Cowboy Bebop

I really should kick myself for not doing a piece on this sooner. I really do ask the forgiveness of my non-political readers for the long string of political posts, this has really been a politically charged year so far and it has been hard to do a lot of other posts. I have been playing video games less so some posts on games that I was planning to complete are sort of on hold. I have been watching a lot of anime though and rewatching some of my old favorites, and at some point in the near future hopefully, you can look forward to between 12 to 15 back to back weeks of UC Timeline Gundam which I will soon review. But for now, I hope you enjoy my meager offering of this classic from the golden age of anime.

Before I get to the plot I want to cover some of the most remarkable things that made this series great. As a 90’s kid, I am proud that I grew up during the golden age of anime even though my only contribution was my viewership. Cowboy Bebop was one of the crowning achievements towards the end of that age, a mix of classic western and sci-fi space opera. Most remarkable was the use of music as part of the framing of the story. Each episode explored fringe music styles such as Metal (Heavy Metal Queen), Blues (Sympathy for The Devil), Funk (Mushroom Samba), and most frequently Jazz and Bebop. In the Golden Age Tradition of shattering every boundary, this show redefined many. That’s why it will always remain in my top 10 favorites, it is a hard show to top and only a few have ever topped it since its debut in 1998.

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The Bebop during Hyperspace Flight. Image from 1.bp.blogspot.com

In 2071 Humankind has inhabited the rocky planets, moons, and asteroids of the solar system with the help of a Hyperspace gate system. However, an accident with the gate exactly 50 years prior has left the Earth virtually uninhabitable. With mankind spread from Venus to Saturn crime has become a greater issue, leading to the Inter Solar System Police to push for the legalization of Bounty Hunters. With the task of bringing in criminals alive in exchange for money, Bounty Hunters are universally despised throughout the system by criminals, police, and everyday citizens. For them, space is a cold place to exist.

Nobody in their right minds would willingly live this kind of life, but nobody on the cruiser Bebop is really in their right minds. Not Spike Spiegel, a man who faked his own death and is on the run from the Red Dragon Syndicate. Not Jet Black, a former ISSP officer who quit in disgust over the general corruption in the organization. Not Ein, but he is just a genetically enhanced dog with super intelligence. Not Faye Valentine, she is just a con artist deep in debt who had been cryogenically frozen for over 50 years. And certainly not Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV, she is just a totally eccentric hacker from Earth who invented her own name. Together though these crazy beings are the best (well actually worst) Bounty Hunters in the Solar System.

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Image of a ship coming through the Warp Gate. Image from inetres.com

Shinichiro Watanabe initially coined the tagline “A new Genre Unto Itself” to promote Cowboy Bebop, however, he later said this was an exaggeration. I have to disagree though, he was about right as Cowboy Bebop was a one of a kind mix of multiple genres that nobody, not even Watanabe-san himself, has ever been able to repeat much less exceed. The beauty of the show for me lies within this hopeful yet a dystopian vision of the future. On the one hand, humanity seems lost after being forced to part with their home planet, searching for meaning and a place to belong. On the other hand, there is hope to be found in humanities expansion to the stars and their will to survive and return to some semblance of normalcy.

Of course, the music cannot be discounted either. The series was almost experimental with its choice of background, barely recycling any themes and always coming into each episode with a fresh set of tracks. Yoko Kanno composed the music for the series and even formed the “Seatbelts” exclusively to perform the soundtrack for Cowboy Bebop. Later on, Watanabe described how Kanno’s composing heavily influenced the actual creative direction of the scenes. Rather than taking Watanabe’s direction, Kanno would often follow her inspiration and come back to Watanabe with a musical piece he was not expecting, and even though he didn’t ask for the piece just listening to it would inspire him to write entirely new scenes. He described it as a back and forth between them, so both the writing and the music drove the direction of the series. This symbiotic back and forth process really does make the anime a new type of genre that is not driven by just the story or the music.

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The Crew of The Bebop. Image from cotygeek.com

I can’t really express how much I personally have enjoyed this series. It has actually gotten me through breakups and life failure with its deep and whimsical stories. Now approaching 20 years it has aged well and even today gets a late night run on Adult Swim. I highly suggest you buy a copy of this show. You’ll never regret it and never forget it.

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No, The Supreme Court is not the Supreme Authority: 10 Times the Court was Overturned.

Okay, so for some reason after about 227 years since it was founded, some people have gotten this totally deluded idea in their head that the Supreme Court is some kind of supreme authority that is infallible. Anytime someone debates me about Supreme Court decisions the predetermined conclusion is that after I give them the overwhelming evidence they are wrong, they will use an appeal to authority and claim that because I am not on the court my opinion is wrong. Let me state this for the record though, even with my mere 2 years in pre-law I am still more fit to serve on the Supreme Court than certain justices. Just to give a specific example so I don’t look like a braggart, a certain Justice while speaking about abortion claimed the right to privacy is found in the 14th Amendment however as any first-year law student or a kid with a Pocket Constitution can tell you, that is completely wrong. The right to privacy is guaranteed by the 4th Amendment, and before we get to the “one-time mistake” argument, she has repeated this inaccurate claim more than once.

That aside, there have always been periods where the Court has made questionable decisions. People routinely choose to ignore the political aspect of the court when a decision matches their political sensibilities. But as I said, The Court is not infallible and its members are not some legal gurus. These are officials appointed by other politicians with lifetime tenures. They do not have to even be qualified and they are not accountable to the people of the United States. Literally, anybody could conceivably be confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice if one party has the white house and a majority in the Senate. (Prior to the tantrum thrown by Democrats earlier this year it required a super majority of 60 votes)

Luckily decisions made by them are never totally absolute. This is a good thing since some past decisions have deprived people of their rights based on politics. In 227 years there have been a total 188 cases have been overturned on some serious constitutional issues, that means an average of .01 cases a year overturned or 1.2 cases overturned for each year the court has existed. 188 sounds small in the grand scheme of things, but that is just the number of decisions overturned to date. And considering it is a question of fundamental rights, 188 is 188 times too many. Here are 15 of these decisions and a brief explanation of them. Let’s see if you still have the same faith in the court after reading these.

