My Time In Connecticut

As I write these words I am deep in an unknown, alien territory. Everything around me is old, dead, looming or crumbling. Ghosts of the past and half-way forgotten factories stretch out in all directions. Dirt and trash fill the streets as black snow piles up in mini-mart parking lots. The air is cold, but not bracing. Even nature seems to have given up its efforts.

“How many fatalities on this road usually?” The driver seems puzzled I would ask such a question. The woman beside me smiles.

“Uh…not that many.”


“No. There’s so much traffic you can’t really build up the speed for that.”

I think back to the night I loaded up on vodka and hit I-95 at one-hundred and ten miles per hour, daring the world to kill me as I pushed a 1990’s Camry to its limits. Some part of my engine exploded, leaking oil all over the road and bringing me to a halt. I was stuck eighty miles from home for a day and a half.

This is not Florida.

We eat at an Italian restaurant run by a family that lives in it. They do not accept the magic fun money the college has given to its students.

“Come by tomorrow,” he tells Marten. “Is that okay?”

“Sure. Is that okay with you?”

“Yeah, yeah. I trust you man. I trust you.”

For someone hailing from a land more familiar with lynchings this is all unreal. I have never been to college. I have never been around so many books, so many young people, or so far from the sound of gunshots. These people do not pray for the deaths of their enemies, nor earnestly hope those that piss them off die in ditches.

On the way out of Florida a friend and I were talking about people we knew who’d been jumped in the woods. Why we carried guns. The moments where there was a distinct possibility we would be snuffed out like candle flames and nobody would find our bodies.

Here that world seems practically unknown.

Perhaps it is the area I’m in, the people I’ve met. Maybe none of this is normal. I watched a group of Anarchists make a shiv to break into a car when someone locked their keys inside. They then changed the motherfucker’s tire for him just because.

Nobody lives alone here and nobody owns what they call home. They tunnel into ancient houses old as the country itself, massive structures built by hands long dead and whom they’ll never know. Four, six, even nine people sharing houses, food, clothing, rides.

“This is so weird.” I’m staring out a window, hung over and near death.

“Yeah.” A man I’ll call T. taps the glass. “See that abandoned building there? I have no idea what it is. The wall completely surrounds it. There’s no entrance or exit, everything is blocked off.”

It certainly sounds like The Future.

Connecticut by all measures is a shadow of whatever it once had. You can actually see where the towns gave up as they headed towards the mountains. The landscape is no different from any other part of New England, the history not that interesting. It is a place almost without identity. Colleges and insurance companies hold most of the dignity while a general sense of “getting along” seems to be the prime ambition.

The United States will probably all look like this, though with much worse architecture. Beautiful ruins here will be burned out strip malls everywhere else, half empty super-markets home to heroin addicts and the pit bulls they care for. Less urban areas will become sprawling wastelands, wild patches of absolutely nothing but the occasional Walmart. Gangs will rule entire towns and the fires they set in dumpsters will keep them warm.

The decay is comforting in a way. Nobody believes anything will be built like the leviathans of brick and wood, the steeples and three-story towers now home to colonies of graphic artists. The past is never coming back. There is nothing to “make great again.” Connecticut has had its time and place in the sun, the long shadow of winter being all that remains.

But it is in these shadows that something peculiar is happening. Something is rising from the ruins.

My initial talk did not go over well. Asking young and impressionable college students if they were ready to “have their fingers cut off” or be sentenced to 41 years of solitary confinement for organizing was perhaps a bit…dark. I delight in the macabre, the horrifying. In a clean, safe room perhaps I was incoherent. Some people did get it, almost all of them working class. They knew the horror I raged against.

What’s better is they were actually doing something about it.

I am sworn to secrecy so I must speak generally of course. What I can say is real, dirty work is happening in the shadows of Connecticut; it is perhaps one of the most inspiring things I have ever seen. They are building networks out there with very real security structures and intelligence services. They have militant action and free therapy for those negatively affected. A simple word about “opsec” was enough to make strangers nod understandingly and give conversations a wide berth. I was investigated before I ever met them. What I have seen here will change my life forever.

And these people care. They are not “party members” or ideological tools for some greater good. They actually love one another. They are people first and foremost, with names like “Grease Trap” and “Smokestack.” Anarchism wasn’t something they tore out of a book, it was a visceral byproduct of how they lived. Surrounded by these people, in these DIY spaces and crowded homes where ownership and law practically ceased to exist, I have never felt more safe in my entire life.

It is strange to be an alien here, a visitor from another planet. Hope is not my way, nor peaceful co-existence. The height of my own ambition sometimes is to secure an outpost in the wilderness where I can successfully do what I wish and kill anything that vaguely lurches in my direction. These people could surely be no kin of mine.

And yet…

Someone took a bus from New York just to hear me speak. Rhode Island showed up too. I have been hugged, quoted, even seen the very book I wrote in countless bedrooms. I have asked again and again “who am I to you?” How have I found myself here and in this company? Who were these beautiful souls I felt as if I’d known forever?

The unflinching friendship, the deep conversations, the very real sense that as the world slowly crumbled into madness and oblivion….that some people were going to be alright. That scattered about a dying planet humans were caring for one another and making sure Capital would not kill them.

Here, among the shadows, crumbling steeples, and shuttered houses, in the decay of the American empire, the final last gasps of a civilization long dead and finally rotting, new life is poking out.

Death and dismemberment will rip the United States into a thousand bleeding pieces. If this is what will rise in its place, if what I’ve seen in Connecticut even has the remotest possibility of spreading elsewhere…I look forward to each new horror with unfettered joy.

Dr. Bones

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Red Scare Redux: Haven’t We Been Here Before?

(Originally posted at Gods & Radicals)

“You must recognize that, being born into a society that is harmful to us, we rebels are in reality the best slaves. Being slaves of evolution, by means of our sacrifice, we allow humanity to take a tiny step…
The people are conservative: they are satisfied with the society they find. The minority are innovators instead and therefore they rebel. The mass restrains revolutionary action with its brute weight and submits it to it.
It grows accustomed to the new state of things. It rots there until the minority rebels once again.

And do I have to suffer through this entire balancing act?”
Bruno Fillipi, “The Rebel’s Dark Laughter”

This story has no real beginning for the same reason it has no ending. It’s still happening.
To you.

I had almost killed someone the night before and was nervously drinking my coffee when I noticed facebook was hiding my articles.

“Slithering fucking weasels! Miserable pieces of SHIT! I wish I could get my hands around these little bastards and just squeeeeeeze until their eyeballs POP out!”

“Who?” My wife was stepping out of the shower, drying her hair.

“Goddamn facebook! They’re-“

“Did we wash my uniform?”

“-throttling my views! What? Uh..yes. They’re downstairs.”

“What were you were saying?”

“Well its…ever since that article about gun control went viral my posts are being hidden. Look at this: a weekly reach of 68,000 people but only three people see this one? Two people here? Its bullshit! Somebody wrote me today saying everytime they try to post my articles it gets flagged as spam.”

