My Airing of Grievances
I Got a Lot of Problems with You People!
“At the Festivus dinner, you gather your family around, and you tell them all the ways they have disappointed you over the past year.” - Frank Costanza
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2023 is drawing to a close and as ever, our world, though amusing, did not provide a shortage of disappointments. At the last minute, recognizing that like everyone else I have let myself get behind due to the holidays, I have decided to do something different with this article, and go over the ways that this world and the people in it have disappointed me in the last year. Today is Festivus, the famed Seinfeld holiday, and this is, after all, The Wayward Rabbler, and it is for me to be rabbling about things. Fortunately, I have spent the whole year writing about ways the world is disappointing, so I come well-equipped for this endeavor. In all cases, these can use some updated commentary, as we look back on another year that has…passed. Without further adieu, here, in no particular order is a list of 12 ways the people of the world and those who rule them have disappointed me over the past year. I have to chosen include one per month of the year, though most of these events took place over an extended period of time.
I got a lot of problems with you people! And now you're gonna hear about it!
People dying suddenly and those who say it’s normal
One of my first articles from 2023 was about a Rasmussen Reports poll showing that shocking numbers of people of all political persuasions believe someone they know has died from the covid vaccines:
This is in many ways a more valuable metric than asking what they perceive the risk of side effects is, as it is a much less abstract question. If it was anywhere near as safe as they said, it should be uncommon to believe someone you know died from the vaccine, but people do think they know someone who died from the vaccine.
I should say, once again, that I don’t know what MRNA is and I don’t want to find out, but it seems clear that the “conventional” vaccines kind of worked and weren’t that harmful, whereas the MRNA vaccines were basically AIDS. Of course, everyone knew you couldn’t cure colds for decades in advance of The Great Virus. As with everything wrong in our society, as we watched athletes and others drop dead, we were told “this is normal, it’s always been like this.” We were at least, mercifully, spared, “More young people are dying of heart attacks, and here’s why that’s a good thing.” Thus far, at least.
Of course, it seems extremely unlikely that anyone will be held accountable, given that Trump and Biden both hold an enormous amount of blame for pushing this poison on the public.
The censorship apparatus and its sycophants
Near the end of 2022 the Twitter Files began to be released, after Musk took over the company and gave journalists access to their files. This would continue for some time. We found that along with a variety of government agents- including an FBI agent humorously named Elvis Chan- the Twitter 1.0 team of perverts and freedom haters had sought to create a vast apparatus to control all human interactions. In fact, we discovered that no individual person knew how Twitter worked, and that the whole thing was a sort of algorithmic monster. At the same time, the Missouri v. Biden lawsuit was working it’s way through the courts, ultimately finding much of the same information in discovery. Thus far, the results of that lawsuit have been a rare and enormous victory for freedom. It certainly appears that the Supreme Court will uphold free speech rights and that it is illegal for the government to pressure companies to censor protected speech. This is perhaps unlikely to set new precedents, being that what the government did was already illegal. The Biden Administration probably should have dropped it, but of course, never knowing when to accept defeat [or declare victory, for that matter,] they are taking this to the humiliating end.
With all of this going on, the “current thing” shitlibs continue to insist that the belief that the government wrongfully censored speech is a baseless conspiracy theory. Even if it does somehow lose at SCOTUS, it is formally established that Federal Judges consider that the view that the government illegally censored has merit. This, of course, is on top of what we all saw with our own eyes. These morons have focused on whatever trivial parts came out, as if it discredits the whole thing that not every aspect of what we learned was directly illegal. It’s perhaps worse that, even if it all was legal, they wouldn’t still be interested in learning how vast tech corporations behave. At least with this they have being partisan hacks as an excuse, whereas a complete lack of curiosity about the people who determine what you see is truly inexcusable
It should go without saying that a core part of journalism is exposing the secret behavior of the powerful, even if it is not necessarily unlawful behavior. As it stands, if [or when] the Supreme Court rules that the Biden Administration unlawfully censored speech, we can be sure that this class of people will STILL claim that there is no evidence it happened.
It further needs to be remembered that along with wanting us censored, our ruling class has also decided they don’t want to speak to us at all:
It would be one- still bad- thing to censor incorrect people if the powers that be had any sort of track record of being right, but of course, they are almost always wrong, and often with deadly consequences. Maybe the elites should shut up, instead of telling us to.
The ghouls who continue to sacrifice Ukrainians
I certainly shouldn’t write yet another obituary for Ukraine, but this sad farce is drawing towards its conclusion. It seems that most besides Zelensky see that it is over. As it moves this direction, US proxy warriors are not shy about their depravity.
