DHS Quietly Testing Mandatory Facial Recognition of Passengers *Exiting* U.S.

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We’re all used to having to identify ourselves as we enter a country. It is the only way we can hope to have any attempt at a secure border. But, so-called “exit controls,” where documents are checked as travelers are leaving the country, were popularized last century by Nazi Germany as a great way to ensure that they could control, round up, and exterminate the Jews and other “undesirables.”

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Syria Blocks Turkish Backed Militants, or are they maybe ISIS?

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 Editor’s note:  4 days ago, we were on sat phone with al Bab, while our informant watched Turkish troops put 950 ISIS fighters on trucks, like they were lifelong friends.  A day later, Turkey claimed they won al Bab in a “lightning raid.” Then a day later, Syrian official tell us Turkish planes attacked their […]

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Demographic Panic: China Considering ‘Birth Rewards’ to Encourage Citizens to Have More Babies

This will be the biggest challenge for developed nations over the next hundred years: depopulation.

Expect strange things to happen in the western world and developed nations in Asia over the next fifty years —  marked by unusual foreign policy moves —  and a craven, almost desperate clamoring for middle eastern, south american and african migrants to replace their withering and decadent societies.

Why?

Credit expansion, or at a minimum, stasis.

Due to one of the lowest birth rates in the world (1.5p per family), thanks to the one child policy, China is now considering offering incentives to its citizens to get out there and ‘screw for China’, a la Denmark.

Source: Reuters

The potential move was revealed by Wang Peian, vice-minister of the National Health and Family Planning Commission at a social welfare conference on Saturday, the newspaper said on Tuesday.
 
Birth rates rose to 17.86 million in 2016, the highest level since 2000, after the country issued new guidelines in late 2015 allowing all parents to have two children amid growing concerns over the costs of supporting an aging population.
 
“That fully met the expectations, but barriers still exist and must be addressed,” Wang was quoted as saying.
 
“To have a second child is the right of each family in China but affordability has become a bottleneck that undermines the decision.”
 
A poll conducted by the commission in 2015 found that 60 percent of families surveyed were reluctant to have a second baby largely due to financial constraints.
 
China’s birth rate, one of the world’s lowest, is fast becoming a worry for authorities, rather than the achievement it was considered at a time when the government feared over-population.
 
China began implementing its controversial “one-child policy” in the 1970s in order to limit population growth, but authorities are now concerned that the country’s dwindling workforce will not be able to support an increasingly aging population.

 
Elon Musk has been an outspoken advocate about depopulation and ‘population implosion’.

Watch:

By 2050, India will surpass China in population — essentially leveling China’s population flat for the next 33 years.

 

The deleterious effect upon China’s demographic trends was predicted by Brookings Institute in 2010 — saying its ‘dividend growth rate’ would erode to the point that by 2013 it would hamper economic growth. This is not only a Chinese problem, mind you, but a developed world problem. Both Japan and Italy is expected to lose half its population over the next 40 years — based on current trends. If this persists, what do you think this will do to global GDP?
 

 
Looks legit to me.
 
Source: Brookings Institute (2010)

By 2013 China’s demographic dividend growth rate will turn negative: That is, the growth rate of net consumers will exceed the growth rate of net producers. Starting in 2013, such a negative growth rate will reduce the country’s economic growth rate by at least half a percentage point per year. Between 2013 and 2050, China will not fare demographically much better than Japan or Taiwan, and will fare much worse than the United States and France.
 
As a result of China’s very low fertility over the past two decades, the abundance of young, inexpensive labor is soon to be history. The number of workers aged 20 to 29 will stay about the same for the next few years, but a precipitous drop will begin in the middle of the coming decade. Over a 10-year period, between 2016 and 2026, the size of the population in this age range will be reduced by about one-quarter, to 150 million from 200 million. For Chinese aged 20 to 24, that decline will come sooner and will be more drastic: Over the next decade, their number will be reduced by nearly 50 percent, to 68 million from 125 million.
 
