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Occupy Reality

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About this blog

your favorite mod's soapbox and megaphone

Entries in this blog

Trotsky

Heart's Insurrection

She's my miracle

No other way to say it

Her song is rapturous

No other way to play it

 

So desperate for a fix of hope

Craving that pure psychic dope

Any light to pierce the tunnels I'd dug

To say I was a wreck would be too kind

An apocalyptic, twisted mind

So tempting to give up with a shrug

 

Yet she made me feel deserving

Against all I understood

Her eyes were the first mirror

Where I knew I saw something good

 

This is not just romance, no

This is revolution

A fiery insurrection in my heart

It's so strange how my life turned out

Forgetting all I'd known about

I embraced it all coming apart

 

Now she's my miracle

And her touch feels divine

Having her is surging joy

And she'll always be mine 

 

____________________

 

Anna, you are everything to me. <3

Trotsky

Time to Talk (Rap Lyrics)

My fellow Americans, time for us to talk

To lift the fog of war from this path that we walk

See the life that once was, now a mere outline of chalk

Convict the killers of every last political bloc

You're desensitized to what taking a life truly means

When war is waged through the safety of murder machines

Would you believe that a fucking hospital up in flames

Is a United States drone, not just the hunger games?

Our dystopian world may seem too unreal for fiction

Life without parole for nonviolent drug convictions

Let me tell you the point of DEA interdiction:

It's meant to perpetuate drug addiction

El Chapo's on the news, but there's more bad karma

For the soulless cartels of corporate big pharma

Who want you swallowing prescription pills every day

If you're hooked, all the better, all the more that you pay

Cuffed and booked, all the better for the CCA

Private prisons are the slavers of the modern day

The incarceration lobby writes legislation

To jail a man for undocumented immigration

To take his whole family and lock them up them too

Kids in cages in Texas, yes it's goddamn true

And Donald Trump taking it to the next level

Hardly hyperbole at all to call him a devil

Racism is what keeps the ruling class on their thrones

How long until Muslims don't even feel safe in their homes

To the ignorant masses I fear there may be no

Point in asking them to rethink San Bernardino

For once a jihadi shooter and the whole fucking nation

Acts as if one massacre changed the equation

Charleston was terrorism, innocent black lives extinguished

Weekly atrocities and for only once we distinguished

Aurora, Isla Vista, Sandy Hook - "Shit happens!"

But if ISIS takes credit then it's time to take action

I'm not sure I can even call them hypocrites

Are they malicious or completely oblivious?

So tell me America, in these times of great strife

Do you truly know the value of a human life? 

Trotsky

Victimless Crime

I am sovereign over my blood, bones and skin

I was not born with a bar code carved in

I am not a human resource owned by the state

My liberty will never be up for debate

 

They try to tell me what I can't inhale

They tell me what I can't drink

They tell me what I can't swallow

And what I'm allowed to think

 

But I refuse to pay for a victimless crime

I won't kneel before their gun

The state bites like a vampire

But my blood is schedule one

 

I am sovereign over my unchained mind

Not one reason to submit that I can find

I never once asked for protection

But my voice can spark insurrection

 

Fear is the first instinct

Of the old reptilian brain

So freedom dies when fear is spread

And no one dares to complain

 

There is a cage for every victimless crime

Guarded by a loaded gun

But my veins will poison leeches

Because my blood is schedule one

Trotsky

Freestyle Rap

(yeah it's not actually freestyle cause I took the time to write it but fuck you)

 

I'm blazin' like self-immolation, settle scores with a 12 gauge, I'm knee-deep in the shell casin'

When I'm awake, I'm movin', when I'm pacin' I'm racin'

I can't be complacent 'bout these dollars I'm chasin'

You facin' down someone who don't let nothing go

I'll pull the guns, fists and teeth if we throwin' down, bro

If ya get knocked in a coma, you're fuckin' better off, yo

Reality sucks, I've done enough drugs to know

And they stuck with me like a stalker fan at a show

Still got HPPD, I watch the phosphene lights glow

Every night in bed when I'm alone with my head

That's a scary fuckin' place dawg, place that bet

So brace yourself to go down to my base-a-ment

And witness what I dream up in the time I'm wastin'

Y'facin' a pscyho off his med-cation, all 'cept for

The dankest fuckin' weed that I'm lacin'

With enough angel dust to embalm an angel

Leftovers for my enemies when they get strangled

And tangled in barbed wire with they skin all mangled

So hail fucking Satan and Mr. Bojangles

 

Trotsky

The original article: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/03/us/kratom-an-addicts-alternative-is-found-to-be-addictive-itself.html

An Altranet writer named Owen Poindexter stated in an article challenging misconceptions about marijuana that "We must shred the lies that underwrite prohibition." Indeed, we must. Victory for the prohibitionists in the early 20th century unleashed decades of consequences for marijuana users and gave a foundation to America's War on Drugs which has destroyed countless lives and wasted countless billions of dollars; although the financial impact as nothing compared to the human impact of many productive and peaceful citizens being ensnared by the criminal justice system, and many epileptic and cancer suffering people being deprived of legal access to the one medicine which could vastly improve upon their quality of life. In 2016, the prohibitionists are at work again - targeting and demonizing kratom. 

Kratom, its scientific name mitragyna speciosa, is a leaf from the Pacific and East Asia with medicinal properties known to that region's people for thousands of years. Although it is not an opiate, it acts on certain opioid receptors in the brain which results in pain relief, a sense of well-being, and depending on the strain either mild stimulation or relaxation. Many communities in the United States have formed around tea bars which provide kratom in the form of tea or powder alongside kava - a different ethnobotanical which is also popularly consumed for its desirable effects on the mind and body. The New York Times had a lot to say about kratom recently and not a lot of science to back it up, because there isn't much room for objectivity when sensationalist fear is the goal. I will address the faulty claims of the above article. 

 

"Three shaky months into recovery from heroin addiction, Dariya Pankova found something to ease her withdrawal. A local nonalcoholic bar sold a brewed beverage that soothed her brain and body much as narcotics had. A perfect solution — before it backfired.

