacy which sees itself under threat. I support this statement with Young’s (2012) statement on Pavel Florensky (1882-1937), “To some degree, Florensky believe that the Communist future could possibly (but not necessarily) lead to a revival of medieval objectivism, collectivism, and constructive vision, and a turning from illusory individualism and self-destructive atomization that had characterized pre-revolutionary modernity” (p.124, Young, The Russian Cosmists). Hence, Monarchism, which is seen as an alternative political model within the Far-Right can be a cover for communism. In theory, communism, fascism, and monarchism share similar characteristics such as the promotion of an autocrat, the collective over the individual, central directives or edicts dictating the economy, and state monopoly of force. Monarchism just adds a level of regalia, religion, and ethnicity to the forefront. Liberalism isn’t incompatible with religion, but rather it separates church from state.
White supremacist, Lauren Southern posing it Russian attire and with Aleksandr Dugin. Conspiracy theorist, Jay Dyer helped platform Dugin and he can also be seen in Soviet attire. His conspiracy theory rarely analyzes Russia in any true objective capacity.
Liberalism isn’t dead. Liberalism isn’t wrong. It’s just a complicated system to balance. It’s like a body of interlocking systems, e.g., endocrine system, neurological system, immune system, digestive system, etc., so it can be easily manipulated or “sickened” by foreign agents, but also poor decision making of the self. There’s inherent sickness within American democracy which foreign agents know they can exploit.
These include, White supremacy, racial self-determination of historically marginalized groups, the inability to reach reconciliation between white majorities and minorities (ironically due to the commercialization of race within the American capitalist system where culture is argued as intellectual property and sharing is seen as appropriation) – this is both the fault of the political left and political right, but also national cultures have shifted to the promotion of a cynical, hyper-aware, and ironic culture of low-art material fetishism, where universal “beyond differences” concepts are no longer sacred (marriage, childbearing, civic duty, etc.). Yet, these topics can be fixed and worked on with time. It’s not that liberalism is dead, but rather we’ve become too individualistic, tribal, but also materialistic, and have usurped a sense of “spiritual attachment” and historical preservation of ideas such as a Americana. There is no crime in being white, black, Asian, Hispanic, multiracial, etc., but for liberalism to survive and not be manipulated by foreign agents and their domestic proxies, we need put a sense of humanity back into American and Western culture. This can be an inclusive process that posits unity over tribalism, yet it can be done in a way that venerates marginalized groups without tapping into majority white fears. This will take a process of self-reflection of all peoples but also listening to the experiences of others. We can also deal with issues such as the power of corporations, the constitutionality of the spy-state, and the power of political lobbyist and technocrats.
Brzezinski (1997) pays tribute to American liberalism but also offers a warning if decadence goes too far. “The American emphasis on political democracy and economic development thus combines to convey a simple ideological message that appeals to many: the quest for individual success enhances freedom while generating wealth. The resulting blend of idealism and egoism is a potent combination” (p. 26-27). However, he provided a warning by showing an example of Western European social democracies, by stating, “The crisis of political legitimacy and economic vitality that Western Europe increasingly confronts – but is unable to overcome – is deeply rooted in the pervasive expansion of the state-sponsored social structure that favors paternalism, protectionism, and parochialism. The result is a cultural condition that combines escapist hedonism with spiritual emptiness – a condition that can exploited by nationalist extremists or dogmatic ideologues”. The nationalist extremists are the Alt-Right and Far-Right, and the dogmatic ideologues seem to denote the political realities of Trump, i.e., Caesarism.
A picture from Zbigniew Brzezinski’s The Grand Chessboard
(Updated on 2/15/2022 by author) To me it’s not about war but about courage. Why should the US feel bad for not “living up to its end of the bargain as far as NATO expansion” when Russia hasn’t lived up to its role of being a true democracy. I mean, that’s what the US justifies its wars with right? So, if Russia hasn’t had a legit democracy they whey should America care if former states that were ruled by Russia decide to join NATO? From Russian puppet state pumping in refugees to throw Baltic States and Poland off while they engage with NATO. To Russia using psy-ops to infiltrate the US and Western Far Right to cause domestic tensions. To, Russia intervening in Syria to save Assad despite them not holding up their end of the bargain considering Trump bombed Syria on alleged chemical weapons despite Russia promising to remove…
She’s not a horrible person, but I don’t get much from her opinions and they seem highly biased, reactionary, reactionary, and not reasearched that well. I think she has learning to do on issues, but she has a platform to spread her “contrarian” ideas to the masses and add to the paranoia that’s already out there. You hear the word shill a lot online, and in many ways despite her seeming “against the man”, I think she’s only libertarian as a rebuttal to progressive politics so conservatism can be sustained without verbally admitting it, yet, her Fruedian slips in her Tweets reveals a lot of where she is coming from.
Idaho, where Kim is from, is a lovely state with its own unique albeit small progressive elements, but hearing Kim Iversen talk it reminds me of a conservative person from Idaho who really didn’t grow up around a lot of diversity despite her having family who are Asian. Yet, she was indoctrinated within a largely white environment – which isn’t bad – yet, that can shape a person’s biases similarly to if it were the opposite. Put it this way, I’m sure many Right Wingers love her, despite her coming off as “progressive”. I feel she is closeted cheerleader for white supremacy without even realizing it because she equates the talks around white supremacy as being hostile towards white people but fails to get its a conversation about a system.
I’m glad that Kim Iversen runs her mouth. Seriously. She could easily slip away as another innocuous ambiguous newscaster, yet, by her talking and her Tweeting, her true biases, thought process, and beliefs become more apparent.
See exhibits below….
Forward: Before I get into the article, I want to write a quick list of white supremacists hate crimes, since it seems Kim Iverson is skeptical that white supremacy is a threat, largely since she feels doing anything about it would violate some sort of libertarian principle. But I’m not sure if she’s a libertarian necessarily, and could simply be a free thinker, yet her segments on Rising by The Hill to me have been helping to stoke a sense of mistrust, conspiracy, and even apologetics for right wing ideology.
After I wrote this, it struck me that Kim Iversen is following in the tradition of former MTV VJ, Kennedy, and MTV contributor, Kurt Loder, who are both libertarians. Yet, Kim’s style on her show, Rising by The Hill, seems to be picking up notes from Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, i.e., opining in real time, firmly anchored by a bias, rather than giving in-depth analysis of the issues she’s talking about and with nuance. Kim Iversen seems like a decent person. She’s continuously worked and built a career for herself, and that is commendable. However, I notice that she seems flat-footed when it comes to having a good pulse of what’s going on, and in many ways, I think her upbringing has left her a bit ignorant or unable to understand nuance on many issues, such as those relating to race. Her politics are all over the place, which isn’t problematic in and of itself, but discerning what Iversen believes is task. To me, she’s ultimately a “progressive Republican” with a tendency of spreading paranoid energy, and seems strongly influenced by her upbringing in Idaho, but she takes the “hip position” of being a libertarian (without stating it publicly), meaning she’s really nothing more than a Republican. As she decries the tyranny of the state, her political position ends up being nothing more than apologetics for Republican politics. She can be the most progressive conservative pundit on YouTube if she wants, but in reality, the Republican Party doesn’t care about any of her “progressive ideas”, yet she continuously muckrakes the Democratic Party – a party, which of course, can be embarrassing and counter-productive, but still the Democratic Party gives more people across the country, regardless of background, a sense of belonging (as opposed to the monolithic politics of the GOP).
White Supremacist Violence and/or Mass Shootings by White Suspects Crimes:
Payton S. Gendron (10 kills in Buffalo NY). Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols (168 Kills and 680 wounded). Dylan Roof (9 Kills at a church in Charleston, SC). Stephen Paddock (60 Kills and 411 wounded). Eric Rudolph (1 Killed and 111 injured at the Atlanta Olympics). James Huberty (21 Kills and 19 wounded at McDonalds during San Ysidro Massacre in 1984). Devin Kelley (26 Kills and 22 wounded at the Southerland Church Shootings in TX). Robert Long (8 Kills and 1 Wounded in Atlanta). Dimitrios Pagourtzis (10 Kills and 14 wounded at Santa Fe HS in Texas who was found with Nazi and Soviet regalia). Brenton Tarrant (51 Kills and 40 injured at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand). Buford Furrow Jr. (1 Kill and 5 wounded at a LA Jewish Day Care). John King, Lawrence Brewer, Shawn Berry (1 Kill of James Byrd Jr who was decapitated by being dragged by a truck in Jasper, TX). Frazier Glenn Miller (3 Kills at a Jewish Synagogue in Kansas). Robert Bowers (11 Kills and 7 wounded at a Jewish Synagogue in Pittsburgh). Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold (15 Kills and 17 wounded at Columbine HS, where the sole black victim was called the N-word before being shot while calling for his mother). James Harris Jackson (1 Kill with a sword of a black homeless man collecting cans in New York City, NY). Jeremy Joseph Christian (2 Killed and 1 Wounded in Portland OR). James Alex Fields (1 Killed by car and 35 wounded in Charlottesville. Trump supporter). John Earnest (1 Killed and 3 Wounded at Poway Synagogue). Gregory Bush (2 Killed in Jefferson Town KY). Kenneth Murray “Death” Mieske, Kyle Brewster, and Steve Strasser (1 Killed by baseball bat beating. Mulugeta Seraw was beated by Neo Nazis of W.A.R. in 1988 in Portland, Oregon. Brewster was found fighting alongside Proud Boys in Oregon in 2021). Jonathan Russell Kennedy (1 Murder and two attempted murders in Huntington Beach, CA, 1994). Erik R. Anderson (1 Fatal Stabbing of Native American, George Mondragon in 1996 in Huntington Beach, CA). Samuel Woodward (1 Kill of Ben Bernstein in Lake Forest, CA).
Intro in Kim Iversen’s Questionable Analysis on Ethan Crumbley and the Patriot Front March
There’s some controversy around Kim Iversen. I don’t hate her, and I will try to put her into context. Yet, she is quite a mystery. For a public figure she doesn’t have a Wikipedia page, not even a locked account that prevents public edits. Basic Google searches pulls up some information but not much about her background.
I don’t think she’s an evil person and I feel she’s fairly interested in the topics she speaks on. Yet, the controversy around Kim has been going on for a while but it really came to fruition with her “interesting” take of Oxford High School mass shooter, Ethan Crumbley. According to Kim, the reason the Sun publication showed an angelic photo of the mass shooter was because the media was trying to make it seem like all innocent white Christian males appear to be terrorists. She didn’t really miss the point as to why people were disappointed at the photo of Crumbley, in that she acknowledged that when people of color are shown in the media they are often depicted with the worst imagery, yet, Kim decided to be a contrarian for the sake of being one, by spinning as if showing an innocent photo of Crumbley was another attempt to “demonize” white males.
Honestly, it caught everyone off guard and left people scratching their heads. It is as if when progress about fair coverage relating race is happening, she felt she had to insert a contrarian opinion for the simple sake of doing so, which could be authentic, or could be for money reasons, i.e., it’s her job, but when you see her Twitter account response to criticism she doubled down on her defense of white Christian males (which makes sense considering she was raised in white society and has a white father and family members).
Traditionally, black people for example were always stigmatized via the media (something that Kim Iversen has acknowledged), e.g., just peek at George H.W. Bush’s campaign ad referring to Willie Horton. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUxAMG8UqIw
Yet, even if we can all agree that racialized news coverage is bad, the fact that white supremacy is being analyzed seriously seems to have many people feeling uncomfortable, either out of fear of being unfairly associated with the movement, some who are angry that they feel black crime rates are displayed (despite has already stated there’s historical use of stats when referring to black people), or some people are living with a sense of false consciousness, in that America is largely based on white supremacy and people are naturally wired to act as if it doesn’t exists because that defies a certain set of morals mythologized within American culture such as “we are all individuals” or “all people are equal”, when in fact, many groups are not treated equally. Talking about and combating white supremacy isn’t anti-white, where certainly in the past talking about black crime was anti-black considering the U.S has an explicit anti-black history.
The backlash to speaking about white supremacy comes from fear, in which there’s an inherent fear centering around reprisal, which is ironic because if people are terrified for reprisal (which isn’t or won’t happen), what they’re admitting is that in the past they used similar tactics to make minorities live in fear. Basically, their unfounded fear of reprisal is based on them understanding the horrible past of this nation. If logic were to persist, if white supremacy is not a thing, then why are there so many people eager to point out black crime statistics? If America wasn’t built on racism, then why do so many white people fear “reverse racism”?
If we were to isolate this take by Kim on Ethan Crumbley, sure, OK, we can leave it as an “agree to disagree, but really disagree” moment. Yet, just a few days later Kim Iversen on her Rising program by The Hill released a segment titled, “Kim Iversen: Joe Rogan Calls BS on Patriot Front March, Is the Group Backed by Feds?”, published on 9 December 2021, which when accessed by me on 13 December 2021, amounted a total of 512,000+ views. In this segment it is important to notice that Kim is strategically positioned in the segment in the middle of her two co-hosts, meaning she is the focal point of the video and steering the conversation. In the video, she referenced a Joe Rogan segment, featuring Matt Taibbi (Episode 1745), in which Joe calls into question a recent march of white supremacists called Patriot March that occurred in late November 2021 in Washington, D.C. Joe claims that because they’re “in shape”, and wearing the same clothes, etc., that they look like the Feds. Joe does state jokingly that he’s an unreliable source because he’s a comedian (which is interesting because if that’s the case they why take you seriously anytime?), but still double downs on the fact that they can’t be white supremacist because…they have drums, and they have Khakis?
Kim event got the leader of Patriot Front’s age wrong by claiming he’s eighteen years old (I’m assuming she read an article from 2017) but is about 23 or 24 years older having been born in 1998 according to the Southern Poverty Law Center (2021). Further, Kim if she just read a little more into this or at least provided more context for her audience, she would have discovered that Patriot Front has ties to the Daily Stormer, being one of the most popular white supremacist websites. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (2021), “On November 3, 2017, roughly 30 members of Patriot Front marched through the University of Texas at Austin to the campus’s George Washington statue where Rousseau delivered a torchlit speech. The following day, Patriot Front members convened at Austin’s Monkeywrench Books with members of Daily Stormer and The Right Stuff meet-up groups for a flash demonstration.”
The fact that Patriot Front employs Flash Demonstrations seems to more evidence to detract from the idea that the November 2021 march was a Federal Law operation.
“The origins of Patriot Front lie in neo-Nazi organizing that began in 2015 at the message board IronMarch.org, itself an outgrowth of the community of dedicated fascists who commented at online forums such as 4chan and Stormfront, and allegedly founded by Russian nationalist Alexander Slavros. IronMarch in turn spun off the activist group AtomWaffen (German for “Atomic Bomb”) Division, whose members engaged in various far-right actions earlier this year.” (Southern Poverty Law Center, 2021). Lastly, Southern Poverty Law Center (2021) stated, “After an AtomWaffen member in Florida shot and killed two other members in May 2017, telling authorities the group was planning to blow up a nuclear plant, a number of AtomWaffen participants joined ranks with Vanguard America.”
Relating to Alexandr Slavros stated within the Southern Poverty Law Center (2021) article about Patriot Front, I find it interesting that Matt Taibbi being Russian (which is not a crime, and I don’t want to promote Russophobia) spoke against the Russia-Gate situation during the Trump Administration. I can understand and accept that the case was likely fraudulent, yet, it wasn’t entirely fraudulent in my opinion. My opinion, is that Russia-Gate took facts, omitted some facts, and conflated others in order to check the balance of power of Trump who did display a sense of being imbalanced himself, and also threatening to unravel US foreign policy especially with Russia whom he and others in his administration such as Rex Tillerson of Exxon Mobil and Michael Flynn had relations with. It was a flex of power not only to the Trump Administration who were creating their own unauthorized foreign policy, but it was a sign to leaders abroad, like Vladimir Putin, that the US State will go to about any means to protect our democracy from foreign influence.
