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Did the FBI Win Joe Biden the 2020 Election?

Joe Biden won the 2020 election as a result of 43,000 votes in three states. The election was far closer than the media has usually admitted. There were plenty of dubious factors that could have tipped the scales for a Biden victory, including machinations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The Long History of FBI Abuse

Though the media usually portray the FBI as the ultimate good guys, the bureau has long history of intervening in presidential elections. Shortly after taking office after Franklin Roosevelt’s death, President Harry Truman commented in his diary: “We want no Gestapo or Secret Police. FBI is tending in that direction. They are dabbling in sex-life scandals and plain blackmail…This must stop.” But FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover outfoxed Truman and every subsequent president.

In the 1948 presidential campaign, Hoover brazenly championed Republican candidate Thomas Dewey, leaking allegations that Truman was part of a corrupt Kansas City political machine. In 1952, Hoover sought to undermine Democratic presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson by spreading rumors that he was a closet homosexual.

In 1964, the FBI illegally wiretapped Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater’s presidential headquarters and plane and conducted background checks on his campaign staff for evidence of homosexual activity. The FBI also conducted an extensive surveillance operation at the 1964 Democratic National Convention to prevent embarrassing challenges to President Lyndon Johnson.

In 2016, the FBI whitewashed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, protecting her despite her various crimes regarding handling of classified information and destruction of emails and other evidence from her time as secretary of state. An Inspector General report revealed in 2018 that the key FBI agents in the investigations were raving partisans. “We’ll stop” Donald Trump from becoming president, lead FBI investigator Peter Strzok texted his mistress/girlfriend, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, in August 2016. One FBI agent labeled Trump supporters as “retarded” and declared “I’m with her” [Hillary Clinton]. Another FBI employee texted that “Trump’s supporters are all poor to middle class, uneducated, lazy POS.” The FBI failed to make any audio or video recordings of its interviews with Clinton aides and staffers. It also delayed speaking to Clinton until the end of the investigation and planned to absolve her “absent a confession from Clinton,” the Inspector General noted.

The FBI failed to stop Trump from winning in 2016, but FBI officials devoted themselves to crippling his presidency with fabricated evidence implying that Russia had illicitly intervened in the presidential election. One top FBI lawyer was convicted for falsifying evidence to secure a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant to target Trump campaign officials. FBI chief James Comey leaked official memos to friendly reporters, thereby spurring the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller to investigate Trump. Mueller’s investigation generated endless allegations and controversies and helped Democrats capture control of the House of Representatives in 2018 prior to admitting in 2019 that there was no such Russian conspiracy. Not one FBI official has spent a single day in jail for the abuses.

The Ongoing Hunter Biden Laptop Scandal

In December 2019, FBI agents came into possession of a laptop that Hunter Biden had abandoned at a Delaware computer repair shop. That laptop was a treasure trove of crimes, including evidence that Hunter and other Bidens had collected millions in payments from foreign sources for providing access in Washington and other favors. That laptop provided ample documentation that Joe Biden could be compromised by foreign powers.

When news finally leaked out about the laptop in October 2020, 50 former intelligence officials effectively torpedoed the story by claiming that the laptop was a Russian disinformation ploy. The FBI knew that the laptop was bona fide but said nothing to undercut the falsehoods by the former spooks. The Justice Department commenced an investigation of Hunter Biden in 2019, but Attorney General William Barr made sure that information did not surface publicly before the 2020 election. (The investigation is ongoing.)

The FBI Has Continued Its Pro-Democrat Campaigns

The FBI’s most brazen intervention in the 2020 election consisted of fabricating a ludicrous plot to kidnap Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer, one of Biden’s favorite governors. Michigan was a swing state in the election. Whitmer enraged many Michiganders by placing the entire state under house arrest after the outbreak of COVID-19. Anyone who left their home to visit family or friends risked a $1,000 fine, and business owners faced three years in prison for refusing to close their stores. Unemployment soared to 24 percent statewide, but Whitmer’s policies failed to prevent more than 2 million Michiganers from contracting COVID.

The FBI exploited the anger against Whitmer to try to add some scalps to their collection. A few weeks before the 2020 election, the FBI announced the arrests of individuals who had been lured by FBI informants and undercover agents to talk about capturing Whitmer and putting her on trial. After the arrests were announced, Whitmer speedily denounced Trump for inciting “domestic terrorism” and declared, “When our leaders meet with, encourage, and or fraternize with domestic terrorists, they legitimize their actions. They are complicit.”

Joe Biden claimed that the arrests showed President Trump’s “tolerance of hate, vengeance, and lawlessness to plots such as this one.” Former FBI official Frank Figluzzi told MSNBC that Trump should be investigated for “aiding and abetting” the Michigan plot. Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe announced on CNN: “The person most responsible for fomenting this kind of unrest, this sort of division, this sort of violence in this country right now is the president of the United States.” Law professor Jonathan Turley noted:

The media went into a frenzy, declaring that the case proved that: ‘Trump’s rhetoric and policies have unleashed a second pandemic in the form of far-right domestic terrorism.’ The breathless accounts of this plot by three ‘Boogaloo’ militiamen fit like a glove with the narrative just before the election.

There was plenty of reason to doubt the plot from the start. As I noted in an American Institute for Economic Research article on the day after the arrests were announced, “The alleged Michigan plot is almost too idiotic to believe.”

A Michigan jury in April effectively concluded that the plotters had been entrapped in an FBI-fabricated plot. There were as many FBI informants and undercover agents involved in the plot as private citizens. From the start, the FBI steered the participants into saying and doing things that would supposedly seal their legal doom. Stephen Robeson, an FBI informant with a list of felonies and other crimes, organized key events to build the movement. Dan Chapel, another FBI informant who was paid $54,000, became second-in-command and masterminded the military training for the group, even as he helped the feds wiretap their messages.

