Monday, February 19, 2018

This is Who Trump Wants To Sell Weapons To


Communists and capitalists are laughing all the way to the bank while their useful idiots argue over the trivial details of their respective fiefdoms.

Mongabay: 14 Year Sentence For Vietnamese Activist Over Chemical Spill Protest

Refresher: Trump Pursues Weapons Deal With Totalitarian Communist Regime

During the APEC conference in Hanoi last year, Trump aggressively tried to sell U.S. missiles to Vietnam’s communist regime and oversaw the signing of two memorandums of understanding between Vietnam’s state owned gas company, PetroVietnam Gas, and two American gas companies: AES Corp and Alaska Gasline Development Corp. These events transpired as the result of Obama lifting the arms embargo against the country in 2016. Relations between the two governments have been thawing after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Congress began providing foreign aid to Vietnam in 1991 and Clinton ended the trade embargo against Vietnam in 1994. USAID currently spends about $68M per year on the country (as of FY 2016).

We are once again met with crickets on Capitol Hill in the face of intolerable human rights abuses, but since they are being committed by a government that currently has profitable business partnerships with major U.S. industries, they apparently don’t matter. Of course, the same could be said of the Chinese government’s persecution of religious minorities and organ harvesting of political prisoners.

On February 6th, Hoang Duc Binh was given a 14 year prison sentence for the heinous crime of vlogging about and protesting the government’s hesitant response to the 2016 Formosa chemical spill, or as the kangaroo court put it ‘slandering authorities and abusing democratic freedoms to infringe on state interests (in the same way that a slave may infringe on the interests of a slaver). During the same trial, a fellow activist was given a 2 year stint for ‘opposing officers on duty’. Six other activists have also been convicted of similar thought crimes related to the chemical spill. Perhaps the most famous case, which received temporary corporate media coverage, was that of journalist Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, who went by the pseudonym Mother Mushroom. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison in connection to her coverage of human rights abuses and environmental issues in Vietnam. Since Trump doesn’t really believe in free speech I doubt he would take issue with anything the communist regime has done. He probably wishes he could emulate that here, but for now he is consigned to calling unfavorable coverage of himself fake news and threatening to revoke broadcasting licenses on twitter.

In 34 States, Police Can Legally Rape People They Detain


Sources: Big Think, Associated Press, New York Daily News

Currently 34 states, including my own, do not prohibit police officers from making sexual contact with the people they detain as long as they claim that consent was given. I don’t think I need to point out how this is completely inappropriate on the job even when consent is given; it should be a no brainer even for pro-cop simps. However, the coercive relationship between an officer and a detained citizen makes consensual sex all but impossible. To put this in perspective, imagine a scenario in which a young girl is caught with pot or some other illicit substance on her person. The officer, who is a straight male in this example, tells her that she can avoid arrest by giving him head. If she were to comply with his request, it wouldn’t be consensual by any known legal standard. Similar propositions are illegal in every other profession, but somehow the one profession that uses state sanctioned violence gets a free pass. Since 2006, at least 26 officers have been acquitted of sexual assault and rape charges by arguing that the detained person consented in their defense. To boot, sexual assault is one of the most reported forms of police misconduct second only to use of excessive force. From 2009 until 2014, approximately 550 officers lost their jobs for sexual assault and rape charges, and an additional 440 for possession of child porn and soliciting sex from minors. The example I gave earlier is not too far off from the real story of Anna Chambers, who was raped in the back of a police van by two plainclothes NYPD detectives. It began when the detectives caught her and 2 male friends smoking pot. They let her two friends go, but she was handcuffed and placed in the back of the van, which means sex was their motive all along, not some heroic stand against the reefer madness. It will be interesting to see how quickly state legislatures across the country follow suit and close this loophole out of sheer embarrassment to the rest of the civilized world.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Motivational Quote of The Day

‘Man is a growth by law, and not a creation by artifice, and cause and effect is as absolute and undeviating in the hidden realm of thought as in the world of visible and material things. A noble and Godlike character is not a thing of favor or chance, but is the natural result of continued effort in right thinking, the effect of long-cherished association with Godlike thoughts. An ignoble and bestial character, by the same process, is the result of the continued harboring of groveling thoughts.’
-James Allen, As A Man Thinketh