Taibbi and other commentors such as Michael Blumenthal and Andrew Mate of The Grey Zone, rallied against Russia-Gate, but nowhere to my knowledge did they or have they admitted that Russia was providing online Far Right propaganda which influenced the Alt-Right which therefore fell under the tent camp strategy of Steve Bannon and Donald Trump. The only sort of Far-Right ideology spoken about by members of the Grey Zone often revolves around the Azimov Battalion in Ukraine, who were revealed to have received US military financing against Russia. In essence, Taibbi and others will call out Eastern European fascism and Nazism when it comes from a US ally to discredit US foreign policy, yet they remain silent on Russian Far Right ideology such as the popularity of thinkers like Aleksandr Dugin who provided essential literature for many in the Alt Right (alongside the writings of thinkers like Julius Evola). Taibbi and others effectively “threw out the baby with the bathwater” as an analogy. Yet, the US government has endangered the US public with Russia-Gate because they didn’t focus hard enough on the far-right ideology actually coming into the USA and West, but rather appropriate facts for their own Machiavellian politics.
Yet, back to Iverson, after showing the Joe Rogan segment laughs before going into the history of plausible or proven examples of state-sanction terror cells. Kim also shows screenshots from Twitter by people like Mr. Reagan, an obvious right-wing pundit, who did have a YouTube channel for a long time and went so far as alleging that Alexandria Ocasio Cortez was a fake politician and actress. Kim goes into the background of Patriot Front in which she explains the group was a splinter group that broke away from a group called Vanguard who were the group that set up the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville, VA. Yet, Kim inserts some interesting commentary by stating they are “non-violent”, which might be true in theory, or at least that what’s they say to not bring poor press to their movement, yet, it seems Kim is saying they are non-violent as a way of dissuading any sort of threat by Patriot Front or influence they may have on other groups.
It’s as if Kim is undermining the potentiality of the movement because she’s coming from a libertarian mindset, e.g., she states, “the big question is, how big of a threat are these things though? Yes, do these things exists, yes. Do terrorists exist in all forms, yes. But how large of a threat? What are the American people willing to give up to root out this threat?”.
Before I criticize what Kim just said there, to be fair, the group, where leader Thomas Ryan Rousseau spoke, was relatively small (numbering around 100), and this is according to Ellie Silverman (2021) of The Washington Post, who further stated that the event was pushed by fake Twitter account. “It shows how a small troupe of fascists in uniform can … exploit the loopholes around a social media company like Twitter and absolutely make themselves look much more fearsome, look much more scary,” said Michael Edison Hayden, senior investigative reporter and spokesman for the Southern Poverty Law Center, “and give themselves a much better shot at getting the mainstream coverage they so desperately crave.” (Silverstein, 2021).
The likelihood of what happened at the march is either A) the anonymous Twitter account as owned by a person associated with Patriot Front who sent the message to rally, employing their “flash mob tactics”, but then quickly erased their account, or to give more credence to the idea that the Federal Authorities were involved, is B) the account was set up by law enforcement, with them knowing their “flash mob tactics”, to snuff out Patriot Front to get evidence of its members and gain intelligence on the group. Even if masked, the members had to get to the Capitol somehow, so traffic cameras or other means such as triangulating cellphones can easily build a possible registry of suspects.
But, saying the group was a false flag set up by the federal government seems unlikely, if not disingenuous (my favorite Joe Rogan word he uses a lot), since the authorities would have to recruit about 100 people to march and with 100 people you get the chance that at least one person would spill the beans, or a person that any of those 100 people knew could become suspicious and possibly spill the beans, thus jeopardizing the operation. The possibility of a leak would jeopardize any sort of integrity the government has and be disastrous, culminating in Congressional hearings, firings, even possible cause for actual white supremacists to appeal their cases or convictions, etc.
Joe and Kim’s take on the event possibly being a false flag event has an underlying element of conspiracy, and what one could extrapolate from that claim is that other hate marches or even the Capitol Insurrection itself was a false flag. This therefore takes away from the severity of these situations in an attempt to sweep them under the rug as quickly as possible since they are ammunition for government or activist to continue seeking reform against topics such as white supremacy.
Kim also offers some very thin and weak arguments about the group. She claims that because they have a “polished website” and that they seem well-organized, and that the leader is allegedly only an eighteen-year-old person, somehow means this group can’t be real or be a threat. What Kim and Joe seem to be missing is that white nationalist groups aren’t unsophisticated and have adapted to not looking like traditional Skinheads with red-laced jackboots, being out of shape Good Ole Boys reading Soldier of Fortune with a cache of weapons, or Klansmen. It’s not that hard to get a professional website made if you have a lot of people and tap into someone’s talents or even pay someone do set up your site for you. Also, even if the supposed founder of the movement is young, it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have funding from powerful people who have fascist sentiments, similarly to how Richard Spencer came from money, set up the National Policy Institute (ran from his mother’s $3 Million dollar home), and had powerful connections such as with Stephen Miller from the Trump Administration whom he attended Duke University with (Graeme Wood, The Atlantic, 2017).
White Nationalists are not all junkies or meth-heads, or disenfranchised angry white youths, or men who have spent time in the prison system who are tatted up with Swastikas, but as Charlottesville proved, they can be a computer programmer, a cop, a military servicemember, a real estate agent, a college student, a bailiff, or even an adult actor, etc.
Note: The adult actor is Paul Kryscuk, whom according to Joseph Wilkenson (2020) of The New York Daily News, is a 35-year-old reported porn star, who sold multiple manufactured weapons to 21-year-old then-Marine Liam Collins, the feds said. Kryscuk allegedly mailed the illegal DIY weapons from his homes in New York and Idaho to Collins in North Carolina. Kryscuk and Collins were regulars on the online neo-Nazi forum Iron March back in 2017 before the site was shut down, according to the feds. During that time, they recruited Jordan Duncan, a 26-year-old ex-Marine and military contractor, and Justin Hermanson, a 21-year-old current U.S. Marine. According to the feds, the crew filmed a “training montage” of themselves shooting guns near Kryscuk’s home in Boise, Idaho. The video ends with all four giving the “Heil Hitler” salute under a black sun flag, a Nazi symbol. The phrase “Come home white man” then appears on screen to conclude the video. Kryscuk’s vehicle was also spotted at two different Black Lives Matter rallies in Boise, Idaho, over the summer, according to the indictment. Kryscuk and Duncan later discussed shooting the protesters, with Kryscuk calling their group a “death squad,” the feds said. Collins, who was enlisted until September, and Duncan had moved to Boise to work closer to Kryscuk before they were all arrested in late October, according to the Justice Department. (Wilkerson, 2020).
As we can see with Mr. Kryscuk, who lived in Idaho where Kim Iverson calls home, he was attached to IronMarch, similarly to Mr. Rosseasu of Patriot Front, where these groups interface with the Daily Stormer, Atomwaffen SS, and possibly even foreign Neon Nazi sources in Russia.
The analysis of Joe and Kim are both weak and lazy at best. The burden of proof to prove if this is a false flag is on them, but Kim especially didn’t do any sort of investigative research to prove if they aren’t real. Her skepticism is based on a libertarian position, mixed with historical precedent that the government has been involved with groups like this before (for example, Red Squads that infiltrated Leftist groups in the 1960s), but no actual investigative muscle to back up her opinion, despite being an employee of a multi-billion-dollar media corporations that owns hundreds of new stations across the USA.
It’s my suspicion that Joe had his take because he’s tired of Left-Wing politics particularly that centering around the topics of white privilege, wokeness, gender inclusion, gender assignment, etc.
Joe seems agitated by the Left because he’s a comedian and many in the comedian community are revolting against cancel culture. In the segment with Matt Taibbi, Rogan when talking about the Rittenhouse Case, insinuated that black people were so passionate about racial issues that they didn’t even know the victims were white, alleging he has black friends – who remain unknown – who told him they didn’t know the victims were black (I am assuming this is Charlamagne da God who was on the JRE with comedian Andrew Schulz on episode 1314).
Joe then shares a meme, showing the gas station owners of the Car Source that Rittenhouse was allegedly defending who are possibly from the Indian subcontinent, and the victims who were white. This is important because when showing the meme, Joe smugly says “I have a bunch of memes. I have a folder of my phone”, and this seems to be in reference to the backlash Rogan has received on his Instagram in which he’s posted questionable memes, such as one insinuating that the authoritarian right makes strong men and the libertarian right makes good times (silly, because conservatives don’t really care about personal freedoms including the marijuana Joe likes to smoke), but the left spectrum makes weak men and hard times. It’s easy for him to tap into the already existing mistrust of the mainstream media, take out his annoyance with the way things are, and use his platform/popularity to convince people that it’s all a hoax.
Lastly, Kim in this segment states that she was raised in Idaho which in the past was the headquarters of the Aryan Brotherhood near cities like Coeur d’Alene and Lake Hayden (now located in West Virginia) in the upper panhandle of the state. She states that people never really saw them as a threat, which is partially true, considering I grew up in the Pacific Northwest as child and later as a young adult, and remember counter-protestors at these events when showed on the local news. People would show up to protest the Aryan Brotherhood and other groups when they marched, yet, what Kim fails to admit is that this isn’t the 1980s or 1990s anymore. Back then, the United States and specifically Idaho still operated with a sense of white racial majority politics. White America could afford to not take them seriously since society then was still largely controlled by white people, e.g., most TV sitcoms featured white families (and, to even show an interracial relationship for example even in the 1990s was still taboo as to not anger the “Middle America” demographic), every President up to that point had been a white Christian male, etc.
Yet, fast forward, come after the election of the first black/bi-racial President in Barak Obama, the election of the first black and Indian American Vice President with Kamala Harris, and an evolution in society as far as acceptance of gay marriage, the inclusion of immigrants such as those from Latin America, the growing popularity of socialist or progressive politics, and the fight to include Trans people into everyday life, one could argue that white nationalists are gaining steam from this progress. The time Kim grew up in Idaho, gay marriage wasn’t even legal anywhere in the United States, the word Socialism was a political campaign killer, and BIPOC liberation politics had been largely anesthetized by the corporate white-wash appropriation of the MLK “can we all get along” iconography (despite MLK having socialist sentiments merged with Christian ideology). The change in the overall culture of America from when Kim grew up in Idaho to now is further amplified by advancements in technology where at the time Kim is referring to the fastest internet speed as dial-up, whereas now is lightspeed broadband communication across the globe, as well newer notions such as the dark web, using crypto currency, having aliases, etc. For example, the company Gab, located in Clarks Summit, PA., BitChute based out o of the United Kingdom, and Epik, located in Sammamish, WA, host white supremacists and Neo-Nazi websites, blogs, videos, torrents, etc., where Gab was associated with the 2018 Pittsburgh Synagogue shooting. The world Kim is nostalgically looking back on didn’t have 8chan, BitChute, Gab, Parlor, Epik, etc.
When you add the differences between the past to the present with clear examples of white terrorism, then it’s unwise at best for Kim Iversen to simply be downplaying the threat movement of white supremacy. Hell, Fox News itself with commentators like Tucker Carlson openly panders to fascists rhetoric bordering upon “blood and soil” politics, and let’s not forget, Emperor Nero in exile himself, Trump and all the toxicity he and his administration platformed (including Steve Bannon going on a tour of Europe to inspire nationalists, influence EU elections, and set up a training center in Italy to train Right Wing activists).
According to Silverman (2021), “There were more than 5,000 cases of white supremacist propaganda in 2020, a near doubling from the prior year, the ADL found. The Patriot Front accounted for more than 80 percent.”
Is Kim Iversen really “Anti-Establishment”?
Kim Iversen despite appearing as if she’s anti-establishment, is establishment in that she is employed by The Hill and represented by N.S. Bienstock, which is a major TV talent agency representing the likes of establishment news figures such as Dan Rather, Chris Matthews, Anderson Cooper, Bill O’Reilly. United Talent Agency acquired N.S. Bienstock on 22nd Jan 2014. Grace N.S. Bienstock is owned by the private company United Talent Agency which is one of the top 7 talent agencies in Hollywood.
When it comes to the Rising segment, The Hill is owned by Nexstar Media Group, NASDAQ symbol NXST, which had Fiscal Year 2020 revenue streams of $4.5 billion with a Fiscal Year 2016 total equity position of $284.35 billion. Nexstar, owns TV stations across the United States who are affiliates with the major TV networks (e.g., CBS, ABC, NBC, etc.), and owns shares of Food Network.
According to OpenSource.com (2021), Nexstar Media Group has donated to both Democrats and Republican politicians such as in 2014 with $2,600.00 to Mitch McConnell; $1,000 to Adam Kinzinger in 2014; $5,000 to both Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, and Donald Trump in 2016; $2,500 to Joe Manchin in 2016, $5,000 to Jim Jordan, and $10,000 to Team Graham in 2020 which I assume is Lindsay Graham who went up for re-election in South Carolina, etc. So, Nexstar does lobby and donate to politicians like most corporations do.
What happened to Krystal Ball and Seegar Enjeti?
Before the current cast of Rising with Kim Iversen, Ryan Grim, etc., it features Krystal Ball and Seegar Enjeti. Krystal representing more of leftist viewpoint and Seegar representing more a conservative view, were quite popular, but were oddly fired from the segment. It is my belief that The Hill, being an extension of Nexstar (a major corporation most know nothing about, yet, that’s the nature of many corporations), were trying to overstep the traditional monopoly of the big TV corporations so they focused on YouTube in a way that touched into alternative media market yet still trying to keep the traditional news segment feel.
Yet, it seems that Krystal and Seegar were too good at their jobs, where in many cases Krystal’s left leaning commentary that rallied against corporatism likely sealed her fate. She worked for a corporation arguable with conservative politics, spoke against capitalism, became a relatively popular figure, and then she was canned. Yet, Kim Iversen was brought on with an enhanced model of focusing on click-bait and to covertly anchor the show with libertarian, i.e., right wing, i.e., capitalist, sentiments. Whether, Kim thinks she’s simply defending libertine ideals, or our notion of individualism based on classical liberal ideals like David Hume, the truth is that ideology has largely manifested itself obviously as Republican, and therefore as corporatist by nature. Essentially, sure we have our individual rights, but this notion of individual rights is also the basis for corporate personhood, which is no surprise that libertarian billionaires like the Koch Family funding right-wing grassroots movements.
Kim Iversen seems progressive enough, but underlying her psychology is what could be considered “red pilling”, i.e., opening the window to turn listeners into right wing viewers suspicious of authority and slowing attempting to chip away at the progressive gains the left has made. Her left leaning counterpart in Ryan Grim, though often inserting his counter opinion to Kim is often overshadowed, which to me insinuates that Ryan Grim is coming for a centrist position. What we’re left with is what we have if we were to look at Congress, i.e., a centrist’s democratic party lethargically talking about progressive talking points stolen from the few progressives in that party (as seen through Ryan Grim) but accompanied by an ever-growing fascist Republican party.
She’s hungry for clicks, she’s not doing this for free (she’s in it for a pay check and career), she comes from the radio world so she knows the power of sensationalism, it’s a matter of time before she’s on the Joe Rogan Podcast, she’s fairly stubborn when dealing with criticism instead of seeing it as an opportunity to grow her worldview, and likely will get crowned by the Right Wing as a darling sooner than later. A part of me feels she’s just being controversial for the sake of controversy because he’s aware that it’s about the algorithm and clicks, and this likely comes from experience in radio, where such shock tactics are needed, but this is amplified by the medium of social media like YouTube.
Another contrarian in a landscape of contrarians competing for attention.
Unpacking Kim’s politics
Kim Iversen has an ambiguous politics, similarly to that of Joe Rogan (note: if interested read by article titled, Is Joe Rogan a Neoplatonist? The syncretic politics of Starship Troopers, zany ESP, magick, the Human Potential Movement, Howard Hughes, Disney and the RAND Corporation by Quinton Mitchell).
But, that’s her right. Not everyone has to fit into a proper definition, necessarily, but I don’t really like Kim’s political analysis. I think she comes off as “progressive” but her underlying worldview is libertarian, where libertarianism despite having representation on the left, e.g., socio-anarchism in the tradition of thinkers like Noam Chomsky (author, of Manufacturing Consent (1988) with Edward S. Herman). However, the truth is that libertarianism within US political history has always been an extension of conservative and Far Right politics – the prevailing ideology for most of the United States history – and in many ways libertarianism has been a politically correct way for the Far Right to appeal to mainstream audience. For example, the libertarian positions of individualism and property rights often translates to segregation (such as with State Rights used the desegregation debates), not supporting social services which might go the poor/minorities/or immigrants, and maintaining an economic ideology – capitalism, i.e., a variant of colonialism – which exploits labor so owners who traditionally are predominately white keep ownership over the means of production. The very basis of property rights in the United States were originally written for white male landowners who were originally intended as being the only ones allowed to vote considering many had a Republican model idea to government, before Democratic ideas came about to expand the franchise to common people.
