Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

By R.C. Seely

AS THE “MANIFEST DESTINY” MOVEMENT TOOK hold and the United States expanded into the South West of the continent, mining towns started cropping up and with the mining towns saloons and brothels. After the weeks work of digging for precious metals and resources such as coal, the miners wanted to unwind–have a few beers or shots of whiskey, play a few cards or spend the evening with one of the prostitutes. As these mining towns grew and brought in more respectable businesses and families, the need to isolate the more seedy parts of the mining towns became a priority, so they came up with “red light districts” a separated part of town for saloons and brothels. It worked quite well, until the towns grew into cities and isolation wasn’t enough, full on prohibition was the new way to go. So the red lights turned into the “black markets” and the violence that the respectable wanted contained now bleed all across their cities. Eventually the issue of vice management became the responsibility of the states and many brought drinking and gambling back, a couple even brought back prostitution. 

    Back then the red light districts were a social compromise for the safety of it’s citizens, today they are areas that put the citizens at higher risk. A trend to demonstrate your antimosity towards firearms is to replace the regular light bulb in the porch light with a red one. Basically you are advertising to the world that your home is a “gun-free zone.” That’s a really smart move! Hey criminals, why not hit this house, we don’t like violence of any kind and expect you to respect that. Because that how the real world works. Now to the way a criminal sees it: Hey these idiots just made my job way easier. I think Ill go there and do whatever I want. This should be fun

    If you’re against guns that’s fine, don’t get one but don’t let everyone know about it. Not only are you unnecessarily putting yourself at risk but you are putting the whole neighborhood at risk too. You think the intruders will assume that it’s just you who doesn’t have a gun on the block? They might think others feel the same as you and simply choose not to mark their house. A friendly piece of advice if you see red light come up in your street; get a quality alarm, a gun, a dog and sign advertising it all. Your home just become a marked target all because the progressives next door hate the NRA. 

    Even during the era of the original red light districts gun control was tried and had the same results as today. A few towns tried to outlaw carrying guns in city limits and it was the respectable who obeyed the laws and the cowboys and miners who did whatever they wanted. At least back then they didn’t go around with a sign “We don’t like guns and are completely unarmed. We make the perfect victims.” That’s basically what these people are saying. 

    I think every home should have at least one firearm, and everyone in that home should be trained in how to use it at the right age. It might be an attitude that is viewed as antiquated but it’s also the safest. Otherwise you are dependent on the police and a lot can happen in the time it takes for them to arrive. Doesn’t it make more sense for you to be able to handle the situation yourself? And having a gun in your home does deter intruders, a study by the CDC demonstrated that. The findings were that most gun deaths are suicides and then the criminals. Harvard replicated the study with the same results. But if you don’t feel comfortable with a gun in your home, don’t get one that’s fine. Don’t make it more difficult for others to get one though by supporting extended gun control measures that don’t work. All they do is make it harder for the law abiding to get protection and easier for the criminals, who still have the black market to turn to, to have their way. In a few places they have ordinances that the citizens are legally required to have a firearm in their homes. That’s just as wrong as these laws that inhibit others from obtaining their tool of self-preservation. Whether you want one or not should be your choice and yours alone. Now turn off that red light before you wake the neighbors.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV and has written books on pop culture. The most recent, Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available on Amazon.

By R.C. Seely

NEVER HAS A PRESIDENT CAUSED SUCH A RUCKUS WITH mere rhetoric as Donald Trump. Take his “fire and fury” remark to North Korea, threatening to react in kind if North Korea turns violent towards the US or other nations. Oh no, he’s saying he will retaliate! How is that any different from say, “the red line” for Syria by Obama? And so far Trump hasn’t added any new military interventions, sadly he hasn’t ended any either, but he hasn’t added any. Ending a few would be a welcome change. 

    Many were led to believe that because of his inflammatory campaign trail soliloquies he was essentially declaring war with the world. Trade wars maybe, but military entanglements, not really. The only exception could be his comments about Mexico. Continually saying he would have “the wall built and Mexico would be paying for it,” is a promise I hope no one expects to come to fruition. Iran is a slight possibility, if he rescinds the nuclear deal made by the previous administration. Personally the major issue I had with the Iran deal wasn’t the sanctions being lifted, more that we would be paying for another country’s nuclear development. That’s simply insane.

    If he ends up going to war with North Korea, Iran, Mexico or any other new country–on top of the list of Middle East nations we are currently still fighting from the Bush adminstration’s “War on Terror”–he will simply be continuing the tradition of almost every US President. While most statistics I question, the ones claiming “the US has been at war 222 years out of the 239 of it’s existence” sounds about right. That’s 93% of our history in conflict with other nations and itself. 