FBI operatives took the participants, who prattled idiotically about stealing a Blackhawk helicopter, for drives near Whitmer’s vacation home, which supposedly proved they were going to nab the governor and unleash havoc. Shortly before that excursion, an FBI agent texted instructions to Chapel: “Mission is to kill the governor specifically.”

The conspiracy began unraveling even before the trial began in March. Robert Trask, the lead FBI agent and “the public face” of the kidnapping case, was fired after he was arrested for “beating his wife during an argument over an orgy that the two had attended at a hotel in Kalamazoo, Mich.,” the New York Times reported. Two other key FBI agents were sidelined from the case for misconduct (including creating a side hustle with their own cybersecurity firm).

Thanks to Supreme Court rulings minimizing entrapment defenses, federal Judge Robert Jonker blocked defense attorneys from informing the jury of almost all the evidence of federal misconduct in the Whitmer case.

As BuzzFeed’s Ken Bensinger reported, the jury refused to convict “despite the government’s extraordinary efforts to muzzle the defense…Prosecutors went to extraordinary lengths to exclude evidence and witnesses that might undermine their arguments, while winning the right to bring in almost anything favorable to their own side.” BuzzFeed also noted that the judge “ruled that defendants could not inquire about the past conduct of several FBI agents, though the government would be allowed to question the defendants about episodes in their own past.”

The jury saw enough to smell a federal rat. As Turley wrote:

The Whitmer conspiracy was a production written, funded, and largely populated by FBI agents and informants. At every point, FBI literally drove the conspirators and controlled their actions. That is worthy of investigation by Congress, but neither house seems even marginally interested.

The Michigan jury verdict spurred plenty of howls by the friends of Leviathan. Former Justice Department lawyer Barbara McQuade lamented, “This verdict concerns me because it could embolden other anti-government extremists to engage in dangerous conduct in the name of vigilante justice. In a time when we see a growing number of threats of violence against public officials, it is important to hold such conduct accountable.” But the establishment media has perennially disregarded holding government officials accountable for violating Americans’ rights.

The Ongoing FBI Threat to Liberty

Shortly before the Michigan trial began, The New York Times noted that it was “being closely watched as one of the most significant recent domestic terrorism cases, a test of Washington’s commitment in the wake of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol to pursue far-right groups who seek to kindle a violent, anti-government insurgency or even a new civil war.” FBI chief Christopher Wray told Congress last year that the FBI has 2,000 ongoing domestic terrorism investigations. How many additional crimes or conspiracies is the FBI fomenting at this moment? Will Americans ever learn what role, if any, the FBI had in goading some of those arrested in the Jan. 6 Capitol clash into committing a crime? And what about Team Biden’s efforts to continually expand the definition of “dangerous extremist” to sanctify its power? Last June, the Biden administration revealed that guys who can’t get laid may be terrorist threats due to “involuntary celibate–violent extremism.” No wonder the terrorist watch list is expanding at breakneck pace.

The Founding Fathers wisely did not create a national police force, but federal law-enforcement agencies have multiplied like mushrooms. Almost 100 years ago, the American Civil Liberties Union warned that the FBI had become “a secret police system of a political character.” Neither Congress nor federal courts have since effectively reined in the most powerful domestic federal agency. What mischief will the FBI commit to influence future elections? And what are the odds that Americans will know about it before the polling booths close?

This article was originally featured at the Future of Freedom Foundation and is republished with permission.

A Prize System as a Solution to Drug Patents

Drugs are expensive. A vial of insulin can be up to $250 and a pack of pens can be up to $500. Every month, many families decide between life and food. For a country as rich as ours this is a disgrace and a moral crime.

The culprit is the pharmaceutical monopoly. With a drug patent, a pharmaceutical company can block other companies from selling a much cheaper generic version. Preventing competition, these patents lead to medicines like the heart disease drug Lipitor costing over $270 for a packet of 100 tablets back when it was patented.

The best way to lower these prices is to abolish these patents. However, abolishing drug patents would depress innovation which is happening in India. The solution is to abolish drug patents but also adopt a prize system where the first to develop a drug receives a monetary prize. Afterwards, anyone can develop said drug. This rewards innovation and promotes competition.

The prize system is simple. Instead of a company developing a drug and holding the rights for years before other companies receive production rights, they get a single prize and anyone can make it. Say Moderna develops a vaccine for the common cold. They develop it, get a few billion, and the drug can be made by anyone. Moderna can still sell it but will have to compete with other drug companies. This will lead to lower prices as each company tries to one-up the other. As the Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz writes, the prize system “…could do a far better job than patents, both in directing innovation and ensuring that the benefits of that knowledge are enjoyed as widely as possible…” Diversification of knowledge will lead to lower prices and, perhaps, increase the likelihood of more drugs being developed by more people.

Without patents, drugs would be quite cheap and generic drugs would be far more common. This happens in India. There, the notorious drug Daraprim is $0.05 a pill. In the United States, Daraprim was $750 a pill before the patent expired and is now $1.36 a tablet. Across the board, Indian drugs are much cheaper than American drugs. While India does have problems because it lacks a way to reward innovation by having weak patent laws and no prize system, it shows a future we could have by improving on their ideas.

Stiglitz, in his article, did not support completely abolishing drug patents but favored using the prize system as a complimentary system. I would argue that this would not be possible. The pharmaceutical companies would game the system to get both the prize and the patent. At that point, it’d become a subsidy. Even if the prize covers one area of drugs and the patents another, there’s nothing stopping pharmaceutical companies from lobbying the government to eventually get rid of that distinction. Corporations love nothing more than asking the government for special favors. I am also of the mind that patents suppress competition and that companies can still succeed without them. We see this with the COVID vaccine. Moderna doesn’t enforce the patent rights to its vaccine and yet made almost $2 billion in sales. This proves that a company can succeed without drug patents.