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The Facade of the United States Supreme Court. Image from britannica.com

Lochner vs The State of NewYork (1905)

This was considered a “Landmark Labor Law Case” at the time it occurred. The Plaintiff, Mr. Joseph Lochner, claimed that the Bakeshop Act of 1885 violated the 14th Amendment by limiting how he could enter into a contract with his employees. Mr. Lochner had been found guilty of violating this act twice and he appealed the second conviction on this basis which is why it made it all the way to the court. Both times he had violated a provision of the law which prohibited him from letting any employee work more than 10 hours in a day or 60 hours a week. NewYork State claimed that this was for the health of the workers since in 1885 Bakeshops were not a very healthy working environment. Mr. Lochner’s Attourney Mr. Henry Weismann argued that the modern Bakeshop was a marked improvement and that with the introduction of proper ventilation it was comfortable to work there in the summer or the winter. He claimed that the enforcement of the law was an unreasonable exercise of the state’s police power.

In a 5-4 decision, the court ruled in favor of the plaintiff, citing that the law regulating workers hours did not constitute a legitimate exercise of state police powers, rather favoring the freedom of contract. They disregarded the argument that the workers did not have equal bargaining power. The main flaw in the case is that the Constitution did not guarantee any freedom of contract. This precedent was overturned in another 5-4 ruling in West Coast Hotel Co. vs Elsie Parrish. In this case, the court decided that the Constitution did indeed permit the state to restrict the right of contract when such restrictions protected community, health, and safety, or vulnerable groups.

Alexander Chisholm vs The State of Georgia (1793)

This was considered one of the first major Supreme Court cases and tested the concept of federal jurisdiction and the ability of an individual from one state being able to sue the government of another state. Alexander Chisholm was the executor of the estate of Robert Farquar, and in this capacity, he sued The State of Georgia for payments due to him for goods that Robert Farquar had supplied Georgia during the Revolutionary War. The State of Georgia however claimed that the lawsuit was invalid, as that Georgia was a sovereign state and had to consent to be sued. In a 4 to 1 decision (at this time the court had only 5 justices) the court ruled that Section 2 of Article 3 in the Preamble to the Constitution meant that the jurisdiction of the federal courts superseded the sovereignty of the states. This ruling however was later overturned by the 11th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Donald Saucier vs Elliot M. Katz (2001)

This is another, more recent case that also deals with government immunity, this time the Qualified Immunity of a Police Officer from a civil rights case brought by a Bivens Action. In 1994 during a celebration for the conversion of a former military base into a national park, at which the Vice President was a keynote speaker, Elliot M. Katz who was part of a group named “In Defense of Animals” unfurled a banner protesting the possibility that Letterman Army Hospital might be used for animal experimentation. Donald Saucier who was on duty as an MP that day along with his colleague Evan Parker had been warned of the possibility of demonstrations and having identified Katz as a demonstrator, they grabbed him from behind and escorted him to a nearby military van where Katz alleged they shoved or threw him into the van. Katz brought a case against the soldier invoking the Bivens decision and claimed the officers had violated his Fourth Amendment Rights and had exercised excessive force against him. Mr. Saucier appealed the case citing that he had qualified immunity as he felt his actions were at the time justified.

In a 6 to 3 decision, the court determined that Saucier was entitled to qualified immunity and that in the determination of qualified immunity the court in question must establish two facts. The first is whether the facts presented show that an officer’s actions violated a constitutional right, and then whether or not the right that was allegedly violated was clearly established. It was clearly stated that the steps were to be followed in that exact order. This precedent stood for 8 years till it was partially overturned in Cordell Pearson vs Afton Callahan. In Pearson v Callahan the court then ruled that the Saucier decision was not mandatory, and rather that the procedure was up to the discretion of lower courts.

Clemente Martinez Perez vs Herbert Brownell Jr (1958)

This in an interesting case involving the authority of the government to revoke citizenship. Mr. Perez was born in 1909 in the town of El Paso Texas and resided there till about 1920 when his family moved to Mexico. During the second world war, he was permitted to enter the United States under the premise that he was a Mexican alien Railroad Worker and had been born in Mexico. In 1947 however, he returned to Mexico and applied again for entry to the United States, this time citing that he had been born in Texas and was indeed a US Citizen. Upon entering the country again he was immediately charged for failing to sign up for the military draft. Under oath, Mr. Perez admitted that he had returned to Mexico between 1944 to 1947 to avoid military service and that during that time he had voted in a Mexican Presidential Election in 1946. In 1953 Perez surrendered himself to immigration officials in San Francisco as an unlawful immigrant but also claimed he was a citizen of the United States by birth and was entitled to remain here.

In 1958 the court upheld earlier rulings that Perez had lost his American Citizenship with a 5 to 4 vote. The argument was that Congress had the authority to revoke citizenship and that Perez’s voluntary choice to vote in a foreign election was grounds for loss of citizenship. In my opinion, this was the right decision considering all of the mitigating factors. Sadly in 1967, the court overruled its previous opinion in the case of Beys Afroyim vs Dean Rusk. In Afroyim v Rusk they ruled that according to the 14th Amendment, Congress did not have the right to revoke the citizenship of an individual without his or her consent.

Michael J. Bowers vs Michael Hardwick (1986)

This case kinda hits close to home for me since it was a case involving a law prohibiting Sodomy, or sex outside of the vagina. A Law Officer named Keith Torrik was delivering a then defunct warrant to Michael Hardwick, who due to a clerical error had missed a court case over a citation for public drinking. Mr. Hardwick’s roommate invited Officer Torrik into the apartment and showed him to Mr. Hardwick’s room where Officer Torrik observed Mr. Hardwick engaging in consensual oral sex with anther man since the door to the room was open. After Mr. Hardwick threatened to have officer Torrik fired for invading his privacy, Officer Torrik arrested both men on Felony charges of Sodomy.