“Maybe they think you’re a conservative?”

“With a hammer and sickle on my face?” She paused for a moment, grabbing her toothbrush.

“Didn’t you say twitter was purging accounts?”

“Yes and people are cheering it on, as if a gigantic capitalist corporation is somehow working for them. This, this is just like the hate speech laws. Remember that? When all these ‘Anarchists’ were saying we needed laws like in Germany and France? And what happened? What fucking happened? Turned out NATO considers the Anarchist ‘A’ a hate symbol. This is exactly why I’m a fucking Egoist.”

I was in no mood to watch the news, no desire to focus on anything besides card readings for clients and the ever-distant goal of some day owning my own fortified swamp compound. Trouble was everywhere, and having my dead and immobile jeep broken into the night before was not helping me calm down. There was this desperate sense pervading the air, seeping into my skin, that time itself was tightening. Some unseen clock had ticked forward and some unforseen judgement dripped closer with each passing day. But what kind? And from who?

“They act as if this is something new,” I told my wife as I passed her a mug, “that it isn’t something fundamentally American to go into a public place and murder as many people as possible. So hopped up on theory they won’t acknowledge the darkness. I’m tired of all this. Tired of being plugged in. I said what I needed to and I don’t plan on writing about it anymore, at least until the next Point of No Return. For now we need to watch.”

She blew on the coffee. “Watch for what?”

“Well…to gauge the times. This whole thing is running right at Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, right at the base of the pyramid. People are being put under alot of emotional and mental stress. This is when true colors fly. The Leftist tradition states that the people are inherently liberatory, that given the chance they’ll work for the common good and advance towards freedom.”

“And the Egoist?”

“Heh.” I set down my coffee cup, running my finger around the edge. “I suppose the Egoist position would be based on…well I wouldn’t call the people reactionary. The poet Bruno Fillipi had alot to say about them. He believed that, on the whole, revolutionaries did move society around somewhat. But that the people usually ended up killing them. The innovators, the rebels, most people are fine with them up to a point. But most people don’t want change. They don’t desire any ideology or high flying ideals. What they really want is security, safety, food. Comfort. Its when that comfort gets threatened….”

The coffee mug toppled off the table and into the carpet.


“I got it.”

“No no, I’ll wipe it up.”

I went into the bathroom, grabbing a towel. By the time I was back in the room my wife was flicking through the channels. It was then, right then, that I saw what appeared to be some kind of mobile corpse with its skin stretched too tight on the tv screen, a strange creature vaguely attempting to be human.

“Who…what the fuck is that?”

“The NRA is giving some kind of speech. You want to watch it?”

“Yeah. Turn it up.”

“…they hate the NRA, they hate the second amendment, they hate individual freedom. In the rush of calls for more government they have revealed their true selves.”

It was NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre, a ghastly looking figure resembling some kind of white fish with its hair pulled back. LaPierre, head of the NRA since 1991, had cemented the organization as a full blown cultural force. Whatever he planned on saying would have deep implications.

The gun-control crowd thinks the NRA is merely a lobbying organization, a gang of lawyers hidden in hallways waiting to pounce on otherwise nice Republicans and turn them into gun-toting mercenaries.

The truth however is much worse….

(Read the rest here)

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Remembering Hunter

“The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life…. This is the artist’s way of scribbling ‘Kilroy was here’ on the wall of the final and irrevocable oblivion through which he must someday pass.” –William Faulkner, interview with Paris Review, 1956

There are no schools to teach you how to be a writer. You can learn the mechanics of the thing, the grammar and spelling and how to write an outline, but you’ll still be nothing more than a dressed up copy machine. To write something worthwhile, something people will remember for years to come, requires an artist’s eye and touch. You have to be capable of not only capturing life as it happens but bring out what it means; reporters can tell you the percentage of homes back on the market, but it takes a gonzo journalist to notice the semi-deflated balloon dangling from the power-line above a foreclosed home. She reads “happy birthday” in sun-soaked letters, touches the grass once made flat by children’s feet. She asks the neighbor what happened.

“Damn shame,” they mutter, “damn shame is what it is. The whole family had…had just a tremendous personality.” Later at her desk, needing to be numbed by drink, our journalist won’t just write about a family made homeless. Within those paragraphs she’ll write about God, humanity, and a system that promised everything yet never kept its word. Pain, anger, frustration, it will contain everything inside us. The emotions, the images, the very states and subjective storytelling that literally bends reality. The outside wedded to the interior, exo to eso, actual real life. Put on the page it will live on forever, pure art summoned out of real experience.

That’s the kind of writing worth doing. Hunter S. Thompson taught me that.

Strange feelings at the desk tonight. I’m compiling notes and typing away at an article for Gods & Radicals, a very weird one with plenty of thoughts on journalism. For a week I’ve felt this compulsion, like alligators driven to mate, to engage in all manner of magical weirdness. All specifically about writing. Such compulsions usually arise when I’m being pushed somewhere, when some new ledge is heading my way. A few days from now the altar to my left will be ablaze with candles in an attempt to summon something I’ve never attempted before. Beyond that plane tickets are being bought for a future event that…well, certainly makes it seem I’m heading somewhere.

Where I don’t know. For a few months now I’ve been riding this weird zone between total new-comer and semi-infamy, or at least the closest equivalent a journalist advocating revolutionary politics can reach. My last two articles had 6,000 views in a matter of days. I had a book published and co-host a podcast. People write me letters about how my pieces inspire them or dreams they’ve had where I show up.

It’s a long way from the lonely shadow staring out into the darkness of strip malls and death-by-convenience. Probabilities twirl and I’m left thinking of the past and a few dead people I have to thank. About how I got here.

It comes with the magical territory: you get to know dead people very well. Not just in the sense of saints you’ve summoned or ghostly shades you’ve enlisted to help in spells, but spirits that have changed your life. Max Stirner’s graveyard dirt sits on my desk, mere inches away as a type this; one night after downing four tabs of acid I am absolutely certain I was visited by the spirit of Jun Tsuji and taught what being an artist really meant.

But above all one dead person looms in the periphery of mind, unspoken till in a flash of lightning I remember what February 20th means.

Today is the day Hunter S. Thompson killed himself.

I was only a pre-teen when he took his life, and it wouldn’t be till later in my twenties I’d really find his work. Back when I was a kid Thompson was just a character in a movie, a cardboard-cut out that told we buzzed few we were going to be okay. Vodka before class, getting high in abandoned houses, the movie told us weren’t just cool but that we were right. That somewhere out in the world there were other fiends such as ourselves, getting paid and making it big. The infatuation, if any, was fleeting, and we moved on to other heroes.

It wasn’t till I started writing, or at least thinking about it, that I found Hunter again. In an airport on my way to Tennessee I somehow stumbled on one of his first published pieces–a tour through the community of Big Sur.

