2021 Tri-Cities Hamfest, May 1st

The Spout Springs Repeater Association Hamfest will be held in the Tri-Cities at d’s Wicked Cider House located at  9312 W. 10th Ave., in Kennewick on May 1, 2021 at 10:00 am.

***Vendors/Sellers*** You MUST Pre-Register! Email The SSRA HERE

*** Parking Limited – Carpooling Highly Recommended ***

  • Outdoor Swap Meet – Seating Available, Picnic Tables
  • Indoor FCC Testing Sessions  9 AM/  Noon / 3 PM (Electronic/Paperless) Get your call sign in as little as 2 days! Pre-Registration Required HERE.
  • Foxhunting Tape Measure YAGI Workshop
    • Non-SSRA Members – Pre-Register and contribute HERE (Deadline 4/20/21) to build your own YAGI, all of your materials provided for a $40 contribution, which includes your 1 Year Membership in the SSRA!Current SSRA Members – Want to participate? Please click HERE to donate.
  • HF Get on the Air Station / Demonstration
  • Tri-Cities $5 Foxhunt Hunt begins at 4 PM (1st Place Grand Prize valued at $180, Plus Runner-Up prizes!) $5 cash donation accepted prior to start of the hunt to be eligible for prizes.
      • Food / Drink Available On-site. D’s Wicked Cider House offers Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner- Biscuits & Gravy, Sweet & Savory Waffles, Woodfired Pizza, Adult Beverages, etc.
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  • SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
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  • 0800- Vendor Access 
  • 0900- FCC License Testing Session 
  • 1000- Public Access 
  • 1030- HF Seminar 
  • 1200- FCC License Testing Session 
  • 1330- Fox Hunting Seminar with Yagi antenna build clinic 
  • 1500- FCC License Testing Session 
  • 1615- “$5 Fox Hunt” Briefing 
  • 1630- “$5 Fox Hunt” w/Grand Prize provided by D’s Wicked Cider ($180 Value!) 
  • 1800- End of Events 
  • 1830- Prizes Awarded at D’s Wicked Cider House/Conclusion of Events
  • *** Dinner Available at D’s Wicked Cider ***

Click here to download a PDF flier for the event.

Yakima – Citizen Courage Kickoff, April 17

Join Citizen Courage for their launch party on Saturday, April 17th, 2021. A lineup of courageous citizens from different sectors — church, business, and community groups — will speak about how they led their teams in response to COVID-19, and how we can protect our liberties in Yakima moving forward. They’ll also kick off their first set of initiatives and explain how you can get involved!

Hot dogs and beverages provided. Be sure to invite your friends and family!

The Organic Prepper: Food Storage – The Prepper’s Three Layer Plan

Daisy Luther at The Organic Prepper talks about three different kinds of foods that you should have in your storage plan in Food Storage: The Prepper’s Three Layer Plan

Three is the luckiest number when it comes to prepping. There’s the old saying, “One is none, two is one, three is better.” There’s the Survival Rule of Three which is that you can hang on for “3 minutes without air, 3 days without water, and 3 weeks without food.” And then there’s the approach that in all things survival, you need a layer of three, including food storage.

For example, Selco wrote an article a while back about layers when it came to bugging out. Basically, you need a layer close to you (as in on your person), a layer for more intense situations within easy reach, and another one someplace in your bag.

The same is true with food. Every prepared family should have multiple layers in their food storage. Let’s take a look at the three layers of food storage. (Don’t forget to take your family’s dietary restrictions into account when building your supply.)

  • Layer 1: Stuff with a shorter expiration date that you’d use if you can’t get to the store for a few weeks
  • Layer 2: Stuff that will last a year or so that you’ll use during power outages or longer-term emergencies
  • Layer 3: Stuff for all-out, apocalyptic long-term events in which there’s no such thing as grocery stores

(Note: Some of the links in these lists are affiliate links. If you buy them, I make a little money at no cost to you. If you don’t want to buy them, no problem at all – you can still take a peek to see the products that I use and recommend.)

My book, Prepper’s Pantry, goes into tons more detail but this is a great starting point. If you want even more information, check out my course, Build a Better Pantry on a Budget.

The First Layer of Food Storage

This is the easy layer. This is the stuff you turn to when something goes a wrong and maybe you can’t get to the store right away. These foods may or may not have an extremely long shelf life and generally require power to store or prepare.

They are the basics that you keep in your freezer, in canisters, and in the kitchen pantry.

A few examples are:

  • Frozen fruits and vegetables
  • Frozen meats
  • Crackers
  • Powdered milk
  • Potatoes
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Breakfast cereal

These are the items you’d substitute for the fresh foods that likely make up a big part of your diet right now. You can easily throw together a great meal if you have an assortment of the foods above that mirror the foods your family normally consumes.

Chances are that you have these foods in your kitchen right now, and you already intersperse them into your menus on a daily basis. I like to have at least – at least – a one month’s supply of these first layer foods. Having a supply that will see your family through at least a month means that a short-term emergency will hardly be noticeable to your family and that they’ll experience very little difference in the way they normally eat.

When a bunch of us did the Stockpile Challenge in January, lots of folks found that they had enough first level foods on hand that their families didn’t even realize they hadn’t been to the store for an entire month.

The Second Layer of Food Storage


The second layer is made up of two parts:

a) scratch cooking ingredients

b) the things that will see you through a totally different type of emergency.

This stuff is generally shelf-stable for at least 6 months, and will most likely be a bit different than how you normally eat.

Scratch cooking ingredients are the items that allow you to bake bread, make pies, thicken sauces, and sweeten your food. Here’s a list of essential scratch cooking ingredients.

As far as “b” above is concerned, this is the stuff you crack into when the power goes out for an extended period of time, what you eat when you’ve gone through all your first layer supplies and things aren’t looking up, and the first foods you’ll go through in an all-out epic disaster that changes the way we live.

A few examples are:

  • Boxed pasta or rice side dishes
  • *Canned beans
  • *Canned chili
  • *Canned fruits
  • *Canned meat and fish
  • Canned pasta and ravioli
  • *Canned soup
  • *Canned vegetables
  • Cooking oil
  • Crackers
  • Dry Milk
  • Granola bars
  • *Jams and Jellies
  • Jarred or Canned Sauces
  • Oats
  • Pasta
  • Peanut butter
  • Popcorn
  • Potato flakes
* indicates that the food could be either storebought or home-canned.

