Politics

#108 Donnie Gebert’s Direct Republic: The Null Hypothesis of Politics

#108 Donnie Gebert’s Direct Republic: The Null Hypothesis of Politics

Donnie Gebert explains his vision of a “Build A Bear” constitution, and being your own representative. He also covers his thoughts on crypto, the state of global monetary policy, and how to hedge the fiat apocalypse.

Visit his Website to get his book FOR FREE, catch his appearances on multiple podcasts, his YouTube channel, and get in touch! If you you have ideas and would like to work on a solution, Donnie is happy to chat.

My lovelies:

Blaming Libertarianism for Every ‘Societal Woe’

Blaming Libertarianism for Every ‘Societal Woe’

Normally, a random post on Twitter doesn’t deserve an answer in the form of an article, but in an era where the libertarian ideology (that of non-aggression and strict property rights), which is much closer to the ideas of liberty expounded by the founders of America than modern “Conservatism” could ever hope to be, it is probably warranted. Whether it be Tucker Carlson blaming Austrian Economics and libertarianism for betraying the “American worker” on his highly rated nightly entertainment program, or a Tweet from a “free-speech-maximalist” social media platform attempting to hold libertarianism liable for “drag queen story hour,” the opioid epidemic or mass migration, it’s about time to point out that there are a couple huge elephants in the room these people seem to be ignoring. 

Mind you, one should not be shocked by their ignorance. These parties have obviously bought into the hysteria that those in power always use as a rudder to guide the gullible and emotional to and fro. Most people nowadays are like modern doctors when they come across something they can’t quite diagnose; they concentrate on the symptoms rather than the root cause. Examining the Tweet at hand, we see not only this issue, but just plain ignorance. 

The Purple, Blinking Elephant in the Room 

Normally, an article such as this one should proceed in tearing apart the subject of its irritation by starting at the beginning, but since the author’s main vexations are held until the end we shall proceed there. 

Whether you’re talking about big “L,” or small ‘l’ libertarianism, they both can agree that the smaller the government is, the more liberty the individual has. The author seems to be working under the assumption that small, or no government, would cause young kids to be flashed at “drag queen story hour,” heroin overdoses and mass migration.  

The United States currently has the largest, most powerful government in the history of mankind. They are 23 trillion dollars in debt not counting unfunded liabilities. They have military bases in over 80 countries. They lead all nations in incarcerating their citizens which has been fueled by an almost 50-year, immoral “War on Drugs.” They extort upward of 50% of their citizens incomes when you take into consideration all taxes and fees.  

If the United States was ever inspired by libertarian ideals, those days were gone over 100 years ago. The author’s main criticisms; young kids being flashed at “drag queen story hour,” heroin overdoses and mass migration, are all occurring under a government that you would be hard-pressed to find a shred of libertarian ideology in. “Drag Queen Story Hour” is happening in government schools and libraries. Libertarians would have public schools and libraries abolished in favor of private alternatives. The opioid epidemic has been proven by libertarian academics to be a direct result of government regulation. Dr Mark Thornton has done the best work on this and has appeared on this author’s podcast driving that point home. Mass migration is being caused by foreign policy, interventionism, and if it is some grand conspiracy, it is being orchestrated by politicians and people of influence using the monopolistic power of government to accomplish their goals. Most libertarians would see government abolished and free market solutions put in place such as making all property private thus solving the “migration” issue and turning it into a matter of trespassing.  

The inevitable objections now will start. The most obvious being that these problems would become more rampant in a society without a central power (having already proven that all of this is occurring with, either the seal of approval of the biggest government in history, or with their apathetic attitude towards it, this forces the author to argue for what, even more government?). Sure, that argument can be made but it is all based on conjecture as Robert Higgs likes to point out. It’s all theoretical. What can be proven empirically, is all of the horrors that the author is bemoaning are happening under the most powerful State on the planet contradicting any point trying to be made in the Tweet regarding libertarianism. 

Maybe the author believes that if only they were in charge, they would have all the answers. Many socialists like to point at certain countries and say, “that wasn’t real socialism,” which translated usually means they believe themselves to be smarter, and more “moral” than those who’ve gone before, and if only they had been the shot-caller, utopia would’ve been achieved. Those who deny horseshoe theory deny reality. 

Now we can go back to the start. 

Conservative Values 

Starting off your criticism of libertarianism by invoking “Conservative values” without explaining exactly what they are is sophistry. The claim is made that these values are non-existent without Christianity but there the writer falls on their face again. What are Christian values? One could go to ten different denominational churches of Christianity and get different answers to the question of what their cultural values are. The author has in their mind what Conservatism and Christianity must be, and to separate the two is anathema. “To hell with the Conservative atheist! He is no ally of mine!”  

They proceed with the statement that “libertarianism is inherently not conservative.” Since they don’t define their terms; how can one even begin to take this statement apart? Anyone who would make an attempt would be working under assumptions to which the author can simply retort, “that’s not what I meant!” 

I do champion the statement though. Libertarianism is not Conservative. Murray Rothbard makes that abundantly clear: 

Conservatism is a dying remnant of the ancien régime of the preindustrial era, and, as such, it has no future. In its contemporary American form, the recent Conservative Revival embodied the death throes of an ineluctably moribund, Fundamentalist, rural, small-town, white Anglo-Saxon America. 

Conservatism is another form of collectivism that cannot find solutions outside of it. In other words, the individual may be spoken of, and even championed, but to stray from the thought process contained within puts you outside of it. It has no room for individualism as can clearly be seen in the Tweet this article references (leaving aside the three topics the author highlights as they can be considered legitimate concerns to individuals as well). 

Addressing their finale of “live and let live bro” is tiresome. I don’t know any libertarian who would echo that statement unless it was qualified with “as long as you aren’t damaging someone else’s person or property.” It is actually a perfect example of a “straw man fallacy” and warrants no further discussion. 

Anyone who spends considerable time on the “political” side of social media should be able to recognize that most statements like the one in the referenced Tweet are being posted by persons who are either ignorant, or dishonest. Recently, it appears that more people are intent on putting out false narratives about people or ideologies they disagree with in the moment. It is a fact that there have been a number of attacks recently on the libertarian ideology by those who will say in one breath that it is useless and outdated, while in the next blame it for the cause celebre. One may be inclined to believe they’re feeling threatened and lashing out. This should be seen as inspiration moving forward. 

The Rule of Law or CIA Coup?

The Rule of Law or CIA Coup?

It’s pretty obvious.

Americans should support the impeachment and removal of President Donald Trump, but not for Ukrainegate. In fact, they should oppose his impeachment on Ukrainegate grounds completely.

Trump’s real offense is waging an un-authorized, unconstitutional, illegal, treasonous and for-real genocidal war against the human beings of Yemen. His war crimes in Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Syria and Iraq have at least taken place in conflicts supposedly authorized by Congress, making the legal cases against actions there somewhat more complicated.

But in Yemen, no law, only presidential orders, have authorized our militaryspiesarms merchants and mercenaries to “lead from behind” in this disastrous war of the so-called “Saudi-led coalition” against the civilian population there.

The previous Yemen war, the CIA and air force drone war against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which began in 2009, the lawyers argued, was legal under the Authorization to Use Military Force against the group that attacked the United States on September 11th 2001. They were, after all, involved in the attack, and had previously bombed the USS Cole in 2000. Of course that drone war only backfired, empowering the al Qaeda enemy by radicalizing the local population. It turns out a 500-pound bomb isn’t a “scalpel” in real life, like they say in Washington.

But this is not that war. This is the war that President Barack Obama and then-Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman started back in March 2015. It’s not a war against AQAP at all. In fact, from the very beginning it’s been a war for AQAP and their allies against their deadly enemies, the Houthi movement of Zaidi Shi’ite tribes from the north of the country who seized the capital city of Sana’a at the end of 2014. The Houthis had been helping the U.S. to fight against AQAP.

Strikes against AQAP have continued as well, mostly to bad effect. But even the blowback from that failed policy amounts to nothing compared to the gains al Qaeda has made from fighting on what is now America’s side in the war, mostly due to their association with the mercenary forces of the United Arab Emirites, a major partner in the U.S.-led coalition.

By the time Obama switched to their side in the war, AQAP had also inspired the Ft. Hood massacre, attempted to blow up a plane over Detroit, launched an attempted bomb attack on a U.S. cargo plane and massacred the staff of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris, France in January 2015.

That same January, Obama’s undersecretary of defense for intelligence, Gen. Michael Vickers, announced that the U.S. was working with the new regime against al Qaeda. Just two months later, Barack Obama betrayed the Houthis and sided with al Qaeda against them.

The AUMF does not cover that.

And let’s get it straight. America is the “Superpower”; Saudi Arabia is our client state. Obama didn’t have to do anything. In fact, to hear his war cabinet tell it, they can barely remember starting the war at all.

Robert Malley, Obama’s coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa and Gulf Region, recently wrote (get this):

“Why the U.S. got entangled in this war — and why a president so determined to keep the country out of another Mideast military mess nonetheless got caught in this one — makes for a painful a story. [sic] In March 2015, Saudi Arabia came to the U.S. with a request for support in a campaign it vowed to conduct regardless. After that, and although events took place a mere four years ago, memories blur. In our conversations, many former U.S. officials found it hard to recall what precisely the Saudis asked for, what specific commitments the administration made in response, and when certain types of assistance started to flow. Some, including one of us who attended the deliberations, recall a deeply ambivalent president who greenlighted U.S. support but insisted it be confined to the defense of Saudi territory and not extend to the war against the Houthis. Others don’t recall hearing about that instruction, and struggle to reconcile it with what the U.S. actually did during the war — including refueling coalition sorties and replenishing weapons stocks.

[laugh track]

“Yet all agree the decision ultimately came without much debate. The reason, at bottom, was straightforward: Here was a partner (Saudi Arabia) seeking help in restoring a government (that of President Hadi) the U.S. regarded as legitimate and a loyal ally in the war against al-Qaeda. That government had been toppled by an insurgent group (the Houthi or Ansar Allah); although the extent of its ties to Iran was debatable and debated, their existence was indisputable. Plus, all this came at a time when relations between Washington and Riyadh already were deeply damaged by disagreements over the Obama administration’s response to the Arab uprisings and, even more so, its negotiations over a nuclear deal with Tehran. As Riyadh saw it, doing nothing would mean permitting control by a Hizbollah-like organization of its southern border, ensconcing a perpetual threat. Rebuffing the Saudi request at any time likely would have provoked a serious crisis in Saudi/U.S. bilateral relations. Doing so while the U.S. was seeking a landmark agreement with the kingdom’s sworn enemy could have brought them to breaking point. That was a risk even a president skeptical of the wisdom of Saudi policies and willing to call into question elements of the relationship was not prepared to take.

Poor helpless President of the United States of America. Unlike, say, Iran’s nuclear weapons program, the Houthis’ “existence was indisputable.” What could Obama possibly do at that point than stab them, his actual anti-al Qaeda allies, in the back and take MBS and Ayman al Zawahiri’s side against them? It’s high treason His Royal Highness wants, it’s high treason he gets.

So this treasonous war is unauthorized and therefore un-Constitutional. It’s also a war that is in violation of the War Powers Resolution, and not only technically speaking. Lo and behold the unbelievable fact that both houses of the U.S. Congress have voted to invoke the War Powers Resolution, demanding an end to the war. They even passed the same version at the same time and sent it to the president’s desk earlier this year. He ‘vetoed’ it. So the unauthorized, unconstitutional, treasonous war is also in the narrow sense, illegal.

But what’s this about genocide? That could fall under the War Crimes Act. That’s exactly what it is.

The strategy of the U.S.-Saudi campaign has been to target Yemen’s water, electric and sewage systems, hospitals, markets and farms – where they bomb the grain silos, flocks of sheep in the field, irrigation systems and whatever else they can target to destroy the basic infrastructure supporting the lives of the civilian population, especially in the north of the country. During the last world’s worst cholera outbreak in history before the current one, the U.S.A. and their Saudi friends bombed the cholera hospitals just to be sure to kill as many babies as possible.

All the while the U.S. Navy helps the Saudis and UAE keep the place under blockade, preventing virtually all international trade, and limiting the availability of humanitarian aid.

The most powerful nation in world history, barely hiding behind its proxy, is decimating the poorest, weakest country in the Middle East.

Yemen is not a country that ever attacked us or threatened us. Even the Houthis’ anti-American slogans were only adopted to embarrass their then-enemy and later-ally, dictator Abdullah Saleh, for being so close to the George W. Bush administration in the 2000s.

As referenced above, the Houthis were helping the Obama government fight al Qaeda at the time he started bombing them. And he only did it to “placate the Saudis” over their unease about the possibility of a new (absolutely out of the question) American slant back toward Iran while negotiating the 2015 nuclear deal.

The latest numbers from the group ACLED Data have it that over 100,000 people have been killed in the violence of the war, while the UN recently said that more than 133,000 additional people had died in the war due to deprivation (starvation, otherwise easily treatable diseases, etc.). This includes 85,000 children under 5 years old, many thousands of whom died of cholera. That is, they vomited and defecated themselves to death.

[Insert mental image of a young child you know and love dying that way and you being absolutely unable to do anything about it here.]

From the very beginning it was known that this very poor country was heavily dependent on foreign food imports for their survival and that the state of war would immediately propel masses to famine. And so it has.