If half the stories about Big Sur were true this place would long since have toppled into the sea, drowning enough madmen and degenerates to make a pontoon bridge of bodies all the way to Honolulu.”

I found a home in his visceral and uncompromising prose. Something clicked. Vivid, funny, weird and descriptive, I quickly found myself devouring every article of his I could find. They were all straight journalism, stories about things going on, but something extra was there…an artist’s eye. Something I’d felt in myself but wasn’t quite sure how to develop. I figured when I’d get home I’d order some books and learn from the most entertaining shit I’d ever read.

He was a teacher, in every sense of the word, at least for me. Too poor for any education all I could do was read and try to understand, to see the method behind what appeared so natural. Between his pages I discovered what a triangle lead was, how to shape my beginning and endings, how dialogue could be used or highlighted. Notebooks scattered with phrases like “gonzo is the novelization of reality” hung around on tables and I felt as if I’d discovered a wonderful friend.

Hunter taught me that the real world could be just as bizarre or maddening as any fiction. That it had extra power because it contained real events. People said things, did things, that if pulled from the imagination might not be believed. Thompson, rather than retreat from the world around him, ran at it full force and armed to the teeth.

Other writers I knew wanted to write beautiful words, poems, painted landscapes and glorious futures. Long paragraphs that I quickly skipped over, boring statistics or endless chattering about theories and hypotheticals.

I liked rough words like fuck and piss and shit. I liked calling those I despised wretched, disgusting insects whose teeth deserved to be smashed out with crowbars. I saw a world ravaged and torn and I wanted to bring that home, not hide it. Thompson introduced me to the idea of “wordphotos.” I wanted to introduce them to the crime scenes of a blood-soaked world.

Gonzo journalism wasn’t just “write whatever you want fucked up.” It was a style, a specific vein of narrative. A method hidden by madness. I looked for other gonzo journalists but couldn’t find them. Through Thompson I discovered Tom Wolfe, read Storycraft by Jack Hart, and learned there was an entire theory behind what Hunter was doing. Nobody spoke truth to power quite like Hunter though.

“This is the horror of it: That in 1995 the standard/text high school history books will not say that America in the 1960s was ruled and effectively gutted by a gang of cheap thugs who also happened, for reason of political necessity, to be Mass Murders. The history books will not say that Lyndon Johnson was more vicious than Mussolini and more stupid than Hitler. They will not say that Robert McNamara’s hands were so bloody that after five years he forgot what blood smelled like . . . and that ranking Generals with ‘honored West Point names’ like Taylor & Westmoreland & Abrams were still screaming, all the way to the end, for more blood and bombing and fire . . . and that even in 1971, with the awful truth so obvious that even Senators could see it, the ranking fixers who still ruled the U.S. congress were threatening editors of the New York Times with “prosecution for Treason” because they finally published documented proof of what a whole generation had been screaming in the streets for five years-while fifty thousand others died senselessly to protect a dozen or so wealthy dope-dealers who were also Generals and occasionally Presidents of that cancerously corrupted little finger of Asia called ‘South Vietnam.’

These dirty truths will not appear in the history texts of 1995. The hired fixers will take over just as soon as the undeclared war is unofficially finished-just as soon as the last shark is called off and brought home for an angry rest. And not one of these blood-hungry Hammerheads scumbags will ever be nailed to the final whipsaw judgement they all deserve.”

That same power, the same horror, was all around me. Choking the world, sending it to hell, working my loved ones to death. Gonzo journalism, as a true style valuing first-person narratives, dialogue, and a novelist’s treatment of reality, became my written weapon of choice in a one man war against all I hated.

Thompson’s writing wasn’t just educational, he was a kindred spirit as well. I read his letters in Proud Highway at the same rate crackheads pawn car stereos. This was not the Vegas Thompson, the one who knows he’s made it. The one with the house, the plane tickets, the press pass. This was Thompson carried on by only a vague knowledge that what he had was special, determined to either make it or starve. I saw him arguing with editors, struggling to pay rent, screaming at bill collectors. He was one of us, the dispossessed, trying to explain to people the magic he saw in Fitzgerald’s wordplay. The knowledge that so humble a writer could achieve such greatness inspired me to keep going.

I read him in The Great Shark Hunt. There were stories of madness of course but also Thompson as a young reporter in South America, miraculously giving us a full narrative in what felt like a mere 1,000 words. There was Thompson going out West and musing on the American dream, writing about the Hippy culture, air-force pilots, anything and everything. He was older and successful there too, mentioning drugs but focused like a laser on the ’72 campaign trail. Beyond mere reporter he gave us a glimpse into the seedy world of politics, the open bars for reporters, the cramped hotels, the endless gambling of points and polls. Everywhere Thompson went he was pulling these deeper threads, drawing out themes and motifs that had been there all along but nobody had bothered to see, the same ones that would carry implications we’re living with today:

“One of the strangest things about these five downhill years of the Nixon presidency is that despite all the savage excesses committed by the people he chose to run the country, no real opposition or realistic alternative to Richard Nixon’s cheap and mean-hearted view of the American Dream has ever developed. It is almost as if that sour 1968 election rang down the curtain on career politicians. This is the horror of American politics today – not that Richard Nixon and his fixers have been crippled, convicted, indicted, disgraced and even jailed – but that the only available alternatives are not much better; the same dim collection of burned-out hacks who have been fouling our air with their gibberish for the last twenty years. How long, oh Lord, how long? And how much longer will we have to wait before some high-powered shark with a fistful of answers will finally bring us face-to-face with the ugly question that is already so close to the surface in this country, that sooner or later even politicians will have to cope with it?”

I read him in Hells Angels, a young Thompson again, not just explaining who the Angels were but why and what it truly felt like to ride with them. He brought us to The Edge, into the bars, and even payed the price when he broke the rules and called out an Angel for beating their wife and dog. He went deep into the thick of it, where the action was, far away from everything bland and safe. In the dirty vests and oil-soaked jeans Thompson saw the first waves of something far-reaching and terrible:

“This whole kind of alienated, violent, subculture of people wandering around looking for either an opportunity, or if not an opportunity then vengeance for not getting an opportunity. They get to be 30 and suddenly they wake up one morning and they realize there are no more chances. It’s all gone. It makes them meaner. They want to get back at the people who put them in this terrible, this dead end, tunnel…

…the same venom that the Angels are spewing around in public, a lot of people are just keeping bottled up in private. I think this technological, the science of obsolescence, or the fact that people are becoming obsolete. The people who are most affected by this technological obsolescence are the ones least capable of understanding the reason for it, so the venom builds up much quicker. It feeds on their ignorance.”