Obviously, you’ll also want to have a can opener on hand.

The thing that most folks these days will find a bit different is the need to eat preserved fruits, vegetables, and meat instead of fresh. Frozen, like in level 1, is pretty similar to how we normally eat, so this could be a challenge for finicky family members.

You can mitigate this to some degree by throwing some of these types of food into your everyday menus now. I know these things aren’t quite as healthy as the fresh foods we have the privilege to enjoy daily right now, but if you feel like you are truly going to need to rely on some of these items at some point, by sampling the foods, you can find your family’s favorites and stock up on those.

The Third Layer of Food Storage


There are sublayers to this, too.

a) Supplies/skills to produce and preserve your own food

b) The stuff that most folks think of when they think of preppers. It’s the longterm foods that will last, literally, for decades.

This layer is for a time when you’re in it for the long haul. Perhaps some world-changing event has occurred, there are no more grocery stores on the horizon, or you’re hunkering down for the foreseeable future.

One thing that lots of folks don’t consider is that no matter how many supplies you have, they’re not going to last forever – at some point, you’ll need to supplement your supplies with food you can grow or acquire. This means things like gardening, raising livestock, hunting, and foraging.   For this, section, not only do you need to stock up on seeds and gardening supplies, but you need to practice these skills right now when you have a grocery store as a backup.

For section b, we’re talking full-on bunker pantry with long-term food that has been carefully packaged and protected.

A few examples:

* Remember that freeze-dried foods are not the same things as the food you dry yourself in a dehydrator.  Home-dehydrated foods will not last for much more than a year, according to many accounts. Commercially freeze-dried food is your best option for long-term unless you have a high-quality freeze-drier like a Harvest Right.

You’ll need a high-quality manual grinder to turn the whole grains like wheat berries and dried corn into flour or meal that you can cook with. I have the Wondermill Junior.

It’s wise to pull a small amount of the long-term ingredients out before you stash them away for the long term so that you can learn to cook with them. Making bread from home-ground flour is a whole different animal than making it from commercial flour.  Do some experimenting now so that you don’t waste food later.

Don’t make this common mistake!

One mistake that I see a lot of new preppers making is that they go straight for the third layer without adding the items for layers one and two. The truth of the matter is, while it’s important to build a long-term stockpile, I believe the first two layers are actually more important.

That probably sounds outrageous on a preparedness blog, but there’s a method to my madness. We have to prepare for the things that are the most likely, not the apocalyptic scenarios that may or may not ever occur. I’ve often written that the number one thing we need to prepare for is personal financial hardship. I’ve experienced it myself and used layers 1 and 2 of my food storage extensively. I never even cracked into layer 3 during those difficult times.

If you’re new to prepping, start with layers 1 and 2 before you move on to prepare for a dystopian event. These items will serve you well during everyday events and if your money is limited, are far more practical.

For more information about building your stockpile, check out my book, Prepper’s Pantry or my course, Build a Better Pantry on a Budget.

What else would you add to the lists?

Obviously, these lists aren’t meant to be comprehensive. Because of different budgets, dietary restrictions, and tastes, that would be impossible. What I hope is that this gives you something to think about when building your stockpile.

CSLewisDoodle: Faith (Faith and Works)

C.S. Lewis broadcast second talks on Faith, entitled ‘The Problem of Faith and Works’.

You can find the book here: http://www.amazon.com/Mere-Christiani…

(2:51​) “If you are right with God, you will inevitably be right with all your fellow creatures”. I should point out that ‘right’ here does not necessarily mean ‘at peace’ with all your fellow creatures. Being in a right position to others can mean, at times, you are in a position of war with those against God, e.g. David was in a right position to Goliath in his Holy Spirit-inspired anger “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”.

(5:41​) The story of Bunyan’s conversion: ‘Bunyan says, “I did set the commandments before me for my way to heaven; which commandments I did also strive to keep, &, as I thought, did keep them pretty well sometimes, and thus I should have comfort; yet now and then should break one, and so afflict my conscience; but then I should repent, and say I was sorry for it, and promised God to do better next time, and there get help again; for then I thought I pleased God as well as any man in England. Thus I continued about a year; all which time our neighbors did take me to be a very godly man, a new and religious man, and did marvel much to see such great and famous alteration in my life and manners; and, indeed, so it was, though I knew not Christ, nor grace, nor faith, nor hope.” But one day, after Bunyan had removed to Bedford, as he was passing down the street, he noticed a few poor women in conversation in a doorway. He drew near, and listened a while to their talk. They were speaking of the new birth, and the work of God’s Spirit in their souls, and their personal experiences of the saving power of God’s grace through Christ. He stood amazed, and realized that they possessed something of which he was entirely ignorant. He then began to perceive that salvation is not from anything that comes from man, or that man can do, but that it is from God, and that to possess it he must have to do with God Himself—that it was something new he must possess in his soul which none but God can give, a forgiveness of sins which none but God can administer. These poor women were basking in the sunshine whilst he, with all his doings, was shivering in the cold.” (C. Knapp)

(6:20​) “I think we must introduce into the discussion a distinction between two senses of the word Faith. This may mean (A) a settled intellectual assent. In that sense faith (or ‘belief’) in God hardly differs from faith in the uniformity of Nature [that Nature behaves in the same way from the remotest nebula to the shyest photon] or in the consciousness of other people. This is what, I think, has sometimes been called a ‘notional’ or ‘intellectual’ or ‘carnal’ faith. It may also mean (B) a trust, or confidence, in the God whose existence is thus assented to. This involves an attitude of the will. It is more like our confidence in a friend. It would be generally agreed that Faith in sense A is not a religious state. The devils who ‘believe and tremble’ (Note James 2.19) have Faith-A. A man who curses or ignores God may have Faith-A…”

“I doubt whether religious people have ever supposed that Faith-B follows automatically on the acquisition of Faith-A. It is described as a ‘gift’ (Note: https://biblehub.com/ephesians/2-8.htm​ , https://biblehub.com/1_corinthians/12…​ ;). As soon as we have Faith-A in the existence of God, we are instructed to ask from God Himself the gift of Faith-B…” (‘Is Theology Important?’ [i.e. Are Theological Proofs of God Important to Faith?])

(11:02​) “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,’ but you must have it in you before you can work it out.” Trembling” I notice but not “sweating”, i.e. not doing good works in order to be saved.

(12:16​) Similar principle here, in the saying ‘you can give without love, but you cannot love without giving’.

