Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Anarcho-Leftists and Echo Chambers: Thoughts on Gonzo Times

Shane Thayer
About three weeks ago, I received an email from Shane Thayer, otherwise known as @PunkJohnnyCash on Twitter, directing me to an article entitled Libertarians, Race, and Gender.  He's an anarchist with left-leaning tendencies who runs two sites, Gonzo Times and Ideas & Minds, that I have frequently posted to as a representative of the libertarian viewpoint.  Shane's central thesis was the libertarians couldn't talk about race and gender without getting overwhelmingly defensive and upset. I was bemused at first, and responded by posting an article entitled Libertarians, Race, and Gender: Trannies on Stilts in response outlining my own beliefs on the matter.

However, upon visiting the site and realizing how the debate was going, I decided I'd had enough of staying largely on the sidelines during Shane's often epic rants about right-wingers and libertarians, which are often full of half-truths and generalizations, not to mention stunning levels of presumptuousness.  I happen to be pretty conservative in my home and militantly laissez-faire outside of it.  If you don't meddle with me, I generally won't meddle with you.  The older I've gotten, the less I tend to believe in the state or ideology as the solution to what ails mankind.  

Shane's posts on gender in particular tend to read like bad graduate student theses, full of musings on whether gender is real or an artificially constructed role perpetuated by the states.  Shane has no professional training in either physiology, sociology, or psychology, at least to my knowledge and from what I could glean as a regular reader of his posts.  There was one notable exception, to be fair, but I found the presumptuousness of the author cited here to be staggering.  Moreover, his posts do not often appeal to any empirical basis; rather, they cite the work of this or that ideologue from the left who feels or intuits that gender roles are just another form of statist oppression.  

That's the problem with Gonzo Times: it's a goddamned echo chamber for the most part.  I didn't mind, because it was an audience to get my material more widely distributed, and it was also a way to read different viewpoints.  As a result of my friendship and association with Shane, I started to gradually move away from statism altogether, for I had come to believe that the state was the problem.  In a series of posts, I started distinguishing between the nation as the group of people who make up a country and the state as the government they establish to ensure their interests and rights.  I started to self-identify as a minarchist libertarian.  I believed in very limited forms of government centered on infrastructure, commerce, and the enforcement of contracts and laws against fraud in trade.  

I did not agree with Shane's take on gender, which seemed to be that men and women were essentially the same but were conditioned to adopt roles of masculinity or femininity by some oppressive state bureaucracy lurking in the shadows.  I did agree with Shane's parenting decisions as a matter of Shane's autonomy as a parent.  One of Shane's sons had expressed an interest in a purse, and Shane bought him a purse as a gift.  I thought it was the coolest damned thing I'd ever heard of, given my own upbringing with a father who expected me to demonstrate only the manliest of interests in the manliest of ways.  There's nothing like being embarrassed by your father for an innocent query or question he takes as a sign of inappropriately feminine behavior or interest.  

But back to that notable exception, an article and video interview of one Dr. Cordelia Fine, who wrote a polemic entitled Delusions of Gender that argued the science upon which current views of gender as the product of innate difference within the female and male mind was, in essence, junk.  It's hard to buy the objectivity of an academic when she opens her views with the following preface: 

"From an early age, I was incapable of reading Enid Blyton books (which I adored) without offering up a scathing feminist critique to anyone within earshot: “Oh, yes. Of course the boys go first! In case it’s dangerous.” I vividly remember coming across a sentence that so outraged me – a boy telling his companion that she couldn’t take part in some adventure because she was a girl – that I stopped reading and spat on the offending lines.

Even today when reading to my own children it’s hard not to want to edit Blyton. When I do, my eldest, even with his eyes closed, knows it immediately: “Mum, are you swapping the characters around again?” he’ll ask the instant I put a girl behind the controls of the toy plane that will fly everyone to safety.

But how is it that even before he went to school my son was already so well versed in the different ways girls and boys are expected to behave? And how do I, as someone who once proudly spat on an Enid Blyton book, feel about how well these easy cliches thrive?"

Clearly, Dr. Fine has an axe to grind, and grind it she does, challenging the work of Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen, who has done a great deal of research suggesting that biology affects gender.  She challenges his methods with supposition, alleging that this or that social factor or shortcoming in research methodology is responsible for Baron-Cohen's conclusions.  The problem is that Fine's suppositions can be and were rebutted by Baron-Cohen, who in turn accused Fine of combining politics and science in order to reach her conclusions in his article in the November 2010  issue of The Psychologist.  

Baron-Cohen first confronts the simple illustration Fine uses of women who are told before taking a math test that women traditionally score better.  The women who then take the test then typically score better on the test than women traditionally do, and Fine cites the fact that a disappearing gender gap in test scores is possible through the power of suggestion as evidence of gender differences being solely due to the suggestion of society.  For feminists who have never moved beyond victim myths, Fine's arguments were pure catnip.  

However, Baron-Cohen's response was simple enough: he agrees with her that social influences can be relevant to disparate outcomes between the genders on tests.  Then he goes on to note that sex differences due to neonatal or prenatal influences can't be explained away by social influences, and Fine's attempts to challenge the methodology of the studies measuring such differences are little more than flawed ideologically minded attempts to fit science to her pre-existing belief. He then notes that Fine overlooked counterbalancing measures in a newborn study to come to her conclusion that the findings were flawed.  Fine's argument that the experimenters may not have been totally blind to the infants' gender is also debunked, because Baron-Cohen and his researchers included a panel of independent judges who only had videotapes of the infants' eye regions, thereby eliminating the possibility that they could know the child's gender. While noting that Fine is right that his newborn study needs to be independently replicated, his conclusion is damning: "...details are overlooked in order to fit her biology-free theory of human sex differences."  

Moreover, Baron-Cohen rightly criticizes Fine's ad hominem attempts to link modern day researchers who conflate gender with biology in any way to 18th and 19th century sexists by placing her critiques of those researchers alongside quotes from those old sexists.  Overlooking inconvenient facts and linking people you don't agree with to the sins of others in order to discredit them on some level is a common tactic at Gonzo Times, and I would know: Shane Thayer informed me that the only people who were defending me were all members of Stormfront, a white nationalist message board.  "Look man...your arguments are so evil that only white supremacists agree!"  

Additionally, I had commenters tell me that my type of woman was the sort of woman who had disappeared with the close of the 1950s: women who kept their mouths shut and did the housework.  Despite the fact that I never advocated stripping women of their ability to voice an opinion, or of their basic rights, that's the response I received.  Housework was never mentioned.  Even though the post had nothing to do with race, I had individuals making allusions to my apparent racist overtones.  

In retrospect, it's not surprising that Shane would have picked Cordelia Fine in order to give his views the imprimatur of empirical legitimacy.  They're both polemicists and ideologues who don't have a problem with omitting evidence that might challenge their pre-existing notions of the way things are and the way things ought to be.  

