Symphony

Encore of Revival: America, February 19, 2018

No one likes to read about school shootings. I was in high school when a student shot himself in the head, right in the hallway, Vinnie Garofalo, February 1998. I remember when a college classmate told our student body the reports from his former classmates at Columbine. "They're dead," she told him. "They're all dead." Now, the Editor needs to write about it and Americans need to read about it, yet again.

The Florida shooting is complicated, it always is. This one has a story behind the shooter that seems more personal than other times. No one claims his story is any alibi. Many heroes were made, both victim and living. One libriarian, Diana Haneski, was inspired by her friend's heroism from Sandy Hook and protected 55 students by locking them in a media room. An assistant coach, Aaron Feis, protected three girls by shielding them with his own body, he did not survive.

Tragedy strikes. We reflect and ask why. Then we second guess ourselves and wish that we would have loved each other more and sooner. We go home. We cry ourselves to sleep. Then we wake up the next day and prepare to march for action. So, let's talk action.

Emma Gonzales is right, in a sense even the minds of gun owners. To the gun owners, the NRA has been largely useless. They aren't effective at protecting gun owner rights, only at rallying people up. At Columbine and with Michael Moore, the NRA's reaction was generally useless. Rather than helping the nation navigate through the challenges, they just acted insensitive. The NRA's Twitter account hasn't posted since Valentine's Day, when the Florida shooting happened, not even sympathy to the families. This seems to have been a "silencer" for the NRA. Politicians who receive money from that over-spiced "nothing burger" organization should be ashamed.

As for action, since we act like we're ready for a candid conversation, let's take off the gloves. Before you decide to click "next", finish the following two paragraphs.

Why are we in deadlock about guns? As strong—and correct—of an argument as Emma Gonzales makes, there is another strong point that must be included in our united path forward. It's the "elephant" in the living room, the reason we can't finish the debate, which no one wants to so much as even mention. The dirty, politically incorrect, and inconclusive—mind you—little secret about why guns remain widely available on the market has three big beans: Russia, China, and ISIS. The wide-availability of guns in America is the only reason those countries—ISIS is a country—have not already invaded and killed millions of Americans—just as their governments have killed millions of their own people who aren't allowed to possess guns. That's our excuse that keeps us in deadlock over the gun debate—a deadlock that killed 17 people last Valentine's Day.

The problem is not the Second Amendment itself, but that we only enforce half of it. We need the rest of the Second Amendment—the Militia army of civilians—a high school class with accommodation for handicapped and learning disabled, different standards for different gender, and it would be a requirement for every student in order to graduate and in order to vote in elections. The high school Militia course would teach self-discipline, readiness, hand-to-gun combat, safety in every situation, gun handling and discharge, emergency response, teamwork, and, like all military training, self-respect and self-sacrifice for others. If Nikolas Cruz had been required to graduate high school before he could buy a gun, he wouldn't have been able to. If he had been required to get the mentoring a high school Militia class would have provided, he wouldn't have wanted to.

That idea has been presented before by many people before. But, we don't hear about it from the NRA. We didn't want to have such a candid discussion about applying the whole of the Constitution—which would keep us safe from enemies, both foreign and domestic, if we would simply obey it to the full. We were too distracted with other news. So, since those other news items that we bicker about were worth the lives of 17 students, let's take a review of the news items atop headlines in the days before the Valentine's Day Massacre...

The Obama portraits, while acceptable, are intended to draw attention. The Smithsonian has more expressive art of Ford and HW Bush, more radical than the Michelle interpretation. Contrary to folk wisdom, the woman in the painting does resemble Michelle in those rare moments when she drops that goofy, fake smile for her natural "serious" face. It's not that strange, as strange as it seems. But, the hue of the leaves in Obama's piece and the street-art worthy style of Michelle evince an intent to use the presidential portraits as an opportunity to make some kind of statement. Whether that is right or wrong is up for debate, but they are trying to make a statement.

As for the leaves, to claim that they are marijuana is to claim either that the artist is botanically inept or that oneself is. The leaf in the picture more resembles the Ohio State "buckeye leaf", which has been confused by the botanically inept in the past.