Even after a district attorney declined to prosecute the charge because of the expired warranty along with his own personal objection to the law in question, Mr. Hardwick still decided to sue the Attorney General of Georgia for a declaratory ruling that the sodomy law was invalid. He argued that as an active homosexual he was liable to be charged for engaging in sexual activity. After the first court dismissed his case, a Federal Appellate Court overruled the lower court’s decision and found in favor of the plaintiff, Mr. Hardwick. The Georgia Attorney General however appealed the decision to the Supreme Court. In a 5 to four decision the court upheld the anti-sodomy law citing their belief that homosexual acts are not protected under privacy law, with one Justice even citing the moral repugnancy of the act as a reason to rule in favor of The State of Georgia.

It is interesting to note a heterosexual married couple was also listed as plaintiffs in this case, they argued that even though they wished to engage in sodomy the Georgia law prevented them from doing this. They however failed to prove the standing for their claim and were dropped from the suit. I mention this because it proves the point that this decision had negative implications even for heterosexual couples. In the end, the ruling was overturned by the 2003 decision from John Geddes Lawrence and Tyron Garner vs The State of Texas. In a 6 to 3 decision, the court ruled that the Bower decision violated the right to due process.

Lester J. Albrecht vs Herald Co., DBA Globe-Democrat Publishing Company (1968)

Taking a step away from social politics, I turn your decision to this 1968 Anti-Trust law case. Lester J. Albrecht was an independent newspaper carrier who had been acquired by Herald Publishing Company, an outfit that printed the St. Lewis Globe-Democrat. According to an agreement between the publisher and Albrecht, there was a maximum price he was not allowed to exceed. Exceeding this limit meant that the publisher could terminate his distribution territory and arrange for another carrier to serve those customers. Albrecht had failed to adhere to this agreement though, and after a period of protest Herald proceeded to inform his customers that they would distribute the paper at a lower price causing 300 of Albrecht’s 1200 customers to terminate their service with him.

Albrecht brought forth a complaint that the Herald Companies actions amounted to price fixing which was prohibited under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. After an initial jury found in favor of Herald Company, Albrecht petitioned for the court to issue a Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict which the court declined to do. Albrecht then appealed to the Eighth District Court of Appeals which upheld the lower court’s decision. However the Supreme Court in a 7 to 2 decision the court ruled in favor or Albrecht stating that the actions of the Herald Company’s actions were not unilateral but concerted, and that price fixing was not illegal per se. The second half of this decision was overturned by a unanimous decision in State Oil Company vs Barkat U. Khan when the court ruled that vertical maximum price fixing is not inherently unlawful and should be handled on a case by case basis using Rule of Reason.

Austin vs Michigan Chamber of Commerce (1990)

This is one of my favorite cases not only because it occurred the year I was born but also because it was later overturned with the help of my favorite Supreme Court Justice. In 1989 the Michigan Chamber of Commerce challenged the constitutionality of the Michigan Campaign Finance Act. This law made it illegal for corporations to spend treasury money to support or oppose candidates in elections. There was a loophole however if the corporation held an independent fund solely for political spending it was exempt from this law. The Michigan Chamber of Commerce argued that the law violated the 1st and 14th Amendments by violating corporations rights to free speech and also their right to equal protection under the law. Their opponents however claimed that corporations did not have the same rights as individuals. In a 6 to 3 decision, the court ruled against the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.

In an opinion written by Justice Marshall, he stated that the court recognized the State of Michigan’s interest in combating a “different type of corruption in the political arena: the corrosive and distorting effects of immense aggregations of wealth that are accumulated with the help of the corporate form and that have little or no correlation to the public’s support for the corporation’s political ideas.” While I have great respect for Mr. Marshall and agree with the sentiment of what he said, I do not agree with its legality. If indeed there is no correlation between the public’s ideas and the corporations then there is no need to stop the corporations spending for promoting their interests as any amount of money would not sway the public opinion nor the results of an election if indeed there is no correlation between the opinions of the public or the opinions of the corporation. This decision was overturned 20 years later in the case of Citizens United vs The Federal Elections Committee. In that case, the court ruled that the FEC had violated the 1st Amendment rights of Citizens United when they intervened in their plans to air “Hillary: The Movie”.

Frank Palko (Palka) vs The State of Connecticut (1937)

In some ways, this case is tragic as it was not overturned in time to help the plaintiff. In 1935 Frank Palka (his name was misspelled as Palko on court documents) broke into a music shop to steal a phonograph and then shot and killed a police officer while fleeing. Palka was tried for 1st Degree Murder but was only found guilty of 2nd Degree Murder so he was given a Life Sentence. Prosecutors however appealed in accordance with Connecticut law and won a new trial at which Palka was found Guilty of 1st Degree Murder and sentenced to Capital Punishment. Palka appealed this, however, claiming that the second trial violated his right to due process and constituted Double Jeopardy and that it violated the 14th Amendment as it deprived him of due process.

At this time the court had been ruling on a case by case basis whether the 14th Amendment could be used to force compliance with the Bill of Rights, in the words of Benjamin Cardozo, the 14th Amendment Equal Protection only applied to rights that were essential to facilitate “the very essence of a scheme of ordered liberty.” Unfortunately for Mr. Palka, the court decided in an 8 to 1 decision that Double Jeopardy protections were not essential to the preservation of that “scheme of ordered liberty” and they upheld his conviction. Frank Palka was executed on April 12th, 1938 using the electric chair. It wasn’t until the case of John Dalmer Benton vs the State of Maryland in 1969 that the decision was overturned when the court recognized that Double Jeopardy applied to states as well. However, this was 31 years too late to help Frank Palka.

Charles J. McNally and James E. Gray v. the United States of America (1987)

After Julian Carroll (D) became Governor of The State of Kentucky in 1974, Howard P. Hunt became director of the Kentucky Democratic Party. When the state purchased workman’s compensation insurance from Wombwell Insurance, Hunt conspired with the Vice President of the insurance agency to award the state’s contract to Wombwell in exchange for kickbacks that were to be sent to other insurance agencies selected by Hunt. $200,000 of that money was given to Seton Investments Incorporated, which was publically run by Charles McNally, but in reality was a front company that was really run by Hunt and Carroll’s Secretary of Public Protection and Regulation, James Gray. McNally received $75,000 for acting as a front man while Gray and Hunt spend the rest of the money on Florida condominiums, automobiles, and other luxuries. It is unknown whether Governor Carroll was in on this scheme as well.