There is a mantra in the ancient Farsi religion of Mazdayasna: good thoughts, goods words, good deeds. Here this ancient wisdom is elaborated. Your thoughts inevitably are reflected in your words and actions. A person’s character is molded through habitual words and actions. At the back of character is thought. Positive thoughts, such as those of ambition, unwavering focus, a sense of obligation, and sheer will, mold a noble character. Negative thoughts, such as those of self-doubt, self-abasement, and self-pity, mold an ignoble character. You eventually become what you constantly think about.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Pursue Pleasure In The Long Run (delayed gratification)


And since pleasure is our first and native good, for that reason we do not choose every pleasure whatsoever, but will often pass over many pleasures when a greater annoyance ensues from them. And often we consider pains superior to pleasures when submission to the pains for a long time brings us as a consequence a greater pleasure. While therefore all pleasure because it is naturally akin to us is good, not all pleasure should be chosen, just as all pain is an evil and yet not all pain is to be shunned. It is, however, by measuring one against another, and by looking at the conveniences and inconveniences, that all these matters must be judged.

- Epicurus, Letter to Menoeceus

The quintessential difference between hedonistic ethics and what is commonly, though falsely, called a hedonistic lifestyle is an evaluation of present and future gratification. Hedonism in the first case requires sacrificing some immediate gratifications for a greater return in the future, while hedonism in the second case is pursuing pleasure indiscriminately, which in practice means pursuing immediate gratification even when it is counterproductive and destructive towards a pleasant life in the long run. Hedonism of the former kind makes use of the cardinal virtues, especially temperance and prudence, in pursuit of pleasure while hedonism of the latter type falls back on the exact opposite vices. For this reason, I believe hedonism should be considered a religion in practice with an assortment of personal rituals that help people keep their focus on long-term goals while simultaneously staying grounded in the present.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Trump Admin Commences Land Grabbing For Border Wall


Source: Brownsville Family Loses 10 Acres of Land to Border Wall

“They had surveyors, engineers and if we didn’t consent to what they wanted to pay for the property, they hit us with the eminent domain, the eminent domain means that the government can pay whatever they want for the properties.”

Juan Cavazos is just one of many landowners who will lose control of his property for the preservation of our white nation. If the wall goes up he will lose access to 10 acres of his land, and since this part of his property has already been condemned the government can now pay him less in “just” compensation than the fair market value before the feds took over his land. Anyone familiar with how the government uses eminent domain knows that “just” fair market value compensation is utter bullshit. Usually they try to pay private landowners as little as possible, and unless that person can afford a good attorney they will usually get ripped off.

My views on the border wall have shifted over the last few months. I use to support the border wall and I was ok with eminent domain in certain situations.

My previous posts supporting the border wall:

A Southern Border Wall Would Be Practical But Certainly Not A Panacea

President Trump Issues Executive Order To Build A Border Wall


I’ve come to realize that the arguments in favor of building a wall, especially from some libertarians, basically boil down to the ends justify the means and an appeal to tradition (i.e. we’ve always done it this way) two rationalizations that I usually vehemently condemn in other areas because I can see that that the long term effects are detrimental. These same rationalizations were used to justify some of the worst human cruelties in history. Similar arguments were made by the Eugenics movement in the early 20th century, not just in favor of immigration restrictions, but also anti-miscegenation laws, forced sterilization by court order and at its height state sanctioned ‘mercy killing’ of people deemed genetically unfit, all for the greater good of humanity. We can look down the road and see that the logical conclusion of these expediency justifications is a tyranny that none are safe from.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Farmers Along Proposed Pipeline Route Fight Eminent Domain



Source: NJTV News

Another day another story illustrating that property rights don’t really exist in our supposedly freedom loving ultra capitalist country. Apparently freedom means some businesses are free to steal property from other businesses at gunpoint as long as it generates more revenue for the state.

The PennEast Pipeline Co. has filed 92 eminent domain lawsuits against landowners in New Jersey in conjunction with the construction of a 120 mile natural gas pipeline that runs from the Marcellus Shale region of Pennsylvania to Mercer County, New Jersey. The inevitable victims of the proposed robbery include Jacqueline Evans, who co-owns Haut Farm in Stockton, NJ, and her neighbors T.C. and Joe Buchanan, who own an adjacent orchard.

