Color Revolutions and Collusion News Network

For most of 2012, I lived in Georgia, a former Soviet Republic of the USSR. I came to know the people, the culture, and the politics of that part of the world first-hand. In particular, I was there for the 2012 elections, a watershed moment for modern Georgian politics.

Bidzina Ivanishvili, billionaire, founder of the Georgian Dream party, and prime minister from 2012 to 2013.

A little bit of background. Georgia won its independence in the 90s during the fall of the Soviet Union, and immediately fell itself into a civil war. Three regions broke off: Adjara in the south, South Ossetia in the north, and Abkhazia in the northwest. It was a very difficult time, where the national army was little more than a deputized gang of thugs.

Eduard Shevardnadze, former Soviet Politburo member and President of Georgia until 2005.

When the chaos settled down, the man in charge was Eduard Shevardnadze, a former high-ranking member of the Soviet Politburo. If you had to compare it to something, it would be like the United States falling apart and George W. Bush taking over Texas. An old establishment politician from a dynastic family returning to his newly independent home country to head it during troubled times.

Mikheil Saakashvili (Right), former president of Georgia. He came to power in the Soros-funded Rose Revolution, pushed for Georgia to join Nato, and fought a disastrous war with Russia in 2008. After he was ousted from power, he became a governor in Ukraine, following the Euromaidan Revolution that brought Ukraine into the Western orbit. American collusion, anyone?

But then, in 2005, something interesting happened: a “color revolution” broke out. George Soros, members and allies of the Bush Administration, and other foreign actors began to stir up protests in Tbilisi against Shevardnadze’s government. The tensions culminated with Mikheil Saakashvili and other agitators storming parliament with roses in their hands, taking over the podium and forcing Shevardnadze to flee with his bodyguards. He later resigned, and Saakashvili ran unopposed in the following election. He won by 96.2%.

The August 2008 war between Russia and Georgia. It began when Saakashvili ordered his forces to shell Tskhinvali in Russian-occupied South Ossetia, and ended with the total defeat of the Georgian armed forces, with Russia reinforcing and formally recognizing the separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Many ethnic Georgians lost their lives or became internally displaced refugees within their own country.

It was political theater of the highest order, accomplished by collusion with a meddling foreign power. Once Saakashvili was in charge, Georgian foreign policy took a hard turn towards the West, causing massive tensions with Russia that culminated in the 2008 Russo-Georgian War.

This was a very bad move. Georgia is basically the Mexico of Russia; the two countries are closely linked both culturally and economically, with a large volume of remittances flowing from expatriots in Russia back to their families in Georgia. By turning so sharply to the West—not to mention, starting an actual war—Saakashvili did his people a great disservice.

Fast forward to 2012. I was teaching English in a village called Rokhi, about half an hour south of Kutaisi. I knew the basic outlines of this history, but very few of the specifics. The people were generally friendly to Americans, but they were very quiet about politics, at least to me.

Then the elections happened, and against all odds the Georgian Dream party completely overthrew Saakashvili’s ruling party in the parliament. Politicians started fleeing across the border into Turkey. Those who didn’t flee were arrested, sometimes on spurious charges, sometimes on legitimate ones. The courts became weaponized in a political struggle between Saakashvili and the Georgian Dream. It wasn’t a transfer of power so much as an ongoing coup.

All of a sudden, people starting speaking up and telling me what they really thought. While Saakashvili was in power, people were always careful around me because they assumed (since I was an American) that I was some sort of spy. But when the Georgian Dream Party took over, people felt it was safe to share their true feelings about how much they hated this guy who had taken over their country and driven it into the ground.

This is what foreign collusion and meddling looks like. America does it all the time. There’s a saying in the former Eastern Bloc that goes something like this:

“Why has there never been a color revolution in the United States?”

“Because there is no US embassy in the United States!”

Except now, I’m not so sure. Because the hyperbolic media response to the latest mass shooting in Florida shares some very disturbing similarities with a color revolution, and it frankly scares the hell out of me.

Take the CNN town hall that happened earlier this week. That wasn’t democracy in action, or even journalism. It was political theater, pure and simple. It was a political witch hunt and full-on push for gun confiscation.

A lot of things about the Florida shooting don’t add up. The alleged gunman managed to slip away with the fleeing students, instead of getting killed by law enforcement on the scene as is the pattern with most mass shootings. The FBI knew about this kid, had a file on him, knew what he was planning, and did nothing—absolutely nothing—to stop him. His classmates just happen to be pro-gun control activists, and they just happen to put together this massive national children’s crusade literally before the funerals for all the victims have been held.

