Friday, February 17, 2023

... The Faculty Council has Decreed it to Be So...

The thing you have to remember about the left, is that they do not live in the same universe as the non left... Their fictional reality construct simply superficially overlaps with ours... at least in their heads..

The mainstream left, are collectivist paternalistis down to their very core... 

The faculty council has decreed that the sky is tangerine, therefore the sky is tangerine. 

Being collectivist paternalists, they literally cannot conceive of a world where individuals are competent to make their own decisions, about their own lives, without society having a veto... or in fact a right of review and refusal for any and all behavior period. In their universe, someone is always in charge, and always has the power to make and enforce the decisions and dictates of society.

... or at least there SHOULD be...

The rules are set by the good and smart people who are in charge, and if you follow them you will be properly rewarded, and if you don't follow them you will be properly punished,, all as decided by the people in charge. 

The wages will be set, and the prices will be decided on, and if it isn't fair, well, then the people in charge have the power to fix it and change it. If they don't, it must be because they've been corrupted by the special interests, and are rigging the system for the bad guys.

Because the sky is tangerine... The faculty council says so. 

The left live in a world consisting of repeated games of "mother may I", where some grand overseer must give their approval, and the operative question is always "who told you that you were allowed to do that?".

In fact we can simplify this construct... In their fundamental conception of reality, everything is forbidden, unless specifically allowed by "society", where someone is always in charge, and run jjng the game, and setting the rules, and deciding who wins and who loses and what the rules are... and this is called freedom. 

In their universe, "rights" are created and granted by society, through the state, and they mean whatever society decides they mean, which is subject to change any time society decides. Their world is one where the universe is owned and conrolled by "society" and society has to approve of your choices and behavior before they are allowed. 

Essentially opposite to actual reality... which makes their insistence that they are the only people who ACTUALLY want and provide freedom and rights for the individual... 

... I would say tragically and absurdly amusing...

... but honestly... The amusement fades very quickly, leaving only the tragic parodies of "freedom", and "rights,; wherein we are all nothing but serfs, bound involuntarily to a semi-autonomous collective, the rulers of which decide what we are allowed to do, what we are allowed to be... the basic freedoms and constraints on our lives.... all decided on by the people in charge... 

Which is why it's so important that THE RIGHT PEOPLE absolutely MUST be put in charge, BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY... so that way, THE RIGHT PEOPLE can make sure that the game is fair and everyone gets what they deserve, and no-one goes hungry, and everyone makes a living wage... all because THE RIGHT PEOPLE IN CHARGE decree it to be so. 

If it doesn't work out ffhat way, then it simply MUST be, because THE WRONG PEOPLE are I charge, and theyre rigging the game for their cronies and the special interests... 

Remember... They live in a world where the sky is colored tangerine, because the people in charge say so... 

As if this level of control were actually possible... 

Society (in fact, all notional collective constructs are...,but society is the overarching construct of the colllectivists, within which all other constructs must exist) is an illusion... a useful and convenient fictional social construct. It has no more extant substance than any other ephemeral notion passing through any individuals head. It gains form, shape, and power... pseudo-existence,  and the superficial trappings of substance.. from the individuals within it, from which it has no separate existence, and no rights, privileges, or powers not delegated to it by those individuals...

... Though in the leftist conception, it then arrogates to itself ALL powers, privileges, rights, and other things, which it then controls, manages, and distributes as it sees fit, according to the rules of the game, and run for the benefit of the people...

... because tangerine sky, remember?

I can prove to you that society is a collective illusory construct in one paragraph:

Without individuals, there is no society... yet without society, there are still individuals. Society is nothing but a construct of their choices and actions, granting notional existence through the force of collective belief, and collective choice.  It exists nowhere but in the minds of those interacting with it. 

Sadly, this does not mean that society can be whatever we choose it to be... It is still limited by the fundamental nature, and the constraints which lie upon, the individuals that make it up... It can have no powers beyond those of the individuals within it. 

... that is... inconvenient... for the left, as their notions of society require it to have perfect information, perfect reason, and  perfect monopoly over the legitimate use of collective force....

..Which of course, society does not, and can not have, because no individuals have these powers, thus no collective composed of such individuals could have any capacity for such powers, approaching anything near to perfection.... nor any other capacity of such scope and dominion, across all knowledge, skills, attributes, and powers.

As such, in order to preserve the illusion, the left pretends that all they wish reality to be, is either already achieved, or will be, as soon as those stopping it from happening, get out of the way, or are defeated.

Any who challenge these absurd fictions must be first dismissed, then destroyed... because the left are fully committed to the notion, that so long as society BELIEVES something to be right and true and good; this automatically makes it so.

It only takes a few who refuse to play along... or who wish to expose specifically the fundamental impossibility of the social constructs they wish to impose, the powers they do not have. The outcomes they cannot possibly achieve... for their collective counterfactual fantasy construct to collapse.... because no, we don't live on a planet with a tangerine sky... no matter that the faculty council decree it is so. 

There is no better man, evolved and perfected through society... there is no perfect system, driven by perfect information and perfect reason, and there cannot be. Thus, utopian ideals and the constructs they create according to them, always and inevitably must fail.... surely as any castle with its foundation set in shifting sand, must inevitably crack and collapse.

