Dystopian Future

Dear FutureMe,

Just saw this new video of a dystopian future: ROSE | Short Film by Omid Pakbin

It is well done. Omid says he got the entire film done for $8,000.

I’d like to post it in the politics channel of some of the Discord servers I’m on, where my Circle-Of-Friends-On-The-Internet hang out. Well, I’d like to, but being on OpenSuSE, the Discord app is broken because the publisher has a new version out, and they don’t publish to the OpenSuSE repositories. I have to wait until a community member packages it for me. I have a running list of when Discord is working versus not working here: Discord app update – hooray! 🙂

As of this writing, Discord has been down since the 12th, and today is the 17th.

Anyway, if I’m still alive in 2028, how close did Omid nail it?

We already know that China is implementing the social credit score system today.

Seven days after Biden was elected, a guy, Douglass Mackey, was charged and found guilty of a tweet in the 2016 Presidential Race. Yes, in 2023 he was sentenced to 7 months in prison for a 2016 joke tweet. “Social Media Influencer Douglass Mackey Sentenced after Conviction for Election Interference in 2016 Presidential Race

Recently there was a hearing on weaponizations of the government, where testimony was provided that after the 2016 election, federal officials said “something had to be done”. In their view, an outsider presidential candidate was such a threat that they needed to implement some censorship regimes: and they did so. Both Facebook and Twitter (pre- Elon) censored the Hunter Biden laptop story so that it wouldn’t spread and change the 2020 election.

There have been several hearings about weaponizations of the federal government to implement a censorship industrial complex. The censorship industrial complex was proposed in 2018, and was in force at Facebook and Twitter for the 2020 election. We wouldn’t know about Google unless a whistleblower comes forward; but their deplatforming of certain people on YouTube is obvious censorship.

Google, for weeks, was scrubbing news about the biggest denier of Pizzagate being found to be a producer of child porn. Today, they no longer say “this story is developing therefore it is too new to report on”, but they don’t link to much that makes Slade Sohmer look bad. They (mostly) only link to news that it’s all conspiracy theory.

So Google is on board with the censorship industrial complex. Facebook is too. Twitter / X under Elon appears to be the only social media company against it. Rumble will gladly host people against it, but they aren’t gaining much traction.

Bruce Schneier also points out that spying on people will only get worse with AI.

So the question is: just how close to truth is Omid Pakbin’s video going to get? It’s a great movie short: less than twelve minutes long. Very high quality, and amazing that it was pulled together which such a low budget.

Portion of an email I sent my congressmen

The EFF pointed out that H.R.6611 is going for a vote, and it does nothing to fix the abuses of power exposed by the Snowden revelations. I wrote the following and sent it in my email to my congressman.

As your constituent, I request you to vote “no” on the FISA Reform and Reauthorization Act of 2023 (H.R.6611) which was introduced by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI).

HPSCI was established as an oversight committee, a response to uncovering unsupervised wrongdoings against helpless victims. Oversight committees don’t emerge when everything is going well; they arise when abuses of power are exposed. Unfortunately, HPSCI seems to have forgotten its purpose, allowing itself to be swayed by those who justify their actions, portraying themselves as heroes. Instead of being watchdogs protecting us from Big Brother’s abuses, HPSCI has become their lapdogs, aiding in the pursuit of more victims.

The proposed bill, H.R.6611, the FISA Reform and Reauthorization Act of 2023, is just another act in the theater of governance – doing nothing to rectify past harm and avoiding crucial reforms that would shield the U.S.A. from further damage.

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, a sound idea in 1792, remains relevant today. I urge you to vote against H.R.6611 and demand that HPSCI revisits the drawing board with a new bill that puts an end to warrantless surveillance.

I appreciate your time and attention to my request.

Me

Gavin Newsom resents Californians?

I don’t know what else would explain choosing Dianne Feinstein’s replacement from Maryland. Maryland now gets 3 Senators and California gets 1.

I understand that the original design of two houses, with Senators versus Representatives was so that the big states with lots of representatives couldn’t bully the smaller states around. But that doesn’t mean that a large state should simply cede its power away. We should get an equal seat at the table.

Yes, the new senator from Maryland has spent her entire career as (essentially) a (under funded) lobbyist, so is deeply embeded in Washington DC politics.

But nothing about that helps Californians.

Matt Taibbi question “Where have all the Liberals Gone?”

https://open.substack.com/pub/taibbi/p/where-have-all-the-liberals-gone

I think it is a valid question, but from my point of view the answer is sinister. Although this is a nice catchy headline, the question Matt is asking might better be stated “Why have Liberals switched to being against freedom of speech?”