Michael Flynn was pursued by Obama's leftover administration as retribution for endorsing Trump. It is said one should never hire friends. Hiring Flynn was a mistake, not because Flynn wasn't up to the job of fighting in the wolf den—which he apparently wasn't—but because it promoted him from being a target to being an easy target. In the end, however, Michael Flynn will learn just as Sarah Palin did, after being tossed to the wolves. And, the hostile takeover of Flynn's life will be an alarm in itself to call out the folks to find out just what in the world was going on in the Obama administration that allowed this to happen. Flynn will come back to haunt the Democrats and bureaucrats.

George Soros has been dumping money into local DA elections that would normally elect Republicans. His candidates have been winning. Democrats and their voters who don't stand against Soros will lose all credibility when next time they complain about the Koch brothers. While many Republican voters will be alarmed—and probably roused to a wrath those DAs will not want to face—the more interesting effect will be their tendency to self-destruct. People artificially propped into power rarely last, especially when they come from different stock.

...But, there's nothing like a school shooting to put our priorities about the news in perspective.

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Symphony

Encore of Revival: America, February 12, 2018

The budget deal in Congress celebrates two myths, one from time travel budgeting, the other from silence. When the "experts" project a deficit based on the current spending plan, 1. none of the money has been spent yet and 2. none of the spending tax money has come in yet. They aren't only counting chickens before they hatch, they already have them buttered on the Christmas dinner table.

The spending projection assumes the previous year's tax income. If tax rates drop, so does the projected income drop, proportionately. There is some "trickle down" account for the assumption that consumers may spend more and employers hire more since they have the funds not taxed, but they don't consider synergy. They don't use AI simulations to project the slew of companies who haven't announced—but will anyway do—investment within the market. New companies will be capable of coming into being which weren't able to without the new financial ecosystem. Those aren't accounted for because they can't be predicted. The forecast we have is based not on synergistic outcomes—AKA reality—but on comparing last years results against this year's new methods—AKA time travel.

The second myth comes from silence, namely renegotiating trade agreements. Adjustments making the US market part of a two-way street will also bring new revenue sources—rather than a one-way street that screws the US economy into the ground. These are part of separate agreements already promised, already underway, but largely unfinished and unreported. Budget forecast about those factors are simply silent.

The budget forecast isn't any accurate prediction of the future, but a kind of comparison for number geeks in black-tie offices. What actually happens is never known until it happens.

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Symphony

Encore of Revival: America, February 5, 2018

Machines are trying to take over. They aren't winning. And, they aren't mechanical machines made of steel and iron alloys—or in GM's case also aluminum. These are machines of "big money". Some of them are political, some of them are from the entertainment industry, others are in the business world.

Ultimately, the machines run round and round by creating problems, then solving them.

Nestle has been taking water from Springhill in Osceola County, Michigan for nearly two decades. Locals have battled with the water-relocating giant almost as long; the State often comes to Nestle's defense. We'll see how much longer that lasts. The current battle seems to include no third-party scientific research, only claims by locals that water levels are lowering vs claims by Nestle that Nestle isn't hurting anything and that local water costs would rise without Nestle—which is at the same time accused of causing the water shortage in the first place. It's almost a self-inditing argument in Nestle's defense. Now, Nestle wants to take more water.

Then, there's Uma. Perhaps "Kill Bill" should have been renamed to include something about a guy named "Harvey", at least if the title reflected the emotions of "what the movie advertisements called a 'roaring rampage of revenge'" from what happened on set and behind the scenes. To this point, Symphony has not focused on Weinstein stories because, so far, they didn't seem to include news. Uma's story in the New York Times, however, introduces the video of her injury during a stunt she was intimidated into doing. After 15 years, she finally got her hands on the video. Uma just might mark the beginning of Vol. 2 in brining down scandal-filled Hollywood.

Then, there's the machine that's after Trump. According to the president, it's a disgrace, people should be ashamed, and Congress will do what Congress will do, which is fine. Bias against Trump is "yuge". In one man-on-the-street video by Campus Reform, people react negatively to State of the Union comments—until they realize they were made by Obama. Democrats and the mainstream media can't halt the assault against Trump as long as that widespread bias against Trump exists in such a large segment of the voting population. But, that bias is driving the anti-Trump machine to uncover more and more dirt—not on Trump, but dirt—on Democrats.

