Independent Country

James Leroy Wilson's one-man magazine.

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

A world in the The Tyson Zone

Bill Simmons is credited for coining The Tyson Zone, after Mike Tyson: "The point at which a celebrity's behavior becomes so insane, that there is literally nothing they could do that would any longer shock or surprise you, or indeed any human being." 

Several years ago, Charlie Sheen had entered it. This year, Antonio Brown certainly has. 

Maybe the phrase was originally intended as mockery, but there's something real about the phenomenon. It is true that there's nothing Brown could do that would shock or surprise me, and one is left hoping that his next thing is funny and harmless.

It's been a slow but steady build-up, but I'm at a stage (or on a stage?) where nothing in this world surprises me. I wouldn't rule out any accusations against the government, other powerful institutions, or wealthy celebrities, no matter how improbable they seem.

That's why it's hard to write about politics anymore. The accusation during the Iraq War is that the Establishment would use gossip about Britney Spears to distract us from the important issues. Now it seems they want to confuse us about the important issues.

The CIA, for instance, seems to have played a role in the 2014 Ukraine coup, and was instrumental in fomenting the rebellion in Syria that created ISIS. Could it have engineered the Hong Kong protests? 

It wouldn't surprise me. 

Are nutritional studies deliberately falsified and made to contradict each other to keep us all stressed and guilt-ridden about what we eat?

It wouldn't surprise me.

Long before I heard of chemtrails, on some clear days but not others there'd be lots of planes in the sky forming seeming grids with their contrails. Were they engaged in weather modification?

It wouldn't surprise me.

Years ago, I was told the "vaccinations cause autism" allegation was a hoax. Then I found out there are now several dozen vaccinations instead of the few that I had growing up, and many politicians want to make them mandatory. Are they trying to re-engineer our very bodies?

It wouldn't surprise me.

Do alien souls inhabit the bodies of the powerful, and do they keep us distracted and confused to keep us docile? Do they treat us like we treat cattle?

It wouldn't surprise me.

Is the fact that they are alien souls the reason "conspiracy theories" are plausible?

It wouldn't surprise me.

Has this been going on through all of history?

It wouldn't surprise me.

On the other hand, it all could be bunk. But even if human government is all just incompetence and bungling by mere mortals, rather than deliberate subjugation by alien races, there's little to be done to overthrow it or even change it.

Perhaps the only effective rebellion is to let go of fear, be skeptical of those who want to frighten us, and love one another.

James Leroy Wilson writes from Nebraska. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter. If you find value in his articles, your support through Paypal helps keep him going. Permission to reprint is granted with attribution.

Thursday, September 05, 2019

The Michigan vaping ban and the failure of journalism

I've read from two mainstream news sources that Michigan will be the first state to ban the sale of flavored vaping products.

I had instant reactions:

  • By banning all flavors except tobacco, Michigan is meddling in something that is quite literally a matter of personal taste. 
  • The ban tells us the state doesn't believe adults can be trusted in their own purchasing decisions for their own personal pleasure; so much for "my body, my choice."
  • If adults can't be trusted in such personal decisions, but can be trusted in the voting booth, then faith is "our democracy" is in defiance of all reason and is quite superstitious. 
  • When will people stop abusing the word "epidemic?" Vaping does not spread an infectious disease; it's merely an unhealthy personal habit, and probably less-unhealthy than smoking.
  • If vaping companies actually have made false or misleading claims about their products, that is fraud and, one would think, could be actionable by victims, the state of Michigan, or the Federal Trade Commission.

I could also go on and on about the tyranny of the Precautionary Principle, the economics of prohibition, black markets, and victimless crimes.

But almost as galling as the ban itself is what the stories left out.

Imagine this headline: "John Smith Convicted of Manslaughter." You read the story, wondering what the punishment will be. But the story doesn't mention the range of possible punishments or a sentencing date.

Or imagine this headline: "Acme Corporation fined for safety violations." You read the story to find out how much it got fined, and it's never mentioned. You feel like you just wasted your time. 

Yes, my sample size was only two stories, but neither said what the punishment would be for violating the vaping ban. I didn't see a link that would reveal that information either. 

Would a violation be a misdemeanor or a felony? Will there be fines? Of how much? Will there be police raids? Prison sentences?

Yes, I could do further research on my own and find out, but why wasn't it mentioned in the story?