The Rum Diary came to me at a very important point in my life. The anxiety of getting older had begun to creep in and I was starting to lose confidence. Working all the time, no time to write, reading Thompson spending his days riding with outlaws or at home banging out words. Here was a Caribbean world I longed for, the simple chance to make a living doing what I wanted and how I wanted to do it. I saw myself sitting in hot rooms with no fan on, typing in air so thick you could choke on it. Sweating, feverishly so, but happy knowing here I could do as I wished. Odd hours, night-time adventures, running on a weird blend of skill and luck. The chance to be my own person, free to get drunk and muse about the greater Truths that swirled around me. Thirteen hour days made all that impossible. I felt like somewhere I fucked up. A silent scream had begun to build within me and I couldn’t quite place it. Something about everything seemed to be eating me alive and it was on one of his pages I found the words I’d been looking for:

“Goddamnit, man, I tell you it’s the fear of the sack! Tell them that this man Kemp is fleeing St. Louis because he suspects the sack is full of something ugly and he doesn’t want to be put in with it. He senses this from afar. This man Kemp is not a model youth. He grew up with two toilets and a football, but somewhere along the line he got warped. Now all he wants is Out, Flee. He doesn’t give a good shit for St. Louis or his friends or his family or anything else…he just wants to find some place where he can breathe…”

I’m still looking for that place, but I know one day I’ll find it. The Rum Diary, written mostly when Thompson was merely twenty-two, let me know I wasn’t the only one with the Fear I’d never get free.

Not many people know Thompson’s pain, the hidden tragedy of his life. He watched the hippies get jobs and vote gleefully for the Iraq War, watched the Democrats toughen drug laws and incarcerate millions. Reading his letters and watching him speak I saw him struggle with the knowledge that the one thing he’d always be known for was pure fiction; his life, his journalism had been brushed aside for a character he created, leading him to openly wonder if it was better if he just died to get out of the way of the legend.

This version of him seems forgotten by your average reader, the same person who warned us to “never create anything, it will be misinterpreted, it will chain you and follow you for the rest of your life.” The image of Thompson, a larger than life character that hinted the “tyranny of the rat race was not yet final” ended up consuming him. He became food for other people. The same writer who wrestled with the modern world and spent his life pointing at difficult truths was enshrined by an entire public who couldn’t stop staring at his finger.

They forget Hunter’s fast life ended up catching up to him. Wheelchair bound, in constant pain, the same man who craved speed above all else became painfully aware everything he loved was dripping away. Though he owned innumerable pistols he ended up grabbing a shotgun, killing himself as Hemingway had many years before.

I would be lying if I said I didn’t understand. If not understand, at least sympathize.

Hunter visited Hemingway’s grave when he was still a roving correspondent, still youthful and trying to find his voice. He noted Hemingway had somehow become lost in the modern world, unable to deal with a reality of shifting greys and questionable moral choices. Hunter had no such trouble. Even right before his death he railed against the American War Machine, spit venom at our acceptance of torture, and refused to tread lightly while everyone else bowed reverently to a flag. He still saw the greater picture, the greater meaning behind things all the way to the end, and refused to allow his readers to look away.

Hunter once wrote that there was “not much evidence in history of either God or Justice. The best we can hope for is Truth.”

If his writing has taught me anything it’s that sometimes…sometimes that’s enough. And for that I will always, always be thankful.

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Trump’s Military Parade Isn’t Fascist. It’s Older and Much Worse.

(Originally posted at Gods & Radicals)

…These aren’t the cowboys of the West, Rhyd. These are those same rough people, true, but ours have been grafted onto a feudal order. Standards are everything, hierarchy sacred. Killings down here arise from pissing contests, bar-fights, or marital promises; they kill for honor, to save face, to hold onto whatever place they can in a doomed and rotten society, the same one that promises them legions of black and brown waitresses, cashiers, janitors, and punching bags…

They are primed and ready to go wherever the finger points. And if skin color is the uniform of the enemy?

So be it.

Where will it go, Rhyd? North Korea? Iran? Perhaps the apocalyptic war with China we’ve all dreamed of? Or will the finger point firmly at our own chests?

Maybe there is a degree of revenge in all this. In the 1960’s the South was a backwards wilderness, the laughing stock of the country. How things change. Our cities are growing, our churches dominate the continent, we ARE the Republican Party. We run this shit even when we aren’t in office. The South’s aversion to both minimum-wage standards and unions, born from the right of the wealthy to treat people like property, is official national policy. If your children go to public school it is we who write their textbooks. Southern ideas are so wedded to what is “American” now you can see confederate flags in Michigan, Nevada, and even Maine.

The United States is their property, the descendants of these settlers, don’t you see? It’s history repeating itself. They’ve colonized the United States, made it theirs, violently pushed out anything that wasn’t their own. This parade is one part NASCAR victory lap and another part consecration ritual for the bloodshed ahead: a mass-produced version of Alabama stretching from coast to coast, soldiers with affected or natural southern drawls fresh from Iraq running security checks on “commies” and “illegals,” itching for a chance to prove their honor by machine-gunning a protest or becoming “doorkickers” in black neighborhoods. No education, no future beyond the whims of a landed gentry living in clean mansions away from poisoned air and cancer-laden food, a trailer-park version of Israel wrapped in eagles and mountain dew. They’ll see themselves as heroes, saviors, champions in a war to put everything “right” as Jesus so joyfully intended… and this time the vile “darkness” in the way of their barbaric and cruel “values” are us.

Read more here…

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UPDATE: The Liberal Desire for Gun Control is Going to Get Us Killed

(Pictured: propaganda from the Atomwaffen Division, the heavily armed Nazi cell responsible for multiple murders. Also pictured: the kind of people liberals think can be “debated.”)

Edit: It has been revealed that The Republic of Florida, eager for new members, lied about the membership of Nikolas Cruz. The thrust of the article, dealing primarily with gun control, still stands and the article has been edited to reflect new details. Witnesses still describe the shooter as someone who “‘had a penchant for wearing patriotic shirts that ‘seemed really extreme, like hating on’ Islam…The suspected gunman would also deride Muslims as ‘terrorists and bombers.’…’I’ve seen him wear a Trump hat.'”


“The position of the Black Panther Party was that black people live in communities occupied by police forces that are armed and dangerous and represent the frontline of forces keeping us oppressed. We did not promote guns, but rather, the right to defend ourselves against a state that was oppressing us—with guns. There were innumerable incidents in which police agents kicked in our doors or shot our brothers and sisters in what we called red-light trials, where the policeman was the judge, the jury and the executioner. We called for an immediate end to this brutality, and advocated for our right to self-defense. Today, the brutal police murders of Sean Bell in New York and Oscar Grant in Oakland are just two examples of how little has changed. The gun-control discussion could result in policies that further criminalize and target black people.
– Elaine Brown, Black Panther Party member

The workers must be armed and organized. The whole proletariat must be armed at once with muskets, rifles, cannon and ammunition, and the revival of the old-style citizens’ militia, directed against the workers, must be opposed. Where the formation of this militia cannot be prevented, the workers must try to organize themselves independently as a proletarian guard, with elected leaders and with their own elected general staff; they must try to place themselves not under the orders of the state authority but of the revolutionary local councils set up by the workers. Where the workers are employed by the state, they must arm and organize themselves into special corps with elected leaders, or as a part of the proletarian guard. Under no pretext should arms and ammunition be surrendered; any attempt to disarm the workers must be frustrated, by force if necessary.
– Karl Marx, Address of the Central Committee to the Communist League.