Some like Charles Sauer, President of the Market Institute, claim that prizes instead of patents are a bad idea because patents give inventors exclusive rights to their ideas. You can’t own an idea. What if two companies come up with a drug using the same ingredients? What if someone comes up with a drug they didn’t know was patented? Sauer claims that “the patent system is the great equalizer, allowing small garage inventors to compete with mega-corporations,” except that has never happened. While companies like Apple and Facebook started as garage inventions, many garage inventors can’t get a patent because they’re up to $16,000. There’s also patent trolls who use this “great equalizer” to bleed small businesses dry for patent infringement even though the troll doesn’t even use its patents. Mega-corporations can abuse the “great equalizer” by banning any rival companies from making its drug and jacking the price up to $750 a pill. Let’s not fail to mention how unfair it is that a company gets exclusive rights to make something just because the government told them so. Drug prizes reward innovation and promote competition. Patents stifle competition and create monopoly.

Drugs are expensive. To lower prices, we need a free market solution. Abolishing drug patents and creating a prize system would allow competition in the often monopolized pharmaceutical industry. Drug patents are not the “great equalizer.” They allow a privileged few to control the lives of millions. If we want to cut healthcare costs and lower the price of drugs, we need to ditch these archaic patents and adopt a prize system.

‘Coup’ Means Whatever the Regime Wants It to Mean

In the immediate aftermath of the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, many pundits and politicians were eager to describe the events of that day a s a coup d’etat in which the nation was “this close” to having some sort of junta void the 2020 election and take power in Washington.

The headlines at the time were unambiguous in their assertions that the riot was a coup or attempted coup. For example, the riot was “A Very American Coup” according to a headline at the New Republic. “This Is a Coup” insists a writer at Foreign Policy. The Atlantic presented photos purported to be “Scenes from an American Coup.”

This general tactic has not changed since then. Just this month, for example, Vanity Fair referred to the January 6 riots as “Trump’s attempted coup” Last month, Vox called it “Trump’s cuckoo coup.” Moreover, anti-Trump politicians have repeatedly referred to the riot as a coup, and “attempted coup” has become the standard term of choice for the January 6 panel.

At the time, it was obvious that if the riot was a coup at all, it failed utterly. Thus, the debate is now over whether or not it was an attempted coup. On January 8, 2021, I argued the riot was not an attempted coup. Now, 18 months later, after months of “investigation” and testimony to the January 6 committee, we’ve learned new details about the events that occurred that day. And now I can say with even more confidence: the January 6 riot was not an attempted coup.

It was not an attempted coup because it simply wasn’t the sort of event that historians and political scientists—the people who actually study coups—generally define as a coup. Even the Justice Department admits that virtually all of the rioters were, at most, guilty only of crimes such as trespassing and disorderly conduct. Among the tiny minority of those charged with actual conspiracy—11 people—they lacked any sort of institutional backing or support that is necessary for a coup attempt to take place.

Nor is this just some meaningless debate over semantics. Words matters and definitions matter. This should be abundantly clear to anyone in our current age of debates over what terms like “recession” or “vaccine” or “woman” mean. In fact, the use of term “coup” has been thoroughly weaponized in that outside academic circles it is employed largely as a pejorative to discredit political acts designed to register discontent with a ruling regime or to oppose a ruling coalition. For many, the term coup is now used increasingly to describe political acts one doesn’t like. But if the term “coup” ultimately means “political thing those bad guys did” then it ceases to have any precise meaning at all. But, the use of the term in this way does explain why so many pundits and politicians routinely use the term to label their opponents coup plotters. It’s basically name calling, and really only tells us about the user’s political leanings.

What Is a Coup?

In their article for the Journal of Peace Research, “Global Instances of Coups from 1950 to 2010: A New Dataset,” authors Jonathan M. Powell and Clayton L. Thyne provide a definition:

A coup attempt includes illegal and overt attempts by the military or other elites within the state apparatus to unseat the sitting executive.

Although the terms “military” and “coup” are routinely employed together, Powell and Thyne emphasize military involvement at early stages is not necessary:

[Other definitions] more broadly allow non-military elites, civilian groups, and even mercenaries to be included as coup perpetrators. This broad definition includes four sources, including [a definition stating that coup] perpetrators need only be ‘organized factions’. We take a middle ground. Coups may be undertaken by any elite who is part of the state apparatus. These can include non-civilian members of the military and security services, or civilian members of government.

Moreover, it is not necessary that violence actually be used. The presence of a threat issued by some organized group of elites is sufficient.

This definition is helpful because there are many types of political actions that are not coups, even if the intended outcome is a change in the ruling regime. The definition offered by Powell and Thyne is useful because it avoids “conflating coups with other forms of anti-regime activity, which is the primary problem with broader approaches.”

For example, popular uprisings that force ruling executives from power are not generally coups. Intervention by a foreign regime is not a coup. Civil wars initiated by non-elites or other outsiders are not coups.

Why the Jan 6 Riot Was Not a Coup

In the case of the January 6 riot, the rioters had no institutional backing, no promises of help from elites, and no reason to assume they had access to any coercive tools necessary to seize and hold control of a state’s executive apparatus. Nor was Donald Trump even in a position to promise such things. As noted by Elaine Kamarck at the Brookings Institution:

we now know that Trump did not even have the support of his own family and friends nor his handpicked White House staff. To pursue his plans, he had to rely on a close group of advisors known as “the clown show” led by Rudi Giuliani, a pillow manufacturer, and a dot-com millionaire—none of whom was in government and none of whom controlled the most important “assets” (guns, tanks, planes etc.) needed to take over a government. In contrast to most successful coups in history, Trump had no faction of the military, no faction of the National Guard, and no faction of the District of Colombia Metropolitan Police at his disposal.

