The Trumpet: How Close Is the US to Civil War?

Continuing with the increasing number of voices clamoring about the possibilities of civil war in the USA, here is an article from the January 2020 Trumpet edition – How Close Is the US to Civil War? Being The Trumpet, this article takes a Biblical approach to the answer.

Prominent observers are discussing the possibility of civil war in America. In November, the Democratic Party began an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. At least 228 Democrats in the House of Representatives support this inquiry, and it only takes 218 to impeach the president. Some polls, if they can be trusted, indicate popular support for impeachment (though others do not); one betting website puts the odds of the president being impeached at 78 percent.

Article i, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution gives the House of Representatives the sole power to impeach officers of the federal government, including the president. An “impeachment” is a formal charge of misconduct. If the president is impeached, he is tried in the Senate. If two thirds of senators vote to convict him of “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors,” he is removed from office.

With Democrats controlling the House of Representatives (and likely to impeach), and Republicans controlling the Senate (and likely to acquit), President Trump may become the first impeached president in U.S. history to run for reelection. Whatever happens, the 2020 U.S. presidential election is set to be the most contentious since the American Civil War.

Democrats are accusing Republicans of obstructing justice to protect a corrupt president. Republicans are accusing Democrats of attempting a coup d’état. The impeachment process, whatever its outcome, will exacerbate this division. A Georgetown University poll showed that two thirds of Americans believe the U.S. is “on the edge of civil war” (emphasis added).

Think about that for a moment. The American Civil War took 620,000 American lives—more deaths than all other American wars combined. Could America really be on the edge of another such catastrophe?

Click here to read the entire article at The Trumpet.

American Thinker: Democrats Are Pushing America into Civil War

In this short article at American Thinker, author William Gensert adds another voice to those talking about the possibility of another civil war and he, too, recognizes the danger growing in Virginia.

Democrats Are Pushing America Into Civil War

…Graciously, the left had given Americans the opportunity to do as they were told, and they refused, costing the Democrats the House, the Senate, and the Presidency in 2016.  There will be no more trying to rally Americans around to their way of thinking.  “The people,” going forward, are the enemy.  Because of that, the left will be forced to give us the government we “deserve to get… good and hard.”

When the enemy stands between those with blinding hatred in their hearts and the power they crave, there is nowhere else for them to go but to war.

There is just one problem with their strategy, Americans see what the Democrats have planned for them.  Americans understand what is coming.

They are coming for those who will not acquiesce to the left’s plans for America.  All that remains is how the people will react. Normal Americans have had enough — they are going to fight.

Trump can only do so much with the media and the Democrats in their entirety opposing him — so far, it’s miraculous how successful he has been against such odds.  The left’s tactics have changed, as we’ve seen in the recent actions in Virginia.  With the Democrats taking over the state government, the first legislation they have proposed for the next state legislative session is nothing more than gun confiscation.

Make no mistake, Virginia is a test.  Unable to depose the president, they will proceed on a state-by-state basis to create the nation they long for.  And disarming Americans is crucial for the Democrats as a first and necessary step, because an armed populace can say, “No!”

Will Virginians willingly give up their guns to the Democrats?  Some might. After all, Virginia is proximate to D.C. and many will obey.  Yet, many will not.  Virginia will be the future, because the Democrats will brook no dissent.  They will come heavy and hard and it won’t be long before there is gunfire, and someone is hurt or killed…

Click here to read the entire article at American Thinker.

Summit News: Bloomberg Unveils Extreme Gun Control Plan

This report comes from Summit News, citing a speech that billionaire Presidential Candidate Michael “your-rights-are-void” Bloomberg announced during a speech in Aurora, CO on Thursday.

…Bloomberg went on to outline a gun control plan that includes every proposal that has ever been attempted, and has failed.

These include proposals to:

— Reinstate the federal ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

— Require every gun buyer to obtain a permit before making a purchase.

— Require point-of-sale background checks on all gun purchases while closing the gun show loophole.

— Institute a new age limit of 21 for those wishing to buy handguns, semi-automatic rifles and shotguns.

— Require a mandatory 48-hour waiting period for all gun purchases.

— Institute a federal “red flag” law to deny permits to “troubled people who pose a danger to themselves or others.”

— Institute a temporary ban on gun possession for those convicted of assault or other violent misdemeanors.

— Ban all guns in K-12 schools, colleges, and universities, except for law enforcement.

— Reverse the law that gives gun makers and gun dealers immunity from lawsuits.

— Create the position of White House gun coordinator “to mobilize the public to fight gun violence and launch an inter-agency hub to fight gun violence.”

“My agenda is not some johnny-come-lately list of borrowed ideas,“ Bloomberg claimed, adding “This is part of my life‘s work, and I‘m just telling you I will get this done whether I get elected or not.“

Addressing the proposal for permit requirement, Bloomberg attempted to conflate the idea with voting rights…

Click here to read the entire article at Summit News, which includes video of the speech.

Is Virginia Brewing the Next Harpers Ferry?