The reality of the matter is that Shane and his legions are bound and determined to hiss and boo at any suggestion that gender differences have a biological basis.  Even if the evidence is there to bolster the idea of a biological connection to gender roles, ideologues like Shane simply refuse to acknowledge it.  For gender fanatics, acknowledging a biological connection to gender is tantamount to admitting superiority for males and subordination for females.  There is no such inherent risk, of course, because being different does not make one better or worse.  There are women who are simply brilliant in their respective fields, and more brilliant than most or all of their male peers.  The fact that they are women does not make them more brilliant.  Likewise, there are men who are utterly stunning in their intelligence and ability within certain fields or areas of expertise, but no serious individual argues that their masculinity alone makes them more intelligent than their female peers.  

And what is more, no individual who wants to be viewed with credulity by intellectuals can get away with suggesting that privilege before the law ought to accompany gender, unless of course that individual is surrounded by pseudo-intellectual ideologues at sites like Gonzo Times.  These are the people who deign to tell you that you simply don't understand feminism if you disagree with it, as if no one who actually understood feminism could legitimately disagree.  They'll usually ask if you've read this book or that author, as though enlightenment is just a matter of a book you haven't been exposed to.  

As a general rule, I recognize when I am outnumbered and I tend to pick my fights accordingly.  Gonzo Times was riddled with feminist nonsense and white male guilt.  When Shane Thayer was queried as to why Gonzo Times didn't have any female or transgender writers, he didn't even defend himself from the implicit charge of sexism or bigotry, even though in my mind he was largely guiltless of any bigotry.  The man is tolerant to a fault. No, like every other liberal man, he immediately issued the requisite mea culpa in the form of a missive acknowledging how ashamed he was of the fact that Gonzo Times didn't have female or transgender writers.  He then proceeded to solicit writers who were either female or transgender solely on the basis of their female or transgender status, not because they actually had good content or anything notable to say.  No, no, no...simply by virtue of the fact that they were female or transgender, they must have something valuable to say!  Tautology passes as firm logic among leftists.  

We then had the requisite influx of commenters and a couple of new writers, who proceeded to blather on and on about patriarchy and phallic influences in society.  You would have thought they'd been slapped in the forehead with a penis repeatedly, as much as they whined about sexual degradation and phallic dominance.  I decamped for a while, because the air was getting a bit too overwrought for my tastes.  All the soothing talk of affirmation and support and self-congratulatory "aren't we all so tolerant over here at Gonzo Times" nonsense was a bit much for anyone with a gag reflex.  I'm sorry, but I don't deep throat bullshit.  

What brought me back was quite simple: I'd had enough of the misrepresentation and intellectual laziness.  I've always been a proud libertarian.  In point of fact, I don't think there's anything wrong with being a libertarian. Of the political parties out there, I'd never seen one that was more concerned with individual rights and more opposed to state abuse and overreach than the Libertarian Party.  One of the seminal moments of my political development was watching Harry Browne on CSPAN during the 2000 electoral season.  

At that moment, I was done with the Republican Party, even more done than I had been when it became evident that George W. Bush was on his way to the nomination.  The man was proud of being stupid, and I've never liked that quality in anyone, and especially not anyone in a position of great authority or power.  In my time as a libertarian, I didn't encounter the equivocation I often encountered during my time as a Republican.  There were no subtle whispers or hints about race and inferiority, and no wink and a nod elbows to the side after the use of some racial pejorative in private conversation.  

But over and over and over again, Shane Thayer assigned conservatism and libertarianism with ethnocentrism, racism, sexism, chauvinism, and the like.  He accused people who refused to talk about these topics in the way that he framed the debate of being too afraid to have an honest discussion discussion about those topics for fear that some latent bigotry would be manifested.  Well, let me make it perfectly clear why I didn't care to go into long treatises on race: I find the topic boring and ultimately irrelevant.  I don't care about race.  

I'm after a society in which the only race that counts is the human race, and I'm after practical methods of achieving this.  For Shane, this was never going to be enough, as the following quote indicates: 

"We tend to quickly address issues pertaining to race and gender with one word solutions. For those who are facing such issues one word is not sufficient. Our movement should be listening to those who have been impacted by these problems. The idea that we are just going to accept racism is absurd. The injustices of racism and sexism are the issues we should speak out against. We do not accept the injustice of rape, theft or murder. Why then should we accept these? If this is a movement that embraces oppression then I want nothing to do with it.

Well, duh.  We can speak out against it, but I don't have anything to confess or divulge.  I'm pretty strident in my views on equality, and my dislike of racial bigotry.  The most tolerant people in the room visibly blanche when I talk about my Final Solution for racists by stating my position that the only good racist is a dead racist.  Oh, no! We can condemn the racists, but we can't kill them or classify them as traitors for perverting freedom of speech to provide their ideology cover, even though success for that ideology in application means limited or non-existent rights for others outside of a favored class or group.  

There are those individuals who might approach me in later conversation and nod approvingly, but their support diminishes when I condemn fashionable forms of racism like the Nation of Islam and Zionism in the same strong terms I use to lambast the Ku Klux Klan and Christian Identity.  It's okay to dislike and condemn the white racists, but not the black or the Jewish racists.  They're from a historically oppressed class, and therefore they should be extended leniency to practice their hatred.  

For me, the idea that racism is wrong and morally evil is just self-evident.  I do not have to constantly demonstrate my bona fides by putting it out there over and over again.  At some point, the constant confession of racial tolerance every time a person of color enters a room or logs on to a site becomes a form of gross patronization.  I hate white people who feel the need to constantly advertise how open they are to minorities every single time they are in the presence of someone with darker skin.  How gauche can you be? Don't make an issue of their skin color, just treat them like a human being!  Would you make the same strained effort to address color if another white person entered the room?  Probably not.  And that's the crux of the issue, isn't it?  

I don't care to put forth my testimonials from gay friends who can vouch for how tolerant I am.  I don't have to constantly talk about how many gay or transgender people I've known or been friends with, or what I did in undergraduate as an SGA senator to help advocacy groups get funding.  I'm secure in who I am, and I know that anyone who spends any amount of time with me will realize that I treat everyone the same way: with caustic humor and acidic pessimism.  However, if you call me at 11 at night and need me to come pick you up off of the side of the road, I will.  

And then there are the methods of addressing race and sex-based injustices, which was a fundamental bifurcation between Shane and libertarians.  Shane couldn't understand why libertarians were so focused on economics as an explanation and a solution: 

"Many right libertarians spend a great deal of time reading Austrian theories and delving into economic discussions only to get the same redundant sound bytes from Rachel Maddow fans in response.  The frustration is there that people have not taken the time to learn about an issue or to truly comprehend what it is you are saying or where you claim the problems lie. They just come back with phrases that they hear recited daily in the news. The issue of race is often met with the same wall. Countless intellectuals have studied these issues and some libertarians almost steal the right wing responses to these issues they have not taken the time to research or learn about. Many libertarians can often become the sound bite replay they so often are frustrated with."  

And then there was this bit, which really chapped my ass: 

"We must not fool ourselves into thinking that they are issues we are immune to. I asked why certain people groups are less dominant in the libertarian and anarchist circles. This was often met with defense of what is. The libertarians seem to take an extremely right wing stance on the subject. They regurgitate the Rush Limbaugh take on racism. They wonder why people call them racist. If we are unwilling to discuss the issues how are we any different from the right wing who also refuses to discuss the issues?"

