Jun 25, 2015

The Interesting Case of Verda Byrd

via Western Spring

Following hot on the heals of the Rachel Dolezal case we have been presented by the mass media with yet another story obviously designed to confuse people and blur our perception of the issues of race and ethnic identity, the case of Verda Byrd. Unlike Rachel Dolezal however, Verda Byrd is not a White woman pretending to be Black, she is described in the media as a ‘White woman’ who for seventy years believed she was Black.
We are told in the various news media accounts that have been published that Verda Byrd was as a baby, first fostered and subsequently adopted by an ‘African-American’ couple, Ray and Edwinna Wagner, and was raised as a ‘Black child’, having been told by her adoptive parents that she was a ‘light-skinned African American’. Having lived as an ‘African American’ for most of her life, Verda decided at the age of seventy to begin tracing her biological parents and discovered they were both recorded as ‘White’. Subsequently, Verda has been re-united with three siblings, the only surviving children of her biological mother who had ten children in all.

Verda Byrd 5

Verda Byrd has been angered by the Rachel Dolezal case and has spoken out critically, as she feels that Dolezal has deceived people, claiming to be something she is not. This however causes us to examine Verda Byrd and her true racial status, as Byrd’s criticisms of Dolezal would appear to be misplaced if not hypocritical if she too were found to be claiming to be something she is not, and this issue of true racial status is brought sharply into question when one sees photographs of Byrd, who would appear to be of mixed race and not ‘White’ as she claims.

 So, free from media hype and stories driven by an evident bias towards causing confusion over these issues, let us examine the facts of Verda Byrd’s background, just as we did regarding Rachel Dolezal, in my earlier article about her.

Verda Byrd 2

Verda Byrd was born Jeanette Beagle on 27th September 1942, apparently the fifth child born to a White couple, Earl and Daisy Beagle. Very shortly after Jeanette was born however, Earl Beagle walked out on his wife and never came back. It would appear that something significant had happened that motivated Earl Beagle to abruptly end his relationship with Daisy, the mother of his four other children, and sadly in February 1943,  just months after Earl had walked out, Daisy was involved in an accident at work which left her hospitalised and unable to care for her children for many months.  The children were all placed in care and while the older siblings were later returned to their mother, Jeanette who was still a baby and by this time had no memory of her biological mother, was deemed as too settled with her foster parents to have her life disrupted again. Daisy agreed to Jeanette’s adoption by the Wagners, who renamed her Verda and raised her as their adopted African American child.

Verda Byrd 4b

If one examines photographs of Verda as a child, and as a young woman, she bears a striking similarity in appearance to her adoptive mother Edwinna Wagner, who was a ‘light-skinned African American’ woman and this was undoubtedly something that would have pleased Edwinna Wagner and been a significant factor in her decision to adopt Verda.

If one compares the photographs of Verda as a child and a young woman with a photograph of Earl and Daisy Beagle, it becomes apparent that she bears very little resemblance to either parent. We know that Daisy acknowledged Verda (Jeanette) as her biological child, but the obvious physical dissimilarity between Verda and Earl Beagle leads one to strongly suspect that he was probably not her biological father. For Verda to have the appearance of the ‘light-skinned African American’, one would logically expect her biological father to be a somewhat less lightly-skinned African American rather than the very European looking Earl Beagle.

In a report of this case in the San Antonio Express News, it states: “Interesting questions have been raised on the journey of self-discovery. One of Byrd’s sisters [presumably Sybil Panko] wondered whether their father was the same man. She noted Byrd seemed to have black features … [another sister, Kathryn Rouillard] said any concerns about Byrd’s heritage, or why Byrd was put up for adoption are a moot point …”

Verda Byrd 1

If one looks at a photograph of Verda Byrd with her three surviving siblings, it is evident that appearance wise, she is very much the odd-one-out. Sybil Panko, who is seventy-six years old and was evidently one of Earl and Daisy Beagle’s first four children, bears a strong similarity to her father, while Verda does not. The two younger siblings, Kathryn Rouillard, who is fifty-nine and Debbi Romero, who is fifty-six, resemble their mother and because of their ages, are obviously children that Daisy Beagle had much later with her second husband — her name was Daisy Pierce at her death.

The balance of probability therefore overwhelmingly suggests that Daisy and Earl Beagle had four children together and when Daisy became pregnant once again, eventually giving birth to Verda (Jeanette), Earl noticed the non-White appearance of the new baby and suspecting his wife of infidelity, walked out on her.

Once Daisy had recovered from the accident she later suffered, she regained custody of the four ‘legitimate’ children by her former husband, but was persuaded by social services to allow her ‘light-skinned’ but evidently mixed-race baby to be adopted by the Wagners. In race conscious 1940s America a White woman with four White children could still envisage finding a new husband, but a White woman with four White children and a mixed-race baby would have great difficulty finding a new husband, either Black or White.

While a comparative DNA analysis of Verda and her three half-sisters would be interesting to see,  it seems virtually certain that Verda, a person of very dilute non-White ancestry, was correctly identified by her adoptive mother and is as she has always previously believed, a ‘light-skinned, African American woman’ — not the ‘White woman’ she now believes herself to be.

Weathering the Storm

via Counter-Currents

Our current social climate in the United States is comparable to the Great Red Spot of Jupiter, a large storm that has been raging on that planet for hundreds of years. This storm is highly destructive, but it is also highly predictable. Like all storms, the ingredients for disaster are a mixture of elements clashing together: high and low air pressure, moisture, temperature changes, etc. Alone these ingredients amount to nothing, but when forced to share the same space, they become a recipe for disaster. The greater the diversity in any area, the greater the potential for destruction.

On Earth, these naturally destructive outbursts are measured, recorded, and studied, so that those who monitor the weather can predict potential disasters and inform the public. With this information we can take the necessary steps to protect ourselves, our families, and our communities.

The recent “protests” in Baltimore, Maryland, are a storm that could easily make its way to other cities in no time. The diverse ingredients for disaster are present in every major city across the US: high racial tension, low self-esteem, with anger and resentment near a boiling point. We trust the media to warn us of potential natural disasters so that we may protect ourselves from Mother Nature’s wrath. But what if the media omits information, working to makes disasters worse to boost ratings and satisfy long-simmering resentments?

We understand race; we understand religion; we understand sex and gender roles; we understand that these are ways to identify who we are and where we belong. Human beings are naturally comfortable with their own. Therefore, they will defend their own in order to have a more comfortable living situation now and in the future.

The weather is always changing, but it is predictable. We know that it will never rain pellets of iron; we understand that it snows in the winter and rains more often in the spring. So why are we surprised when a snow storm buries a city in the middle of January? Why do we act as though we didn’t see it coming? Even when a meteorologist warns us of several inches of snow, you will still find people stranded in their vehicles on the side of the road.