One of the events that inflamed tensions just prior to the US Civil War was the 1859 raid by abolitionist John Brown against a military arsenal at Harpers Ferry in Virginia (Now it’s in West Virginia). Brown was hoping to lead an uprising of slaves and establish an independent stronghold of freed slaves in the mountains. Slaves were, of course, denied the right to have arms, so the raid’s success would provide weapons to supply the slaves and other freedom fighters. But the raid was not a success. Ten of Brown’s men were killed during the raid and John Brown was executed for treason and murder. His last written words were, “I, John Brown, am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with blood.”

2020 Presidential candidate, former New York City mayor, Democrat, billionaire, and wanna-be tyrant Michael Bloomberg recently spent millions to help the Democrats win majorities in the Virginia state house and senate. Shortly after the election, Governor Northam announced that they would begin “banning the sale of [semi-automatic firearms] and high-capacity magazines, restoring the law that limits purchases to one gun a month, and a red flag law that would empower a court to temporarily remove a gun from a person deemed to be a risk to himself or others” as soon as they could pass such laws. Northam additional said that confiscating firearms was something he is working on.

Democrat senators in Virginia submittled SB16 which among other things creates an extremely broad definition for “assualt firearm” and prohibits any person from “importing, selling, transferring, manufacturing, purchasing, possessing, or transporting” the same. There is no grandfather clause; possession is prohibited.

Last night, hundreds of Virginia citizens decended on a Virginia Beach city council meeting, calling for the city to become a Second Amendment sanctuary. Gloucester County earlier had voted to become a Second Amendment sanctuary. As of December 3rd, twenty-four counties in Virginia had adopted Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions.

In the Declaration of Independence, our forefathers wrote that some of the most important, unalienable rights were life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The rights and powers contained in the Bill of Rights all support those three unalienable rights. Most of the Bill of Rights are in support of the right of liberty. The Second Amendment is one of the few which supports all three. What good is your right to life without means to defend it? Those who claim that their right to life means that no one should be allowed arms are profoundly incorrect. Noted professor of law at the time of the Bill of Rights ratification St. George Tucker said “the right to self-defence is the first law of nature” and that the Second Amendment is “the true palladium of liberty.” A world without arms simply means that those with physical strength will take as they want. As the old saying goes, “God created men, but Sam Colt made them equal.” No tool so far invented is a greater equalizer in a fight against a superior opponent than a firearm.

Virginia has also introduced SB64 which makes it a felony if one assembles for training or practice “for use in…a civil disorder.” As Law Enforcement Today notes,

The most dangerous words in this proposal are “knowing or having reason to know” and “in furtherance of”.

The reason being that intent is no longer really required, leaving every gun range owners and employees susceptible to prosecution for simply doing business. It’s plain as day why this language is the way it is, because with these key words, only loose connections need to be established to criminalize gun owners and enthusiasts.

Furthermore, civil disorder is also quite a broad term as well to be concerned about.

The Second Amendment has a prefatory clause, that being “a well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state.” Recently some people have opined that well regulated means that there may be laws banning certain firearms from ownership. What well regulated meant at the time, however, was that the populace making up the militia must be well trained at arms and their use in order to be effective as a fighting force. Banning training in the use of arms because it might be put to use in a civil disorder runs exactly counter to having well trained/regulated citizens.

With all of the Democrat Presidential candidates calling for severe firearm restrictions and heavy handed legislation being proposed or passing in other states, it is no wonder that 2019’s Black Friday saw the second highest all time firearms sales. Virginia is on pace to break its annual gun sales record after setting a daily record on Black Friday. The people see a threat and are responding.

Attempts to disarm the populace are attacks both on the people’s right to life and their right to liberty. (They are also attacks on the right to pursue happiness.) This is why such legislation is so vigorously opposed by firearms owneres. It isn’t because “they are gun lovers;” it’s because they love life and liberty. And this is why Viginia’s new direction is so dangerous. The rapid surge in sanctuary counties is telling of people’s sentiment. The government there may be satisfied to criminalize possession and then wait things out, but if there is a push toward confiscation things could get ugly. Any success will lead to other states following suit.

There is another old saying that there are four boxes to be used in the defense of liberty – the soap box in which people use free speech to sway people to their cause; the ballot box in which the people try to vote in representatives who will actually represent them rather than succumb to other corrupt influences; the jury box in which people may show their dissatisfaction with laws through the use of jury nullification; and, finally, the cartridge box or ammo box through which people fight for their liberty.

The battles of Lexington and Concord were an attempt by our government to seize firearms so that the citizens could not fight back. They sparked the Revolutionary War. The raid on Harpers Ferry was an attempt to seize arms from the government so that slaves could fight for their freedom. It sparked the US Civil War. Could firearms confiscation in Virginia or in another state be the spark for a second, much uglier, civil war?

 

Related:

Summit News: Bloomberg Unveils Extreme Gun Control Plan

Firearms News: Tazewell County Forms Militia in Response to New Virginia Gun Laws

In response to the wave of proposed anti-gun legislation in Virginia, many of its cities and counties have declared themselves Second Amendment Sanctuaries. One county, in particular, took it a step further at their December 3rd County Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting.