So you see, the war is un-authorized, unconstitutional, illegal, treasonous and genocidal all at the same time. It is as bad as Iraq War II at least. When the whole thing is finally over, we are virtually certain to find that the “excess death rate” for the Yemeni people during this time equates to over a million dead.

But Donald Trump could have stopped the war almost three years ago. He could stop it right now with one simple phone call to the secretary of defense. Instead he crows about how much money “we’re” making helping Saudi’s government kill.

This is the same reason why I have supported impeachment and removal against George Bush Sr., Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama before Trump: war crimes.

Not only should Trump be removed from office for this wanton murder, he should have to share a Supermax cell with his buddy Barack Obama for the rest of their lives over it too.

That would be the law and justice being applied to the powerful equally like in the theories they teach us in high school civics class about how our system is supposed to work.

But folks. Come on now. That is not what this current impeachment scandal is at all. America’s secret police, formerly under John “Jabhat al Nusra” Brennan, are leading a coup against the elected leader of the national government. Cry as they might about how uncouth Trump is, the real motive for the entire Russiagate setup was their fear that he might actually mean some of the good things he said about “getting along with Russia,” his disregard for the NATO alliance and unwillingness to continue America’s indefinite catastrophe in the Middle East.

Isolationism!

Like the fools who believed in him, all the hawks took what Trump said at face value and went crazy. Treat the Palestinians “fairly”?! Red Alert! DEFCON 1! Treason Summit!

But Trump has escalated every single one of the wars he inherited from Barack Obama in 2017. He’s done everything the Israelis want. But it’s just not enough. Trump doesn’t believe in America’s divine mission to dominate the planet earth – er, “lead” it – until the end of time. He doesn’t demand the rest of us do either. His terrible trade policies also are “disruptive” to our system of permanent alliances around the world. That is why the “deep state” is out to get him.

After failing to stop Trump’s inauguration with their false accusations that he conspired with the Russians to steal the 2016 election, and chucking the possibility that they could get his cabinet to overthrow him by invoking the 25th amendment, the feds settled on a project to “reign him in” at the very least by dragging out the fake Russia caper as long as they could.

Once the special council threw in the towel after another year of false Russiagate accusations, they switched to Plan B. Now that it’s clear that the “whistleblower” Eric Ciaramella, formerly worked for Brennan, this entire thing should be cancelled. It doesn’t matter that Trump was caught acting unethically with the Ukrainians, the presumption must be that Ciaramella was acting as a spy for the CIA against the elected president, sent there to find something, anything that could be used against Trump to take him down. Wait around a little while. It won’t take long.

(Isn’t it funny how most of the media still won’t say the man’s name, Eric Ciaramella, after it’s already been published. Isn’t their job now to either confirm it’s true or not that he’s the one who started this? Oh, no, they just love and want to protect whistleblowers now, right? That must be what’s behind all the recent fawning coverage of Chelsea Manning’s current sacrifice in federal prison.)

Opposing the U.S. coups in Ukraine in 2004 and 2014 and U.S. support of any kind for their Nazi-infested military forces, and being absolutely against Joe Biden and everything about him, and his scumbagcrackhead son and their roles in Ukraine after the last coup, I am therefore also very dubious about just what a terrible crime it is supposed to be that Trump would hold up this “vital” aid to Ukraine under these or any other circumstances. This is the narrative, you’ve noticed: Americans – you – owe Ukraine’s government loyalty forever. To fail to give them the weapons they need to restart the horrible war against their countrymen in the east would be an unpardonable sin and so-forth. Call it another clue as to what is really going on around here.

To allow the CIA this win – after they’ve gotten away with using torture to lie us into war in Iraq and their presumption to challenge the authority of the Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee by spying on her and attempting to have the Department of Justice prosecute her staffers for investigating that torture; after the revelations of their lawless NSA-like spying on Americans in the Vault 7 leak; after their supporting al Nusra in Syria for 4 years leading to the rise of the Islamic State “caliphate” and Iraq War III; after they lied that the president of the United States was a guilty traitor who stole the 2016 election with the help of the Kremlin – would be no victory for justice at all.

After racking up a president’s head as a trophy for their wall (a second?), just think what these monsters would be like then.

It’s pretty easy to tell when there’s a CIA coup going on. When they openly boast about it, as former acting CIA director John McLaughlin recently did, then you should be on the right side of it, against.

Any real effort to hold all politicians accountable for their crimes under the equal rule of law should be welcomed and supported. We’ll believe it when we see Obama’s indictment right next to Trump’s.

Cross-posted at Antiwar.com.

Alt Media was Exposing Epstein Corruption as ABC was Covering it Up—Who’s the Real Fake News?

Alt Media was Exposing Epstein Corruption as ABC was Covering it Up—Who’s the Real Fake News?

One of the largest stories in the news this week was the ABC anchor who was recorded on a hot microphone ranting about how the network suppressed her story on Jeffrey Epstein and his ties to the elite — three years ago. While this admission was certainly noteworthy, it should come as no surprise. Over the past few years, the mainstream media, in general, has refused to report on any of Epstein’s ties to current and past government officials, Hollywood insiders, and even royalty. Now, as the “Epstein didn’t kill himself” memes storm the internet, it has all of the sudden become “cool” to finally talk about this insidious group of power elite predators. However, those of us in the alternative media have been talking about this stuff for years — before it was cool — and we were called conspiracy theorists for doing so.

In 2016, the Pizzagate conspiracy took the internet by storm and created a slew of unprovable theories that never materialized. While the mainstream media was shouting down the Pizzagate crowd, TFTP and others were reporting on the real child sex trafficking conspiracy involving Epstein and his friends like the Clintons. As we reported in 2016, flight logs showed that Bill Clinton allegedly took numerous flights on the “Lolita Express” (Epstein’s private jet) to “orgy island” (Epstein’s private island in the Caribbean) to engage in sex with underage girls.

Epstein is also tied to the current president Donald Trump. Indeed, prior to taking the White House, billionaire Donald Trump dished out praise for Epstein back in 2002, telling New York Magazine for an article, in hindsight, peculiarly titled, “Jeffrey Epstein: International Moneyman of Mystery,”

“I’ve known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”

When we were reporting on these provable facts years ago, the mainstream media was suppressing them. Even Prince Andrew was tied to this convicted pedophile. In fact, one piece of evidence submitted during a lawsuit against Epstein last year was a photo of Prince Andrew with his arm around the underage victim, Virginia Roberts who claims that was she was both forced to have sex with Epstein and that she was “loaned out” to perform sex acts on his friends.

The photo resurfaced last year during the trials, yet it was entirely ignored by the mainstream. Coincidentally, any ties to the Royal Family have been ignored by the mainstream despite the evidence.

Why is that?

“The Palace found out that we had her whole allegations about Prince Andrew and threatened us a million different ways,” Amy Robach, ‘Good Morning America’ Co-Host and Breaking News Anchor at ABC was recorded saying on a hot mic in the now viral video.

As ABC was taking marching orders from the Royal family to cover for a convicted pedophile, those of us in the trenches of alternative media were putting out reports left and right. The Miami Herald is arguably one of the largest purveyors and investigators in the Epstein corruption case, putting out bombshell after bombshell over the last few years. Sadly, however, most of it was ignored.

As TFTP has reported, Epstein is a convicted child molester and sexually abused no less than 40 underage girls. Despite this fact, Alexander Acosta protected him while serving as a U.S. Attorney in Florida.

Instead of going to prison for life, as he should’ve considering the evidence against him, Epstein only got 13 months and was allowed to stay in the Palm Beach County Jail in his own private cell where he was allowed to leave the prison six days a week for “work release.”

Instead of being investigated for letting this convicted pedophile off with a wrist slap, Acosta was appointed by Trump to Secretary of Labor. During his appointment hearing in 2017, Acosta defended the way he handled the Epstein case.

“At the end of the day, based on the evidence, professionals within a prosecutor’s office decide that a plea — that guarantees that someone goes to jail, that guarantees that someone register generally and that guarantees other outcomes — is a good thing,” he said.

As the Alternative Media was screaming from the rooftops — literally, we did a podcast on this last year —  that this man let a pedophile off with a wrist slap and was then appointed a high position in the government, the mainstream media ignored it once again. Only after Epstein was arrested did Acosta’s role become something the mainstream media would talk about. The coverage almost immediately led to this pedophile helper’s resignation.

When the Hollywood #metoo movement blew up, the mainstream media focused solely on a few people while ignoring Epstein’s ties to any of it. However, pining away with pertinent information were the folks at the Antimedia, showing the connections. 

When Epstein was being sued in Federal Court last year, the mainstream was again silent. But TFTP contributor, founder of the Conscience Resistance, and Houston mayoral candidate Derrick Broze was in Florida — standing in front of Epstein’s mansion — trying to get this information out to the public.

Yet again, the algorithms, the “fact checkers” and thought controllers acted almost in unison to silence these platforms. A month after TFTP published Broze’s extensive investigative work, our entire social media network across Facebook and Twitter, consisting of nearly 7 million followers, was surreptitiously wiped off the face of the internet. 

None of the information we have put out in regard to Epstein over the past few years has been wrong. Alternative media has had their finger on the pulse of the Epstein corruption for years, yet we have been shoved into the fringes by the mainstream. Coincidence?

Sadly, however, although it appears that they are finally reporting on the Epstein corruption, the mainstream media is still pussyfooting all over it. They are more concerned with Epstein’s death in jail than the actual connections to these elite child traffickers, many of whom are still free.

Whitney Webb with Mint Press News has been following the Epstein case down into the deepest crawls of the establishment and has been asking hard questions, like how the hell is Ghislaine Maxwell — who is alleged to have helped Epstein traffic these children — still walking around a free person? If you want a true glimpse into how deep the rabbit hole goes, you can take a look at their in depth coverage, here. 

Rachel Blevins@RachBlevins

NEW: Questions mount about Jeffrey Epstein’s death, while the friends and associates who have answers about his life of using a child sex ring to blackmail the rich and powerful continue to walk free…

Embedded video

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The sleight of hand tactics employed by the mainstream are becoming more and more apparent as we progress through time. It is no surprise that they have earned the nickname “dinosaur media.” Let’s hope that those who help to protect society’s worst, who victimize and prey on innocent children, will one day find their platforms used for this protection, extinct, just like the dinosaurs.

Reprinted from The Free Thought Project

7 out of 10 Millennials Would Vote for a Socialist Candidate

7 out of 10 Millennials Would Vote for a Socialist Candidate

According to a YouGov–Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation poll released in late October, 70 percent of millennials indicated that they are “somewhat or extremely likely to vote for a socialist candidate.”

This same poll also found that 50 percent of millennials — those between 23 and 38 years of age, and 51 percent of Generation Z — those aged 16 to 22, have somewhat or very unfavorable views of capitalism. This represented an increase of 8 and 6 percent, respectively, from the previous year. In comparison, 44 percent of Generation X, 33 percent of Baby Boomers, and 33 percent of the Silent Generation responded that they were somewhat or extremely likely to vote for a socialist candidate.

Overall, capitalism is still viewed more positively than any other system. Pollsters found that 61 percent of people viewed it favorably in 2018. The overall takeaway was that millennials don’t have as much hostility towards socialism and communism as the generations who lived during the Cold War.

What could be the driving force behind socialism’s appeal among the youth?

American culture has gone through numerous transformations during the last 50 years. Mass public schooling and an increasingly politicized society have made interventionist ideas become more mainstream. One of the easiest ways to get people behind an idea is by promoting it to them while they’re young, i.e., conditioning them in their early years of schooling.

Then, universities finish this process off by promoting socialist ideas in economics, history, political science, and other liberal arts fields. Even when young Americans leave educational settings and become professionals, they will likely consume entertainment with left-wing bias. At that juncture, they’ll have had thousands of hours of exposure to collectivist ideas.

The rise of Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is no coincidence when considering these factors. The current socialism these two political figures espouse may not be the same as the socialism of the 20th century, which produced mass killings, but it’s still worthy of condemnation. In contrast to the proletariat versus bourgeois conflict that marked 20th-century socialism and communism, present-day socialists focus more on identity politics and using the state to benefit certain “disadvantaged” groups.

No matter how we slice it, what the present-day youth increasingly desire is a controlling system that undermines economic and civil liberties. The state does not operate in a vacuum. Services that are “free” and compulsory require that resources be expropriated from the private sector, while people are forced against their will to comply with these programs. No respectable society that truly cherishes freedom would accept such policies.

However, it would be a mistake to believe that a simple political campaign can be used to defeat the ideas that Sanders and AOC are promoting. Economist Ludwig von Mises asserted that “Thoughts and ideas are not phantoms. They are real things. Although intangible and immaterial, they are factors in bringing about changes in the realm of tangible and material things.”

To even confront the rise of socialist ideas, we must go back to the fundamentals. That means understanding the basic principles of freedom and finding the best ways to spread them. This could consist of building media outlets, educational organizations, mutual aid societies, alternative schooling methods such as homeschooling, etc.  To move away from a society where the state is the common denominator in virtually all affairs requires a shift in consciousness. There are no quick fixes for this.

It should be stressed that this is a multi-pronged process that could take decades to carry out. The Left has taken note of that and has played the long game in gradually taking over both public and private institutions over the span of decades. But it all starts with ideas.