(12:44​) “Morality is a mountain which we cannot climb by our own efforts; & if we could we should only perish in the ice and unbreathable air of the summit, lacking those wings with which the rest of the journey has to be accomplished. For it is from there that the real ascent begins. The ropes and axes are ‘done away’ & the rest is a matter of flying (Man and Rabbit).”

The original broadcast had the following words italicised which add to understanding (shown in CAPS): “if one COULD understand it now, it would only do one harm”, “because it MAY be a help”, “I mean REALLY discovered”, “will soon learn to SAY that we have nothing to offer to God that isn’t already His own”, “it MUST follow that you are trying to obey Him”, “wouldn’t BE good actions but only commercial speculations”, “or trust IN HIM, but only intellectual acceptance of some theory ABOUT Him.”SHOW LESS

Cato Institute: New Mexico Enacts Landmark Qualified Immunity Reform Legislation for All Public Officials

The Cato Institute writes about a new allowed cause of action for violation of a person’s rights in New Mexico Enacts Landmark Qualified Immunity Reform Legislation for All Public Officials.

Today [April 7, 2021], New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed into law House Bill 4, otherwise known as the New Mexico Civil Rights Act. This landmark piece of legislation creates a state‐​law cause of action against any public official who violates someone’s rights under the New Mexico State Constitution, and it specifically provides that qualified immunity is not available as a defense. The statute is therefore quite similar to both Colorado’s Law Enforcement Integrity and Accountability Act, enacted in June 2020, and the civil‐​rights legislation approved by the New York City Council last month, both of which also created causes of action that do not allow qualified immunity. But whereas the Colorado and NYC bills were both limited to police officers, the New Mexico Civil Rights Act applies more broadly to all public officials.

Although many have summarized the effect of HB 4 as “ending” or “eliminating” qualified immunity in New Mexico, that is not exactly correct. In a formal sense, “qualified immunity” is a federal doctrine available in federal lawsuits brought under Section 1983, and states obviously can’t change federal law. But what they can do is create “state analogues” to Section 1983, which is exactly what HB 4 does. Whereas Section 1983 allows individuals whose rights are violated under the federal Constitution to bring a lawsuit for damages in federal court, HB 4 allows individuals whose rights are violated under the state constitution to bring a lawsuit for damages in state court. And because this new cause of action is a matter of state law, the legislature is free to clarify that qualified immunity won’t apply to these state‐​law claims.

The operative language of the New Mexico Civil Rights Act is simple and straightforward. Section 3 of the law provides that:

A person who claims to have suffered a deprivation of any rights, privileges or immunities pursuant to the constitution of New Mexico due to acts or omissions of a public body or person acting on behalf of, under color of or within the course and scope of the authority of a public body may maintain an action to establish liability and recover actual damages and equitable or injunctive relief in any New Mexico district court.

“Public body” in turn is defined broadly as “a state or local government, an advisory board, a commission, an agency or an entity created by the constitution of New Mexico or any branch of government that receives public funding, including political subdivisions, special tax districts, school districts and institutions of higher education.” In other words, any government entity, or person acting on behalf of such an entity, is liable if they violate someone’s rights under the state constitution, and “no public body or person acting on behalf of … shall enjoy the defense of qualified immunity.” (Note, however, that Section 10 of the statute clarifies that HB 4 does not eliminate legislative or judicial immunity, which are separate doctrines from qualified immunity).

The New Mexico Constitution, like most state constitutions, has a bill of rights that largely mirrors the federal Constitution, which means that HB 4 will allow citizens to get redress for the same sort of injuries they could pursue in a federal lawsuit. Section 5 of the statute also allows courts to award “reasonable attorney fees and costs” to prevailing plaintiffs. Section 6 does set a damages cap of $2,000,000, but that cap is actually much higher than any of the damages caps otherwise set by the New Mexico Tort Claims Act. On the whole, this means the new cause of action under HB 4 should provide a robust and meaningful remedy for citizens whose constitutional rights are violated by government agents.

Besides the difference in scope (i.e., police officers vs. all public officials), the one other notable difference between the New Mexico, Colorado, and NYC laws concerns the question of individual liability and indemnification. The Colorado statute presumptively provides that police officers sued under the new law will be indemnified, but if the officer’s employer determines that “the officer did not act upon a good faith and reasonable belief that the action was lawful,” then the officer could be required to personally contribute a small portion of the judgment. The NYC bill creates liability for both the individual who caused the violation and their employer. Section 8 of New Mexico’s HB 4, however, for complete and automatic indemnification, which means the individual defendant can never be personally liable for the injury they cause.

In this particular respect, I think Colorado and NYC actually struck the better balance of competing concerns. Even though indemnification is and will continue to be the norm in civil rights suits, it’s better to ensure that individual government agents — especially police officers — have some skin in the game when it comes to the risk of personal liability. After all, civil rights laws are intended to have both a remedial and a deterrent effect. But removing any possibility at all for personal liability — even modest contributions, like Colorado allowed for — may somewhat undermine the individualized accountability that laws like HB 4 are intended to provide.

Nevertheless, HB 4 gets the most fundamental policy judgment exactly right: a citizen whose rights are violated will get a complete remedy, and qualified immunity will not stand in the way. New Mexico has therefore made history as the first state to enact legislative qualified immunity reform for all public officials. As both Congress and other states around the country continue to debate policing reform in general and qualified immunity in particular, the enactment of the New Mexico Civil Rights Law is a welcome beacon of hope.

The Organic Prepper: Biden’s New Executive Orders Could Turn a Whole Lot of Gun Owners Into Felons

Robert Wheeler at The Organic Prepper talks about President Biden’s gun control orders in Biden’s New Executive Orders Could Turn a Whole Lot of Gun Owners Into FELONS

Joe Biden promised to do it and he has finally delivered. Today, the cognitively declining President of the United States signed a number of Executive Orders allegedly designed to “curb gun violence” but actually designed to destroy the Second Amendment and the Bill of Rights.

In the process, Biden has turned many Americans into felons with a stroke of his pen.

Details are still emerging as to just what the Executive Orders will mean for gun rights but we are aware of some of the ramifications.

Biden has signed 6 Executive Orders related to guns:

1.)Tightening regulations on “ghost guns.” Ghost guns are of course the labels liberals use to describe homemade firearms (because “we will win by slogans”) that are generally put together from parts assembled and drilled with machine tools. As a result, they often do not have serial numbers so it is harder for the government to be able to trace them. It is legal to build a gun in a home or workshop and there is no federal requirement for a background check. But Biden aims to stop this, saying his administration will “rein in the proliferation of so-called ‘ghost guns.’”