Ms. Pankova grew addicted to the beverage itself. She drank more and more, awakened her cravings for the stronger high of heroin, and relapsed. Only during another stay in rehab did Ms. Pankova learn that the drink’s primary ingredient, a Southeast Asian leaf called kratom, affects the brain like an opiate and can be addictive, too."

 

I find it extremely dubious that this person was not aware of the opiate-like effect of kratom, for this is stated on the websites of all major kratom vendors on the menus of every tea bar I've frequented. The article does not state how this recovering heroin addict was introduced to kratom - how could she have decided to try it without being told by others recovering from opiate problems about what effects kratom has, or researching it herself online? There is no reason for one to try it if they do not have at least a basic understanding of it, and no reason for The New York Times to imply that in-depth information on the nature of kratom isn't one click away on the web. 

 

“It’s preying on the weak and the broken,” said Ms. Pankova, 23, a Brooklyn native who received treatment in Delray Beach. “It’s a mind-altering substance, so people like me who are addicts and alcoholics, they think just because it’s legal, it’s fine. It’s a huge epidemic down here, and it’s causing a lot of relapses.”

 

An alternative perspective of another kratom user is mentioned in this article, but the negative testimonies are given the spotlight. I am not going to fault a recovering addict for having her opinion, but I will fault The New York Times for highlighting these unsupported anecdotal claims. As you read on, you will see a strong theme of kratom allegedly being the cause of relapse into opioid abuse. 

 

"Worse, some of those experts say, kratom can lead some addicts back to heroin, which is cheaper and stronger."

 

Indeed, heroin is magnitudes stronger than kratom which causes me to wonder how this plant could be slandered as so dangerous. Please observe that such drugs as Suboxone and methadone which are intended for opioid and heroin abusers to avoid relapse are not blamed for the relapse in such a way. 

 

"“It’s a fascinating drug, but we need to know a lot more about it,” said Dr. Edward W. Boyer, a professor of emergency medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and a co-author of several scientific articles on kratom. “Recreationally or to self-treat opioid dependence, beware — potentially you’re at just as much risk” as with an opiate.

Concern is particularly high in South Florida, where a rising concentration of drug-treatment providers has coincided with the sprouting of kratom bars. But kratom is now available around the country. Powdered forms of the leaf are sold at head shops and gas-station convenience stores and on the Internet."

 

If two different classes of substances are held to be equally risky simply because they act on some of the same brain receptors, please allow me to warn you now that coffee drinkers are at just as much risk as users of methamphetamine. And let us consider the potency of kratom vs. an opioid in detail: The highest single dose of the potent opioid pill Zohydro is 30 mg. A very low, marginally effective dose of kratom may be 3 grams. Kratom is one hundred times less potent than a very strong pharmaceutical painkiller, and that is the smallest possible ratio one could work out. 

And the kratom bars in South Florida are indeed thriving, though their customer base is not primarily composed of recovering addicts, even though many of those people have made life-changing progress in abstaining from opioids with the help of kratom. 

 

"Linda Mautner, who lives in the Delray Beach area, has claimed that her 20-year-old son, Ian, committed suicide in 2014 in the throes of kratom addiction, but Mr. Mautner was also receiving treatment for depression."

 

The New York Times neglects to mention that the treatment for this young man's depression included - you guessed it - antidepressants. Pills that carry a "black box warning" of potentially causing suicidal ideation in those under 25. 

 

"Kratom’s narcotic effects have been known for centuries in its native Thailand, which banned the substance decades ago amid widespread abuse."

 

Thailand did not ban kratom to prevent kratom abuse, Thailand banned kratom to encourage opium abuse, because the opium market significantly contributed to Thailand's economy and many were abandoning opium in favor of kratom.

 

"Meanwhile, kratom is sold somewhat under the radar. In Carrboro, N.C., a nonalcoholic bar called Krave serves kratom drinks under the name “ketum” to deter connections to the substance’s darker side, the owner, Elizabeth Gardner, said."

 

Ketum is the Malay name of the leaf, not drug slang or a code word. A direct quote would have been welcome here, as I'm sure the owner of Krave might have been more concerned with an unfounded stigma and harassment by authorities than with the ominous "darker side" of kratom. 

 

"Kavasutra, a popular chain of bars that sell kratom and kava, another plant-based drink, does not list kratom on its menu, but sells it regularly in bottles and small plastic bags of powder.

Kavasutra’s owner, Dylan Harrison, was once one of South Florida’s primary manufacturers and distributors of spice, a synthetic hallucinogen banned under federal law. He was released from federal prison in August 2014 after serving 10 months on drug charges. Several telephone messages left for Mr. Harrison were not returned."

 

The negative association of one particular person with an entire substance is garbage. Martin Shkreli, the big pharma executive who engaged in predatory price-gouging of the HIV drug Daraprim and securities fraud may be almost universally seen as a despicable person, but does that have anything to do with the efficacy of the drug Daraprim? Absolutely not. 

 

"Another South Florida resident with that experience, Robert Waina, said he had abused dozens of different drugs before discovering kratom three years ago. He enjoyed the mild high to the point that he found himself ordering bottle after bottle. When he tried to cut back, he couldn’t, and eventually suffered from such withdrawals that he had to go to rehab for kratom three times, most recently last spring."


 Rehab for the kratom use, or rehab for the underlying polydrug abuse problems which this person attempted to ameliorate with kratom? It is worth mentioning that opioid withdrawals can last for a very long time after discontinuing use. 

__________

 

These were the most glaring lies, but not the only ones. Perhaps even more concerning is a key omission, a statement that should have closed out the article for The New York Times - "This report is sponsored by Big Pharma - our shareholders ask you continue to use and abuse our narcotic painkillers." 

Trotsky

Hail to the owner,

The new CEO's got

Our economy back in the black

Let freedom ring from the border wall

To the halls

Of the Department of Attack! 

 

We elected a man

With a solid plan

To hunt the terrorists down.

And round up

Every criminal

No matter what shade of brown.

 

Open season

On thugs 12 and up

His cops got their guns cocked.

He's gonna close down

All the mosques

In an American Kristallnacht.

 

Hail to the owner,

The new CEO's got

Our economy back in the black

Let freedom ring from the border wall

To the halls

Of the Department of Attack! 