Look, I’m not saying the kids are crisis actors. I’m not saying that what they went through isn’t absolutely horrific, or that they don’t have a right to feel the way that they do. What I’m saying is that the politicization of this shooting is massively suspicious and full of red flags.

Consider the three major mass shootings that happened last year, and the differences in the media’s response to each of them.

The first was the Congressional baseball shooting in June. A Bernie Sanders supporter tried to assassinate most of the Republican caucus by hunting them down at a baseball practice. It was deliberate, it was planned, and it very nearly threw this country into a major political crisis.

Within a week, the major news outlets were no longer covering the story.

The Las Vegas shooting was next, in October. A horrible tragedy and watershed moment for mass shootings in America. And yet, after all these months, there are so many unanswered questions. Where are the Casino tapes? Why haven’t we seen them? What was the involvement of the shooter’s girlfriend? Who is the other person of interest that the FBI hasn’t revealed? Was there a second shooter? What about all of the problems with the timeline?

None of these questions have gotten much airplay outside of alternative media. Also, the fact that the shooter was on mood-altering drugs hasn’t factored into the public debate nearly as much as the guns that he used—or didn’t. We don’t really know.

A month later, in November, we had the Sutherland Springs church shooting. The shooter was stopped by a bystander with a gun. A classic example of how the right to bear arms protects and makes us safer.

Once again, the mainstream media buried the story within a week.

Now we have the Florida shooting, with its own set of details that don’t quite add up. Far from burying the story, the mainstream media has blown it up to eleven, with nonstop political theater, witch hunts, appeals to emotion, and above all else, unyielding demands for a total confiscation and ban on all guns.

Who benefits from the politicization of mass shootings? The people who want to destroy the right to bear arms. Who is that? No one so much as the people who want to sow chaos in this country.

If the feds attempted a total gun confiscation, it would spark a second American civil war. Russia would benefit greatly from this. And if the confiscation were ultimately successful, it would leave us that much more vulnerable to a foreign takeover in the style of a color revolution.

This is the stuff of political thrillers, and it’s happening in realtime before our very eyes.

Who’s behind this? I don’t know. I have my suspicions, but I cannot yet say anything with any degree of certainty. But because certain factions benefit from the politicization of these mass shootings, I believe they will continue, and will probably increase in frequency.

We hear of wars in far countries, and say that there will soon be great wars in far countries, but do we know the hearts of the people in our own land?

If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.

Black Panther

Pay no attention to the people trying to make this movie all about race or politics or whatever. They’re all just agenda-driven media whores trying desperately to hijack whatever’s popular at the moment in order to remain culturally relevant. This movie has nothing to do with any of them.

I really enjoyed Black Panther. Good story, good characters, lots of fun action, and a couple of really interesting twists. The music was fantastic: two hours of woodwinds and African drums. It wasn’t as comedic as Thor: Ragnarok, but it didn’t take itself too seriously either. For a Marvel movie, it was also surprisingly family friendly.

I thought it did an excellent job of acknowledging race and politics without allowing itself to be taken over by either. It isn’t race that makes the people of Wakanda different from the rest of the world: it’s the magical meteorite that fell in their country, with thousands of years of isolation that allowed them to follow their own cultural path. As for politics, it’s not so much about the struggle against the colonizers as it is a question of how to open up to the rest of the world: peacefully, or violently.

Honestly, if you don’t care about race or politics, you don’t have to worry because it doesn’t beat those over your head at all.

The story is really solid, which is par for the course for Marvel. The world is also really well done. Very different from what you usually see in these kinds of superhero movies. In fact, it didn’t feel like any of the other Marvel movies, even though it hit all of Marvel’s usual high standards.

The thing I liked most about it was probably the characters. T’Chaka is a genuinely good person trying to set right the mistakes of his father, and the friends who surround him are also good people trying to do right by their own as well. But they don’t always agree on what’s best: whether to keep the magical kingdom of Wakanda secret and isolated, or whether and how to reach out to the rest of the world.

Overall, it was a really fun movie and I’d definitely recommend it. Like I said at the top, pay no attention to the attention whores on mainstream and social media trying to make this all about race and identity politics. Star Wars may have been taken overy by wankers, but Marvel has not.

Bake the #MAGA cake

The US Supreme Court is hearing a case today that will decide whether or not a gay couple can force a cake artist to decorate a cake for a gay wedding. The issue at stake is not whether a business can refuse service to people based on sexual orientation (the baker was willing to sell the gay couple any out-of-the-box cake on his shelf), but whether the government can force a creative professional to use their talent to advance a message that runs contrary to the individual’s conscience.