In other words, the rioters had no avenue to calling upon any faction of the state or group of elites to secure backing. Kamarck continues:

As we learned in some of the most recent hearings, it was Vice President Mike Pence who was in contact with the military and the police, and most importantly, the military and the police were taking orders from Pence not Trump, the commander in chief!

Given that Trump didn’t attempt to actually attempt to secure any government agency to secure power for himself, we can guess Trump knew no branch of the federal government was about to step in to illegally secure an extension to his tenure as president. We can never know for sure what Trump was really thinking on that day, but even if Trump sought to encourage a group of protestors to somehow put pressure on Congress—even if by violent means—that’s not a coup. It’s a popular uprising.

The Bolivian “Coup”: The Anti-Morales Protestors in Bolivia 

The protests that followed the 2019 elections in Bolivia provide an interestingly similar case to the January 6 riot and demonstrate that it’s often quite debatable as to what constitutes a coup.

As the Bolivian election neared its end on October 24, sitting president Evo Morales began to claim victory. Numerous opponents, however, claimed Morales’s supporters had engaged in electoral fraud. Both sides refused to accept the results of the election, and protests and riots soon erupted across the nation. Morales and his supporters accused the opposition of staging a coup. The opposition accused Morales of the same. Or, more precisely, they accused Morales of attempting an “autocoup”—autogolpe in Spanish—in which Morales was attempting to hold on to power via illegal means.

Ultimately, Morales ended up resigning after he failed to maintain control over the police and military. High ranking officials from those institutions “recommended” Morales resign, and Morales did so soon after. Morales went into exile and Mexico and the opposition became the de facto governing coalition in Bolivia.

There remains no agreement, however, as to whether or not the actions of either side in Brazil constituted a coup (or autocoup.) Morales’s supporters—mostly leftists—refer to the political crisis following the election as a coup. Those who are convinced Morales did indeed lose the election refer to his efforts as an autocoup. But many also refer to the events as a popular uprising.

For many, the situation in Bolivia in 2019 remains ambiguous, and we can see how it shares many elements in common with the events surrounding the January 6 riot at the Capitol. It began with claims of election fraud, and ended with a group of protestors attempting to pressure congress to change the outcome. This is not fundamentally different from the popular uprisings in Bolivia, except that in the US the outcome was never really dubious. There was never really any doubt as to whether the Pentagon would he helping Trump push through an autocoup. Trump never had any real reason to believe he could hold on to power, even with 900 mostly unarmed protestors trespassing in the Capitol.

“Coup” Now Means “Thing I Don’t Like”

The Bolivia situation also helps to illustrate how the term “coup” is used selectively for political effect. The fact that Morales’s leftist supporters are generally those who favor the use of the term to describe Morales’s removal from office is no coincidence. Those who support one side say it’s a coup, while the other side does not.

We see the same dynamic at work in the U.S., and we should not be surprised that the media has rushed to apply the term to the riot. This phenomenon was examined in a November 2019 article titled “Coup with Adjectives: Conceptual Stretching or Innovation in Comparative Research?,” by Leiv Marsteintredet and Andres Malamud. The authors note that as the incidence of real coups has declined, the word has become more commonly applied to political events that are generally not coups. But, as the authors note, this is no mere issue of splitting hairs, explaining that “The choice of how to conceptualize a coup is not to be taken lightly since it carries normative, analytical, and political implications.”

Increasingly, the term really means “this is a thing I don’t like.” It’s clear the January 6 panel in Congress, and countless anti-Trump pundits use the term in this way to express disapproval and also to justify regime crackdowns against pro-Trump opponents of the regime. It’s easier to justify harsh prison sentences for a disorganized group of vandals if their acts can be framed as a nearly successful coup and therefore a threat to “our democracy.” Moreover, if the situation were reversed, and if protestors invaded the Capitol to support a leftwing, pro-regime candidate, we can be sure that the vocabulary used to describe the event in the mainstream press would be quite different.

This article was originally featured at the Ludwig von Mises Institute and is republished with permission.

We Killed the Last Justification for the Global War on Terror

There was a satisfying victory—not just for our soldiers and veterans, but for all Americans.

One week ago it was announced that the U.S. government had assassinated Ayman al-Zawahiri, who along with Osama bin Laden and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was the key planner behind the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The butcher of New York City was killed by a CIA drone strike while on his apartment’s balcony in Kabul, Afghanistan. The Biden administration maintains there were no civilian deaths.

There are three important lessons.

Before turning towards international terrorism, Dr. Zawahiri was an Egyptian surgeon who was tortured by U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak following the assassination of Anwar Sadat by the group “Egyptian Jihad” in 1981.

Zawahiri wanted revenge, and alongside Osama bin Laden, decided the only way to overthrow Middle Eastern dictators like Mubarak was by striking the United States, which provided money, weapons, and international protection to these regimes.

Zawahiri appears to have arrived in Kabul following the completion of the Taliban’s takeover. He was a guest of the Haqqani Network, a Taliban-allied group who were some of the bitterest and hardest fighting foes of the U.S. military during the occupation.

But it didn’t start out that way.

After the initial American invasion in October 2001, Mawlawi Jalaluddin Haqqani, the leader of the Haqqani Network, was satisfied to stay at home and uninvolved in the war between Uncle Sam and the Taliban.

That was until Pacha Khan Zadran, an adversarial warlord, convinced the U.S. government to take his side in a local dispute against Haqqani.

Following air strikes on Haqqani’s home (killing a family), a local school (killing over thirty children), and a convoy carrying many tribal elders, his network become an inveterate threat to our soldiers until the day we withdrew.

As journalist Anand Gopal documented, “The story of Jalaluddin Haqqani, who turned from America’s potential ally into its greatest foe, is the paradigmatic case of how the war on terror created the very enemies it sought to eradicate.”

And now they felt comfortable giving shelter to the leader of Al Qaeda while their current leader Sirajuddin Haqqani sits as the Minister of the Interior for the Taliban government (which swears it had no knowledge of al-Zawahiri’s presence).