Whether she admits it or not, she’s a libertarian, but I define her as a Gen X 3rd Position syncretic libertarian and contrarian wavering in postmodern fashion between New Age, Far Right, the Left, etc., while using click-bait and suspiciously stupid opinions (considering, she’s represented by one of the top talent agencies in Hollywood, even though I thought Hollywood was now called “Hollyweird” by the Qanon crowd). How can she ever allege a conspiracy or shadowy “deep state” when in fact she’s an extension of institutions of power? The conspiracy is she’s a populist libertarian talking on a corporate media network. She’s really a libertarian, leaning in the vein of libertarianism one would find in the ideology that Joe Rogan displays. With her coming from a radio background and now getting more notoriety via the internet, Kim is picking up on hot button issues like COVID-19, China vs. the United States, buzzwords like the Deep State, or any other hot topic floating in the collective consciousness, i.e., the zeitgeist.
She like Russell Brand really dug into COVID-19 skepticism. She is a supporter of Palestine which might give her points with elements of the political Left coming from a de-colonialist tradition but also, she might get points from the racist elements of the Right Wing where supporting Palestine or even radical Jihadism is because they are antisemites (for example, the case of Devon Arthurs, who is Neo Nazi associated with Atomwaffen SS, converted to Islam and his roommates were planning on blowing up a nuclear facility in Florida, per the source A.C. Thompson, 2018, ProPublica. Also, Ethan Melzer, a former private in the US Army, was charged with treasons for divulging information about his Army unit to a Satanic Neo Nazi group called Order of Nine Angels, per Kyle Rempfer, 2020, Army Times).
She has spoken against US interventionism in Latin American nations, which is good. Yet, she doesn’t believe that white supremacy isn’t as big of threat as what the media is saying, even though the media never talked about it in the past at least as being indicative of a growing social trend, so the fact the media is finally acknowledging white supremacy doesn’t mean it’s a false story but, more so we’re finally pointing the light at white supremacy. Sure, we can debate the scope of white supremacy, for example, there’s not hundreds of thousands of hate crimes occurring, yet, white supremacy can’t be measured with a scope of simply being large or small, because all it takes is a few individuals to conduct terrorist attacks, and white supremacy isn’t always with terrorism but cast with ballots at the voting booth. Whether she wants to admit it or not, Donald Trump’s MAGA is an expression of white supremacy, or what I like to call “white settler politics”.
Deconstructing the aesthetics of Kim’s political ideology
Before I go on, I must state that I don’t think everyone in list below is bad or entirely problematic, yet, some are, yet, all of the people listed below represent the “alternative space”, and this space seems influential on Kim Iversen’s ideas.
Kim could be best associated with the alternative media sphere that has Jimmy Dore (who spends a lot of his time attacking progressives for not being aggressive enough despite not realizing that a person such as Alexandria Ocasio Cortez is just one person in the House of Representatives who has to send legislation through a burdensome progress of drafting, committee, vote, Senate review/approval/or kick-back, and Presidential signature); Russell Brand; Graham Elwood, Joe Rogan (who has platformed and joked around with figures like Gavin McInnes – founder of the Proud Boys -, Alex Jones who shilled for Donald Trump and has ties to Roger Stone, Jordan B. Peterson [multiple times], figures of the Intellectual Dark Web, and any array of thinkers bordering upon being kooks); the Useful Idiots with Katie Halper (who really isn’t problematic at all – whom, interestingly hasn’t been invited to the Joe Rogan Experience. Kim Iversen has participated on Katie Halper’s podcast), and Matt Taibbi (a critic of Russia-Gate, yet, being Russian he seems to have bias and can’t seem to acknowledge the fact that even if Russia-Gate was fraudulent it doesn’t mean it entirely was, but even if it was entirely false, Far Right ideology from East Europe such as Russia and Ukraine, e.g., the concept of a Nazbol or monarchism, did influence the American Right Wing which therefore falls into the spectrum of MAGA politics. For example, Richard Spencer and his follower sang at Charlottesville, “You will not replace us” but also “Russia is our friend”), Glenn Greenwald from The Intercept, possibly The Grey Zone with Max Blumenthal and Aaron Maté (critics of NATO, Russia Gate, Israel, the CIA, etc.), maybe a little Peter Schiff (an proponent of Austrian Economics spanning Fredrich Hayek, Murray Rothbard – a father of anarcho-capitalism, the Mont Perelin Society, and Ludwig Von Mises), sprinkle in some Ron Paul (an influential figure in anti-Federal Reserve politics, the Tea Party, etc. But, we can’t forget about Libertarian Presidential nominee, Gary Johnson, whom Joe Rogan admitted to voting for in 2016), and Tulsi Gabbard (who is pretty much the presidential choice for everyone listed before, yet Tulsi is an active duty military officer, who seems to be playing the same game that Kim Iversen is playing, i.e., being appealing to the Leftism developed by Bernie Sanders, the state via her ties to the Pentagon via her committee assignment to the Armed Services Committee, but also appealing to post-Tea Party libertarianism one finds on the political right).
Loose cultural markers or aesthetics that float around the world that Kim’s ideology wavers around are the following: A distrust of mainstream media (MSM) especially those associated with liberal politics such as CNN or MSNBC (where the MSM have issue of ethics and integrity, yet, to assume that mainstream media doesn’t do any good job at all is false, and for some reason conservatives don’t consider Fox News to be MSM), Naturalism, holistic medicine, anti-vaccinations (an easy way to gain followers in a heated debate on vaccines, but anti-vax culture often revolves around conspiracy theorists in the traditional of the New World Order, fears of racial replacement or de-population, the Christian Right, etc.), con-spirituality (i.e., conspiracy spirituality, the nexus between conspiracy theory culture and New Age spirituality such as zodiac, charms, UFOs, parapsychology, etc., where New Age spiritualism is a successor of older Occultic and Neoplatonic ideologies mainly from the late 19th to early 20th century such as of Alastair Crowley, Austen Osman Spare, or Madame Blavatsky, where some these older ideas did have intersection with right-wing ideologies, i.e., Nazi Occultism. For example, take the curious case of the MAGA Shaman arrested for the January 6th Insurrection. Think of it as when the Right Wing trips too much acid at Burning Man or when hippies and paleo-conservatism merge), Boomerism, Generation X MTV generation cynicism (a spoiled generation, despite being the product of the divorce generation of their Boomer Parents, from America’s Goldie Lock’s era of the 1990s after the Cold War but whom where anti-establishment largely because corporations appropriated anti-establishment fashion, e.g., punk, rap, grunge, etc.), comedians revolting against cancel culture (despite comedy often being a cover for actual oppression or further stigmatizing historically marginalized groups), a cynicism towards wokeness (e.g., insinuating that corporate America is only being inclusive now for profits as opposed to being humanist, when this argument fails because capitalism catered to white supremacy but I guess people didn’t have a problem with them?), the Manosphere (appealing to men’s rights in the face of what some consider to be the radical feminist takeover of institutions and culture, particularly at the detriment of white heteronormative males, which has spawned a subculture of dating gurus, Incels, but also women who can profit by simply saying what these men want to hear, i.e., “I’m not like other women”), T.E.R.Fs (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist), skepticism towards government or central authority (despite displaying a sense of disassociation because the right wing is anti-government in many ways, often because they feel they can’t benefit from government as they use to, but in other ways many support police and militarism, but they seem to fix this my favoring “paramilitary” culture, i.e., militia culture), liberalism based around the rights of the individual which naturally leads more so towards a favoring or apologetic of capitalism (despite having some socialist sympathies, but we have to remember Gen X was born and indoctrinated during the Cold War, so the recent Millennial and Zoomer generation acceptance of Leftism isn’t as strong necessarily within Gen X, i.e., it’s still a taboo ideology that defies their materialist needs, career ambitions, etc., considering many are in managerial positions now), decentralization, etc.
Her politics could be understood as a synchronistic 3rd position that merges elements of left and right. An overlap between the anti-establishment left of old mixed with elements or right-wing libertarianism, yet she seems firmly based on conservatism (her default position), which could be from the fact she was born and raised in a very conservative state, with one of the largest white populations, during the Cold War, etc. Then we must consider her personality, which could be naturally contrarian for the sake of being so (which is just one possible element of her personality, i.e., I am not saying she’s an overall bad person, i.e., we all have our quirks), and when you compound this by the fact that she is a career-woman (I’m assuming she identities with feminism) she likely has a chip on her shoulder. I am not saying that being a strong empowered career driven woman is bad at all (I support it), but when factoring in her own personality, it could translate that she essentially double-down hard on her beliefs to not relent since relenting even if she has a bad take on a subject is a form of losing. Appearing wrong or giving credit when due might be possibly hard for Kim in that she’s possibly self-conscious about what people think of her (getting into Twitter beefs), yet she doesn’t see it this way and double downing on bad takes.
It’s anti-establishment and seemingly progressive so it can appeal to actual progressive people, yet the issue with 3rd Position politics is that even though it seems natural, and many are prone to moderate politics, when you’re platforming 3rd position politics to a mass audience, typically through an opinion piece format such as what Kim Iversen does, then you do pose the risk of legitimatizing actual Far Right ideology and end up seeming likely a disingenuous centrists who cherry picks elements from whatever side of the spectrum they feel comfortable with.
All these people, expect for Jimmy Dore, could be grouped into the Generation X demographic, i.e., millennials before millennials, but unlike millennials, they’re more influenced by the precursor Baby Boomer generation, and weren’t as emersed with technology as Millennials. For Generation X, technology was there but it was still speculative, such as William Gibson Cyberpunk, Johnny Mnemonic, The Matrix, etc., but the physical world wasn’t as technologically integrated as it was with Millennials and Zoomers. In other words, Gen X being older now, isn’t as nuanced around technology despite using technology, and their worldview whether they admit it or not is influenced by a nostalgia of how things were. In other words, sometimes Gen X misses the mark because they’re not as technologically emersed as what they think they are. For example, understanding certain memes might go over the heads of some Gen Xers because they’re older and not as culturally engulfed in the levels and sublevels of contemporary pop culture.
What I notice with people like Joe Rogan for example, is that he sounds old or lacks a sense of gravitas where the world is now. His podcast ends up simply being “Joe talking to Joe”, where it’s a platform for him sharing his opinions more so than really challenging his own opinions or even that of others. As a Millennial myself who is about to be 35 years old, I’m getting “up there”, yet Generation X is already “up there” yet Generation X was one the most prolific “youth generations”, probably on par with teenagers right after World War II, i.e., they were the MTV Reality TV (Real World, Road Rules) generation meaning that they defy age in a traditional sense. They’re older but are frozen in youth. Kim Iversen’s news coverage could be defined as when Tool listeners, with all of its Jungian psychology and appeals to the hippie moniker of “It’s all a lie man!” from the 1990’s enter institutions of power but end up not being as progressive as what they think they actually are.
Generation X was defined by postmodernism. Postmodernism being a philosophical worldview that was a reactionary movement to the objective truth claims (grand narratives or meta-truths) proposed by modernism or structuralism, e.g., the postmodernist rejecting the claim that science will save us all. To the postmodernist there is no grand truth but various truths meaning reality is ultimately subjective since most alleged truths are often biased by those who state such truths, or there are limitations in what humans can understand. The goal of presenting this subjective worldview was to undermine oppression that postmodernist blamed on the objective truth claims of objective truths. Postmodernism resulted in a merging of high-art with low-art (pop culture), a general sense of nihilism considering no truth could be objectively determined, but overall postmodernism, outside of being a philosophical worldview, is also a condition resulting from when capitalism reaches its zenith, i.e., late-stage capitalism.
If postmodernism could be easily defined, I refer to it as modern people existentially living as individuals within late-stage capitalism, in which the landscape is dominated by corporations who recycle culture but also use clever ways of shrouding power, conspiracy theories are endemic since people can’t discern between factual information or misinformation, people communicate through pop culture references, and no one really knows who is running the show system systems are highly complex and interwoven often creating problems by proxy of being so complicated.
Generation X was defined by this. They were the byproducts of Reaganomic consumerism, consumption, TV, the declining crime rate from the 80s into the 90s, and the general sense of global peace and American exceptionalism after the Cold War ended. The United States was the sole hegemonic force in the world, exploiting global supply chains built off cheap labor from America’s now competitor in China, and corporatism dictated culture. Yet, Gen Xers despite living in this relatively peaceful time, have a tendency for punk rebelliousness, where punk itself emerging in the 1970s, could be considered a form of postmodern music in that it revolts against order and plays with nihilism, yet, it became just another commodified movement of capitalism considering there is no real escaping capitalism.
I know all this because I was born in 1987, so I am an older Millennials, i.e., I’m Gen X’s baby brother who grew up with same tropes and cultural influences despite not being old enough to adequately partake, yet my childhood was still dictated by a sense of corporate culture (Beavis and Butthead, Daria, Liquid TV, The Simpsons), aggressive campaign marketing to children, etc. If you ever read the book White Noise (1985) by Don DeLillo, my generation of Millennials are the baby charter of Wildmer, i.e., a baby born into a nineteen-eighties household absorbing CNN doomsday footage.
Idaho and Bio.
Boise is like a smaller Denver, yet development has grown rapidly largely since people form California migrated to the state for affordability reasons, similarly to how Californians flocked to states like Arizona. What do you notice about both states? They are traditionally very conservative such as Arizona being known not only for suntans, retirement communities, a love of John Wayne aesthetics, strict watering laws, and memories of late 1990s commercials featuring Arizona State University Girls Gone Wild footage, but also Barry Goldwater and John McCain neoconservatism. Not only do you have a local conservatism, but you have a conservative influx by newcomers mainly from places like California who fear taxes, dislike big cities, support the police, but want the convenience of nice homes, shopping centers with everyone favorite Cheesecake Factory or P.F. Chang’s, perfect suburban high schools, etc. It’s as if Orange County in the heyday of its John Birch Society paleoconservative phase landed in Arizona and Idaho. Cities and towns centering around Boise (located in the region called the Treasure Valley) include Nampa, Eagle, Meridian, Star, Emmett, Caldwell, etc.
I am familiar with Idaho. I lived in the Pacific Northwest in Washington State, and with my father being military, I stayed at Mountain Home Air Force Base for a short period of time since my family moved all over the place, but later in life, my first serious relationship in college was with a woman from a small town just outside Boise. When I traveled to Idaho to meet my girlfriend’s family and attend her cousin’s wedding (as the only black person there which wasn’t a problem), Boise was growing, but it was still relevantly new as far as being a “happening city”. In other words, Zillow or Realtor.com hadn’t gotten its hands on Boise quite yet. This was right around the time of Boise State’s iconic win versus Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl with the famous Statue of Liberty play.
She was born and raised in Idaho on March 28, 1980 (Alchetron.com, 2021). She attended Capital High School in Boise, ID (Metrobiography.com, 2021), and is a trained jazz drummer (Alchetron.com, 2021). It probably wasn’t until she got to college at The University of California – Davis (majoring in philosophy), where she first got her true sense of diversity and be able to break free, with UC-Davis being accessible to both metropolitan Sacramento and San Francisco. Yet, even California itself isn’t the most diverse state overall. Sure, in metropolitan regions, yes, but the State of California itself – same as everywhere else in the United States – does have a history or racism and segregation which culminated in segregated and often poorer/people-of-color communities. We often hail the West Coast as progressive but in many ways the West Coast is symbolic of the Dream of Manifest Destiny, i.e., white Zionism, where Western states did purposely segregate people of color, e.g., Portland, Oregon with Sunshine Laws (curfews), The Oregon Territory barring African Americans from settling after the Civil War in which Confederate settlers moved into the territory, the eradication of Native Tribes, discrimination against Hispanics even if they were native to California before the American take-over, etc.
In other words, whatever diversity Kim was exposed to when was attending college in late-1990s, it likely wasn’t the best depiction of diversity and even if there was diversity this was in a time when people didn’t analyze structural racism or oppression as much. This was the time of the MTV era 1990s where it seemed the “world was perfect” under corporatism and corporate America.