It is really an awful thing what has been done to that country, especially now that it is extremely clear that a deal was reached at the start of the war. Instead, Ukraine was to be destroyed, and destroyed it has been. Ukraine will never recover from this, it was already a shithole losing population, and instead of refugees coming back after the war, surviving men will join their women abroad. I don’t believe any numbers about losses, but it came out that the average age in Ukraine’s military is 43, so you can guess what that says about the younger men the army started with. Ukraine’s lack of troops is all over the news, and inexperienced young women will be sent to the front. The shortage of ammunition is becoming acute, as they complain the Western artillery is not made for engagements of this length, ammunition is increasingly unreliable, and that M-1 Abrams tanks can’t even handle dust. How long it has been since German Leopards were supposed to change everything!
The tragicomedy must be in its final act. Earlier this week, a plane from Russia’s Presidential fleet made a secret stop at Dulles Airport that got noticed on a flight tracker website, and stayed for two days. We can’t know for sure what they were doing, but one thinks of Henry Kissinger’s famed airplane meeting in Indonesia where he approved of the East Timor Genocide [on that note, goodbye Henry.] We should assume that the time has finally come to stab Ukraine, or at least Zelensky, in the back.
Meanwhile, the Ukraine “supporters” continue to shamelessly show us who they are:
“Cheaply.” Not for the Ukrainians, or their country which will never recover from this. It’s also not clear how breaking up an enormous nuclear power that doesn’t want to be broken up is desirable, but I suppose that’s a conversation for a different day. I truly hate our foreign policy class and their deranged supporters.
The lawfare making Trump more powerful
In August of 2022 I said of the Mar-A-Lago raid that our country had become a Banana Republic. Now, Colorado’s Supreme Court has thrown Trump off the ballot, though the court stayed the order. I heard, but haven’t seen confirmed, that the vote broke down with all the Ivy League educated judges voting “yes” and the University of Colorado educated judges voting “no.” It needs to be noted that Trump has not been convicted, or even charged with the crime for which they want to throw him off the ballot. They are openly “destroying democracy to save it.” What’s more, it won’t do anything but help Trump, as the Colorado Republican Party will go full caucus if Trump isn’t on the ballot. It only serves to empower Trump, who would also easily win the primary without Colorado.
I certainly don’t want another season of the Trump show, but they are more or less forcing it upon us. Though I won’t properly support him under any circumstances for a variety of reasons- most of all his insane covid policies and love of the vaccine- this also can’t be allowed to stand. They have turned this into a referendum on the unprecedented abuses of the security state against a leading Presidential candidate. It needs to be pointed out that this year Senegal’s democratic institutions were seemingly abused by removing a leading candidate in a similar way, but in Senegal they bothered to actually convict the guy of disqualifying crimes.
So, we are left with a referendum on if the security state should be allowed to do this. There isn’t much else to say:
The border crisis and the worst reactions to it
The situation at the border is absolutely insane. I don’t want to downplay how bad it is.
This isn’t a unique video, just one example I easily found. This is happening every day at many different parts of the border. The majority of these people are economic migrants, and some are not even desperate, they are coming because there are no real consequences, and even if they get deported in a few years they made enough money for it to be worth it, or at least they hope to have. One would think at some point we would run out of jobs for all of these people. The fact is we do need more enforcement, and Biden may build some wall, but it seems this issue will sink his lackluster administration. Though “root causes” surely need to be dealt with, we need to stop the bleeding so such work can be done.
It is certainly the case that our republic can’t and shouldn’t have to absorb this many people, especially given the public opposition, but this is driving people to new levels of insanity. Perhaps it actually is a “Hegelian Dialectic,” as they call it, where the rage and conflict is meant to bring about various types of change. It is generating insane reactions, one way or another. In the spring, bombing Mexico over immigrants and fentanyl began to come to prominence in the Republican primary, which I am proud to say I was one of the first people to properly notice and oppose. It took over the Republican field, who are all dreadful warmongers. The American right has gone so crazy on this issue many support the policy of simply shooting people at the border without due process, claiming it is “what any other country would do” [it absolutely is not.] On top of this, they’ve developed vast conspiracies that these people are Al Qaeda sleeper cells, or at least part of complex ballot harvesting operations. The “Hegelian Dialectic” is working, because now I seem to hate the American right as much as the American right hates immigrants.
Still, I must reiterate, this border situation absolutely has to be dealt with, but perhaps in a way where we don’t lose our minds and souls.