 

He'll bomb grade school kids

In Raqqa before they

Reach the terrorist age.

If you observe 

Cinco de Mayo he might

Put you in a cage.

 

He's cracking down

On welfare whores,

Telling them what's up.

If these junkies

Want their kids to eat

They better piss inside a cup.

 

Hail to the owner,

The new CEO's got

Our economy back in the black

Let freedom ring from the border wall

To the halls

Of the Department of Attack! 

 

Trotsky

Point Nemo

Great expectations give birth to great stress

Don't pity the pariah who would settle for less

A legacy, a debt, a breathless race to success

One must first kneel down if they wish to be blessed

 

I've been living in a mad world all too familiar

Where every disappointment is deja vu

With nothing but dull nails, I've been digging underground for shelter

Like when I sank beneath the waves to see the darkest, coldest blue

 

I march with the procession of the flagless mercenaries

In step only with the tachycardia in my chest

A legacy, a debt, a breathless race to the mausoleum

One must first be no one if they wish to be blessed

Trotsky

Click Empty (Short Story)

A reporter once sought to discover the secrets of a famous street magician. This master of illusions had risen to fame seemingly overnight, from curious spectacles in public parks and on beaches to national television specials. The magician's most famous trick was a simple game of Russian roulette - the twofold gimmick being that he did everything in his power to convince his fans that the revolver and the bullet were both very real, and that the one in six odds had never and would never kill him despite thousands of renditions of the stunt. 

It was no surprise to the reporter who had finally snagged a private, one-on-one interview with the magician that he would be stubborn as any of his kind in refusing to reveal the truth behind the performance. Although, the magician didn't exactly refuse to answer. Instead, he gave the reporter the unsatisfactory equivalent of the "it's really magic" answer. 

"There is one real bullet loaded into a functional gun. I spin the chamber and pull the trigger. That's all there is to it" the magician said. The reporter wasn't impressed. But he was prepared. 

"It just so happens that I've procured a revolver and a bullet for this occasion. It's in my briefcase. Would you be willing to perform this trick for me, with my gun, right now?" the reporter asked. It seemed only fair, he thought, to play hard ball back. But the magician was unafraid and said "Of course. We can do it right now. You can even load it and spin the chamber for me if you please." The reporter hesitantly did so. He was once sure there was a sleight of hand technique in play, the replacement of the bullet with a blank. And if not that, could the magician somehow feel the weight of the bullet in the chamber and only pull if he knew it was not in the wrong place.

The reporter's hands were shaking from anticipation and bewilderment by the time he finished loading the gun, and he gave it a good spin. The magician extended his hand to take the weapon. "Keep your eyes on my hand" said the magician "and only my hand, so you are sure once you see you are no victim of misdirection." The reporter felt his chest tense up, and before he had time to brace himself, he flinched at the quiet click of the trigger; the barrel deep inside the magician's mouth. Death averted for the thousandth time. "There you go" the magician said with a playful smile. "Now, I'll be going." 

"Wait!" the reporter said, jumping from his seat. "Please, I don't want to expose you, I don't want to make any money. I won't tell a living soul ever, but I just want to know. Please, tell me your secret!" he begged. 

"There is no secret" replied the magician. "I play Russian roulette, and I win. I win every time because we're having this conversation. If I lose I never have to know I lost, so I'm guaranteed to always win." The magician left the disappointed reporter alone. 

"No one is that crazy" the reporter thought to himself. "There is always an illusion. He must have been spying on me, had an accomplice track me to the gun store. And he bribed the gun dealer to give me a rigged gun. But I picked it out myself without his suggestion. But, I had to wait 3 days. The dealer switched it for a rigged gun then. That must be it." How could he prove it though? He couldn't. But it made sense. 

"It's rigged. I'll spin this chamber and fire it and it won't kill me no matter what" the reporter said out loud to the empty room. He did so, with the gun pressed to his head, and it clicked empty. "It's rigged" he repeated to himself again, lowering the weapon, assuring himself over the pounding of his heart there was never any danger. Somehow, the gun was simply set up to not fire. The reporter decided to test this hypothesis by aiming it at the wall and pulling the trigger five more times. He only pulled it once though, because when he did, the revolver blasted out a very real bullet which tore a hole through the plaster. He fell to his knees, shaking, and vomited all over the floor. 

Moral: Don't do anything crazy unless you're that fucking crazy.

Trotsky

Winterglass

Dead air and emptiness immaculate

Only the convulsions of the great arc

Anchored at the poles give reminder

Of movement and entropy inseparable

 

Sheltered as we are within this oceanic hole

Survivors we have been and defiantly remain

But the air is thinning fast

And no one can endure

Such spiteful pressure forever

 

If you love me, if you love me

Slice deep as I do

If you love me then burn the evidence

If you love me, if you love me,

Slice yourself to sleep

The dream world is our only refuge

 

Gold be the nails

That are hammered through my hands

Well-dressed be the scorched earth army

Raping the land

Now watch the beauty

Forced to manifest at gunpoint

Cry for our monstrous ways

Trotsky

The 5 Stages of GDC Trolling

Stage 1 - The Outlaws

   Trolls are born in the season of the uneventful. Well over a year must pass without a disappointing garage rock album, a controversial outburst by a musician on tour in Latin America, or any meaningful current events in politics or pop culture. It is only when the air is dead still that the trolls can descend from the tree branches to the dry, spring soil of the forum without their little Caterpie jizz-ropes being torn apart by the wind. In their larval stage, they crawl on their bellies to the general chat, Green Day, and advice subforums in search of activity.

   Spamming these forums with generally pointless but mildly humorous content awakens many of the forum's creatures from their hibernation. Unfortunately, it also attracts the attention of the moderator - the forum's apex predator. The trolls, however, avoid extinction because of the popular support of others and because the moderators do not have enough ban-venom in their glands to kill all of them. The activity of the trolls intensifies as the outnumbered mods hunt. Frustration at the inefficacy of the mods causes discord among the predators' ranks. Some mods will even shed their badges and join the trolls. Others will remain clandestine sympathizers. 

