Archive for the ‘Anarchy Journal Constitutional’ Category

 

By @anarchyroll
12/6/15

Do you know who Edward Snowden is? Probably.

Do you have an opinion on Edward Snowden? Definitely.

If there’s one thing that I have learned since Snowden popped his whistleblowing cherry, it’s that everyone has an opinion about him whether they know who he is or not. He is either a hero or a traitor. There is no in between or gray area for the masses for this man.

He is either the alpha patriot or the omega cyber terrorist. He either deserves to be given a medal or a noose around his neck.

The United States government on the record believes Edward Snowden to be a traitor who if ever captured will be tried as such. The United States and our allies are the good guys of the world. We protect the masses from the bad guys preemptively when possible, and defeat the bad guys by force when plausible.

Europe generally, and the European Union specifically have been an ally of America for quite some time. The Allied Powers of Word War II naturally comes to mind. One need not be up to the minute on international relations, politics, or events to know that Europe and America have a very positive and professional relationship regardless of specific country or state.
The European Union Parliament recently voted to give Edward Snowden asylum and to offer it to him with as little difficult as possible.

Can you imagine the EU doing this to someone the US government labeled a communist traitor during the Cold War

It’s not a radical example at all. Snowden is currently in Russia.

How can Snowden be a traitor of the highest level in the United States yet our greatest ally is now formally welcoming him with open arms? This was not a random, one off, toothless statement by some drunk politician. This was the equivalent of the United States Congress offering asylum to a man that a country like France had labeled a traitor.
Edward Snowden has become the very public face of a very private world. The world of big data, cyber crime, cyber warfare, and privacy in the digital world.

For better or for worse, whether one agrees or disagrees with his method, Snowden has brought about as important a conversation that can be had in the digital age. One can be the biggest supporter of government surveillance while still admitting that Snowden has spurred a healthy debate on the issue.

Do we not have the right to at least know we are being watched and recorded every time we use our smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop, and any other device that is connected to the internet? The fact is, most people, especially in America simply didn’t know or assume this before Snowden.

A whistleblower is different than a criminal. A whistleblower is different than a traitor. Is that not why the people behind the Pentagon Papers were not executed for treason?

It was very easy to paint Snowden as a traitor to America since he leaked government secrets to the public and has since taken barely secret residence in Russia. The EU formally offering him asylum turns the black and white into a very murky shade of gray.

Considering how many broadcast news stations have had in person interviews with Snowden since he received asylum in Russia indicates that he is not America’s most wanted. After recent terrorist attacks and mass shootings across America and its allies, it is clear that Snowden is not a terrorist even if one views him as a traitor.

If however, he has been formally offered asylum by America’s greatest and longest standing allies…how can he be a traitor?

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By @anarchyroll
11/29/15

All good things come to an end and nothing lasts forever…except diamonds of course.

Whether or not Spectre is the end of the Daniel Craig era proper, the spirit of change that Craig’s run as 007 has certainly passed. That much is made obvious by even a casual fan of the Bond franchise and/or someone who has seen all four films in Craig’s reign (Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, Spectre).

The name of the film was in advance, a not so subtle signal to the return of the franchise’s glory days.

From Dave Batista’s character being a nod to Jaws, to the full fledged return of the Spectre organization, and its leader Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Whereas Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace forcefully took the franchise in a bold new direction, Spectre is a return to the classic Bond archetype better and for worse.

The prior Craig films would often give a twist and a tip of the cap to prior Bond iconography. Even at times seeming to poke fun at some of the archetypes the franchise created and leaned heavily upon over the course of the last half century. Spectre at times seemed like a parody of the franchise made by the franchise to set up the future of the franchise.

Both Bond girls become stereotypical Bond girls and do so rather quickly. Bond’s car and gadget(s) are presented in flippant manners. The reveal of Christopher Waltz’s character as Blofeld is done in a setting/location that is a composite of the most stereotypical Bond villain hideouts and locales.

One must wonder why they ever diverted the franchise off course if to only bring it right back on it after less than a handful of films. I liked the new direction the Craig films took. But Skyfall was more of a traditional Bond film, so there were really only two films that upended the franchise to chart a new modern course in the modern era of major motion pictures.

Die Another Day although not as bad as some remember, certainly jumped the shark with virtually every aspect of the Bond franchise. A reboot to some degree was warranted after the invisible car chase. But to come full circle and go right back to tongue and cheeky within ten years and four films of the gritty, edgy, more realistic 007 seems trite at best and lazy at worst.