The “anti-imperialists” and “pan-Africanists” who love coups
The Sahel has continued to burn in 2023. France’s Africa policy, such as it is, has turned to ashes in its mouth. Throughout this, the internet has been filled with Western “anti-imperialists” and “pan-Africanists” who love coups, military governments, and perhaps most of all, Russia. It was my luck that The London Review of Books should post an article about this just an hour before writing, as I searched Twitter for good examples of the concept. It mentions that pan-Africanism has become a sort of “Warrior mentality.”
Whatever you want to call them, these putchists and their supporters seem to miss the irony of bringing in another outside power, though admittedly Russia has a very different relationship with the continent, but one that also seems to be soaked in blood. Twitter is flooded with people excited about every coup. Mostly young, irresponsible people who don’t look into circumstances or verify information before sharing it. Somehow, the old “pan-Africanism” of cultural ties and economic integration has moved to young people who see it as nothing but a shared grievance against the former colonial powers. I have to admit, the world was perhaps lacking a stylish young revolutionary leader like Burkina Faso’s Ibrahim Traore, but military government simply doesn’t work well, and they cover their own incompetence with brutality. There is no reason to believe military governments can fix anything, but of course, you’re just a Western colonialist if you say such things.
I understand the desire to end the legacy of French imperialism, and clearly France’s counter-terrorism strategy wasn’t working either, but this is no sort of solution. Most importantly, circumstances matter a great deal. For example, there was clearly no good way but a coup to get rid of Ali Bongo in Gabon, and a coup was probably the only way to possibly bring about future fair elections, though the coup was led by a family member and we shall see about fair elections. Alternately, though Niger’s election was contested, and perhaps unfair, it’s institutions of civil government were strengthening and President Bazoum was doing a passable job before he was overthrown by the head of his Palace Guards who it seems just didn’t want to be retired.
Meanwhile, in Nigeria, plenty of supporters of Peter Obi have openly called for a coup after Bola Tinubu took power in a very questionable election. What I find the most peculiar is Obi wouldn’t have even been a big change of direction, he is just somewhat less corrupt and perhaps a little more competent, though admittedly in this instances as an outsider I don’t seem to get his social media appeal. Regardless, this is all flagrantly irresponsible and the consequence of an extremely young continent where the majority don’t have the wisdom of age or the longevity to remember the tyrannies of decades past.
The year at least ended on some good news, with Liberia’s George Weah conceding after a close election, and praising the process as fair and a representation of the will of the people.
Canada goes full Nazi
Oh Canada, what has become of thee? Since the “bomb Mexico” mania began I have been trying to convince people that instead of Canada being our great neighbor to the north and Mexico being the shitty country to our south, it is Mexico that is our great neighbor to the south, and Canada that is the shitty country to the north. Readers will remember how an actual SS member was brought in front of Canada’s Parliament during Zelensky’s lackluster American trip in September. He was called a “Hero of Canada” for fighting in a war against actual Canadian heroes who liberated Europe. No Member of Parliament has any excuse for not stopping to ask what “Fighting against the USSR” during World War 2 meant. While I think we could forgive any conscripts on either side, this man was an enthusiastic SS volunteer who was clearly proud of his service. Of course, it is not a matter of opinion that to be in the SS is to be a criminal, it was ruled a criminal organization at the Nuremberg Trials.
But it isn’t just praising Ukrainian Nazis that makes Canada a Nazi country. I often say there is nothing new in government, but the Trudeau regime has in fact found a new innovation in government, for which I have to give them dubious credit. Many potential solutions to poverty have been tried over the millennia, but only in Canada have they decided to euthanize the poor and call it compassionate. Of course, some were also euthanized so Canada doesn’t have to provide them healthcare. Hitler would have loved this, as these people clearly aren’t contributing to the state, which is of primary importance to Nazis such a Justin Trudeau. California legalized euthanasia at the same time as Canada, and has around the same population. In the first 5 years of legal euthanasia, Canada euthanized around 10 times as many people as California, but the “kill the poor” thing really picked up in 2023. Still, I suppose at least that it’s better to be dead in Canada than alive in California?
Either way, I think we already have an anthem for 2024:
The Israel/Palestine situation and the response to it
This, I suppose, there is too much to say about, and at the same time, it has all been said. I am going to take mercy on myself and everyone else by not making anyone read very much more on this topic. However, I must make some quick notes.