   When the dust clears, the hunt is a failure. Most of the trolls emerge stronger and more popular than ever, while the mods appear impotent - causing the rest of the forum creatures to lose their fear of them. The alpha troll, beta troll, the ex-mod and all the sycophants are decisive victors of the battle. Even so, two trolls are bitten by the mods. One is eventually resuscitated, but was chemically neutered by the ban venom and thus acts very tame upon its return. The only troll injected with a permanently lethal dose of ban venom is the misanthropic, histrionic, unfunny little bitch.

 

Stage 2 - The Meme-spammers

   After consolidating power, the trolls release spores to spread their culture and reshape the forum in their image. The status feed is fully covered in these spores by summer. The blog trees' bark is resistant but many succumb nonetheless. The trolls celebrate the memory of the misanthropic, histrionic, unfunny little bitch by elevating her to the status of a quasi-religious icon. 

   Memes become the dominant fauna throughout the forum biosphere. In this stage, the mods surrender to apathy and accept the memes as necessary to sustain an otherwise lifeless habitat. Consequently, the lack of any meaningful threat triggers the instinct of the trolls that it is mating season. The trolls go into heat.

 

Stage 3 - The Circlejerk

   The trolls feed freely on the bountiful meme leaves, but are unable to find any suitable mates. The message from the rest of the forum's creatures is clear - "okay, you amuse us, but I don't want you passing your genes to my offspring." Yet their hormones have reached critical mass. Without relief, their internal organs will rupture. Unable to copulate, the trolls survive by forming a circlejerk. 

   Each troll strokes the erect hemipenis of the troll to his left. They must ejaculate regularly to avoid a violent death. The circlejerk continues throughout the entire mating season. The predator mods have only regained enough power and influence for a few half-hearted cockblocks per month. Most of the memes die from drowning in troll semen - only the self-referential memes remain. 

 

Stage 4 - The Hunt

   Nutritious rep strengthens the muscles of the trolls but permanently addict them at the same time. The self-referential memes can no longer reap adequate harvests of rep. Instead, the trolls evolve to imitate the behavior of the predators mods. They select their targets at random though as opposed to the mods only hunting down those who threaten their power. The trolls thrive on rep and rep flows from chaos. The ecosystem of the forum is plunged into bedlam as the trolls select victims and the inhabitants of the forum take sides. 

   Only when the rest of the forum becomes bored of the random bullying do the trolls accept they must live on subsistence levels of rep.

 

Stage 5 - The Bore

   The forum is marked by relative peace, much like the conditions the trolls were born into. With the hunt over, the trolls regress to less vigorous versions of stages two and three. The meme spores are thin and the circlejerk often goes floppy. The mods have regained their status but leave the trolls to their own devices, not because their power isn't sufficient but because the influence of the trolls is too insignificant to expend effort on. 

   This is where the life of the troll ends. They are no longer funny, they are no longer mean, they are no longer a nuisance. They are just really fucking boring. The end. 

 

Trotsky

Love Me, I'm a Liberal

In the 60's, a political folk singer named Phil Ochs wrote a song called "Love Me, I'm a Liberal" which called out liberal hypocrisy. There is a more recent cover by Evan Greer, which I'll also link.

 

 

So now I'm presenting my 2015-topical version of this song. :) 

 

_____________ 

 

I was so proud when Obama took office

So happy a man like him won

Plus it's great for the USA's image

To see racism over and done

And of course I know that black lives matter

But cops rarely misuse their guns

So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal.

 

I'm all for weed legalization

Getting high shouldn't be such a crime

Colorado is so fucking awesome

I'm gonna drive there to pick up a dime

But if you get caught with crack in your pocket

They should lock you up for a long time

So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal. 

 

I've always been for gay marriage

Said so on Facebook for the last five years

Homophobes on TV like O'Reilly

Man, they really grind my gears

But I don't get what's the deal with transgenders

Come on, that's a little too weird 

So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal. 

 

I have lots of good friends who are Muslims

Girls wore headscarfs where I went to school

The people who say they're all terrorists

Don't realize they're being such fools

But Palestine isn't a country

And a mosque at Ground Zero's not cool

So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal. 

 

I just want to fly to Hawaii

Without being groped by the TSA

The Fourth Amendment used to mean something

NSA wiretaps aren't okay

But Snowden should get the needle

That cowardly traitor should pay

So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal.

 

My heart breaks for the people of Syria

I sent some refugees leftover cash

It's hard to know who we ought to give guns to

With all of these factions that clash

America really should fix this

By bombing their country to ash

So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal. 

 

I used to like watching Occupy Wall Street

I was part of the 99 percent

But I can't support all that class warfare

Billionaires aren't all that different

And those protesters were blocking traffic

So I'm glad the cops slashed up their tents

So love me, love me, love me I'm a liberal. 

Trotsky

Rebel

Start-over-season,

Hard right, hard reset

Can't buy a life

High interest to lease it

Head index critical

This blood, you can't freeze it

Serve a harsh god,

So desperate to please it. 

 

Father, I confess to you

Oh, I have let the hell in me

Government, shut up with it

Won't believe a word you're tellin' me

Try to stop and think before

Thought becomes a felony

Know what - I can't afford the storage

For all the shit you're sellin' me. 

 

Deep fry a scattered mind, 

Get it scrambled

Light a Camel

Exhale all the bad vibes

Eat up all the free samples. 

Spread your wings and fly

Off the motherfuckin' handle

Flash your teeth and bite

Make them fear the unchained animal. 

Trotsky

Poetrash Part II

I built myself a time machine

And took a stroll through Sodom

I smoked myself a sweet pipe dream

Down in Bikini Bottom

My clients ring me off the hook

For rocks while I still got 'em

My kids, they made their teacher faint

With all the words I taught 'em.

But like God and punk rock

I'll be dead

Then you can all

Dissect my head

Pass the scalpel, add some salt

It's really not your fault.

Like God and punk rock

I'll be dead

Gone staler than my daily bread

Like God and punk rock

I'll have died

I'll have died on the waterslide.

Trotsky

Movement (Poem)

My quiver full, arrows in flames

But have no fear, it's all a game.

Bones stripped bare on your silver dish

Snuff your candles, make your wish.