On February 14th a nineteen year old named Nikolas Cruz, who “had a penchant for wearing patriotic shirts that ‘seemed really extreme, like hating on’ Islam”, walked into a school and killed 19 people. Liberals, ever the champions of justice, immediately cried for guns to be taken away from poor people.

The leader of The Republic of Florida, Jereb Jordan, first told the media Cruz was one of the people he had trained, only to detract that story and blame the “jew media.”  The RoF calls for the creation of a “white ethno-state” by use of mass genocide and is heavily influenced by SIEGE, which is Atomwaffen Division’s core text that advocates violent white revolution.

Here’s a nice little video they made:

Even without official training Cruz was still quite known around campus for his right-leaning views and his preference for wearing a Trump hat, joining the long list of people planning to kill us, armed to the teeth, training day and night for a war they intend to start as soon as possible. Since 1995 killers with white supremacist ideologies have been responsible for the death of seventy-seven victims.

What’s the liberal response?

It is to take guns away from socialists, anarchists, and anyone darker than a piece of wonder-bread. To make sure the cops have all the guns.

Never mind the fact that almost half of those convicted for gun control violations are black and a quarter are Hispanic, while spree killings are overwhelmingly white offenders. Because of mandatory minimums for gun violation, the average convicted gun offender—usually someone who never hurt anyone with the weapon—rots in prison for longer than the average convicted rapist. Never mind “gun control” was the main thrust behind New York City’s Stop-and-Frisk program, which in 2011 ensnared young black men more times than there are young black men in the city, and targets minorities by a ratio of nine to one.

They don’t care about that.

They jump on the television and wonder why the police couldn’t have kidnapped the shooter before he turned violent.

They demand the police, that same institution proudly maintaining the ideology of its slave-catcher ancestors, do a better job of spying on potential threats.

They are incensed at the idea that someone not divinely ordained by the State could even wield the potential of violent force.

They rail and whine and moan that the same tools they are totally fine with cops and invading soldiers having might be in the hands of…well anybody.

No, the Liberal is all to happy with death, imprisonment, and all manner of violence provided of course their lives remain the same.

The idea that they are not cared for, that they are susceptible to the same danger the inner cities and the third world goes through on a daily basis is unthinkable. It tells them something is wrong when their own lives are so nice.

They can never admit the real systems behind such tragedies, that society itself is breaking down; that we live under a system that dehumanizes and destroys our souls, propelling our violence onto the same institutions and lives we deem responsible for it; the totally unmet needs of a populace denied even the most basic of healthcare; the rising threat of a disenfranchised wave of youths with nothing to live for and a gigantic fucking swastika looming in their brain.

Liberals will do EVERYTHING in their power to not talk about that, because to change any of it they’ll need to change the same things that make them comfortable.

An ever increasingly technological society that reduces human beings to a series of numbers.

You can’t reason with these people. They don’t want to hear facts. You can show them that “gun control” is a made-up word devised by literal klansman to keep minorities unarmed. You can point out any measure of “gun control” must be meted out by a central authority, one who determines who is and who isn’t a threat, making the case it will be the very Republicans and racists they claim to despise running the show. You can even show them the exciting world of homemade firearms, plainly displaying “gun control” would only make guns marginally more expensive and practically ensuring only the committedly illegal will have them.

They don’t care. But I can sure as shit tell you who they WILL listen to:

“Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel called for giving law enforcement more power to detain people who make ‘graphic threats or post disturbing material online.’ He would like the authority to bring them involuntarily to mental health professionals to be examined.”

WHO determines what is “threatening?” The American government? We’ve already seen who they think are a “threat:” YPG news outlets, Communists, Anarchists, and anybody with black skin.

Seriously, are we talking about handing this kind of power over to the SAME MOTHERFUCKERS WHO WERE HELPING FASCISTS AND ARRESTING ANTI-FASCISTS?

“The records, which also showed officers expressing sympathy with white supremacists and trying to protect a neo-Nazi organizer’s identity, were included in a court briefing from three anti-fascist activists who were charged with feloniesafter protesting at a Sacramento rally

Officers also worked with TWP member Derik Punneo to try to identify anti-fascist activists, recordings revealed. Officers interviewed Punneo in jail after he was arrested for an unrelated domestic violence charge. Audio recordings captured investigators saying they brought photos to show him, hoping he could help them identify anti-fascist activists.

The officers said, ‘We’re pretty much going after them,’ and assured him: ‘We’re looking at you as a victim.'”

And don’t get me started with the “radicals” still suffering from a liberal hang-over! How foolish to assert these killings are merely “white” and “male,” never asking just WHY such a trend exists!

Could it be, as capitalism continues to decay, the same people afforded the top of the pyramid are falling in living standards and, grown bitter, are looking for any avenue to get even? The United States Army Special Command and John Hopkins Applied Physics Labratory seem to think so.

In Human Factors Considerations of Undergrounds and Insurgencies, the literal textbook American Special Forces use to understand and destroy revolutions, reads the following:

Slogans posing such violence as inherently “white” or “male”(concepts we ourselves say are social creations) do little to solve the underlying forces that drive this demographic into violence(Capitalism) and only further radicalize a significant portion of the population into the waiting arms of the fascists.

The enemy should be clear enough: a brutal system falling apart. It’s soldiers are clear as well: fascists fighting over the crumbs of capitalism and the pigs that hope to hold the system aloft. Gun control stops nothing save for the momentary anxiety of the wealthy.

This is not a peaceful nation contemplating reform. This is not fucking Switzerland. This is a barbarous den of competing ideologies in a slow motion civil war and looking to win. The State, the Cops, and the Fascists are all uniting to KILL US and the liberals won’t lose a wink of sleep over it.

Against such a powerful enemy it is imperative that each comrade arm themselves as best they can. We are all we can count on for any chance at survival. Liberal gun reform, with its blanket desire to render the working class unarmed, is actively putting our lives and the lives of the ones we love in danger.

Under no pretext should arms and ammunition be surrendered; any attempt to disarm the workers must be stopped, by force if necessary.

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The XFL is Coming Back. Can We Destroy America Now?

(Originally posted at Gods & Radicals)

“Who does vote for these dishonest shitheads? Who among us can be happy and proud of having all this innocent blood on our hands? Who are these swine? These flag-sucking half-wits who get fleeced and fooled by stupid little rich kids like George Bush?” – Hunter S. Thompson

“The kings of the mines, of the coalfields, and of gold would be wrong to worry. Their serfs’ resignation consecrates their authority. They no longer need to claim that their power is be based on divine right, that decorative joke: their sovereignty is legitimated by popular consent….