In addition to passing their Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolution, the county also passed a Militia Resolution. This resolution formalizes the creation, and maintenance of a defacto civilian militia in the county of Tazewell…

 

Liberty Blitzkrieg: The Illiberal World Order

Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg has some good words to share about our current political state of affairs, including how Trump’s election is a symptom of decades of corrupt D.C. practices rather than the beginning of some new era of debauchery and how the biggest problem is all of the people who do not recognize this.

The Illiberal World Order

From a big picture perspective, the largest rift in American politics is between those willing to admit reality and those clinging to a dishonest perception of a past that never actually existed. Ironically, those who most frequently use “post-truth” to describe our current era tend to be those with the most distorted view of what was really happening during the Clinton/Bush/Obama reign.

Despite massive amounts of evidence to the contrary, such people now enthusiastically whitewash the decades preceding Trump to turn it into a paragon of human liberty, justice and economic wonder. You don’t have to look deep to understand that resistance liberals are now actually conservatives, brimming with nostalgia for the days before significant numbers of people became wise to what’s been happening all along.

They want to forget about the bipartisan coverup of Saudi Arabia’s involvement in 9/11, all the wars based on lies, and the indisputable imperial crimes disclosed by Wikileaks, Snowden and others. They want to pretend Wall Street crooks weren’t bailed out and made even more powerful by the Bush/Obama tag team, despite ostensible ideological differences between the two. They want to forget Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself.

Lying to yourself about history is one of the most dangerous things you can do. If you can’t accept where we’ve been, and that Trump’s election is a symptom of decades of rot as opposed to year zero of a dangerous new world, you’ll never come to any useful conclusions. As such, the most meaningful fracture in American society today is between those who’ve accepted that we’ve been lied to for a very long time, and those who think everything was perfectly fine before Trump. There’s no real room for a productive discussion between such groups because one of them just wants to get rid of orange man, while the other is focused on what’s to come. One side actually believes a liberal world order existed in the recent past, while the other fundamentally recognizes this was mostly propaganda based on myth.

Irrespective of what you think of Bernie Sanders and his policies, you can at least appreciate the fact his supporters focus on policy and real issues. In contrast, resistance liberals just desperately scramble to put up whoever they think can take us back to a make-believe world of the recent past. This distinction is actually everything. It’s the difference between people who’ve at least rejected the status quo and those who want to rewind history and perform a do-over of the past forty years.

A meaningful understanding that unites populists across the ideological spectrum is the basic acceptance that the status quo is pernicious and unsalvageable, while the status quo-promoting opposition focuses on Trump the man while conveniently ignoring the worst of his policies because they’re essentially just a continuation of Clinton/Bush/Obama. It’s the most shortsighted and destructive response to Trump imaginable. It’s also why the Trump-era alliance of corporate, imperialist Democrats and rightwing Bush-era neoconservatives makes perfect sense, as twisted and deranged as it might seem at first. With some minor distinctions, these people share nostalgia for the same thing.

This sort of political environment is extremely unhealthy because it places an intentional and enormous pressure on everyone to choose between dedicating every fiber of your being to removing Trump at all costs or supporting him. This anti-intellectualism promotes an ends justifies the means attitude on all sides. In other words, it turns more and more people into rhinoceroses…

Click here to read the entire article at Liberty Blitzkrieg.

 

EFF: Ending Government Use of Face Surveillance

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has launched a new campaign called About Face to help communities call for an end to government use of face surveillance. With the recent announcement that facial recognition is coming to Sea-Tac airport, you can see that face surveillance is becoming more and more prevalent in America.

…Many forms of biometric data collection raise a wealth of privacy, security, and ethical concerns. Face surveillance ups the ante. We expose our faces to public view every time we go outside. Paired with the growing ubiquity of surveillance cameras in our public, face surveillance technology allows for the covert and automated collection of information related to when and where we worship or receive medical care, and who we associate with professionally or socially.

Many proponents of the technology argue that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy when we spend time in public, and that if we have nothing to hide, we have nothing to fear. EFF is not alone in finding this argument meritless. In his recent majority opinion in the watershed Carpenter v. United States (2018), Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts wrote: “A person does not surrender all Fourth Amendment protection by venturing in the public sphere.” In a recent Wired interview, Attorney Gretchen Greene explains: “Even if I trust the government, I do care. I would rather live in a world where I feel like I have some privacy, even in public spaces.” Greene goes on to identify the inherent First-Amendment concerns implicated by government use of face surveillance: “If people know where you are, you might not go there. You might not do those things.”