Scale this wall, this wall of glass

Upward eyes while storm clouds pass.

Spit down at the quakes of Earth

Mount the pale horse, ride on fourth.

Trotsky

Three lunar cycles had passed since the fall of the Highlands; two since the occupiers’ tribunal condemned Cordan to die. By the winter solstice, the designated day of reckoning for the man called deviant, war criminal and heretic, the once proud city of Bryn saw only four hours of daylight. Dust and debris had been stirred up not only by the battle for the capital which marked the Highlands’ last stand, but also by the punitive burnings of surrounding plantations, meaning that many people residing in the subjugated city were beginning to forget what a true day looked like.

For most, this was just another source of misery, yet Cordan found it strangely comforting to lose track of time. At least the narrow window of his cell and the darkened landscape limited his view of the indignities inflicted upon his Bryn; the structures shelled into rubble which the occupiers had not even begun to rebuild, the scorched vestiges of collapsed bridges, the crude filling in of Cordan’s silos with cement. Worst of all for most Highlanders was the fact that leviathan oil was wasted illuminating the occupiers’ crimson flags draped all over the city every hour of the night, while medicine had gone unsyntheized in Bryn ever since the war’s end. A constant reminder: “Woe to the vanquished.”

Although Cordan was, when he wore a general’s uniform, one of the Chieftan’s most adored, and although he as a Highlander professed his love of country loudly and publicly as all virtuous citizens should, the patriotic hatred that should boil in his blood on the day of his execution was actually rather trivial at this point. He was only plagued by the sorrow of his personal failure – how close he had come to victory, only to have it torn from his grasp days before his life’s work would come to fruition. Perhaps this was why he took his death sentence in such stride; for he had lost a battle with time already, the only one which truly mattered.

To breathe life into the rocket would have been so much more than a milestone in the history of this species; Cordan knew it would have been ascension to a new era that would have made all civilization thus far seem primitive. Indeed, he promised the Chieftan as the tide of war turned against the Highlanders that his creation would reduce Arma, the Meadow Clan’s capital, to ashes and bring them a victory unlike any other. Yet what would winning the war be except a means to an end? Why use the rocket only to kill, when it could one day let men walk among the stars?

The last vestiges of Cordan’s sense of duty to his country crumbled with Bryn’s walls. Truthfully, he would have gladly served the Meadow Clan, the occupiers, if only he could continue his noble work. He and Alyzia offered them this chance. But the foul fundamentalists refused, and repaid the offer of friendship with charges of heresy. Their priests held that the sky was the Creator’s blanket, the most merciful blessing ever given, to shield all from the Void and the demons within. To even dream to leave the confines of the dome above, to rise above the clouds and touch the Void; that was a crime that eclipsed the worst atrocities of the war.

No doubt, every priest, clan-elder, and “scientist” the occupiers summoned to testify concluded that Cordan and Alyzia would have doomed every soul, brought forth an extinction event, had they not been stopped.

The din of the crowd gathered in the city square grew louder, and Cordan smiled in his cell as he listened. This would be over soon. Then, he heard another sound: the unmistakable footsteps of the occupiers. Cordan was perplexed, for he did not expect to be passed another meal through the iron door after last night’s, but knew his executioner was not to escort him outside until high noon. So what had they come for?

Even when unlocked, the cell door took a considerable amount of strength to move, and Cordan feared for a moment that his last hour of life would involve watching it open inch by inch. But after a moment, the necessary force slid it all the way down the track. Three figures stood before the filthy, unshaven prisoner. Two were Meadow-clan soldiers. The other, Cordan thought, must be a hallucination. But she spoke, and he believed.

“Our conquerors have granted my last request.”

Alyzia looked only slightly less dreadful than he did. She no longer wore the black lipstick that was one of the most memorable sights at the silo. Her hair was greasy and had too many knots to count. Her eyes were sunken in and open wounds lined the circumference of her wrists where she had so often been chained.

But Cordan forced his half-atrophied legs to allow himself to rise to greet her.

“I’d thought they burned you already” he told her.

“I asked that we die together” Alyzia replied.

“Why?” Cordan asked as he laced his fingers in hers, looking past her at the occupiers who glared with disgust but said nothing.

“We have been intertwined seventeen cycles. It only seems fitting” she answered.

“No, why does the Meadow Clan indulge any desire of yours or mine at all?” Cordan clarified. Alyzia laughed, weakly but distinctly, and speculated “those who will rewrite history might one day find it useful to appear magnanimous. I’ve heard they will even throw bread to the justice-seekers who attend our execution.”

“We defied the Creator, Alyzia. And still they must feed the masses just to get them to watch us die? For a crime so unforgivable, you would think they’d trample one another just to catch a glance of our pyre.”

With a dark grin, Alyzia turned toward the soldiers and raised her voice to say “there is no Creator.” Predictably, they recoiled; the one holding the keys even lost color in his face and looked as if he were about to vomit. Defiance was all Alyzia had left.

This is what Cordan admired so much about her. No presence was so exquisitely corrupting as hers. He was a general, she was a scientist. Cordan could think unconventionally, but she could blaspheme. There is no doubt Cordan was a talented inventor in his own right, but without Alyzia the rocket would scarcely have been more than a dream.

In retrospect, Cordan could not even recall whether their ambitions fueled their lust for one another, or whether their lust fueled their ambitions. She would paralyze his inhibitions with wine, and whisper to him in bed an illicit, occult doctrine; to envision one’s destiny while locked in carnal union would make it come to pass. At the start of the next cycle following that night, there was no need for wine; and as Cordan and Alyzia climaxed, they proclaimed they would deny the bonds of gravity and touch the Void. Whatever demons may come, let them, for theirs is Knowledge.

There were no more chances for that; only the privilege to burn together.

Still, Alyzia expressed one more wish.

“When they walk us to the pyre, Cordan, I believe we should clasp hands and take a bow. And if you can will it, smile as they curse us and chant for us to burn. They will see us die, but they need not see us regret.”

Cordan nodded and quietly said “I have already accepted my end.” He turned his left arm up toward her and revealed fresh scars on the underside. They spelled out words: “Woe to the vanquished.”