There is no “right” moment to start disseminating these ideas. The sooner we can build a lasting infrastructure to do so, the better. Future generations are counting on us to get this right.

Republished from the Advocates for Self-Government

Fear is the Liberty Killer

Fear is the Liberty Killer

An overused term that is invoked to describe the United States, the largest government in the history of mankind, is “free country.” Does anyone actually believe that, or is it something to use as a bludgeon against those who seek to change particulars about said leviathan that they deem to be essential; their pet issue? Whether it is the right to own guns with “conservatives” (allegedly protected by a piece of paper), or abortion with the left (same, the Supreme Court decision invoked the 4th Amendment), that phrase, “free country,” is a dagger thrown at anyone who would seek to restrict either. This raises a question; how free are you if you have to point to a document that has been twisted and manipulated into meaning just about anything by 9 priests with lifetime appointments? Many in history have disagreed with the meaning of the 1st Amendment which is written in such a way that a 5-year-old clearly understands it. That is, until they get into a government school that teaches them that what they saw as logical as a youngster, is much more complicated. Especially when you take people’s “safety” into account. 

It is clear to anyone who examines it, that when a new law is passed, government agency created, or there is just an expansion of local, state or federal law enforcement, the reasons given to the public to justify this are ones that are meant to induce only one emotion; fear. Fear is the great liberty killer and a society that has been taught that the government is here to be their protector and provider in all things, allows its unlimited expansion when that emotion is created by those who seek to rule them. This is clear when you break down certain issues. 

Foreign Policy and the ‘War on Terror’ 

When you bring up 9/11 to people you get varied reactions. Emotions such as sadness and rage are most common in this author’s experience. Many times, both are present. The one response you rarely hear is fear. Why? People see that as an emotion to be embarrassed about. When you’re mourning a loss or fuming with anger, everyone sees those as justifiable. No one want to been seen as scared. Especially in a “free country.” 

Don’t be fooled, fear was the reason people accepted the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. It directly led to people’s support for the TSA and the “PATRIOT Act.” Fear is how people justify their elderly parents and grandparents, and young children, being groped and probed by publicly-funded deviants in every airport in the land. It’s all to keep us safe from those terrorists who “hate us for our freedoms.” If that were true, considering how much liberty has been lost, shouldn’t that be a mild dislike by now? Who are you trying to fool? This is about seeing a terrorist at every gate in every airport, and God forbid someone wearing a hijab gets on your plane! 

The ‘War on Drugs’ 

Let’s congratulate “drugs” for winning the “War on Drugs.” And, if we’re honest, the majority of this “war” is about a plant that grows in nature and doesn’t need to be processed to be used. Referring to cannabis as a “drug” is one of the greatest propaganda achievements in the history of tyrannies. Yet, it was sold as an “evil weed” through fear, full stop.  

Harry Anslinger, the father of cannabis prohibition (the term cannabis is being used because “marijuana” was a word invented to sound ethnic, another fear tactic), knew how to manipulate “good Christians,” and the public in general, into being frightened of that “evil weed” that caused people to participate in the most “depraved” of actions. Here are some examples of Anslinger’s work: 

How many murders, suicides, robberies, criminal assaults, holdups, burglaries and deeds of maniacal insanity it causes each year, especially among the young, can only be conjectured…No one knows, when he places a marijuana cigarette to his lips, whether he will become a joyous reveler in a musical heaven, a mad insensate, a calm philosopher, or a murderer… 

Traffic in marijuana is increasing to such an extent that it has come to the be cause for the greatest national concern. This drug is as old as civilization itself. Homer wrote about, as a drug that made men forget their homes, and that turned them into swine. In Persia, a thousand years before Christ, there was a religious and military order founded which was called the Assassins and they derived their name from the drug called hashish which is now known in this country as marijuana. They were noted for their acts of cruelty, and the word “assassin” very aptly describes the drug. 

 This quote may be apocryphal, but is widely credited to him: 

Most marijuana smokers are colored people, jazz musicians, and entertainers. Their satanic music is driven by marijuana, and marijuana smoking by white women makes them want to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and others. It is a drug that causes insanity, criminality, and death — the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind. 

It’s all about fear. Tyrannies have counted on the easily manipulated masses to believe whatever embellishments of the truth, or outright lies, they peddle. From the beginning of the smallest clans to the birth of the modern nation-state, fear of the other, or the unknown, has been used to get individuals to collectivize allowing a small minority to dictate what is in their best interests when it comes to safety. It happened after 9/11 (and it’s only gotten worse), and it continues in the insane “War on Drugs” that is responsible for the “freest country in world” having the most people incarcerated per capita with the next closest country far off in the distance.  

If individuals fail to examine themselves when it comes to the level of fear they’re living with, and how this directly correlates to how much tyranny they’re willing to abide, the term “free country” will become even more of a punchline than it is at the present moment. Unless they are prepared to investigate from where, and how, these feelings of trepidation have come into their lives, they should count on the chains getting tighter, and the leash shortening. The ideas of true liberty can be foreign, even frightening, to those who have never considered them, who’ve been taught that the status quo is the best that can be expected. Doing everything to help the scales to fall from their eyes should be a priority to those who have already enjoyed the experience. 

#107 Sheldon Richman – Tilling the Soil of Truth

#107 Sheldon Richman – Tilling the Soil of Truth

Sheldon Richman comes on to talk about his new book, Coming to Palestine. Over he past 30 years of research and writing, he reveals the true history of the conflict, and of course, why it matters.

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Yes, Virginia, There Is A Deep State And It’s Feeding The Anti-POTUS Mob

Yes, Virginia, There Is A Deep State And It’s Feeding The Anti-POTUS Mob

The prepared statement of the latest UkraineGate whistle-blower is well worth the read. It tells you all you need to know about why the Deep State apparatchiks are coming out of the woodwork in a massive assault on America’s duly elected president.

They are deathly afraid Trump will begin to dismantle a far-flung Empire which has

  • wreaked havoc around the world,
  • bled America’s fiscal accounts dry, and
  • fostered unspeakable prosperity among the beltway’s legions of empiresupporting agencies, contractors, think tanks, foreign lobbies, NGO’s and Kstreet racketeers.

Whether out of common sense, naiveté or just contrariness, the Donald has dared to question and disrupt the Empire’s core policy on the Ukraine/Russia file. And that’s apparently exactly why the whistleblower de jour, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, wrote his now ballyhooed memos.

He feared that Trump’s appropriate desire to get to the bottom of the welldocumented Ukrainian involvement in the Obama Administration’s illegal spying on his 2016 presidential campaign would undermine the bipartisan consensus on Capitol Hill for Washington’s utterly wrong-headed Ukraine policy.

Stated more crudely, Washington overthrew the duly elected government of Ukraine in early 2014 because its leader was deemed too cozy with Moscow. And in the vanguard of that illegal meddling in the governance of a sovereign foreign state was Obama’s state department led by neocon Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland, Washington’s selfappointed roving proconsul John McCain and at length Vice-President Joe Biden.

After aiding a motley phalanx of ultra-nationalists, crypto-Nazi and political fortune seekers in overthrowing President Viktor Yanukovych, Washington has stood-up what are essentially puppet governments. The purpose has been to cause maximum abrasion with Putin and Russia; and at a cost of billions in aid from the US and other western agencies designed to prop up the economic basket case and cease pool of corruption which passes for the Ukrainian economy.

The Deep State narrative turns these realities on their head, of course, claiming that the mess in Ukraine is all the doing of the demonic Vladimir Putin. Accordingly, the very safety and security of the citizens of Lincoln NE and Springfield MA is allegedly on the line in a territory on Russia’s doorstep, which has historically been a meandering set of borders in search of a country when it was not otherwise a willing vassal and economic adjunct of Mother Russia.

As it happens, Lt. Colonel Vindman is a vociferous partisan of Washington’s Big Lie about the Russian ogre, and was virtually a fifth column operative in the viper’s nest of neocons at the Donald’s national security council. In fact, Vindman reported to Russophobe Fiona Hill, who reported to the Walrus of Forever War himself, John Bolton.

So despite all the Democrats’ crocodile tears for the constitution and rule of law, Vindman’s beef wasn’t really about their whole abuse of power canard. Nor did it touch upon the risible Dem/MSM nonsense that in asking a foreign government to undertake a legitimate action (an investigation of the corrupt use of taxpayers money by the former Vice President) Trump was committing a violation of U.S. election laws.

To the contrary, the gravamen of the colonel’s concern was domestic politics and the possibility that in withholding the $380 million of pending Ukrainian aid (which should have been zero in the first place) and pressing the Biden investigation, Trump would alienate Capitol Hill Democrats and leave the Deep State’s policy of using the Ukraine as an anti-Putin battering ram high and dry.

…. I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government’s support of Ukraine…. “I realized that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the Bidens and Burisma, it would likely be interpreted as a partisan play which would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing the bipartisan support it has thus far maintained.”

This would all undermine U.S. national security. Following the call, I again reported my concerns to NSC’s lead counsel.

Folks, Lt. Col. Vindman was not elected to nothin’. If he’s a proud 20-year veteran of the US Army and diplomatic service as he claims, fine.

But his job is to implement policy as decided by the elected representatives of the people, not to free lance in the cause of the Empire group-think in which he is obviously and hopelessly steeped.

So let’s cut to the chase: The policy he feared the Donald might be jeopardizing by his pressure tactics with President Zelensky has been a travesty from start to finish. The Ukraine has no bearing on America’s homeland security whatsoever, and the policies of its government vis a vis Russia or any of its other neighbors are none of Washington’s cotton picking business.

You can’t be more emphatic about the utter irrelevancy of Ukraine to America’s homeland security. Even at the pre-coup peak in 2013 it had a miniscule GDP of $185 billion, which has since plunged by 30% to $130 billion. Even if Putin were foolish enough to annex the approximate 30 million Russian-hating Ukrainians outside of the Russian-speaking eastern Donbas region, which he surely is not, it wouldn’t amount to a hill of beans in the strategic equation.

Ukraine amounts to just 8% of Russia’s pint-sized GDP and is actually worthless to the Kremlin. That’s because the cost of occupation and pacification of the non-Russian speaking majority of the country would vastly outweigh whatever industrial and material output it might steal from the Ukrainians.

Besides, what in the hell is wrong with Washington when it gets all hot and bothered about a no-count territory plagued with economic failure and which generates annually about two days worth of US output?

Moreover, even if you have warm and fuzzy regard for the rights and liberties of the Ukrainian “nation”, which has existed only infrequently as an independent state with wildly variant borders during the last 800 years, the question remains. Namely, how in the world can it be argued that its people were not better off in 2013 under an elected government of the Regions party that tilted toward Russia compared to the economic calamity which exits today and is only saved from complete collapse by US and European subventions?

So here’s where the Deep State’s hegemonic “sole super-power” world view comes in. Washington’s Ukraine policy has nothing to do with homeland security or prevention of military attack on American shores.

Instead, it is based on policing the world and demonizing the rump-state of Russia which emerged after the Soviet Union slithered off the pages of history in 1991. What was left was a decimated economy with half the former population and a current day GDP of $1.6 trillion, which is actually less than the GDP of the New York metro area.

Still, the Warfare State needs palpable “enemies” and adversaries—no matter how tendentious the case— to justify its massive fiscal drain ($1.1 trillion counting everything) on US taxpayers, both current and unborn; and it also needs expansive missions like spreading the blessings of democracy, prosperity and western culture to the far corners of the earth.

And that’s not our hyperbole in the slightest; it’s essentially the content of Vindman’s whistleblower testimony to Shifty Schiff’s Star Chamber proceedings today.

Thus, when it comes to the blatant lie that Russia is an expansionist power, Vindman’s purple prose would make even the late war-mongering Senator from Arizona proud:

Since 2008, Russia has manifested an overtly aggressive foreign policy, leveraging military power and employing hybrid warfare to achieve its objectives of regional hegemony and global influence. Absent a deterrent to dissuade Russia from such aggression, there is an increased risk of further confrontations with the West. In this situation, a strong and independent Ukraine is critical to U.S. national security interests because Ukraine is a frontline state and a bulwark against Russian aggression.

Wow! That’s just bellicose rubbish. A “frontline state and bulwark”my eye.

In fact, during the years since 1991 when Washington has invaded and virtually destroyed upwards of a dozen sovereign countries, Russia hasn’t invaded anyone!

But the reference to 2008 does tell you exactly where Vindman is coming from. He’s obviously referring to Russia’s thwarting of Georgia’s invasion of South Ossetia in August 2008.

That incident has been spun by the Deep State ever since as Russian aggression when it was just the opposite.

To wit, it was an aggressive military invasion by Georgia designed to reclaim the breakaway republic of South Ossetia. The real culprit was its mercurial leader and Washington tool, Mikheil Saakashvili, who had been egged on by Senator McCain and the usual cast of neocons with the promise of Washington military help, which fortunately did not happen.

But a subsequent 1,000 page report by an independent EU fact-finding mission led by a renown Swiss diplomat makes clear that the Georgian accusations of Russian aggression were completely fabricated.

“It was Georgia which triggered off the war when it attacked (South Ossetian capital) Tskhinvali” said Heidi Tagliavini, the mission head, in a statement. Although the EU commission tactfully avoided using the word “lie,” the report implies that Saakashvili did not tell the truth about how the war started.

The same is true of the so-called annexation of Crimea and the Kremlin’s support for the breakaway republics in eastern Ukraine.

