American Hero: Brad Manning (WikiLeaks)

(Photo: AP)

This WikiLeaks story is very similar to the “Deepthroat” in days past in terms of Spc. Brad Manning bringing the raw truth to the public with his very life and freedom on the line to do so.

With any luck this will mirror the effect of the Pentagon Papers in that it will stir up enough public distaste for these wars that the White House will be forced to take actions that bring this to a quicker close.

Much of what was disclosed are things that I have contended are true, like that thousands upon thousands upon thousands of innocent civilians are killed in Afghanistan by U.S. forces but the corrupt mainstream media will not report it because they bought and paid for by corporate interests that make more money off war and endless bloodshed than any gov’t ever did.

But beyond that they lend credence to what was only speculation in regards to the Pakistani Intelligence being a major funder of Afghan insurgents, which means we pay our tax dollars to Pakistan and then those same dollars go to kill Americans.

People need the truth, not a bunch of gov’t whitewash, in order to make an informed decision.

Right now Spc. Brad Manning is sitting in a jail cell for bringing the truth to the public.

All the claims that this endangered the security of troops is completely false. I haven’t read all the documents but they are mostly reports of missions that happened seven months ago or further back than that.

He got it out of there by using a CD-Rs that originally contained music (Lady GaGa & others that he faked lip-synched to while copying the 95,000 docs) which is something anyone with security clearance could have done.

He didn’t ever hit a security wall because there weren’t any in his way. (According to major networks and press outlets, which have deceived us in the past so it’s possible we are missing vital parts of the story at this time.)

This was a huge amount of accounts of what really happens in Afghanistan that people like you and me are usually not allowed to know until years after a war is over.

Thanks to WikiLeaks and Manning we can see these reports right here and now.

Personally I think that’s a good thing.

I’ve had enough bullshit. I don’t know about you.

This young man is a hero.

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If You Want To Be Friends With Everyone…

My Political Science professor gave our class a piece of solid wisdom that I like to repeat when confronted with the “can’t we all get along” mentality in myself and others:

If you want to be friends with everyone then there are three topics to avoid at all costs: politics, religion and sex.”

Takes all the fun out of everything if you ask me, but it is a very true maxim to follow if your goal to only to have everyone be your buddy.

One of those three topics will get someone’s goat. Rest assured.

I like to let people guess what the three things are when I bring this up in conversation. Everyone always gets “politics” and “religion” but almost everyone struggles with the third topic. We all can see with even minimal life experience that politics and religion fiercely divide people into rigid battle lines, but most don’t readily think of sex as divisive.

Keep in mind it is “sex” and not “love” on our list here. Talking about love rarely irks anyone, but change that to sexual acts and the game changes with it.

Aside from simple prudishness, discussing sex openly and frankly almost always opens up a door for another person to think you are either trying to brag or trying to gross them out.

The key element to understand is that it really doesn’t matter exactly what you have to say about the ‘dangerous trio’ in order to piss someone off with your words. You can be ‘pro’ and not ‘anti’ toward any of these topics and still some people will take offense.

Which brings me to why I’ll just give people my opinion and give it to them straight. Be it on the Internet or in a far less digital context. No matter what I say, someone is pissed that I said it.

So while I could and should take ever greater care to not just beat people over the head my opinions and observations, I also realize the only way to get everyone to “get along” with me is to shut up about the majority of the topics that interest me. Which I find unacceptable.

We as a human race need to disagree, we need to be of different minds and different faiths and different attitudes. It is vital to our growth as individual people and as a larger society to come to terms with the fact that we cannot see eye to eye. Coming to understand the alternative perspective, more often than not, only enhances and strengthens our own understandings.

But much of the value of such exchanges comes from a mutual desire on both sides to understand the other. When one or both sides is only interested in confirming their beliefs all value is lost, and you have yourself a good old fashion shouting match.

Politics stands out a bit from the other two, mainly in that political positions that are not sourced in facts are always hogwash. Every time without fail. But both sex and religion one can be more loose and nonspecific while still making valid points. Religion far more than sex because it relies on “faith” which is the very definition of a lack of logical context forming a belief.