Such a drastic decline in the young labor force will usher in, for the first time in recent Chinese history, successive shrinking cohorts of labor force entrants. It will also have profound consequences for labor productivity, since the youngest workers are the most recently educated and the most innovative.
 
As the young population declines, domestic demand for consumption may weaken as well, since young people are also the most active consumers of everything from wedding banquets to new cars and housing units. And because China is a major player in the global economy, the impact of the country’s demographic changes will not be limited by its borders.
 
Fragile families, fragile society
 
So far, observers of China’s demographic changes have focused most of their attention on consequences at the aggregate or societal level: the size of the labor force, of the elderly population, and of the number of men who will not be able to marry. Worries at this level of analysis generally relate to the country’s future economic growth and social stability. But the challenges that China will face as a result of its changing demographics go far beyond economic growth and other aggregate concerns.
 
China’s unprecedented population control policy, the one-child policy, turned 30 this year. It has forcefully altered the family and kin structure of hundreds of millions of Chinese families. And families, in addition to their other functions, are first and foremost the primary source of support for dependents, the young and the elderly.
 
Although the full extent of the one-child policy’s societal consequences will not be known until later, it is safe to predict that the social costs that China will need to pay, especially in terms of family support for aging parents, will be exceedingly high. In no small part due to implementation of the one-child policy, China by 2005 had accumulated nearly 160 million only children aged 0 to 30. That number has further grown in the past five years. These figures imply that over 40 percent of Chinese households have only one child.
 
More generally, ever more Chinese parents in the future will not be able to count on their children in their old age. And many parents will face a most unfortunate reality: outliving their children and therefore dying alone. Given the current mortality schedule, the likelihood that an 80-year-old Chinese man will see his 55-year-old son die before he does is 6 percent. Because women live longer, the likelihood that an 80-year-old woman will outlive her 55-year-old son is 17 percent.
 
Because of China’s continued mortality decline, and especially its sustained fertility decline to below replacement levels, the country has effectively entered an era of population decline.China’s current TFR of 1.5 implies that, in the long run, each future generation will be 25 percent smaller than the one preceding it. China’s population is still growing, albeit very slowly, because the country still has a relatively young age structure, which produces more births than deaths, even though on average each couple has fewer than two children. Had it not been for China’s relatively young age structure, the population would have begun declining in the early 1990s, almost two decades ago. The current growth, in other words, is a result of population momentum.
 
The same force of momentum will work in the opposite direction soon. Given current mortality and fertility rates, and with a population age structure that is growing increasingly older, the number of deaths will soon exceed the number of births. China’s population is likely to peak less than 15 years from now, below a maximum of 1.4 billion. After that will come a prolonged, even indefinite, population decline and a period of accelerated aging.
 
Even if China can restore fertility to replacement level within 10 years after the country reaches its population peak, population will still exhibit a decline nearly half a century long, with a net population loss of over 200 million, if not more. The median age of the Chinese population, at its peak, could be as high as 50 years.
 
China is by no means unique in experiencing below-replacement fertility. In the past decade, below-replacement fertility has become a new global reality. Whereas in some parts of the world high fertility rates continue to pose severe challenges to women and children’s health, for more than half of the world’s population, below replacement fertility is now the norm.
 
In Europe, North America, and East Asia, prolonged below-replacement fertility has already set in motion a negative population growth momentum.In the most extreme cases, such as Italy and Japan, population could be reduced by half in as few as 40 years or so if current rates of reproduction persist. A gradual but substantial reduction in population, especially with a concomitant aging of populations in the world’s richest countries, constitutes an unprecedented shift that is redefining the global demographic, economic, and political landscape.
 
What makes China unique, however, is that it still has a state policy, unique in human history, that restricts the majority of Chinese families to one child per couple. At the time the policy was announced 30 years ago, it provoked great controversy both within and outside China; over the years it has extracted great sacrifices from Chinese families and individuals, especially from women. And although the policy was designed as an emergency measure to slow down China’s population growth, and was intended to last for only one generation, the government has not yet shown the willingness, or courage, to phase it out.
 