As to the former, the population of Crimea is overwhelmingly Russian, and for 171-years from 1783 to 1954 it was an integral province of Czarist Russia. It got arbitrarily assigned to the Ukraine Soviet Socialist Republic by Khrushchev after he won the post-Stalin power struggle in 1954 as a reward to his compatriots in Kiev—even though less than 15% of the population was Ukrainian.

After the US funded, supported and instantly recognized coup in Kiev in February 2014 and the immediate passage of virulent anti-Russian legislation by the putsch, the Russian-speaking population of Crimea voted overwhelmingly (87%) to return to Mother Russia. The so-called coercive annexation by Russia is a figment of War Party propaganda, and implies a willingness to use American money and arms to enforce the dead hand of the Soviet Presidium.

And the same story goes for the Donbas. The largely Russian speaking population of this industrial region, which is highly integrated with the Russian economy, wants to be separated from the Ukrainian nationalists in Kiev who have launched a vicious war to subdue them.
But if the Donbas were to be partitioned or even if it voted to join the Russian Federation, so what?

The honest truth of the matter is that Europe is flush with partitioned states. These include Slovakia and the Czech Republic as well as the manifold offspring of Yugoslavia including North Macedonia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro and Serbia, which, at the insistence of Washington, got further carved up by the partition of Kosovo.

That is to say, once Washington upended the tenuous political/ethnic balance of postSoviet Ukraine by supporting the nationalist coup, there was still no reason that the Yugoslav model of partition could not have settled the matter.

In fact, the 5-year war on the Donbas—which has killed upwards of 20,000 and brought economic and fiscal ruin to both the region and Ukraine as a whole—wouldn’t have lasted more than a few weeks without the promise of western economic and military aid and political support.

The needless tragedy there is not the fruit of Russian aggression. It’s the consequence of Washington meddling, including all the corruption which has flowered after Ukraine was turned into a Washington vassal and found it necessary to hire Washington lobbyists and racketeers like Hunter Biden and Devon Archer (then Secretary of State John Kerry’s former campaign bundler) to keep the cash flowing.

Needless to say, the Deep State slathers this toxic reality in a narrative that is pure hogwash. And Colonel Vindman has it down pat: Namely, under the tutelage, money and political and military cover of the Washington Imperium, Ukraine is to be brought into the “Euro-Atlantic community” as a splendid new democracy.

The bolded term, of course, is an undisguised euphemism for NATO:

In spite of being under assault from Russia for more than five years, Ukraine has taken major steps towards integrating with the West. The U.S. government policy community’s view is that the election of President Volodymyr Zelensky and the promise of reforms to eliminate corruption will lock in Ukraine’s Western-leaning trajectory, and allow Ukraine to realize its dream of a vibrant democracy and economic prosperity.

The United States and Ukraine are and must remain strategic partners, working together to realize the shared vision of a stable, prosperous, and democratic Ukraine that is integrated into the Euro-Atlantic community.

Here’s the thing. The expansion of NATO to the very doorstep of Russia was the most colossal mistake of the post-cold war period. And the War Party’s insistence that this should to taken all the way to the incorporation of Ukraine and Georgia—-historic vassals of Russia—actually trespasses upon the very border of insanity.

Indeed, the father of containment and the intellectual architect of NATO in the late 1940s, the great George F. Kennan, hit the nail on the head when lightweight Clintonistas like Strobe Talbot and Madeleine Albright launched the NATO expansion process in the 1990s:

“I think it is the beginning of a new cold war,” said Mr. Kennan from his Princeton home. ”I think the Russians will gradually react quite adversely and it will affect their policies. I think it is a tragic mistake. There was no reason for this whatsoever. No one was threatening anybody else. This expansion would make the Founding Fathers of this country turn over in their graves. We have signed up to protect a whole series of countries, even though we have neither the resources nor the intention to do so in any serious way. [NATO expansion] was simply a light-hearted action by a Senate that has no real interest in foreign affairs.

”What bothers me is how superficial and ill informed the whole Senate debate was,” added Mr. Kennan, who was present at the creation of NATO and whose anonymous 1947 article in the journal Foreign Affairs, signed ”X,” defined America’s cold-war containment policy for 40 years. ”I was particularly bothered by the references to Russia as a country dying to attack Western Europe. Don’t people understand? Our differences in the cold war were with the Soviet Communist regime. And now we are turning our backs on the very people who mounted the greatest bloodless revolution in history to remove that Soviet regime.

”And Russia’s democracy is as far advanced, if not farther, as any of these countries we’ve just signed up to defend from Russia,” said Mr. Kennan, who joined the State Department in 1926 and was U.S. Ambassador to Moscow in 1952. ”It shows so little understanding of Russian history and Soviet history. Of course there is going to be a bad reaction from Russia, and then [the NATO expanders] will say that we always told you that is how the Russians are — but this is just wrong.”

He couldn’t have been more right about the substance of what would happen. But little did even Kennan realize that once in motion any even tepid effort to question or stop it–per the Donald’s campaign rhetoric about the obsolescence of NATO—would actually provoke a Deep State assault on American democracy itelf.

So there’s your Deep State at work. It isn’t some kind of sinister conspiracy lurking deep in the shadows of the national security machinery.
To the contrary, it’s right there in the broad daylight of the Imperial City. It is populated by hundreds of thousands of foot soldiers like Colonel Vindman who make a career of drinking the Cool Aid, collecting a pay check from the state and propagating the policies of Empire First—policies which are immoral, illegal, unaffordable and have absolutely nothing to do with protecting America’s liberty, prosperity and security inside the great ocean moats, which once upon a time birthed a peace-loving Republic.

We have no illusions, of course, that the Donald is a peace-lover. He’s self-evidently first and foremost a Donald-lover.

Still, what is underway in Washington—first with the RussiaGate hoax and now with UkraineGate and impeachment—is an extra-constitutional political lynching, and one that has turned Washington’s desperate, mendacious Dem pols into complaisant handmaids of the Deep State.

So Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman isn’t some kind of whistle-blowing hero. He’s just another mindless cog in the wheel of Empire talking his own book and thereby abetting the political mob that is now threatening the very constitution he was sworn to uphold.

Reprinted from The Future of Freedom Foundation.

#106 @SalMayweather On Popping the BTC Bubble

#106 @SalMayweather On Popping the BTC Bubble

Sal and I catch up as he shares his travels to the Philippines. He wrote a great article on it that you can read here. We also discuss the new reveal of how the Trump Administration popped the BTC bubble in 2017, and how it made us do a double-take on what the historic event truly means in to the world of crypto.

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Let’s Stop with this ‘Culture of Liberty’ Nonsense

Let’s Stop with this ‘Culture of Liberty’ Nonsense

Imagine if someone you didn’t know, who lived 3,000 miles away, had a say in who you could or couldn’t marry. Would you think that was crazy? What if that person could dictate what you were allowed to put into your body? Since that is a reality why isn’t it just as insane? Why do so many not question it? Using alcohol and cannabis as an example; do you think the people who founded this country, many of whom used and grew cannabis and distilled their own liquor, would want to ask why you believe laws making it illegal to either grow, or distill and sell these substances, are legitimate? 

What about the time of “prohibition?” Have you ever asked someone you know to be for the “War on Drugs” whether they believe the Volstead Act, and the resulting violence surrounding the black market it initiated, was successful? What would they say? If they said no would you bring up the “war on drugs” and ask them how that’s going?  

Do most people know about the temperance societies that existed since 1826 who pushed for the passage of Volstead? A group of people, just like your neighbors or best friends, decided they knew what was better for individuals and groups, and got an amendment added to the Constitution that ushered in an era of violence, chaos and death. And they weren’t even a majority of the country. 

Since November of 2016, the clear divide between certain political groups in this country has shone like a beacon to all those who have been paying attention. The loudest faction on the “Left,” with a huge assist from their friends in the “corporate media,” have informed anyone who will listen that Donald Trump is a Russian asset, that the Russians stole the election, that the U.S. is not only being run by white-supremacists, but that anyone who voted for, or supports the president, is one also, and that the Kurds in Syria are the United States greatest ally and if you don’t agree you are an agent of Putin. I could go on but it is an exhaustive list of mental machinations that would have you believe that the guy who runs a country whose economy is smaller than that of New York State’s is pulling the world’s strings.  

And they are seething about it whether they actually believe any of it or not. So much so that they have taken to comparing a loose-knit group of miscreants and malefactors who call themselves ANTIFA, whose main gripe seems to be that they actually have to work to survive in this world, to the soldiers who stormed the beaches at Normandy to fight Hitler. This is barely an exaggeration.  

Did you think this was only going to be a criticism of those on the “Left?” There is a faction on the “Right” that believes the election of Donald Trump is a signal that the culture, which is always dominated by the “Left” in this country, is somehow swinging to the “Right.” They believed that once Trump was inaugurated, he was going to take down the “corporate media” and their allies in the universities. Many just knew that Trump was going to bring home those precious factory jobs that so many Americans are itching to work at for the next 30-40 years of their lives. Imagine what it takes to believe that Trump would “lock her up” and “build that wall?” 

The War 

Make no mistake, these two factions are at war with each other. A small minority is taking to the streets to commit violence against one another (small groups on the Right do demonstrations knowing ANTIFA will show up which has a habit of ending in violence). But no, this “war” will be fought at the ballot box and the winner will not be individual liberty. These two groups have one aim in casting their ballots; to seize the reins of power and use it to crush the other. The “Left” wants to use it to institute every big government program the Right has prevented them from passing including everything from universal healthcare to college-for-all. The Right desires to “build that wall” (that the next democrat president will make a national holiday of tearing down) believing the democrats are using illegal immigration to expand their voter base and the Kochs are utilizing for cheap labor which takes away their “jerbs”  (apparently a lot of people on the right wish to pick fruit and be maids in motels). Or, it’s the boring “they’re just coming here to mooch off the welfare state argument (which none of them want to build a wall around in case they need to sponge off it in the future). 

It should be repeated, these people are not voting to reduce government, or to even keep the status quo (however unsustainable it is), they are voting so that the government will do something about their “mortal enemy.” This should raise the question as to why you would still want to associate in ANY way with those you view as your ultimate foe. It doesn’t seem to bother them that the vote of someone 3,000 miles away can radically change their way of life. They don’t see the absurdity in it in the same way, I’m sure many didn’t recognize what temperance societies were going to do to their safe neighborhoods in Chicago and New York. 

This country has bought into the lie that the Constitution, and the founding of this country, is the best system of governance that will ever exist. No, it was the best for that time, for an era when the options were a return to monarchy or church-rule. Federalism over 327 million people has proven to devolve into oligarchy and a growing police state. As the United States drops lower on several indexes, especially economic freedom, maybe we should look at the populations of the countries that are topping it and make some decisions about whether these warring factions should be left to their own insanity, allowing others of us the pursuit of happiness we were promised. 

How Socialized Medicine Kills The Patient & Robs The Taxpayer

How Socialized Medicine Kills The Patient & Robs The Taxpayer

[Editor’s Note: The following is excerpted from Thomas DiLorenzo’s book The Problem with Socialism]

When it comes to something as important as healthcare, the last thing anyone should want is for the entire system to become a government-run monopoly. […]

In fact, socialist healthcare is based almost entirely on deception. It works this way: patients usually pay nothing (or a minuscule fee) at the point of service, thereby forming the false impression that healthcare is “free.” Because it is “free,” consumer demand for healthcare skyrockets; doctors prescribe hordes of often unnecessary tests, because they are “free” to the patient. The costs of providing healthcare, including everything from nursing to ambulance services, inevitably go through the roof. … As any freshman economics student should know, declaring anything to be a “free” good or service will cause an explosion of demand, which in turn will ratchet up the costs of providing the good or service.

To cover up these costs, socialist governments typically impose price ceilings on everything from doctors’ visits and salaries to hospital room rates and technology. A price ceiling is a government-imposed price that is below the existing price. The effect is to stimulate the demand for healthcare services even more. Supply never catches up, generating shortages in everything from doctors to MRI machines. Indeed, after the British and Canadians socialized their healthcare industries and imposed price ceilings on doctors’ salaries, there was a massive “brain drain,” as highly educated medical professionals migrated to countries like the United States where they could earn a better living.

Governments always respond to the shortages that their policies created by imposing some kind of rationing. In Britain more than one million people are waiting to be admitted to hospitals at any one time; in Canada, one study found that 876,000 people were waiting for treatments; in Norway more than 270,000 people are daily waiting for hospital admissions and other medical treatment; and in New Zealand, some 90,000 people wait for medical care on any given day.(1)

Canadian patients waited more than eight weeks to see a specialist and then another nine-and-a-half weeks before treatment, including surgery. In New Zealand, the average waiting time for elderly patients in need of hip- or knee-replacement surgery is between 300 and 400 days. Some people in New Zealand waited for two years for their surgeries. (2) […]

Not surprisingly, those who can afford it seek treatment in other countries, like the United States. This is especially true of Canadians. Those who cannot afford it are simply out of luck. This despite the fact that healthcare socialism is always sold politically as a program to help “the poor” under the mindless slogan of “Healthcare for All.”

Permission to republish granted by The Ron Paul Institute For Peace And Prosperity.

