The life, work, and death of Steve Kangas

steve kangas

This post is dedicated to Steve Kangas, the obscure author of the website Liberalism Resurgent who died on this day 14 years ago. Why? Some of his articles contributed to my beliefs, and, despite not being a full-on liberal, those beliefs still persist today, 2 years after I first discovered his articles in 2011.

This post will talk about his life, his work, and the strange mystery surrounding his death in 1999. Now, this is not a biography, and I am not a biographer. This is just a way to spread the word of the late Steve Kangas, and his website. Without further ado, let the commentary begin.

Steve Kangas was born May 1961, as Steven Robert Esh, to a conservative Christian family. After graduating from high school in 1979, he joined the army, where he worked for military intelligence. During his time, he spent a year learning the Russian language, before eventually being shipped off to Grenada, after then-president Ronald Reagan ordered the invasion of the Central America nation in 1983.

He was eventually shipped off to Berlin on the following year in order to electronically eavesdrop on Soviet units in Eastern Europe. Whilst there, he learned that it would be impossible for the communist Soviet Union to invade Western Europe, because the Soviet soldiers lacked certain skills (according to Steve Kangas, they lacked driving skills). In spite of this, Western leaders were trying to convince us of the grave threat of a Soviet invasion of Europe.

Later, Kangas bore witness to the terrorist bombing of a discotheque in Berlin, which he said was a few blocks away from his living quarters. It was this terrorist act that led Ronald Reagan to order the bombing of Libya, in spite of the lack of evidence that Libya was responsible.

The moment which led him to abandon his conservative beliefs, he wrote, was the assassination of Major Arthur D. Nicholson, a fellow intelligence officer whose funeral was attended by Kangas. When talking about his beliefs, he wrote:

“The image of his 4-year old daughter clutching a Cabbage Patch doll throughout the entire service is one that is forever burned into my memory. This was a pivotal moment in my life, causing me to question my conservative beliefs and take a more serious look at the costs and benefits of the arms race.”

He also witnessed the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 1986, after which Berlin was bathed in nuclear radiation. In the same year, he flew back to California with an honorable discharge. Once there, he attended the University of California in Santa Cruz, a city in California which was a frequent target of Rush Limbaugh’s right-wing fury.

After some time, he created the Liberalism Resurgent website (dated 1996), which he made as “a response to the right”. The website itself is highly critical of business propaganda, the right-wing media, the American overclass (a powerful and privileged social class), and the CIA.

Since he’s done so much that I have yet to read, I’ll give you the links to the articles I’ve read and have been influenced by in some way:

The website itself is very well done for something out of the 90’s. Kangas researched his arguments very well, almost like he was writing a thesis in university, which I guess is not surprising considering he went to college after leaving the army.

It was rumored that was planning on writing a book on CIA atrocities, when on February 8th 1999, he was found dead in the men’s bathroom on the 39th floor of the One Oxford Center, inside the office of one Richard Mellon Scaife, the political enemy of Steve Kangas.

The police ruled said death as a suicide, but since Scaife sent his own private investigator, Rex Armistead, to investigate the “suicide”, it became the subject of conspiracy. There are two theories as to how Steve Kangas died:

  1. Steve Kangas went to the One Oxford Center to try and kill Richard Mellon Scaife, but was himself apprehended by Scaife’s men, and then killed.
  2. Steve Kangas went to the One Oxford Center and killed himself in order to incite the authorities into launching an investigation of Scaife.

Let’s look at a few things. Richard Mellon Scaife is a staunchly conservative member of the wealthy elite who was known for being reclusive, and vindictive. He is quick to use lawsuits and private detectives against his critics, so when he got wind of Kangas’ website (which is scathingly critical towards Scaife), he hired his own private detective Rex Armistead to investigate Kangas and his website. Keep in mind that Rex Armistead is a private detective hired by Scaife and other anti-Democrats to smear Democrat politicians. Also keep in mind that Rex Armistead has an expertise in organized crime.

In the 60’s, Rex Armistead worked to enforce racial segregation laws. After a distinguished career in the 70’s, he was later hired by people like Richard Mellon Scaife to run smear campaigns against Democrats on behalf of the Republican party. Most famously, he ran a smear campaign against Democrat Bill Allain, in which Armistead spread rumors that Allain was having a homosexual relationship with three transvestites, until the plot was eventually uncovered by ABC’s 20/20.

With that in mind, I have come to the conclusion that Richard Mellon Scaife personally held a grudge against Steve Kangas, and therefore ordered his murder in order to eliminate him as a political enemy.

richard mellon scaife

Look at the face of evil.

Of course, that’s just theory. But Armistead was a real private investigator, and Scaife definitely had something against Kangas, the perfect motive for murder. Then again, there has been no real answer. Why? Because if Scaife really was responsible, then he would use his wealth and power to cover up the incident, meaning there can be no answer until Scaife dies (he’s 80, so that shouldn’t be long).