These origin events, for both Zawahiri and Haqqani, were not inevitable. They were the result of poor policy made in Washington DC.

The idea that America needs to subsidize and cuddle up to every tinpot dictator in the third world, turning whole nations hostile.

The idea that America must automatically take a side in every border dispute and 8th generation family feud on planet Earth.

None of this puts America first.

We must accept that most of the world’s problems don’t concern us, and often we don’t understand enough about the situation to make a wise decision.

It’s time to stop being the world’s police.

The second lesson is that this mission was accomplished with zero boots on the ground in Afghanistan.

For two decades we were told by the War Party that unless we had thousands of soldiers active in Afghanistan, if we weren’t holding down forts and occupying territory, and if we weren’t propping up the sham government in Kabul, our counterterrorism strategy would suffer irrevocably.

We just proved that we didn’t need two decades of nation-building to get the job done. Which makes the sacrifices—of men and money—unfortunately all the more worthless.

The third and final lesson is that there’s no reason to continue this megalomaniacal and counterproductive Global War on Terror.

The 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, which was intended to give the executive branch carte blanche authority to go after those responsible for 9/11, has been used and abused for twenty years to justify all manner of unconstitutional actions like the undeclared war against ISIS or the invasion of Syria.

Now the last person responsible for the attack on our country has been obliterated.

We have every reason in the world to declare victory and bring our troops home.

I call on Congress to rescind the 2001 AUMF, and reclaim the constitutional authority they illegally handed away.

But I know they won’t—not without being forced.

That’s why it’s critical we work to pass Defend the Guard bills in state legislatures. This legislation would prohibit the use of the National Guard in undeclared wars, and severely diminish DC’s power to fight endless wars with no end goals.

The death of Ayman al-Zawahiri was a victory for America.

It’ll be a victory for America First if we learn the right lessons from it.

Cops Throw Man Suffering Diabetic Shock in Jail, Watch Him Die

When he was arrested in February of this year, Gilbert Gil, 67, had committed no crime and had harmed no one. Sadly, however, his innocence offered no protection from the pernicious abuse of the California police state.

The nightmare for the Gil family began when a combination of his dementia and his diabetes created the perfect storm. Jennifer Schmidt, Gil’s daughter says she became worried on February 12 when her dad didn’t show up at her home after he got off of work.

Because he has dementia, Schmidt had placed a tracking device on his keys and when she found him, he was miles away in another county where he wrecked his car. Gil had lost consciousness and drove off the road.

Photo taken from first arrest

When Schmidt talked to her dad, he was incoherent and not making any sense.

“I’d never seen him like that,” Schmidt told CBS 8. “I had never seen him that way. He was shaking and moving his head and he couldn’t really talk. But he was like, just confused, really confused”

Schmidt said she checked to see if her dad had taken his insulin shots and she found that he hadn’t. She tried to tell police that his strange behavior was likely a combination of his dementia and diabetes but they arrested him and took him to jail instead of a hospital.

“I told him to just listen to what the deputy says. And I’ll see him in a little bit.”

The next morning, Schmidt went to the jail and picked up her dad. Deputies told her that he “never sobered up” and he was worse off than the night before. Schmidt told them that he was not drunk or high and that he suffered from dementia and diabetes and Gil was released shortly after.

“He was ten times worse than when they arrested him. He couldn’t hold a conversation. He couldn’t answer any questions. I finally got him into the car and brought him to my house. My daughter had to give him her sippy cup because he couldn’t even hold a bottle of water,” said Schmidt.

Later that night, Gil’s condition continued to worsen and they called 911 for an ambulance. Instead of an ambulance, police showed up and arrested Gil. And, instead of medical help, Gil received a jail cell.

When Schmidt finally found out that her dad was in jail, she went there the following morning to get him out. Tragically, however, she could not pick him up. He died the night before and officers left his dead body in the cell for 15 hours after he died—so long that rigor mortis had set in.

“The next day I’m looking for his name in jail. I called and they would not give me any information. This was on Valentine’s Day,” Schmidt told CBS 8 through tears. “I called probably 50 times they would not tell me anything. I found out that morning that he was gone.”

Police would tell her that Gil tested positive for methamphetamine and this likely contributed to his death. This was not true.

Schmidt had an independent autopsy carried out and the toxicology report showed that Gil did not have any drugs or alcohol in his system. The autopsy found that Gil died of asphyxiation likely due to diabetic shock. Schmidt said her dad spent his last moments alive, starving for oxygen inside of a cage.

“I just think of how scared he must have been,” said Schmidt. “I hope that he was so out of his mind that he didn’t know what was happening.”

Schmidt is now suing the San Diego police department for $25 million, alleging that their negligence led to her father’s death. She will likely win as Gil was the 15th person to die in the San Diego jail so far this year. Since 2006, 200 people have died while in the custody of San Diego police.

“Everybody knows what I’m thinking about,” she says. “Nobody will even talk to me about it because I start crying or I get angry. I just keep saying it’s not fair. It’s just not fair. I mean, it shouldn’t happen to anybody. I don’t care what you’re on or what you’re doing. It just should not happen. To be cold, alone in a jail cell, just left naked and dead.”

Sadly, cops mistaking medical problems for criminal behavior is an unfortunately common scenario.

Previously, TFTP reported the story of John Priest, who was savagely beaten by police, on video, by cops who mistook his low blood sugar for criminal activity.

As the video shows, Priest is stopped in the road in a clear state of diabetic distress when two Amarillo police officers pull up behind him. He is unable to respond to their commands and so police respond by smashing out the rear window and then hitting the unresponsive diabetic in the head multiple times.

As TFTP previously reported, like Priest, Carl Leadholm was in diabetic medical distress and needed help when he was targeted by five police officers. However, his innocence and the fact that he needed help was of no consequence to the officers who mistook low blood sugar for a criminal act. Like Priest, Leadholm was savagely beaten.