Jacqueline Evans has been running her farm for over five years, but she says she’s at risk of losing everything. “We love our home, we don’t want to leave, and this is wrong. It’s for an unneeded pipeline,” she said.

All of those trespassing surveyors that have been on our property, Michigan, New York, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Florida, their license plates were from all over the place. Nobody was from New Jersey,” said T.C. Buchanan. “The unions are saying, we're going to get jobs. If there are any jobs, it’s going to be temporary. They said it’s seven weeks to seven months maximum for workers, and in the meantime, they put all the farms out of business.

Did I mention this will be an armed robbery? The pipeline company received approval from the FERC in January, but have yet to obtain the requisite rubber stamps from the Delaware River Basin Commission and New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection. Despite lacking the necessary permits, PennEast Pipeline Co. has already requested the assistance of U.S. Marshals to maul any landowners who might resist the proposed robbery.

“They’re also filing on the ability to use U.S. Marshals and force against us if we resist,” said Evans. “I don’t understand why they need to have U.S. Marshals with guns. I have little kids, they’ve been traumatized by this enough, so that took my breath away that they would do that, but it falls in line with how they’ve treated us all along.”

With Trump in the oval office this will undoubtedly go through and be hailed as progress by his braindead supporters. Apparently, progress is setting precedents that weaken property rights and concede more power to the state and favored corporations.

A Few Bad Apples Spoil The Whole Bunch


Source: Baltimore Gun Trace Task Force trial: These 12 additional police officers have been accused of wrongdoing

Gondo testified that he stole for years and lied about it, and said he never worried about internal affairs.“It was just part of the culture,” Gondo testified. “I wasn’t getting complaints; I wasn’t putting my hands on people.”

As testimony against two Baltimore police officers, indicted on federal racketeering charges, wrapped up last week, we learned that corruption within the Baltimore County Police Department wasn’t limited to the 8 members of the Gun Trace Task Force. It should go without saying that these 8 officers could not have carried out their decade long crime spree without the complicity or assistance of their supervisors and cohorts. As early as day 2 of the trial it was admitted that Lt. Ian Dombroski, who is the head of internal affairs, credited GTTF officers for 8 hours of overtime that they didn’t have to work if they recovered guns. In another instance, Momodu Gondo, a convicted member of GTTF, testified that retired deputy commissioner Dean Palmere coached two officers on what to say after they fatally shot a man sitting in his vehicle in an alley. The six convicted officers and one bail bondsman, who provided witness testimony in this case, have indicated that at least 12 other officers were complicit in covering up their crimes or alerting them to a federal investigation. Some of these officers, like former homicide detective Sean Suiter, are dead; some, like Michael Sylvester, have since left the force, and others are still around. Convicted bail bondsman Donald Stepp testified that Sgt. Thomas Wilson III provided him security when he met with a New York drug supplier at a strip club. In 2013, Wilson was charged with perjury for lying on a search warrant affidavit, although he was later acquitted. Another shocking instance of complicity is that of Sgt. Ryan Guinn, who took part in a 2010 incident where GTTF allegedly planted drugs on a man who later fled and died during a police pursuit. Sgt. Ryan Guinn is one of three former members of GTTF who has not been charged. There were still other officers who were not members of GTTF but took part in stealing cash from suspects. Officers Michael Woodlon, Jason Giordano, Sean Suiter, Tariq Edwards, and Kenneth Ivery alleged took stolen cash. Other officers named as accomplices to the crime spree include officials that had tipped off GTTF members to an ongoing federal investigation. This includes officer Sherrod Biggers and an unnamed prosecutor.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Leo Wise said in federal court in March, just after the GTTF officers were indicted, that a Baltimore assistant state's attorney had tipped the officers off to the federal investigation before it was concluded.Jenkins’ plea agreement last month reiterated the claim, saying the attorney had tipped Jenkins off. The attorney has not been identified by federal prosecutors.

Hopefully, as more evidence comes to light we will go deeper down the rabbit hole of police criminality. So far, we have barley scratched the surface.