military contractor

theguardian.com
The great British Brexit robbery: how our democracy was hijacked
A shadowy operation involving big data, billionaire friends of Trump and the disparate forces of the Leave campaign heavily influenced the result of the EU referendum. Is our electoral process still fit for purpose?
By Carole Cadwalladr

Okay.

It took me days to get time together to read this whole thing, but I have finally done it.

This is it. This is the one article you need to read to understand just what is going on in Britain, America, and Russia.

This is the one piece of writing you need and can use to reference the very chilling reality that these countries have been tied together in the machinations  of just a few billionaires, and how Facebook and Google tie in insidiouslyi.

I keep telling y’all to stop fucking with facebook but that’s moot now. It’s so much bigger than this.

“Was that really what you called it, I ask him. Psychological warfare? “Totally. That’s what it is. Psyops. Psychological operations – the same methods the military use to effect mass sentiment change. It’s what they mean by winning ‘hearts and minds’. We were just doing it to win elections in the kind of developing countries that don’t have many rules.”Why would anyone want to intern with a psychological warfare firm, I ask him. And he looks at me like I am mad. “It was like working for MI6. Only it’s MI6 for hire. It was very posh, very English, run by an old Etonian and you got to do some really cool things. Fly all over the world. You were working with the president of Kenya or Ghana or wherever. It’s not like election campaigns in the west. You got to do all sorts of crazy shit.”“

This is not just a story about social psychology and data analytics.

 It has to be understood in terms of a military contractor using military strategies on a civilian population. 

Us. David Miller, a professor of sociology at Bath University and an authority in psyops and propaganda, says it is “an extraordinary scandal that this should be anywhere near a democracy. It should be clear to voters where information is coming from, and if it’s not transparent or open where it’s coming from, it raises the question of whether we are actually living in a democracy or not.”

“And it was Facebook that made it possible. It was from Facebook that Cambridge Analytica obtained its vast dataset in the first place. Earlier, psychologists at Cambridge University harvested Facebook data (legally) for research purposes and published pioneering peer-reviewed work about determining personality traits, political partisanship, sexuality and much more from people’s Facebook “likes”. And SCL/Cambridge Analytica contracted a scientist at the university, Dr Aleksandr Kogan, to harvest new Facebook data. And he did so by paying people to take a personality quiz which also allowed not just their own Facebook profiles to be harvested, but also those of their friends – a process then allowed by the social network.”

Read this. Read the entire thing. It will take you a while and it’s a lot to digest but you need to know.

Signal boost.

@sunderlorn we’re finally completely united in propaganda, isn’t that nice!?

Overwatch fic: The catdads and that time they met up with McCree after the Fall.

Remember when I said I was writing this, a year and a day ago?  No warnings.  The cut is just for length.
***
Jesse’s clients showed him the documentation on his targets before he took the job, and it’s pretty clear he’s after a real pair of desperadoes.  These two have left a trail of bodies, theft, and occasional devastation in their wake from one hemisphere to the other, and he reckons it’s about time someone put a stop to it.

When they nail him in an ambush, he realizes that someone’ll have to be someone else.

His arms get pinned from behind by a grip that feels like a bear’s, claws and all.  The other one drops down in front of him from an awning three stories up and then uncoils from his crouch like he’s made of shock absorbers.  “Jesse McCree,” that one says in a low growl of a voice.  Grand, being recognized always goes so well for him. “You look like a werewolf, kid.”

The man holding him laughs.  It sounds beyond rough, almost inhuman, and kinda smug.  Jesse knows it well.  He’s heard that insult more than a few times, too.

“Well, damn,” he says faintly as the shock sets in.  

Keep reading

youtube

“2012 Alamo bullshit”

Video: 13 hours (2016)
Music: Life’s a Bitch - Nas

Because Discourse

Seeing that joke about artists drawing the humanized sin of Lust as a big-boobed thin woman with lipstick like it’s a Jessica Rabbit knock-off and Gluttony as being fat, but I have terrible ideas for the Homunculi Seven Deadly Sins:

Gluttony, but it’s a hipster guy with a food porn blog and a Yelp review page and he calls eating “ethnic” foods a “spiritual experience”. He’s also picky as fuck, nags the restaurant staff, tells them they “don’t understand” the food and is always that one person at a dinner date who keeps everyone there for an hour to pick something off the desert menu—but never pays for his meals.

Sloth, but it’s a rich girl whose Dad spoils her rotten and never does a thing because she has a horde of underpaid butlers doing everything for her. The phrase “never lift a finger” applies heavily and she’d die helplessly from waiting on her servants to get her anything—because she’s that privileged.

Greed, but it’s really just a guy in a suit from corporate. He stares at people and sees them as potential money-makers and has that superteam of lawyers to bail him out when he does some downright war criminal shit to save a nickel. It’s not that hard to imagine, really…

Wrath, but it’s a general, dictator or military contractor like Haliburton.

