Kick the Puppy Episode 17 Reply

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All the crazy things corrupt public officials bought with your money this year, IRS plans to take taxpayer money but not issue refunds during shutdown, hundreds of TSA screeners working without pay call in sick at major airports, former Manson follower granted parole, driver arrested for testing positive for “every possible detectable drug,” Florida man worried about vampires burns down his house, “Florida man” in general, Florida woman attacks parents after they refuse to take her to Outback Steakhouse, man makes pipe guns and sells them to gun buy back programs, high risk ATF targets, Yemen clocks over 52,000 attacks total 50 airstrikes per day on average for 2018, China lands spacecraft on the moon, the cost of living has risen faster in Seattle than in any other city, astronaut accidentally called 911 from space, living paycheck to paycheck is disturbingly common, Dr. He and CRISPR, the new wave of sobriety start-ups shaking up the 12-step model.

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Lessons From Rojava Reply

A very important read. Absorb every word of this.

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

This holiday season was unusually kind to the anti-imperialists among us. Trump shocked the world the week before Christmas by actually putting America first for a change and calling for the immediate withdrawal of the some 2000 troops still illegally occupying North Eastern Syria. Regardless of his motives, which I’m sure had very little to do with anything vaguely resembling the Christmas spirit, it’s hard to deny that this executive decision was a decisive win for peace.

Hard but not impossible. The doves of the progressive left have enthusiastically jumped through their own pinched assholes to stomp on McGovern’s grave with talking points straight out of Karl Rove’s playbook. Sadly, their onslaught of non-stop pro-war agit-prop, aided and abetted by the rabid war junkies of Trump’s own administration, may have worked. The perpetually spineless Trump has moved the goal post for the pull-out from 30 days to 90 days to 3 months to ‘maybe later, we’ll see…’

Regardless, the rift within the Pentagon is likely irreversible and the chaos its caused can only be interpreted as the official failure of America’s 6 year imperial project for the region. Being the peace-loving bomb-thrower that I am, the one part of this splendid fiasco that feels truly tragic to me is the increasingly likely implosion of the Rojava Revolution.

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The Devil’s Triangle? 1

communism never triedfascism never tried

My reading of the history of the 20th century is that Capitalism, Communism and Fascism were merely different points on the same triangle that deserved each other. All three were responsible for tens of millions of deaths.

General McChrystal and General Lee Reply

It’s interesting how even the leadership of the military caste has bought into the System’s ideology of combining imperialism and neoliberal economics with cultural leftism. Careerists will be careerists, I guess. Mattis and McChrystal: “We gotta make sure the wine and cheese crowd will buy our books and come to our overpriced speeches.”

By William S. Lind

Traditional Right

It is interesting that General Stan McChrystal recently admitted to getting rid of a portrait he had long cherished of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. One would think that McChrystal would have some sympathy for Lee, considering both presided over failed wars. There is a world of difference between these two men and McChrystal does not benefit from the comparison.

Since his dismissal by President Obama, McChrystal has become an author in an attempt to trade on his celebrity status and high rank. He has done well, with several popular books to his name. At a recent book signing, McChrystal admitted his best advice was for the U.S. to continue to “muddle through” in Afghanistan.

Think about this for a moment. McChrystal held the top command in Afghanistan for a full year (2009–2010) during which he was unable to chart a course to success. He has had 9 years since he left command to reflect on his experience and the direction of the war. After all this time, the best he can come up with is to “muddle through”?

No response could better encapsulate the professional failure and moral bankruptcy of our senior military leaders. For the last 17 years, general after general has told a succession of U.S. presidents, “We can succeed in Afghanistan.” McChrystal was one of them. Afraid to be the one tagged with presiding over a defeat, each general believes the U.S. should stay the course, blindly hoping for a change of fortune which is unlikely to occur. Doubtless no one wishes to signal all the sacrifice in blood and treasure has ultimately proven futile. Unfortunately, that is the reality.

McChrystal was a proud graduate of U.S. military schools. He was carefully groomed for high rank and selected for great responsibility. And he failed miserably.