While Nestle seems to solve problems it causes, the Left caused the problems it's solving. As for Hollywood, the movies describe it best.

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Symphony

Encore of Revival: America, January 29, 2018

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nb0EulG0wSQ

The biggest problem with analyzing Trump's next move is speculation. Talk is talk, nothing more. America seems to be obsessed with talk far before action can confirm, acquit, deny, indite, prove, or disprove. We don't know what Trump will sign into law on Immigration until he signs it. But, he seems to be wise to America's priorities where talk and action are concerned. Once again, he plays the rhetoric-obsessed section of society like a harp. He makes an offer, he sends a Tweet, he proposes a bill, and everyone gets up and sings in concert.

Take the removal of Taiwan's "ROC" flag from the US government website as an expanded example. By not having any flag there, the flag can't be wrong. The original ROC flag has the symbol of the KMT-Nationalist party in the upper corner—the same party that lost both the presidency and the legislature for the first time in history during the last general election. Many have called for the flag to change. So, removing the flag from the website could mean that the US no longer supports the KMT-Nationalists. If Taiwan were to declare independence from the mainland, the US government wouldn't have the "wrong" flag on the website, nor if China were to attempt an invasion. While China may be thrilled and Taiwan may be angry, much more was involved by replacing the flag with pure white. Maybe "surrender" was the message, though it remains unclear to whom the word would be directed, even if that was the direction. What does remain clear is that the US government website is more important than anything else.

Once again, this time in the international sphere, the Trump administration won the war of words, this time without using any. What will happen, however, always remains yet to be seen until it happens.

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Encore of Revival: America, January 22, 2018

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6dcQDqde38

The Russianewsgategate scandal is turning out even better for Republicans than was first anticipated. GOP members pretend to not be as excited and more surprised than they actually are—and they are also pretending to be quite angry, aghast, and indignant. In truth, Republicans finally found a way to go after some long-neglected corruption since they now have the socio-political wherewithal without starting a cycle of post-election political persecution.

Corruption is abundant. Even Amazon faces backlash after a suspicious settlement while contractors pass the buck. The biggest scandal of all: the lie that government shuts-down during a so-called "government shutdown". Some entitlements may be interrupted, but that's about all. A true shutdown of the government only exists in the most radical Conservatives' wildest dreams.

The tradition of panic over a rumored government shutdown dates back to the Clinton era when Bill vetoed the budget. Before then, no one dared touch a spending bill as it made way through the murky aisleways of Washington. It has since remained a threat politicians dangle over each other's heads in attempt to hold the American people captive to their petty partisan playbook. That myth, also, is being exposed.

Then there is immigration. Sanctuary cities are making themselves unpopular with flyover country. Administrative action to merely enforce existing law should soon be heard by the Supreme Court where Justice Kennedy will once again rule in favor of Justice Kennedy being the deciding swing vote who takes orders from no political party. Remember, Supreme Court justices always vote for the supremacy of the Supreme Court. The best guess is that his ruling will be half-and-half, mixed with a few doses of seemingly off-topic "surprise".

The American people are being played once again, from confronting corruption to budgets and bills. Washington could do much more, it's just waiting for the people to get all excited first. But, the Democrats may have overplayed their hand this time.

The premise behind Republican support for amnesty and programs like DACA was to gain votes by gaining new voters. The memo leaked from the Center for American Progress rallies the call that DACA is ‘critical’ to Democrats’ ‘future electoral success’. That basically suggests that Americans don't support Democrats—that Democrats don't serve their current voters.

Republicans spoke the same way during the Bush years; Jeb has piped in just to make sure the world knows that the Bush family still thinks that way. But, today's Republicans are starting to step away from all that rotgut and even push back on the "shutdown" threats.

Democrat politicians are now known to believe that a permanent class of voters dependent on government handouts is necessary to their future. DACA held a flickering hope of offering that. But, by shutting down the government to save DACA, the Democrats have alienated current voters dependent on those handouts. Their chances in 2018 look to be turning downward. It almost seems as if the Democratic party is self-destructing on purpose. And, that raises deeper questions.