Gang Members Quarreling to Remove their Boss

Gang Members Quarreling to Remove their Boss

Every four years we’re told the same story. You have to choose who to have as chief of your ruling class, and since you get an option, that somehow justifies them extorting us and steering our lives, while kidnapping and murdering those who dare reject their demands. So it will be in 2020: Will Trump be reelected or will someone else get to become our ruler in chief? The question for us is rather “Will it make a difference?” And of course it won’t. The Welfare-Warfare state will keep perpetuating itself no matter who is fronting as the official “President”.

However, it’s rather humorous to witness the self-proclaimed “Democrats” suddenly becoming so distasteful of democracy once someone got elected whom they didn’t approve of. Aren’t they the one’s supposed to be favoring that system? To be fair, Clinton won the majority vote, but at least Trump was smart enough to play the game by the rules it was set out as and not how he wished it would’ve been. Still, you don’t see them complaining when they’re the one’s winning. But once they lose… “Abolish the electoral college.” Why? Because it’s an unfair system? Spare me.

And what if they actually got through with their impeachment process? Would they rather prefer Mike Pence? When the CIA took out JFK in ’63, at least they had a patsy as his running mate to replace him. Do the Dems really want someone who is anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ (or however many letters it is at this point) to be their gang leader? Of course they don’t, but why are they then never mentioning that when they make their case for impeaching Trump?

However much the establishment may be railing against Trump, it’s not as if impeachment will suddenly lead to Clinton becoming the chief gang leader as a result, unless done through a literal coup d’êtat. The Clintons and the rest of the gang has gotten quite some experience with such coups in the Middle East and South America, so it wouldn’t exactly be difficult to pull off were the “intelligence community” supportive of such. Without a doubt, however, the likely outcome of such would be a second civil war being commenced in the US of A, with partisans killing each other for the ruling class they’d prefer to see in power; oblivious to the possibility of living under true freedom.

Shakespeare was onto something when he said that “all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women are merely actors.” One understands this especially when one recognizes the chief gang members for the clowns they are. Waking people up from the trance of “government” (latin: gubernare – govern/control; mente – mind) is of primary importance if we Anarchists want to live in a truly free world in our lifetime. And that Trump is making the “Presidency” appear less legitimate in the eyes of the public we can certainly use to our advantage.

Re-published with permission from The Anarchist Perspective.

What if the Police Don’t Identify Themselves?

What if the Police Don’t Identify Themselves?

Anyone who pays attention to cases involving police shootings, especially those that result in a fatality, has noticed that the narrative we first hear coming from the press soon changes. It is no different in the case of Atatiana Jefferson, who was gunned down through a closed window in her home on October 12, after a neighbor called police to report that her front door was ajar at 2AM. Fort Worth police showed up for a “wellness check.” They didn’t bother knocking, instead deciding to pull their guns and lurk around the outside of the house with high-lumen flashlights. Officer Aaron Dean and his partner opened a gate to the backyard, entered, and noticed a silhouette in the window that turned out to be Jefferson. He never identified himself as a police officer, yelled “show me your hands,” and a split second later fired the fatal shot. 

On Monday, 10/14/19, the Fort Worth PD announced that Dean had resigned from the police force before they could terminate his employment. The same day the report came that FWPD had filed murder charges against Dean. He was arrested, and soon after made the $200,000 bond. 

When the arrest warrant affidavit was released to the public, it was alleged that Jefferson’s un-named 8-year-old nephew, who was playing video games with her, claimed that Atatiana had noticed people lurking outside, picked up her gun and pointed it at the window. Granted, until an investigation is done, facts such as these are not expected to come out (not that it exonerates the officer). On Thursday, the 17th, the narrative surrounding the initial call to police was changed from that of a “wellness check,” to one of a “potential burglary.” Once again, anyone who has examined cases as such recognizes that this is often done in officer-involved shootings.  

The subject here should not be what the original intent of the call to law enforcement was made for, but whether a “mundane” has a right to protect their home from a “protected class member,” especially one who failed to identify himself as such. That there are people willing to defend the actions of officer Dean should come as no surprise. But is there a precedent for defending your home from officers who do not announce themselves? 

Ray Rosas 

On February 19, 2015, a Corpus Christi SWAT team led a “no-knock warrant” assault on the home of Ray Rosas. They had a search warrant and were looking to arrest his nephew, Santiago Garcia, who they suspected of selling drugs. Garcia was not in the home at the time. One would think that simple surveillance of the property could’ve informed police of this. Or they could’ve knocked and asked if he was in the dwelling. But no, Rosas suffered the typical, cowboy-type SWAT raid that police, on average do 50,000 times a year. When you compare that to 800 per annum in the 1980s, one should ask, why?  

The team threw a flash-bang grenade into the bedroom of the Rosas home, which was followed by three cops entering without announcing that they were, in fact, law enforcement.  

Rosas, whose home had been shot at in the past during drive-by shootings, believed he was being robbed, so he pulled out his gun and fired 15 times, striking three officers, all of whom survived the shooting. 

Rosas was arrested on attempted capital murder which, if convicted, carried a sentence of life in prison. During the trial, those charges were reduced to three counts of aggravated assault on a “public official.” Prosecutors argued that he should’ve known they were police because he had a surveillance camera outside his home.  

But Rosas had always maintained he did not know they were cops, telling cops as he was being arrested that he did not know they were cops. He also told jailers the same thing that night as they were booking him. 

After almost two years in jail, awaiting, and during his trial, the jury deliberated for only two hours and found him not guilty 

The surveillance camera footage that allegedly captured the raid, was never released to the public. 

How the case of Ray Rosas relates to the shooting death by law enforcement of Atatiana Jefferson should be clear. In Rosas’ case, the police never announced who they were, threw an explosive device into his bedroom, and trespassed into his home. A Texas jury decided that the testimony of police was contradictory, and that Ray was defending his castle from what he thought were criminals.  

In Ft. Worth, the police officers never announced who they were and prowled around the outside of Jefferson’s home with flashlights, entering her fenced-in backyard. At 2 AM, it is not unreasonable to believe that anyone who owns a firearm would’ve done the same. Many on social media have proclaimed they would have done the exact thing that Atatiana did. Yet, there are those who seek to make the inane argument that if Dean is held responsible for this murder, “Who Would Ever be a Cop?” That is a great question ignoring the shooting. 

Using the precedent of the Rosas case, the conviction of Aaron Dean looks to be a slam dunk, although they differ in that the aggressor was unharmed and the peaceful inhabitant was slaughtered. The defense will no doubt rely on the Graham vs. Connor decision. Taking that into consideration, the prosecutor is now the one looking down the barrel.  

War-Hawks Use Nationalist Dogma as Red Herring to Cover Their War Crimes

War-Hawks Use Nationalist Dogma as Red Herring to Cover Their War Crimes

The gang in chief has always taken great pleasure in manipulating language to their advantage. They call themselves a “government” rather than a “gang”, “politicians” rather than “gang members”, and their activities “taxation”, “arrest” and “capital punishment” rather than “robbery”, “kidnapping” and “murder”, respectively. So it is also with the term “country”, used to imply that the gang for some reason has the “right” to plunder and control those living within some arbitrary lines called “borders”, and that those of us who are inside this border should consequently look at each other as a “team” that is in competition with other “countries” led by different gangs.

Never do they fail to exploit this dogma, and have historically caused a great deal of suffering by railing support for their totalitarianism and mass murder as a result. Everyone knows the classic examples, but it keeps being used, albeit to different degrees. Now, after a long failed attempt by the “Democrats” to remove their gang leader by calling him a “Russian puppet” [meaning, of course, of the gang in chief within the arbitrary area called “Russia”], the war-hawks on both sides appear now to have begun using the rhetoric to deflect any criticism or mention of their war crimes. Tulsi Gabbard has been the main target of this psy-op recently, but given that Ron Paul met similar accusations during his time in the gang indicates it’s not a new tendency but merely one which has recently been escalated.

Given Gabbard’s earlier record of “military service” (i.e. engaging in violence abroad on behalf of the gang), this also shows clearly that the gang members couldn’t care less about “veterans” for anything else than puppets to control in accordance with their master plans. Once they begin questioning the legitimacy of war and the government, tough luck; now you’re on your own. If you don’t pledge allegiance to them, then you’re a traitor to your “country”, to be subjected to stigma through nonsensical allegations. “If you’re not on our team, you’re on their team.” That’s the game they’re playing, and which they’ve always been playing: the duopoly is controlling the gang, and you’re only “allowed” to support one of them (though to the outsider they seem highly indistinguishable).

Not a word is to be tolerated of how the murder of innocents abroad may lead to their friends and families some day wanting to seek revenge; how regime change wars made prosperous “countries” devolve back into slavery, poverty, and misery; or how the Islamic terrorist groups they’ve now been fighting for almost two decades most likely could not have arisen were it not for their earlier interventionism (al-QaedaISIS, etc.). And if you dare mention it you’re a “Russian puppet”. The absurdity of all of this is making Machiavelli turn over in his grave, and yet many seem to just accept it blindly without question; another clear symptom of the horrific consequences of spending a decade or two in the indoctrination camps we call “public schools”.

To the Anarchist, it’s not a question of which “government” he pledges allegiance to, for he considers no such thing to be a meaningful concept except for the propaganda of the central authority, nor “countries” or “borders”. As Lysander Spooner wrote in 1870,

A man’s natural rights are his own, against the whole world; and any infringement of them is equally a crime, whether committed by one man, or by millions; whether committed by one man, calling himself a robber, (or by any other name indicating his true character), or by millions, calling themselves a government.

Only as long as they maintain the public’s perception in line with the divide-and-conquer dogma of country versus country, native versus foreigner, rich versus poor, etc., can they hold onto their powers. If enough of us realized that the main conflict of importance here is rather between those engaging in peaceful cooperation and those who engage in brute force or the threat thereof to get their way, a truly voluntary society may finally be within reach.

The Real Meaning of ‘Fake News’

The Real Meaning of ‘Fake News’

That there are still people among the general public that take everything they hear and see on cable and broadcast news programs as gospel, is a testament to the “success” of government schools. 15,000 hours of indoctrination doesn’t help with discernment, but surely assists in making sure the powers that be have a grip on how you perceive and process what is being fed to you. Fake news, fake news, fake news! In my opinion that phrase will remain part of the zeitgeist forever. For our purposes we are not talking about “fake news” (maybe a little) but selective information meant to steer your thinking in a certain direction.  

Starting in the early 1950s, probably due to the rapidly expanding war state, and the “Red Scare,” the CIA instituted Operation Mockingbird. Mockingbird sought to influence the reporting done by the mainstream news while infiltrating and funding student groups as well as magazines. Remember, this was all happening at a time when there was no internet. Many were still consuming their news from radio and there were three television stations spoon-feeding the mass of people who just lived through a “world war’ and were reveling in the victory their government gave them. These were uber-patriotic times. People were willing to give their government the benefit of the doubt. 

Anyone who has spent time in one of those government schools (the overwhelming majority of the population) wasn’t taught about Operation Mockingbird. It should be obvious as to why. Now that the public is aware (assuming any have taken the time to investigate and ponder its importance), how should they view the information that comes flowing out of the mouths of perfectly quaffed models and actors hired to read off a teleprompter? Do they question the words gliding off their tongues? That can be answered with an emphatic, NO! 

When you are parroting information slipped to you by covert operatives, how do you fact check it? Is it paranoid to ask about the legitimacy of this reporting? MSNBC does not hide the fact that their reporting leans “Left” with the majority of their opinion pieces being “Progressive.” What they may not want you to remember is that they were cheerleaders for the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The network had never shown a background with the American flag on screen, yet when the war become demanded by the State, they did just that. They added patriotic programming that had never appeared on the network. Executives went so far as to fire Phil Donohue one month before the Iraq War started because he was “too anti-Bush” in his rhetoric. They turned on a dime and promoted a lie. Why? 

Do a quick internet search and you will find that even the most liberal of newspapers such as the New York Times has been guilty of publishing data that turned out to be false but eventually led the U.S. into conflict in the Middle East. The term “war hawk” could rightly be applied to their promoting of these offensivesWhy were they so quick to encourage American intervention in Iraq? Never forget that when it comes to the reporting of these news agencies there is always contrary data that they choose to ignore in favor of information that more often than not, leads to hostilities.  

Most recently we have seen the Russia-Gate debacle. For close to two years, CNNMSNBC and every major newspaper in the country ran with a story that had its origins in a dossier that turned out to be put together by an MI6 spy who, from what evidence can be gathered, was paid to do so by the Hillary Clinton campaign. They not only covered it, they made it the center of their reporting. If it was a print publication; it was on their front-page daily. Cable news made it the overwhelming majority of their reporting. Apocryphally, the claim was made that in 2018, MSNBC said the name Russia up to one million times but never once Yemen. Even if this were exaggerated, those who were paying attention wouldn’t find it hard to believe. 

Connecting intelligence agencies to the phony Russia-Gate narrative isn’t hard to do as they admit the source originated from an intelligence organization, although one from another country that works closely with the CIA. What is the thinking person to make of all of this information? 

The amount of people who are now calling into question anything they see or read in the mainstream press is growing. Unfortunately, many of them are still stuck in binary-brain thinking where one side believes MSNBC and CNN are the “real news,” and FOX are the liars. Vice versa for the other group. Only when a small, vocal, thinking minority decides that they’ve had enough, and decides to abandon their team in favor of individualism can it be expected that any real change will be seen. Until then, those who have reached that point should do their best to guide others to where they are. The Right/Left, collectivist divide may be the greatest scheme those who benefit from it have ever devised. 