In 1983 when the scheme was exposed, McNally, Hunt, and Gray were all brought up on federal charges of Mail Fraud, Tax Fraud, and Conspiracy. Hunt pleaded guilty to the Mail Fraud and Tax Fraud and was sentenced to 3 years in prison. Grey and McNally were found guilty on charges of conspiracy and fraud. The lower court also stated that the defendants had deprived the Citizens of Kentucky of “their right to have the Commonwealth’s business and its affairs conducted honestly, impartially, free from corruption, bias, dishonesty, deceit, official misconduct, and fraud,” as well as “money and other things of value.” They appealed the decision claiming that it was not legitimate services fraud because Hunt, who they had been charged with abetting, had no fiduciary responsibility to the state and that their due process had been violated since the lower court failed to inform the jury of this. The Six Circut however noted Grey’s fiduciary responsibility as a government official and decided that Hunt had the same de facto responsibility due to his extensive involvement in government affairs and his involvement in the allocation of the insurance contract to Wombwell.

In June of 1987 however, the court overturned their convictions in a 7 to 2 decision. In the majority opinion, Justice Byron White stated that the fraud statute did not protect the public’s intangible right to honest government, only protected money and property. In a dissenting opinion however, Justice John Stevens argued that “nothing in the words ‘any scheme or artifice to defraud,’ or in the purpose of the statute, justifies limiting its application to schemes intended to deprive victims of money or property.” Congress seems to have agreed with Justice Stevens. A year later Congress passed the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, a provision of which overturned the ruling of the court that corruption didn’t constitute fraud.

Dred Scott v. John F. A. Sandford (1857)

This is the most famous example of a grossly unjust Supreme Court Decision that was later overturned when those in power acknowledged that it was totally contrary to the spirit and letter of Constitutional Law. Dred Scott was born in 1795 to a female slave in Virginia. After moving to St. Louis Missouri in 1830, Mr. Scotts “Owner” sold him to a US Army Surgeon Dr. John Emerson. When Doctor Emerson moved to Fort Snelling in 1836 Mr. Scott was married to another slave, Harriet Robinson, in a civil ceremony performed by Robinson’s “Owner” who was also an officer of the peace. The next year Emerson was reassigned and rather than bringing Scott and Harriet with him, he decided instead to leave them in Fort Snelling and rent them out. In 1830 after Emerson was reassigned again to Louisiana, he sent for Scott and his wife who proceeded south to serve their “master” and his family. Along the way, they gave birth to their Daughter Eliza in what was considered free territory between Illinois and what would become Iowa. This made Eliza a free person under state and federal laws and the Scott’s could have sued for their freedom upon entering Louisiana. For some reason, they chose not to.

Between 1838 and 1840 the Scott’s moved twice, once when Dr. Emmerson was reassigned again to Fort Snelling and once more when Mrs. Emmerson moved returned to St. Louis with the slaves while her husband served in the Seminole War. In 1842 Dr. Emmerson retired from the Army and later died in 1843 while in the Iowa Territory. His wife Irene inherited the Scott’s and leased them out till 1846. Then in 1846, he attempted to purchase his families freedom. Irene Emmerson however refused which prompted Scott to pursue legal recourse.

It was at first expected Scott would win the case as legal precedence stated that slaves who spent extensive time in free states had a right to be emancipated. Scott also had a sympathetic Judge in Alexander Hamilton (No apparent relation to the founding father) who was known to be sympathetic to slave freedom suits. His Legal Council was being funded by the daughter of his former owner as well, who had married a banker. Everything looked like it was going good for Dredd Scott. However in June of 1847, the case was dismissed on a technicality, Scott had failed to prove he was enslaved by Irene Emmerson because the witness who testified had never actually seen the lease documents since his wife handled those matters.

In December of 1847, Judge Hamilton granted Scott the second trial. Sadly due to an initial appeal by Irene Emmerson which was overturned and then a series of local disasters (A fire and Cholera outbreak), the new trial did not begin until January 1850. During this time Scott and his family were leased out under the custody of the St. Louis Country Sheriff who was instructed to put the profits in an escrow account to be paid out to the winner of the case. At the second trial, the Scotts overcame the Hearsay technicality by having the wife of the previous witness testify and thus they won their freedom. Emmerson however was unwilling to accept the loss of the slaves, and even though she had transferred ownership of the slaves to her brother John F. A. Sanford and moved to Massachusetts she appealed the decision to the Missouri Supreme Court. In 1852 the court reversed the trial court’s decision and declared the Scotts were still slaves. They based their decision on the reasoning that the Scotts should have sued for freedom in a free state.

In 1853 Scott again sued for his freedom, however this time he did not have the financial support of his former owners family as the financial burden had become too substantial for them. However, since John Sanford had returned to NewYork State the Scotts were able to take the case directly to federal court. Also in addition to their earlier complaints, Scott also claimed that Sanford had assaulted his family and held them captive for six hours on NewYears Day 1853. However, in 1854 the federal court judge instructed the jury to judge the case by Missouri law. Since the Missouri Supreme Court had decided against Scott the jury upheld that decision.

Scott appealed the decision to the Supreme Court and was represented pro bono by Montgomery Blair and George Ticknor Curtis, whose brother Benjamin Curtis was a Supreme Court Justice at the time and was one of the dissenting votes. In a 7 to 2 ruling split between party lines, The Court ruled against Dred Scott. The 7 Democrats drafted an opinion stating that Scott should not have even been entitled to a trial as he was a slave and could not be considered a citizen, so he had no legal right or standing in the courts. They went on to also claim that the Missouri Compromise was Unconstitutional and that territories or states that had abolished slavery still had no right to free slaves. Some point out that 2 of these Justices were encouraged by James Buchannon to make a decision that would put the question of slavery beyond political debate. Knowing the policies of the Democratic Party it is clear he intended for the members of the court to rule against Scott, and it is even speculated that Taney informed Buchannon of the planned decision shortly before his inauguration. This kind of communication is considered inappropriate by today’s standards and even by standards at the time.