“These are guns that are homemade. Built from a kit that include directions on how to finish the firearm. You can go buy the kit. They have no serial numbers. So, when they show up at a crime scene they can’t be traced. And the buyers aren’t required to pass the background check to buy the kit. To make the gun. Consequently, anyone from a criminal to a terrorist can buy this kit for as little as 30 minutes, put together a weapon,” Biden explained.

Biden wants these guns treated as firearms under the Gun Control Act. He argues that, under the act, key parts of gun-making kits would be required to have numbers for traceability and would also require background checks for people purchasing the kits.

The White House stated:

We are experiencing a growing problem: criminals are buying kits containing nearly all of the components and directions for finishing a firearm within as little as 30 minutes and using these firearms to commit crimes. When these firearms turn up at crime scenes, they often cannot be traced by law enforcement due to the lack of a serial number. The Justice Department will issue a proposed rule to help stop the proliferation of these firearms.

2.) Measure the “problem of gun violence” in a “data driven way.” The Justice Department will issue an annual report on firearms trafficking. According to the official White House statement:

In 2000, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) issued a report summarizing information regarding its investigations into firearms trafficking, which is one way firearms are diverted into the illegal market where they can easily end up in the hands of dangerous individuals. Since the report’s publication, states, local, and federal policymakers have relied on its data to better thwart the common channels of firearms trafficking. But there is good reason to believe that firearms trafficking channels have changed since 2000, for example due to the emergence of online sales and proliferation of “ghost guns.” The Justice Department will issue a new, comprehensive report on firearms trafficking and annual updates necessary to give policymakers the information they need to help address firearms trafficking today.

3.) The Justice Department, within 60 days, will issue a proposed rule to make clear when a device marketed as a stabilizing brace effectively turns a pistol into a short-barreled rifle subject to the requirements of the National Firearms Act “The alleged shooter in the Boulder tragedy last month appears to have used a pistol with an arm brace, which can make a firearm more stable and accurate while still being concealable,” the White House says.

4.) The Justice Department, within 60 days, will publish model “red flag” legislation for states.

From the White House:

Red flag laws allow family members or law enforcement to petition for a court order temporarily barring people in crisis from accessing firearms if they present a danger to themselves or others. The President urges Congress to pass an appropriate national “red flag” law, as well as legislation incentivizing states to pass “red flag” laws of their own. In the interim, the Justice Department’s published model legislation will make it easier for states that want to adopt red flag laws to do so.

5.) The Administration is investing in evidence-based community violence interventions.

Community violence interventions are proven strategies for reducing gun violence in urban communities through tools other than incarceration. Because cities across the country are experiencing a historic spike in homicides, the Biden-Harris Administration is taking a number of steps to prioritize investment in community violence interventions.

  • The American Jobs Plan proposes a $5 billion investment over eight years to support community violence intervention programs. A key part of community violence intervention strategies is to help connect individuals to job training and job opportunities.
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is organizing a webinar and toolkit to educate states on how they can use Medicaid to reimburse certain community violence intervention programs, like Hospital-Based Violence Interventions.
  • Five federal agencies are making changes to 26 different programs to direct vital support to community violence intervention programs as quickly as possible. These changes mean we can start increasing investments in community violence interventions as we wait on Congress to appropriate additional funds

6.) The President will nominate David Chipman to serve as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

According to the White House:

ATF is the key agency enforcing our gun laws, and it needs a confirmed director in order to do the job to the best of its ability. But ATF has not had a confirmed director since 2015. Chipman served at ATF for 25 years and now works to advance commonsense gun safety laws.

It should be noted that Chipman served an important role in the coverup of the Oklahoma City Bombing and the First World Trade Center bombing and is now serving an even more important role in the war against American citizens.

Biden says no Amendments are absolute.

The President is unconvinced that these orders infringe on the Second Amendment but seems cool with it even if they do.

“Nothing, nothing I am about to recommend in any way impinges on the Second Amendment,” the president said, calling arguments suggesting that those constitutional rights are at stake “phony.”

“No amendment, no amendment to the Constitution is absolute,” he said. “You can’t yell ‘fire’ in a crowded movie theater — recall a freedom of speech. From the very beginning, you couldn’t own any weapon you wanted to own. From the very beginning that the Second Amendment existed, certain people weren’t allowed to have weapons.”

He added: “So the idea is just bizarre, to suggest that some of the things we’re recommending are contrary to the Constitution.” (source)

This is just the beginning.

Make no mistake, the Biden Administration is declaring war on the rights of the American people and the first act of resistance is non-compliance. But there seems to be more on the horizon both coming from the White House and Congress itself.

Zero Hedge: After Questioning The Constitution’s Absolutism, Biden Creates Commission To Study Supreme ‘Court-Packing’

Zero Hedge writes After Questioning The Constitution’s Absolutism, Biden Creates Commission To Study Supreme ‘Court-Packing’

Having refused to answer the question of whether a Biden administration would expand the Supreme Court (so-called ‘court-packing’) in mid-October, “we, the people” are perhaps closer to knowing the answer as to what happens next to the nation.

As a reminder, when presidential candidate Joe Biden was asked by a reporter “will you stack the courts?” – he replied that voters “don’t deserve” to know his stance until after the election

But now, as The New York Times reports, The White House is taking action after progressives pushed to add seats to the court to balance the conservative stamp put on it by President Trump.

“There’s growing recognition that the Supreme Court poses a danger to the health and well-being of the nation and even to democracy itself,” said Aaron Belkin, director of the group Take Back the Court.

“A White House judicial reform commission has a historic opportunity to explain the gravity of the threat and to help contain it by urging Congress to add seats, which is the only way to restore balance to the court.”

President Biden on Friday will order a 180-day study of adding seats to the Supreme Court, making good on a campaign-year promise to establish a bipartisan commission to examine the potentially explosive subjects of expanding the court or setting term limits for justices, White House officials said.

In his executive order on Friday, the president will create a 36-member commission charged with examining the history of the court, past changes to the process of nominating justices, and the potential consequences to altering the size of the nation’s highest court.

The panel will be led by Bob Bauer, who served as White House counsel for former President Barack Obama, and Cristina Rodriguez, a Yale Law School professor who served as deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel under Mr. Obama.