We ignore the legitimate warnings of a coming blizzard, denying the truth because we just want to get on with our lives. If we deny the truth broadcast by the media, how will we react to evidence that the media lies by omission?

We react with levels of denial that are astonishing.

During a press conference about the rioting in the city of Baltimore, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said, “We gave those who wished to destroy, space to do that as well.”

This is a black female leader of a predominately black city. The local police were instructed to “stand down” in order to give those who wished to destroy, a safe space to do exactly that. The police were caught targeting reporters, not rioters, in order to keep the Mayor’s order to “stand down” under wraps. This is proof that the riots in Baltimore were being legitimized by the ruling political party. Mayor Rawlings-Blake approves of civil unrest, and blacks felt entitled to riot, without any sense of accountability. This sense of black entitlement means that riots will spread like a storm to all cities in the US, since there is no shortage of black criminals whose arrest will provide provocations.

The entitlement to riot is born of the presumption that blacks are the victims of a ubiquitous and unseen oppression. This oppression is now an occult force, an article of faith, since blacks objectively are a privileged group, and they are overwhelmingly the aggressors rather than the victims in interracial crimes. But the truth about interracial crime, police brutality, and anything else that does not fit the media narrative of black victimization is purposefully omitted from public discourse.

When Obama sends representatives to mourn the death of a black criminal at the hands of the police, not once but twice, he is sending a message of solidarity with the black community as a whole. When the black President of the United States sends a message of solidarity with the black community, how is that not black privilege? When the black Mayor of Baltimore orders police to stand down, granting a safe space for “those who wish to destroy,” how is that not black privilege? Ironically, whites have never granted such privileges to the criminals among us.

If state-sponsored anti-white rioting does not wake white people up, I don’t know what will. Whites are the scapegoats for the failure of the impossible dream of black equality. But whites need more than a target on our backs. We need to shed the false stigmas of white guilt. We need a positive white identity, to rally around, to pull ourselves together to weather the coming storm and then work for the betterment of our folk.

Blacks, although misinformed, have come together to fight what they believe to be “the power” over them. Even rival gangs like the Bloods and the Crips have put their differences aside to fight against their so-called oppressor. This is the type of cohesion we need. If whites do not stand for and hold on to our identity and our interests, we will be destroyed by those who do. If we continue to deny this truth, we will be swept away by a great red storm. Pun intended.

Goofus and Gallant Respond to Terrorism

via TradYouth

Norway’s Effective Response to Terrorism
Four years ago, the world was rocked by a truly horrific act of terrorism, Anders Breivik’s methodical and militaristic assassination of an island full of children. Breivik, like Dylann Roof, hoped and planned for his action to provoke his Norwegian and European opponents of identity into a polarizing reaction. After all, Bin Laden’s terrorist attacks on America a decade prior fueled a series of overreactions and missteps which propelled Islamic radicalism from a minor regional issue into a global force which is defeating the American military and American interests on just about every front.

Terrorism happens when it achieves political objectives, and it’ll keep happening as long as it keeps achieving political objectives.

Breivik had every reason to believe that terrorism would work. Yet, curiously, Norway didn’t overreact. Like the good citizens of Whoville who sang merrily despite the Grinch having stolen Christmas, they refused to react negatively, to walk into his strategic trap. As an American, it seems that the least they could do is execute Breivik, but the Norwegians failed to even sentence the man to life in prison, and his prison sentence is uncomfortably comfortable by American standards. They didn’t silence nationalist voices or go on a fanatical witch hunt in the aftermath, despite having the perfect pretext to do so.

The anti-terrorism bill which they did pass about a year later was quite limited by American standards, with the Prime Minister vividly cognizant of the importance of refusing to allow terrorists to influence politics. After signing it, PM Jens Stoltenberg remarked, “My message is that fundamentally Norway is the same kind of society.”

This is the gallant way to respond to the unthinkable. Punish the guilty. Take intelligent measures to protect society from future acts of terror. Then respond in the last way that terrorist theoreticians hope you’ll respond: By refusing to become a monster in one’s pursuit of monsters.

American society went for the goofus approach to Islamic terrorism, slaughtering, starving, and humiliating millions of peaceful Muslims around the world, inspiring entirely new generations of anti-American jihadis who are now coming of age to take revenge. All signs indicate that America’s going to respond to Roof’s murderous rampage with a similarly polarizing attack on Southern heritage and identity, White Advocacy, and right-wing “hate groups” like TradYouth.

We’ve consistently renounced and rejected violence and hatred at every opportunity, but it honestly doesn’t matter. The American government, media, and academia refuse to distinguish between ourselves and Dylann Roof. For them, the fact that he had ideas similar to our own confirms that our ideas are evil and must be stamped out at all costs. America will willfully disregard the fact that terrorist violence knows no ideology. There are environmental terrorists, socialist terrorists, anarchist terrorists, religious terrorists, anti-religious terrorists, and an impressive list of anti-racist and anti-white terrorists in recent memory.

Dylann Roof falsely believed the lie that the ideology underlying White Advocacy necessarily entails violence. This is a lie which permeates our society, the belief that to be pro-white must necessarily entail being vehemently–even murderously–anti-minority. It doesn’t, but the ADL, the SPLC, the mainstream media, and the federal government have invested millions and millions in crystallizing this falsehood in the collective American mind; that the only way to promote White interests is with violence. A small minority of White Nationalists, many of them outright cranks and many of them surely government assets operating honeypots, also repeat this lie.
It is a lie, and it needs to be put to rest before more lives are lost.

If this society keeps overreacting to nationalist terrorism, persecuting innocent whites in response to these episodes, then my side, the side of White Identity, will win. If Whites get pushed hard enough by the radical leftists, they’ll eventually push back, and there remain enough traditional white folks in America to easily defeat the opposition if it’s cornered and forced to awaken and react defensively. If all of the gun laws, “hate speech” and “hate crime” laws, and attacks on Southern heritage and identity continue, then America will have the same historical process take place in the heartland that took place in the Middle East, with a homegrown White Christian equivalent of ISIS emerging to “take it back” without moralizing or apologizing.
I don’t want to win in that manner.

I believe that a peaceful and moral White Nationalist can win. But that’s really not up to me. It’s up to our opponents whether they wish to continue their current polarization strategy of denying us platforms, driving us into the social, economic, and political outer darkness. Dylann clearly explained in his manifesto that his act was intended to trigger a race war by provoking anti-whites into an overreaction. If the symbol of Southern heritage and identity is removed from the statehouse in response to this act, then the terrorist will have won.