Teach the people! What else is needed? His poverty has taught him nothing…The worker’s neck is used to the harness.” – Zo d’Axa 

“Less than one year has passed since I first stood at this podium, in this majestic chamber, to speak on behalf of the American People—and to address their concerns, their hopes, and their dreams. That night, our new Administration had already taken swift action. A new tide of optimism was already sweeping across our land.”- President Donald Trump, First State of the Union Address

I knew this place would end up being in an article the minute I walked in.

It was a sports bar masquerading as a barbecue joint, a sterilized and clean franchise playing country music and pretending to be “old timey.” Around me were trucker hats, gruff laughs, and a FPL crew that didn’t know what to make of my Hawaiian shirt and combat boots. Above the almost exclusively white patrons twelve different television screens were buzzing, black athlete after black athlete running, jumping, and scoring. The commentators analyze them like champion horses, comparing stats and debating abilities. The patrons nod in approval, as if they too have a stake in this collective property.

When these same football players began to protest the state-sanctioned slaughter of black folks, some thought perhaps America had reached a precipice, that perhaps the “salt-of the earth” might be moved towards a greater consciousness. After all, these athletes were the ones Americans cheered for every week, the same soldiers of sport whose uniforms they wore for good luck during every game. Here, surely here, in a silent protest that screamed for the murder of innocents to end, the American people could be reached, forced to stare at something they denied every chance they could.

Instead the American people, the revolutionary subject held so holy by leftist theorists, simply changed the channel and created a new league where black players were denied the freedom to speak.

Grabbing a seat, my wife and grandfather in tow, I went over the details in my head. The WWE CEO and chairman Vince McMahon had announced that the XFL (short for “Xtreme Football League”) would be returning in 2020, nearly two decades after the NFL alternative went out of business after just one miserable season. This rebooted version of the league will feature eight teams, each with 40-man rosters, and some very interesting rules.

For one McMahon has promised a “faster” and “easier to understand” game, assuring his slack-jawed and troglodyte audience it will be a game adapted for their mental fortitude. Of peculiar interest was one league rule that was in place before any teams had been announced or players even hired:

All athletes, in a sport where 68% of the players were black, will be forced to stand for the national anthem, taking from them one of the most effective ways they’ve been able to have their voices heard. 

McMahon’s reasoning is that the XFL revival “will have nothing to do with politics or social issues,” that he doesn’t think fans want to deal with things of a political nature while watching football. “They just want good football.” Of course forcing someone to do something, to silence their ability to draw attention to the literal murder of human beings by state-sanctioned killers, is absolutely political in nature. It’s the ruling politics, the capitalist and racist ethos we revere as distinctly American.

When you have all the power and all the money it’s very easy to forget all these things exist due to a very real political order, one you alone benefit from. To the average football fan a cop brutally beating a teenager isn’t “political” because the kid is probably guilty and shouldn’t have resisted. Ghettos are just “magically” poor for no apparent reason, and crack certainly wasn’t sold to inner city youths to fund illegal wars. Layer upon layer of racism, of capitalist exploitation, has been transferred to the idea of how the world works; each finely tuned piece appears as natural as hurricanes in fall or gators fucking in the summer.

But while McMahon can pretend his league is “free” from politics, his fans aren’t even bothering with the camouflage…

(Read the rest here)

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Solecast: w/ Dr. Bones on Insurrection, Egoism, & Taking Back The World

“In this episode of the Solecast I talk with Dr. Bones.  Dr. Bones is an anarchist / egoist-communist, an occultist, and gonzo journalist.  He writes often for Gods and Radicals and is creator of The Conjure House.  He recently launched a new radical news talk show called “The Guillotine” with Revolutionary Left Radio and recently dropped a book called “Curse Your Boss, Hex The State, Take Back The World.”  

In this interview we discuss:

His approach to writing & gonzo journalism
Max Stirner & Egoism
The tensions between nihilism, insurrection and building capacity
Psychology of mass media &  psychological warfare 
His new podcast(w/ Rev Left Radio), The Guillotine
What we can learn from other non traditional leftist traditions
The precarity of modern life and where things are heading”

Give it a listen here!

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Getting Our Ass Beat in the Age of Saturn

(Originally posted at Gods & Radicals)


“Laugh, and the world laughs with you; weep, and you weep alone.”
― Ella Wheeler Wilcox

“What denies you is an illusion… A curse put upon you by the heartless… You knew from the very beginning… And yet, you cowered in fear… Will you die as you are told…? Who will you obey…? Cursed words spat out by a seething illusion? Or the truth within your own soul? Contract… I am thou, thou art I… The forbidden wisdom has been revealed. No mysteries… No illusions shall deceive you any longer.” –Persona 5

It’s 5am as the darkness pervades, and with it the unwelcome chill of death. Ice is building up on palm fronds. Manatees have hidden deep within the springs. Streets are empty of raccoons, possums, and all manner of nightlife. It is so cold iguanas are literally falling out of trees and turtles are washing up dead. Only the frosted beams of souls off to work exist to light the way, comfortable in warm cars.

On the sidewalk shuffles a shadow, bundled up in a trenchcoat and black hat, struggling to stay warm. He holds a small beat up radio in one ungloved hand, the only companion for a long and arduous journey. Under the flickering street lights you can see his eyes are tired, tear ducts swollen yet undisturbed. He watches the cars go by, very aware he is in another world; he smells the dogshit, the open sewers, while they cannot. He appears like a ghost, flicking into reality with each vehicle passing by.

He’s on his way to pick up his car from a parking lot. He has chosen to do so at 5am and with the temps at 30 degrees in the hopes it won’t light on fire and kill him when he attempts to drive it home. The car is toast, the engine victim to a failure the mechanic “never seen before.”

“The amount of pressure must have been incredible” he had said, shaking his bearded head to note the horror, “normally you gotta hammer the freeze plug in. We figured okay, maybe a radiator leak or something, but that bitch was GONE. Your fluid drained out and the engine overheated. Not only that but ya heads blew.”  He pauses for a moment, as if to hammer home just how much he cares. “I’m sorry to tell you this but at this kind of mileage you’re going to need a whole new engine.”

“And how much would that cost?”

“About $4,500 dollars.”

The jeep cost $3,000. It sounds like bullshit. Has to be. I laughed because all I could do was laugh.

The laugh of rent increases, firings, or deadly diseases caught at emergency rooms when you have no insurance; the chuckle you get when you watch dreams die. To be poor is to know it well, to carry it in your pocket. It usually grows like a callous right over your heart to match the ones on your hands.

And my hands were calloused.