In their Dissenting Opinions, Justices McLean and Curtis heavily criticized the decision. McLean illustrated that there was no basis for the claim that blacks couldn’t be citizens as at the time of the ratification of the Constitution, black men could vote in 5 of the 13 states. In his words, the decision made by the Democrats was “more a matter of taste than of law”. Judge Curtis was a lot harsher, claiming that most of the majority opinion was Obiter Dicta. Both Justices attacked the overturning of the Missouri Compromise as well, citing the continental congresses addition of anti-slavery provisions to the Northwest Ordinance and other subsequent acts that barred slavery north of 36°30′ N.

Luckily it only took 11 years to totally overturn the Dred Scott Decision. In 1865 the 13th Amendment was ratified which totally abolished slavery and also involuntary servitude except as a punishment for a crime. Then 3 years later in 1868, the 14th Amendment was ratified which guaranteed equal protection under the law for freed slaves, as well as barring participants in a rebellion from running for office and said that no state would be paid for the loss of slaves or any other debt incurred by the Confederacy. Sadly Dred Scott did not live to see this as he died November 7th, 1858 only 18 months after being voluntarily freed after Irene Emmerson’s second husband who was an abolitionist and had come under criticism for his wife’s actions. Scott’s Wife Harriet died 18 years later on June 17th, 1876, but she died a free woman who got to see her late husband’s struggle vindicated.

 

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These cases make a very stark point. In all areas of law, the court that rules on the constitutionality of laws has made unconstitutional decisions. And an alarming number of them have to do with our fundamental rights and freedoms. People put way too much weight in the decisions of the Supreme Court, especially States and Courts which can simply ignore these decisions so they can be brought up again and hopefully corrected sooner. There are a great many decisions made in recent years by the court that need to be overturned as they have no basis in law.

Why does this happen so much? There are many reasons. There is the political nature of how the Supreme Court is selected, the lack of restrictions on them compared to other judges, the lifetime tenure with little chance for impeachment, the fact they do not answer to voters at all. Maybe this could be fixed by having some committee of judicial review for the court or by making it easier to impeach a justice if they do something wrong. I think the most important thing that can be done though is for everybody to face reality and stop treating the court as some sort of god. Certainly, the cases I cite above are reason enough to change that view.

Ad Hominem, Moral Equivalency, and Democrats who Have a Hard Time Understanding These Concepts

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A wonderful message I once received from a “Tolerant” Democrat.

I felt the best way to open this article was with this little number here. This was a nice little message sent to me after I admonished a bunch of Democrats for some bigoted crap they were mouthing off about. I made it a point to let them know that their bigotry is why I am a gay republican and this little girl here decided to give me a cemented example of the bigotry I speak of. This represents the true feelings of Democrats who claim to advocate gay rights and fight against “Homophobic Republicans”. The thing is, I have never met a Republican who spoke to me like this. In fact, ever since I have come out the only homophobic remarks directed at me have been from Democrats and other liberals. That is because Democrats only protect those who are obedient to them. Their party is about obedience rather than progress as they claim.

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A moronic Antifa who does not understand the definition of fascism.

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Phil Robertson came under fire from the left for saying he didn’t support gay marriage nor understand homosexuality. However, the remark they publicized was cherry picked. This was the second half of his quote they excluded.

In case you are a liberal reading this who is going to claim that an isolated incident doesn’t mean anything, Liberals calling me Fag or Faggot or other slurs is actually a regular occurrence. In the mentally ill mind of the common liberal however, these actions are justified and don’t make them homophobes. Meanwhile, when their political opponents say anything that doesn’t amount to total support of their views they are instantly attacked by the left and called a bigot or some variation. Please, dear reader, compare these two individuals and their statements. Which person here seems like the actual homophobe? Is it the city-dwelling Antifa who calls anybody right of center a fascist or homophobe but then resorts to gay bashing? Or is it the redneck from the back country who admits he doesn’t understand homosexuality and is against gay marriage, but all the same respects human dignity and expresses a wish that people would just get along with each other and love each other like his Christian God teaches?

Seriously though, I invite you to share your answer in the comments of this article. Let the world see if you passed the test of moral equivalency. That is, of course, the problem here though, leftists never pass this test. Leftists suffer from an extreme ignorance and lack the understanding that their actions speak louder than their words about their beliefs. And let me clarify when I say ignorance I mean actual intellectual ignorance which in many cases is intentional.

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A description of the characteristics of actual fascism from Wikipedia.

Let us return to our homophobic Antifa friend. He is a prime example of this intentional ignorance, he felt the need to call me a fag cause I pointed out fascism is not exclusively tied to conservative ideology and rather is conditional on the behavior of any movement regardless of ideological alignment. I also aptly pointed out that Antifa is, in reality, a fascist movement. Indeed through their actions and support of authoritarian left wing ideology, they undeniably fascists according to the definition to the right. Let me attempt to summarize this for you.

Antifa claims to fight fascists. In reality, they attack any group with an opinion that is in dissent of the views of their party. They attempt to justify this violence as legitimate and they have repeatedly made it clear they despise the US system of democracy because it put Donald Trump in the presidency rather than Hillary Clinton. Their ideal vision would be a nation under the rule their one party and hope that their violent efforts to stifle the views of others will lead to that outcome. Just like previous fascist parties such as the Nazi’s, they use violence and fear in the hopes of advancing their totalitarian agenda which is their idea of national rejuvenation.

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There is too much “Tolerance” in this to cover it all.

Now the ironic thing is that this idiot also doesn’t know the definition of Communism either. Communism advocates the abolition of social classes and the concept of private property and promotes wealth redistribution. He claims Antifa are anarchists, however Anarchism promotes a voluntary departure from government and the formation of a society based on voluntary cooperation. Anarchists rebel through art and music, and someone who resorts to violence is by definition not an anarchist since by using violence as a form of coercion they immediately violate the voluntary nature of the society Anarchism wishes to establish. But then again I should not be surprised as leftists routinely display ignorance along with bigotry.