My answer is that Liberals have a faith that the government solves problems; that the people in government are good folk doing good works.

Me, I’m a Libertarian, so from my point of view the more honest phrase is “… government are good folk doing good works (with other people’s money)”. Conservatives and Libertarians will donate to the charity of their choice, thank you very much. We trust charities to spend money wisely because their funding is optional, provided by their donors. If they waste money, the donors will leave. But I digress.

Back to the problem: Government has been “regulatory captured” (to use a contemporary phrase) by the deep state, who are more interested in control than good.

I’m sure it is not lost on the deep state that revolutionary forms of communication media cause tumultuous change. Hilter harnessed the power of radio; prior to radio somone wanting to be a leader could only talk at 500 – 1,000 people at a time (at most) in a beer hall or stadium. Slightly more with electricity and amplification. After radio, Hilter could talk at 100,000, then a million, then millions, every week.

So along comes Facebook and Twitter, and of course the deep state wants to control them. To control them is to control the future.

Were people allowed to converse freely, they might question the decision to cede any power to the deep state (which does not run on democratic representation).

Shouldn’t government be completely transparent about who is spending your (taxpayer) money? Who are these people, and why are we funding them? How do we stop them?

I can imagine this leads to a reaction: “Oof. These people are going to destroy everything. Quick! We need bread and circuses! Stat!” And when that isn’t enough, we get this:

From that point of view, Donald Trump was a masterful psy-op. It is still working today.

Although personally I don’t think the deep state is that smart. I think they blundered by thinking that there was zero chance that Donald Trump would actually win; but they misunderstood just how bad Hillary Clinton was as candidate. I could digress some more, but I’ll stop.

Matt Taibbi asks why are Liberals so on-board with suppressing free thought / free speech? My answer is it is because they are listening to the whispers in their ear from their deep state advisors: “If you let the rabble say their terrible things, everything will go to hell. You (we) will lose everything gained. You’ve got to control the narrative – no matter what! (First Ammendment be damned).”

Ultimately, the deep state has successfully convinced Liberals that they should not serve the public: the public should serve them. Only if they can do their work unfettered will they be successful in their good works – so don’t trust the public: rule them.

It’s the deep state way.

(Potential) Future Modern Discourse

AMC theaters and Zoom have announced a collaboration. Big-ass Zoom meetings with a group of people in each the theater (17 cities so far).

I think the Libertarian Party should use this technology to conduct this sort of event, to nail down what they want their official party platform should be.

Once a month, every month, a new topic is tackled. Once we get all the topics defined, we wrap around and revisit each topic, to see if it needs some realignment. Perhaps new technology brings about some change that gives us reason to adjust a position.

Then, anyone running for office who wants the Libertarian Party endoorsement would need to pledge to support all the topics defined. Also, any Libertarian candidate should know what the party stands for, as declared by it’s membership.

Once a month, dinner and a movie, except instead of a movie broadcast into your brain, you get to interactively participate in building the future.

The year 2022: Late stage 2021 but with new, higher prices

h/t to one of Scott Adams Twitter followers, responding to a challenge to summarize 2022 in the snarkiest way possible.

The whole thing is a psy op run by incompetents at behest of elites inflicted upon the aimless. It came about through sixty years of indoctrination: “Buy this shit from our advertiser; that will make you happy.”

Saturday Night Live should just give up

In today’s climate, and with the concessions Lorne Michaels has had to make over the years, it will never be as funny as this: U.S. Ministry of Truth Interrogates Man Who Shared Misinformation

I remember watching SNL as a kid, back in the 1970’s. It was truly hilarious. 1970’s SNL would have done this skit, exactly, this coming Saturday.

Today’s SNL is likely getting pressured to let Nina Jankowicz host the show instead of (correctly) being mocked on it.

Lorne Michaeals probably sees that SNL is in hospice care. His beloved baby has grown ill, and it’s terminal.

He should do the right thing and pull the plug. Let it die with at least a little dignity left.

I doubt that his corporate owners will let him do that, however.

Once you’ve been bamboozled ….

Once you’ve been bamboozled, it is almost impossible to become un-bamboozled.

This was from an AskReddit question about “What was the best quote or life changing saying or most profound advice people had heard?” Something like that; but my search did not find the exact entry to cite. One of the answers was this one. It’s great. I mentioned this to a friend of mine; he thought Carl Sagan had said it. Well, essentially yes, but not exactly. Carl Sagan’s quote goes like this:

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/85171-one-of-the-saddest-lessons-of-history-is-this-if

This is well said, but also really wordy, plus throws in a ten dollar word: charlatan. I like the short and sweet version.

