politics

Civil War 2.0 Will Be Livestreamed

The revolution will not be televised, will not be televised,
will not be televised, will not be televised.
The revolution will be no re-run brothers;
The revolution will be live.

The events of this summer are a taste of what’s to come in the fall, and even more so, November 9, 2016.

Someone is going to win the Presidential election, and regardless of whether it’s Trump or Clinton, the loser’s supporters are going to feel existential angst about America, and their place in it, far beyond the usual.

Pat Buchanan advises us to take a Chill Pill; “For when a real powder keg blew in the ’60s, I was there. And this is not it.” And yet…in “The ’60s” (and the early ’70s, which is when some of the worst SHTF) we had the evening TV news and the papers. The crazy spread slower then. This time, any and every incident is going to be magnified and extremely accelerated. (more…)

Why Bernie Sanders wants same day registration

The revolution is flaming out.

With Hillary Clinton’s decisive primary win the District of Criminals, the longshot bid of Vermont senator Bernie Sanders is coming to a close. In a video chat to supporters, the irascible socialist all but declared his candidacy over and announced he’s teaming up with Wall Street courtesan Clinton to defeat populist champion Donald Trump – just as I predicted.

Sanders isn’t walking away completely empty-handed, however. He’s demanding fundamental changes to the Democrat Party platform to make it “the most progressive platform in history.”

For a socialist, Sanders sure drives a hard bargain.

His list of demands include enacting same-day voter registration, more assistance at polling locations, a timely process for counting votes, and allowing registered independents to cast ballots in the Democrat primary. Increased measures to prevent voter fraud is not mentioned, because that obviously never, ever happens.

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Dreams, consciousness and sanity

It’s interesting that before he became the first human to die live on the Web, Tim Leary changed his tune (and the title of one of his books) from Exo-Psychology to Info-Psychology.

Leary acknowledged that his one-time obsession with space exploration and the future of humanity off-planet was at least partly the result of his time in jail in the 1960s and 70s and the natural tendency of the mind to want to free itself by flying high above the prison grounds. For an old dude, he seems to have rapidly grasped the possibilities of the Web and some of the changes to our lives that digital world would bring. He apparently continued to consume plenty of drugs up until the end. The funny thing, to me, is that there’s no indication that in all his years of psychonauting he ever deeply explored the free, easily available and abundant resource that’s provided to us every night: The Dreamscape. (more…)

Sometimes our political rhetoric ties us up in knots

Reprinted from the Press and Journal

If you were paying attention in philosophy class, you’ll remember Aristotle’s law of non-contradiction. Without this ontological law, Plato’s most famous student thought that we could never know anything about the things we already understand – for instance, the science of mathematics would mean nothing if it couldn’t be differentiated from biology.

Aristotle, smart as he was, would be baffled by today’s political rhetoric. His logical approach to the world does not fit well with our discourse over public affairs.

Too often, politicians choose subterfuge over truth and circumlocution over clear language. This makes the act of governing extremely difficult.

Some examples: In a recent Republican candidate debate, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio defended his call for a bigger Pentagon budget by declaring, “We can’t even have an economy if we’re not safe.”

We can’t? Last I checked, economies are nothing but the sum total of individuals trading goods and services. Even in the most rudimentary societies, barter still existed. And let’s not forget that in order for the military to function, tax dollars must be collected from business to finance its operations.

All that said, Rubio has a point: If we’re dead, we aren’t buying and selling things. So in a sense, you can’t have an economy without a certain degree of safety.

Confusing, right?

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Pope Francis ticks off both the left and right

Reprinted from the Press and Journal

I’m not Catholic, but man do I love this pope.

Ever since Jorge Mario Bergoglio, otherwise known as Pope Francis, was confirmed as the Vicar of Christ in March of 2013, he’s been boggling the minds of religious and political observers.

Born to Italian immigrants in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Francis grew up in a lower-middle class environment in a country about as politically clean as the mob. He came of age in a place very much removed from stable public order. This upbringing led to become the head of the Jesuit order in Argentina at a time of dictatorship and domestic strife.

It is from this background that the Pontiff learned the importance of giving the needy a voice in human society.

All this and more make Francis a fascinating character.

His tenure as Bishop of Rome has been spent reaching out to the margins of society – the poor, the diseased, the lost and forgotten. Not long after being confirmed, he was photographed kissing the head of a disfigured man, an act of profound grace. During his recent trip to Washington, he snubbed a bunch of congressmen to visit a homeless shelter.

The caritas Francis has spread has not come without controversy, however.

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A House United

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A castle which stands upon nothing at all
Seen by those walking quickly by
In a shadow of its great monstrance
They dare speak not ill, but fully serve
A meal given of our last substance
To the hungry birds, poor and ravenous
Men in lines and cues, black and white
Given without measure, Given without measure,
Men in lines and cues, black and white
To the hungry birds, poor and ravenous
A meal given of our last substance
They dare not speak ill, but fully serve
In a shadow of its great monstrance
Seen by those walking quickly by
A castle which stands upon nothing at all.

Image credit: Justin Brown (flickr).
Cross-posted at A Spy In The House of God.

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