China’s slow recognition and inaction in the face of its impending demographic crisis—inaction that persists despite appeals by almost all the country’s population experts to phase out the one child policy quickly—reflect policy makers’ lack of understanding of the changing demographic reality. Inertia also results from the resistance of the country’s birth-control bureaucracy, which formally employs half a million people.
 
This exemplifies a characteristic feature of China’s regime—relegating difficult, long-term, structural challenges to the back burner, while giving priority to short-term crisis management and concerns about stability. The looming demographic crisis will largely define China in the twenty-first century. Given that demographic changes take time to develop, and that their ramifications are not only massive but also long-lasting, China’s inaction has already proved costly—and will only grow more so the longer it persists.

 
In the words of the immortal Bill the Butcher, ‘this is a kill.’
 
Content originally generated at iBankCoin.com

 


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Here’s How The Deep State Is Trying To Lead Trump Into A Nuclear War

Via Daniel Lang of SHTFplan.com,

Before Donald trump took office, he promised to rebuild the US military by diverting a lot more funding into the armed forces. And when he made that promise, he wasn’t just talking about our conventional forces. He also proposed expanding America’s nuclear capability; a position he recently reiterated in an interview with Reuters. He stated that “It would be wonderful, a dream would be that no country would have nukes, but if countries are going to have nukes, we’re going to be at the top of the pack.”

If Trump is really going to reinvigorate our nuclear program (a decision that many experts fear could spark another arms race), then he needs to be very careful about who he listens to. That’s because some of the high ranking officials in our government have some certifiably insane ideas on what a nuclear arsenal should look like. Recently a Pentagon panel known as The Defense Science Board, told the Trump administration that they need to remake our nuclear arsenal into a force that is capable of engaging in a “limited” nuclear war.

According to the report, “The Defense Science Board … urges the president to consider altering existing and planned U.S. armaments to achieve a greater number of lower-yield weapons that could provide a ‘tailored nuclear option for limited use.’”

 

The strategy behind limited nuclear use sounds deceptively simple. You need to escalate a conflict just enough to end it.

 

As the theory goes, using low-yield nuclear weapons against an adversary’s conventional forces will demonstrate that you mean serious business and might be crazy enough to launch an all out nuclear attack. This will cause the enemy to “blink” and ultimately back down, rather than risk global thermonuclear war or continue conventional hostilities.

There’s only one problem with the idea of engaging in a limited nuclear war. It simply can’t be done. Any limited nuclear war would eventually lead to a full scale nuclear war.

The lynchpin of a limited nuclear war is the tactical nuke. These are nuclear weapons that have a much smaller yield than a strategic nuke. Whereas a strategic nuke might have a yield of half a megaton or more, a tactical nuke is usually somewhere in the ballpark with the atomic weapons that we used on Japan, but usually smaller than that. They’re for use on the battlefield, possibly within close proximity to friendly forces. And there’s a reason why our government has been slowly phasing them out for decades. Just because they make a smaller crater, doesn’t mean they make a smaller impact.

When you use a tactical nuke, you’re still using a nuke. It doesn’t matter that it’s not large enough to destroy an entire city (though some of them can). By using them, you’re telling the enemy that you’re willing to use nukes. You’re saying that you’re willing to rain radioactive fallout on their territory. You’re willing to engage in total war.

The only appropriate response to that is escalation. The enemy has to show you that they can do the same thing. In war, both parties aren’t thinking “gee, how the heck do I get out of this?” They’re thinking, “how do I win” and “how do I get back at the other guy” and “how do I teach my enemy a lesson he won’t forget.” Limited nuclear war doctrine doesn’t burn the bridge between conventional war and full on nuclear holocaust. It builds that bridge.