Envy, but it’s a Soccer Mom living vicariously through her kids and trying to out-perform the other Moms in everything they do: PTA meetings and bake sales, who has the better Thanksgiving turkey, who has more optional features for their 10-person SUV, whose kids are taking more foreign languages and learning instruments, etc. That or it’s really just a group of them inside the 10-person SUV and they’re really killing eachother over Black Friday and School shopping.

Pride, but it’s a self-obsessed fashion model who thinks they’re a God to be worshipped and stares down her nose in contempt at everybody else.

Lust, but it’s an InCel dude.

7

BCM Gunfighter History : Travis Haley

An Exercise in Compromise

Hanging in my office, is a clone of the rifle I carried on two combat tours(Iraq and Liberia). It’s a reminder of where I came from, where I stand today, where I am going and why I am going there.

While serving in 2nd Force Reconnaissance in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, my unit started seeing radical advances in small arms and light weaponry via the SOPMOD program. Suddenly, carbines could quickly be fine tuned for specific missions by mounting night vision systems, laser aiming devices, weapon lights and red dot optics to the 1913 Picatinny Rail Systems on the upper receiver and handguard.

These technologies opened up whole new tactics, techniques and procedures that could be employed to prosecute our mission of specialized reconnaissance, ambush and direct action raids.

Despite the additional capabilities the SOPMOD program delivered, opinions were sharply divided on the program. Some saw these tools as a burden, adding a lot of “crap” that would only increase the amount of weight our Marines carried on mission for little tangible benefit. A maxed out M4 could run up to 14 pounds, but we didn’t need every component for every mission.

TWO POUNDS OF METAL

The SOPMOD accessory package that my platoon ended up running included almost two pounds of weight in mounting interfaces alone. When I challenged this, I got a typical Marine Corps answer, “Because that’s what you are issued, now quit asking irrelevant questions Too Speed.” (Too Speed was my call sign)

I couldn’t accept that answer. It was an institutional answer that repeated a party line and the lives of my teammates were, and will always be, more important than not rocking the boat.

After some trial and error, the first mod I made was to ditch the Surefire M951 Weapon Light and replace it with a Surefire 6P in a shotgun tube light mount that I scored at a sporting goods shop near base. After swapping the 6P tail cap for the M951 remote switch assembly, I then ran the tape switch on the left side of the 203 so activating the light wouldn’t impact my weapons manipulation.

Getting a weapon light in tight with a rail and shaving weight off the interface was something I would spend the next 10 years fiddling with before I had a eureka moment and Haley Strategic Partners released the Thorntail Adaptive Series of light mounts, currently in use by military, security contractors and law enforcement worldwide.

This time was a defining moment for me, as it was when I first started tweaking and eventually building original components for my platoon based on the unique requirements of our missions. These experiences of shaving weight, improving ergonomics and finding a balance between capability and utility, would drive the development of so many of the components I have commercialized in my post-service career.

THE RIFLE I TOOK TO WAR

Colt M4 with 14.5” Barrel
Colt M203 40 mm Grenade Launcher
Knights Armament RAS Handguard
PEQ-2 IR Aiming Laser
Surefire Classic 6P with a custom “Simply Dynamic” mount
Boone & Packer Redi-Mag
Simply Dynamic Multi-Mission Sling (commercialized by Magpul as the MS3)

LOAD OUT

Prior to the invasion of Iraq, Force was trained up for both Green Side(reconnaissance) and Black Side(direct action) missions, with the assumption we would be tasked to one or the other. However, when we entered Iraq, our platoon found ourselves doing a combination of both at the same time. Force Recon is a special operations unit that prepares the battlespace and gathers intelligence for the MAGTF(Marine Air Ground Task Force) and then prosecutes specialized targets as directed.  

With a few days under our belts, the entire platoon started striping gear and mags, looking for that perfect balance of speed, utility and capability. If you can’t move, you can’t be effective. Most of the Marines went from 13 rifle magazines to between five or six. I ended up with four on my vest and two taped together on my carbine with riggers tape and offset with a stick.

Force Recon ran low signature loads outs, often working out of vehicles(mil and civilian), and running a double mag on the carbine meant I had 60 rounds at the ready. When I saw the “Redi-Mag” in a copy of Shotgun News, I ordered it and had it delivered to me overseas. Despite the weight, the Redi-Mag was more versatile than the old riggers tape and stick, and cut my carbine reloads to sub one second.

I no longer run a Redi-Mag because there are so many excellent belt mounted magazine pouches available today, that I can reload at almost the exact speed as from a Redi-Mag. That said, you will sometimes find them on my house and car guns, as I do not expect to be kitting up if someone breaks into my house or I find myself engaged with an active shooter around vehicles in the streets.