Much as Stalin could never acknowledge the inevitable failure of his five year plans...the left can never acknowledge the failure in their own reason...

.... The ideas and the plans and the constructs MUST be sucessful.. they must, because the faculty council  has decreed that reality is this way and works this way, and because their ideas are good and right, and must be imposed on all .

They must be, because all good people in society believe in them... and because all good people believe them, all people who believe thrm are food... only those who are bad dont believe them, and everyone who does not believe them is bad... ignore the circularity, tautology is perfect argument after all right? There are no flaws, therefore it is perfect and true... all according to the will of the collective and the dictates of the faculty council. 

...if their notions fail it can't possibly be because theyre impossible or stupid... all good people believe in them and insist they must work, therefore that is reality... society has dictated it. If there are failure, it must be because the bad tninkers... The ones who are against the rules of the faculty cohncil... are actively preventing the inevitable success of the superior and more enlightened plan...

... After all... all good and right thinking people believe it to be true... It must be true... right?

... and I MUST be good, and justified, and enlightened, because I believe what all good and right people believe, as dictated by the faculty council... 

...The sky is tangerine... 

...the faculty council has decreed it to be so...

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

When all you know is the talking points....

Any time someone starts shouting about the NRA buying people off, or shilling for the gun industry, I know they're an ignorant and lazy fool, simply parroting a party line fed to them by someone else. 

First, the NRA is not an industry lobby, it is a membership organization, acting in the interests of it's 5 million members...  

There IS a "gun industry" lobbying organization, it's called the National Shooting Sports Foundation (the NSSF), and they do a very good job of lobbying for the shooting sports industry as a whole... but they don't actually spend much money doing so, relative to the size of the firearms industry as a whole, or relative to other industry lobbying groups... all of which are utterly dwarfed by the public sector and union lobbies.

The NRA (including the NRA-ILA) is entirely funded by small contributions from it's membership (currently standing at appx. 5 million members), of under $1,000 each. There is no "gun industry money"... if there were it would have to be disclosed, and the FEC filings show nothing at all.

And as far as the "NRA money", the NRA isn't even in the top 500 donors to Republicans or Democrats most years... in fact taken together, individuals and political organizations and lobbyists explicitly advocating for and supporting gun control, give more than 100 times as much money to Democrats and the Democratic party, as the NRA and NSSF combined give to BOTH parties and their candidates combined.

The average donation the NRA gives to any specific candidate or officeholder is just $2,000 per year. 

For the 2016 federal election cycle the NRA and all its affiliates was 488th in donations to parties or candidates... donating just  $1.1 million dollars total for all 470-ish federal races in 2016, with their single largest donation to any candidate being $9,900... and 159th in money spent on lobbying for or against issues or candidates, at just about $3.2 million TOTAL for all federal issues, legislation, or candidates.

Just as a comparison, ONE SINGLE INDIVIDUAL whose primary cause is gun control, donated more to anti-gun activities... $36 million in 2016... including contributions to congressmen and senators, and spends more on anti-gun lobbying every year, than the entire NRA and all its affiliates.... And the Democratic party has a couple dozen of these individual megadonors, and a couple hundred "bundlers" who bundle up anti-gun money. from individuals every year. Another one of their individual megadonors spent 78 million... Though he has TWO issues, climate change and gun control, not just the one. 

The average member of congress.. both house and senate... spends about $2 million a year on campaigning and other partisan political costs. The $9,900 they get from the NRA isn't what sways their votes... it's the FIVE MILLION NRA members who call their offices several times a year, or send letters, postcards, and emails... 

...The NRA sends a lot of postcards and emails to it's members, asking them to call their congressman or senator, about specific issues and legislation... I get several emails a week and a few mailings every month... even the occasional phone call... 

The NRA gives FAR less money total each year, than just as an example, the national dairy farmers association, the national realtor association,  or pretty much any industry lobby...never mind the unions which dwarf all industry lobbies COMBINED... why? 

Because, ONCE AGAIN, the NRA is not an industry lobbying group, it's a membership organization promoting proficiency and safety in the shooting sports. The vast majority of the NRAs money... about 80%... goes to it's actual core mission of promoting firearms proficiency and safety. About 5% goes towards fundraising.

The specific legislative action arm, the NRA-ILA accounts for less than 15% of the NRAs spending annually. The NRA-ILA, gives less in TEN YEARS than any of the top 100 donor groups give in a single year... And again, they don't lobby for the firearms industry, they lobby for individual rights. 

The NRA-ILA lobby for laws and regulations, federally, and in all fifty states, which respect and protect the fundamental, inherent, and pre-existing, individual right to keep and bear arms, for all lawful purposes. 

That's not the NRAs language by the way, it's the constitution's, and the supreme court's. Read DC v. Heller if you're confused.

Oh and by the by, the NRA are non-partisan, and historically speaking, in any given year, about 15-20% of their contributions go to Democrats. Which they actually catch hell for from conservative NRA members who tend to forget that we need pro-gun Democrats as well as Republicans. Though in 2016 it was unsual... They only opposed 2 republicans and only supported 11 democrats. 