Because it goes against the narrative that the State of Michigan is a benevolent institution looking out for our welfare. Journalists don't want to remind you that behind ban, behind everything government does, is the threat of violence

The ban creates two classes of victims: customers denied choices they previously enjoyed, and those who sold vaping products to them. It is the sellers who'll be fined and/or incarcerated for non-compliance. 

We have a right to know how badly they'll suffer.  

James Leroy Wilson writes from Nebraska. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter. If you find value in his articles, your support through Paypal helps keep him going. Permission to reprint is granted with attribution.

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

4 questions about veteran suicides

I recently came across reports of an increasing number of suicides among U.S. active-duty military personnel and veterans. I have my suspicions that the suicides are more common in some services and roles than in others, but without that data I have four questions.

1.A young sailor on the aircraft carrier USS Stennis was interviewed on This American Life in the first months of the War on Terror. I haven't re-listened to the episode, but as I recall her job was to refill vending machines throughout the ship (or maybe just part of it).

Assuming she left the Navy after one enlistment and never was in harm's way, would she and people like her have been more susceptible to suicide than the general population? 

2. Speaking of the early days of the War on Terror: at the time, invading Afghanistan seemed just to most Americans. Special forces and other troops who fought Al Qaeda and overthrew the Taliban would have felt the support from home, had clarity of mission, and moral purpose. Over the years, however, the support waned, the mission kept changing, and moral confusion increased. It's one thing to daily put one's life on the line for a cause you think is just, but may be traumatic if you don't know what you're fighting for.

What are suicide rates of combat vets who served in late 2001, compared to, say, Iraq in 2005, or Afghanistan in 2009?

3. The American way of war these days involves a lot of bombing missions and drone strikes. Homes are destroyed and civilians slaughtered for reasons that don't seem to have anything to do with "defending our freedom."

I can imagine there may be feelings of guilt among those ordered to carry out such strikes, but do the suicide rates reflect that?

4. This decade brought increased awareness of head injury issues among NFL players.  Dave Duerson committed suicide with a gunshot in the chest so that his brain could be examined. The results indicated that repeated head trauma, whether or not diagnosed as concussions, can suddenly affect behavior and personality years or decades after playing. This isn't a PTSD or other mental health issue, it's a brain damage issue.

Humvee troop carriers in Afghanistan and Iraq were susceptible to roadside bombs. Troops inside that weren't killed or wounded would inevitably have banged their heads as the explosion rocked the vehicle. Many soldiers went through this ordeal numerous times. Of course, combat could also lead to blows to the head.

What is the suicide rate of troops who experienced roadside bombs, and is the military and VA addressing the possible distinction between war-caused mental illness and war-caused brain damage?

I suspect the suicide rates have to do with the unnecessary and unjust wars, but I doubt the Pentagon and VA will admit it.

James Leroy Wilson writes from Nebraska. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter. If you find value in his articles, your support through Paypal helps keep him going. Permission to reprint is granted with attribution.

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Liberty and Love

Cathy Reisenwitz writes about people in the libertarian movement who turned out to be Nazis.

How can that happen, as the two ideologies are diametrically opposed?

Well, I could see it in the words of Acton, taken in isolation:
Liberty is not a means to a higher political end.  It is itself the highest political end. 
The political end is liberty, but what you do with liberty to achieve your personal ends, or good, or happiness, is up to you.

That's why some bigots see a libertarian legal order as an opportunity to carve out the life they want. Through property rights, including racially-restrictive covenants, free association, and freedom of contract, they could, theoretically and if their numbers are large enough, self-segregate into their own communities, excluding any and all they find undesirable. They could ban certain behaviors and demand conformity on their own land and in their own contracts.

I view bigotry as a vice, not a crime, so if some people of like mind want to use their liberty to isolate themselves from the open society, I wouldn't try to stop them. But this is why libertarianism can attract racists and intolerant religionists just as it can attract people culturally on the opposite end like sex workers, recreational drug users, and non-conformists.

What seems at odds with the concept of liberty as the highest end, is to use that liberty to voluntarily place restrictions on personal freedom in the name of cultural purity or tribal identity. That's what the fascist strain in some libertarian circles would do. Liberty is prized by them only because it gives them the freedom to be more authoritarian and hateful in their private life.

Can this strain be fully expunged from the libertarian movement?

I doubt it. Nothing is all one thing or all another. Nothing is all good or all bad. But I'd hope the hateful elements can be discouraged.

