The Jefferson Tree - A platform for debate and discussion of current events and politics...

Stephen Moore’s Ridiculous Anti-Clean Energy Rant

Hard right-winger Stephen Moore took a break from pushing debunked trickle-down economic policies to take a pathetic shot at clean energy.  Let the stupid begin. …radical Greens, one of the most influential political forces in America today… Seriously?  He goes on to mention the famed Sierra Club as one of these forces.  And where did they rank in 2013 on lobbying: 755.  In fact, if we look at the top 50 interest groups giving to members of Congress this year, no sign ...

Anti-Israel Policies/Actions Is Not Anti-Semitsim

There have been growing protests in Europe against the mass murder of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip by the State of Israel. These actions are in response to the IDF killing 500 Muslims there with the vast majority of them being civilians. But what is troubling about these movements is, according to this article in the NYT, an anti-Semitic tinge has taken place at these protests. The story reads that in France: Several recent pro-Palestinian demonstrations in Paris have boiled over ...

Warren For President?

Today at the the annual Netroots Nation conference in Detroit, the nation’s largest gathering of liberal activists and organizers, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) reportedly drew an applause that Hillary could only dream of. According to NYT and Politico reports, Warren was a rock-star while Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic candidate for President, was absent. Warren’s populist talking points and her history of taking Wall Street to task (remember that Warren was an early advocate for the creation of a new Consumer Financial ...

Social Protest Literatue at Sparking The Left

Here at STL we are starting a new feature. In between our political-insight posts, I will start publishing excerpts or entire pieces of great literature that speak to crucial social and political issues which span the centuries. Though almost all in the Western tradition, the subject matters are transcendental. Now first to name my source, I am taking pieces from Upton Sinclair’s selected and edited collection “The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Great Social Protest Literature of All Time.” ...

Pulitzer-Winning Journalist Detained for Being Undocumented

I was first brought aware of Jose Antonio Vargas’ story last week in a piece he penned in Politico. He explained that he was in the Rio Grande Valley, in the city of McAllen, just north of the Mexican border. He was there to see first hand the tens of thousands of undocumented children, most of them from Central America, and observe how they were being treated. The trip was also used for a news conference appearance and vigil organized by United We Dream, ...

GOP Refuses Funding for Border Children Projects

A humanitarian crisis unseen before at our borders is becoming more and more urgent everyday at Rio Grande Valley, TX, and other Southwest locations. And yet the GOP is arguing over numbers. Yesterday President Obama requested an amount of $3.7 billion from Congress to help aid the 57,000 unaccompanied minors who illegally crossed the border from the Mexico side since October. They are mostly from violence-ridden Central American countries, like El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras (Honduras has the world’s highest murder ...

Problems galore for the new government headed by Mr. Narendra Modi in New Delhi – Imperative for the first time PM and his council of ministers in governance amidst multiple challenges

The phenomenal victory for Mr. Narendra Modi and his party (the BJP) in May 2014 general elections has not only drawn the adulation of people world over but also silenced all its die hard critics at home and abroad. It was so stupendous and stunning that even the American government and its top leaders across party lines acknowledged Mr. Modi as the emerging democratic leader of the world, setting aside their past antagonism as an error of judgment, not based ...

Embarrassing Weekend for NSA and CIA Good for Democracy

U.S. intelligence took a couple of pretty hard slaps in its face this past weekend and, when reading the articles about their wasteful and ridiculous actions, the slaps were clearly justified. First off, it was announced on Friday that Germany had arrested a man accused of spying for the United States and passing on the details of a German parliamentary committee’s investigation.  It’s pretty disgraceful that the U.S. is spending taxpayer dollars to buy spies so we can know about an ...

Has Putin Over Reached Once Too Often?

My, oh my.  We've watched this man make mince meat of Obama over the past several years.  Each time you could see the smirk broaden and the swagger get more pronounced. He and his allies - Iran, China, Syria and North Korea were truly enjoying themselves. But as happens with a lot of bullies, they get over confident and suddenly everything around them collapses. I'm wondering if this is the case with the downing of the Malaysian passenger jet. With the death ...

If Only It WERE The Heat!

What a day.  A passenger plane has been shot down over Ukraine uncomfortably close to the Russian border. Hamas reneged on the humanitarian cease fire so Israel launched their ground offensive. Children still pour across the border while Congress dithers. It's now being reported parents are giving them birth control in case they are raped during the journey. Along that line former member of Congress, Todd Aiken, who once talked about legitimate rape and the idea that women's bodies protected them from becoming ...

Hannity's Histrionics

For a person who doesn't have much faith in the intellect of pundits, I wonder why I watch them so often.  I wonder even more why the cable outlets and networks that employ them don't take more care in who they hire. Many of them get on crusades that bear no resemblance to reality.  Sean Hannity is one of the most prominent. The night before last  he was on his Bowe Bergdahl kick demanding to know why he was returned to ...

Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words?

If the President could run away from the border mess any faster I'm sure he would. It's being said it's because being seen in the setting of kids crammed into confined spaces with their scabies and lice would reflect badly on him.  It could even be his Katrina.  Well, maybe.  But who's fault is that? It goes to show his handlers aren't as smart as they think they are.  For one, drinking beer and shooting pool in Colorado, a state where ...

The Kids Always Went Home

Watching the immigration mess going full bore brought to mind a lot of things that have involved children from other nations.  The first thing that comes to mind is the Disney song It's a Small World After All that speaks to all we have in common. Hopes, dreams, all the warm fuzzy stuff. We've had exchange student programs where a student from another country lives with a local family to learn not only academics but what life in American and Americans ...

The Militia Is Coming, The Militia Is Coming!

