Won't you consider registering with our site? You can unlock more features of the site, leave comments and even elect to receive our "Weekly Shoveling" - a summary of all the coolest stories added each week!
It's totally free and takes a few seconds. We don't give out your e-mail or personal information to anybody! Try it!
Welcome to BSAlert.com - This is the place to rant and rave about stuff that bothers you. Illogical things in the news, legal issues, class action lawsuits, toxic substances, government goofs, corporate hanky panky, misleading advertising, lies in politics or whatever!
Have an interesting, goofy or crazy story? Register and contribute to the site, or leave comments about stories we have online.
Some people are asking why should they register on BSA? Well, for one, you can receive automatic weekly updates of new stuff on the site; you can be notified of responses to threads that you post on, and we NEVER, EVER do anything with your info other than use it to notify you of these things. We respect your privacy.
Latest News: BSALERT T-SHIRTS! Yes, we have really cool, professionally-silkscreen BSAlert t-shirts! If you are interested in one, let us know. There are a limited number of them available, and we'd especially like to give them to site contributors.
As a bonus, here's a clean google search to add to your toolbar: Clean google search toolbar! This removes the annoying affilliate links like "epionions" and other sites that have very little content but appear high in search engine results.
It may be time to admit that young people's support does not automatically translate to young people's votes.
As we emerge from a gobsmacking Super Tuesday, 78-year-old Bernie Sanders continues to be the Youth Candidate. He won voters under 30 across the 14 states up for grabs on the Democratic primary's biggest night so far, often by outright majorities. But thus far, reports of a revolution have been greatly exaggerated. There is no evidence at this point that Sanders's core promise, that he will attract millions of new voters to the political process—particularly young and working-class people of color—to dramatically remake the Democratic coalition, will come to pass. It doesn't matter how much young people like you if they don't show up to vote. It's one of many reasons Joe Biden has risen from the dead.
In Virginia, where the first signs of Biden's Lazarus act popped on the screen, voter turnout nearly doubled from the 2016 Democratic primary. 1.3 million votes were cast. This sounds like good news for Sanders, who wants to expand the Democratic electorate. Except just 13 percent of Virginia voters were under 30, according to USA Today, down from 16 percent four years ago. Sanders won 57 percent of them—down from 69 percent in 2016. Granted, that was just a two-horse race, but the larger issue here is that it looks like the lion's share of these new participators came to participate on Biden's behalf. He won 130 of 133 localities, and by 30 points overall.
The trend continued across the southern states that solidified Biden's good night. In North Carolina, a state that, like Virginia, will figure significantly in November, the numbers were pretty much identical to VA: 13 percent of voters were under 30, down from 16 percent four years ago, and Sanders took 57 percent of them, down from 69 percent. In Alabama, only seven percent of voters were between 17 and 29, compared to 14 percent in 2016. (Sanders did up his chunk of that vote to 60 percent.) In Tennessee, just 11 percent were under 30, down from 15 percent four years earlier.
In California, the cornerstone of Sanders's great western firewall, just 14 percent of voters were under 30, according to the Washington Post. Sanders won 57 percent of these folks, along with 52 percent of voters 30-to-44, on his way to winning the state. He also did better with older voters out West than anywhere else, nearly matching Biden with voters 45-to-64. He won white voters, Hispanic voters, and Asian voters, while Biden continued the strong performance with black voters that powered his surge throughout the nation.
In the end, it was Sanders's inability to make inroads with black communities in South Carolina and throughout the South that has stripped him of the sole frontrunner status he enjoyed coming out of Nevada. The six-in-10 black voters who broke for Biden in Texas likely delivered him that state. This was the wall Sanders's campaign ran up against in 2016, and it does not look like his work over the years since has been as effective with these folks as it has been with Hispanic voters, with whom he has dominated this time around. Sanders is still very much in contention, but he's got to find a way to connect with the cornerstone of the Democratic base. To win, he'll have to build a more standard Democratic coalition.
That's also true because this lack of revolutionary energy in the electorate is destructive to Sanders's general-election arguments. In the 2018 midterms, Democrats powered to control of the House of Representatives largely due to big gains in the suburbs. These are people, particularly relatively well-off white women, who are not particularly enamored with left policy but who are sick of the current leadership. There is ample reason to believe that Sanders would struggle in these areas. To make up the difference, he needs a massive turnout of new voters—young people of color, working-class voters who previously saw no reason to participate in politics—to essentially form a new Democratic coalition. Maybe these people are less inclined to participate in a primary than in a general election. Maybe if Sanders won the nomination, they'd come out for him in the kind of numbers he needs. But at the moment, there is little reason to believe this.
On the other side of things, Joe Biden could thrive with exactly that kind of suburban voter. His whole campaign is geared towards The Trump Exhausted, as he prioritizes decency and healing and the prospect of not having to hear about the president's dumbass antics every day of your life. This is appealing to many, particularly the older, richer, whiter folks who most consistently vote. It is a safer bet, on paper, if Democrats want to hold their House majority. But the core question for Biden is whether he can generate the kind of enthusiasm that Hillary Clinton could not, when he is largely not promising any kind of transformational change beyond removing a blight on the republic from the White House. Can he attract working-class voters who think the economic system is rigged against them when he's promising to return things to the last years of the Obama era?
EDIT: Note that this article was originally written prior to the 2016 election, it still contains very useful information on the dynamics of the upcoming 2020 election...
*BSA Exclusive Editorial*
I dig Bernie Sanders. I've always loved him and his perspective. I agree with 99% of what he promotes in terms of long-term policy. But I still find myself uneasy with his candidacy. I will vote for whoever gets the Democratic nomination, but I'm not convinced people understand the dynamics and what's really in play right now?
As many of those on the left and the "disenfranchised" are "feeling the Bern" and hopping on the Bernie Sanders bandwagon, theres a schism developing among those who pine for social change.
It seemed hard to fathom that a candidate that has been so succinctly enumerating many of the problems people on the left, center and right have been harping about has now become so contentious?
I gotta be honest.. to me it feels like another Deja Vu moment. How I felt when I heard all my friends get so excited about Ralph Nader in 2000, and how his fresh rhetoric was going to change the political landcape...
It doesn't seem to make sense. Even among the editors at BSAlert, there's contention on the value of a Sanders presidency. Allow us to provide you with what we think are some troubling issues with Sanders and why we feel, as much as we love what he says, In my opinion (though not the opinion of everybody here) Sanders is a pied piper more than he is a path to change...
If all you want is Bernie elected; if all you care about is "sending the message" ok, I can't argue with that. But if you care about actually seeing his policy ideas executed, and moving in a more progressive direction during the next 4-8 years, you have to at least be open to these arguments...
1. What Bernie Sanders promises he cannot deliver
The 800 pound elephant in the room, the over-arching reality that Sanders supporters refuse to accept, that true pragmatic progressives cannot ignore, is the idea that "President Sanders" can accomplish what he preaches.
Unfortunately, that is technically impossible right now.
Yes, the President can sign executive orders. He can direct the military here and there. He can veto bills. He can appoint supreme court justices. He can give speeches and act as a focal point for ideas on social change, but in the end, the president is basically a symbolic representative more than he is an actual instrument of change. He's better at stopping change than he is affecting change.
On matters of the military, the POTUS is paramount. A non-warmongering president is of critical importance, but on all fronts, the real power is in Congress. Yes, the president appoints supreme court justices, but Congress confirms them.