For what bigots in the libertarian movement forget is the foundation, the ethic that makes liberty desirable in the first place. We value liberty because we value the individual. Not just in the formal legal context of liberty, but with Kant  and most spiritual traditions, we affirm individuals as ends in themselves.

We value liberty because it is how we can love our neighbor as ourselves. While liberty is the highest political end, love, in my opinion, is the highest end. It encompasses everything good and brings about happiness and well-being for one and for all. Liberty is a corollary and consequence of the law of love, and is a necessary precondition for love to be expressed fully.

Politicians view the people as means to their own ends, not as ends in themselves. They're the ones who traffic in hate and fear.

I would hope the libertarian movement is not like that. Hate should not be welcome there.

James Leroy Wilson writes from Nebraska. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter. If you find value in his articles, your support through Paypal helps keep him going. Permission to reprint is granted with attribution.

Monday, September 02, 2019

Rape (not rape): 4 thoughts from the NYPD sex bribery scandal

Two former NYPD detectives, both male, received probation for "misconduct and receiving a bribe after the pair said they had sex with an 18-year-old [female] drug suspect in the back of a police vehicle in exchange for releasing her."

They had initially faced rape charges, but prosecutors dropped them. They are, however, facing a $50 million civil suit from the victim.

She had been pulled over by the cops and was in possession of marijuana. They took her into their van, and took turns having sex with her, while the other was driving. Then they released her.

So they either forcibly had sex with her, that is, raped her, or she offered sex, a bribe, to make the matter go away.

Four thoughts came to my head:

1. Good thing for the cops that the victim wasn't 17. Then they would be "pedophiles." Of course, they probably checked that at the beginning. But it still amazes how one day on a calendar can flip the script from poor little girl to evil temptress.

2. How is this not sexual coercion or sexual assault of some kind? The young woman was being detained, allegedly handcuffed, in a police vehicle. So what if she's the one who proposed sex for her release, or said something along the lines of "I'll do anything." She had zero leverage and zero power.

3. I have to wonder if these kinds of sexual "bribes," i.e., rapes, have been commonplace in police departments against female targets of vice laws like drug possession and prostitution. In fact, New York did pass a law barring sex between cops and people in their custody as a result of this incident, but only because the victim came forward.

4. The reputation of NYPD cops, or cops in general, was not damaged by this incident. Police departments could hardly be worse anyway. Even if most cops don't "have sex with" (rape) people in their custody, much of what they do ruins people's days or derail their lives. This ranges from traffic tickets that don't keep the roads safe but do raise revenue, to arrests for non-violent behavior. Even if prison or jail is avoided, a conviction can derail one's employment search.

It was bad enough that the cops detained this woman, who was minding her own business. If we kept cops off the street and gave them fewer laws to enforce, this wouldn't have happened.

James Leroy Wilson writes from Nebraska. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter. If you find value in his articles, your support through Paypal helps keep him going. Permission to reprint is granted with attribution.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Adam Schefter and Andrew Luck: the ethics and economics of the scoop

I didn't expect to still be blogging about Colts quarterback Andrew Luck's retirement, but lessons beyond sports continue to unfold.

For instance, one unfortunate consequence of the timing of ESPN reporter Adam Schefter's tweet that Luck retired is that several Colts fans booed Luck at the end of a Colts preseason game. Some wondered, why didn't Schefter hold on to the news until after the game?

I haven't taken a journalism class, but I can answer the question: Because he's a journalist.

Schefter's brand is to be the first with NFL news. His brand helps ESPN's brand. If he didn't tweet the news as soon as it was confirmed, a rival from another prominent media company might have.

But what's so important about being the first to report? What's so great about "the scoop?"

Because it's good for journalists to release news as soon as it's confirmed. For instance, there were fantasy football implications with the timing of the news. O.J. Simpson, of all people, spoke for the Common Man:

Andrew Luck you couldn’t have shared that news before I drafted you an hour ago? #andrewluck @Colts
If nothing else, Luck's retirement provided valuable information to fantasy leagues that had yet to hold their drafts, particularly on that day. But there's more to it. The longer an organization withholds information, the more miscalculations are made throughout the system. This could apply to an industry, the market as a whole, or geopolitics.