I'll put it in clear terms: motherfucker, I am not Rush Limbaugh.  I don't know any libertarians who cite to his authority or viewpoints, and I know a lot of libertarians.  In regards to the final query, all I can say is this: the right wing discusses the issue of race all the time, but they do so in a way that fundamentally conflicts with Shane's outlook.  Shane isn't interested in an actual debate, he's interested in a conversation that he sets the parameters for in order to try and direct the outcome towards his desired end.  Failing to meet Shane on his terms in a discussion is the same as refusing to discuss the issue at all.  I'll put it in clear terms: no, it fucking isn't.  It just means that I'm not going to be drawn into a debate over an issue in the context that you have framed it.  I'll discuss a topic however I see fit, and if you don't like it, kiss my ass.  The fact that I go off of your carefully crafted little script or map does not make me or my viewpoints wrong, it just means that I broke your carefully plotted course.  That happens in life, especially when you have an honest discussion with someone who disagrees with you.  

As for why libertarians focus on economics, I can sum that up rather quickly: we believe that capital ownership is the basis of individual power.  Economics is the means by which we ensure that individuals can, through their own effort and genius, achieve individual power on their merits.  It's key to the idea of libertarian emancipation.  

I can also sum up why Shane Thayer has a problem with this approach quickly and succinctly: at his core, Shane opposes individual ownership of anything. He believes in collective ownership, whereby no one owns anything, they just use it according to their need.  The reason for this is simple: Shane is an egalitarian, not just in his view that men should be equal before the law, but in his view that no man should ever be able to have more power than others.  

Shane believes in equality of outcomes. A man shouldn't be able to achieve inequality or superiority even if his superior position is a result of his own labor and intelligence.  No, we should all be consigned to the same uniform, homogenous existence, because inequality of any kind is obviously rooted in injustice and not merit. Even if it is merit, so what?  It will lead to the perpetuation of injustice, and therefore it must be banned!  

Collectivism isn't that bad at all! We must look to what unites us even as we stand on mutually exclusive ideals like individualism and collectivism.  Shane appeals to Taoism, and other fashionable ideas to make himself appear well-read, even though those Eastern philosophies are riddled with ridiculous gibberish.  I had a roommate in college who informed me that he self-identified as an Episcopalian Taoist because he agreed with certain tenets and aphorism like "Unlearn learning."  I paused for a moment, lost in the haze of marijuana smoke, and replied that unlearning learning was itself a learning process, and therefore inherently nonsensical as a concept.  He converted back to Episcopalian agnostic within five seconds.  

We've all met the people who appropriate bits and pieces of such claptrap, from their Feng Shui bookmarks to their Te of Piglet books.  They think that they're profound instead of convoluted.  For a while, I lightly ribbed Shane about his overwrought view of the world.  On Independence Day of last year, he informed me he wouldn't be going to eat meat at a Murder Fest.  You see, Shane is an ex-Marine who really regrets his time in the Marines.  Eat the apple, fuck the Corp, I'm told it goes.  I razzed him a bit about taking it too seriously, and he later confessed that he attended a Murder Fest, but he redeemed his moral compromise by taking veggie burgers.  

After a year of dealing with Shane's white penis heterosexual guilt complex, and hearing him misrepresent a libertarian movement he fundamentally misunderstood while slamming conservatism as an instrument of oppression, I'd had about enough.  Initially, I made a few comments in provocateur mode. I asked a simple question: "What is so bad about patriarchy, anyway?"  

The answer was as thunderously idiotic as any I'd seen on the comment boards over at Gonzo Times: "Because it's immoral."  That was it. There was no evidentiary basis for the statement, no attempt to construct a logical basis, just "it's immoral," and obviously so because the author of the response said it was.  It was then that I decided to do something more.  I wrote a post entitled "Why I am an Anarcho-Misogynist," and I posted it and promoted it liberally under anarchist, libertarian, progressive, and Tea Party hashtags on Twitter. It exploded to become the number one post in terms of hits on Gonzo Times for four days running.  Over 100 people clicked the Facebook like button on the post.  

The feminists came out swinging after an initial period of wariness, telling me that they hoped that I would be able literally suck my own dick the way I had figuratively done on the post.  Still others told me I should go to another site and post, and others lobbied for me to be removed from the site entirely.  Despite the fact that the closing paragraph of the post explicitly said that I was not an misogynist, and that I didn't hate women, none of the Philistine commenters seemed to have read that far into the post: 

"I do not hate women, of course, but to speak against feminism is often characterized as misogyny in and of itself, much like any query against the policies of Israel is reflexively labeled as Anti-Semitism. Such knee-jerk reactions are rooted in a surrender of intelligence and logic on the part of those who resort to such nonsense, but such is the way of our world. If opposing feminism makes me a misogynist, and seeking to tear down the state as a construct makes me an anarchist, then I am, proudly and forevermore, an anarcho-misogynistic capitalist."

The net result was the people actually began commenting and reading the site on a much higher volume, and my posts were over 30% of the traffic, which exceeded the hit totals of any reply post authored by those who supported feminism.  There were others who threatened to cancel their email subscriptions to the site because it had committed the cardinal sin of allowing a viewpoint like mine to be posted. Shane Thayer became increasingly nervous in his emails and tweets to me, but the reality of the matter was this: on every single comment that denigrated me personally, assigning racism or wishing upon me powers of auto-fellation, Shane clicked the like button.  I never cursed a single individual out, or referred to them with profanity.  I never endorsed anatomically impossible sex acts as a method of combatting their rhetoric.  

It was fine to curse, insult, and misrepresent the positions of the non-feminist, but if the non-feminist replied, well...that was another matter entirely. Shane asked that we keep the continuation of the debate confined to the comment section, and I was fine with that until he allowed others to post articles of rebuttal.  It was a blatant double standard that would become more pronounced as time wore on during the debate.  And to be honest, I laughed my ass off for the most part.  No one laid a glove on me.  Most of the individuals who replied with either comments or articles either revealed their inability argue without descending into ad hominem, or they just failed to make any real sense.  

If showing feminists in a bad light was my goal, I succeeded beyond my wildest dreams at that goal.  Feminists, if the posts at Gonzo Times are to be taken as any indicator, are inarticulate sloganeers who can't construct an argument based on logic or evidence to defend their positions.  Other than pat phrases and invective, they don't have much.  If cut and paste weren't options, most of them wouldn't have anything in the way of an argument at all.  

I'm no longer allowed to post at Gonzo Times, because I'm apparently a troll.  Despite the fact that my posts generally only ridiculed the idiocy or vulgarity of the commenters, who dogpiled on with a gusto, I was the one who got the boot.  I don't fit the purpose of Gonzo Times, which is to serve as an echo chamber for anarcho-leftism and its various pat phrases and battle cries: smash patriarchy! White male privilege!  Ra ra ra, sis boom bah!  