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Symphony

Encore of Revival: America, January 15, 2018

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSL7TIAeph0

This was the week of rouses and houses. Trump called a bipartisan meeting from Congress at the White House and, to the surprise of many, much of the meeting showed on video. Everyone seemed to get along. Viewers could see real, actual video of leaders in real, normal conversation. It was somewhat unusual and not the least bit jarring.

Then began the rouse and purported fake news. The Wall Street Journal is accused of reporting that Trump claims a good relationship with Kim Jong Un rather than that he would have a good relationship with Kim Jong Un. This was one of the more obvious misreports. Another included Trump speaking vulgarly about unfortunate nations in his bipartisan meeting at the White House.

While there is no recording of his comments to members of Congress, there is a recording of what Trump said to the Wall Street Journal, which so far has refused to change the disputed quote.

Whether Trump actually spoke the dirty word as reported is left up to a whosaidhesaidit argument on Capital Hill. The big change: Republicans actually spoke in Trump's defense, that he didn't use such words. That should be notoriety enough, when someone receives support from his own enemies.

Then, there was the rouse in Hawaii with a false invasion alarm. Don't worry, Hawaii will think through what any Product Manager worth half of his salt would have drawn-up for a product roadmap well in advance. They will make it harder to press the "panic" button and equip their system with a "cancel" button to turn off the panic. Of course, it was all an accident and a big misunderstanding, nothing anyone needs to lose a job over.

In fact, the slew of rouses that trailed after the video of the president getting along with leaders in Washington was all a complete and coincidental "aligning of the planets", such a celestial event that does happen in nature, such as blue moons and Halley's Comet, except that the unusual string of rouses itself doesn't seem to be worth covering in the press—at least not elsewhere.

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Encore of Revival: America, January 8, 2018

American news has a culture of rhetoric. People in that culture rehearse the "I'm really serious about this" tone, mannerisms, and gestures. They genuinely believe that "serious" delivery and well-distributed reports are the primary cause of public opinion. They think Trump was elected by mere propaganda and so they fight back with mere propaganda as if mere propaganda was the problem and its own solution. Now, it's more apparent than ever.

Since Trump announced, about 18 months ago, members of the "opinion class" have lived in a dream world that could not foretell the approaching train and cannot acknowledge the cause of the wreckage left when they wouldn't get off the tracks. And now, it seems that they think maintaining that dream will cast some magical, mind-control spell on the public.

Disassemble Wolff's comment, just as an example: "The economy is booming possibly because you’ll have someone who’s not capable of actually implementing any policies or regulation..." Since when did anyone in mainstream media believe that reducing government would help the economy? Then again, for people who think that rhetoric "trumps" results and that propaganda pulls rank over proof, such statements don't seem like a contradiction.

Take Jake Tapper's comment as he interrupted his guest, Stephen Miller: "I get it. There's one viewer that you care about right now and you're being obsequious... in order to please him." That video has been reposted and shared across the Internet, being viewed thousands of times just in the last day. No way was Miller speaking to only one audience member. Some may remember the incident for using big words many in the audience don't know, salacious and obsequious. But, few will notice that Tapper set a much more powerful precedent. By saying, "him," Jake Tapper is on well-viewed and -documented record as believing that it is not insulting to use the masculine pronoun when referring to an individual who could be of any gender. That also is a reversal from the mainstream mass media.

Then, low ratings in the NFL are being blamed on having too many games for fans to watch, even though the NBA has more games than people can watch and it's ratings are up through the roof. Since, as Wolff reports, the 25th Amendment is in discussion in so many places, perhaps it's time to speculate the hypothetical that the NFL protests could have been part of some conspiracy to raise NBA ratings. Merely discussing hypotheticals is all that matters for something to be worthy of reporting, right?

While the Left takes their turn objecting in their own way to the opposing agenda pushing through the White House, the Right are more interested in the mass media meltdown. At least that's how some people view it, but not everyone.

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Encore of Revival: America, January 2, 2018

Terrorist talk didn't wait as the New Year arrived. Protests in Tehran have drawn two kinds of buzz: the first is that "keeping quiet" is the best way to respond, the second is that "economics" is the reason for the protests.