I’m all about a return to the roots. Bring on the lazers, jetpacks, and sexual innuendo named women. Why not make the next film a tip of the cap to the Austin Powers? At times, that’s what Spectre felt like.

I never cared that the franchise was being upended and made grittier when the Craig era started. I cared that the money making franchise started making quality, stand alone, artistic films again. The previous films (Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall) had cinematography that rivaled any other film that came out that year. The mise en scené of almost every frame was great filmmaking. A quest to make art seemed to replace the thirst to make more money.

Spectre was indeed a return to the classic Bond archetype. For better and for worse.

Those classic Bond movies were made for popcorn entertainment and for making money. Perhaps the gears of the money making machine that is modern motion picture making finally chewed up and spit out the artistic spirit of the franchises’ modern era. Perhaps that has something to do with director Sam Mendes and star Daniel Craig both vehemently stating they don’t want to return to the franchise.

Perhaps what is old is simply new again.

If that is the case, where can I place a substantial monetary bet that the title of the next Bond film will have the word Gold somewhere in it?

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By @anarchyroll
11/14/15

What is a life worth?

Which lives are more valuable than others?

What makes a life or a group of lives more valuable than others?

There has been so much justified sadness and anger at the terrorist attacks on in Paris. But ISIS has been killing people by the hundreds in the Middle East for quite a long time now. The war in Syria has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and displaced millions, literally millions of people.

The news media has reported these facts. The refugee crisis in the Europe grabbed plenty of headlines. President Obama has spoken about Syria publicly. Russia’s direct and indirect involvement there has been international news more than once. But public outcry, sadness, and prayers have been at a minimal if not absent from the discourse completely.

Over 100 dead civillians is a big number for a terrorist attack. It is a tragedy. It is sad. It is horrible in every sense of the word. But why are those lives worth more attention and mourning than the hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths that ISIS has contributed to in the Middle East?

There’s no right or wrong answer. These questions are not being asked from a pedestal. But they are questions worth asking and worth thinking about in between news updates from the blood stained streets of Paris.

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By @anarchyroll
11/9/15

I have been meditating for around six years now. The total time spent meditating is much lower than that number would make it seem. I like many caucasian Americans who start meditating, have had long gaps between meditation sessions.

This calendar year of 2015 has by far been my best year practicing meditation thanks to the Calm.com smartphone app. I recommend that app passionately to all novice and intermediate meditation practicioners.

This year, as of this writing, I have logged 44 hours and 44 minutes of meditation using the Calm app to guide my meditation practices. I most often use it when I wake up in the morning, during my lunch break at work, before I go out to a social establishment, and/or before I go to sleep.

On Halloween this year I worked until the early evening, went to a Party City and bought $25 of zombie make up, went home to eat, meditate, and go out for the night. Halloween has turned into an adult holiday in the last decade, it is one of the few days a year where it is better to be single. I was looking forward to going out to play.

I started a standard, guided mediation, with a slightly more than average emphasis on deep breathing. As the meditation was progressing, I quickly felt something quite different.

Adrenaline rushes, endorphin release, oxytocin spikes, are events most people are familiar with. It is why we watch scary movies, skydive, prefer rough sex, do drugs, eat junkfood, drink booze, exercise intensely, etc. That feeling that starts in the head and quickly rushes through the entire body giving us simultaneously the internal and external feelings of what we know deep down is what it REALLY feels like to be alive.

This feeling often comes in short, sporadic bursts. We chase after the feeling in our own individual ways. Those who let the chase interfere with or confuse it with their purpose in life are often designated as addicts.

Before I started what I thought would be a standard pre sarge meditation I took a round of mood support supplements. 5 HTP, Theanine, and Inositol each in capsule form. A combination I had taken dozens if not hundreds of times before in an attempt to balance my neurotransmitters and the moods, emotions, and thoughts tied to them.

I turned off the lights, opened the app, and within three minutes of a five minuted guided session, I was experiencing a full body endorphin and adrenaline rush that I was able to induce and control based upon my breath.

I thought it would end quickly, maybe as soon as the guided session’s gong tolled. But it didn’t, it kept going as if I had a bomb trigger in my hand and taking a deep breath was pressing the button. Attaching positive thoughts, affirmations, and memories to the breath made the rush exponentially more intense and orgasmic.

I kept thinking of how to describe this event. It was not an endorphin rush, it was a flood. It wasn’t stopping.