The first is that it has been profoundly disappointing how many of the people who were good on covid and some “woke” issues actually liked all of the bad Ron DeSantis policies as well, and are lunatics Israel Firsters on foreign policy. I do have to say though, it is interesting our society had mostly split into the “Russiagate / Covid / BLM / Vax / Men have periods / Ukraine” [“Current Thing”] people and the other side who went along with none of those things. We were aligning the same way on every issue, though having a vaccine in your screen name shouldn’t make it obvious that you support Ukraine: those are totally unrelated things. I have to give this issue credit for managing to further split society, since people don’t at all fall down on the same lines about Israel/Palestine as on the last 7 years of social manias. NEW TEAMS!
For myself, my annoyance at the Israel supporters is made all the worse that Zionists almost always make bad faith arguments and demand that you think Israel is the “most moral army in the world” while being incredibly depraved. I could handle it a lot better if they just said, “we’re doing what we feel need to do, I know it’s ugly to look at.” Clearly, they have an emotional need to force us to accept their crimes. This is made all the worse that all they had to do was guard their damn border, and it is increasingly clear they did in fact cause massive collateral damage repelling the attack.
The second thing I need to note is that while Hamas are a bunch of savages, the situation in the West Bank where Israel has a puppet Palestinian Authority government has only led to constant abuses and Israel taking ever more land. The Palestinians cannot comply their way out of tyranny and Israel constantly makes it obvious that doing so is a slow death. What’s more, needing to protect Palestinians from settlers is why they didn’t have sufficient troops at the borders, because of course Israel won’t actually properly prosecute and imprison settler terrorists, at least not in the numbers to stop it. It must be further noted that Christmas celebrations have been cancelled in Bethlehem, both in order to mourn the dead and because the city is blocked off by the IDF. Perhaps making Zionists the guardians of Christianity’s holy sites was never a solid idea.
I also have grievances against the anti-imperialist Hamas supporters [the few who genuinely support Hamas] who act just the same as they do about Africa, with no sense of balance or perspective or ability to understand the complexity of the world. There are, in fact, Israeli civilians, and Hamas released videos of themselves intentionally killing people who were obviously not valid military targets. At the same time, Israel is always finding new ways to tell lies and do evil, so all things considered, the online anti-imperialists, even the open Hamas supporters, haven’t been that bad on this issue, because there is rarely a need to make up what Israel did. Similarly, what Hamas did was really bad yet Israel can’t help themselves but to demand you believe specific and extreme atrocity propaganda, even from the most unreliable sources.
Politicians who want to leave our troops in Africa and Syria
Despite some great efforts, most notably from Rand Paul and Matt Gaetz, including a wonderful interrogation of Africom Commander Langley by Gaetz back in May, US troops have not been withdrawn from anywhere this year. Every resolution to withdraw troops has failed by a wide margin. Our troops are little but targets with unclear objectives in these regions, but apparently their presence has overwhelming support from our political class [well, support in the sense of still wanting them there, not support in the sense of giving them what they need to be successful or at least safe.]
In March, a Gaetz resolution to withdraw from Syria was voted down 321-103. In April, a Gaetz resolution to withdraw from Somalia lost 321-102. In the fall, Rand Paul tried his luck at getting us out of Africa, but his resolution to withdraw from Niger was voted down 86-11. In December, his resolution to withdraw from Syria was voted down 84-13. One can see that it’s all the same people who would leave our troops everywhere. At least we can take the shallow comfort in knowing that next time any body of our troops die in one of these countries most of our political class is on the record continuing the madness and putting them in harm’s way for no clear reason. That will keep their families warm at night.
The Houthis making me look like a bitch
You have all seen the news that Yemen’s Houthis have been attacking shipping in the Red Sea. In fact, this was the topic of our most recent podcast. They say they are only targeting ships associated with Israel, but one wonders about their ability to be specific, though cargo ship traffic is broadly public information. The enormous cost disparity between cheap modern drones and the missiles US ships would use to shoot them down adds a lot to this situation. Each drone realistically costs around 50-100x as much to shoot down as it does for the Houthis to launch. It’s really quite incredible, and the Western manufacturing capacity has proven a paper tiger in Ukraine. There seems to be at least a genuinely concerning risk that they can run us out of missiles.
Regarding myself, I have long said the war in Yemen is pointless and should be stopped, and that certainly our own country has no business being involved in causing that humanitarian disaster. I wrote about my hopes for peace earlier in the year:
I have to say now that they’re launching all these missiles I look quite incorrect about years of my claiming that the Houthis don’t present a threat to the outside world. I still contend that they are primarily just the people who live there are not an Iranian proxy [there is very limited evidence that they are, but some trade takes place] but clearly, they have set themselves on being a nuisance. Of course, some of these same internet anti-imperialists are loving it. While it is somewhat amusing, harming navigation like this is certainly a bad thing. It is also wildly irresponsible from their perspective, as they’re adding incredible volatility to the world and their own position in it, and don’t know which hell they could bring down on their already suffering people. Still, perhaps they deserve to generate revenue from their coastal waters; the Suez Canal brought in over 9 billion dollars last year, whereas the Red Sea ports of Yemen has been mostly blockaded for 10 years. It would be a big breakdown of Anglo-American hegemony if people start paying them for safe passage.