Like many of us, Greene is particularly concerned about how the technology will impact members of already marginalized communities. “Coming out as gay is less problematic professionally than it was, in the US, but still potentially problematic. So, if an individual wants to make the choice [of] when to publicly disclose that, then they don’t want facial recognition technology identifying that they are walking down the street to the LGBTQ center.” These concerns are not limited to any one community, and the impacts will be felt regardless of intent. “We’re not trying to stop people from going to church, we’re not trying to stop them from going to community centers, but we will if they are afraid of [the consequence] in an environment that is hostile to, for instance, a certain ethnicity or a certain religion…”

Click here to read the entire article at EFF.org.

Alt-Market: The Economic Crash So Far

Brandon Smith at Alt-Market has penned this article on the current state of the US economy in November 2019.

The Economic Crash So Far: A Look At The Real Numbers

There are many problems when attempting to track a faltering economy. For one, the people in government generally do not want the public to know when the system is in decline because this looks bad for them. They prefer to rig statistical indicators as much as possible and hope that no one notices. When the crash occurs, they then claim that “no one saw it coming” and the disaster “came out of nowhere”, so how could they be to blame?

I have even heard it argued that political leaders, including the president, have a “duty” to lie about the state of the economy because once they admit to the decline they will cause a panic and perpetuate the crisis. This is stupidity. If an economic system is in disrepair and is built on a faulty foundation, then the problems should be identified and fixed immediately. The weak businesses should be culled, not bailed out. The wasteful government spending should be cut, not increased. The downturn should not be hidden and prolonged for years or decades. In most cases, this only makes the inevitable crash far worse and more damaging.

Another factor, which some people might call “conspiracy theory” – but it has been proven time and time again in history – is that the money elites have a tendency to engineer economic disasters while deliberately hiding the real statistics from the public. Why? Well, if the real data was widely disseminated, then a crash would not be much of a surprise and the populace could be prepared for it. I suspect the elites hide the data because they WANT the crash to be a surprise. The bigger the shock, the bigger the psychological effect on the masses. This fear and confusion allows them to make changes in the power structure of a nation or of the entire world that they would not be able to accomplish otherwise.

The most rigged statistics tend to be the least important overall in analysis, but this does not stop the mainstream media and investors from hyper focusing on them. How many times have you told friends and family about the collapse in manufacturing or the explosion in consumer and corporate debt, only to hear them say, “But the stock market is at all-time highs!” Yes, even though stock markets are a meaningless trailing indicator, even though GDP stats are a complete fallacy, and even though jobless numbers do not include tens of millions of people out of work, these are the stats that the average person takes mental note of when consuming their standard 15 minutes of news per day.

While the issue of rigged statistics makes analysis of a crash difficult, a willfully ignorant citizenry makes reporting on the real data almost impossible. It’s sad to say, but a large number of people do not want to hear about negative information. They want to believe that all is well, and will delude themselves with fantasies of blind optimism and endless summers. Like the tale of “The Ant And The Grasshopper”, they are grasshoppers and they see anyone who focuses on the negative as “chicken littles” and “doom mongers”. In their minds they have all the time in the world, until they freeze and starve when winter comes.

When I encounter people who actually believe the manipulated numbers or buy into the stock market farce or simply don’t want to accept that a crash could happen in their lifetime, I always ask them to consider these questions: If the global economy is not on the verge of collapse, then why did central banks keep propping it up for the past ten years? And if central banks have been propping up the system, how much longer do you think they can do this? How much longer do you think they want to do it? What if one day they decide to let the entire house of cards tumble? What if such an event actually benefits them?

We’ve seen that a broken economy can be technically held together for a decade, but under the surface, the structure continues to rot. The bottom line is that even if the elites wanted to keep the system going for another ten years, and even if politicians continued to help them by pumping out false statistics, there is no way to hide the effects of crumbling fundamentals. We saw this during the crash of 2008, and now we’re seeing it again…

All of these factors and more show an economy in recession or depression (depending on what historic standards you use). In the darker corners of the investment world, the great hope is that the central banks will return to pumping trillions into the banking sector ($16 trillion during the TARP bailout dwarfs the $250 billion the Fed has recently pumped out in their repo markets). They hope that this will free up even more credit. Meaning, they believe only more debt will save the system from suffering.

I say, time is up on the debt party. More stimulus will not stall the crash that is already happening, and the Fed does not appear poised to print anywhere near what it did during the credit crisis, at least not in time to change the trend. The can has been kicked for the last time. The grasshopper mentality will not save people from the clear reality. Only preparation and planning will.

Click here to read the entire article at Alt-Market.

EFF: US-UK Agreement to Allow Warrantless Access to US Internet Servers

This article is from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which fights for your digital freedoms, about an agreement between the US and the UK which would allow the UK police access to data held by American companies without following US privacy laws or the 4th Amendment.

Congress, Remember the 4th Amendment? It’s Time to Stop the U.S.-UK Agreement.

Unless Congress stops it, foreign police will soon be able to collect and search data on the servers of U.S. Internet companies. They’ll be able to do it without a probable cause warrant, or any oversight from a U.S. judge. This is all happening because of a new law enforcement deal between the U.S. and the United Kingdom. And while it seeks to exclude purely domestic correspondence between U.S. citizens and residents, plenty of Americans’ data will get swept up when they communicate with targeted individuals located abroad.