Impeachment…or CIA Coup?

Impeachment…or CIA Coup?

You don’t need to be a supporter of President Trump to be concerned about the efforts to remove him from office. Last week House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced impeachment proceedings against the President over a phone call made to the President of Ukraine. According to the White House record of the call, the President asked his Ukrainian counterpart to look into whether there is any evidence of Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 election and then mentioned that a lot of people were talking about how former US Vice President Joe Biden stopped the prosecution of his son who was under investigation for corruption in Ukraine.

Democrats, who spent more than two years convinced that “Russiagate” would enable them to remove Trump from office only to have their hopes dashed by the Mueller Report, now believe they have their smoking gun in this phone call.

It this about politics? Yes. But there may be more to it than that.

It may appear that the Democratic Party, furious over Hillary Clinton’s 2016 loss, is the driving force behind this ongoing attempt to remove Donald Trump from office, but at every turn we see the fingerprints of the CIA and its allies in the US deep state.

In August 2016, a former acting director of the CIA, Mike Morell, wrote an extraordinary article in the New York Times accusing Donald Trump of being an “agent of the Russian Federation.” Morell was clearly using his intelligence career as a way of bolstering his claim that Trump was a Russian spy – after all, the CIA should know such a thing! But the claim was a lie.

Former CIA director John Brennan accused President Trump of “treason” and of “being in the pocket of Putin” for meeting with the Russian president in Helsinki and accepting his word that Russia did not meddle in the US election. To this day there has yet to be any evidence presented that the Russian government did interfere. Brennan openly called on “patriotic” Republicans to act against this “traitor.”

Brennan and his deep state counterparts James Comey at the FBI and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper launched an operation, using what we now know is the fake Steele dossier, to spy on the Trump presidential campaign and even attempt to entrap Trump campaign employees.

Notice a pattern here?

Now we hear that the latest trigger for impeachment is a CIA officer assigned to the White House who filed a “whistleblower” complaint against the president over something he heard from someone else that the president said in the Ukraine phone call.

Shockingly, according to multiple press reports the rules for CIA whistleblowing were recently changed, dropping the requirement that the whistleblower have direct, first-hand knowledge of the wrongdoing. Just before this complaint was filed, the rule-change allowed hearsay or second-hand information to be accepted. That seems strange.

As it turns out, the CIA “whistleblower” lurking around the White House got the important things wrong, as there was no quid pro quo discussed and there was no actual request to investigate Biden or his son.

The Democrats have suddenly come out in praise of whistleblowers – well not exactly. Pelosi still wants to prosecute actual whistleblower Ed Snowden. But she’s singing the praises of this fake CIA “whistleblower.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer once warned Trump that if “you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.” It’s hard not to ask whether this is a genuine impeachment effort…or a CIA coup!

Permission to republish from the Ron Paul Institute of Peace and Prosperity.
Bread and Circuses of a Dying Empire Ep. 126

Bread and Circuses of a Dying Empire Ep. 126

With a nod to Mike Maharrey and Alan Mosely of the SportsBall Podcast (it’s OKAY to like sports), I talk about how my recent return to watching the Green Bay Packers disgusted me. I also talk about how the corruption and commercialization of sports is akin to the corruption at the heart of the US government.

Episode 125 of the Liberty Weekly Podcast is Brought to you by:

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Show Notes:

Churchdog42: “Unfortunately the Rigged Eagles vs. Packers Game is Standard Fare in the New America”

Matt Lafleur: “I don’t know what pass interference is anymore”

Coming to Palestine by Sheldon Richman

Coming to Palestine by Sheldon Richman

The Libertarian Institute is proud to announce the publication of our latest book, Coming to Palestine, by our heroic executive editor, Sheldon Richman.

In this incredible volume of essays, collected over 30 years, Sheldon Richman exposes the true history of Israeli dispossession of the Palestinians. Coming to Palestine turns the typical story most Americans have been told about Israel’s founding on its head. It is a ringing endorsement of reason, freedom, peace, and toleration in Palestine and Israel.
We know you’re going to love it.
When the Government Comes for Your Guns – Branch Davidian Edition

When the Government Comes for Your Guns – Branch Davidian Edition

“We determined, that at the compound, machine guns were being manufactured and explosive devices. Our goal through this investigation, was to execute a search warrant on that house to obtain those illegal weapons.” (Waco, ROE, 32:07) 

“In addition, it (ATF) had reason to believe that Koresh and his followers might pose a danger not only to themselves, but to the surrounding community.” (Ibid., 32:24) 

“In a word, what the search warrant found, was gun parts. It was the duty of the ATF to show that those gun parts were owned with an intent to create illegal weapons. I’m not a lawyer, or a judge, but my reading of the warrant does not convince me that that intent was there.” (Ibid., 32:47) 

I’m not certain which narrative the average person who believes they know the facts of the Davidian Massacre holds to; illegal guns or abused children? The fact that the ATF was the department conducting the February 28th raid should be a clue. That it doesn’t cause more people to question why the ATF was in charge when the welfare of minors was a major part of the search warrant may speak to the aura of “authority” the government, and their press, have over people’s minds. 

A Legal Gun Business? 

Like thousands of other people in Texas, the Brand Davidians bought and sold guns for a profit. Dick Reavis tells the story, “In 1991, he (Koresh) began studying armaments, and buying and selling guns. He pretty quickly found out there’s a lot of money to be made at gun shows, and he and other people started going to gun shows. And they bought and sold.” Reavis continues, “We now say, or the press now says, and most people say, they stockpiled weapons. All gun dealers stockpile weapons, all gun shops stockpile weapons. We call those stockpiles an inventory.” (Ibid., 23:45) 

This does not prove that the BDs were operating within the law when it came to their gun business. A religious group possessing large amounts of weapons is bound to draw attention, especially from a public raised on Hollywood movies and the National Enquirer. Yet, the ATF sought a warrant. ‘Armageddon At Waco’ editor, Stuart H. Wright asks, “Why was a warrant sought in the first place since David Koresh, on learning that he was being investigated by the ATF, invited the agents on July 30th, 1992, through his gun dealer, Henry McMahon, to come to his residence and inspect his firearms?” (Ibid., 36:39) Henry McMahon explains the encounter, “And I go, I got David Koresh on the phone. And Davey Aguilera (ATF lead investigator) he goes, he jumps up and goes, ‘DON’T CALL, DON’T CALL,’ and I go, ‘I got him on the phone.’ And he goes, (describing Aguilera’s motioning, McMahon waves his hands like a baseball umpire calling a runner ‘safe.’)) (Ibid., 36:53) 

To echo Wright, why indeed did Davy Aguilera not want to talk to David Koresh? As we will see in coming articles, Aguilera actually went into Mount Carmel on several occasions, and even shot guns with Koresh. If the BDs were willing to have their inventory inspected, inventory that was kept on, and off site (a rented space the ATF nicknamed the “Mag Bag”), what was their motivation? Survivor David Thibodeau, someone who didn’t grow up around firearms, explains what he witnessed, “There were a lot of individuals that had their own firearms, and there were, you know, quite an amount of firearms. But being in Texas, you know, we had people come out to the community, out to our property, and shoot with us on our firing range . . . you know, some of our neighbors had, I talked to, themselves, they had like 10, 12 guns just in their little family. You know so, I just call it the good old boy syndrome, the little boy, you know, kind of mentality down in Texas and it’s a Constitutional right, it’s not, you know, evil or demonized.” (Ibid., 24:30) If the surrounding community would come out to Mount Carmel to shoot guns with the BDs, Mr. Moulton of the Treasury Department, quoted above, either doesn’t have all of the information, or is being purposely alarmist. 

Evidence for Illegal Guns? 

In June of 1992, the ATF assigned Special Agent Davy Aguilera to investigate whether Koresh and the Branch Davidians were manufacturing, or dealing, illegal guns. Carol Moore writes in The Davidian Massacre, “As of December 1992, Aguilera’s only evidence that the Davidians were committing any such crimes was that they had bought a number of legal weapons and legal gun parts which, with the help of a few parts they had not purchased, can be converted into machine guns. However, the BATF’s suspicions remained pure conjecture.” (Moore, p52) 

Aguilera’s report also mentioned parts that could be used to manufacture explosive devices such as M-31 practice rifle grenades, inert hand grenades, black gun powder, aluminum powder and igniter cords to name a few. Aguilera stressed in his affidavit that ATF explosives expert Jerry A. Taylor said the items possessed by the Branch Davidians made it possible for them to construct explosives. Paul H. Blackman, Ph.D. disagreed, “The assertion that the possession of the black powder and inert grenades constitutes an explosive grenade because it is possible to make one is misleading. Not only are more materials needed, along with the machinery to drill and plug a hole, but without intent, there is no violation of the law.” (Ibid., Moore p52) 

Aguilera’s failure to produce information on Koresh’s intent in having these materials was the motivation for the ATF setting up an undercover house across the road from Mt Carmel, and to infiltrate the premises undercover. This will be talked about at length in a future article as it is crucial to many accusations made by the State.  

Considering the evidence and testimony, the question remains; is there proof that David Koresh had illegally modified guns in and around Mt Carmel? When you examine the questioning and testimony of David Koresh’s lawyer, Dick DeGuerin, and Steve Schneider’s lawyer, Jack Zimmerman, the answer is yes.  

Both lawyers were questioned by then Congressman Chuck Schumer of New York: 

 

Charles E. Schumer, US Congress, New York (D):
Do you say it’s not been proven there were 48 illegal machine guns and a bunch of illegal hand grenades on his compound? 

Jack Zimmerman, attorney for Steve Schneider:
I believe that there were 48 illegal automatic weapons on April 19th. I don’t know that that’s the case on February 28th, sir. 

Charles E. Schumer, US Congress, New York (D):
How about hand grenades? 

Jack Zimmerman, attorney for Steve Schneider:
I don’t know. I don’t recall that. 

Charles E. Schumer, US Congress, New York (D):
Do you recall, Mr. DeGuerin? 

Dick DeGuerin, attorney for David Koresh:
No, I don’t know . . . 

Charles E. Schumer, US Congress, New York (D):
Even though you know every other detail about the trial. 

Dick DeGuerin, attorney for David Koresh:
That’s not fair, Mr. Schumer. 

Charles E. Schumer, US Congress, New York (D):
You doubt that… I’m asking you right now, sir. 

Dick DeGuerin, attorney for David Koresh:
What is your question? 

Charles E. Schumer, US Congress, New York (D):
My question is, do you doubt, do you have doubts that Mr. Koresh had on his compound illegal weapons and illegal hand grenades? Do you have any doubts about that? 

Dick DeGuerin, attorney for David Koresh:
No. He told me had illegal weapons there. He did not tell me had hand grenades there. (ROE, 33:08) 

 

The two most important points from this exchange are DeGuerin testifying his client admitted to him he had illegal weapons and Zimmerman saying he believed there were 48 illegal weapons there on April 19th (the day of the fire) but not being able to confirm they were there the day of the ATF raid. The “48 illegal weapons” appears to be damning until you take into consideration further testimony that came out in the hearings. These “illegal weapons” could only have been recovered from the ashes of the fire.  

At the House Hearing, Congressman Bill Zeliff of New Hampshire asked former ATF fire expert Rick Sherrow, “Is there anything that we’ve missed that we should go after in the remaining two days?” Sherrow responded, “Yes sir, I think we’ve missed some of the questions as to, as I mentioned earlier, as to why items of evidence have disappeared, why the crime scene was destroyed before it could be evaluated, these areas, especially the evidence disappearing.” (ANR, 51:37) 

An ATF fire expert testified that the “crime scene” was destroyed. Legally, that makes any evidence found there inadmissible. That leaves us with Koresh’s lawyer saying that his client admitted to him he had illegal weapons. Unfortunately, the accused was not available to clarify exactly what he meant. 

Putting aside the pro-gun, “shall not be infringed,” arguments, constructing a theoretical where Koresh had two unregistered select-fire weapons in his possession carries a sentence of 10 years in federal prison. The question that must be repeatedly asked is, if the search warrant, which only named Koresh, was dominated by accusations of children being abused, and possible illegal weapons which carries a medium sentence, why did the ATF perform a military type assault? Child welfare claims are usually left to departments such as Child Protective Services. If the State was so concerned with the safety of children, why did they so readily put them in harm’s way? 

Americans’ Estrangement Threatens the Empire

Americans’ Estrangement Threatens the Empire

Introduction

When aiming to answer the question of “what is going on with America?” one must look first at what the underlying feelings currently held by Americans, by asking the first question: “what do Americans agree on?” The contemporary feeling is overwhelmingly one of estrangement, felt from those in all facets of American life. This feeling, an internal feeling of Americans in relation to their political system, can be felt from sea to sea, from those living in rural factory towns in the midwest, to the metropolises on the coasts, from the ghetto of West Baltimore, to the gated communities of suburbia, from atheists and christians, and from rich to poor. This feeling of estrangement and isolation is the root of an extremely internally divided public. Divided are Americans, not merely on one dimension as was the case with previous divisive issues such as the institution of slavery, but on many dimensions. Estrangement, which makes each group feel more isolated from a future of autonomy, is instead controlled by the prevailing winds of politics. That Americans feel estranged is deeply troubling for anyone looking to find hope for American democracy. After all, one common refrain for supporters of democracy is its ability, a la Thomas Jefferson, to find a public good, common ground to stand on for a majority of Americans. But as the majority is feeling estrangement, the public good seems far from sight. The goal of this paper is multi-faceted. First is to look to the writing of contemporary public intellectuals in search of the varieties and types of estrangement, second is to find the source of that estrangement, and third is to seek to find a solution to it. This journey will ultimately lead to radical conclusions about American democracy and the future of the nation as a whole. 