People sometimes mistake me for a fighter, someone who gets off on kicking dirt around. But that is not quite right. I’m highly attracted to polemics and controversy, but it’s not my primary focus of my daily thoughts and musings.

I take zero satisfaction out of smashing an opponent to pieces completely unchallenged on my logic in a debate. It is not even a victory in my mind. I was looking, in all such cases, for a tit-for-tat and not the debate equivalent of a bulldozer running over a daisy. Without a challenge of some sort I end up just feeling bad for having engaged in debate with a person who can’t muster an argument without falling into every single logical fallacy known to man.

Glenn Beck Deserves Zero Credit For Not Rebuking Sherrod

Some have made the point that because Glenn Beck did not join in on the most recent right-wing witch hunt designed to stir up racism that this somehow means he should be given credit.

I find this sentiment disgusting, to say the least.

This is the same man who calls the President of the United States a “racist” and fails utterly to define what exactly he meant by the “white culture” that Obama apparently hates. This is the same man who touted daily the previous witch hunt founded in racism, which came in part from the very same source of the Sherrod witch hunt.

Cutting Glenn Beck slack just because he didn’t join in this most recent attempt to destroy American democracy is like giving praise to a serial rapist for letting one of his victims go in a moment of humanity after destroying the lives of countless women prior to that.

This man leads the charge of vile hatred for progressives, spreads thinly veiled racism on the mainstream media, gleefully destroys the lives of poor black families helped by ACORN and atop all that cannot answer simple questions about what exactly he was trying to communicate when he publically defamed the sitting president.

Imagine, if you would, that a black cable / radio broadcaster was expressing the opinion that George W. Bush was a racist after the Katrina disaster. Would we all sit around and debate the merits of this point of view? Would we bring in Katie Couric to interview this person and try to suss out what they were saying in more specific terms? Or would we find it so disgusting as a nation that this person would be thrown off all widely accessed media sources?

It’s the last one, if you hadn’t figured that out on your own. If Americans had even one shred of common decency the likes of Glenn Beck would have been thrown off the air and become persona non grata to all except the most fringe media outlets after making such a vapid claim.

Instead some want to give him praise for not joining in what is only the most recent installment of anti-black sentiment brought forward by immoral conservatives and their corrupt media machine. Instead he leads his unpatriotic teabaggers on another rally designed to stir up hatred and racial animosity.

Some people are evil, there is no other word for it. Beck is such a person.

The day I bend knee to evil is the day I stop being a human being.

Why Don’t I Dream?

I’m one of those people who scare the crap out of roommates by opening one eye on you when you get too close to me when I’m sleeping.

I don’t dream, or at least so it seems. I close my eyes, then I wake up. Every single night for more than a year.

Perhaps I move around in an astral body, floating between time and space learning the vast secrets of the universe then return to my physical body where I am not allowed to remember such things.

Perhaps I have the same vivid and graphic nightmares every night that I had as a child and my mind blocks out these images because I can’t stand the mental trauma.

Whatever it is, I know that as far I’m concerned I don’t have dreams.

They say a dream is a wish your heart makes. Maybe I don’t have any wishes, so I don’t have any dreams. But that doesn’t make any sense. My wishes for the world are so grand that I could easily be labeled an “idealist.”

It could be a chemical thing, when I went puritanical (straight-edge) for awhile my dreams sort of came back. At least occasionally anyway. Maybe alcohol and marijuana disturb my sleep. I like that one, my understanding of science agrees with the notion that each of us have unique body chemistry that reacts differently to compounds released into the bloodstream.

I believe our dreams are significant to understanding our psyche, and I feel cheated by not knowing what they are.

It’s kind of hard to start a dream journal, like some have suggested to me when I mention this to them, when every entry would read “no dreams last night.”

Another explanation might be that I expend all my creative juices with my constant flights of fancy and then when I fall asleep my mind is fresh out of imagery to dance in front of me.