Our founding fathers were well acquainted with the problems of singular ruling forces, which is why they made sure the majority of our nations real power rested not in the president, but in a collection 535 elected officials who make up Congress.
Congress is the "engine" of America. It determines whether our nation moves, and at what rate. You can turn the steering wheel on a vehicle left or right, but without momentum, it's not going in any direction. We've seen this principal in action the last 7 years as Obama's congress shut the engine off and shoved the key up their asses.
Sanders, having been a member of both houses of Congress for decades, knows this fact all too well. He's even made mention of this reality, but he doesn't seem to be bothered that at this point, Congress is more obstructionist and opposed to his ideals than they've been in 40 years. It's pretty disingenuous to suggest change can happen if he's elected without an equally significant "revolution" in Congress, which isn't happening, which he is not bothered by.
2. Like those on the right, Sanders is a divider, not a uniter
While Sanders at this point has been gracious enough to not be attacking his fellow nominees, the same cant be said for his followers who are ramping up anti-Hillary smear campaigns in every corner of cyberspace.
This isn't unexpected, because Sanders campaign by definition is a mirror image of the tea party agenda: blame all the country's problems on "the other side". Whereas the tea party's strawmen are "liberals." Sanders strawmen are the "1 percent".
Before I get accused of employing a false equivalence fallacy, let me unequivocally state I in no way think that the left and the right are equidistant from the truth or the proper path to a better country and community. Nor do I think that most of what he says is untrue. Not. At. All. But I do notice both Sanders and the GOP are using divisive, disingenuous tactics to promote a pseudo-utopian idealism that ignores lots of other problems, that assumes many entrenched institutions will simply bend over and allow themselves to be shafted in the name of "equality and justice." Neat idea in theory. Never works in reality.
Furthermore, American politics has been dominated for the last 50 years by a finger pointing mentality. A need to blame our country's problems on "those people". A rallying cry to team up in order to "not let the other guys win." People no longer vote for an ideal. They vote against the enemy. Even though it seems people are voting for Bernie Sanders, the reality is, they like him because he's taken aim at their common enemy and he is very blunt about it. They find that refreshing, but it's still a mentality that splits our population into disparate groups who seem to either be the solution or the problem, with nothing in between.
Gone are the "it takes a village" arguments in this campaign. It's all about dismantling the enemy and his infrastructure. It's about declaring war on the 1%, which sounds great in theory but nobody is going to make those people and institutions lay down and die. And whether we like them or not, they're part of what makes things "tick." We need to change their priorities more than we need to destroy them. We need to begin making them understand why "the good of the many outweighs the good of the few" and how this also benefits the 1%, but that requires the promotion of unity, not division. It's not something Sanders preaches. His strategy is similar to the "winning the hearts and minds of the people" by invading Iraq.
If this weren't enough, in contrast with Hillary's tireless fundraising of tens of millions of dollars to help with fellow Democratic campaigns, Bernie has done zilch. Yes, he'll occasionally squeak out a statement about the importance of changing Congress, but he has been exclusively representing himself at most of his campaign rallys, whereas Clinton has been emphasizing her party. It's no reason Bernie isn't getting much love and support from the Democrats. He's not really a Democrat. He's been an independent and only jumped on board to get the media attention and has done little for the party that he would require to support him should be become elected. When a candidate has alienated much of his own party, what chance does he have?
3. There's too much at stake in this election
Sanders supporters will find this statement ironic. But they are also not looking at the big picture: Every other branch of government is now controlled by not just republicans, but extreme right wing republicans. The Supreme Court is barely holding on to any centrist views, much less anything progressive. After the last election both houses of Congress have fallen to a GOP majority. The tea party is continuing to gain ground. Even so-called "liberal media" like NPR have morphed into parroting the corporate agenda, fluffing the fossil fuel industry and beating the drums of war in the middle east.
While Obama unsuccessfully tried to get things done from the White House, the right and the money behind them, now unfettered by campaign finance rules, allowed them control even more of Congress. The only thing holding back the reversal of fifty years of progressive legislation is the guy in the white house.
This is an election the democrats cannot afford to lose.
This is not an election that a small-time guy from a small-time state, whose never been much of a target, or much of a threat to the status quo, should be tossed into an arena full of blood-thirsty lions.
We can't afford to not have someone in office who has dealt with these institutions before. Who is battle-hardened and has demonstrated she can take what they can dish out and still come out more ahead than behind. Someone whose every weakness has already been probed. If we fail, we don't simply lose the white house, we lose the supreme court, possibly for our lifetime. We lose healthcare. We lose gay rights. We lose women's rights. We lose our reputation among the world we've been slowly repairing since Iraq. We lose our civil liberties to "keeping us safe from boogeymen." We lose the battle to separate church and state. We lose science to theology. We lose our last chance to migrate away from fossil fuels and stop environmental catastrophe.
Sanders people think now is a time for attack, for change. The reality of the situation is, the left isn't ready for any attack. We don't have the kind of army the right has. We don't control any other branches of government. We don't have any loyalty among our community. We don't have nearly as much anger or commitment. We don't have an array of churches coast-to-coast who will bus their people to the polls. We don't have networks of thousands of radio and tv stations promoting our agenda 24/7. The painful reality is until we gain more ground, we are the defender, not the aggressor.
This doesn't mean anybody is "giving up." It simply means, we should be smart and not sacrifice what we've gained in an effort to move forward. It would be better to move forward a few steps, than risk losing everything in an aggressive assault with a new guy who doesn't have a track record of surviving these high level battles yet.
Bernie Sanders isn't leading a revolution. He's a young, outspoken commander of an undisciplined army, more rebellious than lawful, more reactive than proactive, less experienced than battle-tested, that refuses to admit it's out-manned and out-gunned.
We lose a lot if we lose. It's not a game. While some may think Sanders' opponent is part of the system, she's not. She has demonstrated she can stand up to the right.. and most importantly, live to tell about it. Whether Sanders can do that, nobody knows. It's a huge risk.
4. Sanders does not mobilize minority voters
Obama was a diversion from the prototypical "old white guy network" that has controlled the world since the dawn of modern civilization. His campaign was a sign and a rallying cry for millions who previously felt detached and disenfranchised. Likewise, Hillary could be poised to be the first woman President -- quite an elevation in the stature of a social class that less than 100 years prior, didn't have the right to vote at all. These are powerful, progressive signs.
Like it or not, the election of an old white dude like Bernie Sanders doesn't mean much symbolically. And America's minorities and women know this.
Yes, yes, "But Bernie is different! He's saying all these cool things..."
Wow. No old white guy has ever spouted populist messages before, right? I'm sure this time the blacks, the women, the hispanics, etc. are going to believe him and run to the polls... I wouldn't bet on it. The research indicates otherwise. The main people at Sanders' rallys are white people.
There's a very good chance the huge minority vote may sit this election out if it's between two old white guys. They've seen that episode before and know how it ends.
5. Sanders has yet to face the media hate machine
It's funny that many Sanders supporters have such a sour taste in their mouth about Hillary. Yet believe he is more "trustworthy" even though he's never been subjected to an intense grilling by the "lamestream media." You have to wonder if the same force that made Hillary "America's least trusted woman" couldn't have an impact on his reputation?