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The Alternative to Ideology 8

By Jerry Taylor

Niskanen Center

When we launched the Niskanen Center in January 2015, we happily identified ourselves as libertarians. Sure, we were heterodox libertarians, but there are many schools of libertarianism beyond those promoted by Charles Koch’s political operations. The school we identified with was a left-libertarianism concerned with social justice (a libertarian perspective that I’ve defended in debates with more orthodox libertarians here and here). That worldview lacked an institutional voice in 2015. Our ambition was to create a space for it and, in so doing, redefine what it meant to be libertarian in the 21st century.

I have abandoned that libertarian project, however, because I have come to abandon ideology. This essay is an invitation for you to do likewise — to walk out of the “clean and well-lit prison of one idea.” Ideology encourages dodgy reasoning due to what psychologists call “motivated cognition,” which is the act of deciding what you want to believe and using your reasoning power, with all its might, to get you there. Worse, it encourages fanaticism, disregard for social outcomes, and invites irresolvable philosophical disputes. It also threatens social pluralism — which is to say, it threatens freedom.

The better alternative is not moral relativism. The better alternative is moderation, a commodity that is rapidly disappearing in political life, with dangerous consequences for the American republic.

My hope is that I might best convince you to leave ideology behind by holding up a mirror to an ideological culture that is likely not your own — the world of libertarianism — and discussing the reasons why I left it behind. I suspect that, for those who hold to an “–ism,” the ideological culture of my old world doesn’t look too terribly different from your own.

I do not aim here to settle old scores or to criticize friends and former colleagues. After all, the beliefs that I find wanting today are the very beliefs that I myself held for most of my adult life. I simply mean to put in stark relief the pitfalls of ideological thinking, to illustrate those pitfalls in the world I know best, and to make the case for something better.

Ideology = Motivated Cognition

The first pangs of doubt about my old ideological attachments arose from my loss of faith in the case against climate action. As I began to express doubts about the narratives offered by climate skeptics, I found it impossible to offer an argument that resonated with my libertarian colleagues. But just how, exactly, does an ideological commitment to limited government, free markets, and individual dignity inform an understanding of atmospheric physics or paleoclimate records? And what does libertarianism have to contribute regarding the case for hedging against incredibly dangerous risks stemming from the misuse of a common pool resource, such as the atmosphere?

Libertarians have nothing at all to contribute to the conversation about the science of climate change as libertarians. They could, however, marshal ideological insights to suggest the best means of addressing global warming if it indeed turns out to warrant a policy response (as I believe it does). For libertarians, that could mean a carbon tax, but for other, more hardline libertarians, it could mean that greenhouse gas emitters should be held liable for climate-related damages via common-law legal proceedings.

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Keith Preston: US, Saudi, Israel all benefit from Iran sanctions Reply

Press TV. Listen here.

The United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia are looking for ways to challenge Iran’s influence and Washington’s campaign of sanctions against Tehran helps them fulfill that objective, an American analyst says.

Keith Preston, director of Attackthesystem.com, said the sanctions were designed to put Iranian people under pressure and force the Islamic Republic to abandon its fundamental values.

He made the remarks in reaction to claims by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that economic bans were aimed at giving the Iranian people a chance to have better lives.

“The sanctions on Iran have this ultimate goal: creating an outcome where the Iranian people can have better lives than they have today,” Pompeo told Newsmax TV on Thursday.

On November 5, the administration of US President Donald Trump announced the re-imposition of the “toughest” sanctions ever against Iran’s banking and energy sectors with the aim of cutting off its oil sales and crucial exports. The bans had been lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Preston told Press TV on Friday that a lot of ordinary Americans had no idea what the conflict between the United States and Iran was all about and that Pompeo’s rhetoric amounts to “propaganda for public consumption.”

He said the sanctions were in no way intended to improve the Iranian people’s lives, and instead, “they were holding Iranian people hostage for the purpose of influencing or trying to influence the Iranian government.”

The real issues between the United States and Iran are rooted in the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which “removed a puppet government of the United States” and replaced it with a political system that resisted Washington’s policies instead, he continued.

“The reason that the United States has such a deep-seeded grudge against Iran is because of that,” the analyst further explained. “It’s because of the fact that Iran was a nation that defied the American empire.”

This, he argued, set an “example” that Washington didn’t want other nations to follow.