One Man in State of Five Million Kills Nine People -- Governor Removes Confederate Flag

via Return of Kings

In the most contrived act of symbolism in the history of the Southern United States, Governor Nikki Haley has called for the Confederate flag to be removed from the South Carolina State Capitol. Despite being Governor for four and a half years (and seemingly able to pick up a history of slavery book), it took the alleged killing of nine black bible study attendees by white supremacist Dylann Roof for Haley to act.

Our narcissism culture has reached yet another apex, the old record receding into oblivion. The Governor’s cry reeks of opportunism and “my time in history.” Should we now expect a 2020 run for the White House?

South Carolina is a state of nearly five million people, but the purported actions of one man has led to the flag being removed. Not only is this sensationalist, given the ample reasons and popular excuses for taking down the flag previously, it reflects other unsettling, jump-the-gun trends in society.

For example, the near-universal description of Dylann Roof has been that of a recluse and probably mentally ill loner. Yet the events in Charleston are now being used to portray a huge chunk of America’s 200-million-plus Caucasians as unabashed, inveterate racists upholding an all-powerful anti-black social system.

Why not get rid of the American flag?

Governor Haley’s decision is a contextual non-sequitur. Of course, it fits perfectly the preponderant narrative of the United States, where a flag initially supportive of slavery (the Stars and Stripes) is upheld and revered, while another, subsequent one is vilified. But it should cause us all to ponder the selective nature of how history is invoked, especially in times where those like Governor Haley can generate immense political capital. Renderings of and judgments about past times require a very hazy memory in the modern age.

America’s flag epitomizes the ad hoc remembering of US history. Its thirteen stripes represent the thirteen colonies and founding states which, by and large, Northern or Southern, allowed forms of slavery to persist until decades after independence. Slavery in the North was only really extinguished 20 years before the Civil War started.

Moreover, the various Northern economies were far from comparable to the cotton-producing South. It is highly contestable that Yankee states would still have steadily abolished the practice of slavery if their cash crops and non-agricultural output had been different.

Although feminists and others deliberately obfuscate the story of female suffrage (most non-landholding men were denied the vote until only some decades or even mere years before women), there’s no doubt that women did not have the vote when the American flag was adopted. So why not tear it down as well? You see, SJW-led rage spirals against the Confederate flag depend on rampant tunnel vision.

In addition, how about we rename Washington D.C. as Martin Luther King D.C. because of George Washington’s undeniable racism? Or have some college professor-legislators posthumously declare Thomas Jefferson a rapist for having sex with the slave Sally Hemings? The list of things we should, logically, be doing or revising in light of the juxtaposition of American history with SJW ideology is limitless.

The Confederate flag itself isn’t the main point

If Nikki Haley had any conviction, rather than political radar, she would have lowered the Confederate flag years ago.

The central issue, aside from elites’ ignorance of other similar historical symbols, is instead the chosen reasons for removing the flag. Other ones have, as I have said, existed prior to the events in Charleston. Political decisions such as lowering this flag have been made to maximize public fallout, not when the time is (or was) actually right.

As the first minority Governor of South Carolina, surely Nikki Haley, albeit a Subcontinental Indian-American, would have already grasped African-American feelings about the Confederate flag when she originally entered the South Carolina legislature ten years ago, before her first gubernatorial campaign.

White supremacists have appropriated the American flag before, too. This is a fact lost on the Governor and others, especially those in the race-baiting “civil rights community.” In her statement, Haley referred to two widely-held views of the Confederate flag in South Carolina, positive and negative, saying they could coexist. A greater lie will probably never pass her lips.

By removing the Confederate flag in the immediate aftermath of the church shooting, Haley is forever equating Dylann Roof’s use of it with the use by countless non-accused murderers throughout her state and the entire South.

Walmart is now banning Confederate merchandise… and getting advertising worth millions

Even more than Haley, Walmart could have done its own “lowering” of the Confederate flag and stopped selling it and related merchandise years ago. But it’s only done it now. From a PR standpoint, Walmart is behaving in the most economically rationalist sense possible, jumping on the bandwagon before other retailers can.

Excuse my eye rolling, and presumably yours, however. I have no reason to believe that Walmart’s customer base doesn’t mirror US demographics, so a similar proportion of African-Americans would shop there as there are blacks in the United States’ population. So why now, Walmart? If you wanted to do the right thing by history, why not do it 130 or 140 years after slavery was fully ended, not 150?

We’ll never get these answers, frankly, because politicians and corporations will be too enamored with profiting from this propitious moment. In the meantime, regular, everyday people will be hiding a flag they previously cherished, not as a sign of bigotry, but of their heritage. And Walmart will save millions of dollars in planned advertising.

SJWs and other political opportunists are shameless in their timing

Two gay marriage opportunists.

Look at Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s flip-flopping on gay marriage. Both reversed their opinions after a majority or near-majority of Americans were shown to support it in certain polls. Most importantly, they were on the cusp of momentous political runs: Hillary had just quit her post as Secretary of State and was eyeing a presidential run; Obama was only months away from his reelection bid.

Governor Haley’s call regarding the Confederate flag, and the seconding of those supporting it, is similarly timed and unapologetically hypocritical.

It’s true that patience is a virtue. But there’s a gargantuan difference between patience about removing a perceived symbol of racism (according to many) and waiting to remove that symbol until a time that guarantees you and others your laudatory day in the sun. Nikki Haley knows all about this.

Viewing Stoicism from the Right

via Radix

Some days ago, Roosh posted on Return of Kings excerpts of writings by the philosopher Seneca. Earlier in 2015 he posted an introduction to Stoicism by Epictetus, another philosopher who thrived as a member of this school of thought. Stoicism appeared in the ancient Athens among other schools such as Epicurism and Aristotle’s Academism. It gained success after being introduced in Rome on the second century B.C., and it seems to enjoy a renewed interest in the manosphere today.

The following story encapsulates a core feature of Stoicism. Though he was born a slave, Epictetus had started studying Stoicism under the guidance of a teacher. According to Celsus (Origen, Contra Celsus, 7, 53), he has been tortured by his master who deliberately twisted his leg. The philosopher-slave gave nothing to the pain: he endured it with complete composure and calmly told the master “if you keep twisting it, it will break.” The latter kept twisting, Epictetus’ leg broke in a crack, and the philosopher merely said: “didn’t I tell you that it would break?” This story was recorded by pagans as well as early Christians. It is likely to be the origin of the expression enduring stoically—that is, giving nothing to whatever pain or suffering is inflicted on you, dominating it under the guard of your composure.