In this case, Luck's retirement was announced August 24, but was known to the Colts as early as August 22. Let's say that during those 48 hours the Redskins decided to trade one of their experienced quarterbacks. Had they known Luck was retiring and that Jacoby Brissett would be the Colts quarterback, the supply-and-demand of experienced backup qbs would have shifted in the Redskins' favor and they could have demanded more in a trade.

That didn't happen as far it I know, but it could have. Teams assess their own needs and what they perceive to be the needs of other teams, and for two days all teams had false information about the Colts.

Schefter made the correction. If he had waited a few hours, some team might have made a costly decision based on incomplete information. Livelihoods are at stake, from General Managers to marginal players competing for roster spots. Also, if Schefter had waited, some Colts fans might have made decisions to buy expensive game tickets that they'd later regret.

Journalists like Schefter provide a service by providing useful information to all interested parties. That's what journalism should be.

James Leroy Wilson writes from Nebraska. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter. If you find value in his articles, your support through Paypal helps keep him going. Permission to reprint is granted with attribution.


No sympathy for politicians (even if they're women): 3 cases

Rep. Ilhan Omar is under scrutiny for alleged misuse of campaign funds, although the FEC is unable to investigate right now. And it's revealed that her marriage history is complicated.

I suspect the complaint against her is politically-motivated by five factors, in order of importance:

1. She is a prominent, outspoken, and "far-left" Democrat.
2. She's Muslim.
3. She's an immigrant.
4. Despite her prominence, she does not have clout with or the support of Democratic leadership.
5. She's a woman, and not the "good" kind (see #1).

I presume she's innocent of campaign finance wrongdoing, but no politician wants or seeks their personal life under close scrutiny.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand dropped out of the Democratic Presidential race. It was doubtful she would go far anyway, but apparently there was noticeable lack of support among fellow Democratic leaders, who blamed her for "forcing" Sen. Al Franken to resign over #MeToo issues. The former entertainer had been an effective partisan fighter for the party.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the butt of jokes about her intelligence, or alleged lack thereof. Not a day goes by when I don't see at least one meme exploiting her wide eyes. Her youth, inexperience, and sudden rise to fame provoked quite the backlash.

If these three women were in other industries, I might feel sorry for them or be angry:

  • If Omar is a corporate boss, do male CEO's get this much scrutiny over their personal lives and expense accounts involving professional associates?
  • If tech executive Gillibrand took a stand for the #MeToo movement in her industry and was blackballed, wouldn't raise a concern about sexism?
  • If AOC was an entertainer and the butt of jokes as she is now, isn't that just mean? What did she ever do to you? 

What did she ever do to you?

That's the difference between politicians, male and female, and people in the voluntary, non-coercive sector. The latter want to leave you alone. When they face unwarranted scrutiny, double standards, or ridicule, I sympathize or empathize.

But politicians run the government. They want to do things to you. As Pierre-Joseph Proudhon put it in The General Idea of the Revolution (1851),
To be governed is to be watched over, inspected, spied on, directed, legislated at, regulated, docketed, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, assessed, weighed, censored, ordered about, by men who have neither the right, nor the knowledge, nor the virtue. … To be governed is to be at every operation, at every transaction, noted, registered, enrolled, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under the pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed under contribution, trained, ransomed, exploited, monopolized, extorted, squeezed, mystified, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, despised, harassed, tracked, abused, clubbed, disarmed, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and, to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, outraged, dishonoured. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality.
Politicians have a different morality. Their entire plan is to impose double-standards and unfairness on us, even if the Democrats, neocon Republicans, and Trump Republicans would do so differently.

As such, they are never the victims of unfairness or double-standards themselves. The injustice that an unjust person receives is of his or her own making.

James Leroy Wilson writes from Nebraska. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter. If you find value in his articles, your support through Paypal helps keep him going. Permission to reprint is granted with attribution.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Here is my truth: you can't change the world

If you say you stand for the truth, you may also say you can change the world. But if you are one who frequently says "my truth," then you can't change the world. You can only change your world.

It's easy for the rational mind to reject the phrase "my truth."  But at least a few things really are true for some and not for others; healing from physical maladies or emotional trauma will be different for each person because we are all unique.

