He’s Right

Christopher Hitchen really gets rolling about halfway through this 5-minute video. It is worth watching all of it.

He states his objection to religion quite eloquently, specifically referring to the three main Abrahamic religions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

If it is difficult to decide which of these religion is more repulsive, more vile, it is because they each reflect what Hitchens calls “sadomasochism,” and an “ultimate wickedness.”

Ironically, believers think their religions come from above; if anything, they ooze up from below.

Go Figure

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At first, I thought this story was a put on. But no, it’s real. (Well, who knows really).

A Canadian man, his American wife, and their three children were rescued by Pakistani forces after years in Taliban captivity, But the Canadian man refuses to board a US flight to anywhere, fearing that he will be held and questioned because his previous wife was a terror suspect (mostly because she was related to the wrong people).

Of course he is 100% right. The anti-terror bureaucratic machinery is vast, has velocity, and in largely unaccountable. Neither ne nor his ex-wife pose any real threat (except to themselves!) but that would not stop DHS and Pentagon careerists, with assorted agents and neo-cons, from forming a circle jerk to watch this guy’s “interrogation” through one-way glass.

Who is this guy? He and his wife “were traveling in Afghanistan” when she was “five months pregnant” and with their other children. And I thought I was reckless…

Hollywood producers should put down their kale salads and call around, see if they can turn this into a Chevy Chase-style comedy, taking the family on vacation, with the parents being happy-go-lucky and entirely clueless.

In the movie, the family can be jetting off to the Greek island “Caful.” But when they change planes in Istanbul, they get distracted, and end up in line to board a plane to “Kabul.” Their goofy antics distract even the airline staff, and no one notices that they are on the wrong plane.

The parents then reach Kabul and compare the scene with their tourist brochures of the Greek islands.

“That’s OK, honey, let’s just make the most of it!”

Getting kidnapped by the Taliban… That’s rich. Lots of material there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4973772/Pakistan-says-5-Western-hostages-held-Taliban-freed.html

On the Run

I’m not going to speculate on the guilt of innocence of this guy… Sure something seems creepy and there is a long line of people claiming abuse; however, he remains innocent until proven guilty.

Also, while I recognize the seriousness of a rape charge (or of similar charges), it is precisely the severity of such a crime (and its potential punishment) that there needs to be forensic evidence. Not the word of someone. People lie all day long. Men lie all daylong. Women lie all day long.

Interesting, though, that he chose a Rehab Center in Europe. He ain’t coming back anytime soon ladies and gentlemen.

Unlike Roman Polanski, Weinstein probably does not have another passport in Europe. So, if the heat got turned up in Europe, with talk of extradition and all that, he can cash in on his Jewish background and get a passport from the state of Israel. It’s automatic. Once there, he would probably not be extradited.

Weinstein made the rational choice: run. He might or might not trust the criminal justice system (I do not).

He certainly does not trust the Hollywood smear machine once it turns on one of its own, cannibalizing a member in a politically correct crusade.

Weinstein is now the poster boy for aggressive masculinity and sexual harassment. Is this deserved? I have no idea. Maybe some people do, but I don’t even know much about this guy, except that he is too clever to ever serve one day in jail.

Panamanisimo!

As reported:

(Reuters) – “A late goal from Roman Torres punched Panama’s ticket to their first World Cup finals on Tuesday with a 2-1 win over Costa Rica, while the United States will miss out for the first time since 1986…”

I would have liked to see the US in the World Cup, but hey, that is still like routing for the Jamaican bobsled team. Professional soccer will likely never catch on in the US. It will always be a distant fifth to American football, basketball, baseball, and hockey – even though it is a great sport (though not as good as the best sport, which I think is rugby, hands down).

After January 3, I hope to report on things that buzz in Panama, including the World Cup and the investigation into the previous administration. I arrive there with a one-way ticket. My latest plan to go to Colombia until July, visit the UK with my kids in July, and then resume the motorcycle journey (which started in LA in 2010) across South America, August – December. Editing academic papers along the way, saving money by camping, and using coffee-shop wifi. I’ve done all that before, eight years ago. Kind of a long time to pause a trip.