So far, Sanders has been ignored. That's about the worst you can really say about him and how he's been treated in the media. Very few institutions have put him in their crosshairs at this point, even though there are plenty of questions. His opponent has nothing but mostly nice things to say about him. Sanders' ability to deflect criticism is mainly limited to some snarky responses to select media pundits feeding him lines he's practiced rebutting for the last 20 years. He's very good at that.
Give him credit: Sanders is very good at steering a two-way conversation away from strawmen and red herrings, towards the real issues.
But what if the conversation isn't two-way? What happens when it's a tv commercial that doesn't give him a chance to snap back? What happens when mainstream media and its army of pundits-without-opposition begin bearing down hard with their ludicrous opinions of who he is and what he stands for? How does Bernie defend against that?
The painful reality is the right have an unparalleled ability to project messages in mainstream media that are unanswered and un-contested. They could make Ghandi look lie a serial killer to the populace. They can take the most innocuous of issues and turn them into life-threatening drama. It's what they do best. And Bernie has never had even a taste of that served up to him yet.
6. There's something eerily wrong with the most progressive candidate in the race also being the oldest.
The average age of Americans is about 37 years. Bernie is 74 years old. The average life expectancy of a male in the United States is 77. There's a statistically-decent chance he may not live out his first term.
While Bernie seems healthy and cogent now, so did Ronald Reagan, who was the oldest person to be elected president when he was 69. Bernie is five years older than when Reagan was when he took office. And we know what happened to Reagan a few years later. It's a scary thought.
Beyond this, the painful reality is Bernie will never see the results of any of his policy recommendations. Our country really needs someone who will be around longer, who has a material, vested interest in making the world a better place.
Bernie's age, coupled with his defiant, outspoken demeanor, portray him as the quintessential Cantankerous Old Fart. The only thing missing is him repeatedly screaming at people to "Get off my lawn!" To his followers, he may be the "wise grandpa" but to many others he's the crazy dude at the senior center that thinks he's still in Okinawa and the Japs are coming!
In many cultures age is equated with wisdom and experience. Not in America. We worship the young and the beautiful. We save our most cherished pedestals for the pridefully-ignorant and mediocre among us. With few exceptions, the intelligent are more feared than appreciated. America wants political leaders who are un-intimidating, mellow and friendly. Bernie is none of that.
7. Bernie Sanders' supporters are probably not truly committed
They don't want to hear it. They refuse to hear it, but it's true.
Bernie Sanders supporters love what he has to say. They desperately believe he can make the world a better place. They believe in his ideas.
They're just not willing to work that hard to make it happen.
If you examine Bernie's rheotric, you will see that it parrots the "Occupy Wall Street" movement almost precisely. What happened to those guys? Why did that die out? Because while at first they had a wave of support, in the end, those pushing for change got tired, bored, distracted, and went on to other things. There's no evidence that Bernie Sander's supporters are really willing to back him up in the way he would need to be backed up in order to succeed. Sanders' fans simply want to press a button, click a mouse here and there, and then sit back and let him do all the work. They aren't in it for the long haul necessary to protect him from the inevitable onslaught of shit that threatened institutions he's up against will unleash. They'll turn tail and run at the first sign of inconvenience (see what they did to Obama as soon as he didn't execute everything he planned).
Another example of Sanders' supporters unwillingness to "walk the walk" is in their almost non-existent interest in the upcoming Congressional elections. Even if Bernie were to become president, without a complete change of the house and the senate, his agenda has no chance. If you want to watch a Bernie Sanders supporter go catatonic, ask them about who's running in their congressional district. They'll change the subject faster than you can say "Gerrymandering."
Real change requires more than swapping out the guy in the driver's seat. If the vehicle has no engine and there's no roadmap other than, "away from there!" you're not going anywhere. Sanders supporters don't want to think about the painful reality that political change requires compromise and small adjustments instead of one glorious 180-degree turn. The moment they realize that won't happen they'll be moving to another pumpkin patch with their "Welcome Great Pumpkin!" sign.
Bernie doesn't care that his followers have a short attention span, because he's at the twilight of his political career and this is a last gasp. But others who will be around the next several decades can't get on board a movement that really has no solid foundation.
8. Bernie has way too many qualities that make him de-facto un-electable at this time
People hate polls. Polls and surveys can and do lie. And they should never be totally trusted, but there is truth in data. The key is recognizing and stripping out bias as much as possible, and if one does this. If one examines the reality of the voters and what principals and values they are motivated by, there are things we know they like and things they dislike.
For example, Bernie is Jewish (culturally). There has never been a Jewish president or vice president. Jews make up approximately 1.4% of the American population. Like it or not, Americans vote for people "like them" - the more minority a group is, the less likely they are to get support from the mainstream. It's less a function of anti-semitism than it is a painful reality that tribes like to stick together.
On top of this, it's widely known that Bernie isn't simply "non-religious" but that most feel he doesn't really believe in god(s). He's skirted the issue but the atheist community claims him as one of their own. In surveys among the public, non-believers polled as the least-trusted group of them all. There's likely to be a president who's gay, transgender, half-black, half-hispanic, Jewish, convincted felon, member of ISIS than a guy who doesn't believe in god. The mainstream media can have a field day with this. The GOP would love nothing more than for Bernie Sanders to get the Democratic nomination because they know they can destroy him on the virtual of his non-religious stance alone. They've cultivated a huge voting block of theists that cross party lines and believe that in the absence of religion, there's no real reason to be moral. They'll jump on this and easily make Sanders as well loved as Madalyn Murray-Ohare.
Let's examine Bernie's political history: He's been an outsider his whole life. Contrary to what some claim, he's not that good at reaching across the isle and compromising. He's been in the house and senate for 20-30 years and only got three bills he authored passed, and two of them were renaming post offices. He represents one of the tiniest states in the union and has a most homogeneous population of 94% white people. Blacks in his district represent 1% of the electorate. He's a white man's white man. He's never really had to appeal across cultural and social boundaries in order to become elected. He's pushed for a lot of legislative changes, but very little of it has ever seen the light of day. He's a great guy to have in Congress to oppose evil, but not effective at implementing good.
On a personal level, Bernie is a cornucopia of "un-presidential" activity. Unlike Obama and Clinton, he's been married multiple times. He has one child born out of wedlock to a woman he casually dated. He's no "rhodes scholar", he got a commonly useless degree, a BA in political science - known to all of us as a "let's party degree" more than anything else. Bernie has no noble work history. He was basically unemployed through huge chunks of his life, just hanging around doing stuff until at the age of 39 he decided to run for Mayor in Vermont. And then he just stayed there and focused on becoming a world-class curmudgeon.
And then there's the "socialist" label. Bernie wears it with pride and his followers love to point out the distinction between a "democratic socialist" and other kinds of socialists. Isn't that cute? They think Fox News, CNN, Talk Radio, and the Koch Brothers really care to know the difference and will be sure to help the American public appreciate the unique coolness that is "democratic socialism." Um, yea, I wouldn't hold my breath on this. But there's evidence he's more of a hardcore Soviet-style socialist than his fans think.
But wait, there's more! How about an essay he wrote in the 70s where he suggested women fantasize about being raped. The infamous "rape essay" is one of the many bombshells much in the community haven't seen dropped. Talk about alienating the female vote!
