Month: October 2014

Sacred Harp 294: ‘Rocky Road’

I’m enlisted on the road,
I’m almost done traveling,
Enlisted on the road.
I’m bound to go where Jesus is,
My soul shall ascend where Jesus is,
To enjoy the peaceful home of rest.
I’m bound to go where Jesus is,
And be there forever blest.

It’s a mighty rocky road,
I’m almost done traveling,
A mighty rocky road,
I’m bound to go where Jesus is.

I’ve a Father on the road,
He’s almost done traveling,
A Father on the road.
He’s bound to go where Jesus is,
His soul shall ascend where Jesus is,
To enjoy the peaceful home of rest.
He’s bound to go where Jesus is,
And be there forever blest.

Film accessibility levels chart

This is a one-dimensional chart I made ordering films based on how accessible they are to the viewers. Though the rankings are my opinion, I am not actually a weird elitist, so it’s tongue-in-cheek. Ranking things is just fun!

The criteria for ranking is listed at the top of the image. Note that this ranking has nothing to do with how good a filmmaker is, since that’s very subjective. If you think something is out of place, comment here or tweet a suggestion to @robert_mariani

Secession lagniappe

Native Planet on Hawaiian sovereignty:

The Obama administration is abandoning plans to treat the OHA as a tribe, but is apparently still planning to screw over sovereignty supporters:

Because of the overwhelming numbers of testifiers throughout Hawai`i as well as the US that stated they were against the DOI proposed plans, both in person at the hearings and online, the US Department of Interior itself has decided not to issue any new rules or re-recognition.

However, because those few who would stand to benefit directly from such a move have lobbied the White House intensely, the Obama administration will instead either issue an executive policy statement (as was done in Alaska) federally recognizing the Native Hawaiian roll, or they will instruct the DOI to issue an administrative policy that the Obama administration will then support.

Either of these actions are actually worse than any DOI rule making.

This yet to be announced policy statement will empower OHA and the Roll Commission to form a governing entity that will be rubber stamped with no oversight or advance public input whatsoever.

Bill Kauffman’s speech at LPAC this year (read the whole thing). I called Campaign for Liberty yesterday to get on their case for taking so long to put the speech on YouTube. Hopefully it’ll be up soon, I’ll post it here when it is:

Under the Hillary Clintons and the bevy of squawking Republican chickenhawks, America is never to be a country at peace. We would live out our lives in a bleak future of endless war, endless mobilization, in a regimented and increasingly paranoid nation on red alert. Peace, to our mandarins, is unthinkable. An America that is small, that is modest, that is humble, that speaks in a dizzingly beautiful variety of accents: unthinkable.

That nightmare bears no resemblance to the country that is in my heart and in my eyes.  Their empire isn’t a country at all—it’s the cold projection of military might, of political influence—it’s the enemy, above all, of the real America, the Little America, the America that plays the unheard music.

I am a patriot. And I love my country. And this country is only healthy insofar as its little pieces are healthy. Lowell, Massachusetts. Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Batavia, New York. Red Cloud, Nebraska. Muscle Shoals, Alabama. I saw the distinct identity—the meaning—of my own place fading and that’s why I raised my voice.

That’s why hundreds of thousands—millions—of Americans from the Gulfstream waters to the Redwood forests are raising their voices. We refuse to lose our country.

Speak, act, even vote, if that’s your thing, for place. For peace. For the possibility of a life that is not lived in the dark shadow of perpetual war and crony capitalist oligarchy but rather in the reviving sunlight of liberty, of community, of home.

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Russell Brand v. John Lydon: What’s a Real Revolution?

I didn’t grow up listening to late 70s punk jams in my bedroom. So I never knew what made the Sex Pistols so iconic and edgy. As far as I could tell, the band’s music wasn’t so much the source of their success, but their message of youthful rebellion is what attracted legions of fans.

It’s not hard to captivate a band of conformists with a message of non-conformity. Impressionable teenagers and adults love to be told they are raging against the machine when, in fact, they are cogs in the system. Sex Pistols may still be regarded as an influential rock act, but the devil-may-care attitude they championed is now so commonplace that it’s boring.

That’s why it was a pleasant surprise to see John Lydon – known also by his stage name Johnny Rotten – recently rebuff the poisonous attitude engendered by his band. In a recent interview with The Guardian, Lydon berates comedian and movie star Russell Brand for his idiotic views on politics. Brand just released a book titled Revolution in the hopes of sparking an upheaval against the political establishment. Like all socialist utopians, Brand wants to smash capitalism to pieces and build an egalitarian promised land over its wreckage. His book is short on details for bringing about the so-called “revolution,” but is long on self-aggrandizement and mysticized blather.

Lydon is having none of it. He calls Brand’s fantastical notions of revolution “the most idiotic thing I’ve ever heard.” If Western youth went along with the Brand playbook for a new world order, Lydon warns, “What you’ll get is a rat pile of infestation. And indolence, laziness, and eventually you’ll all be evicted.” Taken to its sound conclusion, trying to change the political system through positive-based activism is just a euphemism for “A lifestyle of cardboard boxes down by the river.” “[Brand is] preaching all this from a mansion,” Lydon reminds everyone.

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GamerGate and the incentives of threats

The GamerGate fiasco has brought with it the ugly phenomenon of internet threats. If we are to take our assumptions from the media narrative, then the side that is correct at the end is the one that received the most threats, and has capitalized best on these threats.

The incentives to make threats are literally less than zero. There are only disincentives. Anyone with reasoning abilities can see this, particularly based on the proportion of anti-GG coverage devoted to the threats.

Progressives simultaneously understand and do not understand this. There have been a number of blunders where “threats” turned out to be bogus, with obvious intent to stir up public hatred for GamerGate and initiate a spiral of silence by making #GamerGate feel dirty on the tongue of most.

There are astronomical incentives to appear to be a victim of threats. This truth has been leveraged many times in the form of fake threats.
fake threats

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