Kim being from Idaho which for most of its existence has been a predominately white state, expect for pockets of Tribal Lands such as those of the Nez Perce tribe, a significant Hispanic population due to the state’s reliance on agriculture, and others such as small demographic of Asian Americans, yet, very few African Americans traditional (outside of college towns like Boise, i.e., Boise State University). There’s also a very large Mormon population, arguably with the second largest Mormon population outside of Utah. There is also a significant Basque community in Idaho who hail from Basque Country in Northern Spain and Southern France.
According to Alchetron.com (2021), Kim worked for radio stations such as in California such as KDVS, KDND, and KWOD, but also co-hosted a show in Indiana called WAZY Wake-Up Crew with Big Jake and Kim Iversen on WAZY-FM. Yet, she received her own show in Austin, TX, Your Time with Kim Iversen on KAMX, and she has co-hosted the radio show Loveline. She has done stints as news reporter for News 12 Networks and as a VJ for Concert TV. Kim as a diverse portfolio of experiences which is good for her and her career.
Kim’s Ethnicity, Biracialism in White Spaces, and understanding orientalism (the sexualization and mystification of Asian Women) in relation to white supremacy
Kim is of Vietnamese and Danish-American descent. Her Vietnamese lineage likely comes from the Vietnam War Era where many Vietnamese refugees were resettled throughout the United States such as California, Louisiana, etc. So, likely she has anti-Communist beliefs because her family fled Communist Vietnam. I am not sure if her father is a war veteran but many veterans (just like Earl Wood’s, i.e., Tiger Woods dad) took Vietnamese wives. She was also raised in the Cold War in a conservative state meaning she likely grew up in a home that favored Ronald Reagan. Being in a home led by a white father, which isn’t bad, it’s easy to see that Kim grew up “white”. Sure, she was a minority in many ways and likely had connections to her Asian roots, but the environment around her was overwhelmingly white conservative, so she was indoctrinated with that belief structure of Republicanism.
Being partially Asian likely wasn’t a problem since Asian Americans were often treated as “model minorities” and it’s not uncommon for white men to marry Asian women. There’s nothing wrong with interracial marriage or love, yet, in relation to white supremacy, Asian woman are often victims of orientalism, i.e., Asian women are casted or lusted over as being mysterious exotics with submissive and consoling characteristics, and often not burdened by white supremacy as other groups of color traditionally.
Since Asian Americans are often seen to be treated with model minority status (which is a controversial term as stated by Audrea Lin (2018) in which she stated the model-minority myth obscures the vast differences among Asian-Americans), the truth is that Asian woman are often sexualized through orientalism. One could assume that the Far Right does tolerate Asian Americans despite when they need to activate white supremacy against Asian Americans to remind who is “on top of the totem pole”. It might sound off record, but for example with the Alt-Right online communities there is a love of anime for example, where women are often depicted with hyper-sexualized and white-washed features.
Audrea Lin (2018) of The New York Times wrote about white supremacy’s fetish for Asian women in an article titled, The Alt Right’s Asian Fetish. The article discusses how Andrew Anglin (founder of the Daily Stormer), Richard Spencer, Mike Cernovich, John Derbyshire, and Kyle Chapman all dated, had sexual relations, and/or married Asian women. Lin (2018) even references Charleston AME Church shooter, Dylan Roof, who stated that Asians “could be great allies of the white race,”. Lin (2018) also references Adolf Hitler, who stated, ““I have never regarded the Chinese or the Japanese as being inferior to ourselves,” Adolf Hitler said in 1945. “They belong to ancient civilizations, and I admit freely that their past history is superior to our own.””. Lastly, Lin (2018) interestingly points out that the Alt-Right fetish for Asian woman could be in part due to white women more so adopting feminism.
We must remember that Japan as an Axis power and to this day is a homogenous nation that has visible nationalist parties, paramilitary groups, etc., and this fact of course resonates with the Alt Right. For example, when it comes to showcasing history in the West, history is often dominated by Greco-Roman or Dark Ages European culture, yet, there is a soft spot for the aesthetics of Asian cultures such as that of the Japanese (for example, Samurai), yet, the cultures of let’s say Africa before slavery is pretty much non-existent within mainstream historical documentaries, etc.
Like many minority children living in predominately white spaces or multi-racial children, especially before society started talking about Critical Race Theory, often have a sense of identity crisis. Children of color are often the sole representatives of what other’s think their group is or how they see them on TV. For example, being a black child in suburbia but people assume that child to be like black people they see on TV, i.e., hip, tough, athletic, not academic, etc. Kim likely experienced this to a varying degree. For example, particularly as a female in a white environment and in a nation where beauty standards for the longest were catered to a European aesthetic of beauty, she likely had some issues with identity. Assuming she is cisgender heteronormative, most of the boys she likely liked growing up where obviously white. In other words, she was fitting into a culture that was predominantly white and emulated that culture’s view on the world (remembering this was the 1980s and 1990s – nowhere near as progressive as what we have now), becoming an apologist or defender of that culture, despite always being slightly on “the outside” of it.
If she adopted the worldview, politics, beauty standards, gender roles, and possibly even racial biases or racial lack of awareness (cultural sensitivity) of the predominate group, she was able to fit in and be just like any other kid, yet, I’m sure she’s experienced at least a little racism or ignorance while growing up as a kid.
How the system helped curtail police reform by Quinton Mitchell
First off, I don’t hate police officers. I think that police are needed, yet, police and the entire correctional system needs reform, especially when it comes to dealing with the public as opposed to legitimate criminals that pose a legitimate threat to society. There’s always room for improvement, ranging from tougher barrier of entry when wanting to become a cop, centralized oversight and a national database of all police and any misconducts they do, a national gun violence database, house arrests over incarceration, solving the homeless and housing crisis, improving mental health, gun control, smart legalization of drug, intelligence gathering before engaging suspects, wellness and job programs in prisons, reducing radicalizing material on social media such as on YouTube, and reducing the number of laws on the books so there’s less laws to enforce.
I don’t worship police, but police need to leave good people alone and we need to minimize petty altercations that turn violent. I would argue that cops are effective at enforcing civil penalties (fines), which in and of itself is questionable because it reveals that police are largely serving in a tax collector capacity, yet, their track record when it comes to preventing violent crime is questionable. Many victims of police brutality weren’t necessarily violent criminals or weren’t criminals at all, yet, it seems actual violent criminals just gang members, bikers, etc., tend to operate with immunity. In other words, police need to focus on violent crimes (assaults, murders, trafficking, rape, gun violence, etc.), rather than focusing on enforcing civil penalties which can lead to police altercations.
Cops acting like tax collectors with guns, or hallways monitors who issue citations to enrich local governments, is one of the root causes of police altercations, and at-risk communities who suffer from low employment, gentrification, rising real estate prices, environmental pollution, etc., are most vulnerable to over-policing ordinary citizens. Many victims of police violence aren’t career criminals, terrorist, drug cartel leaders, but everyday Americans who are often profiled for how they look or who are brave enough to state their constitutional rights in the face of a police officer.
Comprehensive Police reform was never going to happen and the system, i.e., the nexus between private and special interests, corporations, the media, police agencies, and state and federal governments, employed an array of tactics ranging from (1) poor Congressional political strategy resulting in incrementalism at the federal level, (2) media shell games relating to the showcasing of examples of blatant police abuses versus cases that were morally ambiguous to cause doubt and division amongst the public, (3) politicians talking about reform, but many politicians and the White House continue to fund police agencies such as through Program 1033 relating to the militarization of police, (4) divisive marketing campaigns such Defund the Police, (5) discrediting the Black Lives Matter Movement and using the media to undermine black liberation politics, e.g., using the Jussie Smollett fiasco and debates relating race involving the Kyle Rittenhouse Case versus the Darrell Brooks Waukesha Parade Attack, to undermine the black community who were at the forefront of police reform, (6) unleashing dangerous criminals who commit crime so the public wants more police, (7) the media blowing up the Crime Wave Panic without providing any context about the root causes such as the obvious fact that society is slowly reopening after the COVID-19 spikes, (8) Copaganda, i.e., propaganda showing cops in a good light as opposed to a realistic light, and (9) the politicization of police with by way of Right Wing politics and the erosion of political impartiality within cops.
In other words, the system used mind games, reverse psychology, waiting out the storm, shell games, etc., to stall and undermine police reform.
Table of Contents
I. Introduction. Police Reform fails and strategies going forward.
II. Media Shell Games
III. Saying Reform but Really Funding Police behind the scenes
IV. Poor Marketing
V. Political Dialectics and the Illusion of Political Differences
VI. “Let the Children Tire Themselves Out” and waiting out the storm
VII. Discrediting, Race Play, and Reverse Psychology
VIII. Unleashing the wolves to harass the sheep
I. Introduction. Police Reform fails and strategies going forward
Police Reform has failed after all the hard work, energy, protests, riots, conversations, and a general heightened sense of awareness around race and police. All the system had to do was “hold out the storm” and let the public “tire itself out”.
Hassam Kamu (2021) of Reuters stated, “The promising effort to reform American policing that was trumpeted as an all-out endeavor in Congress following the largest racial-justice protests in a generation has culminated into nothingness.” Per the article by Kamu (2021), Democratic Senator Corey Booker led negotiations in the Senate, but Republican Senator Tim Scott from South Carolina stated the legislation ultimately failed because of the “defund the police” slogan, going so far as stating on 22 September 2021, that “Democrats said ‘no’ because they could not let go of their push to defund our law enforcement,”. Yet, Kamu (2021) stated that, “None of (“the”) Democrats’ proposals during the months-long negotiation actually sought to defund police, by the way.” In other words, Tim Scott lied and tried to scapegoat Democrats but being the only black Senator who is a Republican, Tim Scott did his job, i.e., providing black optics, but still holding the line for the predominately white Republican party.
The article by Kamu (2021) talks about how local governments will have to champion the cause of police reform by citing Christy Lopez, former deputy chief of the Justice Department’s civil rights division and now professor at Georgetown University Law Center.
Essentially, comprehensive national police reform has failed, and what we are left with is the same old sense of incrementalism based on federalism (local politics and decentralization), but also the fact, which will be presented later in this article, that police have received further funding including new innovations in technology to potentially violate the public’s civil liberties.
This is highly problematic because the source of police corruption and abuse stems from the fact that police organizations are organized around the concept of localism, and localism therefore creates a smokescreen when it comes to abuse. With laws such as the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which was created in the late eighteen-hundreds after the Union Army withdrew federal forces (acting in a police capacity to protect black people) from the post-war Confederate South. Posse Comitatus means that federal authorities don’t interfere in local matters relating to policing unless a Civil Rights violation or similar federal violation arises. Even, though the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 relates to a separation of military from local affairs, the precedent set by the act translates to modern policing considering the military at the time when the act was passed served in a police capacity. The general rule is that policing is a local matter, unlike other nations where police in many regards are centralized forces supplementing local or provincial police forces such as with the Royal Mounted Police in Canada, or the concept of the gendarmerie in nations like France and Italy.
Lack of federal muscle on police reform is the equivalent to the scenario if the federal government didn’t apply Civil Rights laws by way of the Interstate Commerce clause in the 1960s, i.e., the federal government can only reform police and Republicans know this. If the Federal Government didn’t use Interstate Commerce to justify Civil Rights legislation, then state governments such as those of the Jim Crow South would have been able to continue “separate but equal” segregation policies.
There are so many jurisdictions in the United States, that reforms to police abuse are often reactionary, i.e., after the fact, as opposed to preventative.
People protests, and agencies pay out restitution to victims (at taxpayer expense), but cops often are acquitted or transferred. Every agency is influenced by its locality meaning there’s different atmospheres and sentiments relating to race, politics, income levels, etc. Every community has its own “ingredients”, thus every community needs its own progressive policy yet there needs to be an overarching centralized mandate to ensure frameworks are being appropriately applied, enforced, and tracked (e.g., with analytics). For example, a police agency in an area that overwhelmingly voted for Donald Trump, which might have a history of racial segregation and/or existing racial disparity influencing crime or arrest policies, likely will not stand for any sort of police reform (as seen by the fact that no Republicans voted for police reform). Or, even in a state like New Jersey, which is one the wealthiest states, but still has issues with segregation, e.g., predominately white, and upper income communities such as those of Bergen County as opposed to poorer people-of-color communities in places like Essex County (home to Newark).
The bill that stalled in the Congress is the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act (House Resolution 7120), which cleared the Democrat controlled House 236–181 (that’s a total of 417 votes, meaning 236 out of 417 is about 57% voting yes, yet there are 435 representatives meaning 236 out of 435 is about 54%). Only three Republicans voting in support included Will Hurd as the only black House Republican (just let that sink in) on June 25, 2020.
After clearing the House in the summer of 2020, it advanced to the Senate as S. 3912 with Corey Booker sponsoring the bill, yet, Tim Scott, the only Black Republican helped to stall and gut the bill, such as not bending on the question of qualified immunity, and the year ran out, i.e., Congress went on its break and the bill died in committee. In 2021, the bill was reintroduced for a second time by the House after being kicked back by the Senate, with the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021, and it was introduced again by California Democrat Karen Bass as H.R. 1280, who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus. The Resolution passed the House on March 3, 2021 with a (220–212) yes vs no spread, with zero Republicans supporting the bill (432 votes in total, meaning 220 yes votes amounts to about 51%, yet there are actually 435 representatives meaning 220 out of 435 is about 50.1%). Yet, by the fall of 2021, Corey Booker stated that “negotiated had failed”, but what does this really mean? It means they know they have no clear path of having Senate approval, so…they’re “giving up for the meantime as Democrats await better representation in the Senate as opposed to a simple tie-break vote provided by Kamala Harris in the 50/50 Democrat to Republican Senate”.
The differences between House votes between 2020 to 2021 relating to the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, i.e., 54% versus 51% could have been because of vacancies, abstain votes (present or no votes), etc., considering there are 435 house seats appropriated unchanged between the two years (Source: Ballotpedia.com, 2021). This could mean that the original bill was passed when some members weren’t able to vote, but after the 2020 election and going into 2021, more representatives showed up and voted against the bill, such as “Stop the Steal” Republicans being sour after Donald Trump lost to Joe Biden. The few Republicans who voted for the bill in 2020, quickly changed their tune and voted against it.
According to Ballotpedia.com (2021), “Elections to the U.S. Senate will be held on November 8, 2022, and 34 of the 100 seats are up for regular election. Those elected to the U.S. Senate in the 34 regular elections in 2022 will begin their six-year terms on January 3, 2023. Fourteen seats held by Democrats and 20 seats held by Republicans are up for election in 2022. Republicans are defending two Senate seats in states Joe Biden (D) won in the 2020 presidential election: Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Democrats are not defending any Senate seats in states Donald Trump (R) won in 2020. Following the 2020 Senate elections and the January 2021 runoffs in Georgia, Democrats and Republicans split the chamber 50-50. This gave Vice President Kamala Harris (D) a tie-breaking vote, and Democrats control of the U.S. Senate via a power-sharing agreement.”
There are some factors to ponder regarding the Democrat strategy come the Fall 2022 Senate Races.
Democrats could lose seats considering Republican’s across the nation have been inserting voting reform bills making it harder for people to vote. Also, Kamala Harris could become president in the event Joe Biden steps down or his age and health take a toll on him, yet, if Kamala Harris becomes President either by rules of succession or by running outright herself, she could simply elect a new President of the Senate (her acting VP), thus maintaining a plausible 50/50 tie breaker vote, yet this could be highly unlikely. With Joe Biden assuming the Presidency in January 2021, in theory he has until January 2025, so if Kamala were to step in, she would have possibly a few years as President until she would be required to run outright herself.
Yet, Democrats could lose a Presidential race and not gain any power in the Senate and lose seats in any House race, etc. It makes sense that Democrats would wait to gain Senatorial power, considering Republicans are a monolithic “lock in step” party (unlike Democrats who have Senators like Kirsten Sinema and Joe Manchin), yet, all these scenarios do call into question as to whether comprehensive police reform will pass soon. Joe Biden could get tougher with Republicans, but Biden’s strategy as seen in the Infrastructure and Reconciliation Bill debates seems to be let the Congress handle it even though he states his wanted outcomes. Biden could figure out bills that Republicans highly prize and threaten to veto any such bills if Republicans don’t get more in alignment with police reform. Biden could also issue Executive Orders directing the Executive agencies who answer to them, to freeze funds for police unless reforms are made. It’s all an utter tragedy regardless because Biden could do the strongman tactics of Trump, yet Biden seems more about restoring a sense of normalcy. You can’t blame him, but then again, he only has one real chance to enact true reform. Why play nice and be honorable, when Republicans have proven they are willing to support a President like Donald Trump who cares nothing about “gentlemen rules”. The US public is being held hostage by unsympathetic Republicans who still must walk the fine line as to whether Donald Trump in exile, the modern equivalent of Emperor Nero, still approves of them.