It seems to me that the almost the entire USA has been bamboozled about politics.

The Left has been bamboozled that Donald Trump Is A Bad Man.

The Right has been bamboozled that Donald Trump Is A Good Man.

I remember seeing a cartoon not that long ago (within a year or two) that had a King on a balcony with an advisor, overlooking an angry mob. Here it is (I linked to the original source, so you can get to that web page – credit where credit is due):

The advisor was saying to the King: “Oh, You don’t need to fight them – you just need to convince the pitchfork people that the torch people want to take away their pitchforks.”

When I went looking, Google search failed to find this cartoon. I mentioned it to a friend, and he saw it on Facebook. I asked him to forward it to me. From there, I was able upload it to Google Image Search, and then finally find the original publisher. The conspiracy theorist spoiler alerter in me thinks the search engines of the day have de-ranked or removed this image in search results because it spoils the narrative.

The idea here is an intersection between the two old sayings A house divided against itself cannot stand and The People restrain themselves and anxiously hope for just two things: bread and circuses.

The Left is thoroughly convinced that The Right has been bamboozled. The Right is thoroughly convinced that The Left has been bamboozled.

I am convinced both have been bamboozled by the deep state and it’s unholy alliance with mass media. When I say mass media, I’m also looking at you: Facebook and Google and Twitter.

Here’s the thing about Donald Trump: he was never supposed to be President.

The deep state mass media planned to get Hillary Clinton. They thought they earned Hillary Clinton. By knocking out every good opposing candidate, there was no way that Hillary could lose. There was no way that Hillary Clinton could lose against Donald Fucking Trump. Knock out every other candidate, and the election was a done deal.

This was perfect for the deep state, because Bill and Hillary Clinton were already players. They’d played ball before, and were happy to play again. As insiders, their keepers had leverage on them, and as players, they knew their keepers would be comforted with them as lackeys. It was a win-win situation.

But (“oh by the way”) Hillary Clinton was the worst possible candidate for President.

Which is proven out, because she lost to Donald Fucking Trump, dontcha know. Fair and square, she was simply that BAD of a candidate. And to be fair, Donald was actually a very good campaigner, and a master of Twitter trolling. His campaign speeches were super entertaining. The deep state completely underestimated how well Donald would perform.

Donald was an outsider. This was a disaster for the deep state.

Chuck Schumer delivering the deep state warning to Donald Trump to play ball or else (after election but before inauguration).

  • Donald bristled at being told to take his role of lackey. Now the deep state is on his shit list.
  • If Donald made it to a second term, there was no remaining leverage to keep him from ravaging the deep state.

Does it appear to you that Donald rolled over and became a lackey?

The only choice the deep state had was to backstab the sitting President every chance they could get.

Wow did they ever.

The Commander In Chief: that is who the deep state is supposed to obey. Instead, they did everything they could to subvert CIC/POTUS. They became traitors to the rule of law.

And you, dear reader, got taken in by the charlatans that Donald Trump Is A <‽> Man.

What are the fools at Facebook thinking?

Banning Doctor Ron Paul? Don’t these idiots know he is one of the few good politicians in Congress?

Doctor Paul is famous for having a sign on the edge of his desk in his Congressional office, designed to stop lobbyists in their tracks: “Don’t steal. The government hates competition”. Any time a lobbyist asks for a meeting and offers to donate to Doctor Paul’s re-election campaign in exchange for a yes vote on some piece of legislation, Ron points to the sign and says “If it was a good piece of legislation, you wouldn’t need to come in here with this bribe. Sorry for wasting your time. Goodbye.” And then he informs his secretary to never book a meeting with that lobbyist ever again.

Ron Paul is famous for voting no on every piece of legislation that wastes your and my tax money. As such, he has gotten the nickname “Doctor No”.

A signature joke by Jay Leno waits until the beginning of the congressional summer break. Then on that day, Jay says “Congress has begun their summer recess. The realm is safe, once again.” Ron Paul is working this problem from the inside.

Ron Paul quote number one: “War is not popular. It may seem popular in the short run, when there appears to be an immediate victory and everyone is gloating but war is not popular. War is not popular. People get killed, and body bags end up coming back. War is very unpopular, and it is not the politically smart thing to do.”

Sure, the congresscritters getting lobbyist money from the military industrial complex will tell you that war is great. Well, it’s great for funneling money into the pockets of the people in the military industrial machine. Quote: “War is never economically beneficial except for those in position to profit from war expenditures.”