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Liberals seem to have a hierarchy of hypocrisy, at the top of which lays the violent ideology of Islam. (c) 2016 Dixon Diaz

Now with Democrats in particular, they resort to the most basic of ad hominem name calling which appears also to be a form of deflection for their own crimes. What they say doesn’t really match up with what they do. For example, they claim Republicans are homophobic and don’t care about women, but it seems that they are the ones who don’t care much for gays or women. After all, they have an unhealthy obsession with defending Islam, a religious doctrine that subjugates women and promotes killing homosexuals like myself. The worst example of this overt homophobia was characterized by their behavior involving the Pulse nightclub shootings. Not only did the Democrats deny and cover up anything that indicated the shooting was even remotely inspired by the shooter’s belief in Islam, they held a banquet dinner a week after the event where the guest of honor was a Muslim Imam who blamed the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean on homosexuality. Meanwhile, those homophobic Republicans only showed outrage that the shooting happened and committed to taking steps to ensure there isn’t a repeat of the tragedy.

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Literally nothing has changed about Democrats attitudes towards African Americans since 1860. (C) skscartoon

But I should not spend time harping on the issue that directly affects me. After all, Democrats have been screwing over African Americans for over 150 years and have spent a little over 40 years convincing them that the Republicans are their enemy. Last time I checked, Republicans don’t call African Americans names when they don’t vote Republican. And last time I checked the inner cities which have the highest death rates for African American men have been managed by Democrats for nearly 50 years, not Republicans. It was a Democratic President, Bill Clinton, who signed a bill into law that allowed police to purchase military equipment. Democrats have a long history of this kind of “tolerance” towards minorities which for the past 40 years ended up voting Democrat anyway. Then again when you have the media in your pocket, you can keep claiming the party that passed the 13th and 14th amendments, as well as the civil rights act, are huge racists and it will stick eventually.

 

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A campaign poster for the Democratic Party from the 1800’s

To those of us savvy with history, their lies cannot be covered up and this image to the left is how we think of Democrats. The only evolution they have done over the years was from a party obsessed with gaining the power to oppress black people to a party obsessed with gaining power and oppressing all people. Sadly for us, the Democratic Party has learned how to better manipulate people and a substantial part of the population has fallen for it. They have successfully ruined the psyche of an entire generation of Americans by manipulating the media and the public school systems in areas they hold power. And this is where we enter the subject of Moral Equivalency.

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Samantha Bee is a moron on TBS who uses comedy to spread fake news. Earlier this year she did a segment about AIPAC where she joked about the hairstyles of those in attendance and garnered outrage when it came to light one of these men that had the particular haircut which her show referred to as a “Nazi Haircut” because he was receiving treatment for brain cancer

Democrats have successfully warped their follower’s perceptions of reality and moral issues. Take this Samantha Bee thing as an example. If a comedian made this kind of joke about a Democrat then there would be a ton of publicity and calls for him to be fired which would be answered. With Samantha Bee, there was no coverage and despite some calls for her to be fired, she has still kept her job despite the horrendous joke she made. In the well trained and mentally ill minds of Democrats, it is okay when they do these things but it is not okay when Republicans do them.

To the rational mind no matter who made this type of joke, it would be an outrage and they would demand action. And no matter who makes a bigoted remark it would be unacceptable. That is Moral Equivalency and it is something mentally healthy adults possess, equal reaction to an incident no matter which parties are involved. Democrats however are extremely mentally ill and suffer from a delusion of exceptionalism, they believe they are instantly superior, everything they say is right, and that what is not okay for everyone else to do is still okay for them because of their perceived superiority. Anybody who disagrees with them is instantly some kind of predetermined pejorative term and any established fact that contradicts their belief doesn’t matter because you are the aforementioned pejorative term.

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Democrats thrive on division, and they frequently attack conservatives like Allen West based simply because he is an African-American but not a Democrat. (c) Turning Point America

Democrats thrive on this kind of division and foster an environment for these warped views to take form. From the very start of their party, they have been dependent on a “Us vs Them” mentality to garner a support base. In the 1800’s they used “Us vs The Blacks”, and now they use “Us vs ________”. And they have so many things to fill that blank with now, “Us vs Whites”, “Us vs Christians”, “Us vs Israel (jews)” and of course the quintessential “Us vs Republicans”. Democrats are the kind of vile human beings who want power but don’t want to earn it by working hard for the citizens of this country, so they instead resort to dividing people into groups and set them on each other in a destructive and unproductive war of ad hominem attacks.

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Hillary Clinton, who claims to advocate for the middle class, currently owns 4 luxury residences and gets most of her financial support from Wall Street. – Image from the Associated Press

It is truly saddening that this has been allowed to happen for so long. It should not be shrugged off that democrats think it’s fine to call people like me a fag because they claim to support gay rights and despise homophobes. Or that they can refer to African-American Republicans as “Coons” or “Uncle Toms” because they claim to hate racism and care for African-Americans. Or the really ridiculous one, that they care about the middle and working class even though their elite own multiple mansions and Democratic Policies have ruined the economic condition of our country and placed a financial burden on workers and employers. But it is instantly okay for them to give the bare minimum and then claim the moral high ground because they are Democrats, at least that is the narrative going around.

But you know what really makes me sad? At least in the case of my generation, some Democrats are aware of this and that is why they are Democrats. It is truly the party of the mentally lazy and corrupt. So remember this well, these are the people who call people Nazi while promoting National Socialism and call people racist while they kill African-Americans and take away the tools to help them succeed. In their sick minds, the names they call you are a valid argument and reprehensible behavior is tolerable when they engage in it because of their delusion of superiority. That is what the Democratic Party is, not an ideological group but rather a collective mental illness. I just wonder how long it will take for the sane ones they exploit to wake up to this reality.

 

Osamu Tezuka’s “Metropolis”

I really don’t know where to start with this one honestly. This movie is truly a masterpiece of the anime art form, from its breathtaking scenery to its rich storytelling. That is, of course, a given since it is based off an anime which drew inspiration from the 1927 silent film Metropolis. The character design evokes a feeling of nostalgia from the manga art style of the 1950’s through 60’s. If you are familiar with that style then you will immediately notice how the character design is reminiscent of the work of Shotaro Ishinomori.

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Characters from Shotaro Ishimori’s “Cyborg 009”.

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The subterranean level of Metropolis.