This should be common sense. All you have to do is imagine what would happen if Russia dropped a relatively small, 10 kiloton nuke on an American military base in Europe. Would the US government respond with capitulation? Nobody in their right mind believes that.

And let’s pretend for a moment that a limited nuclear war is possible. What would that do? It would normalize nuclear warfare. It would make nukes a viable option in every single war. Every conflict would leave behind a trail of radioactive fallout and mass civilian casualties.

Hopefully brighter minds will prevail, because whoever is proposing this notion of limited nuclear conflict, needs to change out their dress uniform for a freaking straight jacket.


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New robot’s moves may surprise you

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Robots are getting scary. Handle is a new 6.5-feet tall robot with wheels and legs that can lift 100lbs, travel at 9 mph and can jump up to 4 ft vertically. In this image it is in mid-leap. See it in action:

Wheels are efficient on flat surfaces while legs can go almost anywhere: by combining wheels and legs Handle can have the best of both worlds.
Boston Dynamics, a robotics company owned by Alphabet, previewed its latest robot, Handle, at a conference in Los Angeles earlier this month. As part of the conference, Boston Dynamics’ founder, Marc Raibert, introduced a short video of the robot, calling it “nightmare-inducing.” Today, the company uploaded an extended version, including new footage of the bot completing some pretty extreme tricks.

Link

May you never be chased down by a robot. 

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50% Of College Students Believe Their Student Loans Will Be Forgiven By Federal Government

LendEDU, a private firm that connects students and their families with student loans and loan refinancing, has finally revealed a clue that helps us better understand the mystery of why so many college students across the country have become so comfortable haphazardly taking out $100s of thousands of dollars in student loans to  fund their degrees in anthropology.  According to a survey of 500 current college students conducted by LendEDU, apparently 49.8% of America’s entitled youth is convinced that the federal government will simply forgive their student loans upon graduation…call it a nice little taxpayer funded graduation gift.

Of course, as the US Department of Education points out, only a select few students who actually enter into public service jobs, teach in underserved areas or attend schools that shutdown within 120 days of their graduation actually qualify for federal loan forgiveness.

The US Department of Education says that federal direct student loan borrowers can get off the hook if they enter public service jobs for a specified period of time, agree to teach in an underserved area, die or become permanently disabled, or if the school they attended shuts down while they are enrolled or within 120 days after they leave.

 

“The biggest exemption is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, and very few students go into public service,“ said Nate Matherson, who co-founded LendEDU in 2014.

 

“With maybe 14 percent of the American workforce in a public service job, the actual numbers of those who may qualify for student loan forgiveness or discharge is maybe below 10 percent.

 

“The fact that many students do not understand this means that they may be significantly underestimating the cost of financing a college education,” he added.

College

 

Of course, maybe these students are just planning on never getting a job after college and thus relying on Obama’s executive actions on “income-driven repayment” (IDR) plans that would repay a portion of their loans if they fail to hit certain income thresholds (see report entitled “Federal Student Loans:  Education Needs to Improve Its Income Driven Repayment Plan Budget Estimates” from the Government Accountability Office).  In this scenario, the student loans of these 50% of college students would, in fact, fall into the $137 billion bucket that the GAO figures Obama saddled on the backs of taxpayers through his unilateral executive action.   

For the fiscal year 2017 budget, the U.S. Department of Education (Education) estimates that all federally issued Direct Loans in Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) plans will have government costs of $74 billion, higher than previous budget estimates. IDR plans are designed to help ease student debt burden by setting loan payments as a percentage of borrower income, extending repayment periods from the standard 10 years to up to 25 years, and forgiving remaining balances at the end of that period. While actual costs cannot be known until borrowers repay their loans, GAO found that current IDR plan budget estimates are more than double what was originally expected for loans made in fiscal years 2009 through 2016 (the only years for which original estimates are available). This growth is largely due to the rising volume of loans in IDR plans.