Ron Paul also understands the basic truth of all government. Quote: “Values in a free society are accepted voluntarily, not through coercion, and certainly not by law… every time we write a law to control private behavior, we imply that somebody has to arrive with a gun, because if you desecrate the flag, you have to punish that person. So how do you do that? You send an agent of the government, perhaps an employee of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Flags, to arrest him. This is in many ways patriotism with a gun – if your actions do not fit the official definition of a “patriot,” we will send somebody to arrest you.”

And, we use tax money to pay for that agent. Regarding intervention in Sudan, the quote was “… I have no right – no moral right or constitutional right – to come with a gun and tax the people and say: “I will take money because I want to do good”.”

Quote: “The most important element of a free society, where individual rights are held in the highest esteem, is the rejection of the initiation of violence. All initiation of force is a violation of someone else’s rights, whether initiated by an individual or the state, for the benefit of an individual or group of individuals, even if it’s supposed to be for the benefit of another individual or group of individuals. Legitimate use of violence can only be that which is required in self-defense.”

This is true for all government action. Government has been described as a bunch of do-gooders, doing good with other people’s money. You can do good with your own money. And then, you aren’t guilty of robbing me of mine.

Here’s another quote about government power: “What we give up on is a tyrannical approach to solving a social and medical problem, and we endorse the idea of voluntarism, self-responsibility, family, friends, and churches to solve problems, rather than saying that some monolithic government is going to make you take care of yourself and be a better person. It’s a preposterous notion, it never worked, it never will. The government can’t make you a better person. It can’t make you follow good habits. Why don’t they put you on a diet? You’re a little overweight, and I think you need government help!” (pointing out the absurdity of the ideas of some about government power).

Quote: “The theory of the IRS is rather repugnant to me because the assumption is made that I, the government, owns 100% of your income and I permit you to keep 5%, 10% or 20%. You’re vulnerable, you’ve sold out. The government can take 80% if they want, which they did at one time.”

I like to make a joke that in a year, working 40 hours a week for 52 weeks a year computes to 2080 hours. Is it coincidence that the IRS form is the 1040 ? (fifty percent)

Quote: “Freedom is not defined by safety. Freedom is defined by the ability of citizens to live without government interference. Government cannot create a world without risks, nor would we really wish to live in such a fictional place. Only a totalitarian society would even claim absolute safety as a worthy ideal, because it would require total state control over its citizens’ lives. Liberty has meaning only if we still believe in it when terrible things happen and a false government security blanket beckons.”

Doctor Paul voted against the PATRIOT Act because he was only given one hour to read it before the vote, and it was a 400 page bill. That shows he has integrity, even in the face of taking unpopular action.

And the fools at Facebook banned him.

I can only believe that they’ve turned off their brains, and are listening only to the pro-government-growth scare mongers and empire building lobbyists and bureaucrats.

What do they know about Ron Paul? Nothing. But their “friends” say he is a bad man. So they practice a principle which cannot fail to keep them in everlasting ignorance: that principle is contempt prior to investigation.

Shame on you Facebook.

Why I would like to see the U.S. Postal Service privatized

  • I could pay to have junk mail thrown in the trash at the source
  • The USPS often gets used for corruption
  • Being government employees, bad apples last forever

No more junk mail

The number one reason I would love to have the USPS privatized is that it would become possible for me to pay a fee (to whomever takes their place) to trash any junk mail that gets put in the queue to be sent to me.

At work, we spend a rather large amount of dollars to combat email spam. Everyone’s life is better for it*. But that’s not an option with physical snail mail. Why the heck not? Because the USPS is a government agency. They are very specifically not allowed to “censor” mail by just throwing it in the trash.

If they tried, they would get sued, because if you’re a scumbag with a lawyer, you want to sue the really big organization with the large checking account.

But with a private company, I could buy in to a Friend of the Environment subscription plan, where I pay the delivery company a small monthly fee, and they chuck the junk mail into the recycling bin. They don’t want to spend the money on fuel to transport it. They would have a financial incentive to do the right thing early on in the process.

Indeed, it would take almost no time for the people who pay for snail mail spam to ask the privatized company “How many of these should we print? How many are actually going to get delivered?” The end result would be less trash generated; less trash to be wrangled. It’s a win-win-lose for me, the mail carrier, and then the spammer, er advertiser.

One problem of course, would be predatory advertisers implementing junk delivery, as a protection racket (to collect the fee to not deliver it). They’d hire an Uber or Lyft driver to put trash in your mailbox, along with a flyer that suggests you pay them for no more trash.

I’m going to have to puzzle out what antidotes there might be to a pristine mailbox protection racket. If you have any ideas, please feel free to make a SQRL identity, and login and post.