Unfortunately, it looks likely that the court will rule against the baker. In other words, we will soon live in a country where artists can legally be forced to create propaganda that runs contrary to their beliefs. And yet, for even questioning this, I’m somehow the fascist??

This isn’t about discrimination. This is about free speech. If I, as an artist, don’t have the freedom to choose what kind of art I create, I no longer have freedom of speech. It really is that simple.

So here’s what I propose. If the Supreme Court rules against the baker, then every bakery in San Francisco, Chicago, and New York City should be forced to make MAGA cakes from now until November 2020. We should fill them up with so many orders that a week won’t go by that they won’t be forced to push the message that put Trump into the White House.

We’ve already seen the power of 4chan and weaponized autism. I have no doubt that this is something that we can do. And maybe, just maybe, it will convince the few reasonable people on the Left to see just how hypocritically batshit insane their side has become. Because if we have to live in a country where conservative bakers are forced to make gay wedding cakes, shouldn’t liberal bakers be forced to make MAGA cakes too?

Please, internet gods. Make it so.

Undercover Antifa: This story needs to get out!

There’s a lot that I could say, but I think the video speaks for itself:

One question: when Antifa has their Charlottesville moment and somebody dies at their hands, how is the mainstream media going to cover it? What is the narrative going to be?

Good on team Crowder for exposing these domestic terrorists. Make no mistake, that’s exactly what they are.

To escape or to engage

A couple of weeks ago, I finally sat down and wrote a (semi-) formal business plan. It was an enlightening experience. I’ve kept it all organized in many different ways, but writing it all down in one place allows me to step back and take a wider look at what I do.

No business plan is complete without a mission statement. Here is mine:

To write and publish fiction that serves the truth, expands minds and hearts, and empowers my readers to be better men and women for reading my books.

To serve, expand, and empower. All of the books that have profoundly affected my life, from Ender’s Game and Lord of the Rings to The Neverending Story and A Wrinkle in Time, did those things.

“That’s very high and lofty, Joe, but what about just writing damn good stories that entertain people?” I don’t actually see a contradiction there. All of the best stories I’ve read that served, expanded, and empowered me were only able to do so because they entertained me first.

Entertainment is an important part of what I do. So is escapism. I have no idea how J.R.R Tolkien voted in the 1930s and 40s, nor do I care to know. I have a pretty good idea how Orson Scott Card voted in the 90s and 00s, but not from reading Ender’s Game. Sometimes I read authors for their politics (Ringo, Heinlein, Correia), but I didn’t read The Last Centurion to decide how I would vote in the last election; I read it because leading a stranded cavalry division across a post-apocalyptic Middle East sounded like a damn good story.

The surest way to kill a good story is to try to cram a message through it. The best stories never do this. They serve as a mirror that allows the reader to see themselves more clearly, whoever they may be. That’s what makes them timeless.

The world is becoming an increasingly scary and violent place. In the coming months, I expect that things will get a lot worse. This puts me in an interesting position. Should I try to write stories that engage with what’s happening in the world, or stories that provide an escape from it?

Or is there a contradiction between the two?

There’s a lot of outrage on social media from people who are trying to engage with the problems they see in the world. Unfortunately, the louder their outrage becomes, the more they seem to be part of the problem and not a solution to it. That’s part of why I deleted my Twitter account and radically scaled back my Facebook usage.

Does lashing out at injustice really make the world a better place? Adding outrage to outrage, pointing out everything that’s wrong? There’s a time and a place for that, sure. But there’s also a time and a place to disengage.

When times get hard, people need an emotional escape. That’s why they turn to things like sports, or movies, or books. But when this media instead tries to engage by bringing in politics or social justice or whatever, it deprives people of their escape. We see it all the time with the virtue signalling in Hollywood, or the issue dropping in TV and movies, or whatever the hell ESPN has become.

I don’t want to go that route. Not with my books, not with this blog—not with any aspect of my career. It’s tempting, sure, and I’ve flirted with it in the past, but it’s time to pull back. I may be convinced of my own views and opinions, but that’s not why I write. You don’t serve the truth by forcing it on other people. You don’t expand minds and hearts with moral outrage. You don’t empower people to become better by telling them that they’re wrong.

With the way the world is going, I think the best thing I can do is to focus less on trying to engage with it and more on providing an escape from it, through my books. Ultimately, I think that’s a better and more effective way to change the world.