Elements of Stoic philosophy can be found in modern authors who are usually known for their own sake. The French Jansenist Blaise Pascal wrote a pedagogical discourse where he tells an eight-year-old noble how, far from being inherently aristocratic, he owes his situation to fortune. Being born here or there, going through this or that situation, is random and different for each individual. Therefore, Pascal writes, a nobleman must act as if he had more dignity—and act with a due sense of responsibility—while remaining that he is neither superior nor different at all. His situation is merely a place he has been thrown in by God or fortune. It is merely individual and quite random. Individuals are shuffled into a vast haphazard world and they should be prepared to endure. A similar theme echoes in Nietzsche’s notion of amor fati, loving one’s fate no matter what happens.

Edifying Oneself

Given Roosh’s convoluted path, the relevance of Stoicism from his point of view is hardly a mystery. This philosophy strikes an important chord for many of us as well. We have been raised for being career-minded chimps and consumers. We were accustomed at looking for other people’s recognition, at avoiding disputes, and believing that consumerism and niceness would be enough for solving most problems. The most “nice” we were, the most it meant that we were actually weak and dependent. We also tended to think about society and the usual environment as something made to last. If fortune existed, it seemed curtailed by the modern world and its immanent process of “progress.” C’mon, it’s 2015!

And then, going beyond the bubble of comfort and wishful thinking, we found out what it really was. We realized through pain and disappointment that being realistic and self-reliant was much better. Indeed, as our sixty-eighter parents forgot the origin of the word “fit” to the point of turning it into mere physical maintenance—doing zumba is “fitness”—we found illuminating explanations in the very root of the word: fitness is adaptation. In nature, if you aren’t fit enough, you sink. And in society? It depends if society is something coming after nature, i.e. something wholly different from nature, or merely a layer added on the top of it. Sixty-eighters and other leftists cling to the first idea, conscious people accept to embrace the second.

Of course, the Stoics didn’t know about evolution. They didn’t need it, however, to realize that taking comfort and well-meaning relatives for granted makes one flimsy. The day they are taken from you, what will you do? And even if comfort was to last forever, would it protect you from being frustrated at small things? “Never trust prosperity,” wrote Seneca. “I’ve seen for myself people sunk in gloom in cheerful and delightful country houses, and people in completely secluded surroundings who looked as if they were run off their feet.”

Looking around us we can see how relevant the Stoic teachings are. Many White children today are spoiled by comfort and ineffective parenting. They play with an iPhone at six or eight years old, never receive punishment from their parents no matter what they do. As a result, they turn hyperactive, which is a polite word to say dissipated and unable to focus, become temperamental, are either unable to socialize with other children or have more respect for the stronger child who can punch their face than for their own father. Those children would be much happier—and more advanced in their various classes—if they had learnt to rely on themselves rather than electronic devices and weak parents. The same goes for adult consumers: believing that any of their problems can be solved through buying and wishful thinking, they go from frustrations to disappointment as reality stubbornly goes away from their expectations.

Excessive dependence and inner instability were relevant in the ancient Roman Empire just as they are today. Seneca casted a critical eye on the practice of endless traveling. “People who spend their whole life travelling abroad end up having plenty of places where they can find hospitality but no real friendships... How can novelty of surroundings abroad and becoming acquainted with foreign scenes or cities be of any help? All that dashing about turns out to be quite futile.” Some weeks ago, the Millennial generation’s relationship with traveling was criticized here in a strikingly similar manner.

Consumer society lies on chronic frustration. One has to be unsatisfied to go buy in the last fashion, go to this or that diversion. The imperative of economic growth leads to the making of rootless individuals, working endlessly for buying cheap crap again and again. Some leftists have been good at pointing out how consumerism works but don’t have much to suggest as an alternative. On the other side, Stoicism gives you practical directions to follow. Embracing it is adopting an orientation: towards self-reliance, clarity of mind and the mastery of your emotions. A good Stoic finds in himself the resources for happiness. He is ready to go through the unknown, eager to subject his emotions to a deeper will. With such a mindset the Stoic is ready to take up the path for mastery. He will suffer less from the setbacks, failures and other vagaries one meets while trying to surpass himself.

Hence, Stoicism appears as a noble path for becoming steady and masterful. It is a philosophy for edification. Whatever happens—being ready, exerting one’s will as a flame that fortune cannot touch, commanding one’s resources is the pride of the Stoic.

Nasty Features

Those points made, everything isn’t so beautiful in the Stoic philosophy. It shows the world as a place hopelessly run by chance or fortune. The individual has a great potential to master his own emotional states and actions, he is responsible for what he does, but is completely powerless when it comes to the world. Each individual life is shown as owing everything to fortune and only at a much lesser degree to one’s actions. Stoicism gives a strange mix of optimism and pessimism: one can go to the heights of excellence and mastery, but no control is ever possible over the external world. Far from being masters and owners of nature, as said Descartes, we are thrown into the world like pinball balls and our responsibility lies in our inner territory.

It would be possible to analyze in-depth the key tenets of Stoic thought, yet I will highlight its dubious features in a more schematic manner. In my humble opinion, four of them can be pinpointed:

1) Pessimism. The future will be hard and tough. Even if you manage to reach prosperity, it can be stripped from you at any moment. There is nothing you can trust beyond your own abilities. With such a mindset it becomes hard to plan for something or seriously commit to something. The Stoic-influenced Jansenists were committed to salvation because their perspective took God as an eternal, undefeatable element. They casted a gloomy view on the world, treated people as contaminated sinners who should repent again and again until their death. Jansenists looked for Tradition, but didn’t know where to look. Their quest led them to an excessive and ultimately self-defeating asceticism. Despite the high social situation many of them had, the excessive austerities Jansenists practiced had the effect of hounding people out of religion, while the disingenuous but optimistic Jesuits teamed up with the King and had them persecuted. Pessimism demotivates. It makes one gloomy and repulsive. It should be noted that, at least, traditional Stoics were very optimistic on self-mastery and willing to work hard for obtaining it while Jansenists were poisoned by the idea that passions are beyond mind control.

2) Whoever you are, you have no control over the world you live in and how it works. Events are decided by fortune, which means a capricious god or an unpredictable randomness. This is typically what NLP-oriented coaches call a limiting belief: if one believes the workings of the world are beyond human action, he will never try to influence them. Stoicism leads to a sharp distinction between an inner world where one can achieve complete freedom through mastery of one’s mental states and an outer world where everything can appear, disappear or mix in a completely unpredictable manner.

3) As a result, a Stoic may turn exasperatingly self-absorbed and oblivious of the world around him. He may also have problems for basic sociability. Maybe Epictetus could have prevented his master from breaking his leg if he tried to stir up some doubts in the master’s mind by targeted questions. Sometimes maintaining composure and saying nothing fails while outward intervention would have achieved better results. Stoicism makes one individualist. If you believe that other individuals belong to “the world” whereas only you belong to yourself, try to communicate with or influence other people is pointless. They belong to the same random causes than everything else external. However, being sociable and believing that other people can be influenced provided one uses the right means works much better. If one’s aim is eudaimonia (happiness) through self-mastery, this can be a perfect excuse for not going out, remaining isolated and accept whatever the more socially savvy have decided for you, because at least they apply their power onto the world instead of focusing on themselves.