    The “anti-war” presidents were not an exception, ask Lybia how much of a “peaceful president” Barack Obama was. It hasn’t been the same since Gaddafi’s assassination. How about Bill Clinton’s trek of violence in Bosnia and Kosovo? Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt reneged on their promises to keep the country out of the World Wars. No president kept the US out of Korea or Vietnam. Why not? To look powerful in the eyes of the rest of the world is a part of it but also to accomplish their agendas without any barricades. 

    Despite knowing better US citizens are not all that reluctant to trade liberty for security, and war is an excellent excuse for spending and putting those pesky rights on hold. Why should we need a legal writ or warrant before having our homes searched–call a whistleblower a subversive and it’s considered acceptable. If you’re critical of the government, that’s the case anyway isn’t it? So what if you disagree with a police action in another nation, you’re getting drafted. You’re now officially a slave of the US government and no longer own your mind or body. If Hillary Clinton had won it would be both your sons and daughters getting drafted. That kind of implies she may have intended to start a fight. So much for the peaceful anti-war progressives of the United States.

    Not to defend his decision but the point is, if Trump does go after North Korea he is no different than any other president. At least he has demonstrated restraint so far, hopefully that status remains the same and the president does not go to war with North Korea. Another president to adopt this policy was Reagan, he didn’t have to start a war with the soviets and he openly called them the “evil empire.” That’s a foreign policy that works. Not off the dictator and force American values down the throats of every nation. Let’s not stir the hornets nest any more and instead leave the hornets alone unless they provoke us. It’s difficult to defend the “land of the free” title when in a perpetual state of warfare.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books on pop culture, he most recent Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available at Amazon.

By R.C. Seely

IN THE NINETIES IT WAS BEANIE BABIES, a market that when it went bust financially, hurt many who had expected it to be a long term trend. The early 2000s gave us the “Tickle me Elmo” doll craze, that caused violence as determined consumers fought each other for their doll. Today we have similiar product–one that I myself have made a modest investment in–with the Funko Pop figures. Will this be the next Beanie Babies or a substantial investment opportunity? I don’t know, only time will tell. 

    Fashion in general would be considered a “Fad Investment,” you spend lots of money at times, for an article of clothing that you will only wear once or until the trend ends. Not because you don’t like it or it’s in a state of disrepair but because you have to follow the crowd, that has already moved on. Bell bottoms gave way to baggie jeans, which moved over for skinny jeans. I hate skinny jeans and now they are everywhere. Worse still, is the material used, a nasty denim/spandex mutant fabric. Where are the natural advocates when they are needed? The major criticism here is that the retailers are choosing to cater to a single demographic. Like most trends, the skinny jeans are pretty much guaranteed to be temporary but for now it is an inconvenience. I doubt I’m alone in the hatred of this fabric. 

    Electronics–like clothing–are practical to an extent but it’s easy to make it a Fad Investment when obsessively buying the newest smart phone or a 3D HD TV or computer that has a feature that you won’t even use. But you must have it! This mindset makes even practical purchases a Fad Investment. 

    A little common sense in your purchases can help you avoid Fad Investing. For starters, if you have to mortgage your home to “complete the collection” then you might want to rethink your financial strategy. Gold or silver are a far better bet and will always retain some value. Precious metals have been around for thousands of years after all. Both are used in electronics currently so it’s naive to think gold and silver won’t be a sound investment in the future. The only real downside is that because of fiat currency the value is more organic and can be manipulated. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are also a better investment than those skinny jeans or the “the next must have toy.” Another way to steer clear of the Fad Investing is only purchase practical items–clothing and electronics for example–when replacing another product or has a feature that will be used regularly. If the purchase doesn’t break the bank or has genuine benefit for you, then go ahead and get it. As for me, after losing 10 pounds from going to the gym everyday, it looks like I’ll just have to keep tightening my belt until the “flex skinny jeans” fad passes. 

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books on pop culture and his most recent Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available at Amazon.

Don’t “Like” That

Posted: July 31, 2017 in Uncategorized

By R.C. Seely

TO PROMOTE UPCOMING BOOKS AND MY SOCIAL NETWORKS, I have gone on local radio shows to be interviewed. Mostly it’s fairly standard questions–what are your views on this or that, what made you start writing, ect.–on one occasion the host referred to me as a “political activist.”

    An activist? I didn’t think of myself as an activist, but simply one person expressing his displeasure with parts of society (and hoping others might care enough to listen). Don’t get me wrong, it’s not insulting, not at all–in fact I find the implication flattering–but how valid is it? The individual can do incredible things with the proper motivation and drive was never a problem for me. Also being admittedly stubborn and opinionated doesn’t hurt either. Mostly it’s a case of wondering if I’m doing enough to be worthy of being an “activist,” is there an accurate way to measure it? Or am I just fooling myself and falling into the trap of what social scientists call “slacktivism?” Basically, slacktivism is using social media sites such as Facebook to “like” certain topics of discussion over engaging in a more depth conversation about the subject or an action that could make a genuine difference. To be fair to the arm chair activists, it is far more convenient and even I’m guilty of it.