This is all happening because, for the first time, the U.S. executive branch is flexing its power to enter into law enforcement agreements under the CLOUD Act. We’ve been strongly opposed to this law since it was introduced last year. The recently signed deal between the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.K. Home Office will allow U.K. police easy access to data held by American companies, regardless of where the data is stored. These U.K. data requests, including demands to collect real-time communications, do not need to meet the standards set by U.S. privacy laws or the 4th Amendment. Similarly, the deal will allow U.S. police to grab information held by British companies without following U.K. privacy laws.

This deal, negotiated by American and British law enforcement behind closed doors and without public input, will deal a hammer blow to the legal rights of citizens and residents of both countries. And the damage won’t stop there. The U.S.-U.K. Cloud Act Agreement may well become a model for further bilateral deals with other foreign governments and the United States. Earlier this month, Australian law enforcement agencies began negotiating their own deal to directly access private information held by U.S. Internet companies.

There’s still one possible path to put the brakes on this disastrous U.S.-UK deal: Congress can introduce a joint resolution of disapproval of the agreement within 180 days. This week, EFF has joined 19 other privacy, civil liberties, and human rights organizations to publish a joint letter explaining why Congress must take action to resist this deal.

No Prior Judicial Authorization

In the U.S., the standard for when law enforcement can collect stored communications content is clear: police need to get a warrant, based on probable cause. If police want to wiretap an active conversation, they have to satisfy an even higher standard, sometimes called a “super warrant,” that limits both the timing and use of a wiretap. Perhaps most importantly, stored communications warrants and wiretap warrants have to be signed by a U.S. judge, which adds an extra layer of review to whether privacy standards are met. At EFF, a core part of our work is insisting on the importance of a warrant in many different scenarios.

Judicial authorization is a critical step in the U.S. warrant process. When police search people’s private homes, offices, or devices, they must justify why the search for specific evidence outweighs the presumption that individuals remain free from government intrusion. Judicial authorization acts as a safeguard between citizens and law enforcement. Further, history has shown that police can and will abuse their powers for intimidation, or even personal gain. In colonial times, the British military used general warrants to search through colonists’ houses and seize property—actions that helped fuel a revolution, and formed the basis for the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Incredibly, the DOJ has just thrown those rights away. Instead of relying on probable cause, the new agreement uses an untested privacy standard that says that orders must be based on a “reasonable justification based on articulable and credible facts, particularity, legality, and severity.” No judge in any country has decided what this means. Continue reading “EFF: US-UK Agreement to Allow Warrantless Access to US Internet Servers”

AIER: Paul Krugman Is Wrong on Gov Debt

The American Institute for Economic Research has up an article on why economist Paul Krugman is wrong when he says that government “debt is money we owe to ourselves” and therefore not anything to worry about.

Krugman’s Zombie Idea: We Owe It to Ourselves

Paul Krugman coined the term “zombie ideas” to describe “policy ideas that keep getting killed by evidence, but nonetheless shamble relentless forward, essentially because they suit a political agenda.”

Krugman has revived one of his favorite zombies: the notion that high government deficits aren’t dangerous in the way that an individual incurring heavy debt is because the national debt is “money we owe to ourselves.” He doubled down on his claims in response to an article comparing the dangers the debt poses to future generations to climate change.

Krugman has repeatedly written on this topic at his blog (see here and here). It was a common refrain of his during the Eurozone crisis and in the aftermath of the Great Recession when there was a bipartisan push to cut future deficits to prevent future Greek-style debt crises.

As with most myths, there is a grain of truth to the claim. National debt does differ from the debt individuals and households incur in a few notable ways. Individuals have a finite lifetime to incur and repay their debts. Governments don’t; they can pass debt onto future generations. So long as people are willing to lend it money and the government can service debt as it comes due, government debt can persist in perpetuity. And to the extent that the debt is owned by domestic citizens, the money that is used to repay the debt needn’t leave the economy.

That said, this grain of truth doesn’t eliminate the ocean of evidence against Krugman’s claim that worrying about the burden the national debt might impose on future generations is nonsensical. Here are some reasons why this argument is fundamentally flawed.

A large share of the national debt is owed to foreigners

For starters, it’s not the case that the national debt is entirely owed to “ourselves” (i.e., that it is exclusively owned by US citizens). Nearly one-third of the US debt ($6.636 trillion of the $22 trillion in debt) is owned by foreign governments and international investors.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The willingness of foreigners to lend to the U.S. government has helped keep Treasury rates at historical lows, making it cheaper for future taxpayers to repay the interest on the national debt. If the US government is running deficits to finance justifiable initiatives (say, fighting World War II) and spending programs that will boost future growth, we should welcome funds from investors regardless of their nationality.

Nevertheless, it undercuts Krugman’s case that repaying the debt won’t burden future taxpayers and the future economy on net because the money will “stay in the U.S. economy.”