Most take their dreams for granted, most hardly give them a second thought. But take them away from someone and they would feel a loss.

Well I don’t miss what I barely ever knew.

Dreams, for me, are like treasures denied to me. I envy you dreamers, you all have something I have not had in years. It is a gift, to dream in the mind eternal.

***

Get this:

I wrote the above text last night before going to sleep. After writing this, I dreamt last night. I guess it served as a dream journal, priming my mind to draw the dreams denied to me for more than a year to the part of my brain that allows me to remember them.

They were weird dreams, extremely weird.

The first dream was me cleaning out the trunk of car with Bill O’Reilly helping me. No seriously, I’m not kidding that was really my dream. We were having some sort of political debate, the context of which I cannot recall. The part that stands out is that he made some kind of point to me while we dug through the crap in my trunk and I was parsing this comment by saying “you are right about…” and then he interrupted me to say “damn right, I’m right!” Last part I remember of that dream was me giving him a sour puss as we aired out a dirty comforter.

The second dream was more like my typical dreams that I have remembered from the past: it played out like a horror movie. I was on a house boat, or a barge, with a big hole in the middle of the deck leading down into the water. There were people diving underneath us (I don’t know who the other people were) and a big crane running a rope down into the water. Suddenly the rope snapped and there was screaming coming from whoever was with me. I was panicked and staring down into the water, which was amazing blue and clear like the waters of Hawaii or Jamaica, and felt as if someone I cared deeply for was in danger. The last image of the dream was a huge black octopus coming into view in the depths of the sea.

Adventures In Modern Marketing

The Great Internet Marketing Guru takes a few questions and concerns from his clients.

Let’s listen in:

“My internet ad campaign was a total wash. I ended up taking a bath and nobody even visited my site!”

“Did you put boobs all over it like I told you to?”

“No, I thought that was too superficial and sensationalistic.”

“And that would be why you failed. You forgot your audience is nothing but superficial and craves sensationalism.”

“So what do I now?”

“Take a picture of your penis and put it on Craigslist.”

“Okay … but what is that gonna help?”

“Nothing. I just want you to relive the shame of former roommates of mine.”

***

“I saw this ad making a claim I shouldn’t buy a product. Should I believe it?”

“Of course! Ads were created to tell you what not to buy, not what to buy. So when an ad tells you to buy something, you know it’s fake because they are trying to advertise to you. But when an ad tells you not to buy something, you know it’s real because they are not advertising to you.”

“Wait … what?”

***

“So I got all these people reading my blog about tech and travel but I want to use my blog audience to expand my business promotions as well. How can I retool my blog without loosing readers?”

“It’s easy: Dramatically announce you will be leaving the blog, probably the whole Internet, forever. Send that out and then wait a few days, then come back with some false tale of woe and then start selling hub caps and spark plugs off your blog-doohickey.”

“That really works?”

“Oh yeah, totally! People usually use it to switch from catatonic to mildly psychotic instead of non-monetized to monetized, but all blogging is pretty much the same thing.”

***

“I was thinking of opening up a singles dating service online and…”

“Get the hell out of my office.”

***

“I heard that Twitter was the new tool for marketing professionals with the hottest and latest ideas.”

“Who told you that?”

“That guy in the rabbit suit trying to give out fliers.”

***

“Someone told me you could market products on Facebook more effectively than using banner services.”

“Depends on what you mean by ‘market.’ If by that you mean annoy people and be ignored, then yes it is very effective.”

***

“I bought up all my domain names and registered on every social network that exists. Is there anything else I should do before I set out to rule the digital landscape?”

“Yes. Hire a mafia. You are late to the game, the only way you’ll get any traction now is to break kneecaps and go gangsta on Google.”

***

Thus concludes another session of ultimate wisdom from The Great Internet Marketing Guru.

How Much Is A Human Being Worth?

Ans: About the market value and resale value of a jar of table salt.