When I would ask myself through my inner monologue or out loud how I felt I could only come up with the words; euphoria, ecstacy, the term heaven on earth, and of course happiness and gratitude.

I did not experience halluciations, I never felt out of control.

I felt pure love, peace, and joy. As if my inner child came out to play after years of hiding under layers of depression, burnout, and fear.

Goosebumps covered my arms, legs, hands, feet, back and head.

I decided to not go out until the experience subsided. I figured, even if were to go out and get a tremendous alcohol induced buzz followed by great sex with a woman or women I met; I could only equal the feeling I was experiencing in those moments. Plus I figured, how much longer could this endorphin flood last? I could let it run it’s course, put on my zombie make up, head out, and still try to have as much adult fun as the law would allow.

Four hours later, I was exhausted from the euphoria. I’m sure anyone reading this who goes to summer music festivals can relate.

I did not want to experience to end but I was very tired, and if anything, was excited to see if the experience would carry over into my dreams. It didn’t, but the entire next day I would get mini rushes or spikes at the more common length of a few seconds to a minute or so.

What did I experience exactly? Did the supplements play a factor? Did I reach some level of meditation mastery? Did someone slip something into my afternoon protein shake? Was I asleep? Had I slept?

All I know is that I know nothing and that I am happy and grateful for the experience that happened through me as much or more than it happened to me.

A stone cold sober ecstacy trip is not an every day occurence…..yet. Gotta have goals to chase after all.

I was certainly touched deeply by the experience. Since that night my bad moods have been shorter, my good moods longer, my productivity is up, procrastination is down. My sleep has been better and just as important, I have been more aware while awake.

A turning point? A reference point? A tipping point?

Is there a point?

Yeah, meditation is awesome. It has saved my life. It has improved my life. Every time I practice it teaches me more about myself, life, and the universe.

Maybe I was being rewarded for my practice.

Maybe I was given a glimpse of things to come.

Or maybe the chemicals and neurotransmitters in my brain just coincidentally aligned and fired off a once in a lifetime mental fireworks show marathon.

It passed, as everything does.

And I am happy and grateful.

Namaste

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By @anarchyroll
10/26/15

Freedom, an innate human desire.

Wars are fought both internally and externally for it.

People die for freedom

Others die to be free

Some people have chains on their wrists and on their ankles

Some have chains in their minds and hearts

But whether trying to exercise demons or remove shackles of tyranny

It is only organization and structure through which freedom is accomplished

To find freedom any other way is fleeting at best

And most quickly faded

Uniting with others to create strength externally

Forcing forward focus internally

There is no other way

To say there is is to lie

Unless your only definition of freedom

Is to be alone when you die

by @anarchyroll
10/14/2014

Breathing in fire, smoke, and chemical additives is certainly different from sitting down. Sitting is the new smoking is a term that has caught on recently, with the good intention of attempting to curb the obesity epidemic.

It has come to the surface that excessive sitting whether for work or to binge watch television shows is like pouring gasoline on the fire that is the chances of getting cancer in America.

There are many good groups, charities, drives, purposes, and quests to try to stand up to cancer. Equating sitting down to smoking a cigarette is not one of them. More exercise is good. Clean eating is good. Regular medical check ups are good. Preventive medicine is good. Telling people sitting down too much will kill them, is bad. Using fear as a tool for a good cause is nothing more than a pipe dream, it is an oxymoron. Fear is a tool for bad, and evil. A good cause, in the end cannot benefit from using fear as a tool.

Scaring people to exercise? Most people are already scared to exercise. Are we counting on a double negative? The threat of diabetes and aesthetic exile aren’t already enough, we’re going to go the; being fat will give you cancer route?

I am a person who exercises regularly. I am a person who believes in physical fitness, clean eating, mental sharpening, and emotional well-being. I have also been a fast food eating, knowledge hating, couch potato. People who live a life, in which their hopes and dreams, of the life they want to live, are vastly beyond out of reach; seek solace in the relaxation and escapism that a comfortable seat and a high-definition screen to stare at, provides them.

The physical activity is just more work; is a paradigm of work being associated with pain. What are we as a society doing to make people associate physical activity with pleasure? Besides fat shaming and feeding into the narcissism of the physically fit in the name of inspiration.