Four of five months is plenty of time to hop the bike (now in Panama) to Cartagena, Colombia, and head south through Ecuador, Peru, Chile (Ushuaia, not far from the Ice Wall), Argentina, Brazil, and Venezuela, circling back into Colombia and returning the bike to where it is plated: Panama.

It’s good to see Panama, with less than 4 million people, reach the World Cup – even though its last victory was helped by a “phantom goal” that might not have crossed the line…

The 22 second video below shows that controversial goal. You be the judge.

Netflix Tip: Real Rob

This is a hilarious show about Rob Schneider’s life (in the Real Bob character), with his wife Patricia, baby Miranda, and others. Rob Schneider was very funny back in the day, and he is even more funny now that his humor has multiple layers to it.

I can relate to the show big time. Of course I’ve never been involved with Hollywood… but… I did spend like 6 months living in Los Angeles with my Mexican wife who used to bust my ass for everything. Actually, she even busted my balls, making me get a vasectomy, just like the Real Rob guy (but he got out of that by conning his assistant into it). Oh yeah, at the time we also a new baby (and a two year old).

I had never planned on living in LA and bolted there to catch up with my wife, who just up and left our life in Mexico City (where I thought things were going well for us, but whatever).

So when she went back to the border, to Tijuana, to re-enter and extend the visa… she was denied re-entry, kind of deported, and she returned to Oaxaca with our two year old (I would have to catch up to them, yet again).

That was an ugly scene, with officers shouting at my wife and even at my two-year old, and when I told her not to sign the removal order with a 10-year ban, well, I was actually approached by a Customs and Immigration officer, who, with his hand on the baton, said: “are you some kind of fucking lawyer?”

So I was in LA with a three-week old breastfeeding baby that I could not deliver to her mother (on the Mexican side) because we had not accessed the birth certificate, certificate of birth abroad, nothing. I had to round all that up while figuring out how to take care of a baby. Meantime I was editing for Expedia, between experimenting with baby formula and changing diapers.

My last month in LA was one of the most stressful times of my life. Very little sleep. Anxiety. I lost a lot of weight. That’s when the marriage began to unravel, naturally… But I’m a glass-half-full kind of guy: LA, great place, my lovely daughter was born there.

In any case, I think Rob Schneider is a comic genius. He’s been relatively quiet compared to his early career. He’s saving the best for last, and I wish I could thank him for it. The show was very therapeutic for me.

With this Real Rob, I get to open up one of the most troubling chapters of my life and have a good laugh about it. Yeah, now, finally. Some 15 years later.

Text in Con — Text

Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, wrote a kind of dissertation entitled “Industrial Society and its Future.” This is well written and organized, so much so that the occasional typos seem deliberate to me.

Manhunt: Unabomber is now a Netflix show, and this was reviewed yesterday, with the idea of following up here on some of the concepts presented. In any case, a few interesting things about the manuscript, in which Kaczynski takes a swipe at both liberals and conservatives:

9. The two psychological tendencies that underlie modern leftism we call “feelings of inferiority” and “oversocialization”. Feelings of inferiority are characteristic of modern leftism as a whole, while oversocialization is characteristic only of a certain segment of modern leftism; but this segment is highly influential.

219. Leftism is a totalitarian force. Wherever leftism is in a position of power it tends to invade every private corner and force every thought into a leftist mold. In part this is because of the quasi-religious character of leftism: everything contrary to leftist beliefs represents Sin.

But also:

 50. The conservatives are fools: They whine about the decay of traditional values, yet they enthusiastically support technological progress and economic growth. Apparently it never occurs to them that you can’t make rapid, drastic changes in the technology and the economy of a society without causing rapid changes in all other aspects of the society as well, and that such rapid changes inevitably break down traditional values.

Liberals or leftists seem to be the main target, but the overall manifesto, its essential characteristic, is a criticism of “obedience.” And conservatives more than anyone are obsessed with obedience (as seen today over the NFL flag controversy).

Industrial society is depriving people of their power and autonomy, Kaczynski says.

93. We are going to argue that industrial-technological society cannot be reformed in such a way as to prevent it from progressively narrowing the sphere of human freedom.