The issue of whether to alter the size of the court, which has been set at nine members since just after the Civil War, is highly charged, particularly at a moment when Congress is almost evenly divided between the two parties. An attempt by Mr. Biden to increase the number of justices would require approval of Congress and would be met by fierce opposition.

The New York Times admits that activists who say a larger court would give Mr. Biden the chance to appoint a number of liberal justices may be disappointed by his commission. Additionally, Justice Breyer, 82, is the oldest member of the court and the senior member of its three-justice liberal wing, warned this week that efforts to expand the court for political reasons could undermine the trust that the public has in the court and the decisions that it makes on important issues.

“I hope and expect that the court will retain its authority,” Justice Breyer said.

“But that authority, like the rule of law, depends on trust, a trust that the court is guided by legal principle, not politics. Structural alteration motivated by the perception of political influence can only feed that perception, further eroding that trust.”

As a reminder, this comes after President Biden said yesterday that “no amendment to the Constitution is absolute” when discussing his plans for gun control.

But, in theory, we already know Joe’s “opinion” on packing the courts – he thinks it’s a “bonehead idea.”

“But it was a bonehead idea. It was a terrible, terrible mistake to make, and it put in question, for an entire decade, the independence of the most significant body—including the Congress in my view—the most significant body in this country, the Supreme Court of the United States of America.”

You cannot make this up! Have we reached peak-gaslighting yet?

AIER: Three Reasons to Reject Biden’s Tax Harmonization Scheme for “Global Minimum Taxation”

In Three Reasons to Reject Biden’s Tax Harmonization Scheme for “Global Minimum Taxation,” Daniel Mitchell at the American Institute for Economic Research discusses attempts to harmonize tax rates globally in order to bolster countries with high tax rates against economic competition in taxation.

Way back in 2007, I narrated this video to explain why tax competition is very desirable because politicians are likely to overtax and overspend (“Goldfish Government“) if they think taxpayers have no ability to escape. https://www.youtube.com/embed/nJWLemN29Wc?enablejsapi=1?feature=oembed

The good news is that tax competition has been working.

Maximum Individual Tax Rates

As explained in the above video, there have been big reductions in personal tax rates and corporate tax rates. Just as important, governments have reduced various forms of double taxation, meaning lower tax rates on dividends and capital gains.

Many governments have also reduced – or even eliminated – death taxes and wealth taxes.

These pro-growth tax reforms didn’t happen because politicians read my columns (I wish!). Instead, they adopted better tax policy because they were afraid of losing jobs and investment to countries with better fiscal policy.

Now for the bad news.

There’s been an ongoing campaign by high-tax governments to replace tax competition with tax harmonization. They’ve even conscripted international bureaucracies such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to launch attacks against low-tax jurisdictions.

And now the United States is definitely on the wrong side of this issue.

Here’s some of what the Biden Administration wants.

The United States can lead the world to end the race to the bottom on corporate tax rates. A minimum tax on U.S. corporations alone is insufficient. …President Biden is also proposing to encourage other countries to adopt strong minimum taxes on corporations, just like the United States, so that foreign corporations aren’t advantaged and foreign countries can’t try to get a competitive edge by serving as tax havens. This plan also denies deductions to foreign corporations…if they are based in a country that does not adopt a strong minimum tax. …The United States is now seeking a global agreement on a strong minimum tax through multilateral negotiations. This provision makes our commitment to a global minimum tax clear. The time has come to level the playing field and no longer allow countries to gain a competitive edge by slashing corporate tax rates.

As Charlie Brown would say, “good grief.” Those passages sound like they were written by someone in France, not America

And Heaven forbid that  countries “gain a competitive edge by slashing corporate tax rates.” Quelle horreur!

There are three things to understand about this reprehensible initiative from the Biden Administration.

  1. Tax harmonization means ever-increasing tax rates – It goes without saying that if politicians are able to create a tax cartel, it will merely be a matter of time before they ratchet up the tax rate. Simply stated, they won’t have to worry about an exodus of jobs and investment because all countries will be obliged to have the same bad approach.
  2. Corporate tax harmonization will be followed by harmonization of other taxes – If the scheme for a harmonized corporate tax is imposed, the next step will be harmonized (and higher) tax rates on personal income, dividends, capital gains, and other forms of work, saving, investment, and entrepreneurship.
  3. Tax harmonization denies poor countries the best path to prosperity – The western world became rich in the 1800s and early 1900s when there was very small government and no income taxes. That’s the path a few sensible jurisdictions want to copy today so they can bring prosperity to their people, but that won’t be possible in a world of tax harmonization.

If you want more information, here’s a three-part video series on tax havens, and even a video debunking some of Obama’s demagoguery on the topic.

The American Mind: Terms of Servitude

The editors of The American Mind write about the chilling of online political speech in Terms of Servitude.

After January’s explosive drama, the battle for digital control of American life is now proceeding quietly, by soft degrees. The shock of 1/6 has morphed into a pretext for something still more consequential: a new phase of national crisis wherein corporations with strategic control over Americans’ communications enforce a creeping line of censorship against critics of the sitting regime. While online platforms claim only to be applying their terms of service in neutral fashion, those terms themselves stink of delegitimization. Once this shadow falls upon you and your account, you are as good as deactivated. You know this; you know they know this; they know you know they know it. Forced de facto to impose a precautionary principle on yourself, you “voluntarily” recoil well from the fuzzy line of unofficial censorship that advances far beyond the bright official line.

Already in March of 2020, Google had erased heterodox research on COVID-19. But things escalated rapidly when election season came in earnest. The New York Post was locked out of Twitter for breaking a story about Hunter Biden’s Chinese business ventures. The sitting president had his social media accounts shut down entirely. Twitter competitor Parler was removed from Amazon’s servers for hosting discussions among Trumpists about the unfolding events. And YouTube banned even the allegation of widespread election fraud. Americans realized—or should have—that they had suddenly been herded into a communications control system unlike any ever imposed—or even conceived—in America.

Not merely a handful of fringe cranks, but a full half of the country, is being pre-screened out of the kinds of political discourse fundamental to American citizenship. Yet this radical change is setting in with unnerving ease and rapidity. Day by day, Americans are losing faith that there is anything they can do about it. Day by day, they are getting used to it. Ryan T. Anderson’s fair and sensible interrogation of transgenderism was stripped off of Amazon; Shelby Steele had to fight tooth and nail before his documentary on race relations would stream on Prime, which also axed Michael Pack’s Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in his Own Words (which even PBS was open-minded enough to air) during black history month. Though all these turns of events got some press in the predictable places, each new act of censorship goes down a little easier with the general public. This “reset”—this revolution—is just the way things are now.