Since anyone ranting about the NRA can't even be bothered to find out the most basic facts surrounding their fallacious farce of a non-argument; they can, and should be, at best ignored, if not actually mocked.

That Word... I don't think it means, what you think it means....

"Oh those RINOs and NEO-CONS won't do anything... we have to purge the party of these spineless unprincipled traitors"

It's kinda funny... I generally find most who use the terms neo-con or RINO, except ironically or as a joke, to be unable to define either in a meaningful way.

Much as George Orwell wrote about the term "fascism" in "Politics and the English Language",   for almost everyone using the terms, "RINO" and "NEO-CON", are just signifiers for "things and people I don't like".

Thing is... The only current Republican members of congress (both house and senate) who can fairly be called "RINO", are Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Brian Fitzpatrick, Chris Smith, John Katko, and Jeff VanDrew (who actually was a democrat until last year).

Everyone else, is absolutely within the "normal spread" of positions for Republicans... That includes Ben Sasse, Pat Toomey, Fred Upton, Mitt Romney, Liz Cheney, and most of the other congresscritters (not on the RINO list above) that voted to impeach Trump.

In fact, several of those that voted for impeachment, are notably far MORE conservative than Trump... The first couple I mentioned above have lifetime ratings over 90%  from the American conservative union, and almost always vote with the party (they're available online from  acuratings dot conservative dot org /acu-federal-legislative-ratings/ )

The first major mistake many make, is in thinking that loyalty to, or agreement with, Donald Trump; is any kind of criteria for being a Republican, or a conservative... Since Trump was and is, neither of those things. Trump is an ACTUAL Republican in name only, and always has been... He was officially a democrat, until he needed to be a Republican, at which point he officially signed up to be a republican... but he never actually changed anything other than the initial beside his name. 

The second, and fundamental mistake however, is in thinking the republican party is actually conservative, or in fact has EVER been conservative, by any meaningful definition of the term (except perhaps, relative to the actual left). 

The Republican party is, and since reconstruction mostly has been, a moderate centrist party about MOST things... Generally averse to change and risk, and generally collegial in reality, regardless of the rhetoric fed to the base for fundraising purposes. 

Even Reagan wasn't ACTUALLY conservative... He talked a good game, but in reality, he was as much a "neo-con" as Bill Kristol.

Barry Goldwater was the closest thing to an actual conservative in the post war Republican party... and he was really more libertarian than conservative by modern sensibilities (though he of course considered himself to be conservative, and was mostly thought of as such in his time). Before Goldwater, you need to go back to Coolidge to get an actual conservative.... and before that... Ummm... 

.... Yeah... Look at the history... The Republican party is NOT conservative, and never really has been. 

Historically speaking, post reconstruction, the majority of the republican party, has been in the mold of Bush the elder, Nelson Rockefeller, Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon, Dwight Eisenhower, and Herbert Hoover... RELATIVELY conservative compared to "progressive" leftists in the democratic party, they're still for Big Government, just not AS big as Democrats. They're still just as paternalist as Dems, only about different things in different ways. They're in favor of plenty of control, intervention, and regulation, on both social and economic issues... because everyone has their "special" cases, and those "special pleadings" add up. 

Reagan was a near literal revolution in the party, and he wasn't even actually that conservative... He was RHETORICALLY conservative, but in fact he governed as what most who identify as "conservative" today (who, mostly, are very definitely NOT conservative in any meaningful way), would call a RINO... Or if they actually knew what the term means, pretty close to a neo-con. He was a free spending, massive debt accumulating, heavily interventionist in domestic affairs, heavily interventionist in foreign affairs, massively intrusive, NON-conservative; by anything like a reasonable definition of the term. He just TALKED about being otherwise... and how that was better.

... Which it IS... but he didn't even try to actually govern that way...

In fact, the Reagan administration and Republican congressional leadership, essentially made what some might consider a "corrupt bargain" with the Democratic senate majority leader Robert Byrd (for the first and last years of his term... the Republicans had a narrow senate majority for 6 of Reagans 8 years) and Democratic speaker of the house during his presidency Tip O'neil (all but the last few months anyway); wherein the Republicans got most of THEIR spending priorities passed through congress and signed by the president, and in exchange, so did the Democrats... and both knew that was happening, so they were able to freely posture, to raise money off "fighting for their constituency", while in reality, there was always a deal to be made.

Which ACTUALLY meant that the government was doing FAR MORE than it had ever done since WW2... And not coincidentally SPENDING far more than it had since WW2, and accumulating FAR MORE DEBT than it had since WW2. 

The fact is, Goldwater and Coolidge were major outliers, and exceptions to the general run of Republican candidates and presidents... and were largely unpopular within the party because of it. 

For that matter, Reagan was also unpopular within the party, until he placated the southern religious social conservatives after his brokered convention loss in '76 (which happened in the first place, because he offended said southern religious social conservatives, in an attempt to gain broad centrist appeal, by selecting a more liberal Republican running mate, and saying a few things the leaders of that block didn't care for...   Had he not pissed off the southern faction of the leadership, Reagan would have won the nomination in '76... but probably lost the presidency).