Element –   Mass of element in a 70-kg person

oxygen                    43 kg

carbon                     16 kg

hydrogen                7 kg

nitrogen                  1.8 kg

calcium                    1.0 kg

phosphorus          780 g

potassium             140 g

sulfur                      140 g

sodium                   100 g

chlorine                 95 g

magnesium           19 g

iron                          4.2 g

fluorine                  2.6 g

zinc                          2.3 g

silicon                    1.0 g

rubidium             0.68 g

strontium            0.32 g

bromine               0.26 g

lead                        0.12 g

copper                  72 mg

aluminum           60 mg

cadmium             50 mg

cerium                 40 mg

barium                22 mg

iodine                  20 mg

tin                          20 mg

titanium              20 mg

boron                   18 mg

nickel                   15 mg

selenium             15 mg

chromium         14 mg

manganese       12 mg

arsenic                 7 mg

lithium                 7 mg

cesium                 6 mg

mercury             6 mg

germanium       5 mg

molybdenum   5 mg

cobalt                  3 mg

antimony           2 mg

silver                    2 mg

niobium            1.5 mg

zirconium          1 mg

lanthanium      0.8 mg

gallium              0.7 mg

tellurium          0.7 mg

yttrium             0.6 mg

bismuth           0.5 mg

thallium           0.5 mg

indium             0.4 mg

gold                  0.2 mg

scandium       0.2 mg

tantalum        0.2 mg

vanadium     0.11 mg

thorium          0.1 mg

uranium         0.1 mg

samarium       50 µg

beryllium       36 µg

tungsten         20 µg

Humans are cheap. From a logical and scientific perspective we are nothing more than deluded carbon, salts and simple sugars thinking to ourselves we have some value beyond decaying in the soil to nourish plant life.

I personally don’t accept a purely scientific view of the world and the life all around us. But this here is the solid truth when people ask what a human life is worth, what value a human has to the world.

It’s something like $ 2.50, or less. When we are disassembled to our base components there is nothing to look at except a small pile of materials from the chemistry room. Rather mundane ones at that.

That is provided we define “worth” as having to do with money, which we all know is the only thing that matters anyway.

NAACP Receives Racist Death Threat

After the passing of this week’s resolution to encourage Tea Party leaders to repudiate racism within their ranks, the NAACP has received a number of death threats at local units and chapters around the country.

The following chilling voice message was left at the NAACP’s Hollywood Bureau.

Warning: the language is intense, disturbing, and definitely not safe for work. The FBI has been notified.

I just got done talking to a conservative in live chat saying just about the same thing to me, minus the death threat only because an admin was watching.

No doubt this outright death threat ala “the streets will run red with blood” fails to represent all conservatives out there, but I really need people to stop fooling themselves here: this brand of hatred is not uncommon and not unheard of when we are talking right-wing politics.

All you have to do is take a look and a listen to the real live conversation going on and not the bullshit filtered form of mass communications via the Internet. These people make entire media empires built on the bedrock of hate for blacks, for the poor, for immigrants, for civil servants, for liberals, for everyone but themselves.

People in the U.S. need to stop acting so surprised when rabid dogs taught only how to attack and incite violence by their media overlords stand up and express themselves like this man did.

There you have it. That’s why I hate conservatives so much, because they take the time to talk like this directing their comments directly at me. And why? Because they don’t like anyone messing with their lies and racist comments, they seriously believe they can spread hate speech unchallenged.

I’ll never stand down. You’ll have to kill me to get me to stop speaking the truth. The only thing I did wrong was ever let a lowlife conservative get under my skin, even the highest caliber among them are not worth the mental effort. You can’t fix stupid.

This phone call from a tea party racist is a great example of why the unpatriotic tea party is nothing but the destruction of American Democracy from within. These vile people are not welcome in this blog and not welcome anywhere near me. Since they refuse to reject the racist scum in their mix, they are all racist scum now as far as I am concerned.

Anyone with a functioning brain feels the same at this point. This shit has run its course, it’s time for the conservative racists like Breitbart and Beck for be called out for the pieces of trash they are.