Here's an example, however, where it's annoying, from Lucy Ferriss:
Undergrad:  Random-number generators became less random after 9/11 because that trauma shook the consciousness of the world.
Prof: There’s no evidence whatever that random-number generators are any less random than they were before.
Undergrad: That’s my truth. I saw it in Tom Shadyac’s movie.
It appears the undergrad is denying objective reality, or at least is denying the "scientific consensus" in favor of an explanation that makes more sense to him. I could see him meaning one of two things (although more are possible):

First, the facts are indeed objective, but I am right even though normal definitions of evidence don't seem to fit. In other words, it means, "I don't believe it." Or, "Even so, I disagree." Or,"On a deeper level, it's still true that post-9/11 trauma shook the consciousness of the world." The argument is still over "objective" or consensus reality.

Second, the world, or universe, is subjective, and we all experience it differently. You may live in a universe where random-number generators are still random; I do not. Both could be true even though we seem to be sharing the same space as we have this conversation.

If the latter, then, "my truth" is,"this is what I believe is true in the world I inhabit." I'm not dismissing the concept at all.

But if we do live in a subjective world, then your world is yours, and mine is mine. You can't "change the world" through some political action, or tools of persuasion to make people around you more kind, because "the" world doesn't exist.

What you might change, however, is your world. You may go from low states of joy and happiness to higher ones. You may change your surroundings to reflect your preferences. You may treat others as you'd want to be treated. You may work for justice and reconciliation as you know how.

In other words, you may choose inner peace and let that project into your world, rather than constantly react to external circumstances you perceive in your world.

You can set the agenda. If it's your truth, then it's your world.

Own it.

James Leroy Wilson writes from Nebraska. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter. If you find his articles informative or entertaining, your support through Paypal helps keep him going. Permission to reprint is granted with attribution.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Who holds the College Football Championship Belt?

The Championship Belt is different from the National Champion, which was Clemson last season. It is based, rather, on the first college football game ever played. Who won that game? And then who beat that team? And then who beat that team, and so on and so on until the present.

The Belt Holder entering the season is Ohio State. I'll update and re-post if somebody beats them this year.

The history of the Belt is at Blog Boy Blues.

James Leroy Wilson writes from Nebraska. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter. If you find his articles informative or entertaining, your support through Paypal helps keep him going. Permission to reprint is granted with attribution.

It's never a good time to quit, but it's better than the alternative

The retirement of Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is more than a football story. It's about difficult life choices.

The acclaimed Pro Bowler was dealing with a lingering injury in training camp, the latest of several over the past four seasons. Two weeks before the regular season started, he called it quits.

He wouldn't have been ready to play by the first game anyway. Former teammate Pat McAfee told Colin Cowherd that it could have been three or four months before he could play, meaning most of the season. Luck had already missed all of the 2017 season, and more than half of the 2015 season, due to injuries, and played  through injury in 2016, his least-effective season.

But Luck's 2018 comeback was sensational, and NFL fans had high expectations for the Colts this year. Then there was news that Luck was dealing with another nagging injury. Then Luck retired. Along with everyone else, I didn't expect it. But once I did hear it, I wasn't shocked. It must be frustrating to go through the pain of rehab with no improvement, time after time.

The timing, however, was still not ideal. As far as the public knew, Luck would be ready a couple of weeks into the season. Several upset Colts fans booed Luck as the news came during a Colts pre-season game in which Luck didn't play, but was present on the Colts sidelines.

Colts fans were criticized by virtually everyone. Cowherd, on his August 26 show, however, explained it this way: if the groom calls off the wedding a week before, it is the right decision, but you can still understand why the father-in-law, family, and invited guests would be angry. Other people made plans and were depending on you.

Sometimes you make a commitment. Then a snag develops. It's similar to similar snags in the past that set you back. So you begin to have doubts.  But you made a commitment, to others and to yourself, and you still want to do what you committed to. Then the problem lingers, or new unforeseen problems creep up. You say to yourself, "I'm not sure if I want to go through with this, but I made a commitment. I can't let other people down."

Eventually, the scale tips to the other side: I can't go through with this, even if I look bad. Even if I am criticized. Even if I let other people down.

Sometimes, the context for making the decision was an errant personal choice to begin with: the desire to get married clouds the judgment on whom to marry. Others, it may be social expectations: I'm enrolled at this prestigious university not because I want to be here, but my parents are so proud of me.

Often, it's a case like Luck's: I truly wanted this, and persisted as long as I could in the face of setbacks, but now I just don't want to do it anymore.

It's because of the other people involved, that it's often difficult to quit. But it's better for them and for yourself if you quit something you don't want to do. If you're unhappy and therefore ineffective, they'll be unhappy as well.