    Dr. David Feldman, a professor of counseling psychology, believes slacktivism is kind of a big problem. He explains that it “may satisfy an urge without motivating us to do anything real… We can march in protest, make a donation to a nonprofit organization, write a blog, sign a petition, or click thumbs up on a YouTube post, among many other efforts … but some are more constructive than others.” Not only does the form of activism and its impact have to be measured but also if it encourages further action. If Dr. Feldman is correct this type of action does not, because it offers instant gratification. It’s far too convenient. If you have to exert more effort into standing up for your believes, it tests your dedication to them.

    It’s not only Dr. Feldman who is concerned about slacktivism, the Journal of Consumer Research has been studying it as well. The results of their study was that those who did their activism in private were more likely to follow up with further action. They were less self satisfied and cared more about the cause. If it’s done in private, yes you take away your motive of self congratulations but don’t you also eliminate an example for others? Are soldiers less motivated by leaders who are not on the field with them–such as is the case in modern warfare? No, they follow the commander that is on the field though. 

    That still doesn’t adequately satisfy different personality types in the equation. Privacy is not simply a benefit for those seeking glory, but it also encourages those wishing to maintain privacy. Many criticize the social critic who lambasts them on Facebook or a blog as “civility breaking down because of anonymity.” Maybe so, but it’s nothing new. Benjamin Franklin was one of many who used a pen name to write social criticisms of politicians. Authors and writers have always protected their privacy in this manner. 

    Maybe that’s what the study’s larger results are: The way the introverted activist functions online versus the extroverted activist. The introverted gravitates towards the anonymity and is fine without the glory, they simple want to make things better; the extroverted, on the other hand, might care about the cause but wants to feed their ego. The introverted are generally more analytical driven, that’s why they are so quiet. Of course, this is just a thought and could be entirely wrong. One thing that is clear, is that this is not all that clear and deserves further study before the results are “liked.”

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books on pop culture, his most recent Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available on Amazon.

By R.C. Seely

IF YOU ASK THE “HEALTH CONSCIOUS” THEY WILL SAY THAT organic, all natural is the only way to go. Sea salt is better than table salt; organic foods are superior to GMOs; free range is healthier than cage raised; you get the idea. If it has the approval of mother nature it’s the best option but that’s simply not the case. At best, most organic alternatives are equal to the non-natural competition.

Let’s take the arguments in favor of sea salt. Because of its simple processing and the false assumption that it has “less sodium” it’s better for you. It doesn’t have less sodium, it’s the exact same but because the consumer believes it has less, they consume more. With the false demonization of table salt by the USDA, table salt already has an unfair smear against it. The percentage of the populace who are in major danger from moderate salt consumption is considerable small and most of us stay within the safe limits without really trying.

As for the processing concerns, experts haven’t found any genuine reasons for fearing table salt and most of those worries are conspiracy theories from the all natural advocates. Those with an opinion take select portions of the research from others as “support” for their arguments and don’t present you with the truth. It’s opinion dressed up as fact. From the research I’ve come across, the conclusion that makes the most sense is that all natural is not a better option but at best equal. These myths are powered by junk science, and government ineptitude and greed. Much of the research isn’t evaluated or peer reviewed and lobbyists paid government agencies–like the FDA and USDA–to pedal it to the public.

Salt isn’t as bad for us as sugar but sugar is in everything that we consume. Especially in “low-fat” products, with the fat removed it made the product taste bland and less palatable for consumers. So, sugar was added and that lead to an increase in heart disease. Who’s at fault with that? The USDA, the organization made the questionable connection of linking fat to heart disease when it was the sugar that did it. Of course, the sugar industry was ready to take advantage of the situation and paid to place the blame on fat. And that’s because government researchers care more about lobbyist money than consumers heath or choice.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books about pop culture, his most recent Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available at Amazon.

 

By R.C. Seely

FEBRUARY OF 2017, ON THE WAY TO MY REGULAR workout a PT Cruiser with an Arizonia license plate hits into the driver’s side of my Mustang. At first it didn’t seem like a big deal–only appearing to be dented but still operable–on closer inspection it was far worse, the whole front of the car had shifted and the hood locked in place. The passenger side door scraping against the frame, when I opened it to get my bag, is how I found out. In short, the car that was paid off, that I  had for over ten years, what I considered really my first car, was totaled. That ended up being the least of my worries.