USPS as a political corruption tool

This is not the USPS fault. But, because they are a government agency, they are the tail on the dog that is Congress and their buddies. Congresscritters love to commission a new post office building to line the pockets of their buddy who has some land for sale. Whether that buddy then kicks back some of the overpriced payment back to the critter is an exercise for the reader.

Back during the Reagan and (first) Bush era, every post office building had a Novell NetWare server in it. When Bill Clinton got elected, every one of those NetWare servers were replaced with Microsoft Windows servers. It was a gift to Microsoft, at the expense of Novell.

Because email started replacing some snail mail, the overall volume dropped. Suddenly we didn’t need so many post office buildings. And magically, Senator Dianne Feinstein’s husband’s company was awarded the contract to broker the sales of 60 USPS facilities (one report says 600 were on the list to be considered for sale).

The problem is, that as a Federal agency, if there is corruption there, there is no incentive to get rid of it as long as it doesn’t become embarrassing. Did the CIO of USPS get a kickback from Microsoft? Nobody has incentive to rat the guy out, and, they do have incentive to keep their jobs by keeping their mouths shut. Did someone at USPS get a kickback from Richard Blum (Feinstein’s husband)? Nobody has incentive to rat the guy out, and, they do have incentive to avoid retaliatory employment decisions.

My local postmaster

So, my dad was a member of the California Young Republicans back in the 1960’s and 70’s. I would learn that the postmaster in town was on the Democratic Central Committee. I remember my dad suddenly going in to a rage one day; I had followed him out to the mailbox. “Do you see this‽ Do you see this‽”

The post office was reading our mail.

Of course, in school I was educated that one’s mail was sacrosanct, and the Post Office never read one’s mail. That turned out to be total bullshit.

What my dad was shaking in front of me was an envelope with a return address stamp of CYR California Young Republicans. The top of the envelope had been sliced open (all the way across the top, and not gently, either), and then lots of cellophane tape had been used to close it again. There was a rubber stamp on it: Damaged During Handling.

My dad would later go to the post office and speak with the postmaster, telling him that someone in the post office was reading his mail. The postmaster feigned an apology, but the mail reading did not stop. It was the postmaster himself who had ordered that all the CYR mail get routed to his desk first.

When I was younger, pretty much the very beginning of mass-shootings in America was in Post Offices. A new term entered the vernacular: “Going Postal”. What was happening was that guys were in line for promotion in every post office, and (some of) their bosses were real assholes. They would torment an underling for decades, and the underling couldn’t do anything about it, because his hopes for advancement would then be destroyed. 20 years later, it’s finally time to get the promotion to Postmaster of the Office, and the outgoing asshole gives the promotion to a junior bootlicker. The next day, the spurned postal worker would come in and shoot up the place. Institutional assholism works in government, because one cannot go to other bosses and say “This asshole is losing us money”. It’s a government agency. It’s not supposed to make money. If it’s making money, then it’s competing with the private sector who could probably do the job more efficiently anyway.

In my dad’s case of systematic invasion of privacy for political gain, there was nothing to do but to hide. The mail from CYR started using a fake return address. It was some sort of charity / orphanage, if I recall correctly.

That doesn’t mean that the California Young Republicans never sent another envelope with the old CYR rubber stamp. Indeed, one went out with “Remember that the big all-state dinner meeting will be held at the Black Oak Restaurant in Paso Robles at 7:00 PM on (whatever date)”. Our copy was opened and read and taped shut and rubber stamped with fuck-you-we’re-reading-your-mail as per usual. In the envelope with the charity return address, the letter said the meeting was still in Paso Robles, but it had been moved to a different restaurant. Someone from CYR did go hang out in the lobby at the Black Oak, and sure enough a total stranger walked up to the hostess and asked to be seated with the California Young Republicans group. Confusion ensued for the hostess and spy, although the CYR member got the chuckle he was expecting.

My bigger point is that management assholes exist in larger organizations, but, when that organization is private sector, the organization suffers enough for it that there is financial incentive to change (not always, due to monopoly power). But in public sector organizations, it is almost impossible to remove bad apples. There is no real incentive to change. The person who reports is asking for a target on their back and henceforth will never get another promotion, ever.

If Congress couldn’t manipulate USPS (because now they are UPS or Fedex or whatever), that would be a good thing. If bad apples didn’t have the career public sector employment worth suing over (for wrongful termination), that would be a good thing. And if I could pay to auto-trash junk mail, I would love that, and it would be the best thing.

*I would even argue that the spammer’s life is better for it: if you are a spammer, you are a loser who thinks there is a easy / low effort / low quality way to get rich. The quicker we clobber your delusion, the better for you.