Epidemic is not a term to be used or confused lightly. An epidemic is not solved by telling people to drink more water and/or take more vitamins. The obesity epidemic in America is as much a psychological one as it is a physical one. Until we as a society, culture, and race are willing to address the tough, deep, and complicated questions about why people are willing to cause massive suffering to their bodies in the name of temporary pleasure for the mind and spirit; then anything and everything done to curb such behaviors and habits are nothing more than lip service. The only thing worse than lip service is fear mongering, which is exactly what the sitting is the new smoking movement is; even if it is a road paved with good intentions.

by @anarchyroll
10/2/2014

So is the US at war with Syria or what?

This question and the “counter terrorism campaign” that the United States is engaging in with ISIS/ISIL is a teaching lesson for both entire world. The lesson is that the definition of war is different than it was before the year 2000. War is now, predominately, airstrikes and bombings from remote-controlled, unmanned, flying drones.

The reason President Obama and the media have been using the term “boots on the ground” so early and often recently, is because boots on the ground is how most people think of war. People think of war as ground troops, trenches, tanks, hummers and so on. Men fighting men, or person fighting person on the ground with swords, guns, etc is what people envision when a war is being fought since the beginning of time. That is no longer the case, or perhaps a better way to put it is, ground troops are no longer required for America to be at war.

How/Why? Because America’s wars are now fought with drones.

A formal declaration of war is no longer required to go to war. We have learned that over the past half century with America’s involvement with North Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq. What we are learning over the past decade is that human soldiers or boots on the ground, are also no longer required to go to war. We now send unmanned, weaponized, flying drones.

But war is war no matter what we or the government may like to call it. 30 dead school children is not a by-product of an airstrike gone awry, it is collateral damage of a war.

We’ve also learned in the last decade that we don’t need a country to go to war with. That’s not liberal sarcasm. Al-Qaeda is not a country and neither is ISIS. Remember in 2001 when George W. Bush declared a “War on Terror”? Well that wasn’t a metaphor. We were at war in Afghanistan before the end of 2001 and by mid 2003 we were at war in Iraq. Under Obama we have been at war in Yemen and Somalia. The difference between Bush and Obama’s wars? Bush’s involved human soldiers, Obama’s involve drones.

So now in addition to our drone wars in Yemen and Somalia, we are carrying out additional drone wars in Syria and Iraq.

Although those drones are physically unmanned aircrafts, they are still piloted by humans via remote control. Did you know that remote control drone operators suffer from post traumatic stress disorder just like ground troops do? Why wouldn’t they? They’re soldiers engaging in the hell that is war.

Let us not be fooled or fool ourselves, America is at war. America is perpetually at war. America is constantly at war. Why? Well there are those in the world that if left unchecked would commit a 9/11 style attack on our country every hour on the hour. That fact can’t be denied. Pandora’s box has been opened in regards to the militarized, religious radicals of the middle east trying to jihad America until the country is nothing more than rubble and ashes. The other reason we are perpetually at war however, is the Military Industrial Complex.

Make not mistake and don’t let yourself be fooled. There are real threats to America’s safety in the world AND the Military Industrial Complex is in the business of keeping America engaged in military action for the same reason McDonald’s wants as many people to eat hamburgers as humanly possible. Drones help keep the body count down, and keeps the money coming in. Until the latter somehow changes, America will always be perpetually at war regardless of the size or severity of any and all threats against us.

 

by @anarchyroll
9/22/2014

Priorities can be hard to prioritize. In a world where there are multiple wars, Ebola outbreaks, wildfires, droughts, massive political corruption, famine, floods etc; celebrity gossip, cat videos, memes, and ironic gifs rule the media and our attention spans. More people vote for reality television talent competitions than in elections. So it is with the utmost pleasant surprise to find that America has tangibly and measurably decided that the future of net neutrality is more important than a female pop singer exposing her nipple at a football game.

Remember Nipplegate? If you don’t, you’re lucky or young or both. Well up until this month, that issue was the event that the FCC received the most complaints about in their history. Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson decided that a Sunday evening musical performance during halftime at the most watched television event in history (at the time) was a good time to expose one of Jackson’s nipples covered in a silver pasty. Middle America freaked out and a wrath of censorship followed. One of the many side effects of this was Howard Stern moving to satellite radio.

Well move over ten-year old musical performance, because something that actually matters has taken your place at the top of the heap!  The future of net neutrality, which literally will affect every person in America who uses the internet, is now the most commented topic in the history of the Federal Communications Commission.