This article was originally featured at The Free Thought Project and is republished with permission.

We’re Governed by the Communist Manifesto

Since its publication the Communist Manifesto has influenced most forms of government. The ideology has mutated from one of utopian ambition to providing a framework that uses the language of egalitarian justice. Marxist ideology no longer has a revolutionary spirit for liberation, but instead has become a template for authority and rule itself.

According to Karl Marx there are ten points outlining the necessities of a free society. These points share commonalities with other parts of government ideology that have no historic relationship with Marxism. Even modern right-wing conservatives and left-wing social democrats have variating ideals in common with the Communist Manifesto. It’s not to say that all governments are Marxist, only that what was once considered radical is now normal, even “conservative.”

Traditionally, communism and socialism claimed intention to liberate the oppressed while creating a paradise on Earth. In using the language of revolution and justice, Marxists found appeal among the miserable at a time when past elites were interested in preserving their traditional power bases of feudalistic variants and imperialism. Intellectual and revolutionary missionaries spread the religion and fought alongside those who were victims of war lods, dictators, imperialists, and big business exploitation.

The ideology has mutated and adapted itself for the modern world by appealing to the bourgeois. The ‘”worker’” is no longer the sweaty person in the field or factory but is just an abstract idea. Central planning has remained the constant, an instinct to control millions of lives via committee while self-interested elites claim to represent the needs of the proletariat, the nation, or the planet itself. The mean are everything, and as the ability to control becomes more absolute over time, the promised utopia loses emphasis.

Karl Marx and his comrades were as flawed and biased as any human beings. They saw the world from the prism of their own isoalted period. It’s been for those who came afterwards to interpret them and use their templates for inspiration. For example the Bolsheviks and Maoists, in their respective desires to extrapolate what suited them, expanded upon and centrally planed at a murderous pace to uplift their empires into industrial tyrannies (using Marx’s promised utopia as justification).

Today we live in a society of debt and inflationary fiat, business subsidies, and welfare that benefits a dependent class, not an exploited one. Luxury and present security are all that matter. A painkiller society has been created where it’s impossible to imagine any endurable discomfort before utopia is accomplished. We’re surrounded by bread, debt, circuses, and entitlements.

When Karl Marx and his comrades conjured up a world of anti-capitalism in 19th century Europe they could not have imagined what the coming two centuries would produce. Free markets and liberalism (in its original defintion) would give way to a centrally planned smorgasbord of horrors, with variants of fascism, non-monarchical imperialism, and many flavors of democracy and autocracy in between. The state has remained ever present as free markets and individual liberty have been slowly sacrificed in the quest for freedom from choice, responsibility, and risk.

According to the Communist Manifesto, “in most advanced countries, the following will be pretty generally applicable.”

  1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.

The eradication of private property ownership is cited as one of the fundamental definitions of communism. If the government can regulate, tax, invade and seize property that is “owned” by a private person or business, then the government itself establishes a super ownership. Through this control, outright nationalization is only an emergency away.

  1. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

This exists in most places, and even under a flat tax the many other layers of taxation that individuals and businesses are forced to pay soon becomes graduated as such. The more spending, whether through need or luxury, the more taxation. Taxes in turn can be used as a means of punishment, deterrence, and prohibition to satisfy the egalitarian ideological bias.

  1. Abolition of all rights on inheritance.

Inheritance tax is a punishment and deterrent when it comes to passing on generational wealth. It is also a free for all for the many bodies that get a bite due to the process of death and thereafter. A punishment on the materially wealthy, it can often harm those far from it. It is an obsession on the material and ignores other traits, benefits, and negatives that one may gain from their family.

  1. Confiscation of all emigrants and rebels.

The ability to marginalize and criminalize someone based on their status as a human being, beliefs, profession, race and so on is a constant when it comes to governments through history and across the world. Nation-states have borders, there is a perpetual bias against those born outside of those boundaries, and so migration requires a process that usually leads to taxation. The ability to steal from one because they are condemned as pariah is often allowable legally but also a socially celebrated act. Rebels are those who are different or dissent from the state and the culture that sustains it.

  1. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.

Most nation-states have their own central bank. For modern government a central bank is integral to all policy funding. One nation’s central bank can influence the private incomes and speculatory practices of those in many other countries. Modern war and welfare would be impossible without a central bank, and most traditional models on economics have become obsolete over the past century. Central banks allow for unimaginable debt, leading to inflation and otherwise unnatural levels of wealth. Religion may not be the opium for the masses, but central banking perhaps is.

  1. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the state.

“Who would build the roads?” Beyond the fact that most states do own and maintain roads, other forms of transportation are usually government run or heavily regulated. The internet and advanced, encrypted means of communication have provided small expressions of liberty so that individuals may have intimate conversations with loved ones or so whistleblowers can communicate to journalists. The independent media has been thriving for many years as a rejection of the corporate model of legacy media. The jailing of Ross Ulbricht because he created a website and the punishment of Julian Assange for journalism are examples of the limits placed on press by the state.

  1. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.

It’s not uncommon for industries to be reliant on subsidies and regulated, which acts as a means of control. This often leads to dependence and inefficiencies which in turn destroys industry, as does nationalization. Central planning has a history of destroying food production and in recent years soil degradation has become a common problem with nutrition and food security. Many droughts and fires have come about due to regulation and constraints. Those big companies, often complicit, are protected by a government and act as a pseudo-monopoly thanks to protectionism.

  1. Equal liability of all labor. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.

Written from the prism of the 19th century with a traditional trade union concept in mind, the modern world has seen the rise of lobbyists, bureaucracies, and government agencies that control and influence industry. Trade unions have less relevance in the west and in communist and fascist nations become “nationalized.” Automation and modern technology has made the traditional mass employment model of industries obsolete. The world also relies on complicated international trade that can transcend a single factory or labor sector.