Much like the 1927 Silent Movie, Metropolis takes place in the not too distant future. In the grand city of Metropolis, humans and Androids live side by side. However, there is great hatred for the machines, especially from the lower class humans who became unemployed because of the Androids and have to live in the subterranean level of the city. This hatred has given rise to an anti-machine vigilante party known as Marduk. Things seem to be on the breaking point.

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The upper city and the skyscraper Ziggurat.

During all of this turmoil however, the upper city holds a huge celebration. The festivities are inspired by the completion of Ziggurat, the portentous skyscraper constructed under the oversight of the enigmatic Duke Red who promises that it will expand the power of Metropolis over the entire world. It is amid these celebrations and under the Orwellian gaze of looped recordings from Duke Red’s momentous speech that Private Detective Shunsaku Ban and his nephew Kenichi arrive in Metropolis to pursue Doctor Laughton, a criminal accused of trafficking in Human Organs. They are unaware however that Duke Red has commissioned Dr. Laughton to build a special android named “Tima” in the image of his own deceased daughter. With the help of a Metropolis Police Android Shunsaku and Kenichi pursue Dr. Laughton, totally unaware of the larger series of events they have unwittingly stumbled into.

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Tima Stares up at the Sun pouring down into the depths of the subterranean city.

Artistically speaking, every aspect of this film is amazing and conveys a message. The Soundtrack is an exceptional selection of New Orleans-style Jazz Music. Some notable tracks from the movie include Atsuki Kimura’s cover of “Saint James Infirmary Blues” and the Ray Charles cover of “I Can’t Stop Loving You” from 1962. The Soundtrack really sets the atmosphere of a Steampunk world where things seem so fantastic yet also so familiar. It really evokes a feeling similar to nostalgia. The combination of the music and the visuals is really powerful.

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The above ground city where the wealthy work and live.

The visuals themselves help convey a strong message about the society of Metropolis. In Metropolis there is a drastic difference in the quality of life between the rich and poor. Those who live on the surface enjoy a paradise of beautiful buildings, fresh air, and sunlight. Those underground though live in squalor, inhabiting buildings in various states of disrepair. The disparity between the wealthy and the poor is highlighted from the start and the scene at the end where the roof of the subterranean city collapses is a sort of symbolism for the collapse of the divide between the rich and poor, a pretty heady symbolic message for any film.

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Shunsuke Ban, Kenichi Ban, and the Android Detective from Metropolis PD.

The interpersonal relationships between the characters however are pretty basic. This disappointed me really. On one side you have the healthy familial relationship between Shunsaku and Kenichi. Shunsaku’s concern for his Nephew is highlighted by his time-consuming pursuit of Kenichi after he disappears. He even stays in a Hotel in the subterranean city which is nothing more than a bunch of abandoned train cars.

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Duke Red and his Adoptive Son Rock

On the other side, there is the exploitative relationship between Duke Red and Rock. Rock serves in Marduk, the anti-machine party secretly funded by his adoptive father Duke Red in his pursuit of power. Rock is blindly loyal to Duke Red and craves his approval. Duke Red however is only obsessed with the pursuit of power and his deceased daughter, and he only views Rock as another means to achieve his goal. This only becomes apparent to Rock when Duke Red disowns him and casts him out into the streets upon learning of Rock’s efforts to destroy Tima.

Metropolis, in my opinion, stands alongside Akira and Ghost in the Shell as groundbreaking classics of the anime film genre. It blends the elements of a classic film story, stunning visuals, and a stimulating soundtrack into an unforgettable experience. Indeed time and time again I have found myself compelled to watch this film again and again because it never really gets tiresome to me. I am not sure how it compares to the 1927 classic from Fritz Lang but it has left a powerful impression on me. I highly recommend you grab a copy of this masterpiece on DVD or Blueray and experience it for yourself.

Tuning Out: How to Combat The Fake News MSM with Your Remote and Your Wallet

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Most “Mainstream Media” Outlets colluded with Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Election

Recently many people have become absolutely fed up with the “Traditional” Mainstream Media. During the 2016 Election Cycle and ever since Trumps election win, they have caught many times lying, selectively reporting news, colluding with a specific candidate, and basically sending the message that they think the American people are a bunch of dumb cattle. It wasn’t any better overseas with the BBC showing a clear bias against the “Leave” side of the Brexit Vote. Beyond that Liberal misinformation and trashy indoctrination has gone beyond the news broadcast to Entertainment such as Television Dramas/Sitcoms, Comic Books, Print Media, even Video Games, all of these have become playgrounds for Liberal Censorship and Thought Control*. In the face of all this, many people might feel helpless, but there is hope and it is a page out of their own playbook.

* Using the Term “Thought Control” sickens me and makes my ass clench like I am in prison and the biggest guy in the cell block is stalking up behind me. I hate this term. It, however, best describes what the media has seemingly been attempting this past year and longer.

Many are worried and rightly so that this left wing media indoctrination will affect our youth. Amazingly however it seems the left are losing ground with millennials and that Generation Z will be more conservative than the Baby Boomers. But let’s not let our guard down since Liberals are actively attacking their access to information. The only way to stop it is to stop their cash flow through a boycott. Some think that is as easy as tuning out of a show you don’t like or even a network, but it takes a lot more than that.

Network Media

A major problem is that Liberals have worked the industry to their advantage. A major joke that they throw around about Fox is that their shows get canceled so often, but that is because Fox runs as a meritocracy and contracts programs so they don’t get stuck with a sucky program. Other networks like ABC and NBC have been known to keep running unpopular programs which one would assume they fund from the revenue brought in by the good ones. Factor in Ad money and the fact some small group of people eats that shit up and it seems like a lost cause to get them to cut the SJW crap much less shut them down. After all, how can you penalize them when they seem impossible to hurt?

10 or even 20 years ago this would have been hard if not impossible. Luckily for Gen Z at least the technology age brings us so many possibilities. Since 2007 the perfected streaming service has provided consumers with the option to virtually cut the networks out of the loop. Funded by advertising fees as well as subscription fees, their survival depends on picking the high-cost production shows that bring in the most viewers. Some networks have tried to start their own services too but the bottom line is that shows that cost more require viewers to justify it, so by abandoning the traditional TV distributors and networks (and their streaming services), the model of tuning out of shitty shows works and brings us one step closer to purging a left wing dominated media.