    Because of an error with the paperwork upon purchasing the vehicle, the title was in limbo. And when trying to figure out what had happened before, had lead nowhere. It’s difficult to raise hell when you don’t know where the foul up took place. Now back the present.

    So now I have two options: Wait for the settlement to get a new car, or get a new car now by borrowing the money for the down payment. Thankfully, I went the second route! The next couple of months were spent making phone call after phone call, multiple trips to the DMV, all because the dealership put the wrong bank down as the financier. The original financial institution petitioned for the loan turned it down and the mistake was never corrected. 

    Eventually the documentation that was needed was delivered, but not after being given the run around by both financial institutions, trying to cover their assets rather than deliver excellent customer service. Adding to the frustration was the day when–a couple months later–I got my first statement for the new car; before the settlement check! The insurance company kept calling about the missing title and I had to tell them, “I don’t have it or even know for sure where it is.” 

    Finally I got everything from the DMV and the Power of Attorney from the insurance company together and sent off. This headache would be over at last! A couple of weeks go by and another call from the insurance company–asking for the title! NO! You already have it! So thinking I got the wrong document–or that it was supposed to go to the DMV–I went back to the DMV, AGAIN! Just to discover that I had done everything right. So, I called the insurance company, AGAIN, only to find out that they had the copy of the title in their records. So I waited–expecting yet another problem to emerge. Then it happened, an email stating that the payment of $5,953 has been approved. Now it is over.

    So why am I telling you all this? Well, this is a site for social criticism and this is an event worthy of criticism! The anti-capitalists who read this will probably gloat. Oh look, this little libertarian, defender of free markets has to admit he was wrong. Yes! Actually, as a capitalist, I never said the market would solve all problems. Or that everyone in business are entirely ethical, many are not. Besides, part of what caused the complication was that there is a third party, in this case the DMV. That’s what happens when we invite federal “do-gooders” to try and fix things. They make them worse. When others get worked up about privatizing the post office, I’d prefer privatizing the DMV.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books on pop culture, the most recent Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available at Amazon.

By R.C. Seely

ALONG WITH UBER AND AIRBNB, THE MONOPOLIES to traditional markets have another rookie to bring competition to another market–housing. Like other monopolies, the status quo titans are not giving up their power without a fight and the standard weapon of choice is the law.

    From Curbed.com, a housing business website:

“Despite the growing enthusiasm for tiny houses, it still isn’t easy to legally build them for full time use. Zoning laws and building codes by and large, require a minimum square footage for new construction homes, and progress to reduce that square footage is slow. 

Cities and towns that have started to accommodate tiny houses have typically been pushed by grassroots organizers asking government officials for changes to local building and zoning codes.”

    A little about “tiny houses” you should know, they are either a type of recreational vehicle or have a solid foundation like regular buildings. It’s the ones with the foundation that seem to have state legislatures in a frenzy. Many states are only allowing tiny houses to build within a tiny house community, if at all. The strict construction codes have mostly come from the same source, the International Residential Code (IRC) with such requirements as 70 square feet for room size and 7 foot tall ceilings, and a minimum 1,000 square feet for construction, all fairly common zoning guidelines. Also absurd for tiny houses.

    “Construction codes tell you how to build your home,”Andrew Morrison, of Tiny House Build says. “Zoning depends on where you build your home.” There are some states choosing to embrace the movement. Certain counties in the states of California, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oregon and Texas–but again still check out the zoning laws beforehand since it’s only select counties within those states. For more information, the American Tiny House Association has compiled a list of state regulations and state chapter leaders. They might even be of assistance in getting a variance for your state or county.

    The state of Utah might be joining the list, all with the help of the Utah based legal activist organization, The Libertas Instititute. Along with the other economic and civil causes on their long list, the right to build on your property free from the zoning gestapo. With the trend of the smaller dwellings popularity with millenials a reevaluation might end up being more than something to consider, but a necessity. Options for housing could help reinvigorate the housing market for the demographic most cynical about the idea of being home owners. Because of the economic incentive and not just the novelty of tiny houses, it appears to be more than “just a trend.” And the first step is to reconsider is the zoning laws. “There’s plenty of momentum to continue changing zoning regulations at the local level. But there’s movement on the national level, too. Tiny house advocates are currently pushing to include a tiny house code in the International Residential Code,” explains Morrison.

    Adapting the zoning and construction regulations would not only make sense economically but is protecting the homeowner’s right to utilize their property in the manner best for their needs. Control obsessed state and county legislatures shouldn’t have more say about what is built on your property or how you use it than you do. If you live in a planned community you have certain bylaws you agree to, that’s a voluntary transaction. You can always leave if you want or petition the board and your neighbors to change the rules. But you still had the choice. With these sort of laws you are robbed of that choice, whether it’s a traditional home or tiny one.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books on pop culture, his most recent Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available on Amazon