The social conservatives have never actually been a majority in the party... Only a plurality... A little less than 40% at peak... but they're a very LOUD plurality minority... and those opposed to them are very LOUD too, about how big and bad the social conservatives are; making them seem like they were and are much more powerful and consequential than they actually are... or for that matter, much more conservative, and much more principled and consistent than they actually are. 

... But every national candidate in the Republican party has to make the southern religious social conservatives at least tolerate them, because said southern social conservatives have enough power and mass to BLOCK someone. They can't actually MAKE the king... as I said, they're less than 40%... but they can keep someone from being crowned, and no other single block is able to do so, because no other single block is more than about 25% of the party... Nor is any other single block motivated and organized enough to do so. 

But that doesn't make the party actually conservative, or actually socially conservative, at the national level (local is an entirely different story... State and local level politics are a totally different beast). 

One other thing the party has very firmly NOT been, along with "actually conservative" is POPULIST... In fact, they've GENERALLY been rather the opposite, at least when it comes to national and international issues and policies (local is a different matter entirely). 

Until Trump that is... 

Or at least the Republican party hasn't been populist since the FIRST Roosevelt... who was VERY firmly a populist progressive (Hoover wasn't a populist by nature, but he took some seemingly populist... and quite harmful... actions based on some truly epically bad advice from his cabinet and congressional caucus)... 

Actually, TR would have been a quite "progressive" democrat in the post WW2 period up through the late 60s or so, and he had a disturbing tendency towards fascism (seems to have run in the family).

Hell... TR could easily have been LBJ, or his cousin Franklin...

...He wanted strong social safety nets set up and paid for by government, with socialized pensions and healthcare. He was for strong protectionist tariffs and strongly against free trade. He was pro-union and anti-corporation to a shocking degree, and he was pro-government regulation of almost everything. Read "The New Nationalism", and it's like postwar democrats fantasy platform...

...except that TR was personally moral and ethical, unlike the thoroughly unethical, amoral, and frankly evil, racist rapist that LBJ was.

So... if you're an actual conservative or libertarian or "conservatarian", guess what... YOU are the one who is a Republican in name only.

If you're one of those who is using RINO as an insult to describe Republican party members who aren't at all conservative, you've got the perspective reversed, because THEY ARE THE PARTY; not the conservatives and libertarians, who generally VOTE republican, because they are less awful than the realistic alternatives.

... If you think about what the party actually is, as opposed to what you think it SHOULD BE... Well... RINO... isn't an insult, or at least it shouldn't be. It's kinda like that line "Your boos mean nothing, I've seen what makes you cheer".

Thursday, February 09, 2023

Intel Evaluation

I've explained this before based on other intelligence documents and situations such as Manning, Snowden, the Clinton emails etc... seems that it's time to explain it again...

Standard methodology for evaluating the qualify and reliability of information is a matrix.. often a 5x5 matrix with 1 axis numbered 1 through 5, the other axis A through F.

The first axis is the quality of data.... what does the source have DIRECT primary access to, what do they have 2nd order access to... information once removed from direct access, which is confirmable by at least two direct independent sources. What information do they have indirect access to for background information, not considered a primary or secondary source for confirmation. 

Then the second axis of the matrix, is how reliable the data from that  asset or source are likely to be. This is ranked based on the asset or sources provable access to the information they have provided, their motivation, their known biases, and their history of reliability (or unreliability).

In this case, lower numbers and letters are better...something graded as A1 would have have a numerical score of 1, meaning it was considered 100% reliable, and confirmed. Only items graded in the top two grades of both quality and reliability can be considered confirmed or very likely/highest confidence. Only items in the top three grades of both quality and reliability can be considered likely or higher, and then only with multiple independent confirming sources of that grade or better. 

 Anything with a value worse than 3 OR C can only be considered background information unless confirmed with at least 1 independent source of grade B2 or better, and cannot be considered likely or better without two independent sources of grade B2 or better. 

There is an inflection point at the third grades of reliability and quality... even without further confirmation, information graded better than that point is considered to be more likely to be correct and reliable than not. Without further confirmation, Information graded worse than that point is to be considered more likely to be incorrect, deceptive or misleading, than correct. Anything straddling the line is considered to be downgraded unless it is further confirmed. 

For example, something rated C3 can only be considered at most 10% likely without further confirmation, and can never be considered more than 90% likely to be correct, even with three independent confirming sources, unless those sources are themselves better than grade C3. 

Thus simply gathering MORE data cannot upgrade a C to a B, or a 3 to a 2, unless that data is provably of higher quality and reliability. 

Information in the worst two quality or reliability grades... D or f, and 4 or 5... is only be considered as background information, rumor, "buzz" or noise... it may indicated rumors which are inaccurate but commonly circulated or believed among the population for example. An item rated as F5 has a maximum likelihood of only 25%, and that is with at least 4 confirming sources of grade D or F etc.... etc... Items in these categories may also be known to be, or considered likely to be, deceptive, incomplete, or have major errors.

So information  graded as B2 or better, can generally be considered to be likely or better, and thus potentially actionable. Anything below B2 should not be considered to be reliable or likely to be true. Anything worse than C3 should be considered to be at best unconfirmed rumor, and may be actively unreliable and deceptive, unless multiple independent confirmations are available.