The fallacy of “we” and the reality that future taxpayers really do “foot the bill”

A bigger problem is that Krugman commits what Don Boudreaux calls the “Fallacy of Us, We, and Our.” Even if the entire national debt is owned by US citizens, there is no real sense in which “we” owe the debt to “ourselves.” The individuals incurring and benefitting from the debt are entirely different from the individuals who must bear the burden of repaying that debt.

Once we move past the intellectual sleight of hand of using collective pronouns like “we” and “ourselves” to describe all Americans across time, we get a much clearer picture of who gains and loses from the national debt.

Current taxpayers and citizens clearly benefit; they receive the benefit of increased government spending without incurring the full cost of those expenditures. Future taxpayers and citizens, who will have to repay the debt as it comes due, are clearly hurt. They have to pay higher taxes to repay the debt incurred and owned by the prior generation.

This insight remains true even if the older generation sells them its bonds before they pass. As James Buchanan astutely noted decades ago, future generations first have to buy these bonds from the prior generations. And, in order to buy them, they must first reduce their consumption. It is that reduced consumption — not the higher taxes they’ll have to pay when the debt is retired (since, by assumption, that money will flow right back to them as bondholders) — that is the true cost imposed on future generations from government debt.

Government debt “crowd outs” private investment and creates deadweight loss

The “we owe it to ourselves” argument also glosses over two of the most important arguments for why deficit spending is not a free lunch for taxpayers or the future economy.

First, deficit spending crowds out private investment…

Click here to continue reading at AIER.org.

Mann Packing Recall of Many Vegetable Products

Mann Packing Co. has issued a voluntary recall on many vegetable products sold in the USA and Canada due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

Mann Packing Co., Inc. (Mann) announced today the voluntary recall of a series of vegetable products sold to select retailers in the United States and Canada. The voluntary recall is a response to a notification by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency of a potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. To date, public health officials have not reported any illness associated with these products.

Mann Packing is issuing this recall out of an abundance of caution. Listeria monocytogenes is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women. Mann Packing will continue to work closely with the authorities to investigate the issue.

The recalled products have “Best If Used By” date of October 11, 2019 to November 16, 2019. Please see below for a full list of affected products as well as product images available.

Consumers who believe that they are in possession of any of the products affected by this recall should dispose of the product in an appropriate waste container.

For any inquiries or comments, all consumers are welcome to call the 24 hour customer service line at 1-844-927-0707 or email Mann Packing Co., Inc. at consumers@mannpacking.com


Liberty Blitzkrieg: US Dollar as a Weapon

This article is from Michael Krieger at Liberty Blitzkrieg writing about how the USA has used the US Dollar and the global financial system to maintain political hegemony across the world and how that dollar hegemony is coming to an end.

Irrespective of where you reside in the world, chances are you feel some sense of unease, a nagging concern for the future and a deep instinctual understanding that an era you knew and navigated your entire life is slipping away and won’t be coming back.

We’ve been witnessing widespread protest and unrest across countries with distinct political and economic systems, such as Hong Kong, France, Chile, Spain, Ecuador, Lebanon and Venezuela just to name a few. Those with vested interests and an ideological solution to sell insist it’s all because of socialism, capitalism or some other ism, but the truth is this goes far deeper than that. What’s actually happening is the geopolitical and economic paradigm that’s dominated the planet for decades is failing, and rather than address the failure in any real sense, elites globally are have decided to loot everything they possibly can until the house of cards comes crashing down.

You can’t properly discuss the entrenched global paradigm without addressing the American empire, and you can’t have a conversation about empire without discussing the monetary and financial system that keeps it all in place. The last time I discussed this in any detail was last year in the post, The Road to 2025 (Part 3) – USD Dominated Financial System Will Fall Apart. Today’s post should be seen as an update to that piece, taking stock of where we stand a year and a half later.

Several assumptions were made in last year’s article that must be recognized in order to understand how I see the situation. The first is a view that we’re already transitioning into a multi-polar world, in other words, the U.S. no longer holds a position of total planetary geopolitical dominance similar to what it enjoyed in the mid-to-late 1990s. Despite proclamations to the contrary, history did not in fact end.

U.S. leadership became accustomed to getting virtually whatever it wanted around the world via overt violence, covert intelligence operations or economic coercion, but this is no longer the case in 2019. Although this doesn’t sit well with much of the foreign policy establishment, it’s nevertheless reality. The most recent evidence came just last week with Denmark’s decision to approve the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, something the U.S. was adamantly opposed to.

Tom Luongo offered an interesting analysis of why this is so significant:

For the past three years the U.S. has fought the construction of the Nordstream 2 pipeline from Russia to Germany every inch of the way.

The battle came down to the last few miles, literally, as Denmark has been withholding the final environmental permit on Nordstream 2 for months.

The U.S., especially under Trump, have committed themselves to a ‘whole of government approach‘ to stop the 55 bcm natural gas pipeline from making landfall in Germany…

In a sense, this pipeline is Germany’s declaration of independence from seventy-plus years of U.S. policy setting. 