Christmas brought news about my mother-in-law’s disability case. My wife has cared for her mother since she was sixteen, her high school years spent in apartments with no electricity and having to beg for sanitary necessities. Her mother didn’t work. She did at one time but the PTSD of having her husband kick her down the stairs and beat her within an inch of her life makes crowds impossible. Since we started dating, almost ten years, we’ve payed every bill and effectively spent the same amount of money supporting her as if we had a child. My wife has lost her entire childhood. She’s never woken up to an empty house, never sang a song simply to herself; she’s spent every waking moment worrying about someone in the other room. If that thump on the floor was someone hanging themselves or a cat knocking something over. You can see it in the darting of the eyes, the restless and frustrated sighs.

The hope was both parties might have what they call a normal life.

The judge’s decision came in an envelope that was beaten to shit. Her mother would get enough from the State to pay the light bill, some food, and that was about it. She couldn’t afford to live on her own. My wife and I had planned and imagined what life might be like, just the two of us. Holding the letter, hands shaking, it became suddenly clear those dreams would never, ever happen.

My wife cried for three days, inconsolable, her one chance at her own life gone forever. She worries we’ll never have children now. How can we afford it? She cries and cries and all I can do is hide my own anger and rage.

The two weekends later, dazed out of her wits on anti-psychotic meds, my mother in law walked into the bathroom and proceeded to eject half a gallon of liquid shit in the closet. On our clothes. She then passed out on the floor, hitting her head. We had planned to spend that Saturday night out with a friends, the same as any other twenty-something couple does. We instead spent it cleaning her off, mopping and scrubbing the floor, gagging and retching from the smell. Out of towels at one point, my wife decided to use an old t-shirt.

Life is good it says, with a big smiley covered in human feces.

She can’t help but laugh. “The irony is not lost on me.”

After adjusting we dreamed new dreams: maybe take the plunge into debt and get a house. After all, we’d never be on our own so me might as well own something that was ours. Apply for that first-time home owner’s loan. Paint it how we wanted, plant those banana trees I had read about, stop paying rent and at least craft a warm place for us to die. We had a new city picked out and were set to start hunting Thursday morning. Somewhere calm and peaceful farther down south, away from the highways and tourists. I made plans for turning the Florida Room into a writer’s den and hoped to find something next to a forest; she began picking themes to direct our painting and decorating. We could make it work. Our lives may not be the ones we wanted but we would make it work.

My wife lost her job on the 3rd. The car was pronounced dead the same day. Crossing the street, clouds of breath escaping from my collar, I laugh even now. A freak accident. By Wednesday that week every step forward for the year previous had been undone. Every dream, every hope, ripped away. My insides felt as cold as the air scraping against my throat, hurt in ways they don’t make words for.

The lot is open, and I walk over to the jeep, allowing my fingers to trail along the door of a nearby luxury vehicle. I attempt to scrape the ice off my windshield but succeed in only wiping free a small hole about the size of my palm. This will be my only visual for about two miles at fifty-five miles per hour, a desperate race to get home before the engine starts shooting out flames. There’s no coolant and the damn thing wouldn’t hold any even if I had some.  As I adjust my seat I reach into my pocket, pulling out a small flask of Sailor Jerry’s. Three sips, 93 proof each, enough to warm my stomach and agitate the blood. One last ride, windows down, and loose enough to enjoy it.

What have I got to fucking lose?

Read more here….

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Survive the Fascist Apocalypse with This ONE WEIRD TRICK

(Originally posted at Gods & Radicals)


“The members of the great criminal gangs have mutual relations that are strongly marked with communism. If they represent a survival from a prior age, we can also consider them as the precursors of a better age in the future. In all cities they know where to address themselves so they’ll be received and hidden. Up to a certain point they show themselves to be generous and prodigal towards those of their milieu. If they consider the rich as their natural enemies, as a legitimate prey – a point of view quite difficult to contradict – a large number of them are animated by the spirit of Robin Hood; when it comes to the poor many thieves show themselves to have a good heart.” – Edward Carpenter, Civilization, its Cause and Cure

“The difference between the student radicals and the Hells Angels is that the students are rebelling against the past, while the Angels are fighting the future.” – Hunter S. Thompson, Hells Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga

She walks through crumbling streets and decaying buildings, neon lights reflected in dirty puddles made dark by ash. Thunder rumbles in the distance, and the smell of yet another wildfire runs across her nose. The street fills with a shadow and she ducks into a doorway. Above her a drone projects ads onto the dim and dirty clouds.

“\(◎o◎)/!マブダチ! Sell plasma & organs for BTC/$$$! Contact Versa Labs today! (*^▽^*)”

“Service. Trust. Belonging. Don’t you want a life off-world? Indentured Employment Awaits… scan this ad for immediate referral…”


The last projection summons up a hail of gunfire from some distant location. The drone goes down and she can hear cheers.

She waits though she doesn’t know why. She’s safe. The cops don’t come out here, the few businesses all know who runs these streets. The drone is just an adtek, and though it can record conversations it’s highly unlikely to do so. The sheer fact it came out here must mean it was wildly off course. Magnetic wave? Solar storm? Perhaps it was piloted? She thinks for a minute perhaps the air feels different, but her AppleBR locket faithfully reads the air is just as dirty here as anywhere else. What’s different? What’s changed?

As she continues on she begins to notice the posters. Recruitment, statements of importance, warnings to enemies to leave or face the consequences. Homemade solar panels and ragtag assortments of Oniwire spread out like spider webs. She knows they put them up, because the Safe Zones have to have special permission to mess with the network. All at a cost. Here she’s not so sure if they pay anything…

A few eyes stare out at her, surprisingly calm. They’re well fed and for a moment she’s embarrassed of her sullen cheeks. They know why she’s here. The checkpoints she passed earlier told her they’d alert the territory so she could pass by freely. She’d proven she was clear after a month-long investigation. Now here she was, ready to join the revolution.

Ready to fight. Ready to live. Ready to escape the endless nothingness promised to her by the crumbling governments of the orbiting stations where Google, Tesla, and Amazon all lived. She was free, finally, and she would make the world pay dearly for her slavery.

She sees a familiar face, the contact she’d run into at King Bao. An elfen little thing with green hair, tall boots, and a rifle slung around her back that looked as natural as the bangs hanging across her face. A far cry from the little mouse she’d first noticed singing “sunglasses at nite” on top of a bar counter.

A flag hangs above the doorway she stands in… what is it?

Is there a swastika on it? Red and black triangles? The skull and crossbones of an Egoist Union?

Are the people there all white? Multiracial? Do nooses hang from lampposts or do fruit trees grow over prisons? Is the territory an ethno-enclave, a node in an international union, or the nearest front in a riot that runs across continents? Do the people worship the God of No God or do full moons bring chants and sacrifice, ancient beings summoned from depths and dimensions we can barely fathom?

The conditions for all those things to be possible are on their way. They are manifesting as we speak. Which possibility becomes reality will be decided by who wins.

Because we are in a very special time.

And it is either the greatest of gifts or the bleakest of curses.