Yet, Democrats could come out on top. Six Senators announced retirement from the Senate with five of them being Republicans. Richard Burr of North Carolina (a swing state), Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania (a swing state), Rob Portman of Ohio (a swing state yet growing more conservative), Richard Shelby of Alabama (historically very conservative), and Roy Blunt of Missouri (historically a purple state) are all Republicans (Source: Ballotpedia.com, 2021). Patrick Leahy of Vermont is the only Democrat retiring but Vermont has solidly been a Democratic state with many progressive elements embedded into its culture. Peter Welch, already a House Representative from Vermont, and a friend to the late Civil Rights leader John Lewis, is running to fill in for Patrick Leahy. Brandaun Dean, an African American, is running to take Richard Shelby’s seat in Alabama, and if he’s able to win in a very conservative state, even though Alabama has a large African American population, he could help turn Alabama into a “purple state”. Yet, Dean’s climb will be much steeper in my opinion that what Stacy Abram’s faced in Georgia considering you have Atlanta as the largest source of votes, and she still lost her election.
Yet, many seats are up for grab, besides those where Senators stated they are retiring, and many Democratic candidates are running for the same seats meaning it’s going to be dirty fight internally as well as with Republicans clawing for those seats (not to mention any third-party candidates such Independents, Greens, Libertarians, etc.). For example, Senator Raphael Warnock in Georgia who beat Kelly Loeffler is up for re-election since he was elected in a special election when Senator Johnny Isakson stepped down giving Kelly Loeffler an non-contested victory. Basically, Warnock beat Loeffler who stepped in for Isakson, but Isakon’s terms in which Warnock won after beating Loeffler is due to expire in 2023 meaning Warnock must run for a full 6-year term.
The Police Reform Bill included some innovative measures to help such as creating a database to track police misconduct and disciplinary actions, restrict giving military weapons to police via the Department of Defense Program 1033, requiring body cameras and dashboard cameras, revoking qualified immunity (one the largest issues) by revising 18 United States Code Section 242, ban no-knock warrants and choke holds, and issue funding for training on anti-discrimination. The House in committee hearings had a diverse crew of guests, including Fox New’s Don Bongino (Source: Burn, 2020, Vox), whom as we know is an ardent Trump supporter. The insertion of Don Bongino into Congress, similarly to when Congress foolishly platformed Candace Owens to speak on matters of race, proves that hearings in part are essential but can take on certain elements of a circus show, giving free press and credentials to people who want to stand in the way of progress.
So, the United States not only lacks a national database of gun violence, where such violence is tracked by non-profits (charities), the United States also failed to create centralized accountability systems of police abuse and misconduct.
The media inserts ambiguous stories to overshow stories of blatant police negligence, abuse, and killings, and by doing this it causes the public to call into question or raise doubt about police reform. I call this the shell game, where the shell game is an ancient game in which a person has an object like a ball underneath three cups and quickly shuffles the cups around, so a person can guess which cup has the ball, often involving a wager of money, i.e., a bet. This is like what the media seems to be doing. Shuffling stories around, getting the public to bet on cases, but if the public ever comes out wrong, the house ultimately wins overall. Further, many shell games are rigged to begin with, for example having trap doors on a table or magnet in a cup so people always guess wrong.
When people are passionately calling for police reform, the media can insert stories to effectively play reverse-psychology games, so when the facts of ambiguous cases are revealed, it serves as a “Aha, gotcha moment”, and this helps to undermine or shame police reform advocates. For example, Tamir Rice (November 22, 2014) and Eric Garner (July 17, 2014) were blatant examples of police abuse, yet, later downstream as the larger police discussion raged on, the media showed cases such as Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Ma’Khia Bryant in Columbus, OH or Willie Henley in Buffalo, NY. The Blake, Bryant, and Henley situation, though tragic, were also more complicated, in that police were responding to potentially violent situations such as Jacob Blake having a knife, Ma’Khia Bryant having a knife (with photo evidence of her trying to use the knife), and Willie Henley having a mental health breakdown. Despite, having some radical voices who don’t want any police officers, the public in my opinion was more so disappointed that police consistently kept using deadly force or, even after the larger police reform discussion about using alternative methods had been ongoing for years.
Yet, the Blake (August 2021), Bryant (April 2021), and Henley (September 2021) situations were much later than the initial beginnings of the current police reform movement, where from its beginnings to the present there are many examples of blatant police abuse.
The beginnings of the modern police reform movements can be traced back to the blatant murder of Eric Garner (July 17, 2014) in New York City, and the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri (August 9, 2014), where the energy displayed in the Ferguson Protests/Riots could be traced further back to the sociological effects of social media, over the acquittal of George Michael Zimmerman over this murder of Treyvon Martin (February 26, 2012). When Treyvon was murdered that energy was boiling in the public, so once more and more police shootings occurred, that energy merged with the police reform movement.
In summary, even though Treyvon Martin’s murder in 2012 wasn’t explicitly calling out police, the racial implications of the case, started the energy that would later coalesce with actual police killings or abuse (a larger, yet separate issue but often straddling the issue of race), and this energy would create the Black Lives Matter movements, which was the strongest and most visible of all police reform movements, and even though it was intended to speak up for injustices against black people, the movement absorbed other police reform movements making it more multi-racial (since anyone with a YouTube account can see videos of police abusing all types of people). The reaction to BLM therefore created the reactionary movements of All Lives Matters (which never called for police reform but was simply a way of alleging that black people are ‘reverse racist’, emotional, or selfish) and then the Blue Lives Matters movement. So once an actual police reform movement was established, the system picked up on this, largely to farm votes, make promises, and have a steady stream of media coverage. Yet, as time went on, the police reform movement (a grassroots movement) became more powerful, especially when the domestic and international protests occurred during the George Floyd situation, so the system started to insert more morally ambiguous cases to control the public, i.e., using a form what can consider to be psychological warfare (for example, read into concepts such as white, grey, and black propaganda).
Showing ambiguous cases helped to overshadow blatant cases of police abuse and undermine police reform movements.
III. Saying Reform but Really Funding Police behind the scenes
The system (i.e., a nexus between private special interests, corporations, government, institutions of violence, and the media) never truly wanted to reform police. If anything, the government has continued to fund police such as the Biden-Harris Administration issuing the Cops Hiring Program (CHP) by way of The Department of Justice, that has allocated $139 Million to police agencies across the USA. According to the Justice Department (2021), “The awards provide direct funding to 183 law enforcement agencies across the nation, allowing those agencies to hire 1,066 additional full-time law enforcement professionals.” Further, per the Justice Department (2021), “Since its creation in 1994, COPS has invested more than $14 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,000 state, local and Tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring and redeployment of more than 135,000 officers. CHP, COPS’ flagship program, continues to be in demand today: In FY21, COPS received 590 applications requesting nearly 3,000 law enforcement positions. For FY22, President Biden has requested $537 million for CHP, an increase of $300 million.”
Also, under the Trump Administration by way of William Barr at the Justice Department, police agencies started increasing the use of facial-recognition software by firms such as Clearview A.I., a part of a larger “pre-crime initiative”. According to Elizabeth Lopatto (2020) of Verge, “More than 2,400 police agencies have entered contracts with Clearview AI, a controversial facial recognition firm, according to comments made by Clearview AI CEO Hoan Ton-That in an interview with Jason Calacanis on YouTube.” According to the US Senate in a public release dated June 10, 2020, “U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, and Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.), today sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr and Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf expressing concern about the use of facial recognition technology to gather information on those Americans who joined in protest of systemic racial injustice. Americans in more than 350 cities across the nation have taken to the streets while law enforcement agencies have unregulated access to inaccurate and biased facial recognition technology.”
We also can’t forget that the militarization of police agencies by way of excess Department of Defense surplus is still going. Police agencies receive surplus military hardware via the National Defense Authorization Act and the Pentagon’s Program 1033. Since 2021, there is likely even more rampant transfer of military hardware to police considering the drawn down from Afghanistan. Alice Speri (2021) of The Intercept, reported, “Nearly $90 million worth of military equipment was transferred to police last year alone, and more than $7.4 billion since 1990.” Further, Speri (2021) stated, “The proposed amendments to the defense budget have been introduced by Democratic Reps. Nydia Velázquez and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Hank Johnson of Georgia. (Johnson’s bill has a Republican cosponsor, California Rep. Tom McClintock.) Velázquez’s, the most aggressive among them, seeks to end the program altogether by striking the NDAA provision that authorizes it. Ocasio-Cortez’s seeks to prohibit the transfer of a number of items, including ammunition, grenade launchers, and mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles. The vehicles, known as MRAPs, have become a symbol of the program after they were dispatched to protests and home raids. Pressley’s seeks to issue a moratorium on 1033 transfers of what is known as “controlled party,” which includes military items like weapons, vehicles, and night vision equipment. And Johnson’s seeks to limit the transfers but offers a series of carveouts and exceptions, including for counterterrorism purposes. The language of Johnson’s bill already cleared the House as part of a the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which has languished in the Senate.”
Cops haven’t been reformed, but more so police agencies could by toying with the public by not dealing with crime. They’re holding out, while the media simplistically talks about the “crime wave” of late 2021, so the public crawls back to police (despite cops still being paid by taxpayers). The media is helping this by playing “shell games” to discredit protestors no different than how previous administrations such as Nixon or J. Edgar Hoover used nefarious methods to undermine progressive grassroots movements, such as Red Squads. But we need to realize the “system” has decades of practice and contingency in place, and there’s methods largely due to social media and technology as more efficient at exploiting the masses.
Speri, A., Lawmakers Take On Militarization of Police in Defense Budget Talks. Biden failed to take action on the Pentagon’s 1033 program. Now four lawmakers have proposed NDAA amendments that would limit or end it., (published on 20 September 2021)., Retrieve on: 12 December 2021, Source: https://theintercept.com/2021/09/20/ndaa-military-equipment-police-1033/
When the slogan, Defund the Police, came about it immediately received criticism that simply fed into conservative status quo politics. Even, though there is context and nuance around the slogan of Defund the Police, i.e., it really means diverting funds into social investments such as mental health, poverty prevention, after school programs, let’s be honest…most people don’t really dig as deep when trying to find context or nuance, especially in a polarized political environment. The slogan easily could have been “Reallocate Police” or “Freeze the Police”, i.e., taking a police officer phase of “freeze” when trying to apprehend suspects, in an attempt freeze funding for police while further legislation and reforms were drafted and hopefully passed by state and federal lawmakers. I have no proof of what I am going to say next, but it seems that Defund the Police was purposely inserted into the lexicon or into the “zeitgeist” (collective consciousness) to be controversial so people would likely not support police reform largely since people were fearing “radical Leftist politics”. It seems like an easy trick to pull. Insert a controversial phrase into the public so it helps create a larger wedge on an already existing wedge issue. Once the term was inserted or “downloaded” into the collective consciousness, no one could really stop it because conservatives pushed it to undermine police reform, and people who are liberal or on the Left felt they needed to support the slogan as to not be seen as not being “down enough with the cause”. I am not sure who created the slogan of Defund the Police, but once could speculate that such as slogan could have easily been inserted into the public to create a further divide.
V. Political Dialectics and the Illusion of Political Differences
The Democratic Party serves the role of “calming” or “anesthetizing” the public by hearing out the concerns of the public, often using this for political gains, i.e., farming votes, such as appealing to minorities communities by promising to acknowledge their concerns in good faith, yet the Republican Party adamantly defends the police state. So, what you end up with is one side being apologists (losers) and the other side being defenders of the status quo, yet neither side are concerned about reform, since the very nature of Congress at this point is juggling the public who often doesn’t have monetary power yet are essential for the number game of winning votes, with that of powerful corporate interests (passing spending bills where tax money goes to powerful entities or special interests). Even if there are a few politicians who are true believers in police reform, they’re far and few, and the complicated process of creating legislation in the Congress between the House, Senate, and President, makes promises of police reform nearly futile. Democrats promise, give fiery “woke speeches”, say the right things to be considered “down” with whatever communities they represent, but often promise things can’t deliver on, yet, the politicians can simply blame the opposition.
VI. “Let the Children Tire Themselves Out” and waiting out the storm
The nexus between the Department of Justice, Congress, police agencies, and media, simply wait until the public “tires itself out”, so nothing changes. The media uses race to tire out the public on racial conversations, so the underlying agenda of reforming police doesn’t happen. It could be summarized as using and elevating black people, but then scapegoating black people downstream, so nothing changes, but the black community is left with the resent of other communities.
VII. Discrediting, Race Play and Reverse Psychology
Since police abuse often has a racial connotation to it, elements of the media try to shame communities such as black community by insinuating that the black community obsesses over race, can’t think outside of a racial worldview, and black organizations such as Black Lives Matters are fraudulent entities (where the right wing has even compounded this allegation by inserting everyone’s favorite boogeyman of George Soros – as if Soros is the only billionaire funding movements, e.g., the Mercer Family who donated to the Trump Campaign where involved in the Cambridge Analytica data scandal).
This use of racial tropes of black people being “emotional or irrational”, therefore feeds into the larger collective consciousness of society in which, for example, many white people become disillusioned, some often insinuating a sense of reverse racism or the media giving minorities preference over the grievances of white people, and all of this is used by conservatives to grow their base, yet, it seems as if this “farming operation” is purposeful between both political parties.
For example, take the Jussie Smollett case. Jussie Smollett selfishly appropriated the larger racial conversation which in many ways was in opposition to the white supremacists’ dog-whistles of Donald Trump, where this larger conversation includes police reform. When Smollett was found guilty of lying about a hate crime, even though he wasn’t directly linked to police reform, the fiasco he caused helped undermine police reform, since, as already stated, police reform was an element of the larger racial conversation. Many people in the public see Smollett as being indicative of alleged bias for minorities within the liberal media, and this energy feeds further into opposing progressive politics such as feeding into the energy and talking points of people such as Donald Trump, Candace Owens, etc. The goals are to make black people (serving as the more visible force when speaking up for BIPOC issues), to appear “irrational”, “emotional”, “playing the race card to their own advantage”, etc. It’s a form of reverse psychology or employing “gotcha moments”, by making it seem as if minorities are racially obsessed emotional beings who will “believe anything”, and this helps to undermine the legitimate concerns raised by BIPOC communities.
Another example of trying to discredit black people where black people are at the forefront of police reform, is how Black Lives Matter as an organization was attacked. The Right Wing as already stated tried to tap into the George Soros conspiracy theories, where those conspiracy theories in and of themselves harken back to antisemitic tropes, e.g., Z.O.G (Zionist Occupied Government) or the Protocols of the Elders of Zion (thus, feeding into the right-wing fringe elements of the Donald Trump administration, and by right wing elements, I’m not saying people who disapprove of Israel which has been alleged as being antisemitic in our Bari Weiss redefinition of the word of antisemitism, but actual people who hate Jewish people and wish them harm).
Yet, critics of BLM, including legitimate outlets where people get news from such as The New York Post (despite it having a reputation for spin tactics), alleged that BLM was engaging in real estate fraud, when Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors was discovered to have purchased multiple properties. Rick Rouan (2021) of The USA Today, in a fact check of the allegations made by conservative non-profit National Legal and Policy Center Chairman Peter Flaherty, stated “But there is no evidence to support the idea that Khan-Cullors used donations that poured in amid nationwide protests in 2020 to bankroll the purchase of four homes.”
Rouan (2021) stated, the claim that Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors bought four luxury homes is MISSING CONTEXT, because without additional information it could be misleading. While some social media users suggested that the purchases were evidence that Khan-Cullors had been enriched by the movement, our research revealed no evidence that Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation funds were used to purchase property. Khan-Cullors has held several other jobs in addition to her work as the organization’s volunteer executive director, including writing a memoir and developing content for Warner Brothers.