 

Economic Estrangement

Since America has over 300 million citizens, it makes sense that estrangement would be varied in its forms and flavors. To distill the thought of many contemporary public intellectuals, types of estrangement can be classified into a few categories: economic, religious, cultural/racial and political. It should be noted with the disclaimer that each category is not perfect nor neatly defined, and public intellectuals usually describe them in a way that they are not always exclusively one or the other. They exist as rough parameters so that one can understand the content of the estrangement more than simply grouping all types together under one umbrella, since there are important differences between them.  Since the purpose of this paper is in part to discuss what estrangement means for democracy, after an overview of the types of estrangement, it will be important to relate each type of estrangement to the political framework in which it exists. The first type of estrangement is described by Robert Putnam, in Our Kids. Putnam, who grew up in a rural Ohio town in the 1950’s, goes on to say that the kids he grew up with were blessed with the opportunities they were afforded in life, even if they didn’t grow up wealthy. What Putnam describes as life in the town of his childhood, Port Clinton, is the oft-romanticized American Dream. This dream is one in which the children he grew up with may have had different difficulties in life, as is the case with anyone, but everyone had a certain high level of opportunity provided they work hard and aim for achievement, regardless of their starting point. The rich of his hometown were active in social life and went to the same schools as the poor, and all participated as valued parts of a community. Families were together, and people were paid wages that enabled them to support their families. To contrast, Putnam’s description of Port Clinton today is nothing short of a tragic tale of cultural and economic decline. In a town that once had the sense of equality and togetherness, even if there were some with more than others in the past, that feeling of equality was replaced by a sense of a divided community. As is mirrored with the cases of many small towns across the nation, the closing of the town’s industrial center drove up inequality and caused a division between the haves and the have-nots, where the lives of rich and poor were so radically different that one would hardly believe they live in the same town. The lives of people in Port Clinton are now largely dependent on where the people in them live, whereas before, experiences were shared across the whole community. In the wealthy section of town, its inhabitants thrive, and continue to produce the types of outcomes one could expect in the American Dream. But, the poor part of town is marred by lack of cohesion, lack of sense of drive to improve material conditions, riddled with drug addiction. Since no type of estrangement exclusively fits neatly into just one category, the type of estrangement Putnam describes is both economic and cultural. Without diving too deep into the causes of this estrangement, it is worth mentioning that a similar type of experience is felt across not just rural towns of America, but even towns that have recently experienced a boom, such as Bend, Oregon, which Putnam cites in his book. This economic inequality contributes to a larger feeling of a society in decline in the minds of Americans like Putnam. Even using this town as an isolated example, estrangement is felt as an effect of the lack of equality and lack of the sense of common experience among both rich and poor. To the rich, everyone is rich, and to the poor, everyone is poor, whereas before cohesion reigned supreme. This is the defining feature of economic estrangement: the lack of shared experience within a community due to economic inequalities. It is important to keep note of this feature moving forward, since it will inform perspectives about our contemporary political moment. 

 

Religious Estrangement

The second type of estrangement is laid out in Robert P. Jones’ The End of White Christian America. It should be obvious what type of estrangement is experienced here based on the title: religious estrangement. Jones, in his book, charts a history of the decline of Christianity in America, mainly from the start of the Twentieth century until today. Religion, specifically Christianity, according to Jones, used to dominate American society, especially prior to the Twentieth century. Back then, the church was integral to holding together American communities. But, mainly due to the supersession of Christianity by markets and capitalism as primary motivating agents of action, Christianity fought a battle it could not win. This shift is described in by Jones in a description of the New York skyline over time, where “Today, accustomed as we are to monuments to commerce, it is difficult to imagine church steeples as the most common defining characteristics of civic space. It is even harder to imagine the transformation in social consciousness this architectural revolution ignited, Where church spires once stirred citizens to look upward to the heavens, skyscrapers allowed corporate leaders to look down upon churches from their lofty offices.” A result of the slow decline of Christianity was the incorporation of capitalist economic values of achievement and economic success into the discourse of Christianity itself, as evidenced in 1980’s Evangelical “megachurches” which finally sent record numbers to the pews by promising believers financial success in exchange for piety, rather than belief as a good in and of itself. This transformation, not just of society as a whole but even of Christianity, leaves many traditionalist Christians in a world of materialism and sin. Rod Dreher points out in The Benedict Option that “changes that have overtaken the west in modern times have revolutionized everything, even the church, which no longer forms souls but caters to selves.” True believing Christians find themselves at an impasse where larger culture, even if it does care about religion, only cares about it to the extent that it provides other ends. But the estrangement is not merely felt inside the church. It is the product of a larger cultural shift away from religion in America by its largest demographic, whites, represented in the form of the rise of what Jones calls the neo-atheists, who he says “bluntly declared that ‘God is not great’ and aimed to dispel the ‘God delusion,’ all in the name of saving society from the backwardness of religion.” The neo-atheists would not have risen to cultural prominence in any society but one where religiosity was on the downswing. This downswing, as well as the feeling of internal conflict within Christian circles throughout the Twentieth century and proceeding into the Twenty-first, similarly to the rise of inequality in towns across America, produces estrangement, as people begin to recognize, consciously or not, that their tactics in the current political environment have not been working. In fact, religious and economic estrangement are intimately linked, and often when there is one, there is also the other. As Putnam had pointed out: “Poor families are generally less involved in religious communities than affluent families, and this class gap, too, is growing.”

 

Racial/Cultural Estrangement

The third category of estrangement is the main topic of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me. Coates, who appears at first glance to be the yin to Putnam’s yang, expresses his distance from what he calls The Dream, obviously referring to the white picket fenced 1950’s idyllic American Dream that Putnam laments having been lost. The form of estrangement which Coates expresses is one of culture and race. Rather than chart a decline, as Putnam and Jones have done, Coates details the grim realities that he and other Black Americans have faced since they were created as Blacks in America. Between the World and Me is a long letter to Coates’ son, who growing into adulthood is coming to see that the world around him is not designed for him. The world which he inhabits is instead the world of the Dreamers, who are the antagonists of the book.. Coates, while describing the system devised by the Dreamers, tells his son “The breach is as intentional as policy, as intentional as the forgetting that follows.The breach allows for the efficient sorting of the plundered from the plunderers, the enslaved from the enslavers, sharecroppers from landholders, cannibals from food.” Coates in this quote is describing the system of oppression set up by Dreamers that created The Dream, and which set up the ideas of Whiteness and Blackness to be used as tools of oppression. The quote makes clear that although the oppressive institution of slavery was abolished, and although the oppressive institution of sharecropping was dropped, the same oppression has merely shifted and taken a different form. This ongoing theme of “hate gives identity” is the most powerful aspect of Coates’ book. Racial and cultural estrangement sadly is a form of estrangement that has always existed in America, and it is one that is deeply felt and not easily understood. Coates holds resentment for the narrative pushed in American schools of liberal progress. This progress, to be understood on their terms, has resulted in the liberation of Black people, women, LGBT, and other minority groups. But this is of intentional design, to Coates, who uses the example of the Prince George’s County in Maryland to show how the Dream is replicated by affluent Blacks, who turn themselves into oppressors. This false progress merely takes away from one’s ability to articulate their feelings of estrangement from society. So, the cultural or racial form of estrangement is one that Americans cannot hope to solve by looking to the past, since the past is just more blatant forms of oppression. This is contrasted with, perhaps, economic and religious estrangement (setting aside the overlap of the three.) 

 

Political Estrangement

The last category of estrangement is one which applies simultaneously to all the other categories of estrangement. This is to say that though there are important differences between all of the categories, the current, ever expanding political system dictates that every category must be related to the political in one way or another, since the political order contributes to the estrangement felt by Americans. Political estrangement the only possible result in a democracy when one realizes that conventional models of democratic policy making are riddled with fallacies. One such model is the main punching bag of the book Democracy for Realists, by Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels. Achen and Bartels mark out their target as being the folk theory of democracy. The folk theory of democracy can be widely interpreted as a populist model, whereas Achen and Bartels are advocates of a more elitist model of government, which advocates for what they call “leadership selection”. It is concluded after an exhaustive empirical undertaking, in Democracy for Realists, that popular judgements by the mass of people that make up America bear no relation to rationality, and give an inordinate amount of credit to recent events, with inconsequential events that happen two months before an election having much more impact than highly important events very early in a politician’s term. Additionally, they argue, politicians are given all the credit or blame for how the economy has acted in the leadup to an election. A sudden downturn before election day could spell disaster for an incumbent, for example. This also creates perverse incentives for politicians if they understand this system: whereby they can hold interest rates just long enough to make it to election day, rather than advocating for policies that are smart in the long run. Among other factors that cause an election to swing for one candidate or another is whether one can identify with that candidate, which has the obvious consequence of the running of a country on the basis of a glorified popularity contest. Although Achen and Bartels make a convincing argument against populism, and against the conventional wisdom regarding democracy and the blind faith in the majority, of which Constitutional framers such as Alexander Hamilton were skeptics, they do not perform a convincing defense of their own theory to replace folk theory. In fact, one would struggle to say that they have a cohesive “realist” theory of any sort, other than merely an argument against folk theory. But overcoming the myth of folk theory is not a satisfactory answer. One can look in the implicit biases of Achen and Bartels in their lack of criticism of elitist groups, despite elitism being the obvious alternative to populism. Despite engaging in political science, by following the intuitive flow of Democracy for Realists, one will likely end up with views much more favorable towards elitism. But, elitism too has its flaws, despite the fact they were not the topic of Achen’s and Bartel’s book. For even if a democracy were to output fully rational decisions and produce a sort of perfect leader who would be an “expert” in the field of policy-making, since the scope of government is near all encompassing in modern America, this expert would also need to employ a number of other experts on every single regulatory field, from agriculture and medicine, to automotive safety, to regulation of tattoo parlors and pet stores, and so forth. The result of any kind of an elitist democracy would be a massive bureaucracy, since elitism includes the premise that the experts know better than the common man. And with a bureaucracy of this scale, most people working in government and deciding the rules for society would be unelected. The end result is anti-democratic at its core, to the degree that the idealist looking to preserve democracy should scoff at the idea of it, since those in the system of a bureaucracy are protected from being thrown out of office by the public. Thus, we have the conclusion that neither elitism nor populism are capable of producing policies which benefit the public, and are accountable to it. This conclusion also implies that there is no possible way, under either of these forms of democratic thinking, for an estranged group or person to make substantive positive changes to the political system.

 

Self-Destructive Liberalism

The lack of ability for each estranged group or person to make positive changes to the political system results in a feedback loop which is described by Patrick Deneen in Why Liberalism Failed. Political estrangement in effect amplifies, causes, and worsens each other type of estrangement. In his book, Deneen outlines a model of how Liberalism engages in a self-destructive process which undermines its underlying principles, through the lens of an ostensibly ever progressing society. This model, which shows the cause of political estrangement, can help when looking to escape the elitist-populist paradigm of today’s democracy. What then, is Deneen’s model? Deneen specifically chose today’s college education system as an example of how liberalism is self destructive. Liberalism starts with the assumption that it can repair its ills, reform itself and progress further. Within education, Liberalism has the first principle of promoting a liberal arts education, where students, in being challenged to find truth, can find virtue and higher purpose. So, it draws from lessons of the ancients, whose lessons about finding truth are timeless, and a core of texts is built up around the idea of this education. But, in the effort to move forward and repair ills, Liberalism acts as an antibody against the classic literature it endorses, and begins to question its validity in terms of not what can still be learned from such old texts, the enduring deep truths, but the superficialities of the thinkers, such as whether their society permitted slavery, or whether pedophilia was common. The emphasis from the beginning was always on truth, but it is obscured by the moral crusade against every act currently considered wrong according to modern standards. This then leads to an “evacuation” of ideas within the liberal arts, who find themselves without any classics that are not problematic in one way or another, and thus with no curriculum. Beyond this, they lose the original aim of the liberal arts education, truth, and eschew it for a culturally acceptable practice, such as expansion of economic utility. This then leads to the combination of both a University that supports higher education in the form of job training for the business world as a business degree, and a field of humanities sapped of all its fundamental lessons. Deneen’s model can also be used to illustrate how estrangement is caused, as well. If instead of using Liberal Arts education as the main starting point, we instead choose the common good of the open discourse in Liberal society. The open discourse usually occurs in the setting of the public square, which now instead of physically existing in the center of town, outside a government building, it is often found on public internet forums, but the same principles that applied to the square still apply to the online forum: pluralistic rules that regard freedom of speech as integral to a functioning democracy and healthy discourse. But, when hateful speech enters the fray, or any speech that can be seen as offensive, bigoted, or in other ways dangerous to democracy, Liberalism attempts to cure its ill, which in this case is that very speech it deems dangerous. This is a debate that ends debate, with the core question at hand being whether society tolerates intolerant speech. Pluralistic practices are evacuated in the name of ending hate, and certain types of speech are forced out of the public square and acceptable discourse. The first product of this evacuation is the limiting of allowable opinion, and fringe (or “dangerous”) ideas, rather than being debated publicly, are forced along with the people who voice them, to isolated, mini-publics, small areas where free speech is accepted, whether deemed hateful or not. In these miniature public squares, the ideas that were once ridiculed in public now have a sense of internal legitimacy, and are able to survive due to lack of public discussion. Another effect of the evacuation is that political speech becomes inherently risky, since most people don’t want to accidentally misrepresent themselves and be banned from the public square. Thus, political speech is taboo, unless one is certain they are in a group of like-minded individuals. But what is the point of political speech when it can only be done inside a tiny group? The result is estrangement and loss of control over the political system, which relies on a constant public discourse. From the feeling of estrangement comes the next liberal solution, enacting a policy in order to solve the feeling of estrangement. This would cease to be a feedback loop if said policy actually did what it aimed to do, but we have already established earlier, considering Achen and Bartels, as well as an argument against elitism, that in the system of liberalism there is no possible way for an estranged group or person to make substantive positive changes to the political system. 