 

Education’s approach to estimating IDR plan costs and quality control practices do not ensure reliable budget estimates. Weaknesses in this approach may cause costs to be over- or understated by billions of dollars.

Student Loans

 

Of course, we still kind of like this guy’s idea for repaying student debt…it’s a novel approach whereby borrowers are encouraged to stop playing video games in their parents’ basements and get a job…it just might be crazy enough to work.


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Magenta Pixie: Nutrition for Ascension (Conscious Eating)

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Nutrition for Ascension (Conscious Eating) by Magenta Pixie     Published on Feb 13, 2017 The question was asked: “What should ascending lightworkers eat?” Nutrition experts mentioned in this video… Joel Fuhrman http://ift.tt/2aYWcdA David Wolfe http://ift.tt/2bzgVFU Caldwell Esselstyn http://ift.tt/1B4yNz6 Neal Barnard http://ift.tt/2lt06j5; Anthony William http://ift.tt/1R1CTCi Mark Sisson http://ift.tt/zxCBD6 Weston A. Price http://ift.tt/TVmXBD Denise Minger http://ift.tt/2lOl8eA

Vía I UV http://ift.tt/2lt2whR

The Cultural Purge Will Not Be Televised

Via Mark Jeftovic of EasyDNS.com,

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, and our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of…. It is they who pull the wires that control the public mind.”

– Edward Bernays, Public Relations

I’ve been trying not to write this post, because really, who needs a bunch of shrill, hysterical snowflakes calling you a racist nazi for committing the egregious sin of pointing out the many contradictions in the #deleteshopify boycott and the wider witch hunt mentality that pervades social discourse these days?

The main factor holding me back is not cynicism but actually fear. For the first time in my life I’m afraid to speak my mind. The possible ramifications of exercising my inalienable right to free speech frighten the crap out of me. So much so that I really don’t want to do it. I’ve become known as the type of person who speaks candidly and frankly about some tough issues and I’ve never had a problem doing that in the past. I’ve gone up against some pretty intimidating forces such as the City of London IPCU and the US FDA, but I’ve never been as scared as I am now to speak out.  For that reason I’m just going to have to suck it up and do it.

There is a cultural purge in progress.

It is directed against not only those who are perceived as “pro-Trump” (which as a card carrying Libertarian I am not. I think that he’s no friend to free speech, privacy or the internet), but targeting even those who are not “anti-Trump enough”.

This cultural purge has a two-pronged approach, from one side, from elements within the corridors of power (or those recently ejected from it) who have successfully floated the concept that free speech is not inviolable and that it would be a good thing for “truth” to be curated by “somebody” who knows better:

“We are going to have to rebuild within this wild-wild-west-of-information flow some sort of curating function that people agree to… There has to be, I think, some sort of way in which we can sort through information that passes some basic truthiness tests and those that we have to discard, because they just don’t have any basis in anything that’s actually happening in the world…That is hard to do, but I think it’s going to be necessary, it’s going to be possible,”

— Barack Obama in speech at Frontiers Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, Oct 13, 2016 (emphasis added)

The other half comes from the trenches, comprised of manic flashmobs directing enmity against, literally, anything remotely connected to those deemed responsible for the greatest political upset of our time.

The mainstream media, outlets like Washington Post and the New York Times, among others, are complicit, providing the glue or the lubricant between this pincer movement and its chilling effects. The combination gels into an echo chamber drowning out all rationality and renders differing philosophies and legitimate dissent as blasphemous.

Let me explain my choice of title for this post and how it captures what I see going on here:

This post title is obviously a riff on Gil Scott-Heron’s song ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’, and the backstory behind this song is quite instructive to times like these:

Gil Scott-Heron saw first hand how altruistically motivated social activism can turn ugly when a campus protest action he initiated went horribly overboard. After the death of one of Gil-Heron’s schoolmates, he started a grass roots movement with the goal of improving the medial conditions on his campus, including making the college infirmary operate 24×7, something he felt would have saved his friend’s life.