It’s All Over But the Crying


The American government knows it’s on its last legs. From deeming the dystopian cities of the future “ungovernable” to the super rich buying bunkers and private armies everybody seems very aware that all is not well in “the land of the free.”

Everyone outside a small fetish scene consisting of Rachel Maddow and blue donkeys is well aware there never was a recovery after the Great Recession94% of net job growth in the past decade was in the “alternative work category” and defined as “generally unsteady, without a fixed paycheck and with virtually no benefits.” Over 60% was due to the rise of independent contractors, freelancers and contract company workers.” In other words, nearly all of the 10 million jobs created between 2005 and 2015 were not traditional nine-to-five employment. Our economy has been completely restructured, as if by design, resulting in a captive population living on the edge and willing to undergo any hardship to stay alive.

This new serf-dom is still too little too late. We have reached a tipping point where technology is now destroying more jobs than it creates.

“In fact, some 47% of present jobs in the US could be computerized in the next 10 to 20 years, according to an Oxford University study published in 2013.

‘When people no longer receive the money from wages they need to support their families, it is hard to know what they will do, but in the past and in other countries this has been thought of as a situation ripe for a revolution,’ Wallach said.

Wallach would later add that this “dire response” can be avoided through “welfare reforms or job subsidies” and “redistributing some of the capital growth.”

Which of course is exactly the OPPOSITE of what the US is doing.

Trump’s tax plan is not yet law, but only has one more vote in both the House and Senate on what’s called “the conference report.” Since the House and Senate passed different versions of it, Republicans have to merge them into one version which is then voted on by both.

We aren’t sure what the final thing will look like, but if it bares any resemblance to what it does now the American people are FUCKED.

It has massive tax cuts to the rich and corporations, drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, along with $1 trillion ADDED to the deficit which will force deep cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security in the not too distant future.

But perhaps most shocking of all is the total elimination of the estate tax, better known as the tax on inheritances. With its absence the United States would become the most heavily armed enclave for the wealthy in the world, a mountain-dew soaked version of Brazil where the majority live in absolute poverty while the upper crust hide trillions in houses, land, and shell corporations.

Essentially every dollar that goes up to the bourgeoisie will never be coming back down again.

If revolution was a mere possibility before it’s practically guaranteed now. The only question is whose revolution will it be?

Read more here…

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New Year’s Day

New Year’s Day and the people are lining up at Macy’s. Eight on one entrance, six on another, 5 on yet another. Every entrance surrounded like a SWAT team ready to kill an innocent person. Waiting for the doors to open. Waiting to buy things.

New Year’s Day and the machine rolls on. Any half-way decent country, in the wake of a national holiday, might declare a national day of rest. Of recovery. But the machine rooooooooolls on.

As it rolls on we must awaken to fulfill our roles for the machine. Up at 5am. Late. Running to work across wet grass. Opening boxes. Stocking shelves.

“How many pallets we got coming in?” The truck driver won’t answer. He asks again. “How many we got coming in?”
“E-eighteen? Son of a BITCH.” Eyes above dark bags, half-sunken and half-asleep buck at the load. “And we don’t have more people?”
“This is all we got.”

So it goes.

The night before  Kim Jung Un warns the President of the United States that a “nuclear button” was always resting on his desk, ready to strike North America at any moment. Top US officials say a nuclear war with North Korea is “closer than ever” and that they cannot see any diplomatic solution to the crisis. That it could have popped off last night.

New Year’s Eve. In the middle of our drunken revelries, totally unaware, our lives could have been wiped off the face of the fucking planet and nobody would’ve been the wiser; the officers in every hotel along 7th Avenue, leading to 42nd Street in Manhattan, placed specifically for rooftop or hotel room shooters would be powerless to save us. They tried I suppose. Umbrellas, backpacks and duffel bags were prohibited. But the raging hot oblivion would still have reduced us to ashes.

And we’d have no say in it.

Our material safety, our security, our very existences are in the hands of people who we have no influence over, who we don’t know, and who can decide whether we live or die on a whim. Internationally there is a gigantic game of chicken being waged between two assholes and we are completely dependent on them.

Our lives aren’t our own.

Even with the threat of radioactive fire peeling the atoms from our bones the machine goes on. The stores must open up. The trucks keep coming in, the boxes MUST be opened. Put on the shelf. So that other people might buy them with money they’ve earned from the machine.

We aren’t in control of our lives. We aren’t even in control of our own deaths. Shuttled around from place to place.

“When the time comes,” I say to my co-worker, “when someone comes in and shoots us all you have to promise me something.”

She looks puzzled. “And what’s that?”

“Please don’t let me die in my uniform. Take my workshirt off and let me bleed out in my undershirt. Tell my wife I love her. Drag me out of the building if you can and let me die near a palmetto rather than on this shitty-ass floor.”

She laughs, thinks I’m kidding. She gets serious. “As long as you promise to do the same for me.”

I saw a bag of cereal today, a quick meal for the worker on his way to the machine. It was nothing more than popcorn sweetened and sold for $2.24 a bag. Corn, a type of grass. Funny isn’t? The same diet we feed to domesticated animals sold to weary eyes and hungry faces. Grass. Millions of people running around and doing as their told, herded from pen to pen; waiting blankly, munching contentedly, as one shepard argues with another.

Line up. Don’t want to miss a sale. Forget the lives of all those people far away our leaders plan on killing.

Amazing. If North Korea were ever to strike the United States with any kind of nuclear weapon…what’s to gain exactly? The United States would wage a war of extermination. There may very well not be any kind of Korea left. The United States wouldn’t bat an eye and not a single person outside that Macy’s would give a shit. The most abject and naked brutality could be indiscriminately hoisted upon an entire population and these motherfuckers wouldn’t lose a single wink of sleep.

I stand here, stealing my owner’s time, wondering if the North Koreans don’t feel the same; that even if they died, even if everything they loved got wiped off the fucking map, would they at least be vaporized contentedly knowing they had inflicted some measure of pain on us? That they’d hurt us?

What kind of world is this where all we can hope for is some modicum of revenge? Where the only thing that counts as victory are small droplets of blood drawn by a hand only vaguely associated with you? Whose actions spelled your own death?

What kind of world are we living in? That we’ve created? What kind of existence is this?

The television and internet are ablaze with images of other people like us, humans who think and feel. We parade their corpses around like elephant tusks. We play show after show filled with mugshots and chained bodies on grey plantations as a threat to those on the outside. Follow the rules, don’t make a ruckus, and you’ll be alright.

Unless of course you aren’t. Unless of course those same rules send your entire family into a nuclear hellscape, unless of course you watch the flesh peel off small children, eyeballs dangling down their cheeks because their still attached to optic nerves. Unless of course the smell of vomit and piss and shit and rotting corpses fills every place you once thought beautiful.

But today’s a holiday, so we don’t worry, leaving such thoughts to the voices of the horrified. It’s New Years Day and the people are lining up at Macy’s.

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