121. A further reason why industrial society cannot be reformed in favor of freedom is that modern technology is a unified system in which all parts are dependent on one another. You can’t get rid of the “bad” parts of technology and retain only the “good” parts.

Maybe, maybe not. Time will tell. But Kaczynski is probably right here.

152. Generally speaking, technological control over human behavior will probably not be introduced with a totalitarian intention or even through a conscious desire to restrict human freedom. Each new step in the assertion of control over the human mind will be taken as a rational response to a problem that faces society, such as curing alcoholism, reducing the crime rate or inducing young people to study science and engineering. In many cases there will be a humanitarian justification.

157. Assuming that industrial society survives, it is likely that technology will eventually acquire something approaching complete control over human behavior.

 177… In the long run (say a few centuries from now) it is likely that neither the human race nor any other important organisms will exist as we know them today, because once you start modifying organisms through genetic engineering there is no reason to stop at any particular point, so that the modifications will probably continue until man and other organisms have been utterly transformed.

Interesting stuff.

There are three possibilities (at least) regarding the Unabomber

First, Ted Kaczynski is a real person with a real history, and the mainstream narrative is accurate.

Second, Ted Kaczynski is a mind-controlled patsy, prodded into his role.

Third, Ted Kaczynski is an actor or dupe, and everything about this story is a hoax.

Personally, I’m leaning to some hybrid between #2 and #3.

There was a little too much drumroll and media sensationalism regarding whether or not the New York Times and Washington Post should print the manifesto or not…

There was simply too much hype, too many predictable turning points (the anguished brother turning him in), and too many archetypes (Abraham Lincoln meets Henry David Thoreau). Witness the kickstarting of “the hoodie” meme.

If there are elements of the Unabomber story that do not add up, then the entire production exists for one reason only: to announce to the world, and specifically to the United States, what technology is about to do: hijack human free will, autonomy, and dignity.

According to the controllers, plans such as these must be announced; afterwards, your silence is your consent.

The mini-series made a fuss over the line below, and that the Unabomber’s reversal of the proverb (in the manifesto and in a private letter) revealed his identity, sealing his fate, as this was what convinced a judge to sign the warrant.

More importantly, for us it reveals clues regarding potential hoax-crafters. Normally, we say “you can’t have your cake and eat it too,” but Kaczynski went and said the opposite.

185. As for the negative consequences of eliminating industrial society — well, you can’t eat your cake and have it too.

The MacMillan Dictionary blog says something interesting:

“The phrase makes more sense when recast as eat your cake and have it too, since this is more self-evidently impossible. Indeed, it’s how the phrase was first constructed. The later sequence of having your cake and eating it arose in the mid-18th century, and appears to have overtaken the original in the early 20th.”

And some say the phrase was changed in the 16th century. The mini-series said it changed in the 15th century.

So this phrase turned into its reverse in the middle of the Industrial Revolution, paralleling the timeline of this text. The true author just placed an Easter egg in the text – which was raised into view by the media and the mini-series – suggesting that the intelligence behind this manifesto stretches back several centuries.

The true author, therefore, would be accessing information, knowledge, and perhaps consciousness, that is over and above our timeline.

The message about our planned future is then delivered in a way that reaches maximum “impact.”

A high-impact factor indeed.

 

Here is the “manifesto” in full:

http://editions-hache.com/essais/pdf/kaczynski2.pdf

http://www.macmillandictionaryblog.com/an-idiom-that-has-its-cake-and-eats-it

 

 

Very Interesting

I enjoyed Quantico but trailed off somewhere in Season 2 when the series became a little improbable – when it finally jumped the shark, so to speak. Almost every show does. Consider the Sons of Anarchy, when the motorcycle gang just up and flew their bikes – in secret, without passports even – to Ireland. Right…

I stumbled upon Manhunt: Unabomber. It is very well done, with great acting and high production value. And the show engages with the Unabomber’s “manifesto” both in terms of content and linguistic forensics: Industrial Society and its Future.

The show’s plot includes the suspect’s earlier days as a target of MK-Ultra mind control. At Harvard as a teenager. Hmmm..