“You should have carved that into the wall of your cell rather than your arm, for posterity. For your skin will soon be ashes” Alyzia suggested. Cordan had a riddle to offer in return.

“If a book is to burn, are the words on the last page to touch the fire more attuned to posterity’s needs?”

Alyzia was glad that Cordan would walk to his death with pride rather than cowardice, but disappointed that he had lost his faith in the destiny they wished together.

“No execution can frighten a populace into submission forever. Another will rise and achieve what we did not, of that, I am sure” she admonished him.

“I would disagree, Alyzia. They will forever be afraid. Not of punishment, no. They will fear their own potential, and they will all die. When the red oceans rise eons from now, they will overtake Arma and Bryn. And this world will be a mausoleum for beings that knew there was one way forward, but refused it.”

The moment of silence lasted as long as the Meadow Clan soldiers would allow it to. But they moved to drag the condemned outside if they had to, so Alyzia left Cordan the last word and took his hand.

Minutes later, the most hated beings to ever draw breath were on full display for all the justice-seekers and bread-seekers gathered. A priest on the stage was handed a scroll while the condemned were bound. Eager executioners held their torches. Their moment would come as soon as the priest’s proclamation had finished.

“All ye assembled hear our judgment! There is no graver crime, no darker sin, than daring to invite the Void’s demons down upon us…”

------

Vessel X62 of the Reclamation Fleet idled in the thermosphere of the planet called Atikyr. Assembly officials called it an “edge world”, though it was actually closer to the galactic center than the capital, Sumeria Prime. It was deemed such because it was habitable, but undesirable.

Fourteen million colonists were about to enter this solar system. Their terraforming resources were meager, and life on Atikyr would be hard; but the frontier offered them more hope than the hiveworlds from which they emigrated.

Admiral Vallan reflected as he stood on the bridge of X62 that he was grateful this arid world was not to be his home. The three-hundred eighty-six year old war hero had just one more tour of duty to complete before the gleaming palaces of Titan would be his to walk freely among the Assembly’s aristocracy. Overseeing this sector’s Reclamation Fleet was little more than a reward career; it required virtually no exertion at all.

After all, ever since the Assembly won the Final War, times of strife were behind the human race. Thousands of years of internal rebellion meant losing contact with lesser colonies like Atikyr. The Reclamation Fleet’s task was simple – assess the condition of a planet, see if there is anything worth salvaging, and prepare it for the immigrants.

The report Admiral Vallan sent back to Sumeria Prime read thus:

“Approximately 160,000 ferals occupy the southern continent. Data from explorer drones indicate all tech from the initial habitation has been lost. Primitive warfare occurs incessantly and nothing of value remains. Zythyl canisters will deploy – all ferals will be purged.”

And the Void’s demons did so.

Trotsky

Carve Out

Cut this anchor loose!

Deny no longer our birthright.

Break the vicegrip open wide,

Defiant, we will fight!

We are the ones who were meant for this

What we've lost we will reclaim

On the skin of a broken world

We carve our names, carve out our names

Trotsky

Poetrash

Well he's some off-white trash

And his skin is stained

He's got a tattoo

He calls the Mark of Cain

And you can dish it out

'Cuz he will never complain,

Never complain, never complain.

Says, he says

That he knows, he knows

There's one, one way

Life goes, goes, goes

And it's the subtleties

Of the clothes, clothes, clothes

That let the keen eye scan the ego.

But they keyed his heart

And dented his pride

His friends all died on a waterslide

He watched them die, watched them die,

They died on the waterslide.

Trotsky

Yes, it's a Vaping Blog

Don't want to read it then don't, but it's important to me to share the truth about personal vaporizers, more commonly called "e-cigs." Step out of the shadow of ANTZ propaganda (an acronym we use in the vaping community that stands for 'anti-nicotine and tobacco zealots', though maybe 'jihadists' would better describe them if not for the fact it wouldn't work in an acronym).

1. E-cigs are more effective for quitting smoking than any other method.

"[A] study, published in the journal Addictions, was based on surveys of people who had stopped smoking in a 12-month period between July 2009 and February 2014. In recent years, an increasing proportion report using e-cigarettes rather than over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapy such as patches or gum. Many try to quit without support. Those who cut out cigarettes completely do better than those who try to reduce the numbers they smoke. A very small proportion get help from the NHS smoking cessation services.

When the results were adjusted to account for the differences between the smokers in terms of background, age and other variables, those using e-cigarettes were around 60% more likely to quit than those using nicotine replacement therapy or just willpower. "

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/may/20/e-cigarettes-nicotine-patches-smoking-study

2. Yes, it has been proven that e-cigs are safer than cigarettes by a huge margin.

"The levels of the toxicants were 9–450 times lower than in cigarette smoke" was how the journal Tobacco Control summarized their findings.

http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/early/2013/03/05/tobaccocontrol-2012-050859.abstract

The principle ingredient of e-cigs, propylene glycol, is used in FDA approved asthma inhalers. In fact, propylene glycol was determined safe enough by health officials that it is sometimes circulated through the air supply of hospitals as an anti-bacterial agent.

Here's another peer-reviewed paper which finds that the e-cigs they tasted had about the same [lack of] toxins as AIR. Just air. That's right.

"The deliveries of HPHCs tested for these e-cigarette products were similar to the study air blanks rather than to deliveries from conventional cigarettes."

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0273230014002505

3. E-cig flavors appeal to the adults who buy them. They're not meant for children.

Take a look at this survey exclusively composed of 18+ year old vapers. The vast majority of adult vapors prefer a flavor other than tobacco or menthol. In fact, non-cigarette flavors help ex-smokers lose their taste for cigarettes altogether and decrease their likelihood of returning to cigarettes.

Vaping-data-flavors.gif

4. Governments aren't putting public health first!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxNM1pUoOn4

Next time someone tells you e-cigs are "worse than cigarettes", you'll know how to respond.

In the mean time, follow CASAA on Facebook if you care about your civil liberties!

https://www.facebook.com/CASAAmedia

Trotsky

The Color Red (Lyrics)

The American flag is red, red and red

The indelible stains of the dead

The color red, the flag it turns

The color red, the flag it burns

A blood stained badge over an ice cold heart

You're cursed, you will depart!