I believe that Steve Kangas was wrongly killed, and that his death should be avenged, and properly investigated by an independent body. Kangas had a good website, with scholarly arguments that you can actually rely on. The good news is that his site still lives on. If you want to see it for yourself, click here.

I think that the whole thing actually makes for a great story. Now if only a Hollywood scriptwriter got a hold of it…

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The farce of animal rights

The environmentalist movement is pretty stupid. But you know what’s even stupider, the concept of animal rights. You’re probably thinking: “How can it be be stupid? Animals have rights just like all of us!”

You could say that, except they don’t. Why? Because the concept of rights is an entirely political concept. Animals aren’t sentient, and don’t have politics, therefore, animals can’t have the same rights as us, because they can’t defend whatever rights people think they have.

The whole concept of animal rights is stupid because it assumes that animals have a voice in the way our world works, when, as I already said, they don’t. Why? Because they can’t! And even they could, if they saw who mind-numbingly idiotic our political system is, would they want a part in it? I don’t think they would. All animals care about is whether or not they’ll live to the next day. They only care about three things: food, shelter, and mating. They wouldn’t be interested in protesting either, because the idea of protesting is alien to them.

This is the reason why I think that the liberals, and the media in general, are stupid for falling for it. Either they are, this has to do with something more cynical: they want to use this issue to act like they have the moral high ground, when really they don’t. The liberals use it to reinforce the false notion that they are more ethical than the rest of us for opposing it; and the media uses it to sell inferior products that do nothing and cost more. When you’re trying to sell anything, you will never have the moral high ground because your intent is commercial in nature.

I mean, really, the only animals their making us care about it is because cute and cuddly animals are used for experiments. Well, other animals are used for experiments, but do we ever care about them? No we don’t. Also, did it ever occur to those bleeding-heart hippies that not only do the scientists not have cruel intentions, but also that animal experimentation is absolutely necessary? What else can we do, experiment on humans? Did it ever occur to them that we experiment on animals because experimenting on humans is even more wrong? No it did not, because they want their beliefs forced onto the scientific community. Not only are they stupid, but they’re pretentious jerks, and they’re slowing down the progress of mankind.

Let’s move on to the environmental activists. They’re completely stupid because they advocate a cause that has absolutely zero benefit for humanity. There are many of them. But none of them are stupider than the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or, as they’re popularly known, PETA.

peta

Basically these guys, and Al Sharpton.

I must admit, they have done some good things (they’ve campaigned against cockfighting and dog fighting; two things that I for one wouldn’t approve of). But otherwise, they’re just a bunch of over-glorified hippies who sensationalise and interfere with various animal rights issues so they can gain publicity. Even co-founder Ingrid Newkirk said that “it is their duty to be press sluts”, which can only mean that they want be taken seriously because it gives them attention.

Their campaigning is equally asinine, and sometimes they come across as borderline misogyny. I say that because in this regard, they are using women for their bodies, which counts as objectifying the women. I don’t even think that the featured women can even be taken seriously. Just look at this example:

This is Alicia Silverstone, and she’s a tired out prostitute.

Here’s why I don’t think this was taken seriously. It doesn’t take a genius to figure this one out. They use little known female actors. In this ad, they used freaking Alicia Silverstone, the same actress from the near-universally reviled Batman & Robin, the very same movie which practically killed her career. Excuse my French, but I don’t think that a washed up actress like her will ever be taken seriously again.

PETA also suffers from that classic liberal trait that is false moralism. They claim to be on the side of animal underdogs – who don’t even need representatives to begin with, much less human respresentatives – and they claim to be on the moral high ground, while simultaneously exploiting women and killing thousands of animals a year within its confines. There’s an entire site dedicated to the findings of PETA’s animal killings (I don’t actually support them):

http://www.petakillsanimals.com/

How can someone claim to love and want to liberate all animals, whilst killing thousands of them? These are the same people who want us all to be vegans, they want us all to not wear leather or fur, they want us to not have milk or honey. They pretty much oppose our entire way of life as a species, something no sane person would tolerate. They don’t even give a damn is farmers lose their jobs, so long as animals are doing whatever they please.

Also, they’ve been giving funding to such terrorist organizations as the Animal Liberation Front, and the Earth Liberation Front. They reject non-violent methods, and support groups that prefer violence to achieve their goals, which counts as terrorism apparently.

We claim to be a society that opposes terrorism in all of its forms. Yet we the people are stupid enough to fall in love with a terrorist organization. We’re dumb enough to believe that animal rights is a legitimate cause, when in reality, animals aren’t liberal jackasses.

brian

Like him.

In fact, as I already mentioned, they don’t care what laws we pass to try and “protect them”, or “us from them”, and have no politics of their own.