4) An especially nasty feature has grown out of later, Roman Stoicism: rootlessness. Individuals are thought of as essentially the same. There is no filiation, no sense of belonging, no sense of history. One has been merely thrown out in a random place: one could have been a Roman, a barbarian, a woman, a crippled or whatever. The implication is that individuals are at the bottom equivalent substantial selves. What they do differs, of course, but what they are is absolutely the same. Each individual is chained to his fate: “some are bound by a loose and golden chain, others by a tight chain of baser metal; but what difference does it make?” There is no sense of inheritance, no sense of belonging to a group or of being made for some specific activity. Individuals have no roots, no filiation, no history beyond themselves. They are thoroughly interchangeable. The only thing beyond your own similitude with others is your inner capacity of attaining tranquility of mind. Beyond that—a random universe where everything endlessly fluctuates but keeps an equal value.

The latter feature, individuals’ interchangeability and rootlessness, seems to me the worst one can find in Stoicism. Pessimism may be gloomy, at least it is sufficiently obvious to lead one towards changing his orientation. Individualism can be trumped too, especially if one aims for mastery in social matters. Experience shows quite clearly that people who are sociable and reasonably altruistic tend to succeed more than the depressive and the lunatic. But the rootless conception of individuals is way more insidious. It lurks in the background and leads one to consider with an equal indifference everyone he meets while other people attract power and money through tribalism.

Rootlessness leads to a self-defeating view of the individual, prone to treat him as he went from nowhere to nowhere with no belonging to the world he lives in. It is also blatantly false. I am not a disembodied soul associated with a random body, and neither are you. I don’t owe my life to a random attribution nor any “privilege.” I am the outgrowth of my genes, of a culture that has been crafted by my ancestors’ activity, my nation and my civilization. One is much more than a fleeting mind or a series of actions. We do exist for the world around us, as well as parts of the world exists for us. There is a sense of the extended self we must develop in order to achieve a shared White consciousness that Stoicism negates.

It is not because of fortune, but because of that very defect, that Seneca’s writings—as well as those from other Stoics—barely mention children. Just as our ancestors are our past, children are our future. We are links in a chain that gives perspective and sense to one’s life. We are peculiar, and children mean perpetuating what we are, sometimes pushing it to higher heights. Yet, if the extended self is negated and one is merely a pinball ball in a haphazard world, why bother with costly little babies? They are part of the world just as anything else. One may be a soldier or a mother, but one won’t do so thanks to a higher meaning or by the flame of Tradition: going to battle is merely fortune, just as anything else. As long as one maintains one’s composure and self-mastery, nothing really matters.

What Some Leftists Understand Better

Roosh has been a globetrotter for years. Randomness was a concrete reality of his life: when you are going in an unknown place searching for girls, the girls you will meet change depending on the time and moment you go. In his quest for girls, Roosh didn’t seem to entertain the thought of settling down to form a family. Nor did he feel any belonging to the shallow giant mall called United States. For years his blog has had a very small influence on the world around him. Stoicism was highly relevant to Roosh’s life, both in its positive features—self-reliance, mastery of one’s emotions, acceptance of any of the hardships to come—and the darker—rootlessness, individualism, outward gloom.

Now that we have seen the defects, it is easy to think about their reverses. Namely, enthusiasm instead of pessimism, outward focus instead of inwardness, projects for the world instead of pure resignation. Those features define philosophies that give more to a social whole. In Judaism, one can find sufficient outwardness for creating successful businesses and moneymakers and a messianism that gives hope in the future. Also, both Marxism and fascism show all the features outlined here by embodying themselves in collectivities, then moving them towards the actualization of a great project.

It works. In the animal kingdom, social species take the lion’s share. An individual ant is very small, but as a clad ants have been so successful that they gave rise to thousands of subspecies and so many individuals that all individual ants combined weight more than all humans on Earth. Familiar animals like cats aren’t always sociable towards their congeners but appear remarkably cute, playful, etc. with humans. This human-oriented sociability allowed domestic cats to become way more numerous and diverse than savage cats. The former are constantly fed by their owners and sometimes have numerous offspring whereas the second are loose individuals striving day by day.

In human history, countless small tribes have been subjugated by larger bodies. An empire typically rules over various tribes and nations. In the nineteenth century, Jews have succeeded at taking over various markets, especially in banking, by maintaining a consistent tribalist behavior. A strong consciousness of ingroup/outgroup, the idea that Jewish success would be the moral success, a careful attention to politics and every opportunity to act, have repeatedly trumped over societies of fragmented Europeans. The following century, a fragmented and banker-manipulated France was easily subjugated by the enthusiast soldiers of the Werhmacht. On the one side, a nation full of doubts, deeply undermined by corruption and secret societies. On the other side, an exalted people whose life was deeply meaningful: setting up an empire for a thousand years, ordering at least this world and defeating the corrupters. The second side was much better at cultivating motivation.

What do you want? If the answer is your own happiness—or, as the Stoics said, eudemonia—you would be right to reject consumer society and stick on self-mastery. Stoic philosophers also insisted on living in harmony with the cosmos, according to the laws of “nature.” There is an interesting streak here. The desire of cosmic harmony denotes an endeavor for something larger than the individual self, an attention towards the whole. However, given the Stoic views of pinball individuals thrown into a radically random world, the harmony one can hope to achieve lays in one’s mind. We fall back on the nasty features that subvert enthusiasm and outward projects.

Eudemonia Is Not Worth Victory

Happiness is a reasonable goal. Yet I don’t think it should be the ultimate goal. If it was, we would be better off not caring about what happens out there. We would accept being robbed by black thugs and attacked by a vicious media system. White genocide itself would be “fortune,” even if we know that it is the result of a conscious will. Accepting that descent into the abyss as “fortune” and burying our heads in the sand—even a purely mental, eudemonic sand—we wouldn’t be anything else than conservatives. I think we have a better sense of dignity and a more extroverted view.

The hell with individual happiness! We were born from the toil of generations of ancestors. We embody our civilization—both by genes and culture. This civilization is not any: it is the very inventor of modernity and science. The amount of wealth created and shared by our ancestors has no equivalent in any other civilization. Knowing that we are the current chain link, should be accept its further dissolution for a bit of “happiness” inside our heads? Even if some could achieve an unshakable serenity, this noble mental state would be void of dignity. It would be beauty in atomized, isolated minds. It would be blown up and forgotten like the flame of small candles in the wind. Anyone who yearns to Traditions wants better. Mere good-feeling is an ideal for sixty-eighters and cat ladies. A Templar knight, to take an example of true heroic behavior, would have laughed at it.