Long time readers will remember my earlier posting on this topic, and how photographs of his cabin appears to be coded and loaded.

Ted certainly has the “Lincoln” look going on and he holed up in a one-room cabin. Where? In Lincoln, Montana. In your face.

At some point, I’d like to take a crack at his manifesto from the point of view of an editor. Maybe I should even track changes and add comments in the margins.

Propaganda Comes Full Circle

I checked Infowars today to see if there were any shill-style stories, and I was not disappointed.

“Massive Evidence Mounts Vegas Shooting Was an ISIS Attack”

Of course. How predictable. It only took a few years for most people to forget that ISIS, too, is a shill organization.

ISIS was cobbled together by western intelligence agencies (and factions above them) seeking to make all kinds of mischief in the vacuum of Iraq and Syria. Specifically, ISIS was designed to be a kind of umbrella organization to transcend and include the smaller, more parochial terror groups that Sen. John McCain is so fond of. He even presents medals to these guys – but hey, no harm done, most of them are actors.

ISIS uses weapons and money from the western coalition, conducts half their attacks in the green room, and most of the other ones on sets, and is more about propaganda than any global threat. Kind of like the bogeyman in 1984. It’s the man behind the curtain.

How fitting, therefore, for Infowars to stoop to new depths.

This is like a House of Mirrors, with every image distorted. And with mirrors reflecting mirrors, we have an infinity of distortion.

Everything about this story is a lie. These lies keep getting more complex, more textured, more layered…

What we are witnessing is not just the repetition of hoaxes; we are witnessing the evolution of hoaxcraft from simplicity to complexity.

 

Art Imitates Life

Toward the end of Season 1, the plot of this show took an interesting turn, highlighting the grievances of some FBI agents (who took their grievances too far according to the show).

This faction within the FBI was disgusted with the endless corruption, beginning with its plan to blackmail Martin Luther King, its botching of the Waco incident, and its infiltration of radical militias in order to encourage them to carry through with attacks. The show insinuated that this happened in Oklahoma City, but we have more real evidence of incitement and entrapment for about a dozen cases. Even the Rolling Stone ran a story on that: “How FBI Entrapment Is Inventing ‘Terrorists.”

But as we know, FBI corruption and hypocrisy predate the latest scandals, and go all the way back to J. Edgar Hoover himself, who threatened and persecuted homosexuals while after hours he was a drag queen running around in pink tutus (which is fine as long as one is not a hypocrite).

Season 2 begins with a bang. Some of the characters moved from the FBI to the CIA. The show is about how a “rogue” group within the CIA (but is actually, in real life, above it), carries out terror attacks for various reasons. In the show, no one really knows who the bad guys are, and everyone suspects everyone else. True Believers end up being traitors; traitors are patriots; and patriots are suspect. It’s a merry-go-round.

We don’t really need Hollywood to tell us that the FBI and CIA, instead of protecting the bulk of mainstream society, are serve power (its abuse, mostly), and that these institutions are mostly filled with careerists who threaten the very values they pretend to protect.

Booking Flurry

Panama City

So I got online and quickly locked myself into future plans, mostly on Expedia.

On December 6, I fly from Chengdu to Rochester, NY, and that cost almost 600 bucks (one way).

On December 13, I fly to Phoenix to spend a week with my kids (will also in October), and that cost me 12,500 points in the frequent flier system, along with about 15 bucks.

On December 20, I will make a run for the border and through Mazatlan or some nearby beach. Run my loops, staying in the same places, eating in same restaurants, same habits, etc…

Then Guadalajara, then to Mexico City, where I also run loops. I’ve been going up and down Mexico on a regular basis for 20 years, not counting university summers before that, so I’m beginning to feel like the oldest dog on the block.

On January 3, I fly from Mexico City to Panama City, with a flight change in Costa Rica. It’s a red-eye flight. That cost me the very unusual sum of 333 dollars.

I will have a week to update my citizen ID card, called the Cedula, and maybe get a local driver’s license. And run my usual loops.

By that time, I might have a better idea if I want to relocate to Colombia, Brazil, or somewhere else. Where I can make some new loops.