Vote With Your Wallet

Obviously, they will still get money from advertising. That’s how they have run a free TV service for years. We can fight that though by avoiding name brands. Not entirely of course cause that is just a bullcrap move that can have an adverse effect on the economy. The goal is to reduce sales just enough that they have to reconsider where they focus their marketing, and that will be away from networks and towards streaming services.

Another source of their funding is the money they get from Cable and Sattelite providers. Some of these providers also offer internet service as well and have been known to gauge speeds on certain streaming services. Now obviously my first suggestion is to ask only for the internet and no TV service from these providers, but of course, the theme here is that it is never just that simple. Be sure to look into the providers since some will gauge speeds in favor of their own services or may be connected to one of the major networks. A fine example is Comcast, which as of 2013 has full ownership of NBC Universal which as we all know hosts an embarrassment known as The Rachel Maddow Show.

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Did you know they even have their fingers in comic books now? The once beloved DC Comics which provided role models for young boys for over 80 years is now a subsidiary of Time Warner, the same Media Corporation that owns CNN and has close dealings with Comcast. This can account for some of the more left-wing tones in DC work, like how The Penguin from the Gotham TV program is now Gay. And not to drive the point too far home, but when criticized by fans for breaking cannon one of the shows actors gave the typical SJW response to criticism. It is a pretty sad fall from grace.

Marvel has not been much luckier. Along with adding new poorly written characters who are a monument to Virtue Signalling, they have pulled the exact same move as the writers of Gotham. Far from getting the positive reaction they hoped for, they instead face criticism from readers and surprisingly by some who rightly point out that the author in this basically made a “Bisexual Erasure” type statement. For those of you who don’t know, Bisexual Erasure is the tendency to minimalize the importance of or deny the existence of Bisexuality and it is basically a gays equivalent of homophobia since this tendency is seen most in the Gay and Lesbian communities. I like the idea of a sexy young Twink Iceman, but at the same time considering the motivation and the completely forced way they did it I would have to classify this as another thing to Boycott with your wallet since it is propagandistic trash.

Worth Less than Toilet Paper

I am not a fan of Bernie Sanders, I just want to state that for the record. All the same, it is fun to point out that last year the Washington Post published 16 negative stories about him in 16 hours on the 6th and 7th of March. There is no coincidence that this happened to coincide with the Primary Debate in Flint Michigan. They also were forced to acknowledge a story about Russian Propoganda they published was based on sham research. It is a shame since they used to be a reliable news source.

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The Huffington Post which claims to be unbiased and has even criticized a group photo taken by a GOP Congressman for being “Too White” has an editorial board that is mostly white and entirely female.

Don’t forget the New York Times feud with the President. They have told so many lies about Trump, it is hard to keep track of the entire exchange most times but it is clear that they have a major boner for Trump. There are also outlets that are unashamedly left-leaning such as the Huffington Post. That said there is a website known as AllSides which gauges the bias and reliability of both print and broadcast media. Upon giving it a cursory look over I can say that it seems legit and it allows you to vote on the reliability of any source then balances it against blind surveys conducted with average Americans to see which articles from which source people find most trustworthy.

SJW’s Killed the Video Game Star

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Alison Rapp who was fired for violating Nintendo Corporate Policy also used the Nintendo Treehouse division to work her social justice politics into the localization of video games. She also posted lewd pictures like this to twitter with no regard to how they might damage Nintendo’s Corporate Image.

Yes, I parodied a music video from nearly 40 years ago for this sections header, you can thank my father who is old as sin and listens to the same music over and over for that. Don’t lose sight of the point though, SJWs are destroying the video game industry. It is not paranoia either, remember the controversy around “Fire Emblem: Fates”? Before the release news came out that features and dialogue from the game had been removed by Nintendo Treehouse, specifically an employee known as Alison Rapp who aside from being an advocate of pedophilia was also abusive towards Nintendo’s Customers/Fans on Twitter. She was later fired not for harassing customers imposing her political beliefs onto how certain video games would be localized, but because she was prostituting herself on the sidelines and selling lewd images to customers. Not the reason I would have liked to see her fired for but, ehhhhh. Of course to her and her followers, it was “Muh because sexism” and her termination had nothing to do with her being a crappy worker with a shitty personality (which sadly it didn’t) or being a stupid whore and endangering Nintendo’s family friendly image.

And now we have the issue surrounding Mass Effect: Andromeda. Not surprising though. This was a long time coming since EA stopped hiring on merit and just started hiring any old SJW they could find apparently as many of the most valid claims from former EA fans is that game quality has dropped and SJW stuff has gone up. Mass Effect Andromeda is a prime example, besides complaints of its poor quality it had an almost forced and poorly written transgender character as well as an openly racist game designer who is suspected of making it impossible to make a fair skinned character in the game due to his political beliefs which may finally have gotten him fired for opening them up to a huge lawsuit. Whew, well with that run-on sentence aside my bottom line is that you should stop shopping EA and maybe research who is working on the development teams of your favorite video games.

The Battle Fought Far and Wide

After reading this I bet you feel overwhelmed and a little depressed. Yes, liberals like a plague of locusts are eating away at societies pathways of expression and recreation. Even sports are not safe anymore from being tainted by the left wing agenda. We have gone from a society of merit to one of mediocracy. We were pushed there by left wing tyrants with cash for years and have just come to notice it the past 8 years.

As with their efforts to push us here, our efforts to dry up their cash flow will take years. It can be sped along with lawsuits which I do encourage where appropriate and necessary as is the case with EA for allowing an openly racist developer to use his job as a medium to discriminate. It will still take plenty of patience however and a lot of willpower. I want to make it clear though that this article is not a call to action but a series of suggestions, some of which I myself will not follow because of my own limitations. I will however make one call to action, and that is a call to support alternative media online and on air. To quote the slogan for Alex Jones website Info Wars, “There’s a war on for your mind.” And I can tell you, the most meaningful battle of this war can only be fought by you yourself.