All I have to say is this: Shane, you've got a helluva constituency.  They hate free speech, can't debate worth a damn, and have little if any capacity for comprehending what they read.  But that's all right: some of them are women and gay, and therefore their opinions are automatically of equal merit to those of mine, no matter how badly written or substantively silly their content happens to be.  But I suppose they fit their purpose: mutual affirmation on a pseudo-intellectual level.  You aren't conceited at all; you're totally convinced.  It was a good ride while it lasted, but I'll ply my writing over here from now on and promote this site exclusively.  

To my regular readers, I hope you enjoyed the overview and found it somewhat informative both as to the subjects it touched on and as an explanation of the events occurring over the past four days at Gonzo Times.  I'll see you next week, as I have a fifty page paper to finish.  Well, I might see you Thursday night.  I think we all know I write voluminously and quickly.  Good night.  

Corporatism and Sex

Jehu Eaves wondered aloud on Twitter the other night how society could be anti-sexual and sluttish at the same time.  Well, generally speaking, the two are synonymous.  Slutty behavior has nothing to do with sex, which properly understood is the edification of the individual by another with whom the individual engages in intimate behavior.  It is mutually affirming, and ultimately a statement of respect when someone indicates a desire to engage in actual sex with you.  
Slutty behavior is the absolute antithesis of this understanding of sex in that an individual voluntarily engages in the pursuit of sex that does not affirm, does not edify, and does not add anything beyond the self-loathing that is already present.  To engage in sex is the highest form of self-edification, it is an acknowledgement of one's own power and worth with another who is like-minded.  To engage in slutty conduct is to acknowledge anti-worth. It is the equivalent of saying you are nothing more than a sponge or a rag, an object to absorb the bodily fluids and self-hatred of others who possess no esteem for themselves or for others.  
Slutty behavior is not promiscuity per se.  Some of the most affirming sexual encounters I've ever had came within contexts that would easily qualify as slutty or whorish according the puritanical mores of most Americans.  There isn't too much I haven't done in life from a sexual standpoint, but I can honestly say that sex was only ever degrading once.  
I enjoyed being wanted, and desiring the other person or persons I was involved with.  No one ever woke up  the next morning to gather their clothes and sneak out. We usually ate breakfast and had coffee together.  We felt beautiful while engaged in the act itself, and we felt worthwhile in each other's company.  
However, Jehu's take on sexuality was that capitalism had turned our society into an anti-sexual society.  I often quibble with other anarchists-I realize what an understatement this is, and you can leave a comment- about the meaning of capitalism, because what they call capitalism I see as something else entirely: corporatism.  
Capitalism as I have understood is about redressing scarcity with plentitude.  The capitalist merchant sells his product for the lowest possible price he can still turn a profit with.  This is directly out of Adam Smith, by the way, who is generally understood to be the father of capitalism as an economic theory.  
Contrast that with corporatism, which is about leveraging and arbitraging scarcity at all times.  But more than that, corporatism is about commoditizing everything to an absurd degree. If you can name or think of it, corporatism has tried to package and sell it in some form or another.  Emotions, feelings, belief, sex...it's all just a product, and nothing is sacrosanct or beyond commoditization.  We sell figurines of the Virgin Mary, for God's sakes.  If it wouldn't result in fatwas and mass lethal outrage, corporations would readily sell dolls of the Prophet Mohammed.  
Nowhere has the damaging reach of corporatism been seen more clearly than in the area of human sexuality.  Today, sex sells, or more appropriately, a stylized and altogether crass version of sex suitable for cellophane wrapping sells.  No longer is sex linked to affirmation or self-esteem; instead, sex is linked to a feeling of power.  In short, corporatism has taken sex and turned it into rape.  It's not about pleasure from empowerment or self-affirmation in the purest expression of mutual esteem among individuals engaged in a voluntary exchange of lovely physical reciprocation, it's about having power or dominance over other individuals.  
It's about owning another individual or being owned by another individual. When we talk about sex, we talk about it in terms that are blatantly misanthropic and reductionist.  I tapped that ass, or I fucked that pussy, or I rode that dick.  One is reduced to the sum of the body parts involved, and there is no indication of the person attached to those body parts.  
The talk you hear during sex is an extension of this: grunted orders or commands to perform certain acts as though the other party is little more than a servant of whim. It's about dominating the other party, subjugating them and yoking them to some concept of self-gratification without any duty to reciprocate.  It isn't about even liking the other party...it's just about fucking them.  You like them as an object: you got to the club or the bar, you see the model you want, you negotiate an exchange, take it home, and then send it back.  It's an itch and they're nothing more than a back-scratcher.  Once the itch is gone, you put the back-scratcher away.  
It is not an accident that sexuality in modern times has come to resemble pornographic sex: rough, abusive encounters whereby the contempt of the participants for one another is quite evident.  You see this in sexting scandals among adolescents, who clearly have no esteem whatsoever for their partners.  Third party remarks only further confirm this, as individuals are held up to ridicule in the most invidious terms by former sex partners. 
In essence, these individuals have little if any respect for the object of their desire, because the person is little more than a receptacle for their own self-loathing, which has over time become coupled with their most basic sexual urges and drives.  Intercourse is less an affirmation of themselves or the other parties, and more a way of pouring out their wrath.  We associate sex with aggression as a result. 
To be certain, there is nothing wrong with certain types of sex if the two parties enjoy and consent to those types of sex, so long as they are both affirmed in their identity and intimate personal views by the acts.  Corporatism isn’t interested in selling affirmation; it’s interested in selling power or the appearance of power.  A man’s potency or merit is based on how much ass he can pull.  A woman’s value or significance is distilled down to how many men she can string along, to the quantity of men whom are entranced by her sexuality.  She isn’t possessed of anything beyond sexuality that might entrance a man.  Her intellect is not a commodity worth accessing. 

As a society and a culture, we are entitled to an economics that affirms our values and adheres to our mores.  We have anything but that in corporatism.  Rampant fraud and total dishonesty in accounting are the normative standard in our markets, and the legacy is poisonous: rampant fraud and total dishonesty are now the norms in our society as well.  Nothing is shocking anymore. 
Far from serving our interests by providing us a means of addressing scarcity in food or energy or shelter, our economic reality is designed to promote its interests at our expense.  Forty years ago, excessive interest rates on credit cards were statutorily banned as usury.  Banks that wished to circumvent these statutory restrictions utilized their lobbying power in states like Delaware and the Dakotas.  After achieving the repeal of usury laws in those states, the banks headquartered in those states and solicited credit card applications from other states that prohibited usury. 
When the states with usury laws objected, the banks challenged the usury laws in court and prevailed.  The net effect was that the legislature of Delaware was empowered to make a law that obviated the democratic laws of Georgia or California.  Mind you, we aren’t talking about an issue of rights and the recognition of a contract entered into in one state by recently relocated individuals, we’re talking about an end-around run by a bank where a state’s laws are concerned in order to achieve the bank’s desired result over the democratic consent and values of the people in a targeted state. 
This is not capitalism.  There was no scarcity of high interest credit, and even if there was, a compelling interest existed to prevent the utter excess and proliferation of high interest credit lines that have become the norm today.  For starters, it is not in the interest of states and their people to allow financial institutions to pursue ruinous product lines that result in widespread bankruptcies and perpetual indebtedness.  The burden on courts and the seven year impairment of commerce that results from a bankruptcy are staggering. 