The fact the U.S. foreign policy establishment sees it as our business to determine which country the EU should buy natural gas from and how offers a glimpse into the imperial mindset. It’s the same mindset that maintains Iran shouldn’t be able to sell oil to anyone without U.S. permission. It represents an attachment to total global control, a view that the world consists of little more than the U.S. hegemon and its client states.

Which gets us to the key point surrounding the unsustainable nature of the world’s monetary and financial system. Specifically, we already live in a world where several powers (namely China and Russia) have very publicly and clearly elucidated they will not function as U.S. client states going forward. They appear to be on the winning side of history because it’s much harder to maintain global empire than to frustrate it at this point, but the U.S. maintains an enormous advantage when making moves on the geopolitical chessboard. It’s not the ubiquitous military bases or advanced technology, but a more esoteric and stealth weapon — the U.S. dollar…

Click here to continue reading at Liberty Blitzkrieg.

Craig Murray: Government’s Slow Murder of Julian Assange

In case you haven’t been paying attention for a while, Julian Assange is the founder of WikiLeaks – a journalist website dedicated to publishing primary source materials showing government and corporate corruption and other bad doings. In 2010 WikiLeaks published material obtained from intelligence analyst Bradley Manning and the US government decided that it had had enough. Some American politicians called for him to be pursued as a terrorist. Hillary Clinton, for example, reported asked “Can’t we just drone this guy?” A warrant was issued for his arrest. In 2011, he was awarded the Sydney Peace Foundation’s gold medal for exceptional courage in pursuit of human rights. He sought refuge from US arrest in the Ecuadoran embassy in 2012 and stayed there until April of 2019 when Ecuador withdrew its protection under US pressure and was arrested by British police.

In Assange in Court, Craig Murray talks about Julian Assange’s most recent appearance in court.

…Before I get on to the blatant lack of fair process, the first thing I must note was Julian’s condition. I was badly shocked by just how much weight my friend has lost, by the speed his hair has receded and by the appearance of premature and vastly accelerated ageing. He has a pronounced limp I have never seen before. Since his arrest he has lost over 15 kg in weight.

But his physical appearance was not as shocking as his mental deterioration. When asked to give his name and date of birth, he struggled visibly over several seconds to recall both. I will come to the important content of his statement at the end of proceedings in due course, but his difficulty in making it was very evident; it was a real struggle for him to articulate the words and focus his train of thought.

Until yesterday I had always been quietly sceptical of those who claimed that Julian’s treatment amounted to torture – even of Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture – and sceptical of those who suggested he may be subject to debilitating drug treatments. But having attended the trials in Uzbekistan of several victims of extreme torture, and having worked with survivors from Sierra Leone and elsewhere, I can tell you that yesterday changed my mind entirely and Julian exhibited exactly the symptoms of a torture victim brought blinking into the light, particularly in terms of disorientation, confusion, and the real struggle to assert free will through the fog of learned helplessness…

…it was unclear why we were sitting through this farce. The US government was dictating its instructions to Lewis, who was relaying those instructions to Baraitser, who was ruling them as her legal decision. The charade might as well have been cut and the US government simply sat on the bench to control the whole process. Nobody could sit there and believe they were in any part of a genuine legal process or that Baraitser was giving a moment’s consideration to the arguments of the defence. Her facial expressions on the few occasions she looked at the defence ranged from contempt through boredom to sarcasm. When she looked at Lewis she was attentive, open and warm…

…I have been both cataloguing and protesting for years the increasingly authoritarian powers of the UK state, but that the most gross abuse could be so open and undisguised is still a shock. The campaign of demonisation and dehumanisation against Julian, based on government and media lie after government and media lie, has led to a situation where he can be slowly killed in public sight, and arraigned on a charge of publishing the truth about government wrongdoing, while receiving no assistance from “liberal” society.

Unless Julian is released shortly he will be destroyed. If the state can do this, then who is next?

Related:

Global Research: The Torture and Murder of Julian Assange

Daily Mail: Julian Assange’s father fears the US government will ‘murder’ his son if he is extradited to America

Common Dreams: Why Everyone in the US Who Counts Wants Julian Assange Dead

WikiLeaks: It’s time to act: They are killing Julian Assange slowly

Paul Craig Roberts: Julian Assange Is Being Murdered By The British Because Washington Wants Him Dead But Doesn’t Have A Case Against Him

Forward Observer: Two Things Leading to Conflict in America

From intelligence analyst Sam Culper of Forward Observer:

Two big things leading to conflict in America…

Bottom Line Up Front: Pre-revolutionary Cuba and America’s likely future have something in common.

I’ve jumped into a new book about the conditions before the Cuban Revolution. The beginning of the book is about the factors that led to the Marxist revolution, which lasted from 1953-1959.

A brief summary: Under Batista, Cuba saw political reform and economic advancement. Batista left after decades in power, then corruption and stagnation began creeping back to Cuba. Batista came back in 1952 to run for president again, seized power via coup d’etat, suspended the constitution, and obstructed the ability of one Fidel Castro to be elected to the Cuban Congress.