M203

The M203 is a vital component to small and agile units, like Force, who operate in small units in semi and non-permissive settings. It becomes even more essential in worst case scenarios where the mission is compromised or the unit is outright ambushed by an enemy force.

We prepared for scenarios where 203s could be employed for a hasty breach, in instances where a short count/stack was not possible. Also, as a posturing tool to achieve immediate fire superiority in the face of an ambush. Finally, we practiced employing them to suppress fortified enemy positions in buildings by putting accurate fire through windows or open doors.

In fact, in the first gunfight I was involved in during OIF, I put this into practice, pumping 40mm HEDP(High Explosive Dual Purpose) rounds through windows of enemy positions 50 meters out. This fire created instant hate and discontent on target, where crew served weapons and M4s did not offer as much of an immediate positive effect. We had never trained to fire the M203 at such a close distance for safety reasons, but I held at the top of the window frame with my Aimpoint and the round went straight where I wanted it.

MEUSOC 1911

The MEUSOC 1911 has an almost legendary reputation among 1911 and handgun enthusiasts. One of the most high performance handguns ever built, the MEUSOC 1911 we ran was hand built by Marine Armorers from the Precision Weapons Section at MCBQ (Marine Corps Base Quantico). They fine tuned our 1911’s, hand selecting barrels, link pins, sear springs, ejectors, firing pin stops, mainspring housings and mainsprings. Slides were custom built by Springfield Armory with beavertail safeties and recoil spring guides by Ed Brown, Novak rear sights, Wilson Combat extractors + mag release buttons, and King’s Gun Works ambi thumb safeties.

Force ran the 1911 specifically in direct action raid or ambush missions. It was not a primary and would only come into play if our carbines had run dry or malfunctioned. We carried 10 round magazines with 230 Grain 45 ACP. More than enough to deal with any immediate situation and then refocus on the carbine to get it back into action.

On DRP(Deep Reconnaissance Patrol) Missions, I personally chose my Berretta M92, which was our only 9mm alternative at the time. The flatter trajectory at range of the 9mm and the larger magazine meant more bullets to deal with more problems in the event my carbine was down or permanently disabled.

When I later worked as a security contractor on Ambassador Bremmer’s detail with Blackwater, we would run Glock 17s. But in the end, the mission drives the gear. But more importantly, the mission drives the man.

THE MISSION DRIVES THE MAN

When I first started making gear, I was doing it to help keep my guys alive. When I started my first company, Simply Dynamic Tactical, I wasn’t in it to get rich. I was doing it to pass on what I learned in combat and to provide tools that would stack the deck in the favor of the men and women who were going overseas or out on our streets as warfighters, law enforcement or private citizens.

Surviving war is an awesome responsibility. For those who have been in combat, you never forget the brothers you lost. When you are one of those who made it back, you carry a weight that is difficult to put into words. I was lucky to have known such great men in my life. I was lucky to have a second family closer than any people I will ever know.

As I approach the 5th year in business with Haley Strategic Partners, we have tried to bring this industry together and to stay focused on that one mission. Enable brave men and women to complete their missions as safely as possible. Through training, through gear and through mindset.  

Stay Sharp and be safe,

Travis Haley
October, 2015

anonymous asked:

galen erso

Headcanon A: what I think realistically

Galen Erso was a good father. As strange as it seems, hidden away in that small farm, on a plot of land on a planet whose name was never pronounced the same way twice was—it was the happiest time in his life. Just Jyn and Lyra and the work of his hands, tinkering with vaporators and making dolls for Jyn to play with. (Every year they scorched the fields to help with the next harvest, and this is one of Jyn’s earliest memories—her father walking through billowing smoke and tongues of flame to scoop her up in his arms. He smelled of smoke, and Jyn had felt absolutely safe, even there among the fire.)

Headcanon B: what I think is fucking hilarious

Galen genuinely thought he was subtly seducing Bodhi into turning on the Empire and carrying his message to Saw.

Bodhi was already too secretly, guiltily enamored to do anything but find this somewhat endearing.

Headcanon C: what is heart-crushing and awful but fun to inflict on friends

When he began flirting with the pretty AgriCorps geologist, he hadn’t intended it to go much further—she was pledged to the Jedi Order, he just liked the way she blushed, how animated she could be, talking about isomorphic lattices. Even when they began sleeping together, stealing kisses in caves and lying together in bed, talking lazily about the refraction properties of kyber crystals, it was always understood that eventually, there would be an end.

Still, when Lyra discovers she’s pregnant, Galen does the honorable thing and brings her back with him to Coruscant, his wife. (Her? Krennic sneers, and Galen doesn’t speak to him for a week, because Krennic might see how Galen doubts.)

Lyra is miserable on Coruscant. She hates being cooped up in their apartments with nothing but an infant for company. She hates the glittering new-to-power military set Galen mixes with these days, she hates the encroaching war and the rumblings from the Senate of a major shift in power; she hates that Galen does not seem to care about any of these things, content to lose himself in what his assistants have jokingly begun referring to as the “Star Station of Death” project.