But such is the way of corporatism, which proceeds without regard for societal or cultural mores of fairness and equity, or even ideas of prudent behavior and conduct, towards a Darwinian ideal where their voracious appetite for booking excessive debt relative to consumer income as an asset is perversely seen as a strength.  The individuals will not be able to pay back what they owe, and the end result is likely to be a bankruptcy that forces a write-off.  Enough write-offs and defaults result in a publicly financed bailout for private financial institutions who have the audacity to request a bailout for the mess of their own making, even while they simultaneously argue that debtors should be treated onerously in bankruptcy or through garnishment and forfeiture proceedings. 
No executive is ever required to divest his ill-gotten bonuses when profits fail to materialize as a result of write-offs.  The nature of a corporation is that liability is confined to the corporation while the individual actors can haul off vast bonuses and stock options as their own for all time, even though the strategies that led to those bonuses and options bankrupted their company and stripped their shareholders of equity. 
Corporatism is not content to merely make its money and move on; it requires a paradigm-shift in norms whereby previously disdained behaviors become the new norm.  The devolution is perversely termed progress, as though up could ever become down when relative positions remain constant and unchanged!  That is the great demand of corporatism: it requires you to bend your thinking so that what was moral for innumerable yesterdays is immoral or antiquated today.  And why? Because they say so!  There is nothing beyond a tautology upon which we are required to found or base our conclusions! 
Corporatism does not conform to or acknowledge social norms set by majorities or rights held by minorities.  It seeks to subvert every item it touches not merely for profit, but for maximum profit.  Therein lies the critical difference between capitalism, which emphasizes a natural price that is the lowest possible price a merchant can sell his wares for and subsist, and corporatism, which posits a extremist plausibility in pricing whereby the consumer pays the absolute maximum he can pay without immediately collapsing into insolvency.  The balance, as you might imagine, is tenuous and unstable. 
And where sexuality is concerned, corporatism has turned us into absolute Luddites in the eyes of those who deign themselves to be beyond Puritan mores and ideals, virtual Supermen and women of sexual emancipation.  With half of the population being born out of wedlock, the freedom is breathtaking to behold.  With venereal diseases wiping out entire communities of people, or at the very least condemning them to a life of chronic illness, we’ve never been so liberated and enslaved at the same time.  We will have total self-determination in fucking, and we will need the likes of Valtrex to deal with the aftermath or Gardasil to prevent issue. 
Either way, the corporatists sell us the idea of sex without consequence or significance. We have Rachel Green from Friends, who has a child out of wedlock while managing to go from coffeehouse waitress to Ralph Lauren executive.  This is the extreme outlier of possibilities; so extreme, in fact, as to be utterly implausible outside of the world of sitcoms. 
From the same show, we have Ross Gellar, who manages to get married and divorced three times with two children, and he has tremendous success as a paleontologist living a swinging single life in a fabulous apartment.  No man paying child support will tell you of his tremendous disposable income. 
Simply enough, the image of infidelity, promiscuity, and out of wedlock conception put forth by corporatists in our entertainment has little if anything to do with representing life, and everything to do with influencing life.  Art no longer imitates life; it simply tries to redefine life.  One could very well argue that we have no art left, because today’s entertainment qualifies as little more than propaganda. 
There are cogent objections to be made and messages to be conveyed through the various artistic mediums, but the dissident voices that do arise and make it to the forefront are utterly pathetic and fey in their opposition to the dominant paradigm.  That is why they are allowed to emerge: to have the appearance of a counterpoint, while representing that counter point in as unattractive and idiotic a light possible.  The din is overwhelming. 
Say what you will about the ideals of fidelity and monogamy, or sexual exclusivity in a relationship among consenting parties…mock it all you want, but it will always be the ideal among those who aspire to fulfillment in relationships.  You can only be objectified for so long before you yearn to be something more than a piece of ass.  Jenna Jameson got married. 
One is not quaint or antiquated for aspiring to something beyond sluthood, or conformity to the corporatist view of sexuality, destructive as that view is to human health and well-being.  One is cognizant of one’s own self-interest and desire: to be esteemed by others and to have one’s esteem of others deemed as a thing worth having. 
Society is not anti-sexual because it is capitalist; it is anti-sexual because we no longer have the capacity to rightly identify things for what they are. A slut is no longer a slut; rather, she is empowered and an owner of her sexuality.  A philanderer is no longer a philanderer; rather, he is a man in search of fulfillment who is confused about where to look.  Despite the fact that the same familiar nooks and crannies and patterns of investigation do not yield affirmation or esteem, these people do not alter their behavior in acknowledgement that their methods are abysmal failures.
The destruction of meaning and significance are key to corporatism’s strategy and success, which lies in a strategy of arbitraging differánce in order to achieve deferral to its objectives.  Corporatists play both thesis and anti-thesis against each other in order to achieve synthesis in a herculean Hegelian effort to refashion the world after their ideal.  Despite the fact that such efforts are destructive of the mores, norms, and ideals of democratic society, individual rights, and human life itself, corporatists proceed without concern.  Theirs is perhaps the most sociopathic ideology and applied theory ever developed, and the chief sign of its success is that they are not denigrated for what they are: you blame capitalism for their errors because you do not possess to requisite tools to strip away their obfuscation and subterfuge in order to call a spade a spade.  
Moreover, you lack the ability to assign synonymous meaning to both slut and anti-sex as concepts.  Properly understood and employed, sex is the fulfillment and affirmation of those human beings fortunate enough to have it.  Properly understood, slutty behavior and anti-sexual behavior are the exact same thing in that both involve the opposite of fulfillment and affirmation of those human beings miserable enough to consign themselves to something short of sex. 
Welcome to our world and its correct understanding.  As deplorable as it is, at least you can know what it is.  Perhaps you might even be able to contribute to changing it for the better.  But you will never make progress towards change until you recognize the truth of what you are dealing with: a pernicious theory of conduct that aggresses against all that is sacred and decent in humanity to commoditize us all into objects. 
Corporatism is the single greatest threat to humanity today, and it is why fighter jets are roaring over the Libyan sky today even though the countries who sent those jets into flight were previously customers and supporters of the Libyan regime.  Inconsistencies are not really all that inconsistent, when you consider the common underlying thread of interest: arbitraging any situation for maximum benefits no matter the side effects or consequences for human life.  

Monday, March 21, 2011

Loaded Terms

Let me begin by refining the term anarcho-misogynism and providing some context. For over a year now, I've been a proud contributor to Gonzo Times and other sites like Ideas and Minds.  I've written at sites that are conservative, libertarian, and hodgepodge in nature.  This site falls into the latter category.

A few weeks ago, PunkJohnnyCash, the owner and founder of Gonzo Times, solicited a call for a dialogue on race and gender.  His specific statements, which I disagreed with then and still do disagree with now, asserted that libertarians are reticent to talk about race and gender.  I'll talk about race and gender with anyone.  I've been a libertarian since 2000 and have gradually moved towards anarchism over the past year or so.  The great issue that I've had as a libertarian talking about race and gender with anarchists and those on the left isn't that I won't talk about the issues; it's that I don't agree with their take on the issues.