Information graded C3 may in some circumstances be considered actionable; if there is both sufficient confirmation of the information to believe it is likely or better, AND the information and action taken in response to it, is sufficiently critical, or the risk associated with NOT acting on that information is sufficiently high... however at all times you must remember you are not action on high confidence data, and caution must be taken to ensure that you do not take action which may not be justified by the information you have available, and its quality or reliability. Thus the action taken should primarily be focused on mitigating risk, and improving the quality and reliability of your data, so that you CAN act on high confidence data as is appropriate.

... You should not be shooting or arresting anyone, or swearing out any warrants, based on C3 data... but if the C3 data is sufficiently important AND there is sufficient confirmation of it that it could be considered likely but low confidence, then it's appropriate to continue investigation to try to confirm or disprove that information... just as a "for instance"... 

Special weight in assessing the quality and reliability of a source or asset and their data;  is given to any  history of intentional or calculated obfuscation, manipulation, or deceptiveness opposed to honest error, or unintentional manipulation (due to personal, or institutional biases for example... often individuals, organizations, government entities etc... lie to themselves, because their personal or internal institutional biases, or their political biases, dictate their view of "reality")... Has the source or asset fabricated, manipulated, or specifically framed the data they have provided to you, to present an inaccurate or biased picture with the data overall. If so, what agenda or biases did they frame the data to, and how did they do so? 

Notably, any history of intentional deceptiveness permanently downgrades a source or asset, such that they cannot be considered a confirmed or confirmable primary source in the top two categories of reliability... on an A to F scale, their data can never be considered higher than a C without at least two independent confirmations. 

Which brings us to the Fusion GPS "Steele Dossier"...

Put simply... the dossier is not an intelligence document. At all. It is a random assemblage of D3-D5 and F3-F5 grade junk, with with a few pieces of actual C3 and better data available from public and open sources, and little bits of other confirmable but only vaguely related data to make it seem more reliable and more significant than it is. 

There are no pieces of useful or actionable information outside of those confirmed in open sources, that can be considered confirmed, reliable, likely, or even of sufficient quality to be included as possible background information. The sourcing is non existent, or even clearly and actively disinformation. Both the quality, and the reliability of the data are actively negative... unclassifiable as anything other than garbage or deliberate deception and disinformation... Further, the document was created by and for parties with known direct and admitted bias, and deceptive and manipulative history... this makes the dossier a clear piece of active disinformation... as anyone who has ever evaluated intelligence... or civil or criminal evidence... could tell you within seconds of looking at it.

That includes congress critters with intelligence oversight, and other politicians and appointees who have such experience. It for damn sure includes FBI agents, and u.s. attorneys looking for legally actionable probable cause.

Anyone claiming any kind of actionable intelligence, or anything remotely like sufficient probable cause for any kind of warrant or court order came from that document, is actively and intentioinally being deceptive and manipulative.... and in the case of any sworn law officer, or officer of the court, they are committing misconduct if they claim any such thing.

Thursday, February 02, 2023

Now... If that ain't funny... I don't know what is...

In case you haven't noticed, I have a somewhat odd, absurd, and dark sense of humor... Given my background it would be amazing if I didn't. 

Obviously, as a cancer warrior, I am among the more heavily medicated humans, not actually residing in a long term care facility. 

I take something like ... I think it's 17 maybe, it's easy to lose track, and miss one or two?.. different medications on a daily basis, and a couple more on a weekly or monthly basis; between cancer and associated paraneoplastic syndrome, endocrine dysfunction (or total lack of function, since my thyroid was removed in 2012), nerve damage, autoimmune inflammatory issues and arthritis, and every other damn thing wrong with me.   

Funny thing about cancer, and cancer treatment; especially endocrine cancer with paraneoplastic syndrome... you end up taking a lot of odd medications for odd reasons.

Paraneoplastic syndrome makes you have symptoms of diseases you don't have, because it causes your body to not make some hormones, and make too much of others. Endocrine cancer does that already even without the paraneoplastic syndrome.... So you end up with issues that seemingly have nothing to do with where your cancer is, or what kind of cancer it is...  And the treatments for the cancer have odd side effects on top of that.

... Thing is... I actually do think it's funny. It's really quite absurd just how hard everything is trying to kill me, and that I'm alive at all.. And with my twisted sense of humor, I find it all utterly hilarious in its absurdity... 

One thing I find particularly absurdly funny, is that I spent decades in competitive physical pursuits... weight lifting, football, wrestling, jiujitsu, etc... And never took "performance enhancing substances" more serious than ECA...

... Side Note: ECA is Ephedrine (or pseudoephedrine), Caffeine, and Aspirin. Three completely legal over the counter drugs which in combination can slightly improve oxygen uptake and aerobic performance; and improve energy, focus, and alertness... mostly it's like drinking several cups of strong coffee, and many people take that combination every day without even knowing or thinking about it...  