Leftists like to talk about “White resentment” or “male resentment.” Their talk is part of a strategy of venomous associations: terms like “resentment”, “fear” or “hatred” are negatively connoted. Widely repeated by the media, they associate anything outside of the Left hegemonic center with negative feeling. The leftist talk about our supposed “resentment” follows a Pavlovian logic. At the same time, it is not completely devoid of truth: we all felt rage at what the world is becoming, at our own lack of power. Yet our rage is legitimate. Our bad feelings, arising from the immersion in a corrupted world, are a proof of inner sanity. Feeling disgust at the degenerate is a mark of healthy taste.

Sometimes I remember some events of my past that fill me with anger. If I was aiming at mere happiness, I would work on my memories and feelings to suppress both. But this is not my aim. I don’t want to renounce to rage: I want it to motivate actions that will bring true justice on the world. Marxists didn’t triumph over so many people by aiming at individual eudemonia. On the same fashion, I feel that our individual rages here and there are much richer than what the leftists and eudemonists say. Rage can bind us as brothers of fortune, it leads us towards sharing a sense of justice and sharpening a sense of beauty. I don’t want happiness—I want victory, I want what defines me and us to shape the world. Mere individual happiness is an ideal for cows watching trains (or television). Victory over the criminals and degenerate today above us, not to mention more constructive aims—this is a meaningful aim. Happiness is a reasonable goal, victory is a higher end.

Stoicism gives one a sense of the higher. It makes one aware of his own potential. Stoicism helps you or remind you to aim at mastery as well as being prepared. Yet this philosophy also includes features that should be discarded in favor of collective enthusiasm, altruism, and a sense of the beautiful and fair to bring onto the world.

School District Spends $100,000 a Year to Teach Resentment to Black Kids, Guilt to Whites

via National Vanguard

Kim Feicke of OCEE warns teachers who attend
her seminars to “Watch out for whiteness.”
National Vanguard Editor's Note: The Oregon Center for Educational Equity is linked to the “Southern Poverty Law Center” Jewish hate group.

“White Privilege” seminars are being implemented for Oregon school officials and teachers, to the tune of $100,000 taxpayer dollars, EAG News reported.

The seminars start June 22, and are already filled, according the website of the Oregon Center for Educational Equity, which is hosting the event.
“Every year the Gresham-Barlow school district, like many others across the state, sends teachers and administrators to a week-long ‘Coaching for Educational Equity’ conference in Cottage Grove, Ore.
The annual event is based on the concept of “white privilege,” or the idea that all white people are racists, whether they realize it or not, and that racism permeates American society and the nation’s education system,” EAG reported.
Dan Chriestenson is a two-term school board member “who wants nothing more than to realize the goal of the civil right movement”, according to EAG, but he sees right through the OCEE’s agenda.
“If you tell a black kid that if you work hard you can achieve anything you set your mind to, that’s racist, because you are perpetuating a myth of meritocracy,” Chriestenson told EAG.
“They are setting black kids up for failure by telling them that whitey will never let them do it — this culture will never let them succeed. And they’re telling white kids that their best efforts will only produce undeserved rewards, because it was all handed to them.”
Chriestenson is deeply troubled by what he’s witnessing, and is sending a warning about the regressive message the “white privilege” seminars are sending.

“They are segregating students. They are spreading anger among students of color and guilt among white students.”

Chriestenson had a difficult time obtaining a copy of the manual to be distributed at the conference. The director of OCEE refused to turn over the information at first, stating it was meant to be “experienced, not read,” Chriestenson told EAG.

After much persuading to get his hands on the material, he understood why.

A summary titled “What is CFEE?” summarized the intention:
“…Many white people in Oregon have no idea that our schools and state are immersed in white culture and are uncomfortable and harmful to our students of color, while also reinforcing the dominant nature of white culture in our white students and families.”
The manual goes into a long list of “microaggressions” explaining what is acceptable to say and think, much like the newly discovered guidelines that were given out to California University staff that had recently made headlines.

It also explains in a handout that can be seen in its entirety here, that in order to play a positive role, white people must become an “Anti-racist white ally” as outlined in part:


To sum up the program, all white people who wish to rid themselves of their innate hidden racism need to admit that they are a racist. Encouraging a black student to work hard for success is also racist because that concept is, according to the OCEE doctrine, foreign to the black culture.

Abortion Drones

via Alternative Right

The phrase "Death from above" has just taken on a whole new meaning, after it was announced that an abortion-facilitating NGO plans to use drones to deliver abortion pills to women in Poland who wish to "terminate their pregnancies" (Orwellian Newspeak for "murder their unborn children").

Motivated by its Catholic faith, Poland is one of the few White countries that still clings to reasonable restrictions on flushing embryonic human life down a toilet, a conservative position that the pro-abortion forces of the EU and the international West seem intent on chipping away at with every weapon in their arsenal. 

The organization planning the drone flights, Women on Waves is led by Rebecca Gomperts, a Dutch doctor, reputedly of Jewish background. The group's name comes from its method of circumventing anti-abortion laws by providing abortions on ships moored in international waters. 

While taking abortion pills in Poland is illegal, there are loopholes in the law that make it possible to legally deliver them via drones. The Independent:
"Normally the company sends the pills by post, after women have placed their orders online, but this is the first time it has used the unorthodox method of delivery by drone.
The drugs, scheduled for delivery on June 27, are mifepristone and misoprostol and the group said they can be taken without medical supervision for pregnancies of less than nine weeks. 
Rebecca Gomperts, founder and director of Women on Waves, said the current laws in Poland are a 'violation of women's rights' Women on Waves also said since the drone will not be flying through controlled air space and weighs less than 5kg, it does not require authorisation from the Polish or the German government."

A Northerner Defends Southern Traditions, Including the Battle Flag


This post-Charleston anti-Confederate feeding frenzy reminds me of something Glenn Reynolds explained after Newtown. It goes like this in the Cultural Marxist mind: “(1) Something bad happened; (2) I hate you; so (3) It’s your fault.” One very twisted young man committed a despicable act, and of course this means that the Confederate flag must disappear from American life.

I have no known Confederate ancestors. If I did, I would hope to keep faith with their memory and my regional traditions. The Battle Flag is a part of Southern heritage. Of course the Civil War was largely about slavery. But it was not only about slavery. The flag question goes much deeper than slavery and race. As it happens, I’m originally from New Jersey so I try not to live down to that state’s traditions. I’m passing as a Pennsylvanian now.

The Confederate states insisted on their right as sovereign states to leave the Union. It matters not the reason. The Union victory ended slavery, although this was not Abraham Lincoln’s stated intention when the war began. It also ushered in the process by which we are all now facing incremental slavery due to the progressive extension of Lincoln’s Union.