Hatred and bigotry are wrong.  If you feel like carving out an exception in the law for classes of individuals is right or advisable, then you and I are going to be at odds.  I hew to the dissent in Plessy v. Ferguson authored by Justice Harlan, who wrote the following:

" But in view of the Constitution, in the eye of the law, there is in this country no superior, dominant, ruling class of citizens. There is no caste here. Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law. The humblest is the peer of the most powerful. The law regards man as man, and takes no account of his surroundings or of his color when his civil rights as guaranteed by the supreme law of the land are involved."
                                    -Plessy v. Ferguson 163 U.S. 559.

The issue was never one of a lack of dialogue; instead, it was one of a lack of agreement.  The anarcho-leftists who predominate on this site are full of self-congratulation when it comes to their enlightened sense of tolerance, especially the males, who pride themselves on their willingness to surrender dominance, a process that seems to involve allowing female feminists to make unchallenged statements about patriarchy and gender oppression unfounded on any empirical base.  What hooey.

It has become as fashionable today to denigrate men as it was forty years ago to condescend to women.  To argue with facts or reason that a woman's inequality is a product of her own individual decisions is to be met with a stentorian cry and chorus that one is a misogynist for not ceding enough credit to society's oppressive view of women.  Never mind that women have over half of the children in this country out of wedlock, even when they could procure either birth control, an abortion, or abstain from sexual intercourse with men who refuse to assent to the use of condoms.

Women insist that they are empowered on the one hand, but victimized on the other. They are equally as capable as any man, yet seemingly unable to see through the lechers and cads who tell them that prior to orgasm, a withdrawal will be made.  It's the fault of the man for lying, not the woman for believing an obviously disingenuous and dangerous claim.  Pregnancy is not the only issue at stake here: in this day and age, one plays Russian roulette by not reducing the risk of contracting venereal disease through the use of condoms.  It is that simple.

Anyone who refuses to use condoms, or who assents to sexual intercourse without the use of a condom is not a victim.  They are a knowing participant in whatever consequence arises, regardless of their gender.  Unless the participants have a current blood test on hand to exchange as proof of their disease-free state, they have knowingly and willingly engaged in a risky transaction, the least consequence of which is an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy.

Feminism, like any other ideology promoting equality under the veneer of exceptionalism, is dangerous for the society that tolerates and encourages it.  I am on record as saying in public that the only good racist is a dead racist for precisely this reason.  Those who advocate for spheres of exceptionalism, for tiered access to the rights guaranteed to individuals by the Constitution, are enemies of the republic and opponents of equal standing before the law.  The rationale for supporting such nonsense is utterly irrelevant.

Inequality now does not serve as a corrective for inequality then. There is no restorative power to the inversion and perpetuation of injustice against those classes of individuals who were previously dominant.  There is only vindictiveness dressed up as redress.  For the law to possess any efficacy as a binding force around which a society or culture can coalesce into a coherent whole, there must be equal standing before that law regardless of individual social, economic, religious, sexual, or gender standing.  The law cannot be an agent of privilege for one group of individuals at the expense of all others and be rightly seen as anything other than an agent of tyranny.
We have codified rights precisely to check the potential for the seizure of the law by narrow interests who achieve electoral majorities in order to legitimate their bigotry through statutes.  Individual rights are sacrosanct, no matter what some statist may tell you about compelling public or state interests. The only compelling interest that exists, the only reason states and governments are established and instituted among men, is to see to it that the rights and liberties of individual members of a group are respected and defended at all times.  Any government destructive of these ends should and must be abolished for liberty to prevail.

To say that state interests and individual rights are mutually exclusive is to betray the fact that a state has gone afoul of its purpose and crossed over into tyranny, where the interests of the state trump the rights of the individual.  Likewise, those individuals who appeal to universal freedoms and rights in order to provide their bigoted rhetoric a cover undermine the very rights they appeal to and their exercise of rights is a seditious and treasonous perversion of individual liberty in order to enable the overthrow of individual freedom so that classist privilege can be erected through the law.

I do not personally recognize that the First Amendment or any other amendment of the Constitution provides cover to groups like the Nation of Islam, the Ku Klux Klan, the Aryan Nation, or Christian Identity precisely for this reason.  If they succeed in utilizing rights to cover against any criticism or obstruction of their end goals, the net result will be that the rest of us do not have the same rights they possess.  We will be reduced to a subordinate status before the law, and they will be elevated to a favored status before the law.

Rights do not exist to enable such groups or individuals to overthrow the universal coverage of individual rights and equal protection of the law.  They are not a tool by which one can come to anti-rights and unequal standing before the law.  I stand against feminism and other ideologies precisely for this reason.

For me, it is sufficient to be committed to human rights without carving out some exception for groups within humanity who need more commitment or devotion than others.  Those who put forth such preposterous positions betray their total contempt for the idea of equal rights when doing so, and to the extent that they are benign in their intent, they betray their rhetorical ignorance and utter inability to employ logic and comprehension.

There are a number of fundamental absurdities I find throughout the spectrum of human ideologies; and while I am outspoken, I generally tended to live and let live until PunkJohnnyCash invited the dialogue on the specific issues of gender and race. Feminism in all of its various forms is a manner of connoting exceptionalism for women, in much the same way masculism attempts to achieve the same nonsense for men as though equal rights for either gender are somehow mutually exclusive ideals.

The end result is a fundamentally unworkable system of theories that cannot be put into action without their underlying absurdities being manifested in the form of injustice.  Say that a woman has exclusive sovereignty over her body, and you deprive the man whose genes are one-half of the life growing inside of her of any input or determination as to the fate of that life, to say nothing of the unborn child itself.  There is no attempt made to facilitate some compromise or middle ground, no rational or reasonable approach whereby two adults who were capable of engaging in intercourse can sit down and work the matter out through mediation.

No, there are only absolutes and extremes.  Any man who wants input on the outcome or solution is seen as an oppressor, but let him utilize the argument of abstention after the child is born, and you will seem him vilified for the abstention feminists claim as the ideal while the pregnancy is in progress!  No, he must request politely to voice his opinion while the woman is pregnant and accept that he may be pointedly answered in the negative as to permission to voice his input as a father!  But when the time comes to pay for the pregnancy or the delivery or the support of the child, he is belligerently told that he must sacrifice not half of the cost of raising the child, but half of what he is able to pay according to his means, even though this may mean that the mother pays far less than half of the actual cost of supporting the child.

Let us not even speak of custody arrangements or parental rights, which are in practice totally slanted towards the mother in acknowledgment of stereotypical views that men cannot be as good as women with children.  Let a man say that any man can be as good of a parent as any woman, and feminists will recoil at the notion as sexist and downright bigoted.  However, we're all equal, and gender roles are artificial constructs constructed by society alone, right?

Let a specific man say that he can and will be a better parent than a particular woman, and he will be met with skepticism and a high bar to clear.  The assumptions almost always fall in favor of the woman.  I understand fully the implications of what I say and author, and I can put forth loads of empirical evidence and data to back up what I say and write.  No opinion that I hold is simply held out of instinct.  I spend a great deal of time and effort formulating my beliefs, and I am reluctant to commit to a particular outlook unless I feel that the evidence and the data bear out my conclusions and convictions.