... And yet now, as a middle aged nearly bedridden man, I take enough testosterone, and dextroamphetamine, to rival an 80's WWF wrestler. Sadly, not to "enhance performance", but just to not lose all my muscle tone and muscle mass, and to stay awake and be able to focus enough to be functional.

Another thing I find absurdly funny, is some of the actual drugs I take, and what they're usually prescribed for, vs. what I actually take them for. 

Right now, I take EIGHT different drugs that have significant anti-depressant, anti-anxiety, or anti-psychotic effects; five of which are actually specifically considered antidepressants or antipsychotics... 

Meaning those meds are often or primarily prescribed as first line or second line treatments for depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, OCD, various psychoses, and even schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder (oh, and three more meds... hormones... that aren't used specifically for those issues, but which also tend to help with them).

... And I don't suffer from any of those issues, and I'm not prescribed any of those meds for treatment of those issues...

So what am I prescribed them for? 

Well, as it turns out, we don't really understand either neurological pain, or nausea... I'm tempted to say "at all" but I suppose we have some small understanding of them in some ways; just not very much. 

Other than obvious issues like organ or other discrete specific systemic dysfunction, physical damage, dehydration, clear blood chemistry issues, or severe vitamin, mineral, or other nutritional deficiencies; we don't really know what causes either, and we don't really know how either work. 

As such, we don't really know why many medications that may help some people to relieve either of those sets of symptoms, work on those sets of symptoms; or why some  meds work for some people, and not for others; or why they work great for some and barely work for others; or they work in combination with other meds for some, but not for others.

Hell... some meds can work great for one persons neuropathic issues or nausea, and the next person can have a paradoxical effect and those meds make the problem worse. I've had that happen with several different meds over the past 15 years.   

So, you end up cycling through various medications, and cycling up and down dosages, and cycling in and out of combinations of different meds; hoping that this one or that one will work for you, or this or that combination or dosage will work etc... etc... 

It can be maddening... sometimes literally, because of the side effects.... but it's so absurd, I can't help but find it funny. 

Three of those eight medications, I take to treat moderate to intermittently severe cancer and cancer treatment related nausea. For whatever reason, most nausea meds, are also antipsychotic meds, or from the reverse perspective many anti-psychotics are also effective for some or most people at reducing nausea. We have no idea why. 

Two of them are to treat a combination of both ADHD, and severe fatigue, and sleep dysfunction. We don't know why or how one of those meds works either, except that it seems to temporarily suppress the brains fatigue response. Both also tend to reduce depression and anxiety in some people (and paradoxically increase them in some others). 

The other three, are all for neuropathic pain and other nerve damage related symptoms... and again we don't know why, but a lot of antidepressant or antipsychotic drugs, are also effective for SOME people to SOME degree, in treating neuropathic pain and associated issues. For some folks they work completely, for others they barely work at all, or they work in combination but not singly, and we have almost no idea how or why.

Reading that, a lot of people will have the instinctive response "no, bad, wrong, the problem is all those medications, you should stop taking all of them and just do XYZ"... whatever they thing XYZ may be.


I've been going through this for 15 years now... I've done all the experimenting and testing with my body and what goes into it, and where I'm at right now, if I remove or reduce any of my meds, it makes things worse. Sometimes MUCH worse. Sometimes INTOLERABLY worse. 

I HAVE done the "stop everything and start over" thing, a couple times now; all under doctors supervision, because the docs were concerned about the number and dosage of my meds and their interactions as well. It resulted in me being completely non-functional, or almost killed me, each time. 

It's not like my docs and I haven't thought of this, and tried, and tested it... and it's not like my doctors are trying to pump me full of medications I don't need. Every single one of my docs is trying to MINIMIZE the medications and dosages I take... and this is the minimum right now.

... In fact, it's below minimum on a couple of them, because one of my docs is TERRIFIED of how screwed up my system is, and how high my dosages have to be just to work (I literally take what should be a lethal overdose of a couple of my meds, and they just barely work at those dosage levels) and is erring on the side of caution as we slowly and incrementally bump the dosages up every few months, as she sees the lower dosages aren't doing enough... 

Oh, and before someone chimes in with "just smoke weed"/"just use thc/cbd edibles"/"just take cbd"... I've tried. Not only do they not help even with my nausea, they actually make the nausea worse. They work great for some people... I'm not one of those people. 

Once the cancer is knocked down a lot, then I will be able to drop dosages on some meds, and likely drop some entirely. It's what happened each of the last four times. 

What you've got to understand, is that cancer... particularly endocrine cancer...  is a systemic disease. It causes every part of your body to malfunction and every system to dysfunction... and you have to manage that, or those malfunctions and dysfunctions can and WILL kill you. 

...In fact, it's very rarely the cancer itself that kills you directly, its the combination of all the other issues the cancer causes, simply overwhelming  your bodies ability to function.

That said... I am certainly looking forward to the day I can stop taking about half of the meds I currently take... which I will be able to, if this time is like the last four times Ive been through this. Within a few months of the cancer going into remission or being removed, I was able to drop MOST of my meds. 

... Not all by any means though... Since some of my meds aren't for the cancer and side effects (ADHD, inflammation and arthritis, some of the nerve issues), and the cancer itself has done some permanent damage, requiring medication for the rest of my life (thyroid meds for example, and some of the nerve meds). 