When you look at how easily public opinion can be swayed over the most casual of contentions, it's obvious Sanders opponents have a huge arsenal of questionable things they can deploy to make people re-think how viable a candidate he would be for the white house. Again, Sanders' followers super-glue the rose-colored glasses over their eyes, but not all of us can afford to be so hopeful when so much is at stake.
What other prominent progressives are saying...
Barney Frank: Bernie Sanders has been in Congress for 25 years with little to show for it in terms of his accomplishments and that’s because of the role he stakes out. It is harder to get things done in the American political system than a lot of people realize, and what happens is they blame the people in office for the system. And that’s the same with the Tea Party. It’s “I voted for these Republicans, we have a Republican Congress, we voted for them, they took over Congress, they didn’t accomplish anything.” You gotta win at least two elections in a row.
The Atlantic says Bernie Sanders is a Fraud: "The lack of support for Sanders among elected Democrats may also reflect his lack of support for them. During 2015, Clinton raised $18 million for other Democratic candidates, while Sanders did no fundraising for them at all. Those are just last year’s numbers. The difference in party fundraising between them going back decades would surely be even more dramatic. After all, before this campaign began, Sanders was emphatic that he was not a Democrat."
Rebecca Unger in the observer.com says"This is not about disagreeing with the message Bernie is preaching to Americans?—?I happen to agree with a lot of what he says. This is about the simple fact that his is an idealistic, naïve agenda that could never be put into practice in America. In this country, to legislate even one tenth of such an ambitious plan would take degrees of cooperation, sacrifice, even manipulation and such an immense amount of ‘give-and-take’ tactics that an idea that once stood untarnished, glistening at the campaign podium, would come out looking like a child’s napkin after a meal of spaghetti Bolognese."
None of this makes you the slightest bit concerned? Ok, fair enough, but please understand what you're in for...
Bernie is like a "special needs person." He's very lovable. He has awesome ideas. He's a great person with good intent, but as evidenced over the past 30 years, he is not capable of accomplishing things on his own and requires help from those around him. He's been living in a sheltered area of the country where he's been able to live comfortably, but now he wants to move much further out into the big, huge world. He does not realize how scary and dangerous it can be. All he's ever known is... Vermont. Vermont is not like the rest of the world.
If YOU want to adopt Bernie, you have to understand what you're in for. This is not a single vote, or signing a piece of paper and saying "ok."
If Bernie gets the nomination, every other day, he will be sticking his hand into an angry hornets nest. You can't abandon him. You're going to have to be there to take care of him CONSTANTLY, to totally back him up. He's nowhere near as capable in the real world as his non-special-needs sister, Hillary. Hillary can take care of herself. She's been out there longer. Bernie has yet to face what can happen outside of his sheltered space. Bernie likes to play with the docile puppies in his neighborhood but doesn't realize how vicious other, larger dogs can be, especially when you take their bone away. He will challenge powerful forces that can easily destroy him if he isn't continually backed up by his family.
This is a "lifetime commitment" if you adopt Bernie. So please be prepared for that or else you'll let his enemies win.
There's tremendous hype all over the Internet and the media about Bitcoin, crypto-currencies, "blockchain" and this new "innovative technology" that is supposedly making people rich.
Or is it?
Is crypto currency the future?
Are you actually doing any "investing" when you purchase and hold crypto-currencies?
Or is this an elaborate Ponzi Scheme or an outright scam?
Let's cut through the chatter and reveal what you need to know about the modern state of crypto currency, the "blockchain" buzzword everybody is using, and whether this is something real, or nefarious?
Is crypto currency a scam or an amazing opportunity?
You can't afford to ignore the critics and skeptics if you really care about your money... Let's jump into the deep end and talk about EVERYTHING!
Those who have been in the industry for awhile certainly know what "crypto" is, but now laypeople are talking about it, so it's important to cover some of the basics:
What is crypto-currency?
In a nutshell, crypto-currency (of which there are literally tens of thousands of different systems) refers to a proposed method of trade that involves "digital currency".
What does that actually mean? Digital currency? It is currency, which is unlike traditional fiat currency and exists primarily as a "digital address" and sequence of codes.
Whoever has the code, owns the currency. If someone guesses/steals your code and executes a transaction with it, you just lost your crypto-currency. It's called "crypto" for short, because, supposedly the details of these codes are encrypted in various ways for your protection.
What is fiat currency?
Traditional fiat currency is often represented in coin and bill form, and is something you can hold in your hand and is easily transferable. In the case of the US dollar for example, it's mandated by law to be accepted virtually everywhere in your community.
Yes, traditional fiat currency can also be represented in "digital form" similar to crypto currency, as indicated in computers controlling peoples' banking accounts, but is subject to much more oversight and regulation. And there's a system to quickly and easily convert your banked currency to material form if needed.
Is there a material component to crypto currency?
Crypto currency, sometimes referred to as "alt-coin" typically does not exist in any material form. Like "fiat currency", it's a "placeholder" that represents a certain value that is used in the exchange of goods and services between parties.
But unlike traditional fiat currency, it doesn't translate well to bill, coins or other material items that can be physically exchanged. This is because what determines who owns the currency is based on who has the codes. You could print a bill that had the code on it, and that could technically be transferred to someone else, but every time crypto is transferred, these codes change. Plus a print of a code doesn't mean someone else doesn't also know the code and can take the currency without having access to the bill.
What is a "blockchain?"
This is a fancy new buzzword, and it's being used interchangeably with the term "crypto-currency" nowadays by various institutions who want to capitalize on the popularity of crypto.
Blockchain refers to the method by which many crypto currencies keep records of transactions.
A blockchain is basically a database of transactions, typically involving a few basic elements of information: the id of a buyer, the id of a seller, and a transaction amount, along with other information. This is stored in a database. It's not that much different than what might be called a "general ledger" at a bank.
If a "blockchain" is simply a ledger of transactions, why not call it that?
Because, "blockchain" sounds cooler and high tech!
It's easier to get hedge fund managers to invest peoples' retirements into something called "blockchain" than an old, un-exciting thing called a "general ledger." (Sorry, I'm a snarky person.. couldn't resist..)
What is special about crypto currency blockchains?
One element that distinguishes most crypto currencies from traditional fiat currency is the fact that there is no central regulation, or central repository of the blockchain (ledger).
For example, with Bitcoin, when a transaction is made, details on this transaction are sent to an array of different systems that maintain blockchains. The data is compared and collected and verified after a certain process. No single entity controls the blockchain. It's de-centralized.
It's also partially-anonymous. The people who execute transactions are only known by arbitrary IDs. The blockchain records that two parties exchanged currency and notes that the currency is now in the account of a different ID.
The past, present and future of crypto currency - it's not what it used to be.
The original concept behind crypto currencies like Bitcoin was fairly humble. And a lot different than it is now.
As I type this, the value of BTC is currently $12,870 USD to 1 BTC. By the time I finish this article, there's a very good chance the value may have changed anywhere from 5-20%. It's that volatile right now. Which is dramatically different from what it was intended to be.
The original concept was as a "micro-payment system" that could be used as a proxy for bartering goods and services, and in the early days, this is what happened. The value of Bitcon was fairly marginal and in and of itself, worth nothing, but if you had some BTC and could trade it to someone else for something, that was cool. The first material BTC transaction was on May 22, 2010 by Laszlo Hanyecz, a programmer who paid a fellow Bitcoin forum user 10,000 BTC for two pizzas. People harp now that the bitcoin to buy those two pizzas is now worth millions of dollars. But back then, believe it or not, the guy buying the pizza got the better deal. And you can bet the pizza seller moved his bitcoin shortly thereafter. Nobody in their right mind could have predicted that seven years later 1 BTC would be worth more than ten grand (and even now, this is arguable).