I object to a society where any inversion of gender roles that reveals the utterly asinine arrangements of feminism is shouted down as heretical and even evil.  If you think for a moment that Elin Woods, professional golfer worth north of a billion dollars, would have had to pay her husband a marriage settlement north of $150 million, I have news for you: you're an idiot.  Not only would Elin have escaped for far less than Eldrick Tiger Woods did, if Tiger Woods had dreamed of requested such a settlement and custody of the children, the chorus of ridicule and outrage would have been overwhelming.

Moreover, feminists on this site would have been in the vanguard of those individuals who directed the ridicule and invective.  After the past few days of witnessing your reactions, there isn't a doubt in my mind of that.  You yourselves have expectations for men that are deeply conventional, with a twist: you expect men who have never hit a woman, cheated on a woman, or engaged in any form of spousal or partner abuse to spend their time groveling and atoning for the sins of their fathers and society at large.  You expect them to simply agree with you when you talk about patriarchy and make blanket statements and generalizations.

I am a contrarian, and a man, and a man as I have understood it is someone who fulfills his responsibilities and stands on his convictions when those convictions are based on some form of empirical justification.  A man challenges convention, disputes that the world is flat when he has evidence to believe that it is not, and he stands against the dominant institutions and beliefs of his time when he has evidence on which to base his contrarian viewpoint.  A man is not afraid to look the arbiters of conventional wisdom in the face and say "You're wrong."
The arbiters of conventional wisdom on this site are overwhelmingly leftist in their leaning.  To the extent that the site's founder is a man deeply committed to the idea of free intellectual exchange, I have been allowed to continue writing on this site.  It is my understanding that some of you have chosen to express your displeasure with his tolerance of my dissenting viewpoint by unsubscribing to this site.  You aren't hurting me a bit, nor are you making a principled stand.

You are, however, showing yourselves to be every bit as petulant and churlish as those right wingers you claim to despise.  A few months ago, I parted ways with a site called Dirty Rotten Scoundrel after the owner of that site, a man named Rich Hilts, objected to my strongly worded criticism of the GOP's feckless and incompetent leadership.  I had critiqued the GOP as a false advocate of smaller government on the grounds that it preferred small government in the boardroom and big government in the bedroom, among other sins too numerous to list here.

Rich told me it was time we go our separate ways, and he revoked my log-in privileges.  It was time, he said, to support the GOP going forward and toe the party line.  I told him the oxygen was still circulating to my brain, so I hadn't yet achieved that capacity for conformity.   We went our separate ways.

Regardless of what the ultimate outcome of this dispute is, and even if I do wind up being asked or told to leave Gonzo Times, I will do so in defiance.  If you have a problem with what I write, my name is at the top and no one forces you to read it.  The title of the initial post that stirred controversy was quite indicative of the contents.  There are times when I read things about the right or conservatives or libertarians on here that I find to be deeply misrepresentative of the positions of those groups, but the price of living in a free and open society or writing on a website that hosts a wide variety of views is being challenged and even offended at times.

I am pugilistic.  If you advocate the censorship of my viewpoint simply because it offends your sensibilities or it doesn't conform to your normative standards, I have only one thing to say to you: fuck off.  I will continue to write in an uncompromising voice wherever I wind up, and I will not tailor my content to the objections of ninnies who demand absolute tolerance for the views they personally espouse while whining about the need to deny the same tolerance to the views they don't like.  I'm Jay Batman, and if you don't like it to the point of advocating for the owner of Gonzo Times to stifle my voice, kiss my lily-white Irish ass.  I've never done the same to any of you no matter how much I might have disagreed with the content or substance of what you write.

I speak in loaded terms and write in dynamite.  I hope it blows your mind apart.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Inside Job: A Critical Analysis of a Documentary

No idea that house behind him is in
foreclosure...poor little bastard.
Having recently watched the documentary Inside Job, I had to first laugh and then write about how horribly off the mark the documentary was about the events leading up to our financial crisis.  Anyone who has examined the financial crisis in any amount of detail can only come away with one rational explanation for what occurred between 1998-2007: we were intentionally and maliciously driven into an engineered collapse.  

One of the more surreal moments within the documentary comes when the assertion is made that the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department didn't understand the full impact of forcing Lehman Brothers into declaring bankruptcy.  The makers of this documentary expect the viewer to believe that a room full of the smartest people in finance and economics, including individuals with vast experience in international banking, were not aware of the fact that British bankruptcy law would require Lehman to shut down immediately upon its entry into bankruptcy.  To those who do believe this, I can say the following without any equivocation or reservation whatsoever: bullshit.

They knew.  They knew, and in spite of the narratives being spun about how incompetent people like Greenspan, Bernanke, Summers, Rubin, and Paulson were, the fact of the matter is that they are not incompetent.  You don't get to the top of Citigroup and Goldman Sachs by being a dipshit or a backslapper.  These people were fully aware of the impact of both deregulation or non-regulation in the areas of derivatives and the financial markets in general, and they wanted collapse to occur.

For the better part of the past century, we have been moving inexorably towards centralization in our regulatory schemes, both at the national and international levels.  The idea is to move financial, economic, trade, and environmental regulation out of national legislatures and into international regulatory bodies who do not have to be bothered with messy issues like local constituencies and national objections to the agenda of international regulatory consolidation.  The individuals and groups who favor this believe, in spite of all of the evidence and commonsense objections to the contrary, that a single reserve currency for the world is a good idea.

Let's talk about single reserve currencies and why they are an awful idea.  If you peg the entire world economy to one currency, you essentially ensure that the world will be yoked to the national economic fortunes of whatever nation or entity issues the currency.  However they go is the way you will go.  Additionally, unipolar currency structures do not allow for flexibility in adjusting for trade deficits or liquidity crises, as our friends in Europe are realizing.  The nations of Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain cannot inflate their way out of this crisis with their national currencies because they no longer have national currencies.  This may seem like a good thing, but consider this: the only reason the United States isn't in that list of nations is because it has the world's reserve currency in the dollar and it isn't a part of some supranational trade entity operating under a single currency like the European Union.

Having your own fiat currency is like having an assault weapon in the global economy: it means that you're armed and ready to rumble in the face of a threat.  If you don't have your own fiat currency, it's as if you and your trade bloc partners are all sharing one gun, but you can't come to a consensus about how to use that gun. Some of you really need to shoot that gun to the point of emptying the clip, but others aren't so willing to empty the clip.  Still others don't want to fire the gun at all!  The end result is what you have in the European Union: paralysis.

Despite this basic and simple to understand concept, the financiers of the world like the idea of national paralysis because it affords them the ability to control and manipulate outcomes.  There is no rush to regulate banks in Greece or Spain or Portugal or Ireland.  No, no, no...the rush is to cut government spending on education, healthcare, and regulatory enforcement, because we're one crisis away from manufacturing consent to a laundry list of corporatist wishes and dreams.