Robert Gaetry (2020) of Fox News, spoke about Sir Maejor Page, who was a founder of a chapter of Black Lives Matter in the Metro Atlanta area. Gaetry (2020) stated, “Page founded Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta in 2016 and this year took in more than $466,000 in donations in June, July and August, Desorbo said. “In sum, Page has spent over $200,000 on personal items generated from donations received through BLMGA Facebook page with no identifiable purchase or expenditure for social or racial justice,” he said. According to the bureau, Page also used $112,000 of the donated money to purchase a house for himself in Toledo, Ohio. The transaction took place last month. Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta could not solicit donations after losing its tax-exempt status as a charity in 2019 for failing to submit to the IRS 990 tax returns listing donations and expenditures.”
Lastly, Gaetry (2020), stated, “The FBI in Toledo said Page pledged to use those donations “for George Floyd” but instead used the money make purchases related to food, dining, entertainment, clothing, furniture, a home security system, tailored suits and accessories.”
So, even if Black Lives Matter was corrupt, what does their alleged corruption have to do with actual police reform or the fact that the United States has a history of racism and reality of structural racism? The goal of conservatives is to use race to discredit the overarching goal of police reform, e.g., alleging BLM is a global “Jewish” conspiracy meant to “agitate black people” against white people and that the organization is a money laundering scheme, using situations such as Jussie Smollett’s fake hate crime to discredit the entire black community, and insinuating that black people are so passionate about their race – indifferent to the needs of others – that they will believe anything indifferent to the facts such as insinuating that most black people didn’t know the victims of the Kyle Rittenhouse shootings were white (i.e., calling black people’s emotional and intellectual state into question which harkens back to old racial tropes that black people need guidance and paternalism from “wise, civilized, and more calm” white people).
Within any organization structured like Black Lives Matters which seems to be based upon decentralized franchises or chapters, the likelihood of corruption will always be there, but to state that all or most chapters weren’t engaged in legitimate public engagement, training, community initiatives, etc., seems false. Any corruption that occurs with Black Lives Matter is unacceptable, and it is my personal belief that Black Lives Matters hasn’t done enough to truly impact or improve the material conditions of the black community. Yet, regardless, BLM doesn’t represent or have sole-ownership of the entire history of the treatment of BIPOC people withing Western Civilization.
Black Lives Matter does have a responsibility to ensure the funds gathered from donors is being adequately distributed – with accountability – to impoverish communities across the United States such as providing scholarships to colleges be they HBCU, HIS, Tribal Colleges (Historically Black Colleges and Universities/Hispanic Servicing Institutions); assisting in America’s housing and homeless crisis such as providing temporary living assistance; establishing transitional programs for newly released inmates; organizing voter registration campaigns; donating to other educational institutions such as museums that represents the history of BIPOC peoples; safe sex campaigns by partnering with organizations such as Planned Parenthood, and standing up for sex workers – many who are people of color – who suffer violence such as working with SWOP (the Sex Worker’s Outreach Program).
It does seem that Black Lives Matters has faded from mainstream public view after the 2020 Presidential Election (not saying there’s still grassroots communication continuing), which does raise the plausibility that the organization was used to “farm” black people’s votes to benefit the Democratic Party machine, particularly to counter the power of Donald Trump, who upon his election controlled both chambers of Congress, and by the end of his presidency put three conservative Supreme Court Justices into power (who have the power to see cases over Voting Rights, Civil Rights, reproductive rights, etc.). Yet, as already stated, BLM whether it’s entirely good, entirely bad, or partially good and bad, doesn’t solely represent the goals of black, Hispanic, Indigenous First Peoples, bi-racial/multi-racial, or AAPI liberation. Essentially, if BLM were to completely fade away tomorrow and die in infamy, it doesn’t mean racism also disappears, it doesn’t mean the Republican Party is catering to white supremacy (such as Marjorie Taylor Greene advocating for a White Anglo Saxon Caucus), nor does it mean that police abuse isn’t an issue.
VIII. Unleashing the wolves to harass the sheep & race relating to Kenosha – Waukesha – and Oxford High School
When you look at the case of Darrell Brooks in Waukesha, Wisconsin, but also, the shooting of Joseph Rosenbaum in Kenosha, Wisconsin, you notice that both men were criminals. Why were the released from jail or release from the authority of a mental health facility? There are many people in jail that don’t have the sheer amount of baggage these two men have yet are still wasting away in dangerous and unsanitary prisons across the US. Ironically, the same system that police are a part of, i.e., the state, let these men out of jail, where one could argue not only do police use excessive violence often against people who aren’t threats, but they also release dangerous people from jail who end up terrorizing the public. Is this by coincidence? Or, maybe these lags in the system are due to the fact the system (that police are a part of) is too big to fail but constantly fails being so big and disorganized (unaccountable). It’s like a machine that spits out problems naturally, but it’s so big and embedded into society that no one notices until it’s too late.
For example, Joseph Rosenbaum was a pedophile, having been released from jail, but he was in a later relationship with a woman, yet he was living a nearly destitute or transient existence. He never should have been out of the care of mental health professionals but for some reason he was released. His aggressive behavior that night toward Kyle Rittenhouse (who never should have been out that night to begin with) helped spark the shootings that commenced. It’s interesting, as well that with Rosenbaum being a pedophile (who was also assaulted himself at a young age), the pedophile category has been applied by the political right culturally towards the political left in other arenas, such as with Qanon, the notion of “Hollyweird”, etc. The political right trying to take ownership of the pedophile category to attack liberals or the Left, is simply a strategy to undermine progressive politics, even though pedophiles come from all racial, ethnic, gender and political backgrounds. The fact Rosenbaum was a pedophile in theory helped give the political right more ammunition in their campaign to underline the political left in the larger Culture Wars, even though Rosenbaum was an individual acting on his own accord.
Just because Rosenbaum was at the protests doesn’t mean he was there to protests and it doesn’t mean he was there to stand up for what the protestors were standing for. Basically, he was likely there to cause issues to take out his rage against the world, i.e., the riots were an excuse for him to express his rage against the system, his own failures, his own demons, etc. Those who supported the protests or the cause underneath it, were not necessarily angry a pedophile was murdered, but more so a counter-protestors or vigilante had showed up to a protest which resulted in the deaths of people even if Rittenhouse was found innocent of all charges. The implications of having counter-protestors such as those in typical militia garb such as Proud Boys or Boogaloo escalating violence was the concern, considering these groups are extensions of MAGA politics (“Stand back, stand by”, as said by Donald Trump when asked about militias during his debates with Biden which happened before the eventual January 6th Capital Insurrection).
Relating to Darrell Brooks, the conservative media was very quick to try to bring up Darrell Brook’s race, because they felt that the liberal media during the Rittenhouse Trial was against “white people”. Aesthetically, in the minds of many, Rittenhouse is symbolic of “MAGA, Blue Lives Matter, Police worship”, whereas Darrell Brooks is symbolic of “easy on crime, ‘liberal policies’, black radicalism”, etc. In other words, to many, Darrell Brooks represents to the cultural Right Wing as being the result of soft-on-crime policies, racial double standards, and the need for more cops, i.e., “this is what happens when we don’t have police and this what happens when you let “Demon-crats” have power”. Yet, what people fail to understand between the two cases of Rittenhouse and Brooks is that everyone knows that Brooks is a criminal, everyone regardless of race can agree he’s a criminal, and he’s already on his way to being fully persecuted by the law, whereas the Rittenhouse was more ambiguous as to whether he was or wasn’t a criminal, but from first impression, based on his profile (a cop loving, Donald Trump rally attending young white male, who made suspect comments about using violence against protestors), there was reason to be highly suspect of Kyle Rittenhouse. Rittenhouse inserted himself into a larger cultural debate that encompasses a wide array of values, aesthetics, movements, symbols, interpretations, a remind of a history of white vigilante justice, etc. Therefore, the media bit so hard into the Rittenhouse case. It is because there was ambiguity and ambiguity lead to conversations, panel experts, segments (commercial break included), etc.
After the Rittenhouse acquittal, there was the Waukesha Parade Attack by Darrell Brooks, but then came the tragic Oxford High School shootings on November 30, 2021. Per conservative logic, such as the rhetoric by pundits such as Candace Owens or Steven Crowder, one would have assumed the “liberal MSM media” (MSM is mainstream media) would have instantly called out the shooter’s, Ethan Crumbley’s, race. But, they didn’t. Why? Once could only assume that there’s are different reporting procedures and different rules (even, if only “gentlemen’s rules) when it comes to reporting various categories of crimes, e.g., mass shootings/school shootings versus terror attacks (which could include mass and/or school shootings) versus possible hate crimes versus “everyday crimes”.
What I notice here regarding the Right Wing’s take to these events after the Rittenhouse Trial is that Republicans are desperately seeking to establish “racial parity”. They feel that liberals or the Left have more of a tool in their pocket, e.g., Critical Theory, Intersectionality, etc., to challenge the status quo, so naturally conservatives are desperately trying to find “gotcha moments” to undermine the larger conversation relating to systemic oppression, racism, lack of diversity in certain institutions of power, etc.
All of this does deal with cops, because cops as a symbol are a part of the larger cultural debates, so by conservatives trying to establish “racial parity” in the media, they help grow the sentiment of police worship (the residuals of Blue Lives Matters, etc.).
IX. Copaganda in Hollywood
Many police shows paint police in a popular or sentimental light, where there is always justification for using violence rather than de-escalation tactics.
X. Crime Wave Fears.
After the failure of the Congress to pass legislation, the system giving a few wins to police reformists such as the arrests of Derek Chauvin after the George Floyd Trial, a general sense of ennui in the public as the police (and racial) conversation dragged on, and other things I spoke about above, come late 2021 going into 2022, the media, especially conservative media is pushing the “Crime Wave” panic. This further helps to justify the presence of police. Yet, the Crime Wave could be simply boiled down to the slow recovery and normalization of life with COVID-19. People have been staying inside, remote working, not commuting to work, online shopping, etc. Naturally, as more people leave their homes, there will be a higher probability of crime, where one could even call the notion of crime as being subjective, e.g., more people committing traffic violations or minor civil infractions could be considered crime. Regardless, the fact that more people are out and about, crime will naturally occur. Crime is further compounded by social issues (which conservatives rarely acknowledge) such as the insane real estate market in many major US cities causing homelessness or economic desperation, the fact that unemployment naturally causes crime but also suicides/mental health situations. Interestingly, the Federal Reserve central bank in many ways is helping to inflate real estate prices ranging from homes, apartments, and even trailer parks.
I believe in the United States. I want it to succeed. I believe that any issue can be solved if you put effort into it. I considering myself a “patriot”. My ancestors were slaves, we worked this land without respect, my family served in major battles such as World War II and Korea, The Cold War, but also the Iraq-Afghanistan conflicts, I served, and I consider myself a proud American. Yet, I am a Leftist (a Sound Money, cautious Keynesian, market democratic socialist – in my head) because based on my patriotism, I side with the working classes. I have no patience for racism or sexism, and I generally want everyone to live a content happy life confident in their identity no matter what race, gender, sexual orientation, sexual assignment, religion or lack thereof, ethnicity, physical ability, etc., they happen to be. I am proud to be “woke” because I see all the criticism against it, and I realize that people are getting in the way of progress because of fear. They fear losing whatever idea of social privileges they think they have, yet elevating others who were pushed to the margins of society is not a threat to anyone and if anything will help to get over the closeted issues that conservatism helps perpetuate since conservatism doesn’t adequately deal with issues, yet, instead it tries to cover them up, e.g., conservatives demonizing gay people thus denying their very being and thus subjecting them danger such as lack of health care access. One can easily say the same thing for minorities such Native Americans who live in rural ghettos or women who have always been second class citizens when relating to the egos of men. I don’t hate conservatives and in many ways I admire the Norman Rockwell-esque iconography of the United States which I grew up in even as a black man, but this country includes other people.
I am happy that Biden is President. I sleep better at night. I function better during the day knowing that there isn’t as much drama as what happened under Trump. Being in my now mid-thirties, an older Millennial, my entire adult life has been defined by drama from 9/11, to the wars in the Middle East, to stock market crashes, to the fall of with in institutions regarding topics such as spying which helped to create a rampant online conspiracy theory culture, to new discussion around race or gender, etc. I am a progressive. I am a Leftist, but I do accept Realpolitik and pragmatism, so Biden despite being the “system” is in theory the best we can have at this point. It’s not necessarily inspiring, but at least
‘There’s a lot of hate of President Biden but considering most of it is the residue of the Qanon MAGA verse but also even from progressives within his own party because he’s not progressive enough. Yet, I see myself as an average American guy, college educated, decent job, a home, and I’m glad Biden is president because I feel like 2016-2020 destroyed the United States. A very depressing time seeing Far Right racist with Russian sympathies be platformed, but also my mind being constantly prodded by the postmodern assault of social media, the news, etc. I see Biden as a boring sense of peace and stability after a time of intense over-thinking, philosophical thinking, adapting to new technology, etc. It’s ok to take a “chill pill”, yet, Biden does need to push forward, i.e., the time IS NOW, to push forward with Green Energy, police reform, reinvigorating the labor movement in a new paradigm of technological innovation (e.g., computer programmers are often not unionized despite working a very stressful job, but there are also people within traditional industries such as manufacturing or production who aren’t unionized despite federal mandated wages not rising since 2008).
Yet, as a former economics student in college in my youth, I do think about macroeconomic policy and the future of the USA. I’m not a doomsday person. I feel that doomsday people often using fear to enrich themselves such as pushing up the price of gold for their own benefit or even pushing crypto-currency. I joke, I am a “fiat bro”, i.e., I do support the “paper money regime” because…this is what runs the global economy. Why would I bet against something I get paid in? Why would I bet against something that the world uses? I find it funny that people who championed gold or silvers, are not crypto advocates but to me digital currency is even worst than paper dollars, i.e., I can’t hold it.
Who will be a strong enough leader to do the right thing? No President be they Democrat or Republican wants to raise taxes to help pay down the national debt. Sometimes in my head I think what if were to implement the “Economic Crucible”? By this I mean higher taxes, higher interest rates, slashing spending, but to cover the harder environment we de-regulate, legalize, and/or privatize certain aspects of the economy? Yet, I am sure this would have dire consequences at this point. However, debt isn’t entirely bad, considering all industrialized nations are in debt and most of these nations are allies who vouch for each other’s debt. It’s not like the US is some weak nation who can’t stand up for itself in the face of creditors and many nations would never even dare to stand up to the United States on debt, e.g., a strong military with global scope, a consumer population who buys goods and services, relative political stability, and safety, etc.
Debt to the average person is bad, i.e., you trying to pay of a credit card (revolving credit), but to a nation it’s not the same thing, because the state is the state, i.e., the state is the law, can use force, and represents the entirety of its citizens. Debt levels may be high, but all other strong nations have a similar situation, yet, no country has the global leadership role that the United States does and many of our allies have consented to the US having such a role of global leadership, i.e., we do the dirty work that other nations don’t want to do, and the US can be the key negotiator between other parties. One could even argue that the ability to rack up large amounts of debt is a special privilege granted to industrialized nations because they have the geo-strategic alliances, assets, core competencies/intellectual property when it comes to producing advanced goods and are the consumer base of the world.
So, I’m not a doomsday person when it comes national debt (I am not a hardcore Austrian economics gold-standard lover or anarcho-capitalist “down with the system” Bitcoin bro), however, to sustain the global economic system between the major powers, one does have to show good faith payments on their debt, and therefore taxes need to go up. Even though all the allies are friends in this debt exchange system that affects foreign exchange rates and trade, there still is a level of mistrust as far as one’s ability to effectively pay their bills. Taxes are needed to reduce the amount of deficit spending already on the books but also show creditors (our allies) that we are willing to do the hard thing to show good faith. Sure, they won’t call our debt, but the ability to make good faith payments with taxes doesn’t help to restore a sense of faith, i.e., it reduces the sweating of our lenders, i.e., bond holders.
Yet, what has Biden does so far?
Passed a 1.2 trillion Infrastructure Bill where according to Lobosco & Luhby (2021) of CNN, “the bill will deliver $550 billion of new federal investments in America’s infrastructure over five years, touching everything from bridges and roads to the nation’s broadband, water and energy systems. Experts say the money is sorely needed to ensure safe travel, as well as the efficient transport of goods and produce across the country. The nation’s infrastructure system earned a C- score from the American Society of Civil Engineers earlier this year.” Yet, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the package would add $256 billion to the deficit over the next 10 years (Lobosco & Luhby, 2021).
Passed the 1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan
Will sign the nearly 800 billion annual National Defense Authorization Act funding the military, special forces operations, intelligence, etc.