State sanctioned death cartel

Cities on the brink of hell

So where are the flag draped coffins

For the victims of your purge?

It's from behind the protest lines

That real heroes emerge

You're no heroes,

We won't mourn

When the tide comes in

And the tables turn.

Trotsky

The Nameless

This is our story, frame by frame

The shifting pieces of a game

Controller: We send our prayers

And sacrificial gifts.

Sleeping on the fault lines,

Echoes of our call signs

We balance on the edge

Of an ever-growing rift.

Trotsky

Suffering (Short Story - TW)

TRIGGER WARNING: This is violent, graphic, and seriously fucked up in so many ways. Although this is complete fiction, proceed with caution.

SUFFERING

It is cold inside this cage, but the fondest of memories warm me. It’s been nine years since I lost my sister and eight since I avenged her. I still can hear echoes in my head of the voices of my family and my friends and even my lawyer all of whom at one time pleaded that the path of forgiveness be chosen. Hah! What a sham. What an outrageous affront to the nature of human beings and indeed all living creatures. Besides, there’s certainly no forgiveness for me. I’ll die in prison. I’m fine with that, of course, but I digress.

Maybe this word “forgiveness” is what we call mercy given to others to make ourselves feel better. Is mercy in human nature? I don’t mean in the nature of the sort of apex predator that I am – what I am asking is if it’s in the nature of the normal, well-adjusted masses. I would suspect not. After all, the man who took the life of the only person who ever mattered to me is still presently suffering a far worse hell than I. But see, I made him suffer to punish him for killing her. Society makes him suffer not out of spite for him but out of their collective dementia.

You will know from newspaper articles, late night specials, bestselling books about my deeds and even – I am told, a biopic on Showtime, the finer points of how I abducted that cowardly vermin (who makes me vomit sometimes when I think I once called him my brother-in-law); how I brought him into the most exquisite place of reckoning. There was a warrant for his arrest ever since he beat my sister to death the billionth night he came home drunk. I could never have slept again with him in prison and I a free man. It is so much better this way.

What I did to him, I don’t know if they were even able to describe on cable news without incurring fines from the FCC. But a juror did vomit at my trial. Yes, right in the courtroom! I told my lawyer at the start of it all that I knew conviction was inevitable but I chose to say ‘not guilty’ just so I could be a star and my most perfect revenge shoved down the throats of the whole damn world. The backstabbing wretch used this that I told him under privileged confidence to try to win me an insanity acquittal. But no, not while I draw breath could I allow that transgression.

And so it was I articulately explained that I knew the “difference between right and wrong” but I so could not bring myself to care. I made my choice with a sober mind. When I scooped out his eyes with a spoon I sharpened myself. When I assaulted his ear drums with sound until they burst and then I sliced off the ears for good measure. When I took a blowtorch to his tongue and sprinkled the ashes back on his face. When I took his arms off, not at the elbow but the shoulder, and gave the same radical amputation to his legs and genitals. Then I drilled through his teeth and hammered his jaw. All that was left for me to do then was to liberally apply acid to his skin. Those kinds of burns that would never heal, that just gave him the amazing ugliness a fire might not do so well in.

He laid there dying and my plan was to put a bullet in my own head and leave him to go out slowly. But then the most perfect idea came into my mind. I called 911. I turned myself in, and I saved his life. And so it is that I sit in this cage and will die in this cage. But I’m comfortable enough. I have my senses intact and my bones in one piece. I can walk and speak and chew my food. The same can’t be said for him. Did you know he begs them every day to kill him? And they never do! Again, not to punish him for killing my sister, they couldn’t care less. They won’t kill him because to them, that would be wrong. THAT IS SO FUNNY.

Trotsky

My latest opinion column is inspired by the latest thread on Israel's Knesset elections, wherein I express my opinions on anti-Semitic attitudes in politics:

There is a widely circulated notion in the United States and other places these days that there is animosity towards Israel and Jewish folks in general coming predominantly from the left. But I find this to be a very deceptive idea. It is true, for example, that many left of center parties and groups internationally are sympathetic to the cause of Palestine and critical of Israeli policy. But this does not imply any animosity towards the Jews - no more than my dislike of Putin's authoritarian and homophobic regime should say anything about how I feel about Russian folks.

What I do contend though is that anti-Semitism nearly exclusively originates from right-wing thought.

Now I am not going to spend too much time dwelling on the Nazis here - some of you will say they really can't be called "right-wing" and I say you are wrong: national socialists are about as socialist as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is democratic. Before the Holocaust though, there were terrible pogroms under Tsarist Russia which the dawn of the USSR largely stopped. Lenin notably stated that Jews were as equally part of the class struggle as any other people. Before that, there were the Inquisitions under the reactionary Roman Catholic Church. And in present day, in countries like Greece and Hungary, it is right-wing political parties who are the outspoken anti-Semites. In the USA, the chief persecutors of Jews were the KKK. And did any notable left-wing groups in the US, like Students for a Democratic Society for example, ever spew anti-Semitic racist rhetoric? Nope.

Ethnic supremacy and racism is intrinsically reactionary. Therefore it is anti-revolutionary and right-wing. Now sources of anti-Jewish discrimination in the Islamic world are not necessarily right-wing, but they are authoritarian and their hatred arises from nationalism, not politics.

Back to the US: Jewish intellectuals were many of the founders of what became the modern left. Jewish folks stood with African-American freedom fighters against tyranical, white supremacist right-wing governments in the American South. So why would we on the left hate them? We don't. Most of them are our friends in the revolution and as for those in the ruling class of Jewish origin - their crimes have nothing to do with their race and religion.

The cause for Palestine is a human rights cause and the vast majority of those advocating for Palestinian freedom denounce Hamas and anyone who wants to harm innocent Israelis. What of the right, especially in America? Did they "stand with Israel" when they were more closely aligned with the USSR at the height of the Cold War? Hardly. And their "loyalty" to Likud-controlled Israel today comes not so much from an appreciation for the persecution Jewish people have faced historically but from an "enemy of my enemy" mentality as Muslims are now the chief ethnic threat to the Western right - a point emphasized by many right-wing terrorists including Anders Brevik.