Laughing his balls off saves money on
neutering.  In this economy, every bit helps!
Naomi Klein, who is a leftist ninny from Canada, happens to redeem herself from time to time by writing some pretty decent polemics that cite actual facts.  One of her better pieces of work was The Shock Doctrine, in which she presented actual instances where people affiliated with the Canadian government, the IMF, and the World Bank actually advocated engineering crises to achieve desired outcomes.  You see, in times of great desperation, you can achieve political consensus for virtually any proposal, so long as you present it as a way out of the abyss.

This is what is happening in our markets today.  There is a reason why unions are being systematically dismantled, and while I might happen to think that there is some poetic justice at play given my own long-documented dislike of unions, the underlying reason for dismantling unions is quite simple: they present a possible political obstacle to cuts in spending on items like education and healthcare.  They can threaten to go on strike.  However, if you remove their ability to do so by making collective bargaining illegal or by giving the government the power to declare strikes illegal, you remove their ability to obstruct said cuts.  If you cut their wages and salaries, that's even better, because then they have less money to buy advertising and advocate for their point of view.

The simple truth is that in Wisconsin, where public pensions are said to be a problem, they really aren't.  I'd love it if they were, but they simply are fiscally solid.  There are problem states out there, but Wisconsin isn't one of those states.  California, on the other hand...but I digress.  Wisconsin has enough money in its pension to pay 96% of its existing obligations to beneficiaries even if the pension plan never collects another dime.  That's an extraordinary reality, one that really illustrates how prudently Wisconsin has managed its pension investment strategies.  However, it could be better, if Wisconsin would stop consenting to being ripped off in fees by the likes of Goldman Sachs.  Even with Goldman Sachs receiving a generous portion of the revenues, Wisconsin's pension plan is in fantastic shape.

Social Security, another program that I despise and have advocated abolishing, is also in decent shape due to the fact that it is a pay as you go program.  Any problems with Social Security are due more to Congress pilfering the surpluses generated by Social Security since Reagan raised the withholding rate, and due less to any systemic flaw.  I oppose Social Security because it is simple wealth redistribution, not because it has any structural flaw in its funding.  Even if the program doesn't collect enough in revenues to pay current beneficiaries due to high unemployment, Congress owes Social Security over $2.6 trillion.  That's how much in IOUs Congress has accrued through borrowing from Social Security over the past 25 years.

Now, you may think that privatization is the answer, but privatization doesn't address the fact that you still have a wealth redistribution scheme whereby current wages are robbed to pay current retiree benefits.  Additionally, you still have a massive federal program in place.  No one who advocates for privatization is anything other than a closet liberal or leftist, because the point of the conservative or libertarian positions is to eliminate federally-enabled and state-coerced wealth redistribution altogether.

We're seeing Pell Grants cut, while we continue to expend more than the rest of the world combined on our defense budget.  Our three biggest threats, Iran, North Korea, and what used to be Iraq, together possess a combined military expenditure that is less than one-sixtieth of our own expenditure.  Simply put, if we can't defend ourselves against the pathetic threat they constitute with their pitifully meager resources relative to our own largesse, we're not getting enough bang for our buck.

Oh, and to bring this back to the financial institutions, one of the more salient points that Inside Job makes is that Credit Suisse enabled Iran's development of a nuclear program by assisting Iran financially with a money laundering scheme in violation of international laws and sanctions.   Not to worry: Credit Suisse paid a fine for helping an Anti-Semitic regime of religious fanatics get closer to developing a nuclear bomb.  Citigroup helped launder Mexican drug money as well.  Don't worry, they paid a fine for their role in enabling Mexico's demise into a narco-state.

The simple truth is that the groundwork is being laid for the next financial collapse, and with every possible safety net in tatters, and our debt no longer viable on the bond market, we will have no choice but to capitulate to whatever package of reforms is foisted on us by our new international masters, who will make their bailout of the United States and every other nation contingent on absolute freedom for financial institutions to engage in money laundering for madmen and their regimes, along with mortgage and securities fraud.

When all is said and done, we will have one single reserve currency, only it will not be the dollar or the yen or yuan or the pound or any other currency linked to a national central bank. It will be controlled and issued by an international bank whose directors will not be going before Congress to face the likes of Alan Grayson.  There will be no Audit the International Central Bank movement with any real traction, and that's the point: to move currency away from democratic input or consent, and to destroy national sovereignty in order to make your government and your vote for that government largely irrelevant to the larger scheme of things.

Inside Job was probably written and created by well-meaning but ignorant individuals who didn't know any better.  Most liberals and progressives have the best of intentions but lack the requisite understanding of blunt reality necessary to call a spade a spade.  They're worried about looking like tin foil hat conspiracy theorists, but I don't have that problem.  I'm a lowly law student at third-tier law school who no one of consequence listens to anyway.  What can I say? I picked the institution that offered the best package of aid and the opportunity to graduate with the least debt and the best skill set insofar as writing was concerned.  Guns up!

Now, this may seem like a bleak assessment, and it is.  However, there are simple ways to fight back.  One is to drop out of the charade altogether.  Stop paying your revolving credit bills.  Stop paying your mortgages.  Buy lots of guns and ammunition, and when your bank tries to foreclose on your home, demand that they produce the note.  They likely won't be able to do so, so the net effect will be that they are legally prohibited from foreclosing.  If you have a moral objection to this, just realize that the financial sector took you for $23.7 trillion in loans, guarantees, and bailouts for roughly $7 trillion worth of bad mortgages.  In a street fight, you don't worry about fighting fair.  You worry about surviving the fight.

In 2012, you need to prepare to vote every last one of those bastards out at the local, state, and federal levels.  This partisan loyalty or lesser of two evils approach isn't going to cut it.  It's time to send a message to D.C. that we've had enough.  One thing we can all agree on is that as bad as Bush was, Obama has been about the same or worse depending on what metric you use.  And the GOP has been utterly feckless while in power, and more interested in grandstanding than actually moving forward to forge any kind of progress in dealing with the debt.  The proposals generated by the GOP have been largely tailored to blow smoke up the ass of the Tea Party, because there is absolutely no chance in hell that any of those proposals will make it through a Democratic controlled Senate or over an Obama veto. If you can look at the current slate of GOP presidential candidates and believe that a win is possible in 2012, I'd like to sell you some credit default swaps from AIG for GM's bankruptcy cancelled debt.  

Well, it's time to use our nuclear option and just vote the incumbents out as a whole, regardless of party affiliation or prior record.  We need a fresh start, and the electoral equivalent of a revolution.  Join up for Kick Them Out 2012!

Well, I couldn't resist...could I?
To recap: Inside Job is an ultimately incomplete and ineffective analysis of the economic crisis that misidentifies the cause of the crisis as incompetence rather than malicious intent.  We're seeing the groundwork for the next collapse and the engineered consent that will follow being laid right now.  Fighting back means playing dirty and refusing to pay your bills in order to expedite the economic collapse in a way that defies the controlled demolition of the world economy.  Guns are good.  Voting against incumbents in 2012 regardless of prior record or partisan affiliation is even better.  The GOP is just playing us all.  Kick Them Out 2012 is the tentative name for an anti-incumbent movement in the 2012 election.

I'm Jay Batman, and I remain easy, breezy, and full of verve.  Good night, and Godspeed!