, ,

Indoctrination or: Education’s Failure

“It is only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know.” -Henry David Thoreau

In my time amid the hustle and bustle of the Internet and in the company of people from any number of backgrounds, one thing has become abundantly clear to me: very few have the faintest clue what they truly believe, much less why they even believe it. It’s not so much that they’ve been avoiding understanding, but rather for centuries our culture has encouraged so many of us to lead insular lives. Traditionally, we surround ourselves with like-minded peers who simply create an echo chamber for our ideas, thus cutting off any need for the necessary critical discussion that brings about understanding.

Read more

Perpetual War

A drowning, pestilential rodent flailing about, dying in its own diseased filth, desperate for escape. That’s the image that has repeatedly come to my mind for the past few months. This administration has been caught with its pants down numerous times, and its sniveling supporters on both sides of the aisle have been outed. Those few who still respect their oath to the Constitution have turned against the dying hive (at least, publicly), and the administration is losing control.

What card could be played to take back the reins? History provides a clear answer: war. War is the easiest way to silence dissent and centralize power. How to sweeten the pot? A “humanitarian” war in the Middle East. There’s nothing modern liberals love more than a supposedly humanitarian cause, and neocons can spin any military action in the Middle East into the defense of Israel to satisfy their evangelical base. And both sides have been biting at the bits for years seeking a justification for interventionist military aggression somewhere, anywhere. Like magic, there’s bipartisan support.

The concept of blowback cannot be ignored for much longer. How much hatred for America must we instill in the world, how much American blood must be wasted policing the world, intervening in matters that are not our concern, bankrupting ourselves before the collectivists will be satisfied? They’ll never be satisfied, of course, because that’s part of the collectivist creed: sacrifice of all for others. I refuse.


Reflections on DC

It’s been roughly half a decade since my last tour with a choir, and this year my return to the grand adventure was set in the area of our nation’s capital. Over the course of two days, we spent about six hours roaming the city on free time. I was very happy to finally mark a couple spots in Washington off my list of places to see, but at the same time I couldn’t help but take serious notice of the monster surrounding me. I truly do not wish to become one of those who politicize every aspect of life, but the message and atmosphere in DC is so overwhelming it cannot simply be ignored. I came away from Washington not with a sense of awe or pride in our nation, but rather with great sadness.

Read more


Vox Clamantis In Deserto

[quote style=”4″ author=”-Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead“]He was addressing everyone. He was addressing no one. He felt no answer, not even the echo of his own words striking against the membrane of an eardrum. His words were falling down a well, hitting stone salients on their way, and each salient refused to stop them, threw them farther, tossed them from one another, sent them to seek a bottom that did not exist.[/quote]

My friends, today I offer you an apology. I have become one of the very people from whom I myself turn away. I recently realized that I now post or comment on little except items related to politics. No sane person wishes to be bombarded with endless proselytizing, especially not from someone who is still finding his way in the world. Were I on your end, I would likely have turned myself off by now, just as I have done with others for the same reasons. I hope you will permit me an explanation and a promise for the future.

Over the past few years I have found my philosophy dramatically changed, leaving little of the naïve character of my high school days. In some ways, this revolution came so smoothly as to go unrecognized even by myself, while other aspects were forced into change by conflict. In the end, though, what I found was that my guiding principles and beliefs were now largely at odds with nearly every person I knew. I was uncomfortable. I was afraid. Had I come to the right conclusions? Could I be following yet another dead-end path, just as before? Despite my fear, all of my reason and all of my heart reassured me—and continue to—that this was the way. Indeed, I had found a peace I had never known before, a confidence and a sure foundation necessary for building a life.

But, as always, there’s a second side. As I said, the core of my philosophy was now in near constant conflict with those around me and even more so with a large portion of our society. Undoubtedly to the despair of some, I have also become increasingly vocal since my days as an acquiescent schoolboy. In the realm of politics this characteristic fits well, as long as you’re one who somehow still sees a two-sided coin. In this tunneled setup all you have to do is argue back and forth with the other side. I am not one of those people. I can only see a coin with two heads, each spouting with forked tongue it’s own take on the same evil. With every discussion I must enter the fray with sword and shield, battling one misguided side while I fend off the other. Now, in the wake of recent events and a tyranny that seems to neither acknowledge any bounds nor owe allegiance to any oath, I grow tired.