Taking the obvious first, people don't protest and riot merely over economics. This is a clear attempt by de facto pro- status quo pundits and media personalities to diminish the matter. Iranian people object to their government for the same reason everyone else does: it's a tyrant and terrorist-sponsoring regime. Reporting that the cause and headline-worthy DNA of the protests in Iran are merely about the "economy" is an insult to both the protesters and the protest victims.

The more complex buzz—claiming that the best response is to "keep quiet"—has several levels of "irony". Keeping quiet didn't work with getting Otto Warmbier back from North Korea—a friend of Iran—when Obama instructed the same tactic with Otto's family. So, "keeping quiet" has already proven to not work. Supporting protests discredits the protests and therefore gives more power to the current regime?—people in the press actually expect Americans to believe that? But, the largest of all contradictions coming from the Left relates to Trump himself. If "keeping quiet" is the way to win, why doesn't the Left try "keeping quiet" about Trump, since they don't seem to be stopping him with their constant heckling?

Reactions and spin aside, the US is in "tyranny-crackdown" mode. Perhaps the Iranian people are taking to the streets because they finally believe that when America speaks something will actually happen. That has been the evidence of the last year, anyway.

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Encore or Revival: America, December 18, 2017

This week brought a major revelation about corruption in the news industry. Generally, Symphony's Encore avoids scandal "sleaze" stories, but this is becoming big news. A former Fox contributor—an attorney who left her job for work with Fox News—claims to have her own legal basis for breaking her silence that $2.5 million bought concerning her own harassment stories. "We just want to work," she said. Her own words speak for themselves and it is a must-read story.

But note: the problem is by no means limited to Fox. The problem of harassment is not limited to sexual harassment nor is corruption limited to the news industry. Right now, major issues of corruption are being exposed across America. It will reach Sunday morning fellowships and news networks other than Fox. Similar scandals are on display with the Mueller investigation, which smells of corruption from both those investigated and those doing the investigation. Trump is wise to let Mueller continue because, one way or another, the people who are truly corrupt are either being exposed or exposing themselves and, in this case, possibly both.

People will try to exploit the many kinds of scandals as they always do. That will irritate people. Some will claim that none of the scandals are legitimate because of the phonies who want too much blood or too much attention. The public will become slower on the draw to mob and lynch criminals. And, people we never thought were scandalous will have their own truth shown. What we thought we knew is in for a major overhaul.

This is a call to sobriety, to respect and address the true problem, to grant forgiveness where it is needed, to accept help from people who have a turnabout "come to Jesus moment" about their own crimes, and to accept the truth about evils that no one wants to accept.

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Encore of Revival: America, December 11, 2017

Little to nothing new happened this week. The supposed Democratic attempt to fry Moore by frying Franken only fried Franken. Franken's seat is secure for Democrats; Moore's seat would be up for party grabs in Alabama. The theory goes that the Democratic party viewed Franken as expendable since a Democrat would likely replace him, but Moore, a Republican, would be replaced by a Democrat, thus the Democrats would gain a seat in the Senate. By accusing and frying Franken of the same kind of sex scandal as Moore, it seemed to be non-hypocritical for Democrats to expect that Moore step down.

That's the theory anyway as to why so many Democrat-leaning voices went after Franken.

Theory or no, it didn't happen. The Clinton years cemented the unofficial Democratic position that "sex and morals" don't affect politicians—that a man can cheat on his wife and remain loyal to his country. Republicans are the party of "morality police", in a sense. Once a sinner proves he is a sinner, it's time to hang a "scarlet letter 'A'" around his neck and burn him at the stake. But, especially with the public being tired from having to remove Kevin Spacey from their "favorites" lists, the Republican voters don't want anymore. "A Republican proves to be a sinner in need of forgiveness" no longer means that "moralless Democrats need to gain power" in the minds of Republican voters. The press "pooped in its diapers" over scandals one too many times and the Religious Right just doesn't care anymore. The "scandal trump card" is no longer part of the rules as of this political season.