This week, The American Mind experienced the new “normal” firsthand. A recent piece of content entitled “The Ruling Class Strikes Back” was removed from YouTube “due to a violation” of what YouTube calls its Community Guidelines, specifically the prohibition regarding “spam, deceptive practices, and scams.” Our colleagues pressed YouTube’s support team on the claims and discovered that the video was flagged for “advancing false claims that widespread fraud, errors, or glitches changed the outcome of the U.S. 2020 presidential election.”

This action is much more than the online equivalent of a moving violation. It is a permanent warning, which flags not just one’s challenged content but one’s entire account. In this way, any finding of another infraction between now and eternity results in a suspension and, in effect, a blacklisting. Officially, it’s three strikes you’re out. Unofficially, and no doubt deliberately, after just one transgression against the political speech code, the only reasonable reaction is to bend over backwards to silence yourself—not just on the original matter, but on any matter that might cause the Eye of Sauron to swivel your way again.

In our case, we suspect the offending verbiage concerns the election-season wave of court suits and legislation deployed to strengthen the prospects of the Left: “Its lawfare had the effect of making vote fraud on a mass scale far easier, and harder to trace, than ever before. If nothing else, this had the effect of irrevocably undermining American confidence in our elections.” In other words, it is “deceptive practice” to suggest that the 2020 election was anything other than perfectly regular and beyond reproach in every regard. Though the podcast is still accessible on our Apple Podcasts feed, the black mark will remain on our record with YouTube—making us vulnerable to a complete account wipe down the line should we “misstep” again.

None of this is illegal. We recognize that. We understand the argument, repeated somewhat tiresomely, that private companies are free to host speech or not, and to do business or not, as they wish. But Twitter, YouTube, Google, and Facebook are more than private companies. They are now powerful quasi-government entities, with no precedent or constitutionally established role in our government, which, by their own admission, have a profound national effect on American politics. (That’s how Twitter justifies the need for its “Civic Integrity policy” in the first place.) Clinton voter Robert Epstein, senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, found in 2018 that “no company in the history of the world has had the ability to shift votes and opinions to the extent and on the scale that Google has.” These companies are not just doing business: they are reshaping our regime. At the very least, we should have a say in how this goes down. But on just this question of the ruling class transforming our form of government against our will and without our participation, the noose of suppression tightens, and Americans slip into silence.

As a governing logic for our national culture, as a regular dynamic of public life, this creeping censorship is inescapably un-American. Our colleague Michael Anton pointed out to Tucker Carlson that the way to settle concerns about election integrity in a free society is not to punish them but to answer them, with open discussion in the public square. Instead, even a conscientious objection to proclaiming affirmatively what the ruling class demands is being denied.

And what is good for the goose of the 2020 election is good for the gander of whatever the regime chooses to officialize, from the politics of transgender activism to those surrounding coronavirus lockdowns. To make the broadcast of one set of views all but mandatory, and to keep those who disagree from organizing, having their say, and engaging on their merits, is flatly inconsistent with our most fundamental habits and mores, our way of life, and, ultimately, our form of government.

We will continue sharing our frank assessments of this and subsidiary issues at the heart of the political crisis forced on our country by its current revolutionary regime. We will not stick to the pre-approved script of a powerful minority or sing from the hymnal of policed opinion. For Americans’ concerns to be answered honestly and resolved legitimately, we must protect their digital communications from the command and control of ruling-class authoritarians. Technologized censorship cannot coexist with the American way of life. It is an irrepressible conflict. And we know which one has to go.

Wilder, Wealthy, and Wise: Civil War 2.0 Weather Report

Mr. Wilder at Wilder, Wealthy, and Wise writes another installment of his Civil War 2.0 Weather Report.

  1. Common violence. Organized violence is occurring monthly.
  2. Opposing sides develop governing/war structures. Just in case.
  3. Common violence that is generally deemed by governmental authorities as justified based on ideology.
  4. Open War.

March was had increased violence as the country warmed up.  Sadly for the Left, none of the violence measured up to their requirements – they were looking for very specific circumstances.  They needed a white guy with an AR-15 killing four or more people, kids if possible.  The Left was disappointed.  All of their lottery violence tickets turned out to be of the wrong ethnicity, and then they were immediately disappeared from the news.  Poof.

I’m holding March at “just” a 9 out of 10.  That’s still two minutes to midnight.

I currently put the total at (this is my best approximation, since no one tracks the death toll from rebellion-related violence) holding at 650 out of the 1,000 required for the international civil war definition.

As close as we are to the precipice of war, be careful.  Things could change at any minute.  Avoid crowds.

In this issue:  Front Matter – The Cold Civil War – Violence And Censorship Update – Enter The Leftist Panopticon – Updated Civil War 2.0 Index – Running The Gun Gauntlet – Links

Front Matter

Welcome to the latest issue of the Civil War II Weather Report.  These posts are different than the other posts at Wilder Wealthy and Wise and consist of smaller segments covering multiple topics around the single focus of Civil War 2.0, on the first or second Monday of every month.  I’ve created a page (LINK) for links to all of the past issues.  Also, feel free to subscribe and you’ll get every single Wilder post delivered to your inbox, M-W-F at 7:30 Eastern, free of charge.

The Cold Civil War

Loudoun County, Virginia – A group of school staff and elected officials formed a Facebook® group:  the “Anti-Racist Parents of Loudoun County”, which sounds nice enough, I guess.  What they were doing was, however, the opposite of nice.  They were plotting how to publicly destroy people who differ with their ideology.  You can read about the details here (LINK).

The Anti-Racist Parents of Loudoun County primary spokesthing, Jabba The Teacher.

What was the difference?  The “Anti-Racist Parents of Loudoun County” believe strongly in Marxist societal division theory Critical Race Theory (CRT).  If you haven’t read much about CRT, I can assure you that CRT is 100% a collectivist’s dream.  The laundry list of things that CRT advocates is pretty rough:

  • Dismantling merit-based systems
  • Removing rationality
  • Removing legal equality and Constitutional and legal race-neutrality
  • “Naming one’s own reality” – as in “My Truth” and not The Truth
  • Reparations, and nationalism (but only for non-whites)
  • And a lot of other things

In most bullet-point lists, I throw in a few silly ones just for fun.  Not in the list above, since almost everything that CRT stands for is very, very silly…

This is cancer in our country.  CRT is specifically designed to create division.  It is working.  The scariest part of this is that a group of publicly paid teachers and elected officials have set up a secret club to publicly destroy parents who disagree with them philosophically.