I’m furious, I’m bitter, and I’m weary. The joy and hope I found in my new worldview that took over my old life has been usurped by a deep cynicism and anger. As the siren draws the sailor, I can’t rest for hearing or reading something that enrages me to comment or argue. And as with the sailor, I foresee my doom by the hand of this siren if I am unable to change my course.

There is certainly just cause for my anger: I’m forced to stand by and watch as my liberty and my future are obliterated by the very system intended to protect them. How can I possibly stand by in silence? But there was a time not long ago when I reveled in the works of Thoreau and the like, dreaming of hiking part of the Appalachian Trail, to “live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to put to rout all that was not life and not when I had come to die discover that I had not lived.” Today I find myself in constant conflict, unable to simply live. I’m hoarse from yelling at insufferable, ignorant “news” reporters. My keyboard is worn from diatribes against politicians and their moral bankruptcy. I want to return to dreaming again, and just enjoy life.

You’re not fortunate enough for me to go completely dark on politics, though. Particularly egregious items will still draw my venom, but I sincerely hope they will be few and far between (honestly, I’m not holding my breath on that one, though). I want to return to sharing the things I love: music, photos, technology, etc.

I hope you will continue with me in this renewed direction and maybe even help keep me accountable. Thank you, truly, for sticking with me these past months. I hope I may once again earn your friendship and your loyalty.

What If…

“What if our foreign policy of the past century is deeply flawed and has not served our national security interests?

“What if we wake up one day and realize that the terrorist threat is the predictable consequence of our meddling in the affairs of others, and has nothing to do with us being free and prosperous?

“What if propping up repressive regimes in the Middle East endangers both the United States and Israel?

“What if occupying countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, and bombing Pakistan, is directly related to the hatred directed toward us?

“What if someday it dawns on us that losing over 5,000 American military personnel in the Middle East since 9/11 is not a fair tradeoff for the loss of nearly 3,000 American citizens no matter how many Iraqi, Pakistani, or Afghan people are killed or displaced?

“What if we finally decide that torture, even if called “enhanced interrogation technique,” is self-destructive and produces no useful information, and that contracting it out to a third world nation is just as evil?

“What if it is finally realized that war and military spending is always destructive to the economy?

“What if all wartime spending is paid for through the deceitful and evil process of inflating and borrowing?

“What if we finally see that wartime conditions always undermine personal liberty?

“What if Conservatives who preach small government wake up and realize that our interventionist foreign policy provides the greatest incentive to expand the government?

“What if Conservatives understood once again that their only logical position is to reject military intervention and managing an empire throughout the world?

“What if the American people woke up and understood that the official reasons for going to war are almost always based on lies and promoted by war propaganda in order to serve special interests?

“What if we as a nation came to realize that the quest for empire eventually destroys all great nations?

“What if Obama has no intention of leaving Iraq?

“What if a military draft is being planned for the wars that would spread if our foreign policy is not changed?

“What if the American people learned the truth: that our foreign policy has nothing to do with national security, that it never changes from one administration to the next?

“What if war and preparation for war is a racket serving the special interests?

“What if President Obama is completely wrong about Afghanistan and it turns out worse than Iraq and Vietnam put together?

“What if Christianity actually teaches peace and not preventive wars of aggression?

“What if diplomacy is found to be superior to bombs and bribes in protecting America?

“What happens if my concerns are completely unfounded? Nothing.

“But what happens if my concerns are justified and ignored? Nothing good.”

-Ron Paul (2/13/2009)

Gary Johnson

As some may know by now, I am a libertarian (though I am not officially part of the Libertarian Party because of long-standing personal principles that require my continued independence). Last night I made the short trip over to Duke University and had the great pleasure of hearing Gary Johnson speak at a seminar addressing ignored policy issues. Though my heart is still with Dr. Paul, he has more than earned his retirement and I respect his decision. Since, Gary Johnson has really stepped up as a potential new leader of the Liberty Movement. His background speaks for itself and he is carrying on with a platform very similar to Dr. Paul’s.