With the Alabama special election coming up tomorrow, and a tax bill about to get through Congress, headlines may finally change a little from what they have been for the past month. Thanks to the continued distraction provided by Mueller's ongoing and seemingly directionless investigation of Russianewsgategate, the White House is moving forward and may start creating new headlines soon. Not having to write the same story week after week will come as a relief to some writers, but a disappointing alarm to get off the couch for the mainstream.

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Encore of Revival: America, December 4, 2017

Demagoguery hit the fan. It's never been more obvious. Reputable news sources—not the average British tabloids trying to tell Americans what to do—are rehashing old plays from the playbook: Congress is worried about the president saying things on Twitter. If the president doesn't obey someone he hired and can fire, now that's called "finding a loophole".

The president can say what he wants. The president can do what he wants in the White House without having to find loopholes. That's especially true with the village of cards Obama made with his executive orders that he knew would be so easily blown away by whoever the next guy was to take office. If Obama can create czars with no legal basis, the president should be allowed to talk to a White House staff member without getting permission.

But now, the Russianewsgategate scandal is making its full about turn, though the boomerang isn't quite back in hand yet. The DOJ oversees the FBI; Congress oversees both. Whatever—whatever—Congress says, the FBI and DOJ must do, including answer questions. It seems that they didn't answer questions. Congress is moving for contempt action, which isn't pretty. Though the president kept his peace, now the "directionless" special investigation is so obviously without good purpose that the president feels it's okay to say so.

The funny part is, had Jeff Sessions not caved into the anti-Trump pressure to recuse himself, he would be hit with the contempt action from Congress. But, he played by anti-Trump rules, so, ironically and poetically, Congressional action against a seemingly anti-Trump motive won't hurt him. Grab your popcorn. This will only get more entertaining.

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Encore of Revival: America, November 27, 2017 – Thanksgiving

This past week America celebrated Thanksgiving, a holiday in memory of a few brave Pilgrims who had determined to escape Europe's oppressive Feudalism. For the most part this week, American news reflected that we haven't finished the challenging road that those Pilgrims began almost four centuries ago.

Thanksgiving celebrates God's provision for a Bible-reading people who sought new lands where parents could teach their own children to read and write and think critically so they could grow up and understand the Bible for themselves. Everything good in America today came from that wise ambition.

Their economy was based on the first known Communist experiment, almost three centuries before an eastern nation tried the a more official version of the same principle: from each according to his ability, to each according to his need. When the Pilgrims abandoned that experiment, instead, for individual stewardship and self-reward, their shortages abandoned them, the colony prospered, and their Feudalistic investors got their money back, all while respecting the crown that granted them passage. The colony in the north became financially free, and thus the rest of the colonies almost free at last.

While, at the time, Britain had only colonized what is today the southern area of the United States, a well-veiled blessing brought bad weather and forced the Pilgrims to land in the north and found colonies that would eventually become the Norther States that would preserve the Union and give Lincoln's "new birth of freedom" more than two centuries later.

No doubt wicked Men try relentlessly to commandeer the prosperity and growth pioneered by the Pilgrims. No doubt many among the masses who don't know any better blame the Pilgrims and the nation that came after them for the evil deeds of those wicked Men. Still, Americans who carry the heart of the Pilgrims today press on, even in the face opponents who wield false accusation.

One important lesson from the Pilgrims we see especially on display this Thanksgiving: Respect is the best road to freedom. It might be the only road.

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Encore of Revival: America, November 20, 2017

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TklJqOx2HHI

When Trump came home, the bleacher coaches had a thousand and one opinions. The press expected victory overnight. But, the success of a diplomacy trip is not found in what happens during the trip, but what comes in the weeks and months—and years—after.

Too many loud voices don't know how to think long-term.

Artificial Intelligence has become a religion. Many might have guessed that with how many tech users and leaders idolize their own technology. But, it is becoming official. The attempt to create a computer smarter than humans—that seeks to obtain more civil liberties than humans—should be immediately regarded as an enemy of the state and the people.

While AI could be engineered to smartly serve the people, certain ventures seek to personify machines and revere them as sentient—a dark hope to make AI-oppressors of the sci fi movies become a dark reality. No one in right and wise mind would not call for an immediate dismantling of those projects that overtly seek to make humans lesser than the machines humans create.

Technological advances have not brought peace in America. No, America needs Jesus.

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