The second reason was the state of relations between Israel and the United States, Preston added.

“The fact that Israel regards Iran as one of its most important regional competitors in the area also intensifies the hostility of the United States towards Iran,” he said.

Preston said Saudi Arabia also had similar tendencies to weaken Iran and used its “influence” on the American foreign policy to make sure the sanctions remained in place.

Both Saudi Arabia and Israel have been helping the US form an Arab front against Iran—which is in many ways similar to the NATO military alliance.

The Brilliant: What is Anarchism in 2018 with Bellamy 15

For those who are interested in the philosophies of anarchism, this is a damn good episode of The Brilliant. Myself and ATS are mentioned at various times as well.

The Brilliant-Episode 90. Listen here.

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This is the last episode of 2018. In 2019 along with the Brilliant I’ll be working on a weekly call in show called Anarchy Bang that you should check out on Sundays at noon (PST).

Bellamy and I have another conversation that I’ll release next week about Corrosive Consciousness but for now we discuss anarchism in 2018 (http://thebrilliant.org/podcast/episode-65-what-is-anarchism-in-2018/ and text here http://thebrilliant.org/2018/11/19/season-3-of-the-brilliant/) and where we agree and where BF is wrong (joke!). We discuss whether we are in a third wave of anarchism and what it’s boundary is compared to second wave. Should we fight for the word anarchism, the loyal opposition to anarcho-liberalism, or should we go another direction?

If you haven’t you should check out Bellamy’s article from Backwoods #1 you should. An Invitation to Desertion to understand some of BF’s position in this conversation.

Finally we gossip about Dr. Bones, anarchist nationalism, and spirituality.

Contact us at thebrilliant@thebrilliant.org

U.S. border patrols use tear gas against migrants Reply

US security forces have engaged with migrants at the country’s southern border with Mexico. US border patrol agents used tear gas to keep the group from approaching the crossing line. The recent deaths of two immigrant children in U-S custody have piled pressure on President Donald Trump for his tough immigration policies. The U-S president blamed the Democrats and QUOTE- their pathetic policies for the tragedy. Democrats, on the other hand, accuse Trump of demonizing migrants for political gain. The U-S government has been on a partial shutdown over a standoff between the White House and the Congress over funding for a border wall since December 22 last year.

Ann Coulter vs Hasan Piker on Immigration 1

A predictable shit show. I love political fractiousness. Virtually none of the contending factions associated with the present political/culture war paradigm have any relevance to the pan-anarchist position. All of them are groups that seek control of the state or seek to solicit favors from the state. The best bet is for the Left and Right to continue to attack the Center, while simultaneously attacking each other, and for the Left and Right to similarly fracture internally. The objective is to weaken the state’s ability to  maneuver while preventing any political faction from gaining a monopoly on power.

 

Kyle Kulinski Vs Hasan Piker Debate On Free Speech Reply

A pro-free speech progressive vs an antifa on free speech. I am actually somewhere between these two guys. I am all for violence against the state (when tactically appropriate) but opposed to either censorship/deplatforming of mere expression of opinions or violence against other political groups that are against the system and out of power.  There’s far too much moralizing on the part of both of these guys for my tastes, and this Hasan Piker guy engages in a great deal of special pleading. This discussion also represents another interesting cleavage on the left.

12 People Who Don’t Suck! 2

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

Every year since I started this blog I’ve written a Shitlist of all the cunts who drive me to near homicidal ideation. And every year since I started this blog I’ve countered that poison pen cocktail with a more altruistic list to bring in the new year, a list of people that miraculously don’t suck (I know, right?). It’s often a hard list to write because so few people deserve to be on it. I often have to struggle not to put the same damn people on it every year. This year I’ve decided to leave out my holy trinity of repeat offenders, the patron saint of the Fifth Estate, Julian Assange, and my online mentors, Angela Keaton and Thomas Knapp (consider this sentence an honorable mention), and try to put nothing but first timers on this list. I came up with twelve, and like my shitlist, not everybody is going to agree with my choices. But with me, someone is always going to have to go fuck themselves. Like it or loath it, these are the holy handful of dearest motherfuckers who have kept the proverbial pistol out of my mouth in 2018, and I feel duty bound to salute them.

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