All of which together is why I say, how can this NOT be funny? It's so completely absurd, its barely believable... and in fact my docs often DON'T believe it until they see it themselves. They don't believe the tests, or the past records because "that can't possibly be right... you'd be dead... you shouldn't be able to walk, or stay conscious, or your heart or brain should have failed already". 

... Yup... 

If that aint frikken hilarious, what the hell is?

The biggest form of theft in this country BY FAR

A friend wrote a post mentioning that the vast majority of theft in the United States, as measured by monetary value, is wage theft.

In fact, it dwarfs all other forms of theft or criminal damage combined.

Some random commenter said effectively "sounds like Marxism to me".

Sure.... if you don't actually  think, and just react emotionally... Thus the term Reactionary.

Yes, really, wage theft is a MASSIVE problem in this country... and most people already know this in the back of their mind, they just never really think about it as theft.. or at all.

Wage theft is employers requiring, and taking, more of employee time, effort, skills, energy, and other resources and considerations; than the employee agreed to provide as part of their employment; in exchange for the agreed compensation and other consideration from the employer; or the employer not tendering the compensation or other consideration agreed on, for such labor, work, or other consideration provided by the employee. 

If they make you work without pay, it's wage theft. If they make you do extra work and don't pay extra, it's wage theft. If they don't pay you for the work you did (to an agreed standard), at their request and on their behalf, it's wage theft.

The concept of wage theft isn't left wing... In fact, its about as individualist as you can possibly get... its about self ownership... who owns your body, your time, your actions and outputs, and who receives the fruits of your labor. 

Ulltimately wage theft boils down to property and contract rights... And unfortunately, most people have too much of a serfdom mentality to try to do something about it on their own, for themselves... Or they just think its hopeless and that they have to put up with it no matter what.... if they even think of it at all.

...And it's INCREDIBLY wide spread... In fact, it's almost everywhere. It's SO common, that most people think it's normal and even acceptable... just because "it's the system" or "it's always been like that", or "they're the boss they make the rules" etc... etc... 

And it's by no means  limited to unscrupulous low wage employers, and illegals or people who can't get other better jobs, oe to retail, hospitality, and food service hourly jobs. It's endemic to entire industries and huge segments of the economy, and to the organizational cultures of many companies across basically every industry.

...The entire IT industry, runs on MASSIVE amounts of wage theft. As currently practiced, IT in this country would literally collapse without it.
...Most commission sales jobs, are RIFE with wage theft.
...Most junior to mid level "white collar" management jobs, run on wage theft.

Mandatory unpaid overtime, outside of any agreement accepting it as a job requirement (or requiring it regularly or routinely, instead of as a temporary short term measure, effectively making what should be overtime simply the expected regular working hours) and without compensatory time or other agreed, or fair value consideration, is wage theft.

Now, do you see how big the problem is?

Think about any business, any job you've had, any job your friends have had, your kids, your family members... You absolutely have heard stories of wage theft, if you haven't seen or experienced it yourself. 

Most employers don't even know they're doing it, because they simply don't think of it that way... or at all. Often an employer won't explicitly require or endorse such things, and may even have explicit policies against it... especially very large employers... But in order to make quotas or meet standards, or not bust metrics etc... lower level managers end up doing so. Not because they're trying to steal for their own gain, but because they feel that theyll lose their jobs if they don't, because the quotas and stand etc... can't be met with the staff hours they legitimately have to allocate to the work. In the worst offenders, an entire organization may develop a culture of wage theft where it is not just normal and expected, but required, and anyone who doesn't "fit in" loses their job. 

Requiring employees to perform tasks or take on duties, or responsibilities, outside their agreed job descriptions defined or customary tasks, duties, and responsibilities; that are normally compensated higher than their agreed comoensation; or requiring them to take on such on, in addition to their normal work, without additional agreed on compensation, or other agreed or fair value consideration; is wage theft.

Requiring hourly employees to work off the clock, is wage theft. 

"Docking" someone's pay, meaning not paying them for time they were working or work they were doing for their employer, because they did not meet required standards for such work may be allowed depending on the state. HOWEVER doing so in excess of any hours or tasks not performed to standard, and requiring that employee to work those additional hours or perform those additional tasks without compensation, IS wage theft.

...Meaning you can't punish someone for screwing up part of their shift, by making them work the rest of their shift and not paying them for it. Or if someone is paid on a per task or per unit basis or on a quota system, you can't not pay them if they don't meet quotas, or not pay them for the work, tasks, or pieces that met standards that they actually did. You can only withold pay for work not performed to standard. Anything else is wage theft. 

Defining some tasks, duties, or responsibilities required for the job as "uncompensated" or "off the clock", ir simply "not work"; such as preparing or cleaning up a workspace before and after business hours or assigned shifts, or travel to and from a work site other than ones primary work site (or if travel is a normal part of the job,  travel requiring greater time and expense than travel to ones normal worksite)... yeah, again, that's wage theft. 

Any time an employer REQUIRES, as a condition of employment, an employee to give more to the employer than they agreed to as part of their job, for their agreed on compensation; without additional agreed compensation or consideration, for that additional consideration given by the employee... that IS wage theft.