  1. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries, gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.

Urban and suburban sprawl is an inevitable outcome of the modern world and while many romance the idea of rural living they lack the ability to do so. Instead of bringing the country life back, the suburbs have pushed the country further afield. Regulation and the menace of bureaucracy, along with technology, has shrunk the world by even combining industries. Many primary producers have on-site packaging and distribution. Rural communities are dying out and central planners often require incentives to push populations into those regions. More extreme regimes have moved entire populations into the countryside, such as the Khmer Rouge, with severe consequence.

  1. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production,

State run or controlled schools are a given in the modern world. Even for private schools and homeschooling families, the state still mandates the curriculum. Many critics of public schools point to the Prussian model and its adoption in various forms the world over, a key component is preparing children for employment. Most schools are structured to give children an education that will help them with traditional employment while propagating certain beliefs and ideals important to the national interest. Over time the bias of schooling is reflected in the contemporary ideologies of academia, which trains the teachers and public servants who write the curriculum.

It is believed that once the ten points are imposed, we will have paradise on Earth. Does it feel like it yet?

Why I Won’t Vote For Donald Trump in 2024

Will he or won’t he? That was the question on people’s minds as news broke last month of former president Donald Trump suggesting he has made up his mind on running for president again.

Grover Cleveland first won the presidency in 1884, and won the popular vote in the 1888 presidential race against Benjamin Harrison, but fell short in the electoral college. But thanks to the Populist Party’s 8% draw in the 1892 rematch, Cleveland went on to win re-election and remains the only president to serve non-consecutive terms. For Donald Trump to accomplish the same feat, he will need to do more than rely on a third party to siphon votes from his opponent.

According to reports, Trump and his allies plan to overhaul the government and fire thousands of government employees should he win re-election. This sounds incredibly reminiscent of his 2016 promises to “drain the swamp” of Washington DC, a feat which proved too daunting of a task the first time around. Will a second Trump administration somehow achieve those political goals and make good on the promises that the first one failed to? The fact of the matter is Trump is a known commodity. With four years on the books, Americans have the tale of the tape, and below are four of the biggest reasons not to vote for Donald Trump in 2024.

Right alongside the famous (or infamous) slogan of “MAGA” (Make America Great Again) were the claims that a Trump presidency would result in the “draining of the swamp,” or otherwise a significant reduction of the bureaucratic state and the career politicians who revel in it. Unfortunately, the candidate who ran on a platform of draining the swamp brought in three guys that would make Shrek blush.

Take John Bolton for instance, Trump’s third National Security Advisor and the man responsible for talking Trump out of the Iran nuclear deal. The same John Bolton who has enjoyed several decades of warmongering under multiple administrations, railed against the UN’s attempt to enforce the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention which would have applied inspections of suspected weapons sites to the U.S. in the same manner as the U.S. advocated for nations like Iraq or Iran, and whose only issue with George W Bush’s “Axis of Evil” speech was that it didn’t name enough new targets. More recently, Bolton had this to say in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper about orchestrating coup d’etats:

As somebody who has helped plan coup d’etats… Not here, but you know, other places… It takes a lot of work. And that’s not what he (Trump) did. It was just stumbling around from one idea to another. Ultimately, he did unleash the rioters at the capitol.”

Not only does Bolton flippantly admit to interfering in sovereign nations across the globe the way you or I would say we’re out of mustache cream, but he also sounds like his only problem with January 6 was how amateur it was. Hey, you leave the insurrections to the professionals!

Next up you have Mike Pompeo, who served as Donald Trump’s Secretary of State. From where did the Great Swamp Drainer find this appointee? Why, he was only working a small desk job…as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Trump acolytes have blustered since his political rise about meeting the Deep State head on, yet the former president appointed the veritable king of the deep state to one of the most important positions in his administration.

Just last week, Pompeo suggested a buddy-cop duo with Nancy Pelosi in regards to her Taiwan junket political stunt:

“Nancy, I’ll go with you. I’m banned in China, but not freedom-loving Taiwan. See you there!”

Many believe it was his deference to Trump and his “America First” rhetoric that won him the position in Trump’s administration. He may have “talked the talk” with the America First crowd, but it’s hard to say you’re putting America first while also courting World War III.

Last but not least you have Trump’s attorney general and everyone’s least favorite Keebler Elf, Jeff Sessions. The same Jeff Sessions who has made a career out of being a War on Drugs stalwart, seeking to destroy lives over marijuana, as well as strengthening the government’s use of civil asset forfeiture, also known as stealing the private property of citizens who have not been found guilty of a crime.

The Trump Administration added more than $7 trillion to the national debt. Now, before you go blaming Congress since it is they who have their fingers on the purse strings, know that Trump signed every spending bill put on his desk. There was never any serious challenge or veto offered. And before you go blaming the unspecified virus of unknown origins (or more aptly the lockdowns and mandates associated with it), he had one of the biggest annual budget deficits ever, $984 billion in 2019, a year before the pandemic.

Speaking of the pandemic, it was Trump who supported lockdowns long before he ever opposed them, even criticizing state governors who he felt “opened up too quickly.” I can’t imagine where he got all of those ideas from

Which brings us to the pardons. A blowhard like Dinesh D’Souza managed to get a pardon.

But there were no pardons to be had for the likes of Ross Ulbricht, serving consecutive life sentences for building a website, or Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, who helped to expose the crimes of the American Empire and its Deep State that Trump was presumably elected to combat.

The point I’m trying to make for all you infected with MAGA-pox is this: if the only reason you have left to vote for Donald Trump is you want to “own the libs,” then don’t wait for the general election to make your voice heard. Vote in the primaries and nominate a better candidate before it’s too late and you’re left with another situation like this.

This is a partial transcript taken from the opening monologue of the August 3, 2022 episode of the It’s Too Late podcast. It is reprinted with permission.