Of course Lincoln didn’t mean it to get this far. Leaders are always failing to understand that the things they set in motion will remain in motion long after they are dead. I doubt that Franklin Delano Roosevelt foresaw the centralized alien monstrosity he fashioned. He thought that however strange the people he welcomed into power as his apparatchiks, mandarins like him would always retain control.

God knows what will become of the Supreme Court’s decision to call mandates taxes. Future generations will pay for that after many of us are gone.

So what does the Confederate flag mean to the rest of us? I see it as a necessary symbol of that ornery impulse that rests in the hearts of all real Americans. Our founders were not submissive toward the crown. People who were not supposed to be there settled the West. Americans who wrested land from a neighboring power to rule themselves settled Texas.

We Americans have always preferred at least the illusion of local control. At heart we have always had a grudging admiration for those who refuse to bend the knee, even in a poor cause. The Confederate Battle Flag is the secret alternative flag of all of us who want to have our own say.

As actual Americans, we don’t want to be lectured by pallid urban ninnies. We want to be who we are, not peasants commanded from afar.

The very nature and motives of the people who want the Battle Flag gone is a fine reason to keep it. Put another way, whenever someone wants you to abandon part of your heritage, the healthy response is: “You first!” or perhaps something ruder. What kind of people challenge other people’s traditions and historical artifacts when they are not in any way hurt?

Southerners flying their old flag hurt no one. The liberal elite isn’t harmed. But they just want to follow their own puritanical tradition of enforcing their judgments on others. They claim that the old flag is an insult to black Americans; perhaps so. But in an age when groups leverage imagined psychic harm into political advantage, this is an excellent time to draw a line against such impostures.

On a personal level, I’ve spent some time in South Carolina. I am not alone in remarking that the tenor of everyday race relations there is far superior to my northern home. Indeed I witnessed nothing but almost courtly relations between blacks and whites. I witnessed none of the wary semi-hostility typical of Philadelphia.

This being the case I was not surprised at the spiritual, non-violent black response to the horror in Charleston. The wagging tongues lecturing South Carolinians live in urban hellholes, surrounded by mindless violence. Those simple Carolinians, both black and white, still recognize mindlessness when they see it and they don’t confuse it with reality.

When was the last time the President or anyone in high office even used the word “tradition”? It’s almost a lost concept. It’s painfully obvious that, to the progressive mind, holding to any tradition is just an invitation to intervention and correction.

We hear a lot about our “values.” What are they exactly? They are whatever our perfumed urban elites say they are. Yet, I can remember when some of our modern “values” were illegal. The “values” of 21st Century America were the pathologies of 20th Century America.

So there is a lot more at stake here than the Battle Flag. There are those who respect the value of tradition and there are those who respect nothing but their own right to reorder the culture over the heads of their fellow citizens.

Is Big Brother Spying on You Through Your Computer?

via Darkmoon

“I have this microphone sitting on top of my monitor. It looks just like a mini-camera to me. It has an “EYE” right in the middle, with two speakers on either side. I am wondering if this so called “microphone” is actually looking at me and the room in the background? Could it be a combined camera and microphone? Is it secretly spying on me in the privacy of my room, watching every expression on my face and recording every whisper? This is scary! I’m getting worried!"— Paranoid lady to her psychiatrist.

PART 1: Is the Government Spying On You
Through Your Own Computer’s Webcam Or Microphone?

We documented earlier today that – if you are near your smart phone – the NSA or private parties could remotely activate your microphone and camera and spy on you.
This post shows that the same is true for our computer.

Initially, the NSA built backdoors into the world’s most popular software program – Microsoft Windows – by 1999.

A top expert in the ‘microprocessors’ or ‘chips’ inside every computer – having helped start two semiconductor companies and a supercomputer firm – says:
He would be “surprised” if the US National Security Agency was not embedding “back doors” inside chips produced by Intel and AMD, two of the world’s largest semiconductor firms, giving them the possibility to access and control machines.

And a government expert told the Washington Post that the government “quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type” (confirmed). Even that is just “the tip of the iceberg”, according to a congress member briefed on the NSA’s spying program.

The New York Times reported in 2011 that German police were using spyware to turn on the webcam and microphone on peoples’ computers:
A group that calls itself the Chaos Computer Club prompted a public outcry here recently when it discovered that German state investigators were using spying software capable of turning a computer’s webcam and microphone into a sophisticated surveillance device.
The club …announced last Saturday it had analyzed the hard drives of people who had been investigated and discovered that they were infected with a Trojan horse program that gave the police the ability to log keystrokes, capture screenshots and activate cameras and microphones.
Reuters documented last year that the U.S. and Israeli governments can remotely turn on a computer’s microphone:
Evidence suggest that the virus, dubbed Flame, may have been built on behalf of the same nation or nations that commissioned the Stuxnet worm that attacked Iran’s nuclear program in 2010 [i.e. the U.S. and Israel], according to Kaspersky Lab, the Russian cyber security software maker that took credit for discovering the infections.
Kaspersky researchers said they have yet to determine whether Flame had a specific mission like Stuxnet, and declined to say who they think built it.
Cyber security experts said the discovery publicly demonstrates what experts privy to classified information have long known: that nations have been using pieces of malicious computer code as weapons to promote their security interests for several years.
The virus contains about 20 times as much code as Stuxnet, which caused centrifuges to fail at the Iranian enrichment facility it attacked. It has about 100 times as much code as a typical virus designed to steal financial information, said Kaspersky Lab senior researcher Roel Schouwenberg.
Flame can gather data files, remotely change settings on computers, turn on PC microphones to record conversations, take screen shots and log instant messaging chats.
Kaspersky Lab said Flame and Stuxnet appear to infect machines by exploiting the same flaw in the Windows operating system and that both viruses employ a similar way of spreading.
“The scary thing for me is: if this is what they were capable of five years ago, I can only think what they are developing now,” Mohan Koo, managing director of British-based Dtex Systems cyber security company.
PC Magazine tech columnist John Dvorak writes:
From what we know the NSA has back door access into Apple, Microsoft, and Google. What kind of access we don’t know, but let us assume it is similar to what they did about 7 years ago to AT&T. They had a secret room at Fulsom St. in San Francisco and the AT&T engineers had no control and no access to a room full of NSA equipment that had direct access to everything AT&T could do.
Microsoft is the source of the operating system for Windows and Windows cell phones. Apple controls the OS for Macs, iPhones, and iPads. Google controls the Chrome OS, Chrome Browser, and Android cell phones. The companies regularly push operating system upgrades and security updates to users on a regular basis.
Imagine however that the NSA has access to these updates at the source and has the ability to alter these update in order to install some sort of spyware on your phone, tablet, or computer. The software could turn on your camera or microphone remotely, read all your private data, or erase everything and brick your phone or computer.
The Wall Street Journal notes:
The FBI develops some hacking tools internally and purchases others from the private sector. With such technology, the bureau can remotely activate the microphones in phones running Google Inc.’s  Android software to record conversations, one former U.S. official said. It can do the same to microphones in laptops without the user knowing, the person said.
A former high-level NSA insider confirmed to us that any computer’s microphone can be remotely accessed.