In theory, crypto currencies make sense. They're supposed to be a simple, direct, peer-to-peer transaction system that is nobody else's business.
Unfortunately, that's the OLD crypto model. Now there's a new crypto model and it's completely the opposite of this. Crypto currency in its purest form was never intended to be used as a security and hoarded, or monitored based on its value in any other fiat currency. Now companies are treating crypto like stocks and offering "initial coin offerings." This is not what the originators of this technology wanted.
What is crypto uniquely good for?
Because of its decentralized nature and (so-called) anonymity, it lends itself to transactions between parties who aren't necessarily interested in being tracked (criminal activities, drug traffickers, money laundering, black hat transactions, and governments and people looking to move money around without others knowing).
What should crypto currency holders be concerned about?
The list of concerns is significant enough to warrant a separate article, but here are a few things that aren't as well known (NOTE: some of these vary slightly based on the crypto currency obviously but there are many generalities in common):
The blockchain in all likelihood is not really "anonymous." - In fact, blockchains like Bitcoin keep records of every transaction ever. So from the moment of inception, every piece of Bitcoin that's changed hands is recorded. It may be meta information and not peoples' names or SSNs, but there are plenty of ways to ID people through meta information and once that's done, the money trail is public record.
What a crypto is "worth" is nebulous - Many exchanges are allowed to set their own transaction rates and details, and it's becoming harder and harder to painlessly convert crypto into traditional fiat currency, which is one reason why the prices are so high. There are lots of hidden hassles and fees involved.
The value of crypto currency right now is promoted based on its conversion to more accepted fiat currency such as dollars, which is incredibly ironic given the fact that advocates of crypto insist their currency is superior. In reality, the value of crypto should be based on how easy it is to use in its natural form.
Crypto is perfect for stealing - The more value a crypto has, the more appealing it will be to anybody and everybody who might try to crack codes and take the currency. It's basically a lawless expanse, which means there's no reason why governments and corporations might also invest in ways to suck value from the blockchain in ways most of us would find unethical. (ICO's are a good example - treating alt-coins like stocks is questionably ethical)
Many crypto coins are "mined" initially. This is a process where people run "mining" computers to guess the codes to discover new crypto units. These formulas are designed so coins are easy to mine initially, but become progressively more difficult and resource-consuming to mine later. Early developers get a huge amount of crypto early on. This, like a traditional multi-level-marketing scheme, sets the stage to primarily reward early adopters if they can continue the scheme long enough to pump value into the commodity. If you're late to this party, you're basically giving your money to the early adopters and putting tremendous pressure on yourself to see a profit. This is assuming the crypto you're investing in ever increases in value, which is statistically unlikely.
Technology has not kept up with the needs of Crypto - It's no longer economically viable to mine for Bitcoin and hasn't been for years, so the only way to profit in BTC is by taking advantage of others. There are also big problems with the growth of crypto and the blockchain and there's controversy over how to manage the transactions. Some might argue this problem is localized to a few crypto-currencies like Bitcoin, but the fact is, all cryptos are susceptible to these problems and until they are traded at the rate of ones like Bitcoin, there's no evidence they're any more technologically stable.
Not all crypto-currencies are the same, and this is as bad as it is good. For example, Bitcoin, the most valuable crypto currency is by design, limited to only 21 Million units in existence. Etherium however, at present, the second-most popular/valuable crypto currency has a fundamentally different model, with a virtually unlimited number of potential units being released, limited to 18 Million PER YEAR. Yes, people are "investing" in something that dilutes itself by 18 million units every year!
Because most crypto blockchains are designed to maintain a permanent record of transactions, it's becoming increasingly possible that the crypto currency someone is holding, could be "tainted" and traced back to criminal activity. You could be doing nothing illegal and have your accounts frozen by various authorities if they can trace the crypto you've been trading to something nefarious.
There are tens of thousands of crypto currencies out there (There's even a web site dedicated to making note of some of the many crypto currency failures) - Anybody can create a crypto currency. In the near future, I predict you'll be able to go to a web site and create your own crypto, and it will be for all intents and purposes, as potentially valuable as any other. It's not unlike to see in the future individuals who have their own currency. By the way this breathes new life into the corporate business model of "points" you can give customers based sales. Every company can now claim their "brand-bucks" program is cyber-currency and a commodity. Expect everybody from Starbucks to Amazon to have their own alt-currency.
Crypto Markets are being manipulated by wash trading - Wash trading is an illegal activity where one party sets up a sell order and then buys his own security. This is done to artificially create the appearance of a lot of traffic and volume in an exchange, or on a particular crypto/security. This practice is [technically] illegal, but it's not well regulated in the crypto markets. So even the appearance of demand for a crypto in the exchanges may be a fabrication.
People and institutions are now looking at crypto currency as an "investment" which is absolutely, positivily NOT what it was designed to be. And for this reason, a lot of people are going to lose a lot of money falling for the hype.
Crypto currency has even less intrinsic value than fiat currency.
Here's what's funny. Crypto currency advocates argue that fiat currency "has no intrinsic value", therefore there's not much difference between bitcoin and US dollars.
But this is a lie.
Let's say it again... Crypto currency has even less value than regular currency.
The US Dollar is a significantly more stable monetary concept than any crypto currency, for a number of very specific reasons:
It has maintained stability and usefulness for centuries.
It's regulated by the US government and a hierarchy of institutions with various checks and balances. (You may argue you don't like the nature of the system, but it still has checks and balances, much more than crypto as we'll see).
Everybody uses the dollar. It's the de-facto standard fiat currency in America and accepted in most other places around the world.
It's extremely easy to conduct transactions using US dollars.
There are numerous laws and regulations that guarantee peoples deposits in banks, and protect against fradulent transactions.
In sharp contrast, almost all crypto currency has virtually none of these benefits. There's tremendous value in a fiat currency that you know protects you from fraud, even if it involves your own incompetence. There's tremendous value in knowing that what a dollar buys today, you will also be able to purchase tomorrow. There's tremendous value in knowing that nobody is going to look at your dollar bill and go, "WTF is that? What do I do with it?" Or charge you a $20 "transaction fee" to convert it into something else. Beyond this, there's constant controversy about whether or not the blockchain technology has become unmanageable, and the de-centralized nature is giving way to a more centralized nature of exchanges, but the more popular an exchange becomes, the more likely it is involved in fraudulent activity.
But most importantly, with traditional currency at a bank, if the bank gets robbed, you're protected by the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Company). And it's a lot harder to rob a bank of a million dollars than it is to break into an online exchange and instantly pilfer tens of millions in Bitcoin and other cryptos, which is now becoming common place. And when this happens, there is nothing you can do. Because you never really owned anything in the first place. You never owned anything that anybody guaranteed. You never owned anything that a majority of people in your community ever thought was of any specific value.
Why Would Crypto Currency and Blockchain Systems Be Considered A Ponzi Scheme?
In and of themselves, crypto is not a scam.
The scam part comes with anybody trying to tell you to "invest in crypto". That's when "blockchain", "bitcoin", "crypto", etc. BECOME A PONZI SCHEME.