Trotsky

The Oath (lyrics)

Keep my secrets, I'll keep yours

Take my heart and lock the door

Take my mind, tear down the walls

I'll answer only if you call

I can't tread this road alone

Can't carry you all the way down

Find your strength, walk my way

We'll stand our ground to the end of days

Now swear on your blood in the absence of God

Press to my skin with the heat of the stars

This is all that I've wanted, this is all that you want

And I know cause I know who you are

Keep your courage; open eyes

When you doubt that's when it dies

All we've fought for, all we've built

No regrets, no fear, no guilt

I can't care what's wrong and right

Against the world you are my spite

You are my glow in desperate nights

Set the fire, my guiding light

Trotsky

All or Nothing: Harm Reduction

After the success of my piece against hitting children, this is going to be a series, and it's going to be called All or Nothing.

Today's subject is harm reduction. This is the principle that people are inevitably going to do things like smoking and drugs no matter what kind of laws we pass or messages we send as a society. It stands in opposition to an ideology which really doesn't have a name but for the purposes of this article, I'll call it prohibitionism. This is the mentality that gave birth to the War on Drugs - an American and international policy that kills way more people than ISIS ever could and destroys lives with even more terrifying efficiency. If mass incarceration and endless addiction cycles was the goal of the War on Drugs, it succeeded. Otherwise, it's hard to say much positive about it.

Harm reduction resources are hugely available online but are condemned by prohibitionists as "pro-drug." Maybe that's half true. People who can't openly discuss drug experimentation with their family and friends are enthusiastic to find people online who they can relate their experiences to. And when people pass what they learned from their mistakes on to others, it helps everyone be a little safer. Drinking cough syrup to trip isn't the best idea but I'd rather someone who is going to do it anyway at least know to not use something with acetaminophen that's going to cause permanent liver damage.

Needle exchanges are a good idea to help heroin users and make sure they don't spread disease. Yes, they're going to inevitably congregate around buildings like this and people whine "not in my backyard" but peoples' rights to not get hepatitis and AIDS are more important than your right to not pass by junkies on the way to work.

Medical marijuana is another important piece of harm reduction, because it's better for people to manage chronic pain with a plant that is literally impossible to die from using too much of than highly addictive opiates which can totally kill you. It's horrible to see such a kafkaesque struggle in my own state of Florida where the irony of the prescription pill epidemic and how marijuana could quell it. Instead people wrongly think it'd be just another drug addiction epidemic. Hardline law enforcement of opiate abuse has been attributed to a recent decline in the problem here - in actuality, it's mainly dropped off because a lot of pill users who didn't have access to harm reduction options fucking DIED.

E-cigs are harm reduction too. Anti-nicotine jihadists whine that e-cig manufacturers offer a huge range of flavors to appeal to children. BULLSHIT. Vapers need flavor choices because they grow fatigued from using the same flavor too long, lose the ability to taste it and some might go back to traditional cigarettes. Prohibitionists whine that e-cigs are growing popular among high schoolers. This is true, but cigarettes are also becoming less popular, and there isn't a single study which shows young people exposed to e-cigs are compelled to try cigarettes. One of my neighbors, a 17 year old uses my old e-cig (with her mom's knowledge and permission). It's cut down on her smoking. I don't feel the least bit bad about that, I'm glad it's helping her out. Teens vaping isn't the end of the world, although it's worth noting that most vapers are adults and most vape shops have sold 100% of their e-cigs and liquids to people over 18.

And how do we know e-cigs are safer than cigarettes if they're so new? Common fucking sense. There are a total of 4 chemicals in e-liquid (not counting various chemicals that make up flavoring agents) as opposed to 7000 in a cigarette. Propylene glycol (which is NOT antifreeze despite media hype) is used in asthma inhalers and some hospitals actual pump it through their air supply as an antibacterial. Nicotine itself, while poisonous if drank (don't drink nicotine you shitheads!), is a relatively benign stimulant on about the same level as caffeine. Maybe vaping has some adverse effects but we do know those effects are a tiny fraction of the negative impact of cigarettes.

But the media loves a good scare story, which is why they will go to war with e-cigarettes, or maybe kratom, another plant that has helped people get off opiates that irresponsible "journalists" compare to heroin. Here's what it comes down to, people: anti-harm reduction is pro-death.

Trotsky

Do you support domestic violence? You're probably thinking, now what kind of fucking question is that? I'm against domestic violence, pretty much everyone is. Right?

Well, sorry to tell you but you will come across plenty of people - you may even be one of them - who not only support domestic violence but openly claim it's a person's right to practice it and the act is beneficial to society. This is when the victim of domestic violence is not your adult partner or spouse, but your child.

That thing called "corporal punishment", "slapping", "spanking" - let's throw out the euphemisms and use the proper term: domestic violence against children.

Wait, John? Are you comparing people who use physical force to discipline their children with people who beat their spouses/partners?

No.

I'm saying they're actually worse.

At least an adult might someday find the strength and support to leave their violent and abusive partner. A child has no such luxury.

BUT BUT BUT you say, physical force is sometimes the only way for the child to finally get it. Well people, the same rationalization was used for justifying domestic violence against one's spouse. Primarily this was a sexist line of reasoning (while domestic violence transcends all genders and any person can be a victim and any person can be an abuser, you will find that throughout much of history and in many cultures, in the West and East, among the poor and rich, religious and secular households) men who used violence against their wives attested to the necessity of the act and claimed it improved her disposition and got through to her when nothing else would.

You say how a parent disciplines their child is no one's business - the same was said for spousal abuse.

You say your parents hit you and you turned out fine - so have abused spouses said for themselves for generations.

Abuse is not necessary to confer an understanding of right and wrong to a child. A parent needs to exemplify that themselves in how they act. They lose their credibility when the best thing they can think of is to use physical force to lash out against the person in the world most dependent on them. Studies show kids end up worse off for physical abuse and kids who grow up without being hit do not suffer from a lack of self-control or inhibition. Common sense and empathy reinforce this principle.

I refuse to use bullshit terms like "corporal punishment" and "discipline." It's domestic violence. Which side of "for" or "against" do you really want to be on?