Will sign the I Am Venessa Guillen Bill which is a provision in the NDAA which takes sexual assault investigations away from military Chain of Commands, and instead creates a separate investigative board since Chain of Commands such as those at Fort Hood helped bury sexual assault cases.
With NATO Leadership support, President Biden followed on the Trump Era Doha Agreement between the US and Taliban and withdrew US forces from Afghanistan (Liptak and Sullivan, 2021, CNN). This withdrawal from one perspective was just in that the war in Afghanistan did achieve some things such as helping women, but overall, the war was very costly to US taxpayers considering it was funded on debt as opposed to tax increases, so the war bill will continue to grow with interests’ payments. Yet, one could argue withdrawing from Afghanistan has remove the US from The Grand Chessboard, i.e., the strategic location of Central Asia near Russia, Iran, China, and Pakistan. Therefore in my opinion even liberal outlets decried Biden’s removal of troops, and they used “social justice”, i.e., “tear jerking tactics”, e.g., Vice News showing aggrieved veterans who felt the war wasn’t won or showing the blight of Afghan women, to convince the President to stay in the region, yet, these goals aren’t necessarily from humanitarianism but a way to continue militarism in the region, i.e., funding the military industrial complex and its contractors. One could argue that leaving Afghanistan makes the region more of a security threat to the Russians, Chinese, and Pakistanis, i.e., them focusing on Taliban or their enemies with ISIS in the region will keep them preoccupied. For example, Russia can’t just focus on the Eastern European theater but now must worry about their vast border with Central Asian nations, i.e., this help divert Russian resources away from Eastern Europe and towards Central Asia (where the Russians didn’t have much luck such with the Soviet Afghan War).
Biden has threatened Russia with sanctions such as sanctions relating to the SWIFT (The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) system if Russia continues military action in Ukraine and decides to conduct a second wave of invasions into the country.
Sources vary but around 65,000 to 70,000 Afghan refugees were brought to the United States. When Joe Biden withdrew from Afghanistan both sides of the political spectrum have Biden criticism, yet surprisingly even certain figures on the political-right tried to use the humanitarian catastrophe card. Yet, according to Hennessey-Fiske (2021), of the LA Times, “Since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August, 124,000 people have been evacuated to the U.S., including 67,000 Afghan allies. Of those Afghans, 10,000 have been resettled with the help of nonprofit agencies in communities across the nation, according to the Biden administration.”. Lastly, under the Biden Administration, $6.3 Billion has been allocated to resettlement efforts (Hennessey-Fiske, 2021, LA Times). Yet, according to Caitlin Doornbos (2021) of Military.com, as of December 7, 2021, only 34,000 refugees remained on US bases such as Fort Bliss in Texas, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey, Fort McCoy in Wisconsin, Camp Atterbury in Indiana, Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, and Fort Pickett and Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia.
Opened Cops Hiring Program (CHP) applications worth ~$139 million to police agencies across the country
Opened nearly 80k acres of offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico
Yet, Biden has also re-entered the Paris Climate Accord after Trump withdrew from the agreement, largely with Trump feeding off his base’s climate change skepticism, but also his view that the US would fall behind if nations like China or India would continue to use dirty energy. Yet, when you see Biden’s offshore drilling policy, it calls into question his honest intentions around combating climate change and hitting carbon emission reduction targets. According to Matt McGrath (2021) of the BBC, “This new target, possibly for 2030, and President Biden’s commitment to reaching net zero emissions by 2050, will be the guide rails for the US economy and society for decades to come.”
Convinced Australia to purchase US submarines as opposed to French submarines
Extended the moratorium on student loan payments and interests’ payments into spring 2022
Kept the Trump Era Title 42 health risk loophole to maintain the Stay in Mexico asylum seeking policy, i.e., asylum seekers must claim asylum from their own country or from Mexico (where many Central American refugees travel to)
Made Juneteenth, i.e., the official day that slavery in the United States ended (not to be confused with the Emancipation Proclamation) a Federal Holiday
What needs to be done?
The George Floyd Justice in Policing Bill needs to be signed considering police are still getting funding, and systemically one could argue the justice system hasn’t reformed much. This bill passing is something that BIPOC peoples but also many white people want, despite the police issue often being framed through a black liberation versus the system framework. Passing the bill, I would argue would help evolve policing and even help police officers, i.e., I see the potential passage of it as continuous improvement, and restoring trust equates to civilians not being so fearful when approached by police. With the First Step Act passed under Trump alongside the hopeful passage of the MORE Act and George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, the United States will still have police officers but society will have a more progressive criminal justice system such as people not being arrested for marijuana offenses, people who have used marijuana be given the change to seek better paying employment or military service (helping recruiting), and the public will feel the system actually listens to them.
Biden has been effective but not the most effective, but he’s keeping the lights on, and things are improving slowly. I am trying to write this objectively, i.e., above progressivism and conservatism. In many ways, Biden is quite boring. Yet, Biden is doing what needs to be done in certain regards such as trying to restore faith in alliances that Donald Trump in theory helped to jeopardize such as Biden meeting with NATO leaders, considering the United States doesn’t want to lose a foothold over the historically nationalistic, multi-ethnic, and multi-lingual region (remembering WWI, WWII, the Napoleonic Wars, Thirty Years Wars, various wars of successions, etc.) especially as ambitious leaders such as France’s Emmanuel Macon (who isn’t anti-American, but more so, competitive) wants to assert French primacy. The fact that France and Germany can use their economic leverage to balance the West versus Russia increases if NATO fails and this in theory might be great for those who are dovish on foreign policy, yet in theory, a Europe without a strong unified bond with the United States to take the bad publicity for Europe could unleash a chaotic mix of nationalistic sentiments as Europeans don’t see themselves as living in solidarity with mutual interests, but rather might start seeing themselves as competitors where such competition can be easily exploited by emergent or wannabe emergent superpowers such as China and Russia (remembering that China has heavily invested in European infrastructure projects and Russia also has a near monopoly on natural gas pipelines). For example, the Far Right “ethno-nationalist” ideology coming from Kremlin through thinkers such as Aleksandr Dugin, has affect European politics, but the truth is that an “ethno-state” would effectively isolate a nation to be exploited or bribed by a nation such as Russia. In other words, if NATO ever fails, which is what Russia and China wants, sure, this could help Germany or France become the de-facto leaders of the European Union (which in theory they already are, i.e., Germany and France providing most of the bailout money via the European Central Bank during the Greek sovereign debt crisis), yet the erosion of the NATO alliance which does force cooperation between the various ethnic states, could lead to unleashing old-fashioned nationalistic tensions, which could therefore be exploited by the Russian Kremlin’s hope of returning to its former glory days, and potentially in-debt now isolated European states to Chinese financing. In theory if NATO fails, so would the European Unions, and thus the European Central Banks, and this would have major consequences on international financing and markets, e.g., if the Euro Dollar were to go away and nations started adopting their own nationalistic currencies, this could not only make currency conversion/trade more problematic but could also pose a risk for smaller nations would suffer currency short selling by speculators.
Yet, what I wrote above is such a microcosm of the various issues that the United States has to juggle, and I would argue that Biden is helping to catch up on certain domestic needs (like roads), but there was hope he would be more ambitious in his vision to not just catch up but to rocket forward, considering he won off the energy of progressive populism who do want green energy, police reform, women’s rights, the rich paying higher taxes to fund society, etc. Progressives don’t want faux progressivism, such as the military or intelligence community keeping things the same but simply adding “woke recruiting campaigns”, but they want material (real world) change.
Yet, Biden (or, even let’s say a Republican in an alternative universe) has a decent excuse to go at the pace he’s going at because with COVID-19 still railing, Biden does have an excuse to sell moderate temperance to the public. So, considering the situation he’s doing decent, but one can say the opposite, e.g., this dire situation should have been a way to redistribute the wealth/debt of the nation to the working classes instead of focusing on hedge funds like BlackRock, etc. COVID-19 revealed many issues such as a lack of affordable housing, the fact that the US minimum wage hasn’t been raised and adjusted to inflation since 2008 despite an increase the money supply, and that offshoring US labor has made the United States too dependent upon volatile global supply chains.
But objectively, Biden isn’t the worst president, nor is he doing a horrific job. He’s just “business as usual”, yet many might appreciate this “business as usual” because people are burnt out of all the social arguments that occurred under the Trump Era. In theory, Trump going Far Right gave Centrist Democrats a good alibi to not push forward, i.e., Democrats are saying “we might be boring, but at least we’re not as terrifying and paranoid as the conservatism that Trump unleashed”.
Biden is returning a sense of peace and calm on the global stage with our very needed allies who buy our weapons – and, yes, I know this is problematic, but it is a fact of life, yet, our allies grant us access to their airspace/ports, and vouch for our debt, e.g., Japan is one of the largest holders of US Treasuries as they attempt to fund their pension system for their elderly population, but Japan is also geo-strategically important in Pacific, creating a triangle with South Korea and Taiwan/The Philippines near the South China Sea versus China.
Even with the Build, Back, Better Act dead in negotiations, I am not personally stressing over BBB, even though it would have been awesome if it passed. A perk to BBB failing is that we can all agree that Manchin, as well as Sinema, can’t be trusted. Biden is exercising a different managerial approach as compared to Trump. Trump used a micro-manager authoritarian approach to managing power often using Executive Orders to circumvent the legislative process, but Biden is using a traditional balance-of-power approach by following the constitution, i.e., relying on the legislative branch to create laws, the judicial branch to review and approve laws, and the executive branch to sign laws after they garner the required votes in Congress. You can judge Biden on this though. If Trump was a strongman leader, then why doesn’t Biden do the same across the board and not just on COVID-19 mitigation? It’s my opinion that Biden doesn’t want to continue the precedent set by Trump as far as authoritarian rule by the Executive Branch, so he’s being “boring” yet constitutional by relying on the other two branch of government. Yet, this is good, but also gives the administration an excuse to go slow, and this slowness doesn’t equate to progress, and gives an alibi to not fulfill campaign promises.
Yet, despite thinking on the negative, I decided to write out what has been accomplished so far. Even with BBB dead in the water as of 2021, it doesn’t mean something akin to it can’t be passed soon or through other bills or strategies, i.e., breaking up BBB and padding other bills with its provisions. The Democrats, who I support aren’t in a bad situation but are in a vulnerable situation considering 2022 Congressional elections especially those in the Senate are on the horizon. Unless the Democrats get a large majority to sure up power, then they’re left with negotiating or developing different strategies to pass progressive policy. In theory, Biden could use ideas that Steve Bannon on behalf of Trump tried to do but in a progressive way. For example, Bannon if my memory is correct (I’m searching for the article that vividly remember seeing) tried to use the Defense Priority Act to subsidize the coal industry and nuclear energy. So, if this idea was floated, then why use it for green energy, i.e., green energy is a national defense priority?
Yet, despite BBB failing, the United States is and isn’t in as dire of situation, yet President Biden has been doing a decent job of keeping the lights on and signing bills that invest in America’s future. Even as a person who sympathizes with Leftism, I could easily be angry at Biden if I wanted, but I’m already such a skeptic that I figure “eh” at least the lights are on, and the Democrats have power to a degree. Anything is better than conservatism. It sucks it comes down to that, but in the face of 3rd Way corporatism (a type of fascism) there’s not much one can hope for since the ruling classes dictate democracy.
President Biden signed the $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Bill (11/15/2021) into law and is expected to sign the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which passed the Senate on (12/15/2021) which has a price tag of $778 Billion which is a $23.9 Billion top-line increase from the previous NDAA. So, our roads/bridges/ports/airports/levies and military will be funded. I consider that win. Sure, there’s many pacificist and Leftist decrying the Military Industrial Complex, but every nation needs a military where we like it or not (a sad truth of the human species), and even as a Leftist, I do support the military and American primacy. Sure, I know all about the crimes of the CIA and can still call them out and would pray we could figure out better ways of doing diplomacy besides hardcore covert overthrowing government operations, yet, still I support the troops considering most of the troops are of the proletariat. I can support socialism from a Western and American perspective while still detesting Chinese socialism for example.
We are also still living under the $2.2 Trillion CARE Act (3/27/2020) which was supplemented with the $484 Billion PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) & Health Care Enhancement Act (4/24/2020), and the Consolidated Appropriation Act of 2021 at $2.3 Trillion (signed on 12/27/20, which merged $900 Billion with a $1.4 Trillion Omnibus Spending Bill) which were passed under Donald Trump, yet President Biden supplemented these with a $1.9 Trillion American Rescue Plan (3/11/2021). Note: An omnibus spending bill is a type of bill in the United States that packages many of the smaller ordinary appropriations bills into one larger single bill that can be passed with only one vote in each house. There are twelve different ordinary appropriations bills that need to be passed each year (one for each appropriations sub-committee) to fund the federal government and avoid a government shutdown.
= 8,862,000,000,000 in appropriate spending since 3/27/2020, yet, appropriate spending doesn’t mean it will be charged at once, but rather a lot of the money such will be divvied up over fiscal years, and after viewing the National Debt Clock, I’m assuming that all the bills I listed above from the Infrastructure Bill and previous are factored into this national debt number in some way, shape, or form.
Yet, according to National Debt Clock,
$29 Trillion in Debt vs $23 Trillion in GDP vs $4 Trillion in Tax Revenues, and these numbers were pulled on 12/24/21 at 6:25 AM EST, but I’m unsure if the $1.2 Trillion is already factored into this number, but if not then we may be around $30.9 Trillion since the Infrastructure Bill was passed before I checked the Debt Clock. So, roughly we’re at about a $7 Trillion detriment as far as Debt vs GDP, and we’re not nearly paying the amount of money need in taxes at $4 Trillion to really dent the $29 Trillion in debt, or in other words taxes amount to around 13.9% out of the national debt (4/29 * 100). This 13.9% is odd because this means that even though the highest marginal tax rate bracket is 37%, effectively on average, i.e., the average of effective tax rates, is only 13.9%, meaning that someone isn’t pay thing taxes, i.e., even though on paper it says the highest you can pay is 37%, in reality only 13.9% is being paid by all taxpayers (billionaires included), meaning there’s a tax rate detriment of 23.1%. Everyday people, from the lower working classes to the high middle class like a successful business owner might pay the highest 37% rate on all their total earned income, yet, billionaires are likely avoiding so much in taxes that the average of all tax revenue received is 13.9%. If I take the $30.9 Trillion and compare that to the $4 Trillion in taxes raised, it’s even worst at 12.9%.
So, assuming the $8 trillion in bills from the CARE Act to the Infrastructure Bill is factored into the standing $29 Trillion as shown on the Debt Clock, or even assuming they are not thus making the debt 30.9 trillion, the taxes being raised in relation to debt is only 12.9-13.9%, making the tax revenue pulled in fall short of the highest tax rate that can be charged at 37%, thus making a tax revenue detriment in relation to national debt be 23.1-24.1%.
This means that the government is borrowing to cover this spread somehow on top of what it already borrows but is also not effectively taxing those who should be paying at a minimum 37%.
The government has a few options. Better enforcing existing tax laws especially on higher income earners, raising tax rates so you have a better chance of catching tax revenues, and/or revising the tax code. Even if let’s say we add that 23-24% detriment I speak of to the 37% highest tax rate, then we get a 60-61% rate, which interestingly would not be the highest historical marginal tax rate. The harsh truth is…we’ve been slacking on paying taxes collectively in relation to the type of first-world society we live in. We use credit more than taxation. Yet, older generations, whom we consider to be “tougher” actually paid higher taxes and the Golden Era of Democratic Capitalism occurred under higher taxation to pay for society so that future generations wouldn’t incur as much debt, or their money be less valuable. Yet, the Boomer generation once they entered the workforce in the late 70s despite having initially higher taxes, actually ended paying on average lower taxes than their parents and likely even their children who will have to bear the burden of higher taxes (to pay for entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare, etc.).
Yet, all this money from these bills…what are the people truly getting from it? The realized impact among the people I would argue is minimal. Sure, some people got COVID relief checks but those checks truly don’t cover the cost of living such as housing or rent, food, gas, education, debt principal or interests, expenses. We’re spending all this money, but the truth is that most is going to large businesses or corporations who win grants, awards, contracts, and direct payments, etc., via contracts by the federal government under the Federal Procurement Data System, Federal Acquisition Regulation, etc.