The best way to illustrate why investing in crypto is a scam is to compare it to another popular investment: stocks.
Both crypto and stocks are sold in shares and have a particular value per share.
Investors buy these shares in hopes the price will go up. If they sell the shares when the price is higher they make money. If they sell when the price is lower, they lose money. That's pretty basic.
There are companies now promoting crypto like stock shares, offering what are called, "ICO's" - an "initial coin offering" much like an IPO is an initial offering of public shares. It gives people a chance to buy into crypto currency in the beginning. But, THIS IS A SCAM.
Because there's an inherent difference between investing in stocks verses crypto.
A stock represents shares in a material organization. If you own shares in Apple, you actually are a part owner of Apple, and part owner of all the assets Apple has. Even if Apple's stock price drops, you still have a proportionate share of the company's assets. And you can determine the relative value of their stock based on the company's assets. Traditional stocks have material valuation.
In stark contrast, crypto currencies have nothing. You aren't owning anything material. You do not have a share of anything you can examine or valuate. You merely have some numbers that indicate if you can find someone else to buy those numbers at a higher price, you might be able to turn a profit, but at the end of the day, you own nothing of value and never have.
With crypto currencies, the value of these shares is solely based on what you can get someone else to pay for them. This is completely arbitrary. At any point, this entire market could completely implode into nothing. That would never happen with a traditional company -- a traditional company has assets, and investors have a fiduciary duty to monitor and maintain the company's viability. There is nothing of the sort with crypto currency, except the standard network-marketing-style approach of constantly enticing other people into buying your crypto at a higher price than you paid.
The Only Way You Profit In Crypto Is At Someone Else's Expense
With traditional stocks, you earn profit often through the growth and success of the company. When they do well, the shareholders do well. Everybody benefits.
With crypto, you only earn profit at the expense of later investors who, are now required to hype the crypto up to a higher level, in order to create profit. This is an impossible, un-tenable business model. It's the exact definition of a Ponzi Scheme.
Crypto Actually Compounds The Severity Of The Problems It's Meant To Solve
One sad truth about crypto-currency, is that it's a "work-around", a "hack" to the monetary system. It's not an actual solution, and in fact, it exacerbates all the troubles it promises to alleviate.
For example... if you think government is too corrupt/inefficient and taxation is unfair, the solution to this problem isn't hiding money outside the system (that's not going to work anyway, and in doing so, all you do is deny tax money to the system which makes government even less efficient and capable). The solution to this problem is to fix government: make it more efficient, reduce taxation, make government work more for the people rather than special interests.
The adoption of crypto is a way of saying, "I don't believe in government.. I'm going to stop trying to make it work for me, and instead work around it.." which if done on any large scale, effectively hurts the overall community. The bottom line is, government does much more good than harm, and the more people give up on trying to fix it, the more likely they're going to suffer. It's like saying, "My political leaders never seem to represent my interests, so I'm not going to vote any more." It's an absurd "solution" that fixes nothing.
The same issue applies with crypto as a means to support a black market for illegal things that you think should be legal. How is that a "solution?" The real solution is to lobby to legalize, regulate and monitor the stuff you feel you shouldn't have to skulk around buying from criminals and murderers in third world countries. Crypto just compounds the problem instead of addressing it.
Crypto Isn't Bad As Long As You Don't Consider It An Investment
I'm not panning all crypto. It works for what it was designed.
The problem is, what's going on now, with "Initial Coin Offerings" and "blockchain technology investing" is bullshit. These are people and institutions that smell money and want in on the scheme.
The only way crypto would ever be ubiquitous is if it became very similar to existing fiat currency, and we have hybrid systems like this in place right now, such as credit card payment companies. So true crypto is only really useful when it's largely valueless, and used in small, inconsequential transactions (like 2 pizzas for 10k - that makes sense). Beyond this, it becomes another "Pet Rock" or "Dutch Tulip" that salespeople are trying to get you psyched over.
So does this mean, "I hate Bitcoin?" Not at all. I love the idea of crypto currencies.
What I hate are all the predators who are now in the market, trying to make the intangible medium, seem like a security. This makes the housing markets' "default credit swaps" look like gold bouillon. Please don't fall for it. There are better ways to create value without becoming part of a scheme that centers on misleading people.
This is my big problem with Crypto currency. It's not a solution. It's a temporary hack that actually compounds the problems rather than address them.
- Mark Pile, BSAlert.com
How Bitcoin Ends - "The wealth disparity in bitcoin is worse than that of central currency, with 4 percent of users owning 96 percent of bitcoin. So much for breaking the banking monopoly; this is just hackers seizing the banking industry for themselves."
The single biggest problem facing Ripple - Another one of the "crypto success stories" is the alt-coin, Ripple, but all is not what it seems to be. People buying XRP are basically funding a company that is building its equity not upon Ripple but other products that Ripple stakeholders will have absolutely no interest in.
The mainstream Internet has gone out of its way to scrub any reference to the Christchurch shooter's manifesto from the Internet. While I can appreciate the desire to not make terrorists famous and as a side effect validate their atrocious activities, I think this pales in comparison to a select group of institutions deciding what is and isn't appropriate content for my adult brain to absorb, process, and compute on its own.
Therefore I took the arduous task of navigating the minefield of censorship to read the NZ Shooter's so-called "manifesto" and report what I learned... because if I linked the whole thing, chances are, this site would be erased from most Western search engines. (Yay freedom of speech!)
Note that we here at BSA are completely in favor of any site exercising their right to restrict their systems from promoting hate speech and intolerance. But it's also important to call attention to what is motivating these people - this is a key to how to stop them, and sometimes that requires diving deep into their cesspool. So here are our thoughts on this...
Some are claiming the NZ Shooter's online manifesto is a "troll." I assume that's because if you can't believe somebody would honestly believe something so retarded, it's the default position to assume they're trolls... but I've also come to respect Ockham's Razor, which suggests the simplest explanation is the most likely, which is... YES SOME PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY THIS RETARDED.
Things I learned from reading the so-called "Manifesto", which is entitled, "The Great Replacement".
1. The fact that non-white people are reproducing faster than whites, is somehow a form of "white genocide."
"We must inevitably correct the disaster of hedonistic, nihilistic individualism. But it will take take some time, time we do not have due to the crisis of mass immigration... We are experiencing an invasion on a level never seen before in history. Millions of people pouring across our borders, legally.Invited by the state and corporate entities to replace the White people who have failed to reproduce, failed to create the cheap labour, new consumers and tax base that the corporations and states need to thrive."
What's interesting is that the terrorist recognizes there is a "serf class", but doesn't acknowledge that white people don't want to be that serf class, so what is there to do about it?
Right away, the terrorist is repurposing the language of Donald Trump and the Republicans. Of course, they denounce his actions, but we all know the mentality is shared in common.
This is important because passages like this make is apparent, this guy isn't a 100% anomaly. He's just a more extreme version of the 24% of America who still support Trump, and we can't sweep this under the rug. There have been more terrorist attacks by the alt-right in the last few years than all other demographic groups combined. This pattern is becoming a routine happening that the mainstream media continues to ignore.
Beyond that, I think nothing screams pathetic entitlement and drama queens more than this.
I don't believe they've invented an emoticon that can accurate express the degree which I would roll my eyes out of my head, and orbit a far away universe, in response to this "realization."