TGIF: About Those January 6 Committee Extravaganzas

I admit it: I watched nearly every moment of the House committee extravaganzas on the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. I did more than that. I was transfixed. I couldn’t even multitask.

Were the mislabeled “hearings” beyond all criticism? Of course not. They were choreographed, but only mildly so; the production effort lent an orderliness that I appreciated. I accept the point that the presentations had nothing to say about FBI-informant intrigue if it took place. Such mischief has occurred in the past, and if credible allegations exist, they should be pursued vigorously. Of course, it wouldn’t let off the hook anyone who followed the directions of an agent provocateur. The same goes for other government misfeasance and malfeasance apart from Donald Trump’s.

Still, even given all that, I see no good grounds for dismissing the presentations as worthless partisanship. The reason ought to be obvious. The presentations enabled us to watch senior White House, Justice Department, and Trump campaign lawyers and other key staff describe Trump’s horrifying complacency as he entertained himself before, during, and after the violent outburst. Gruesomely riveting!

One need not be a small-D democrat to be concerned about what took place on January 6, 2021. The source of rational concern is not only the target of the violence. It is the violence itself. We’ve seen a good deal of domestic political violence in recent years, and I’m confident that no good would come from more. On the contrary, to the extent that violence becomes an acceptable political tactic, we will be in deep trouble. As Leonard E. Read, founding president of the Foundation for Economic Education, wrote in “On that Day Began Lies”:

Consider the mob. It is a loose-type association. The mob will tar and feather, burn at the stake, string up by the neck, and otherwise murder. But dissect this association, pull it apart, investigate its individual components. Each person, very often, is a God-fearing, home-loving, wouldn’t-kill-a-fly type of individual.

What happens, then? What makes persons in a mob behave as they do? What accounts for the distinction between these persons acting as responsible individuals and acting in association?

Perhaps it is this: These persons, when in mob association, and maybe at the instigation of a demented leader, remove the self-disciplines which guide them in individual action; thus the evil that is in each person is released, for there is some evil in all of us. In this situation, no one of the mobsters consciously assumes the personal guilt for what is thought to be a collective act but, instead, puts the onus of it on an abstraction which, without persons, is what the mob is.

Apart from the direct threat from the violence, we must also consider the secondary threat: namely, that of the government’s inevitable crackdown. If the violence becomes more widespread, average people will understandably demand safety, and the politicians will be only too happy to comply with less-than-discriminate force. A weak state response could prompt the emergence of a “strong leader,” a Bonaparte, who promises to restore order forthwith.

This is why the peaceful transfer of power after elections is desirable. To be sure, representative democracy places a distant second to complete and authentic individualist, free-market liberalism, but it beats gangs fighting in the streets.

So think back now to January 6. Trump clearly lost the election. His 60 attempts to persuade judges that the election had been stolen had failed. (Many of the judges were appointed by Trump or other Republican presidents.) He was told repeatedly by senior officials that he had appointed, from the attorney general on down, including expert investigators in election security, that he had no case — but to no avail. A conspiracy to perpetrate such an election fraud and its coverup would make any other alleged conspiracy look like child’s play.

Undeterred, Trump merely brought in a small group of toadies led by the faithful Rudy Giuliani to press his worthless case. Trump insisted he actually won the election by a landslide and set out to gaslight the American people into thinking there was something to that claim. Considering the lack of proof and all the contrary information he had been given, we are entitled to conclude that Trump never actually believed that he had been reelected. This was no delusion; rather I suspect it was merely a grand Trumpian scam that would surely rake in lots of money; it was also a what-the-hell longshot at retaining power. He apparently didn’t care about anything else. In other words, he was playing with fire. At best it was gross negligence.

When he got nowhere with his staff and the courts, he encouraged a mob, which he had every reason to think would be unruly, to gather in Washington, D.C., on the day that Congress was to certify the states’ electoral counts. Trump and his small circle worked every angle, including encouraging supporters to fraudulently pose as alternative electors in their states and trying to convince Vice President Mike Pence that he could exclude Biden electoral votes or at least delay Congress’s certification by sending the matter back to the states — when no vice president has any such power. Pence deserves credit here. I shudder to think what might have happened in the streets had Pence slavishly done what Trump pushed him to do.

The mob assembled as Trump requested, and he lifted their hopes that they could “stop the steal.” Informed that some supporters had weapons and so wouldn’t go through metal detectors for Trump’s speech, he told security to remove the detectors because “they’re not here to harm me.” Then he urged the mob to march to the Capitol. Tens of thousands did so, breaking through doors and windows and signaling that they meant to threaten or harm those who stood in their and Trump’s way. Thwarted by the Secret Service in his wish to go to the Capitol, Trump went back to the White House and watched the show from his dining room.

Repeated pleas by his staff that he call for an end to the riot fell on deaf ears. On the contrary, he tried to turn up the heat by condemning Pence on Twitter for his lack of courage. When his supporters chanted that Pence should be hanged, he was heard to say that maybe those supporters were onto something. Late in the day, when he finally made a video appeal to the rioters, he couldn’t resist telling them: “We love you…. You’re very special.”

All in all, this was a sad day that capped a sad few months — again, not because democracy is sacred, but because violence is uncontrollably toxic. Does the record establish Trump’s legal liability for incitement to violence? I am not qualified to say. Moreover, we who distrust political power must be wary of vaguely defined offenses that originate in speech.

But Trump does seem to have left himself open to charges related to his failure to secure the Capitol despite repeated desperate pleas and to his obvious attempts to obstruct Congress. It was at least a dereliction of duty. (I highly recommend Walter Olson’s “The Jan. 6 Committee’s Findings Have Met the Appropriately High Bar for Prosecuting Trump.”)

Mob violence isn’t the only thing to be feared in this world, but it ranks pretty high up there.

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