Welcome to the Cold Civil War.

Violence And Censorship Update

The biggest story in censorship this month is the censoring by Amazon® of the book When Harry Became Sally by Ryan T. Anderson.  The reason?  “Amazon™ has “chosen not to sell books that frame LGBTQ+ identity as a mental illness.”

Now, since one study showed that 41% of transgender folks had attempted suicide, well, there is at least an argument that mental illness may be at play in some cases of transgenderism.  That’s a weak statement, and almost certainly true.  Yet, Amazon© wouldn’t allow that to be published in 2021.

What message does that send to a writer?  More importantly, what information does that send to a publisher?  Since Amazon™ sells between 50% and 80% of the books sold in the United States, would a major publisher take a chance on ideas that Amazon© might find objectionable?

No.

And it’s looking like YouTube™ wants to remove the “dislike” button.  Why?  There are several theories, but one that amuses me the most is that Joe Biden’s handlers are upset that whenever he has a video out, that the dislikes overwhelmingly swamp the people who hit the “like” button.  The comments are already turned off.

In YouTube©’s latest idea, the “dislike” button will still be there, and you can still use it.  The video creator can see the number of dislikes, too.  So, if it’s an anti-bullying campaign, it’s the stupidest one ever because the bullied person can still see how many people don’t like them.

I’ll note that in the videos I reviewed for this post, none of them have comments available.

They know you don’t like them.  They know what you think of them.  They just don’t want other people to be able to see it.

Enter The Leftist Panopticon:

There was a creepy English guy named Jeremy Bentham who was a “social” thinker in 18th century England.  One of his inventions was a prison.  The idea that Jeremy had was a prison where just a few guards could look and see everyone at once.  This panopticon was a prison where you were never really free of the gaze of the guards.

Welcome to 2021, so we have to be able to do better than that, right?

If Donald Trump had indicated that he was going to use government money to hire private companies to scour social media to find people that opposed him, and use the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to run the program, Elon Musk would have been able to hear the Leftist outcry from his pleasure palace on Mars.

But swap out the name to “Joe Biden” and there has been remarkably little negative comment.  Have a need to update the No-Fly™ list with pesky people from the Right?

Go for it.  And here’s the (LINK) to prove I’ve not been making this up after watching too much Alex Jones.

The Left will certainly do it.  And it won’t be limited to recent ideas, either.  The way that Leftists feel about the Right is simple:  if you ever, ever supported something the Left is against now?  You’re a heretic.  Cancelled.

Do you expect the DHS to be any different now they’re in the hands of the Left?

We have entered an era of technology where every move that you make can be tracked.  I noticed this on my phone when I stopped at a new restaurant.  Google® popped up with, “Hey, can you tell us if this restaurant has any typographical errors on the menu?”  Google’s® A.I. was asking little old me to help it know absolutely everything about everyplace.

That same Google® data was used and cross-referenced to bring charges against people who were in the Capitol on January 6, 2021.  This data went from, “we can’t use” to “we won’t use” to “we will use” in just a few years.  It’s now a primary tool for law enforcement.

As will be your friends, your email, your web history, your web search history, and, soon enough, a track of you moving from camera to camera in any urban space.

The Civil War 2.0 implication is this:  the Left is using this information actively.  Act accordingly.

Updated Civil War II Index

The Civil War II graphs are an attempt to measure four factors that might make Civil War II more likely, in real-time.  They are broken up into Violence, Political Instability, Economic Outlook, and Illegal Alien Crossings.  As each of these is difficult to measure, I’ve created for three of the four metrics some leading indicators that lead to the index.  On illegal aliens, I’m just using government figures.

Violence:

Up is more violent, and violence is up in March.  I expect it to jump in April.  If Chauvin is found not guilty?  Through the roof.  The state-media propaganda of “home grown terrorism” is increasing the public perception of violence at this point.

Political Instability:

Up is more unstable.  Instability is near record levels, as the Right doesn’t believe in President *, and the Left wants to cancel the Right.

Economic:

I expected this number to be more positive.  It’s not.  I think we will find that April is the month that we find that inflation moves from a thought to a widely-felt reality.

Illegal Aliens:

This data is at record levels for this time of year.  Comments from the Left?  “There needs to be more.”

Running The Gun Gauntlet

I had predicted that the ludicrous Sheila Jackson-Lee bill for gun control would be dead on arrival.  I was right.  But the other bills keep moving along and are a lot more likely to pass.

They’re smaller bills.  Increasing the number of background checks by making almost all transactions require background checks.  There’s a “family exemption” that soon enough will become a “family loophole” after the appropriate victim and shooter combination is found.

In reality, there’s no way to track these background checks, since a very large number of guns in existence have absolutely no paperwork of any type connecting them to their current owner.  After the background checks don’t stop gun violence, the call will come for a national gun registry so that ownership can be tracked.

Registration at the Federal level won’t happen, because people won’t register.  Okay, some would.  But most won’t.  When Connecticut tried to get “assault” weapons registered, it is assumed that only one weapon out of eight was registered.  People know what is at stake.

Doing all of this at once is too much, and too far.  The average American gun owner simply will not comply with registration in 2021, and even the stupidest Leftist understands that widespread noncompliance just gives people a reason to understand the relative strength of individuals and the relative weakness of the government.

As I’ve said before on another post (LINK), the largest army that the world has ever seen are the 80,000,000+ members of the Right in the United States.  As soon as the Right realizes that, they will understand that we truly are only ruled by our consent.

And that is truly what the Left fears.

LINKS

As usual, links this month are courtesy of Ricky.  Thanks so much!!

The MSM narrative remains fragmented.