2. Denial isn't just a place in Egypt:
Q: Why did you carry out the attack?
To most of all show the invaders that our lands will never be their lands, our homelands are our own and that, as long as a white man still lives, they will NEVER conquer our lands and they will never replace our people.
White European dude, from Australia, whose ancestors committed genocide of the natives on the land in which he now resides, somehow believes that this is his land and everybody else are the invaders.
3. A singular emotional appeal can activate a closet psychopath to act.
Ebba was walking to meet her mother after school, when she was murdered by an Islamic attacker, driving a stolen vehicle through the shopping promenade on which she was walking. Ebba was partially deaf, unable to hear the attacker coming.
In the case of this douchebag, he credits his "activation" to a singular, issue, the death of a single pedestrian, Ebba Akerlund, who was one of five people killed and 14 people wounded when another, equally crazy psychopath hijacked a bus in Sweeden.
Chances are, there was a certain news media that harped endlessly about this one particular victim in such a way as to wind up and crystalize the hatered and intolerance that was brewing in psychopath B, based on the results of psychopath A.
4. There is not a more entitled race of people than white nationalists.
Q: Why did you carry out the attack?
To most of all show the invaders that our lands will never be their lands, our homelands are our own and that, as long as a white man still lives, they will NEVER conquer our lands and they will never replace our people.
People think this is a troll, but if you've ever talked to any bona fide racists and white nationalists, you know this mentality is actually legit. These people think this land is there land. Never mind the natives that lived here before. Ignore that. "Whiiite-man-eeeeee-fest destinyyyyyy!"
5. The attacker isn't interested in fame. He's interested in the effect of his actions and how people will respond, which is predictable to him (and others familiar with classic military strategy). We would be playing into his hands assuming he's just another crackpot, as opposed to one of the many operatives with similar missions coming out of the alt-right woodwork.
Q: Did you carry out the attack for fame?
No, carrying out an attack for fame would be laughable. After all who can remember the name of the attackers in the September 11 attack in New York? How about the attack on the pentagon? The attackers in the plane that crashed into the field on the same day?
I will be forgotten quickly.
Which I do not mind.
After all I am a private and mostly introverted person.
But the aftershock from my actions will ripple for years to come, driving political and social discourse, creating the atmosphere or fear and change that is required.
In our narcissistic mainstream society, the powers that be assume every activity is for personal gain, and that their actions cannot be anticipated and controlled. In this way, the terrorist is not wrong. The more his manifesto is censored, the more important it becomes to be read by those who are more likely to be activated.
I have no desire to encourage the guy but like any issue, this event does beg for analysis. Although I think there's a very strong case for using the attacker's manifesto as a cautionary, shameful tale. But he's right that the media will not give enough people access to even figure that out themselves, and therefore they'll play into the same fermented paranoia that bred him, among their own viewers.
The problem is, there is a lot to be learned from his words. That he's not isolated. He's a product of a propaganda assembly line...
6. The attacker is [ironically] following Osama Bin Laden's plan
Most people never read Osama Bin Laden's manifesto either, but it bears a striking resemblance to this attacker's objective: Upset the western powers and get them to perform reactionary political gestures which destabilize themselves.. in order to allow chosen forces an upper hand.
Q: Why did you choose to use firearms?
I could have chosen any weapons or means. A TATP filled rental van.
Household flour, a method of dispersion and an ignition source. A ballpeen hammer and a wooden shield. Gas, fire, vehicular attacks, plane attacks, any means were available. I had the will and I had the resources.
I chose firearms for the affect it would have on social discourse, the extra media coverage they would provide and the affect it could have on the politics of United states and thereby the political situation of the world.
The US is torn into many factions by its second amendment, along state, social, cultural and, most importantly, racial lines.
With enough pressure the left wing within the United states will seek to abolish the second amendment, and the right wing within the US will see this as an attack on their very freedom and liberty.
9/11 didn't make America stronger. It split America into two factions: those that blamed everything on Muslims and those that blamed everything on crazy psychopaths. This attacker doubles down on that tried-and-true tactic.
My first impression is he must be nuts if he thinks attack #4,709 is going to make America suddenly ban the 2nd Amendment (or that there's even any strong movement to do so.) His knowledge on this subject reads like the headlines from an alt-right web site, and not indicative of the nuances of reality which indicate that America is not split on gun rights vs gun abolition. I can see how someone who only gets their news from one source might fall prey to that fantasy, but in reality, it's gun rights vs gun responsibility. Most democrats don't want to ban guns as much as they want them treated like the dangerous devices they are and made sure people who have access are properly qualified.
But again, it's more than that. It's a mentality that permeates the shooter's mind that makes him unequipped to understand the left. His utter lack of empathy. His feeling that anybody other than his tribe (in this choice, whites) deserves basic human compassion and respect. It's all about empathy. This guy has none. And he assumes most of the world is like him, and as such, at any point can be flipped like a light switch to begin murdering each other to create/protect the "New World Order."
The one aspect of his diatribe that gives me hope is this: he's wrong about many things, but the most important thing he's wrong about, is thinking that the people are as sociopathic as their leaders. They are not. And this is true everywhere around the world in all the areas of trouble.
Immigrants who are fleeing oppression are not sociopaths. They're not the "plague of invaders." They're the respectful, consciencious people that would make society healthy. The last thing in the world we would want or need, is a community of trigger-happy racists who are ready to commit mass murder if they read the wrong news story.
So, ultimately, what we have with this "invading wave of immigrants" are people who are running away from violence and cruelty. The horrible, murderous, rapists and criminals are staying -- because they've created the scene the good people want to escape from. So it's ironic the shooter, a psychopath, is upset his community is different. That's not something that keeps me up at night. At least now, in prison, he will be among a community of like minded people.
7. Me. me. Me. Me. me. ME. Fuck YOU.
Q: Did/do you personally hate muslims?
A muslim man or woman living in their homelands? No.
A muslim man or woman choosing to invade our lands live on our soil and replace our people? Yes, I dislike them.
The only muslim I truly hate is the convert, those from our own people that turn their backs on their heritage, turn their backs on their cultures, turn their back on their traditions and became blood traitors to their own race. These I hate.
6. The terrorist was a "blue lives matter" advocate.
Like many in the marketplace of white nationalist ideas, this terrorist also believed, "blue lives matter."
Q: Did you intend to kill police officers or other enforcers of the state?
No. ... harming the NZ police officers was to be avoided at all costs unless the state enforcer was from an invaders background.
This is also coded language to those in law enforcement who are like-minded (and there are a lot of racists and fascist authoritarians in these positions). The message is not one of an isolated crazy person. It's one of an "operative" in a larger movement, signaling his peers to sit tight.. he's on "our side." A lot of these people believe that those in the army and law enforcement are their compatriots and will eventually be activated. Is this an absurd idea? If you peruse some of the online private law enforcement forums, you'll realize it's not.
7. The terrorist was a fan of Trump's white nationalist tendencies.
Q: Were/are you a supporter of Donald Trump?
As a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose? Sure.
8. The terrorist was a troll but was poor at hiding the truth in his diatribes..
Q: Were you taught violence and extremism by video games, music, literature, cinema?
Yes, Spyro the dragon 3 taught me ethno-nationalism. Fortnite trained me to be a killer and to floss on the corpses of my enemies.