That's all we need! News has it a call has gone out for militia, both unarmed and armed, to gather along the border to help private land owners protect their property in something called Operation Save Our Borders.  Terrific! Remember how well it went when militia turned out to help to  help Cliven Bundy in his fight over Federal grazing rights in Nevada?  It came within a hair's breadth of turning violent. I really feel for the border towns who are the ...

Will Cheney Help Or Hurt The Republicans In The Mid-Terms?

Will the re-emergence of Dick Cheney help or hurt the Republicans in the mid-terms?  There is so much going on about which voters are rightfully incensed my guess he will have little impact. I think it depends, however, on what happens in the middle east over the next couple of months. Those who believe it wouldn't be in the mess it is if it weren't for the Bush/Cheney policies and rush to war will be reminded of just that - the ...

So Sue Me

I often wonder these days how our country is going to survive the remainder of Obama's term.  Whether or not you agree with the Supreme Court decisions, they have been made never-the-less and the President has been slapped down on many occasions.  Sometimes unanimously. So why, I wonder, has the President decided to continue his mantra of it's my way or the highway.  He complains endlessly about the Republicans refusal to work with him.  House Speaker Boehner explains one reason is ...

I could think of no worse example for nations abroad, who for the first time were trying to put free electoral procedures into effect, than that of the United States wrangling over the results of our presidential election, and even suggesting that the presidency itself could be stolen by thievery at the ballot box. Thomas Jefferson
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B Psycho - Psychopolitik

The Black Ops Economy

You’ll just have to hear me out on this one…

Lately, I was thinking of a very easy to relate to description of how modern political economy — that is, capitalism, as maintained by statism — works.   After a few beers, during a video game break, I had a moment of clarity.

If you’ve ever played Black Ops, a game in the Call of Duty series, you know how the online multiplayer goes.  The absolute first people to play it started off with the most basic weapons, right?  Sure, they had a range between sniper rifles, sub machine guns, and whatnot, but for the most part all were even.  As one gets a higher score, they get access to better weapons, and thus more opportunities to kill the other players.  As they obtain longer kill streaks, they get more devastating power ups as rewards: a spy plane that exposes the location of their enemies (the default is that ones position is only exposed immediately upon firing your weapon, and even then faded into irrelevance within a couple seconds; the spy plane exposes people in each pass regardless of what they are doing), a jet assisting by way of napalm strike, an unmanned sentry gun that fires on anyone passing a certain point, all the way up to a manned attack chopper from which you can casually blast damn near anybody.

The point of these power ups is obvious: kill more people, get more toys…which help you kill more people.  The game helps those who are already established so as to maintain their dominance, simultaneously stacking the odds for newer players.  You may be joining a game as a level 3, still with your m16 and its 3 round burst, meanwhile you keep walking into the buzz saw that is multiple dork players of the game toting HKs and AKs with extended scopes & faster reload as a perk.  You may valiantly lift that M16, but by the time you have aimed, the guy with the AK has turned your digitally rendered body into mincemeat.  If Kalishnakov Guy gets a killstreak?  Oh, you might as well run and hide, because he’s got coming for you spy choppers, attack dogs, a remote controlled explosive, maybe even a freakin chopper toting a fully-auto gun.  And what else do you have besides the M16?  A smoke bomb?  Hah!  Half the dudes playing have masks, and their own flash grenades; you throw that, they step back and then throw a flash grenade, next thing you know you are firing blindly in a fucking circle, until they get behind you and happily slit your n00b throat.

This is an “economy” structured, by Activision, to reward and perpetuate the strong, and give the weak as many opportunities as possible to fail (in this case, as a digital character, to “die”.)  In the gamer world, such a system is no big deal.  I have yet to even win a single deathmatch, yet I don’t plan on ceasing my playing anytime soon.  Why?  Because unlike real life, there is zero real consequence.  This life of mine is what it is, if I made the wrong move in meatspeace that could be the difference between having a roof over my head and writing this blog from the gutter, meanwhile terrible moves in a video game are just learning experiences without the blood.

The current global economy functions in a manner similar to Black Ops.  If you already have an advantage, regardless of root, you have control.  You get in as a noob, you’re expected to earn your stripes against Level 43 guys who seemingly play it every waking moment.  Now, though they were first into the “market” for digitally rendered killin’, that doesn’t mean they’re the best at it in terms of strategy.  It could be that they got their high level by picking a sniper rifle & then “camping”: waiting for the other players playing it as a pursuit.  Sure, there’s still advancement, but the deck is intentionally stacked against challengers.  The game has helicopter guns and napalm strikes for people with long kill streaks.  The state has extensive subsidies for the politically well connected.  The game has it so if you pick up the gun of another player, you can’t use it as well because of differing perks, and you lose it if you get killed even once.  The state has IP law.

In a video game, this formulation makes sense.  You’re not there to trade goods or argue the propriety of X vs Y, you’re there to blow each others’ brains out!  Who cares what comes below that, as long as the graphics are nice and lag-free.  The challenge is the point.

In an economy?  We see the results: the entrenchment and shielding of the largest players, the costs of their failures placed on everyone else’s backs.

Activision deliberately designed COD: Black Ops to function like it does, and I’m fine with that.  Collusion between political power and connected business interests deliberately designed the economy to function like it does, and I emphatically am not.  On both I have a lot of company…

Author: B Psycho - Psychopolitik

Random thoughts from a big, angry negro... I’m a 30-year-old big black male odds-based atheist and left-libertarian. Oh yeah, and I have dreadlocks. If you’re wondering: yes, that combination does make interaction with people difficult. In the time when I’m not pointing out the moral & logical bankruptcy of government, I’m making music. If you have something to yell at me about that you don’t want to share in the comments, email me: longbongsilver -AT- gmail.com.

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