Meanwhile Galen resents having a wife who sneaks out to pray at the Jedi Temple and then Separatist meetings, who radiates contempt when greeting members of his firm; who does not know how to dress herself for society, who insists Jyn be sent to the Coruscanti academy and not the military prep school Galen’s colleagues all send their children to.

Neither of them intended to make it this far, and they are fraying, trying to hold it between them.

(Though neither of them would ever admit it—would ever even have thought it, by the end—being on the run from the Empire had saved them.)

Headcanon D: what would never work with canon but the canon is shit so I believe it anyway

Galen Erso is not actually in the military. He felt no special loyalty or hatred for the Republic—he vaguely abhorred the concept of fighting, and given the fact that he came of age during one of the longest periods of galactic peace it was never really something he seriously considered. He’d scored lowest in martial design on his qualifying exams and washed his hands of the whole field. (He specialized in mining tech—lasers, not blasters. It was a mistake to ask, What’s the difference? because he had a twenty-minute lecture prepared just in case.)

But his firm bid on the Galactic Senate’s XFSR Star Station project, and Galen Erso was thrown headlong into the world of military contractors during the rise of the Clone Wars. He never really managed to escape it.

On Ignorance Of Facts and History: The Democratic Party Has Moved To the Right

Whenever I bring up or post something critical of Bernie Sanders (or more often his most ardent supporters) the Vegas over/under on how long it takes for someone to tell me the Democratic Party has moved to the right is now at under five seconds.  According to far left progressive lore, the Democratic Party was once the bastion of all the things they believe the government should be.  To this group, which is overly populated with younger, mostly white males, the Democratic Party was nearly perfect under FDR and has moved to the right ever since.  In their addle-brain notion of history, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are to the political right of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.  

I have just two words to say-”This is some ignorant, ahistorical bullshit!”  Okay, make that six words.  I have a lot of other adjectives to describe this situation I can and am willing to provide upon request.  

The Democratic Party has moved farther to the left SINCE FDR, not farther to the right.  I’m old enough to remember reading about the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans in internment camps under FDR.  I also remember he met ONCE with an African-American in the White House early on in his administration and never did again.  Please recite to me all the pro-female policies he stood up for and helped get passed?  Go ahead, I’ll wait…. (*sound of crickets.)

FDR has been labeled the “Lion of Liberalism” for reasons both deserved and undeserved.  He certainly deserved credit for all the policies he pushed in order to get America out of the Great Depression.  These were necessary and important for the economic survival of the country.  However, a lot of these policies were the second, third…fifth attempt.  Many of FDR’s initial responses to address the Great Depression didn’t do a damn thing and some made matter worse.  I give him credit for willing to learn from his mistakes and pivot to different ideas/policies.  It is important to keep in mind exactly why/how he was able to try different solutions to fix the problems-major majorities in both houses of Congress.

THE ONLY REASON FDR was able to fail, learn, and succeed was because his party held massive majorities in the House and Senate EVERY SINGLE YEAR HE WAS PRESIDENT.  It is a lot easier to fuck up and try different things when your party controls the entire government with veto-proof majorities.  If FDR would have had thin majorities or the Democratic Party had control over only one part of Congress, the outcomes from his time in office would have been very different.  If you can’t understand how/why this is the case, I suggest a basic civics course or maybe watch some Schoolhouse Rock.

The other factor that immensely helped FDR’s policies was America’s entrance into World War II.  It is one thing to tell Americans they need to come together and work for the common good.  It is another when there is an external force/situation to make this unity more likely.  What WWII did was coalesce Americans of all economic and political groups to come together around a common cause.  When the vast majority of Americans are invested in a cause, it is really easy to get them to support your policies.  The only time this has happened to some level since then was directly after 9/11 and the things America rallied around, (Dept. of Homeland Security, Patriot Act, Invasion of Iraq…) were bad ideas with even worse consequences because they came from a conservative administration.

I dare anyone who tells me the Democratic Party has moved to the right to provide an example of a Democratic president who has had the Democratic majorities FDR had.  I dare them to also come up with an example of an internal or external example of something that unified the country like WWII did along with these majorities.  I could go all Rip Van Winkle and when I finally awake from my twenty-year slumber, I promise you there won’t be a single factual response to my query.

Here are the real fucking political truths these “progressives” don’t want to admit:
1-From civil rights, gay rights, women’s rights, health care reform, immigration issues… the Democratic Party has been at the forefront moving the discussion and policy forward.
2-They’ve done this without the luxury of veto-proof majorities in Congress and without a lot of help from state legislatures.