9. The terrorist was funded by getting early in on the Crypto-currency Ponzi Schemes (Bitconnect in this case)
I worked for a short time before making some money investing in Bitconnect, then used the money from the investment to travel.
10. The terrorist is NOT CRAZY. He's quite intelligent and aware, and relying on, ironically, the humanity of his victims. He's completely wrong and a complete psychopath, but he's not stupid. This illustrates the difference between someone being misguided, and stupid. Those two constructs are not synonymous and we should stop making such assumptions.
Evil people can be very smart.
Q: Did you intend to survive the attack?
Yes, but death was a definite possibility. These situations are chaotic and virtually impossible to control, no matter the planning. Survival was a better alternative to death in order to further spread my ideals by media coverage and to deplete resources from the state by my own imprisonment.
I hate to say it, but ironically, many people should read this guy's manifesto. Not because they're going to be swayed. Not because they're going to give him attention he craves. But because it's important to realize this is what we're up against. Not all of these narcisstic psychopaths are idiots. Many of them are very smart, and they think multiple steps ahead. Don't underestimate these people!
One thing I notice is that the right love to "project" their ideas and thoughts upon others. And we should be paying attention to this proclivity.
For example, when one hears of a leftist protester doing some unsavory act, rather than suggest this was the isolated work of a crazy person, the right often attributes this to some kind of concerted, organized effort (i.e. "Antifa"). They're very fond of these boogymen entities that they can associate disparate perpetrators as all receiving orders from.
Why shouldn't we assume this is the way they operate? All the web sites and all the coded language... All the nudge, nudge, wink, wink stuff about their enemies? Stick a crosshair on a picture of Hillary or Pelosi? "Oh that's ridiculous that we would suggest such a thing..." Meanwhile every now and then one of them actually does take a shot at somebody. "Oh did we mean to do that?" Nudge, nudge, wink, wink... If you dive into some of the hardcore white nationalist sites like Stormfront, their creators enumerated this exact strategy: work towards a singular purpose with organizational efficiency, but deny such an organization exists.
So how many of these very specifically-branded and modeled right wing terrorists have to appear before it becomes obvious there is an operation going on? How many are more than mere coincidence?
How many of these terrorists (such as this one) actually admit there is an operation going on? And at what point are we going to start putting 2 and 2 together?
American libertarians are less a political party and more like a fundamentalist religious group who believe that the free market is their lord and savior. Here's why their platform might sound charmingly weird in theory, but in practice it's harmful.
While everybody is remembering 9/11, here's something to think about.
Everybody says, "9/11 never forget"
What exactly are we supposed to remember?
What do most people remember about 9/11?
What is the purpose of remembering?
Is it to continue to harbor fear and anger?
Is it to continue to remember to hate Muslims?
Do most people even know why 9/11 happened?
Do they know that since 9/11, America has doubled down on the middle eastern policies that brought about 9/11? (Most recently with Trump wanting to put a US embassy in Palestine)
Do people remember that almost all the 9/11 attackers were Saudi Arabian, and that America has never waivered from their loyal support of the Saudis, going so far as to enact travel bans on virtually all other Muslim middle eastern countries EXCEPT Saudi Arabia? Even though Saudi Arabia has some of the worst human rights records in the world?
Does anybody remember we blew $7 Trillion invading Iraq after 9/11 and they had nothing to do with the attack?
Do people remember 4000+ American servicemen died in the Iraq invasion that was perpetrated by the George W. Bush administration? All based on lies that our own intelligence community exposed?
Do people remember the Bush administration violated international law setting up covert torture prisons around the world? They renamed "torture" to "enhanced interrogation techniques" to pretend what they were doing was legal.
Do people remember that, to date, NOBODY has been held accountable for the huge mess that was made?
I'm cool with people "Never forgetting" as long as they're remembering EVERYTHING THAT REALLY HAPPENED.
In fairness, the bill did a few other things, most notably, it replaced an earlier law that outlawed, "Crimes Against Nature" that also was the infamous anti-"sodomy" law used to shame homosexuality, that was ruled unconstitutional in 2003. So lawmakers who voted against this bill can arguably claim they're not necessarily as much in favor of animal sex as they are homophobic assholes.
Computer/console games continue to become more advanced, graphical and intense, now resembling mini-operas of realism and, in many cases, blood and gore.
But are they going too far? The latest version of the popular Far Cry series, called "Far Cry 5" seems to alternatively criticize and glorify the rise of right wing, religious extremists in what some might consider a very realistic manner. But nowhere does this become more creepy and weird when you examine you choice of the game's three possible ending cinematic sequences. See for yourself...
**SPOILER ALERT** If you're not interested in playing through the games 14+ hour run time to see where it goes, continue to read this article..
Before we show you the endings, let's set the stage for this game for those who don't know.
Basically, the setting is rural Montana. A very David-Koresh-like doomsday religious cult leader is charged with kidnapping and the local sheriff is tasked to arrest him... this process causes the cult to activate into a paramilitary group, that takes over three regions on the game map, that you're tasked with liberating. The group also is cultivating some kind of drug that is used to control and brainwash people.
You play one of the "good" guys, who is with the local law enforcement, but at some point you're captured, given drugs and brainwashed into being a killing machine that is activated by a certain song.
The game is composed of a variety of missions where you wander around the map killing everything in sight, including tons of wild animals that apparently have all become rabid due to foraging on these cult drug flowers.
Far Cry 5 is one of those GTA-like games where you can wander around on the map and explore, and there's much to see and do and the terrain is quite beautiful. You complete missions to earn things and become stronger and more powerful. You collect weapons and various items as is common in these games.
Throughout the game though, there are cut scenes and narratives weaving into the open gameplay, teaching you about the purpose (and obsessive nature) of the religious group. For anyone familiar with the history of many protestant factions of Christianity, this "fictional lore" is a little too realistic, and for this reason, it's not out of the realm of possibility for certain factions of people to identify with the supposed "bad guys" in the game. In fact, that's what many may end up doing, which becomes obvious when you examine the endings...
The question is, how far can you go in these games before it might be worthwhile to argue over the value of certain narratives being promoted? You can decide... In an age where we have rampant domestic terrorism that seems similarly modeled after the ideology of characters in this series, it has to make you wonder what the developers were thinking?
Let's set up the three endings...
There are 3 endings in the video below.. the first and the third happen at the end of the game. The middle one happens at the beginning of the game.
1. At the end of the game, after liberating 2 of the 3 regions, you confront the head of the cult. He gives you a chance to walk away like he did in the beginning. You can choose to walk away or resist.
2. At the end of the game, you choose to continue to resist the cult leader.
3. A the beginning of the game, you can end the game in the first few minutes by choosing not to arrest the cult leader. If you walk away, the credits roll... this ironically, is the most moral and socially palatable ending of the three.
The second option is the most likely, and it shows you a rather bizarre outcome that ultimately has to make you wonder, WTF is up with the developers?
Pursuant to Section 230 of Title 47 of the United States Code (47 USC § 230), BSAlert is a user-contributed editorial web site and does not endorse any specific content, but merely acts as a "sounding board" for the online community. Any and all quoted material is referenced pursuant to "Fair Use" (17 U.S.C. § 107). Like any information resource, use your own judgement and seek out the facts and research and make informed choices.
Powered by Percleus (c) 2005-2047 - Content Management System