The people have spoken, the 99% wants the open internet to remain as is. It is positively refreshing to see so many people speak up and speak out about something of such grave importance. Remember just because many people use the internet to fuel procrastination, narcissism, and vices doesn’t mean those are the only uses for the internet. The open internet is vitally important to the present and future of our society and culture.

What will the FCC do now that the people of spoken? Comcast, Time Warner, and Verizon are hoping to use lobbying based leverage to gain complete control over the world wide web. This issue is a true litmus test between who has more power in the world going forward; the 1% or the 99%. Whichever way the FCC ends up going, whether people know it or not, we all have a horse in this race.

by @anarchyroll
9/3/2014

The war for the future of the internet is being waged now, in real-time by lobbyists of the big US Telcom companies.

If this were a court case, then apparently the people who don’t work for Comcast, Time Warner, and Verizon would be represented by Netflix.

Now of course Netflix is publicly and privately battling the nation’s broadband providers for their own personal gain as well. There is no such thing as a free lunch after all, especially when millions, upon billions of dollars are involved.

However, Netflix has now officially earned some benefit of the doubt for reasons other than how good House of Cards and Orange is the New Black are. Netflix has taken three public steps that directly help the consumers:

  1. Opposing the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner
  2. Lobbying to maintain Net Neutrality
  3. Campaigning for Municipal Broadband

Netflix may be looking out for its own bottom line. But each stance that they have publicly come out in favor of or against directly benefits working class people who use the internet. Coming out against the proposed merger which would create a broadband monopoly, is a good thing for consumers. Drawing attention to net neutrality is good for consumers. Encouraging the development of municipal broadband is good for consumers.

In the fight against the billion dollar companies who want complete control of the internet, the common people need someone with deep pockets in our corner. Netflix has repeatedly stepped up to the plate publicly this year alone. They’re not a non-profit or NGO. But when billion dollar corporations are doing everything they can to reduce choice and increase cost to access the information superhighway, we the consumers will take help anywhere we can get it. I for one, will take the million dollar company that brought Arrested Development back, in my corner any day of the week.

by @anarchyroll
8/30/2014

There are many issues going on in Ferguson worth examining:

  • Race relations in America
  • The militarization of police
  • Urban inequality
  • The line between civil disobedience and riots
  • Arrests of journalists for doing their jobs

The war on journalism was on display early in Ferguson. It has taken a back seat in recent weeks due to repeated examples of the brutal force by the militarized police of Ferguson against unarmed citizens in the wake of the shooting of an unarmed teenager.

Reporters getting arrested isn’t as big a story as SWAT teams repeatedly threatening civilians on camera and using military like force against unarmed civilians on camera. Certainly the death of an unarmed civilian at the hands of police officer, followed up by days and weeks of not only unapologetic but antagonistic conduct by the police force against the rest of the town of Ferguson’s protesting population is a bigger story than journalists being arrested.

However journalists being arrested in America is a big deal. In the big picture, in the grand scheme, a precedent of journalists being arrested on American soil for doing nothing within the realm of anything against the law is a bigger deal than the death of a single civilian. That may sound highly insensitive to some. I understand and accept that. If it was a relative of mine, or someone in my area of residence, I would certainly be more outraged about the killing of an unarmed teen and tear gassing of peaceful protesters more than some male, Caucasian reporters who got arrested in a McDonald’s and released a few hours later.

But the freedom of the press, is in the First Amendment. Right up there with the right to free speech. Journalists may get arrested and/or beheaded in the Middle and Far East, but not in America. When the press is getting arrested for merely trying to grab a bite to eat and recharge smartphones, we have bigger problems in America than a few racist cops in the heartland.

The war on the press is not a cold war either. It has very much been a hot war under the Obama Administration. An administration that has been dubbed “the greatest threat to press freedom in a generation” by a New York Times writer who is being prosecuted by the Obama Administration for doing his job and not revealing a source for an article he wrote.

Barack Obama and his administration have prosecuted seven journalists or whistleblowers under the Espionage Act of 1917. That is more than all previous Presidents/administrations combined.

Ferguson has brought many issues that the public has wanted to ignore into the national spotlight. This is the light that comes after the darkness of a tragic event. All the issues listed at the beginning of the article are important issues that need to be not only talked about but addressed through local, state, and federal regulation. I would simply point out that without a free press, which is being attacked by local police in Ferguson, and the Executive Branch of the United States Government, none of us would know what is going on in Ferguson, Washington, or anywhere that isn’t our own backyard. And our free press is very much in real danger in real time.