3-In fact, some of this progress was made IN SPITE OF Republican control and obstruction.
4-If you fucking want FDR-like progress, you better do everything you can for FDR-like majorities in Congress.
5-If you don’t give a Democratic president massive Democratic majorities in Congress and in the states, then you can eternally SHUT THE FUCK UP about how Democrats are “letting you down.”

6-Democrats in 2017 are more progressive than Democrats of FDR’s time.
7-The problem isn’t Democrats have moved to the right (they haven’t) but Republicans have moved significantly farther to the right.  This movement along with the media’s incessant “both sides are the same” gives the perception Democrats have moved to the right as well.

Point #7 is really important to understand.  If the political difference between A and B is 50 points and A moves 5 points to the left but B moves 30 points to the right, the problem isn’t A has moved to the right (something that is empirically false.) The problem is people look at the difference to make their opinion of the political situation.

I’ll See-Spot-Run this for you. If Democrats started out at -10 to the left on the political spectrum and Republicans started at +30 to the right, the difference, the median is +10 to the right.  If you use the median as your measurement, then our politics and politicians are +10 to the right. This by itself is a stupid way of viewing the situation but it is how it is reported by the media.  Our overall political landscape might be +10 to the right but that doesn’t mean those on the left have moved to the right one iota.

What has happened the past forty years is the Democrats have moved to -20 to the left and Republicans have moved to +80 to the right.  Objectively, Democrats have moved farther to the left than they were forty years ago. However, when the median is what is constantly discussed and reported on, it looks as if everyone has moved

+30 points to the right.  When the right moves +30 point farther to the right and the left moves -10 points farther left, the media report, is the “both sides have moved farther away from the center,”  as if starting point and how far each has moved and in what direction are irrelevant.  If you don’t understand how this works, besides taking basic civics, you need to take a basic statistics course.

Democrat HAVE NOT MOVED TO THE RIGHT!  Stop believing this.  Stop saying this. Stop being ignorant of history.  “But what about corporatist Dems?”  There have always been Democrats from states like New York, Delaware, etc. who have leaned more towards large corporations because large corporations and their employees make up a good chunk of their constituents.  What pisses me off more than progressives attacking Democrats from specific states catering to their constituency (you know, democracy) is when they are willing to overlook and excuse their preferred candidate of similar “sins.” If it isn’t cool if Hillary Clinton casts some votes that can be viewed as being “pro-Wall Street,” then it should be as big a problem that Bernie Sanders votes in favor of private military contractor spending that will help his state.

If you want to be a political purist, good luck with that but you had better be fucking logically consistent.  If you deride Hillary for saying “superpredator” then you damn well better bring as much emotional opposition to Bernie actually voting for the 1994 crime bill (you know, that bill that the then FLOTUS Hillary didn’t and couldn’t vote for but Bernie did.)  You better be upset Bernie advocated harsher sentences for cocaine use during the 90s.  You’d better be upset he voted against the storage of harmful nuclear waste in VT but fine him voting to strip out Paul Wellstone’s amendment and sending the toxins to Sierra Blanca, a mostly minority community in Texas.  You had better be upset with his vote against the Magnitsky Act which prevents Russia from using the U.S. banking system to launder money. You had better be upset with his defiance at releasing his complete tax returns.  If you aren’t equally upset with these things as you are with other Democratic candidates’ histories, you are a partisan hypocrite and a huge part of the problem with today’s politics.

I’m not pointing these things out so much as a criticism of Bernie but to point out the hypocritical purity of many of his followers and the far-left.  There never has been and never will be a politician who does what you want them to or believes in all the things you do.  Their job, their responsibility is not to cater to one person’s beliefs but the average of their constituents.   This is how democracy works. Learn it.  Live it.  Love it.  

This brings us to modern-day progressives.  Instead of having an iota of understanding of progressive history, how government works on a basic civics level, they either conjure up Democratic lore out of whole cloth or buy whatever snake oil is being sold to them by the political Svengali du jour.  These are the so-called “progressives” who are adamant FDR was progressivism in purity distilled form.  They respond to any comment about anything or anyone other than what comes from their Svengali with “corporate Democrat,” “neo-liberalism,” and “the current Democratic Party has moved to the right.”  

Most, but not all of these “progressives” are young.  For those who are older, I have zero understanding, empathy or sympathy for their ignorance.  For those who are younger, I am willing to concede they don’t have the experience to know what they are spouting is complete bullshit and give them a small pass.  If you really want to know why I have such a problem with Bernie Sanders it is because he is more than old enough to know the history of the Democratic Party, yet he intentionally mislead many younger voters to where they not only believe complete bullshit but he has taken an already jaded generation of voters and turned them into a negative horde who are unwilling to even contemplate they might be wrong.   As someone who has pushed for every progressive policy, there is for the past forty years from gay rights to women’s rights to raising the minimum wage and universal health care, I’ve never seen anyone do more damage from the left on politics, how government works, and history than Bernie Sanders.  Ronald Reagan codified anti-government sentiment on the right in 1980 with his “government IS the problem.”  Bernie Sanders pretty much did the same on the left in 2016.  Both men were full of shit and did extensive damage to our democracy.  The only difference between the two is Reagan was able to do more damage because he was elected to the presidency.