Moreover – as documented by MicrosoftArs TechnicaCNET, the RegisterSydney Morning HeraldAP and many other sources – private parties can turn on your computer’s microphone and camera as well.

Cracked noted in 2010:
All sorts of programs are available to let you remotely commandeer a webcam, and many of them are free. Simple versions will just take photos or videos when they detect movement, but more complex software will send you an e-mail when the computer you’ve installed the program on is in use, so you can immediately login and control the webcam without the hassle of having to stare at an empty room until the person you’re stalking shows up.
The bottom line is that – as with your phone, OnStar type system or other car microphoneXbox, and other digital recording devices – you shouldn’t say or do anything near your computer that you don’t want shared with the world.
Postscript: You could obviously try to cover your webcam and microphone when you don’t want to use them.
But if you really want privacy, take a lesson from spy movies: Go swimming with the person you want to speak with … since electronics can’t operate in water.


Part 2: Is your Google Chrome browser
spying on you through your microphone?

by Rick Falkvinge 
Yesterday, news broke that Google has been stealth downloading audio listeners onto every computer that runs Chrome, and transmits audio data back to Google. Effectively, this means that Google had taken itself the right to listen to every conversation in every room that runs Chrome somewhere, without any kind of consent from the people eavesdropped on. In official statements, Google shrugged off the practice with what amounts to “we can do that”.

It looked like just another bug report. “When I start Chromium, it downloads something.” Followed by strange status information that notably included the lines “Microphone: Yes” and “Audio Capture Allowed: Yes”.


Without consent, Google’s code had downloaded a black box of code that – according to itself – had turned on the microphone and was actively listening to your room

A brief explanation of the Open-source / Free-software philosophy is needed here.
When you’re installing a version of GNU/Linux like Debian or Ubuntu onto a fresh computer, thousands of really smart people have analyzed every line of human-readable source code before that operating system was built into computer-executable binary code, to make it common and open knowledge what the machine actually does instead of trusting corporate statements on what it’s supposed to be doing. Therefore, you don’t install black boxes onto a Debian or Ubuntu system; you use software repositories that have gone through this source-code audit-then-build process. Maintainers of operating systems like Debian and Ubuntu use many so-called “upstreams” of source code to build the final product.
Chromium, the open-source version of Google Chrome, had abused its position as trusted upstream to insert lines of source code that bypassed this audit-then-build process, and which downloaded and installed a black box of unverifiable executable code directly onto computers, essentially rendering them compromised. We don’t know and can’t know what this black box does. But we see reports that the microphone has been activated, and that Chromium considers audio capture permitted.
This was supposedly to enable the “Ok, Google” behavior – that when you say certain words, a search function is activated. Certainly a useful feature. Certainly something that enables eavesdropping of every conversation in the entire room, too.

Obviously, your own computer isn’t the one to analyze the actual search command. Google’s servers do. Which means that your computer had been stealth configured to send what was being said in your room to somebody else, to a private company in another country, without your consent or knowledge, an audio transmission triggered by… an unknown and unverifiable set of conditions.

Google had two responses to this. The first was to introduce a practically-undocumented switch to opt out of this behavior, which is not a fix: the default install will still wiretap your room without your consent, unless you opt out, and more importantly, know that you need to opt out, which is nowhere a reasonable requirement. But the second was more of an official statement following technical discussions on Hacker News and other places. That official statement amounted to three parts (paraphrased, of course):

1) Yes, we’re downloading and installing a wiretapping black-box to your computer. But we’re not actually activating it. We did take advantage of our position as trusted upstream to stealth-insert code into open-source software that installed this black box onto millions of computers, but we would never abuse the same trust in the same way to insert code that activates the eavesdropping-blackbox we already downloaded and installed onto your computer without your consent or knowledge. You can look at the code as it looks right now to see that the code doesn’t do this right now.

2) Yes, Chromium is bypassing the entire source code auditing process by downloading a pre-built black box onto people’s computers. But that’s not something we care about, really. We’re concerned with building Google Chrome, the product from Google. As part of that, we provide the source code for others to package if they like. Anybody who uses our code for their own purpose takes responsibility for it. When this happens in a Debian installation, it is not Google Chrome’s behavior, this is Debian Chromium’s behavior. It’s Debian’s responsibility entirely.

3) Yes, we deliberately hid this listening module from the users, but that’s because we consider this behavior to be part of the basic Google Chrome experience. We don’t want to show all modules that we install ourselves.

If you think this is an excusable and responsible statement, raise your hand now.

Now, it should be noted that this was Chromium, the open-source version of Chrome. If somebody downloads the Google product Google Chrome, as in the prepackaged binary, you don’t even get a theoretical choice. You’re already downloading a black box from a vendor. In Google Chrome, this is all included from the start.

This episode highlights the need for hard, not soft, switches to all devices – webcams, microphones – that can be used for surveillance. A software on/off switch for a webcam is no longer enough, a hard shield in front of the lens is required. A software on/off switch for a microphone is no longer enough, a physical switch that breaks its electrical connection is required. That’s how you defend against this in depth.

Of course, people were quick to downplay the alarm. “It only listens when you say ‘Ok, Google’.” (Ok, so how does it know to start listening just before I’m about to say ‘Ok, Google?’) “It’s no big deal.”
A company stealth installs an audio listener that listens to every room in the world it can, and transmits audio data to the mothership when it encounters an unknown, possibly individually tailored, list of keywords – and it’s no big deal!?
“You can opt out. It’s in the Terms of Service.” (No. Just no. This is not something that is the slightest amount of permissible just because it’s hidden in legalese.) “It’s opt-in. It won’t really listen unless you check that box.” (Perhaps. We don’t know, Google just downloaded a black box onto my computer. And it may not be the same black box as was downloaded onto yours.)

Early last decade, privacy activists practically yelled and screamed that the NSA’s taps of various points of the Internet and telecom networks had the technical potential for enormous abuse against privacy. Everybody else dismissed those points as basically “tinfoilhattery” – until the Snowden files came out, and it was revealed that precisely everybody involved had abused their technical capability for invasion of privacy as far as was possible.
Perhaps it would be wise to not repeat that exact mistake. Nobody, and I really mean nobody, is to be trusted with a technical capability to listen to every room in the world. Privacy remains your own responsibility.