The laudable aim of improving conditions on campus with the possibility of saving future lives derailed into a menacing fracas. A mob congregated on the front lawn of the infirmary’s doctor’s home where they proceeded to burn him in effigy:

“The protest grew angry, culminating with some students hanging the doctor in effigy from a tree in his front yard and setting it on fire. The doctor came out of his house and swore that he wasn’t responsible for the deaths. As he proclaimed his innocence, he had tears in his eyes.

 

When Gil arrived at the protest, he stood between the students and the doctor, looking at the doctor’s children staring out the window in fear. ‘A cold flash scampered across the back of my neck, ‘ wrote Gil later to describe his sudden fear that events could spiral out of control into violence, a fear which was allayed only when the students went back to their dorms.

 

The realization that radical action sometimes leads to unintended consequences and violent overreactions haunted Gil, and that image of a distraught Dr. Davies lingered in his mind for months to come. The experience reinforced Gil’s instinct to avoid violence and militant action in the struggle for social change.”

One should easily concede that today there are many reasons to petition for change. Our governments still have us all under wholesale surveillance, we are still involved in numerous unsanctioned wars, continue to provoke toward new ones, and the government continues to methodically destroy the economy via financial repression.

But we should all take Gil Scott-Heron’s lesson to heart and try to keep in mind that we are all human beings. We all have rights, we should all be secure in our ability to speak and associate freely.

But that isn’t what’s happening.

Today, the mainstream media, rather than objectively and rationally report on facts, are instead complicit in a sustained, wide-ranging campaign of demonization of “all things non-Democrat”. There is blanket categorical denial of any valid basis for why the citizenry worldwide are rejecting what they increasingly see as an “Establishment Elite” agenda.

Greece, Brexit, Trump and quite possibly soon, Marine Le Pen in France are all continuations of a theme. These events are referendums unto themselves and those “Global Elites” are on a losing streak. Instead of trying to understand the basis of these rejections (that the populace are sick and tired of having a two-tiered society in which their civil rights are eroded and they get saddled with all the debt, while the elites get to operate under a different set of rules and gobble up all the assets); they have mounted a concerted campaign of outright propaganda and mind-numbingly nonsensical narratives to dismiss away these acts of “defiance”.

As alt-market.com’s Brandon Smith commentary  observes:

“One of the most favored propaganda tactics of establishment elites and [those] they employ … is to relabel or redefine an opponent before they can solidly define themselves. In other words, elites [and their media] will seek to “brand” you (just as corporations use branding) in the minds of the masses so that they can take away your ability to define yourself as anything else.” (emphasis added)

And this is exactly what’s happening. For example, when you say “Breitbart”, your average person is so inculcated from the repetition of the words “white supremacist”, “racist”, and “ nazi” that people just assume that’s what it is. From there people think that it’s ok to #boycottshopify simply for supplying basic online ecommerce services to them (where does it stop? Btw, Breitbart derives 100% of it’s revenues from the internet, perhaps everybody in a twist about it should do us all a favour and boycott that too).

Is Breitbart really white supremacist, racist nazi hate site? Actually, no it isn’t. Most people think it is however, because they’ve been conditioned to believe it, and they’ve never actually gone there to see for themselves.

How do I know that Breitbart isn’t really the white supremacist, neo-nazi hate-site that we are incessantly brainwashed  to believe it is? Well for one thing, I’ve seen the real deal. They look like this:

This place is called “Shitskin Plantation”. They wound up on easyDNS (my company’s system ) for about a week by the time we kicked them. The fact that we did eject a real honest to god racist, neo-nazi hate site doesn’t bolster the #boycottshopify movement for three reasons:

#1) Shitskin is clearly racist and contains actual language condoning violence toward an identifiable group. It was right there for anybody to see. Here in Canada such material is codified into law as “hate speech” under the Criminal Code.