Conservatives have spent the last fifty years undermining faith in the institution of government.  We’ve all see the horrible consequences this has had on the country.  This same effect but from a different angle is just as horrible.  While conservatives are hell-bent on rolling back cultural progress to 1840 and economic progress to 1920, there is a faction of progressives who are more concerned with reviving and arguing for a mythological Democratic Party than making sure conservatives don’t undo every single progress made the past hundred years.  While progressives are fighting like hell to stop the leaks in the progressive dam caused by conservatives, the purists are on the sidelines bitching about how the dam isn’t the right construction, how a “real progressive” would stop the leaks “this way,” or insisting the best thing to do is allow the dam to completely collapse in order to build the perfect dam from utopian, progressive scratch.

In order to justify and rationalize their behaviors, the far left has to create a Democratic Party Straw Man.  This Straw Man comes in the form of “the Democratic Party has moved to the right,” “both sides are the same,” “the Democratic Party abandoned their base,” “the reason Democrats have lost elections is because they aren’t progressive enough,”…  In order to maintain this Straw Man, the far left have to completely ignore history, how government works, actual fucking data, and the impacts of their own behaviors.  This Straw Man has been worshiped and referred to so many times it has become part of far-left lore.  Any mention of the Democratic Party or a Democratic candidate/leader who isn’t their Svengali du jour and the shibboleths start to flow unabated.  Context doesn’t matter. Logic doesn’t matter.  Facts don’t matter.  Nuance sure as fuck doesn’t matter.  The only thing that matter is maintaining the Straw Man, maintaining the lore.

If you want a good example of this looks like, look no further than health care. The current belief among the far left is anyone who isn’t for single payer is a corporatist sellout and the enemy of progress.  This simplistic ascription only works in the mythological world of progressive purity.  In the real world, anyone with two working neurons knows that single-payer is one way to universal health care but by no means the only way.  Single-payer = universal health care but universal health care ≠ single-payer.  To put this is simpler terms, All bears are mammals but not all mammals are bears.  If the goal is to deliver a mammal, you’ve achieved it if you bring an ocelot, lemur, opossum, hedgehog…  Right now, the far left claims that you cannot be a good progressive or for universal health care unless you are completely for single-payer.  This is not only completely ignorant of universal health care it is a stupid political strategy.  Yet, in spite of this ignorance and stupidity, the far left is hellbent on making support of single-payer a litmus test for Democratic candidates.

Meanwhile, as the far-left are creating moronic litmus tests, the right are passing voter suppression laws, rolling back civil, women’s, and environmental rights.  In the addled brains of the far-left, these things are seen as equivalent.  They are not.  An imperfect health care system that has reduced the non-insured rate to historical lows is not on the same level as taking away health care from 15-30 million people.  If you think these are the same, your political and moral calculus are seriously fucked up.  The Affordable Care Act is imperfect (a fact acknowledged many times by President Obama) but it was a huge leap forward.  It moved the bar towards universal health care forward more than anything since the passage of Medicaid/Medicare and accomplished something EVERY single Democratic president since FDR tried to do but failed.  Instead of being elated when the Affordable Care Act was passed, the far-left did nothing but bitch about it.  Meanwhile, the right used the passage of the ACA to motivate their base to come out, take over the House in 2010 which led to gerrymandering, right to work laws in states like Michigan and Wisconsin, voter suppression laws… without any push back from progressives.  The most progressive law passed since the Civil Rights Act and the far-left couldn’t be bothered to support and defend it. Go ahead, let this political and moral calculus sink in and then tell me why on earth anyone should listen to the far-left.

I make it a point to not listen to or take the advice of extremists. They are always a small subset of the whole and always ethically and strategically wrong.  Just because they are extremely vocal doesn’t mean a damn thing other than they are loud.  That they can alter the outcome of an election, as we’ve seen in 2000 and 2016, doesn’t mean they need to be catered to and their views completely adopted.  To think so is political suicide along the same lines as the left trying to cater to white Republican voters.  Show me one city, even the most blue, progressive city where the far left has political power.  Go ahead, I’ll wait (*insert sound of crickets.)  This scenario doesn’t exist.  If the far left can’t control city governments in the bluest areas in the bluest states, why in the hell should we listen to them when it comes to national political strategy?  