At the same time, the US is trying to form some “Coalition of the Willing” to protect Red Sea shipping, and it is not going well, so the Houthis may prove their point:
Conservatives for shooting protesters
You have probably noticed that American conservatives are enormous babies about roads ever being blocked, as they seem to hold no consistent principles about when protest is appropriate. Of course, the liberals are just as bad about losing their shit over protests they don’t like, but the obsession with roads being blocked is pretty specific to conservatives. And so, when Panama was having huge nationwide protests over a foreign-owned copper mine, American conservatives cheered when some psychotic “Zonian” [American-Panama dual citizen from the former Panama Canal Zone] murdered two protesters who were blocking a road. This was made worse by the fact that international media referred to them as “climate protesters” when they were in fact public school teachers who were striking with their union. Then, throwing any consistency to the wind, conservatives were suddenly big fans of German farmers blocking the roads with tractors to protest a diesel tax break ending. No “STOP PLAYING IN THE ROADS” or discussion of how many ambulances may have been delayed. No one suggested the general public just shoot the farmers to stop it.
I acknowledge that dealing with protests can require some nuance, though a pretty good rule of thumb for protesters is to try and avoid doing anything generally illegal unless you have enough people or public support that they won’t arrest you all. For example, if 6 people block a road with a “Stop Oil” sign, the police should just arrest them, but large nationwide protests are meant to paralyze a city and have the force of the public behind them. It’s really not difficult to understand that protests should be dealt with cautiously, recognizing the many varying concerns within a republic and the need to let the public express themselves. This is true of both the government response and how you as an individual should regard the situation.
For myself, between “bomb Mexico,” “Israel first,” and “murder protesters,” my alienation from the American right is complete. I wish they would get their shit together, but I suppose this is who they always have been.
Relationship/gender discourse on Twitter and Andrew Tate fans
I’m just gonna go full rant here, because these people annoy me every single day. Firstly, I refuse to believe that Andrew Tate is not satire, and it is absolutely depressing that he appears to have real fans of his deranged ravings. No one should look to him for life advice. But it isn’t just Tate: all of Twitter is full of nonsense relationship discourse from chronically single and miserable people trying to tell everyone else what to do. It is commonly based on completely fallacious notions of how marriages were in the past, and further disregards that women having legal rights is actually a good thing. Alternately, the media is suddenly pushing polyamory and coming together with the far right who now claim monogamy is against male nature [I promise these people have no sex at all.] You would find that controlling natural [and “unnatural”] sexual impulses is a major part of every moral or religious code. Meanwhile, people are arguing about stupid shit like if you should let your woman wear yoga pants in public or how a woman looking 20 years older after 20 years is why you shouldn’t get married.
This is obviously all self-reinforcing, and made far worse by the fact that the chronically single have nothing better to do than be on Twitter all day in this nefarious feedback loop. So they just become ever more damaged as they spread hot takes back and forth and claim “it’s too hard between men and women these days” when they themselves are damaged and unwilling to try. You see people talk about being a “high value male” and then find they want you to get a vasectomy and stay single forever to be “high value,” forgetting that clearly the point of being “high value” is to get chicks. While occasionally amusing, if I could just turn this part of Twitter off, and indeed remove it from society entirely, I absolutely would. The thing is, you know that this will spiral for years with no end in sight. These people need to just shut up about relationships and dating: they have no idea what they’re talking about. Stop interacting with the Tates and Pearls of the world and the million smaller shit accounts in the relationships advice outrage factory. Just screencap them to mock the content, if you must. This has all gone too far. This one we can readily assume will be worse in 2024.
Well folks, that is it for 2023’s Airing of Grievances, but until one of you can pin me in a wrestling match, this Festivus is not over!
Thank you for reading! The Wayward Rabbler is written by Brad Pearce. If you enjoyed this content please subscribe and share. My main articles will always be free but paid subscriptions help me a huge amount. I have a tip jar at Ko-Fi where generous patrons can donate in $5 increments. I am now writing regularly for The Libertarian Institute. Join my Telegram channel The Wayward Rabbler. My Facebook page is The Wayward Rabbler. You can see my shitposting and serious commentary on Twitter @WaywardRabbler.