 

#2) We chose. We assessed our AUP, found them in violation and kicked them. Specifically we found them in violation of “the Non-Aggression Principle” in our plain english Terms of Service. The NAP has grey areas and subjective rabbit holes. Libertarians debate it relentlessly. But the important thing is that nobody else forced us to do it in the absence of due process. We made our own determination, and that’s important. Sacrosanct, in fact.

 

And #3) Breitbart is an ultra-conservative, hard-right political opinion site. That’s all. They seem also have a penchant for inflammatory, click-bait headlines (who doesn’t these days?) You may not like it, I may not like it, but they absolutely have the right to be online and to publish.

That anybody who has even the most tenuous affiliation with them is fair game for having their rights curtailed, their livelihood sanctioned or sabotaged is indefensible. The only legitimate mechanism for these people to suffer in their fortunes is through the failure of their ideas in the marketplace of thought. By being rejected, not through being repressed (see below).

It is entirely reasonable for Shopify, or  any other vendor to keep supplying services to Breitbart (at present they have no services with easyDNS)

It is also reasonable for any of those vendors to choose not to supply services to them of their own volition (you can’t have it both ways folks, you can’t force Shopify to dump Breitbart and simultaneously force some Bible-thumping redneck to bake a cake for a gay wedding).

What isn’t reasonable is to coerce or compel anybody else to take any action they would not themselves take under their own judgement. It’s truly frightening that there is a growing sentiment that this is acceptable behaviour.

Do you really want to live in a world where people sever business and personal relationships because a literal flash mob demands it? Where mobs get to pick and choose who you are allowed to associate with?

Shopify has over 300,000 customers. You honestly expect them to sort through those and kick out the ones that you think are morally objectionable?

In 2010, when easyDNS was itself embroiled in the Wikileaks debacle I was absolutely appalled when ranking politicians applauded the vendors for severing ties with them. Senator Lieberman congratulated Amazon and Paypal by name for “breaking their contracts”, he literally used those words. A ranking politician applauding behaviour that should rightly get you sued. The public backlash then was huge and pro-Wikileaks. In our own small way, we stood up for Wikileaks then, we maintain a congruent position now. I applaud Shopify for standing firm and refusing to sever their ties for the same reason.

The “Right Side” of History

Whenever I hear a lot of activists whining about the current situation I frequently hear references to being “on the right side of history”. Nobody wants to be on the wrong side of that. Actually that’s a nonsensical statement since history is amoral, or as Winston Churchill famously observed, “One damned thing after another”.

However there is one rule of thumb I’ve formulated over the years which I think can keep one onside of the grand currents sweeping through time and society and helped me understand my sympathy with Libertarianism and anarcho-capitalism. That is to know the fine line between rejecting an idea that one finds immoral, unethical, obsolete or otherwise objectionable and repressing it.

Morality is largely subjective. Very few people act in a way they themselves consider immoral. Almost everybody thinks that whatever they’re doing, they’re on the side of the angels. The tiny sliver of participants who are fully cognizant of their own immoral action and proceed anyway are criminals and sociopaths (the majority of them gravitate into politics).

When enough people’s ethical compasses align you get a cultural or societal norm. One of the cultural norms that we fought hard for over the ages was that people have a right to free speech and free association. You can disagree with what I have to say but respect my right to say it.

These rights were so hard won that they were codified into universal laws and into the very Constitutions that govern most civilized nations. I believe one of the more well-known words for it was “inalienable”.

Until now. Now people are putting conditions around “free speech” and “free association”.

The idea that free speech has its limits somewhere around the point where it hurts somebody’s feelings is beyond idiotic and dangerous.

Tweet of person exercising her free speech to encourage economic harm to others…

The world is not one big foam insulated, bubble wrapped safe space. This may come as a shock to you but there is a widespread sentiment, a backlash dare I say, against the idea that a Saviour State should watch over everything and smooth out all the world’s sharp edges.

Besides…

Boycotts usually backfire.