 

Decentralization 

What can be done in light of the stunning revelation that liberalism causes political estrangement? There are two natural reactions: one is to reinforce the national myth of the Dream, and try to go back to when it seemed like democracy worked. The flaw in this, however, is that it would still be leaving a major type of estrangement unsolved, the racial/cultural category. If years of public schooling were unable to convince someone like Ta-Nehisi Coates of the national myth, nor bring him into believing in the Dream, then even the sophist should abandon this lost cause, since Coates is now a popular public intellectual with influence. No, in order to be in accordance with the pursuit of truth, it is necessary to go the other direction. If the national myth was going to be the way to tie America together in a basket weaved with lies, then the other option would be to consider whether remaining American as we know it today is worth the feeling of estrangement Americans endure. For if it is worth it, perhaps pursuing the national myth is worth the fools errand. But if they let go of the national myth, Americans, together with their communities could each form versions of societies that they get to help build and that is truly built around their desires and needs. It is not known whether a democracy of this scale, of over 300,000,000 in population, is truly sustainable. Certainly, the feedback loop of self-destructive liberalism should tell us that we should at the very least prepare for its demise. It is only in a decentralized society, a type of society from which America first arose as thirteen loosely connected colonies, that the needs and desires of both Coates and Dreher can truly be met, and the estrangement felt be eliminated. In fact, in both of their works, the two authors express a desire to live in communities of their own making, with Coates harkening to his college days at Howard, the historically Black University he calls Mecca, and with Dreher inspiring this solution of a Benedictine enclave where one can live with God. In these new decentralized communities, a real sense of political autonomy can exist and a new sense of togetherness can be fostered from the ground up rather than instituted from the top down. It may seem like a radical solution, and that is because it is. It would probably be the end of America, but it would be the start of something compatible with the interests of people who can see eye to eye on almost no issue, despite currently being called American.

Sources:

antiwar.com

foolserrand.us

scotthorton.org

libertarianinstitute.org

‘They’ll Never be Communism in Murica’

‘They’ll Never be Communism in Murica’

Yeah, about that. 

The average social media patriot is enamored with pointing their finger at the stage full of democratic presidential candidates and hurling accusations of them desiring socialism and communism in their “Free Murica.” There’s a huge problem with their allegations in relation to them not wanting communism; it’s already here, and has been for over a century. 

Looking at the “Ten Planks of Communism,” as laid out by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in their “Manifesto of the Communist Party,” may set off alarm bells in those who actually pay attention to what the State has been doing, with their consent.

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

Can anyone deny that this has been, at least in the most shadowy ways, implemented? If one were to explain “eminent domain” to someone who has no education in government policy they’d probably think you were making it up (in reality, this is all made up). That the State can decide that land you “own” needs to be appropriated for its purposes or, in many cases, have been lobbied by a private company to seize said property, would cause looks of confusion upon the faces of those who weren’t indoctrinated to accept it as justified. 

The word own in the previous paragraph is quoted due to the reality of property taxes. Many have argued that their existence is proof that you never own your property. Some have tried to use gymnastics to get around this argument but normally end up injuring themselves in the process. Recently, a 79-year-old veteran was evicted from the home he inherited from his parents, who had bought the house in the 1930s. The home had been paid off long ago, yet, he was still required to pay “property taxes” on   it. Property tax is any tax on real estate or certain other forms of property. The proceeds from property taxes represent one of the principal sources of income for local and state governments in the U.S. Basically, it works no different than income tax. You have something, the State charges a fee for you possessing it, and if you don’t pay it, they take away “your” property. In the case of income tax, they throw you in a cage, or take “your” property. “Free country” 

 2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax 

Does this really need to be fleshed out? “If you make this amount of money, we extort you for this percentage, if you make more than that, we increase it!” 

 3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance 

I’ll take “what is estate and inheritance taxes for $500, Alex!” And, before you think there are not people in mainstream outlets questioning why others should be able to pass along what they’ve acquired to their progeny, here’s an article by a prominent journalist doing just that.  

 4. Confiscation of the property of emigrants and rebels 

As was detailed previous, the government has given themselves the right to seize “your” property because they have written the laws and they enforce them. Is it possible to call someone accused of a crime a “rebel?” It has come to many people’s attention in the last decade that local police (THE GOVERNMENT), have been given the ability to seize the possessions of individuals that they only suspect of a crime. Civil Asset Forfeiture is used by local, county and state police as a way of enriching their coffers. One may only be accused of a “crime” in order for them to confiscate all of their assets. And good luck getting them back even if you are found innocent. Law enforcement will do everything to hamper the process 

Recent reports have shown that on an annual basis, police are taking more from citizens that “criminals” do. 

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

This is where you’re supposed to do an internet search for the Federal Reserve and find out that this plank is fulfilled. Recommended reading should be Ron Paul’s 2009 book, “End the Fed.” 

6. Centralization of the means of communication and transportation in the hands of the State 

The FCC controls all electronic communication in the U.S. The Communications Act of 1934 established this.  

As far as transportation goes, one question, often asked unironically, “Who will build the roads?”, is the direction that explanation should take. Whether it be the Federal Highway Act of 1916, or the Interstate Highway System, of which planning started in 1944, these are government-run. The Interstate Commerce Commission gave Congress the power to regulate trucking and shipping within the country. 

7. 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

The Department of Commerce, Agriculture, Interior… the EPA. Can this be argued? The Agriculture Adjustment Act of 1933 demanded farmers will receive government aid if, and only if, they relinquish control of farming activities. Many have heard that farmers are often paid not to grow. This is central planning at its finest. 

8. Equal liability of all to labor

Whether it be social security, welfare or the implementation of the minimum wage, it would seem the duo of Marx and Engels are an influence on those in charge who would call themselves capitalists and free-marketeers. It appears they always have been, even before they wrote their book. 

9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the population over the country

If you were to dig deep a correlation with Plank 9 could probably be found, but the aforementioned gymnastics may become tiring. 

 10. Free education for all children in government schoolsAbolition of children’s factory labor in its present formCombination of education with industrial production 

I would suspect that even those who say, “We don’t want no communism in ‘Murica!”, would be completely on board with government schools and even fight for it. After all, the public-school teacher is one of three professions in this country that are not to be criticized as a whole. They are to be “white-knighted” for, as are police and military. And, let’s not ignore the “free” part of the plank. Everything the government has is stolen from someone else. Everyone pays for public-schools, even if you do not have children.  

 That there are people who openly express disdain for communism/socialism and believe America is neither of these things is a tribute to how successful the previously mentioned government schools are. Plank 10 is the pillar for the previous 9 and since being instituted has been the scales on the eyes of “good ‘Muricans” who’ve swallowed whole the line that what has been created, that has followed these planks, if not to the letter, but in spirit, is somehow not socialism/communism.  

Pressure-Release Valves in Participatory Fascism

Pressure-Release Valves in Participatory Fascism

Almost every nation in the world has adopted a system of participatory fascism, whereby nominally representative governments can abridge and restrict someone’s nominally recognized private-property rights. Participatory fascism may enjoy the appearance of popular legitimacy, but its formal procedures for relief from government abuses are too slow, cumbersome, costly, and ineffective to do anything reliably except to give those who lack much political clout the short end of the stick.

Nearly every country in the world currently has an economic system I have long called “participatory fascism” (Higgs 1987, 240–42, 256–57, and 2018). This is a system in which nominal private-property rights exist in most resources, but these rights are subject to pervasive state abridgment and restriction. Private markets operate, but only within the extensive constraints imposed by the government. Many producers—now often referred to as “cronies”—enjoy special privileges or protections created by government restraints and penalties imposed on competing producers. Such pervasive government interference also exists in markets for labor, natural resources, intellectual capital, and other inputs in the productive process.

Read the full article at The Independent Institute.

Will Trump Take Neocon Bait and Attack Iran Over Saudi Strike?

Will Trump Take Neocon Bait and Attack Iran Over Saudi Strike?

The recent attacks on Saudi oil facilities by Yemeni Houthi forces demonstrate once again that an aggressive foreign policy often brings unintended consequences and can result in blowback. In 2015 Saudi Arabia attacked its neighbor, Yemen, because a coup in that country ousted the Saudi-backed dictator. Four years later Yemen is in ruins, with nearly 100,000 Yemenis killed and millions more facing death by starvation. It has been rightly called the worst humanitarian catastrophe on the planet.

But rich and powerful Saudi Arabia did not defeat Yemen. In fact, the Saudis last month asked the Trump Administration to help facilitate talks with the Houthis in hopes that the war, which has cost Saudi Arabia tens of billions of dollars, could finally end without Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman losing too much face. Washington admitted earlier this month that those talks had begun.

The surprise Houthi attack on Saturday disrupted half of Saudi Arabia’s oil and gas production and shocked Washington. Predictably, however, the neocons are using the attack to call for war with Iran!

Sen. Lindsay Graham, one of the few people in Washington who makes John Bolton look like a dove, Tweeted yesterday that, “It is now time for the US to put on the table an attack on Iranian oil refineries…” Graham is the perfect embodiment of the saying, “when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” No matter what the problem, for Graham the solution is war.

Likewise, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo – who is supposed to represent US diplomacy – jumped to blame Iran for the attack on Saudi Arabia, Tweeting that, “Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply.” Of course, he provided no evidence even as the Houthis themselves took responsibility for the bombing.

What is remarkable is that all of Washington’s warmongers are ready for war over what is actually a retaliatory strike by a country that is the victim of Saudi aggression, not the aggressor itself. Yemen did not attack Saudi Arabia in 2015. It was the other way around. If you start a war and the other country fights back, you should not be entitled to complain about how unfair the whole thing is.

The establishment reaction to the Yemeni oilfield strike reminds me of a hearing in the House Foreign Affairs Committee just before the US launched the 2003 Iraq war. As I was arguing against the authorization for that war, I pointed out that Iraq had never attacked the United States. One of my colleagues stopped me in mid-sentence, saying, “let me remind the gentleman that the Iraqis have been shooting at our planes for years.” True, but those planes were bombing Iraq!

The neocons want a US war on Iran at any cost. They may feel temporarily at a disadvantage with the departure of their ally in the Trump Administration, John Bolton. However, the sad truth is that there are plenty more John Boltons in the Administration. And they have allies in the Lindsay Grahams in Congress.

Yemen has demonstrated that it can fight back against Saudi aggression. The only sensible way forward is for a rapid end to this four-year travesty, and the Saudis would be wise to wake up to the mess they’ve created for themselves. Whatever the case, US participation in Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen must end immediately and neocon lies about Iran’s role in the war must be refuted and resisted.

Republished with permission from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.

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#112 Staying Anchored With Tyler White of BRD Wallet

Tyler White is the Social Media Manager of BRD Wallet. He joins the show to talk entrepreneurship, marketing and of course, crypto. He shares his experience of breaking big at YouNow, touring, discovering crypto and joining BRD, starting two businesses of his own PLUS...

#111 Guy Swann – Anatomy of a Bitcoin Maximalist

Guy Swann joins the show to talk about, of course, bitcoin. We cover everything from Guy’s background, what bitcoin’s purpose is, the difference between Proof of Work v.s Proof of Stake, the bcash fork, the Lightning network, how to use bitcoin as a real money in you...

Freedom Zealot Radio

What Cops and Slave Overseers Have in Common

Philando Castile was killed without cause by a police officer who has been indicted -- but not for murder -- because Castile's life is not considered as valuable as that of the officer who killed him. "Blue Lives" matter just a little more than the rest, owing to a...

Are Citizens the Government’s Property?

The first oath of naturalization defined the citizen's responsibility as vigilance in holding the government accountable to the Constitution; the current version requires new citizens to say, in effect, "I place myself at the disposal of my new rulers." What the...

What Obama Built, Donald Trump Now Inherits

Donald Trump doesn't actually build things; he places his name on what others have constructed, and he is about to re-brand Obama's executive-centered police state. Trump supporters eager to help their leader expand the apparatus of coercion should remember that what...

Suddenly the FBI are the “Good Guys”?

Many "patriots" are celebrating what they have been told is a benign Deep State "coup" against Obama and Hillary Clinton carried out by a faction within the FBI -- the Regime's political police. Too many people who should know better are focusing their attention on...

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