Democrats have not moved to the right.  They’ve moved to the left and then some.  That they haven’t moved as far to the left as the banshees on the left demand doesn’t change reality.  It should be remembered that at the height of FDR’s progressivism, the far left of his party was bitching about him and demanding he is primaried.  To the far left of his time, the Lion of Progressivism wasn’t progressive enough.  The same is true today.  No matter how progressive someone is, the far left will find fault with them.  The problem isn’t the Democratic Party or progressive candidates.  The problem is and always has been with the far left who demand political purity in an imperfect, democratic system that represents a very diverse population.

My current frustration with politics isn’t that conservatives are being horrible human beings.  I fully expect nothing less from them.  My frustration is with so-called progressives who mean well but their fervor for their ideals supersedes everything including strategy, actually winning elections, preventing conservatives from retaining and solidifying power…  I will say this until it is etched into the progressive psyche-”The only thing that matters right now is keeping conservatives from winning elections!”  Everything else is 100% irrelevant and a complete distraction and detrimental to progressivism.  As long as “progressives” don’t have large majorities, any purity test is complete nonsense and bullshit.  If your political strategy is focused against Democrats and not against conservatives, I think you are full of shit, shouldn’t be listened to, and banished from rational political discussions.

The longer the far-left drags out this fight for their purity, the longer they focus their anger and attacks on Democrats instead of conservatives, the more the people progressives claim to defend will suffer, the longer conservatives retain power long after they should. I have no understanding or sympathy for anyone who enables this.

All or Nothing - Chapter 3

Summary: Almost two years after she left him, Bucky is still trying to move on from their relationship. But when one of his nightmares begins unfolding in real life, he and the team must do what it takes to find her before it’s too late. Will she survive this? Is there any hope for their relationship to begin again? And will Bucky ever get closure?

Pairing: Bucky Barnes X Bisexual!Reader, Bisexual!Reader X OC

Word Count: 1.8k (sorry guys)

Warnings: Language probably, possibly brief violence, maybe discussion of a sexual encounter?

A/N: Hi guys! I’m back with another chapter of All or Nothing! I honestly have no clue what I wrote in this but @fangirlisms-22 and @lostboyinneverland said it was good so it’s getting posted. I know it’s been 84 years 2 weeks since an update and I’m sorry about that, my life got a little busy so I haven’t had a chance to write much. 3rd POV for the group dynamics and 1st POV for reader again. Here’s the Spotify playlist. If you’d like to be tagged in future updates send me an ask here! Send me feedback and let me know what you think! See you soon!

This is the sequel to Give, so check out the first series here.

All or Nothing | Masterlist

Originally posted by sxy-seabass

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10.

Mulder’s sitting alone in the control room, feet propped up on the table, idly turning the dial on the radio. Mostly static. A few stations pop in and out and he listens to each of them for a minute or two. The lists of names. A weather report from somewhere – the guy never says where. The nutso Bible guy, because it turns out the apocalypse is full of those.

Is anybody alive out there, he thinks again, for the millionth time. He doesn’t give a fuck about Springsteen either, but he can’t get it out of his head. Earlier, when he was testing in here with Patrick, looking for something to say, he’d defaulted to talking to Scully. After a year and a half without her, she’s still his default.

And who else would he talk to? The base is mostly men, government guys and contractors, some military. And a few tech geniuses, mavericks from the old world, which is most of the people Mulder sees — all the guys that Frohike is buddies with now. They make him feel distinctly un-genius-like, which is probably good for him.

Skinner’s approach, on two crutches and one foot, is unmistakable. Mulder can feel him hovering in the doorway like a gnat. Maybe if he doesn’t turn around, Skinner will leave.

Instead he says, “Do you think she’s listening?”

Mulder flinches.

Skinner sits down heavily next to him, and in that moment Mulder can see everything that’s weighing them both down. Nobody here has an easy load to carry. He says, “I do.”

“I didn’t ask you.”

Skinner just keeps talking anyway. “I have to believe she’s alive.”

“You want to believe,” Mulder says darkly.

“What’s the difference? Anyway. With her talents, she’d be in demand anywhere. Hell, she’s probably in charge of some town. Probably a nicer place than this shithole.”

He keeps talking, but Mulder lets it fade out. Instead he imagines hearing Scully’s voice on the radio, wonders who she would pretend to talk to, out in the void. He remembers reading her journal when she was in the hospital all those years ago. He was so used to her case reports, dry and factual; reading her journal made him yearn for her. For this woman that he didn’t understand half as well as he’d thought.

She’d written it for him.

Her handwriting, neater than his, careful. I need to know that you’re out there if I am to ever see through this.

Yeah. He’s been thinking about that a lot lately.

“…six months or so,” Skinner’s saying, and Mulder is pulled back in it.

“What?”

Skinner glares at him. “The scientists came back from the field yesterday. They think that’s all we have left.”

“Before what?”

He shrugs. “Before the world is irreversibly transformed. Before we can’t live here anymore.”

“I thought it stalled. I thought—”

“We were wrong.”

Skinner gives that a minute to let it sink in.