Back in the mid-90’s, Bob Rae was the Premiere of Ontario and I was in a failed metal band out of London, Ontario. Mr. Rae wrote a nice song about multiculturalism called “Same Boat Now” and submitted it to various record labels who promptly rejected it and told him not to quit his day job. My band recorded a power-pop version of his song and released it on 7” vinyl. Our label  put an open letter to Mr. Rae on the back sleeve that was highly critical of his socialist political platform (albeit quite tame by today’s standards). I was mortified, fearing a media backlash but felt trapped. I called Jack Richardson, my former college prof from Fanshawe College’s Music Industry Arts program and widely credited with having single-handedly created the Canadian music industry and asked his advice.

Before I finished relaying the details he was laughing. “Mark”, he said, “The only thing that truly matters is that they spell ‘Landslide’ right. That’s it”.

This has been bourne out countless times since that event. I could list them here but the point is, boycotts usually invoke The Streisand Effect and actually bolster the target of the boycott. We can cite a couple brief examples:

  • During the Bob Parsons era of Godaddy, when he shot the elephant, or when he aired some super-sexist Super Bowl commercial, Godaddy numbers, in terms of net-new domains-in or registered usually  went up not down, in the face of consumer outrage and boycotts.

  • Wikileaks, again – when we did help their mirror sites get back online there was a counter-reaction against that. Every once in awhile I check the emails from the customers who sent me extremely hostile emails telling me they were leaving, and almost all of them remained (and some still do) customers to this day.

  • Shopify itself, who is publicly traded, has been on a tear in share price for most of the year, and it’s continued unabated since  #deleteShopify began.

So what can you do?

You can only govern yourself. Your only recourse is whether to associate or disassociate with somebody. Yes, you are perfectly within your rights to #boycottshopify but as I’ve outlined, you’re being naive doing so and will likely have the exact opposite effect if you’re enough of a loudmouth about it .

But if this Cultural Purge proceeds we will actually, for real, lose what used to be inalienable rights. Our right to free speech, our right to free association and our rights to our own minds. If something you say is considered “hurtful” (which will more closely resemble dissent or criticism of the Official Narrative than anything else) you will be sanctioned. You will tow the line or you will be penalized – contracts severed, vendors disassociate themselves, boycotts ensue. Whatever you do, just don’t say or think the wrong thing, because not going along with the crowd will make you a pariah.

If you want to prevent that:

1) you have the duty to look at the issue first hand and decide for yourself if it has any merit. Don’t ever come to me and tell me “XYZ is white supremacist, neo-nazi hate speech” unless you can show me an article that has the hate speech in it. Show me the white supremacist rhetoric. If you tell me you believe it simply because that’s what Wapo told you then you are a fool. You are Wapo’s useful idiot. A Wapobot.

2) you have to be prepared to call b/s whenever some whining snowflake demands safety from any contrary opinion, whenever some pundit robotically repeats the “white supremacist, hate speech, homophobe, Russian hackers” mantra, and whenever you’re asked to jump on some witchunt bandwagon against someone who dares to dispute the Official Narrative.

3) you have to be able to take the heat. Guess what? You’ll be next. Speak out against this nonsense and you’ll be subjected to hysterionics, character assassination, guilt by the most tenuous of associations, distortions of fact and a co-ordinated piling on by mobs of unquestioning ideological berserkers.

  • You’ll be Peter Thiel (there was a popular outcry to remove him from Facebook’s board, why? Because he endorsed Trump.)

  • You’ll be Scott Adams (his crime? Correctly predicting that Trump was going to win)

  • You’ll be Ivanka Trump (facing a co-ordinated attack on her livelihood for her transgression of being born a Trump).

That is a cultural purge.

Hell, I’m probably next just for writing this piece. So be it. My credibility as a non-racist, free-speech Libertarian are unassailable and am categorically unaffiliated with Russian intelligence. My duty is to speak out precisely because it is becoming more dangerous to speak out.

“In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act”. — Unknown


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