...Note... I use the term "fair consideration" in this piece more than a couple times, because it's an important concept in contracts law. Especially when you get into implied contracts, or implied changes outside of what's originally on paper. Essentially, a court can decide that a contract is invalid or unenforceable if one or both parties do not tender the agreed consideration exaxtly as agreed. However if strictly enforced, this would make changing anything within a contract, or any of the expectations, circumstances, or conditions of any contract, functionally inflexible... it would be harmful and destructive to all parties. To deal with messy reality, there is flexibility under contract law, to respond to changing circumstances and requirements, without having to redraft and renegotiate any and every little thing. And that means implied contracts as well as explicit ones... including implied employment contracts. So, it is entirely acceptable to add to or change such contracts provided all parties agree, and provided that reasonable consideration is offered and accepted for these new circumstances terms and conditions by both parties. If no such explicit negotion or agreement occurs, the contract can still be valid, so long as all parties give fair consideration, in exchange for fair consideration given by the other parties. If not, a court or mediator may decide that the implied contract was invalid, and cannot be enforced, or if the consideration from one party has already been tendered and accepted by the other parties, and cannot be returned at no loss of value or cost to the tendering party,  the other party or parties may be required to tender reasonable or fair consideration (different states word things a little differently) for what has already been tendered and accepted.... and in fact may be required to tender additional compensation, or other consideration. They may even be subject to additional compensatory or punitive damages if they acted improperly and caused harms (or other tortuous damage) to another party, or in the case of clear bad faith actions, egregious abuse, or outright fraud or other criminal behavior.

...Meaning that if an employer says to an employee "I need you to work extra hours", and the employee does so, even though the two parties didn't make an explicit contract specifying compensation or other consideration for those extra hours, the employer still has to compensate the employee... offer and tender reasonable or fair consideration... for the labor or other work or consideration provided by the employee. Unless the employee agreed to be paid less than fair market value, or less than customary wage etc... the employer has to pay fair value or customary wage etc... (including overtime pay at a higher rate if that is either agreed on, or customary), or some other consideration of fair value. 

...Unless the employee agrees to it, because they believe they are being given fair value consideration in return; in the experience they gain, and the opportunity for education and advancement they get from doing so. That's a perfectly valid exchange of fair consideration... Everyone has the right to agree to not be compensated directly for their labor or other work or consideration; it's part of our freedom to form contracts and associations, and pursue our own benefit and interest, as we see fit. 

That's how almost all executive compensation works. It's how most junior level salaried medical jobs work. It's how most junior engineering jobs work... It's basically how STEM functions period. It's how lower level financial and legal jobs function... Basically any "professional" salaried job, or "incentive compensated" job requiring extensive education, possibly requiring professional certification, and which takes a good deal of experience to become proficient and sucessful at... thats how you get that experience, at the levels before the bonus compensation tiers kick in, and often its how you get to the higher bonus tiers. And of course, it's how startup companies can even exist at all, and survive to become successful established NOT startup companies.

Employees agree to that uncompensated labor now, in expectation of gaining greater value later... whether it be in direct compensation, or in equity; or because they believe doing so will allow them to get a better job with greater compensation that would make that sacrifice now, worthwhile to them.

...And within reason, that's perfectly OK.... It's how ambitious and entrepreneurial people get ahead... 

It's when an employer abuses that good faith expectation of fair value consideration... because they never intended to allow the employee to even attempt to realize fair consideration in return, or because they took what was supposed to be exceptional effort, and made it the standard, or the required minimum just to keep the job... that's when it becomes wage theft. 

Or for that matter, even if an employer intended in good faith to provide that consideration, if later on they decide they can't afford to do so, or that circumstances have otherwise changed such that they don't tender that consideration... Yeah, unless they get their employees agreement to forgo that consideration (say, because they believe the company will fail and theyll lose their jobs because of it if they don't.. or more pleasantly, they believe helping the company now, will mean they'll receive even greater compensation later when the company is more successsful) that's wage theft. 

If an employer makes their salaried employees work 60, 80, 100 hour weeks, for months on end, to get a major project done, and the employees agree to do so because of promises of stock options and bonuses and advancement... And then once the big project is finished, instead of stock options and bonuses they get laid off?

...That scenario may sound familiar to you if you know IT at all, or development, or especially game development... 

Yeah, that is absolutely wage theft. 

Any time an employer does not give the full agreed upon compensation or other consideration, for all labor or work performed by, or other fair consideration provided by the employee (to an agreed standard); including tendering  fair consideration for any additional consideration provided by the employee to the employer outside of their agreed job requirements... that IS wage theft.

Period, full stop... It's theft. Often theft and fraud, and usually in violation of numerous civil and criminal laws, codes, and regulations. 

And while it's generally pretty small on an individual scale... a few minutes here and there, a few hours every once in a while... there are many entire industries where it is endemic, as well as numerous outrageous and egregious examples, of employers effectively stealing YEARS worth of labor from their entire work force... But, even if it were only just a few dollars here and there, th scale of the entire workforce, it's billions of dollars...MANY billions of dollars.