Johnson followed up behind four other great speakers (including Barbara Howe, the Libertarian Party candidate for North Carolina Governor) who spoke on everything from marijuana legalization to non-interventionism to freedom of speech. (While I don’t personally condone marijuana, I can’t find any reasonable argument against the Libertarian stance, mainly because it actually uses portions of my own principles.) Now, Johnson has had my support since Dr. Paul’s own party buried him with every dirty, unconscionable trick they could muster, but he really earned my praise tonight as he said nearly word for word what I’ve been railing about for years:

“We’re on a forty university and campus tour: I’m doing twenty, Judge Jim Gray is doing twenty. Why are we out talking to college students? Why are we out talking to young people? Because you all are getting screwed. I’m going to retire, I’m going to have healthcare, but you have to work and you will never retire and you’re not going to have healthcare, because there is no paying this off – none whatsoever. And then President Obama’s healthcare plan…let’s see, that’s a plan that’s dependent on healthy people having to pay for insurance for those who aren’t so healthy. That’s a burden that falls on young people who are healthy. You’re graduating from college with a home mortgage without a home… And then the worst of all: you all are the ones that are going overseas, you all are the ones putting your lives on the line, you all are the ones that are dying for all of this or you’re coming back hurt in ways that we are going to have to care for you for the rest of your lives – we have that obligation and we need to meet that obligation.”

Watch the entire speech:

Thank you, Gary Johnson. You have my vote.

Learn more about Gary Johnson: http://www.garyjohnson2012.com


I’ve been told that I’m “radical.” And indeed, from many of today’s hopelessly entrenched perspectives, I am. But here’s my problem: when did encouraging independence of the mind, putting God-given Reason above faith, demanding strict adherence to the Constitution, seeking our natural individual Liberty, fighting to keep my right to what I have earned, securing safety and a future for myself and my progeny, never becoming complacent with the status quo, and pursuing truth at all costs become “radical?” If these principles make me a “radical,” then I will wear the badge proudly.

, The Fight Continues

“Tech companies and users teamed up. Tens of millions of people who make the Internet what it is joined together to defend their freedoms. The free network defended itself.” –Fight for the Future

Congratulations! We dealt a heavy blow to SOPA and PIPA yesterday! There are currently 64 supporters to 108 opponents. Tens of thousands of websites staged some form of protest, encouraging their visitors to learn about the threat and contact Congress. Traditionally-neutral sites like Wikipedia and WordPress broke from their rules to defend themselves. Google, alone, had over 7 million names added to their petition. Mozilla reached over 40 million people with their message against censorship. Twitter users mentioned the bills over 4 million times. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, alone, had over 1 million messages to Congress sent through their system. Congressional websites were crippled most of the day from overwhelming traffic.

It cost the entertainment industry, who has vehemently opposed every technological advance from the VCR to streaming content, almost $100 million to get these bills where they are. In response, the tech community, in one day, used the full might of the Internet to ensure it’s own future. The direct monetary cost? Negligible.

Without a doubt, some elements of these bills have been exaggerated. But if history has taught us anything, it’s that when governments are given a micron, they’ll simply give themselves the entire kilometer when you look away. (Yeah, yeah… engineers… 🙂 ) Better yet, these politicians who are determining the fate of the free network have no clue as to how it actually works. They have been put to shame numerous times by engineers and experts who understand the harm such legislation can do.

The fight is far from over! The House and Senate still intend to vote in the coming weeks, and they’ll be quick to make superficial changes to soothe less adamant opponents. Keep it up, my friends!

, Time to Take a Stand

Hello all! Today, we approach a dangerous precipice. The U.S. Congress is soon to vote on legislation that would give the U.S. government the power to take down, without due process, websites accused of copyright infringement and the freedom to heavily fine supposed violators. According to the entertainment industry, such power is necessary to combat “rampant piracy.” However, this is not the way. SOPA and PIPA can only hurt our economy and strangle the free innovation the Internet has made possible. Today, I join Google, Wikipedia, Reddit, and thousands of others in an open protest of this grotesque demonstration of purchased legislation. From 8am to 8pm on 18 January, my sites will go dark. If you too value the Internet as the invaluable resource it is today, please join me in writing or calling your representatives in opposition to these bills.

To learn more about these bills: https://www.google.com/landing/takeaction/