To summarize, there’s really no need for, nor such thing as animal rights. But if we really cared animals, we’d stop pretending to want them to have rights. Caring for animals in need is the job of veterinarians and animal hospices, not radical terrorists who do more harm than good, and clearly care less about animals and more about imposing their yoke upon ordinary people. If you really care about animals, then support your nearest animal shelter, report cases of animal abuse to the police, in other words, do anything that terrorist organizations like PETA won’t do; a competent job.

Why it’s good to have no religious or political loyalties (at least for me)

This is going to spell trouble.

This is going to spell trouble.

Say you have religious beliefs. I’m totally fine with that. Say you have political beliefs that you hold dear. I’m fine with that too. But dear God, don’t combine the two when you’re in government. You’ll want to shove your beliefs down the nation’s throat, and that’s very harmful in a free society, because everyone has the right to freedom of religion and freedom of speech, even you. If you’re not in government, you can safely mix the two together as long as you don’t brag that your beliefs are the “right” way, when as far as I’m concerned, none of them are the “true way”.

On to why I think having no religious or political loyalties is a good thing. These are two different things, so I’ll split this into two.

Why I have no religious loyalties (and why it’s good)

Let me start by clearing one thing up. I know plenty about religion, but I am in fact an atheist. And no, I’m not one of those arrogant “new atheists”, like Richard Dawkins, and the late Christopher Hitchens. I’m probably one of the last rational atheists around. Either that, or there’s more of us, but they aren’t shown in the media. Furthermore, atheism does not count as a religion. Therefore, being an atheist is not a religious loyalty.

I actually prefer being an atheist because I didn’t like being a Christian. There was only one point in my life when you could call me anything close to Christian, the time when I was 9, after leaving Boston Higashi School. Because I thought I was supposed to, I’d go to church on Sundays (including the Sunday school), hymns and all. The atmosphere in church was actually what made me eventually quit Church. Especially when they were singing the hymns. I have a feeling that hymns were hammering home the message that I may have to die someday. How do you think I would have felt at such an age, especially with the concept of going to Hell on my shoulders?

I would only return twice; once in 2006 (for an RE project), and again in 2010 (for my nephew's christening).

I would only return twice; once in 2006 (for an RE project), and again in 2010 (for my nephew’s christening).

Since then, I grew to hate the concept of being made to believe something that I don’t believe deep down. When I was 10, I wasn’t too shy about getting angry about it, but not in the sophisticated way that I do now. But just because I’m an atheist doesn’t mean I can’t celebrate Christmas. I’ve been doing it for a long time, and I didn’t need religion to do it. This is why I think it’s good to be an atheist; you don’t have to tie yourself to a particular set of rules, especially if you don’t really believe you can follow them. We all have needs, and if I were religious, those needs would be suppressed, and would be bottled up until they grew to sick, twisted levels. That’s what happens to everyone with a religion, whether you’re Christian, Hindu, or even Mormon. As an atheist, I feel like I’m free to do whatever I wanted, and it didn’t cheese off God.

Yet, I sort of feel that God would be far happier with us as a species if we were ourselves. God probably isn’t a physical being who lives in the sky. If God is a strange, intangible feeling we have inside us, then it just wouldn’t care.

Why I have no political loyalties (and why it’s good)

My politics has actually flip-flopped overtime. When I was a kid, I just believed whatever didn’t see me carrying the bricks of guilt and shame. In my early teens, I was a committed liberal; opposing racism wherever it was, but when I was 15, that liberalism was rather pathetic. It was the same liberalism shown by the populist media, the kind which I despise today. Added to that, when I was 16, the last UK election came along. I wasn’t old enough to vote yet, but I was clearly in support of the Liberal Democrats (something I’m ashamed of to this day). Keep in mind, this is the same party which is now in cahoots with the conservatives.

Thanks for crushing whatever faith I had, you big fat jerks!

Thanks for crushing whatever faith I had, you big fat jerks!

As I got older I was a more rational liberal, with various influences contributing to my beliefs. However, after I turned 18, I came to the realization that all political sides are a bunch of con artists after your trust, so they can exploit it. None of them have your interests at heart, contributing to my complete lack of faith in politics, and politicians in general.

And yet, it’s good that I don’t support any political beliefs, because if you don’t support any politician, or any party, then you won’t be falling for their dastardly tricks. Best of all, I can say whatever I want without the worry that I’m somehow “betraying my ideology”. Politics in general turns good people into horrible monsters, and can somehow destroy entire friendships, and rip people apart. Yes, I still hate conservatism, but I hate liberalism even worse than before, primarily because of the false moralism. Without a political loyalty, my mind is free, my morals are real, and I’m not a part of what is essentially just a global-scale version of a toddler’s whinging that does nothing good for humanity. Also, because I feel no obligation to vote, I don’t feel like I’m a cog in the infernal machine of politics.

Even though these are my beliefs, I think anyone can benefit from a lack of religious or political loyalties. If it can do a world of good for me, imagine what it can do for someone else. Then again, you are the one who really chooses your beliefs. Nobody can do that for you, not even me. What choice did you make, and how do feel about it?