The Alt-Right Civil War

https://www.politico.com/news/2021/03/30/jan-6-capitol-riot-jail-time-478440

https://www.opb.org/article/2021/03/28/proud-boys-clash-with-anti-fascists-in-salem/

https://wwmt.com/news/local/fbi-testifies-wolverine-watchmen-were-trying-to-instigate-a-second-civil-war

https://www.newsweek.com/pastor-rick-joyner-urges-american-christians-prepare-civil-war-1576570

https://napavalleyregister.com/opinion/letters/trump-s-undeclared-civil-war/article_16821682-efae-5831-868b-a239815747ba.html

https://napavalleyregister.com/opinion/letters/the-real-civil-war/article_6c453064-39db-5540-949e-e8f9dfd071be.html

The Republican Civil War

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/03/31/cold-civil-war-being-waged-republicans

https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2021/3/29/a-cold-civil-war-is-being-waged-in-america

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2021/4/1/22356594/conservatives-right-wing-democracy-claremont-ellmers

The Black Civil War

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2021/04/the-many-lives-of-grandmaster-jay/618408/

https://allhiphop.com/features/the-nfacs-grand-master-jay-speaks-out-on-legal-status-hip-hop-freedom-and-the-future/

https://www.msnbc.com/craig-melvin/watch/-it-means-that-you-re-preparing-yourself-to-defend-yourself-nfac-leader-on-militia-name-meaning-108925509977

https://news.yahoo.com/inside-look-black-militia-group-110636647.html

https://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/armed-protesters-in-douglasville-were-peaceful-sheriff-says

The Armed Forces Civil War

https://www.defense.gov/Explore/News/Article/Article/2542699/seac-dod-will-move-fast-against-extremism-after-completion-of-stand-downs/

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2021/03/19/some-troops-see-capitol-riot-blm-protests-similar-threats-top-enlisted-leader-says.html

https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your-air-force/2021/03/29/civilian-employee-who-allegedly-advocated-for-civil-war-banned-from-air-force-base/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/aaronsmith/2021/04/01/gun-sales-soar-from-stimulus-and-bidens-gun-control-plan-amid-mass-shootings/?sh=378c7e866020

https://slate.com/technology/2021/02/3d-printed-semi-automatic-rifle-fgc-9.html

https://www.amestrib.com/story/news/2021/03/25/iowa-state-isu-students-emailed-3-d-printed-guns-day-after-boulder-mass-shooting-colorado/6995202002/

The American Civil War

https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/17179/hr1-for-the-people

https://wirepoints.org/mass-federalization-how-washington-is-bailing-out-failed-states-decapitating-competitive-ones-and-ending-america-as-you-knew-it-wirepoint

https://www.persuasion.community/p/john-mcwhorter-the-neoracists

https://thecritic.co.uk/schools-gone-woke/

The Burning Platform: Money, Politics, and Corruption

In a post titled The Last Link, ZMan writes at The Burning Platform about the difficulty of sustaining sound money among a corrupt political class.

Way back in the early days of the conservative movement, it was assumed that Federal spending was both unsustainable and damaging to the country. Cutting the size and scope of government was their thing. The tool they eventually settled on to reduce Federal spending was taxes. If they made high taxes so unpopular with the public, the Left could not keep raising taxes. If they could not raise taxes to cover their spending, they would eventually have to yield to the mathematics.

Obviously, that never happened. The big tax reforms of the 1980’s did simplify taxes and lower rates on rich people, but revenues remained stable. At the same time, spending kept growing. One of the unspoken truths of fiscal policy is the percent of GDP that is consumed by Federal taxes does not change much of time. The range is between 15% to 18%, depending on when tax policy was changed. This is the logic of the flat tax. One rate, no deductions and no more IRS.

Spending, of course, keeps going up, no matter who is in office. Despite their rhetoric, the Republicans are the big spenders. In the 1980’s they had to spend on the military to win the Cold War. In the Bush years it was the crusades against Islam. It is only when a Democrat is in the White House that the Republicans get tight-fisted, and even that is mostly ceremonial, as we have seen with the last Covid bill. It turns out that there is no relationship between taxes and spending.

Another shibboleth of conservatives is that eventually the bond markets will force a haircut on the government. The so-called bond vigilantes will drive up interest rates, which will make borrowing more expensive. The theory here is that there is a hard limit on debt. Once that limit is reached, spending must go down or taxes must go up in order to reconcile the books. Like the belief that taxes will curtail spending, faith in the mythological bond vigilantes has been misplaced.

Of course, you can go back further and find arguments from the hard money crowd about the limits of fiat currency. There was an argument in the old days that said fiat currency not only unleashes spending and inflation, but it eventually makes the money worthless, thus bankrupting the state. We have been off the gold standard for a very long time now and none of the predictions came true. The spending continues, the borrowing continues, and the money creation continues.

The gold bugs have now moved to crypto currency as the savior. Once everyone is using digital money that is outside the control of the state, then we end up with a de facto gold standard. That will force fiscal discipline on the state, which means radically reducing spending. The fact that this will never happen has so far not dimmed the enthusiasm, but like all of the other schemes to cut spending, this one will prove no match for the animal cunning of the ruling class.

There is another theory related to money. The monetarists have always argued that sound monetary policy would impose discipline on the state. Since central banks are independent of the state, they can maintain a stable money supply. While not the same as a gold standard, sound monetary policy has similar effects. That has turned out to be a myth as well. The Fed is now captive to the spending frenzy of Washington, finding new ways to underwrite trillions in new outlays.

Now, there are those who will keep lighting candles for their favorite theory. The gold bugs, for example, are sure hyperinflation is around the next corner. The bond vigilantes are similarly sure the next crisis will confirm their theory. The truth is though, none of these theories turned out to be true. The official debt is $28T, but that excludes things like Social Security. The real debt obligations of the Federal government are incalculable. No one knows and no one seems to care.

The lesson of the last half century is one the monetarists learned from the battles over the gold standard. If the ruler is so corrupt you need hard money to control him, your ruler is corrupt enough to find a way around the limits of hard money. It turns out our rulers are more than capable of conniving around every limit put before them. They have reached levels of corruption that were though impossible half a century ago. The display being put on now suggest they are just getting warmed up.

This rather shabby track record should raise a question. That is, is the field of economics just pseudoscientific nonsense? It has lots of complexity and lots of very clever solutions to the complex problems it unearths, but outside of the most basic of concepts like supply and demand, economics is not very useful. In all of the important things, it turns out to be wrong. Astrologers have a better record than economists, because they know they are grifters, not scientists.

Putting that aside, the lesson here is that contra the libertarians, economics is downstream from politics. No amount of fiddling with the tax code can fix the defects of the political class. Even further, the right people in a corrupt system cannot correct the defects of the corrupt system. This is why the people come and go in Washington, but the corruption rolls on unimpeded. In the great chain of causality, economics is the last link in that chain. It is the final effect of a chain of many causes.