President Biden has accomplished things by signing legislation into law that gives support to business, individuals, and will help repair/rebuild America’s declining and crumbling infrastructure.
As far as national security, Joe Biden has met with Pacific nations and even snubbed France over a submarine deal between Australia, thus tightening Australia’s bond with the USA via the AUKUS Alliance as China becomes more ambitious regarding Taiwan (a major source of semiconductors), The Belt and Road Project, The South China Sea (the world’s most vital shipping lane), etc. The submarine deal will sell $153 billion and USD $171 billion worth of US military equipment according to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) (NDTV.com., 12/15/21).
Also, within the NDAA there is the I am Venessa Guillen Bill, which will take away the military’s authority to prosecute sexual assault and harassment cases and instead, create an independent investigation separate from the chain of command (Grace White, KHOU-11, 12/22/21).
In addition, despite Blue Lives Matter being a Trump adjacent movement, The Department of Justice under President Biden has announced $139 million in grant funding through the department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) COPS Hiring Program (CHP). The awards provide direct funding to 183 law enforcement agencies across the nation, allowing those agencies to hire 1,066 additional full-time law enforcement professionals (The Department of Justice, 11/18/21). Further, within the NDAA which is due to be signed soon by President Biden, there still exists the controversial Program 1033 where the military gives surplus military equipment to police agencies. Even, though I support police reform, it is a lie to state that President Biden isn’t funding cops.
Further, according to Annie Nova (2021) of CNBC, “Amid concerns about the new omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus, the Biden administration will extend the payment pause for federal student loan borrowers until May 1.” This extension allows people to stop paying student loan debt without incurring interests.
Biden released 80 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico to auction for drilling, despite him attempting to use an Executive Order to pause drilling, but this pause was blocked in court by 13 oil/natural gas friendly states (Ella Nilsen, CNN, 11/17/21). So, with Biden opening 80 million acres for offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, from a progressive perspective this is horrible and a deviation from his campaign promises to help fight Climate Change and start encouraging higher green energy investing, yet, from a conservative or at least let’s say business perspective, opening offshore drilling could help keep energy prices low, and lower energy prices might help to stave off the inflationary pressures hitting the USA. Lower energy costs is the foundation that affects many aspects of the supply chain such as more affordable utility energy costs which could help divert rising costs for consumers but also commercial entities, cheaper transportation costs, generating revenues for manufacturers of tools and machinery related to the oil and natural gas industry, and maintaining employment. Yet, Biden is likely opening up the oil leases because the truth is that Big Oil and Gas has a lot of influence, so Biden is really trying to garner favor, considering many rich people can fund bad publicity against a President who goes against their business interests.
Biden has also kept Title 42 restrictions relating to immigration and asylum seekers. Biden is using the Trump Area Title 42 loophole that restricts entry into the US on the grounds of preventing the spread of contagious health risks, to keep asylum seekers out of the United States under the Remain in Mexico asylum seeker policy. It’s controversial, yet, it’s interesting that conservatives don’t give Biden much credit for maintaining this nativist Trumpian policy.
Such a policy was brought into further controversy after Haitian refugees fleeing earthquakes, hurricanes, and a government coup, migrated through Mexico and attempted to enter the USA. Border Agents, at this time under the leadership of Biden, used controversial tactics to keep the Haitian immigrants out of the United States. Yet, Biden later started removing restrictions on travel from eight African countries, where these the travel restriction was originally implemented to monitor the Omicron variant of COVID-19. Yet, this move to remove travel restrictions on African countries raises the question as to why the Haitian refugees weren’t allowed to claim asylum which is a right under international law.
But, despite Joe Biden doing things such as supporting the military and bolstering the economy in relation to COVID-19 and its variants, he is falling behind on what he promised to do for those who voted for him. The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act has failed in negotiations as of the fall of 2021, and this bill was introduced twice by Democrats but no success largely due lack of Republican support (zero vote for the second attempt at the reform bill).
There’s also issues such as 800,000+ Americans having died from COVID related illnesses while there is a universe of conspiracy theory and misinformation regarding vaccines; there is a homelessness epidemic largely caused by drug addiction (such as Feytanyl coming from South of the Border)/mental health and workers being priced out of real estate markets such as Seattle, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area; a “Crime Wave” as life normalizes after the initial COVID-19 lock-downs where crime could be traced to the lack of job opportunities/rising cost of living among the working classes; a very hot housing market where foreign investors are unfairly buying multiple homes (if not entire communities) and pricing out first-time homeowners; Roe v. Wade as always is under attack from Republicans; Trans people still lack legal protections over employment, healthcare access, and being protected if incarcerated; there is a threat of domestic terrorism such as by White Supremacy Extremists (WSEs); outstanding student loan debt in the U.S. has surpassed $1.7 trillion and burdens Americans more than credit card and auto debt (Nova, 2021, CNBC), and generally, there is lack of trust in institutions including the media.
Yet, from all this spending, where the money isn’t truly reaching the working classes, despite whatever sort of COVID stimulus checks or PPP Loans that individuals, families, and small-to-medium size businesses have received. The sheer amount of money spent so far since COVID started around March 2020 is…insane, and it could be argued that it is just another form of “trickle down” corporatism, rather that direct social investments in the people. It’s as if the government spends money just to say to the working classes that “we can’t afford this now”. The Buy Back Better Bill was intended to be a way for the people to get a cut of all this debt creations and deficit spending. It is disheartening that the American public will foot the bill for all this spending, yet, not really get a direct “in their pocket” benefit, granted the NDAA does stimulate employment across the thousands of contractors supporting the defense industry in the web we call the Military Industrial Complex, paying soldiers, and the Infrastructure Bill will help create employment with construction jobs, engineering projects, and improving roads/bridges/ports that naturally stimulate economies.
When Darrell Brooks barreled through a Christmas parade on November 21, 2021, which killed six and injured over 62 people, many in the public, especially on the conservative side of politics, were quick to want to discuss Mr. Brook’s race. This is easy to understand simply because the tragedy happened just a few days after the non-guilty verdict of Kyle Rittenhouse regarding his debacle in Kenosha, Wisconsin at a BLM protest and riot.
Regardless, a week or so later, after the Waukesha Attack and the Rittenhouse Incident, a fifteen-year-old kid from Oxford, Michigan went into his high school, shot 30 rounds, killed four students, and wounded six students. The media never mentioned the shooter’s race (Ethan Crumbley), like how the media didn’t jump on Darrell Brook’s race. Why? If the conservative claim that the MSM (mainstream media) was trying to cover up Darrell Brook’s race were true but wanted to blame white people for everything, then why didn’t CNN or MSNBC immediately release a headline saying, “White Teen of MAGA Family in Michigan Murders Four and Injures Six”? Maybe it is because media, even though it is a business, does still have a level of reporting ethics and integrity guidelines. Even if they have a near monopoly on information, they still must compete and reputation is everything (for example, look how CNN just fired Chris Cuomo, or the NY Times fired Jayson Blair, etc).
This hatred for the “mainstream media” comes from a place in people who want something to objectively blame as being the problem, where the actual problems are outside of the media, i.e., in the material world, within structures, within history, etc. Can media have an effect and steer our minds? Of course, but at the end of the day, they’re just reporting news. So, you can’t just blame media, but really the failures of systems and society at large which creates the stories media talks about. Media is to blame but it’s not the thing to explicitly blame, when really the culprit is the failure of society itself.
It’s easy to blame the media for everything and this is something I do or have done before, so I can admit it. But the news still shows the news, and it serves a purpose. For example, local news stations, which are often affiliated with larger companies, e.g., you might have Fox 5 or 8 or 12 in in your local city which is an affiliate of the larger Fox News umbrella, or CBS this or that, but these local affiliates do show crimes regardless of race. I see criminals of all races on my local news affiliate stations, but these affiliate stations are a part of the mainstream media.
The reason race wasn’t as central immediately to the Oxford and Waukesha cases, in my opinion, is because the Oxford HS shooting and the Waukesha Incident were explicit and undeniable crimes, whereas the Rittenhouse Incident was ambiguous and ambiguity leads to conservation, which leads to easy story lines, commercial breaks for advertisers, conversations, panel expert guests spanning criminal justice experts or college professors on race, opinion pieces, etc.
Oxford and Waukesha were explicit crimes, where both suspects were quickly jailed and charged. Depending on type of crime and the effects those crimes could have on the public, there’s different levels of reporting practices regarding victims. For example, in a terrorism case, I’m sure the reporting practices are much different as to not create a copycat situation, or in the case of mass shootings (which could be argued as being terrorism depending on who is overseeing the case), the victims are often protected while the investigation commences.
The Rittenhouse Incident was different and focused on race because the situation was ambiguous, i.e., a gray zone, and many suspected that he would be acquitted based on his race. There was no chance of acquittal relating to Darrell Brooks. To reiterate, the Oxford and Waukesha cases were explicit crimes, whereas Rittenhouse was an ambiguous case where it tapped more into the conversation around race, criminal justice, the incongruity in sentencing laws, etc.
Think about this way. People brought up race regarding Rittenhouse because there was a chance he would walk, whereas what’s the point in making race central to the Waukesha or Oxford HS situations when there’s no chance the criminals will walk? It’s not like Mr. Brooks is being treated any better because he’s black, when really, he’s now going to facing multiple life sentences and will be found guilty. The fact that Rittenhouse received the appearance of preferential treatment from the judicial system and from supporters in the “MAGA verse” (going so far as crowdfunding a Go Fund Me account) was a sign that his race would play a role in his eventual acquittal.
There is no question as to whether Darrell Brooks and Ethan Crombley belong in jail, because their acts transcend our racial conversation and there’s no doubt that they committed those crimes with inherent criminal motives, whereas the Rittenhouse Incident was a grey zone situation more in alignment with a larger socio-political and racial conversation.
The Oxford and Waukesha Cases being actual crimes without a reasonable doubt didn’t need to be about race because race wasn’t necessarily central, based on what we know, and even if they were, to varying degrees, the sad truth regardless is people are dead because of explicit actions, even if race has nothing to do with the events. Rittenhouse was more of a symbolic figure in a larger cultural debate, hence why race was central to debate. Rittenhouse was about stand-your-ground, gun rights, self-defense, reactionary movements to Black Lives Matters such as Blue Lives Matters or All Lives Matters, Trumpism, etc. Rittenhouse happened to be the focal point of a lot of variable or aesthetics, hence the discussion around him was very verbose, complex, etc., i.e., everyone had an opinion on Rittenhouse that spanned spectrums whereas the other two events, it’s clear cut that both criminals are criminals.
White conservatives and pundits such as Candace Owens (who stated that black people are the most murderous group) or Steve Crowder, rushed to try to bring up the “double standard” of the mainstream media, insinuating that the media is against white people, despite the fact media is still controlled majority wise by white people.
What conservatives hate is that their traditional “mind control” operation over the majority isn’t as strong as it used to be, so they must revert to intensity, straw men, poor comparisons, conspiracy theory, a total disregard of nuance, context, or the fact that residual effects of history still haunt us, etc., to keep the status quote.
Conservatives are constantly trying to seek contrarian “gotcha moments” to appear as if they’re wanting fairness or equity, but really this method is an attempt at reversing any progressive gains the public has adopted, such as being more aware of concepts such as white supremacy or privilege. Basically, they don’t want to advance any conversation, if that advancement means a detriment to their base of power.
Conservatives want to reinforce the traditional narrative of black criminality as a social trend, but when attempts at doing the same towards white America comes, they become super defensive. I like to say, that traditionally the crimes of minorities are always collectivized, whereas the crimes of the white majority are often individualized, e.g., a lone wolf white supremacist, etc. Black people are “criminals” overall, but white people are “bad actors”. The crimes of minorities are allowed to be acknowledged to further stigmatize these groups, but crimes relating to white people could be argued as being selected out as being “bad apples” and not indicative of a larger systemic issue or cultural issue.
In other words, the tides were slowly reversing to how we view race, sociology, crime studies, etc., where it’s not just minorities under the clinical gaze, but now white America is too, and white America since the introduction of social justice, critical theory, etc., in many ways has shown levels of…fragility. Their goal is to constantly try to debunk any progressive claims largely since conservatives represent the status quo, i.e., hierarchy, majority rule (even, the possibility of minority rule by the majority since they fear “losing numbers”), wealth hording, and the disciplinary violence of the state be it police worship, or unilaterally trying to own the romanticism and sacrifice of the military, etc.
Put it this way.
I am black. I grew up my whole life with the weight of America’s perception of black people bearing down on me, even though I wasn’t a criminal or a “thug”, but people associated me with that simply because I was black. Now that the roles slightly reversed, well…welcome to my world.
Kyle has a tendency to slightly embellish his accomplishments which I think comes from an over compensation from him coming from lower income means with some trauma. He likely grew up feeling insecure within a low income home that experienced eviction, likely grew up with a poor diet, had familial substance abuse issues, difficulty in school, and grew up with social media so he embellishes to seem successful. The embellishments possibly are compounded by him being a young male who gravitated towards “Right Wing, Alpha vs Beta, tough guy” Culture and figures that are prominent online. Basically a culture that promotes male posturing, weeding out the weak, being a “meat head” or “Chad”. So, Kyle being the opposite wanted to fit into that aesthetic. A lot of boys and young men face social pressures that can contort their perception of what a “real man” is, especially since our modern culture wars has created a reactionary and opportunistic male “red pill” movement against feminism etc. For example Jordan Peterson. Social sciences at the intersection of pop culture (talk shows, click bait articles) has in many ways forgot about boy development and this leads young males into the guidance of thinkers who give self help but covertly insert political philosophy often of a Right Wing nature.
But, Kyle has a habit of embellishing or omitting facts
He said at the trial he was an EMT but… didn’t finish the courses. He said he was a member of the Antioch FD but was only a volunteer. He said he’s a student at Arizona State but… he’s in preliminary courses and not an actual student in a program.
He was doing online high school (not hating on that) from Penn Foster but unsure if he graduated but also… ASU is a good school which likely requires SAT or ACT scores and nursing would be competitive.
See what I’m saying?
“ASU can confirm that Mr. Rittenhouse enrolled as a non-degree seeking ASU Online student for the session that started Oct. 13, 2021, which allows students access to begin taking classes as they prepare to seek admission into a degree program at the university,” Jay Thorne, ASU assistant vice president of media relations, said in a statement.” (Kevin Stone, 2021, KTAR News).
Many students at ASU don’t want Kyle there. But to me it’s not about politics but what has Kyle academically done to get in? Maybe Kyle should do Community College first to master basic courses and then apply instead of getting too excited. However his preliminary courses at ASU isn’t bad but he still has to “get in”.
Yet, Kyle choosing ASU might not be by coincidence since Arizona is a conservative state and ASU is known for “partying”, e.g., the old Girls Gone Wild stereotype. It might be his dream to go there for excitement reasons and a fresh start but that’s different than the realities of the rigor of a well known research university nursing program.
I’m not saying Kyle can’t get into ASU. I’m not saying Kyke should be disbarred from furthering his education but can he academically get in? Especially if he has shown a lack of focus to complete previous studies and in social environments? Even in the absence of SAT or ACT scores what makes Kyle better than any other candidate, where many either come from academically competitive schools and/or have have more diversified portfolio proving the ability to endure such as Varsity sports, awards, etc.?
I think Kyle might have a learning disability and doesn’t finish things but doesn’t want to bring attention to any issues so he “coasts or rides under the radar saying the right things”. Afraid of being called slow or stupid which is something most people can relate to.
But everyone has some issues so I’m not shaming. For example I often over think things.
I wrote something called “American Kyle Rittenhouse History X” went into his background.
His Mom is dyslexic and I’m not hating on that but when I noticed Kyle’s responses/behavior on the stand but also heard that he was pulled from school for “bullying” by his mom (not the most “tough guy” move), because someone called him stupid… I think… does Kyle have a learning disability?
I read a study where dyslexia can be passed down genetically to kids (see my article: American History Kyle Rittenhouse X) but dyslexia can also influence ADD and adolescent depression. Basically, or simply put (I’m not a psychoanalyst), but Kyle can’t focus, embellishes to cover defects, wants social inclusion and his judgement skills lack especially when emotionally challenged/excited and likely obsess over things he feels decent at like…guns, cop shows, video games etc. Things of control since inside he lacks it.
Possibly experiences extreme excitement but then crash lows.