"It’s the end of history,” says Skinner, finally. “I didn’t think I’d live to see it.”

“Maybe you won’t.” Mulder yawns and stretches his arms out wide, playing at disaffected. “It’s longer than I expected. Besides, we had a pretty good run.”

Skinner shakes his head, disgusted. “Fuck off.”

Mulder turns on him. “What do you want me to say? We’re gonna spend the last months of our lives cooped up in some secret government facility, watching the world fall apart.”

“And you don’t care.”

He doesn’t care, not really.

Skinner stands up and glares at him from on high. “Get up. You need to see something.”

Grudgingly Mulder follows him down the stairs to one of the sub-basements: their medical ward, which Mulder realizes is likely the best hospital in the country at this point, thanks to their stockpiles of medication. It’s slow going; a world without elevators isn’t an easy one for Skinner anymore. He makes his way carefully, leaning on the railing while Mulder holds his crutches.

Finally Skinner stops outside a quarantine room and stares through the window. A split second after Mulder joins him, he draws sharply away, looking off down the corridor. Skinner is unmoved.

“Look familiar?” Skinner asks.

Mulder nods instead of speaking. His mouth has gone dry.

His old boss’s voice is dispassionate, almost cold, but Mulder knows him better than that. “They came back a week ago,” he says. “Nothing we’ve done can stop the infection.”

“But we haven’t seen this since—”

Skinner ignores him and continues. “They went into a town that died in the days after the bombs. It was barricaded off; they thought someone was protecting something valuable: food, medicine.”

Mulder stares at the men. “It was a warning,” he says, and Skinner nods.

They are silent for a long time. On two standard-issue hospital beds the men writhe in silence. Both of them have had limbs amputated; something black pools on the tile floor beneath them. No one tends to them.

“William cured you,” Skinner says, finally, and Mulder swallows and doesn’t speak. “We need to find him.”

Mulder shakes his head. “I don’t know where—” He doesn’t even know if.

“You have a better shot of figuring it out than anyone else here.”

Back when they were at the lake house, that long winter, Skinner had said the same thing about Will: that he was necessary. That he was a cure. It disquieted Mulder then as now.

His son. All Skinner sees is his blood and the power in it. He imagines Will here in this sub-basement, getting poked and prodded by men in white coats with masks over their mouths. His son, bleeding for everyone else. It’s nothing Mulder ever wanted for him.

“I wasn’t conscious,” Mulder says, looking for excuses. “You can’t be sure that it was Will.”

Skinner pulls something from his pocket then: an empty vial, labeled in Scully’s familiar handwriting. “I can,” he says quietly. “Before I left, Scully gave me this. For testing.”

Mulder doesn’t have to ask. Of course Scully would’ve acted in the name of science. “And?”

He gestures toward his leg, which he’d lost from just below the knee. Until just now, Mulder had never questioned how he survived.

“His blood is the only thing I’ve seen that has any impact on the alien pathogens. Your son saved you. He saved me,” Skinner says. “He could save the world.”

And Mulder thinks: maybe, but he knows something about saving the world, and the things you sacrifice to get there.

Skinner says, “Find him.”

This isn’t to say we’re in a police state, a term that’s often misused…But perhaps we have entered a police state writ small. At the individual level, a police officer’s power and authority over the people he interacts with day to day is near complete. Absent video, if the officer’s account of an incident differs from that of a citizen -even several citizens- his superiors, the courts, and prosecutors will nearly always defer to the officer. If other officers are nearby, there are policies in place -official and unofficial- to encourage them to back one another up. Even if the officer violates the citizen’s rights, the officer is protected by qualified immunity…
…We have passed laws and policies that have elevated police officers above the people they serve. As Tim Lynch of the Cato Institute has written, you could make a good argument that police should be held to a higher standard than regular citizens. And you could make a good argument they should be held to the same standard. But its hard to conceive of a convincing argument that they should be held to a lower one. But that’s exactly what they’ve done.
Systems governed by bad policies and motivated by incentives will produce bat outcomes. Today, laws, policies, and procedures select for personalities attracted to aggressive, antagonistic policing; isolate police from the communities they serve; and condition police officers to see the people they serve -the people with whom they interact every day- as the enemy. We shouldn’t be surprised when cops then begin to see a world divided between cops and their families, and everybody else.
Perhaps most distressing of all, not only does the military continue to provide surplus weapons to domestic police agencies, but thanks to the Department of Homeland Security grants, military contractors are now shifting to market resources toward police agencies. Worse, a new industry appears to be emerging just to convert those grants into battle-grade gear. That means soon we’ll have powerful private interests, funded by government grants, who will lobby for more government grants to pay for further militarization -a police industrial complex. It’s a threshold that will be difficult to un-cross.
No, America today isn’t a police state. Far from it. But it would be foolish to wait until it becomes one to get concerned.
—  Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces by Radley Balko