While it's never a good time to quit, while it's never easy to disappoint other people, it is often the best thing so that everyone involved can move on.

James Leroy Wilson writes from Nebraska. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter. If you find his articles informative or entertaining, your support through Paypal helps keep him going. Permission to reprint is granted with attribution.

Monday, August 26, 2019

If I had a billion dollars: learning from the Koch Brothers

Another day, something else to boycott. On Saturday, August 24, #BoycotJimmyJohns was trending on Twitter. Apparently, its owner or CEO had killed an elephant (presumably on vacation, unless ivory is his side hustle) and posed with his dead victim for a picture celebrating his triumph.

The next day, #BoycottOliveGarden was trending. This time, its owner or CEO is a Donald Trump supporter and major donor. Twitter, of course, erupted in Olive Garden jokes, as it's the Nickelback of chain restaurants.

I find big game hunting repulsive, and I wouldn't support Trump. But here's what I'm guessing: both targets of rage have f-you money. I doubt that they're any longer dependent on profits from their companies to sustain their nefarious deeds. So, if you've enjoyed the food from either restaurant and no longer wish to go, the ones you're boycotting are the owners/managers and employees of your local franchises. They're the ones who have a vested interest in keeping you as a customer; the man at the top is already set. I don't know if either is a billionaire, but they're rich enough.

Speaking of billionaires, one of the more famous ones passed away last week: David Koch of Koch Industries. Philanthropist (credited on PBS's Nova by name), anti-war civil libertarian, criminal justice reformer, and activist: he was the 1980 vice-Presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party. More notably, however, he with his brother Charles were major financiers of libertarian think-tanks and Republican PACs, presumably hoping the latter could be swayed by the former.

That's why some rejoiced. For instance TV personality Bill Maher said "I hope the end was painful."

But a lot of it backfired. Vegas casino owner Sheldon Adelson is far worse than the Kochs ever were at their worst, and disagreed with them when they were good, and it's his money that sways the GOP.

Decades of throwing money at the GOP and all the Kochs got was Trump, whom they found loathsome, and criticism or hatred from all sides.

Their example makes me realize that if I had their kind of wealth, I'd emulate their donations to non-political causes but stay out of politics as much as possible.

Some cases the ACLU brings to court, I'd support. Many Institute for Justice cases, I'd support. Probably several Innocence Project cases. And I'd support several other organizations defending us in court. They do specific work on behalf of specific people, whereas politicians may be intellectually persuaded by your think-thank study but will do what will get them elected regardless: "We'll get this done after the next election."

Not worth the time or money, even if I had money to burn.

James Leroy Wilson writes from Nebraska. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter. If you find his articles informative or entertaining, your support through Paypal helps keep him going. Permission to reprint is granted with attribution.

Blog Boy Blues

For those interested in sports, I've been posting material at my sports blog Blog Boy Blues.

Some sports-related material's at Medium as well. There may be cross-posting, but not always.

If you enjoy my one-man magazine of commentary your support encourages me to continue.

Independent Country, or, or are the places to find links.

James Leroy Wilson writes from Nebraska. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter. If you find his articles informative or entertaining, your support through Paypal helps keep him going. Permission to reprint is granted with attribution.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Doug Gottlieb’s Andrew Luck Tweet and its reaction

My latest at Medium.
Andrew Luck announced his retirement from football on August 24, 2019 after a somewhat brief career with several highs and injury-plagued lows, which finally got the best of the 29 year-old Colts quarterback. 
Not everyone empathized with Luck. 

3-minute read.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Jeffrey Epstein and the pedophilia conflation

My latest at Medium:

As I write, it’s been nearly 5 weeks since the announcement of Tracy Twyman’s death by hanging, and a few days since Jeffrey Epstein’s. Because it’s suspected that Twyman was investigating child sex trafficking and its use in Satanic rituals, some suspect the two deaths are tied in some way.

3-minute read.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Jeffrey Epstein and the normalization of conspiracies

My latest at Medium.
This reeks of a cover-up. What secrets go with Epstein to his grave? Who among his rich, famous, and powerful associates have now gotten away with similar crimes?
Then again, how long will we be angry? How long before we shrug our shoulders and move on? 
I was thinking about this as I watched Citizen Four, the Oscar-winning 2014 documentary about Edward Snowden and the revelation of the NSA’s warrantless collection of our personal data...

3-minute read.