Declaring that Batista was a fascist dictator, Fidel and Friends set about on revolution.

Citing one important point before the revolution began, here’s a quote from the book:

“… Cuban society over the years appears to have generated some degree of dissatisfaction…

The aspirations of members of the middle class for a standard of living and social status commensurate with their education… were continually frustrated by two obstacles:

The success of the upper class in maintaining its wealth and political power, and the inability of the Cuban economy to provide ‘adequate’ employment and other opportunities especially for the members of the professional middle class.”

I’ll unpack some thoughts…

1. A common complaint on the Left (and a growing one on the Right) is that America has become a de facto oligarchy where the rules of the country are largely written by the wealthiest people.

These people, after all, have the most to lose, so it stands to reason that they lobby the federal government for rules that benefit them the most.

This is the first thing that pre-revolutionary Cuba and the United States have in common. (This is exactly what’s enabled the current socialist political insurgency we see today.)

2. If we’re to believe the predictions of job displacement due to advances in automation, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, then we arrive at the conclusion that tens of millions of Americans — some 25 percent of the country — will have their jobs replaced in the coming decades. (Sure, some jobs will be created, but will they be created fast enough to make up for all those displaced workers? Unlikely. Can displaced workers find new skills and careers? I’ll answer below.)

So what will these tens of millions of Americans do for work? Let’s take trucker drivers, for instance. It’s the most popular job in 29 states. The age of the average truck driver is 45. They’re too young to retire and too old to re-skill. (Plus, the data on those reskilling programs is pretty bleak. Very low success rate.)

Yet, their industry is about to be turned on its head due to automated driving. And it’s not just truck drivers — there’s a host of menial and professional jobs that will be replaced by robots in the coming years and decades.

So we could very well have an economy that doesn’t provide ‘adequate’ employment and other opportunities for tens of millions of Americans, starting with low skill and moving into high skill professional occupations.

That’s the second thing that America will have in common with pre-revolutionary Cuba.

My conclusion isn’t that we’re going to have a national Marxist revolution, a la Fidel, Che, et. al.

My conclusion is that these two economic trends are going to lead to conflict. (They already are.) Many of today’s billionaires are warning about a bottom-up revolt against the ruling class. It’s coming.

Are you prepared?

Gary Barnett: All Hail the Emperor

All Hail the Emperor by Gary Barnett.

Once upon a time in this country, there was no president, and there was no federal tax, as all the tyrannical government was relegated to the states. Prior to that time of a somewhat free society, there were only local government structures overseen by a sitting king from afar, so most of the common people did not have to deal daily with bureaucracies, restrictive laws, heavy taxation, and large scale corruption. But then the Constitution was born, and all power was given to a central authority under the guise of a democratic republic ruled over by the people. But people do not ever rule over governments, governments always rule over people.

Fast forward to today, and government hell has taken center stage. This is not in the sense that most would understand, because the lowly citizen thinks any assault on liberty is due to government policy or tyrannical interference, but it is much more complicated than what is believed. Government is but a pawn in a game of power over the masses orchestrated by a controlling elite bent on total authority over all. It is a partnership of sorts, fascist to be sure, but government officials have to play by the rules laid out by the real power, or they will face harsh measures. Many have fallen to a deadly fate due to breaking the rules of this allowed power.

We now live under 24 hour a day surveillance, police state tactics and SWAT raids, extreme taxation, the ruination of money, out of control prison incarceration, continuous war, and restrictive laws that touch every aspect of every life. Nothing is allowed without state license and extortion payments, and nothing is truly owned by the individual. Any resident of this country, citizen or not, can be “legally” held, imprisoned, tortured, or murdered without any due process whatsoever. This fact alone eliminates any possibility of a free society.

And yesterday, it was announced that the Trump administration through its corrupt attorney general, William Barr, have announced a new program that will set up a “pre-crime” authority in 2020; one that will be able to legally arrest and incarcerate any it deems as “likely’ to commit a crime in the future. If any reading this do not understand the dire implications of such an Orwellian nightmare scenario as this, then please go back to your phone apps and zone out of reality.

Crimes that harm others are real crimes. Should a man steal from another, he has committed an act that should be condemned. Should a man injure another or his family, he has committed an act that should be condemned. Should a man imprison or murder another without cause, he has committed a heinous act that deserves condemnation. But when the government does these things; when a government steals, injures and harms innocents, when it falsely imprisons those who have harmed no one, when it murders thousands of innocent people in the false name of national security, it is applauded for protecting the public and upholding the law.

The bar should be set the same for the entirety of government as it is for individuals. If any individual should do something that is considered a crime due to natural law, then the government should be held to that same standard should it commit the same crime. But obviously, the government lives in a world of double standards, deceit, and corruption, and is allowed to continue its nefarious lies and indiscretions, its thievery, and its murder without limit.

Logic in the crowd is seemingly lost, and so long as the huddled masses continue to allow criminal behavior by those it sanctions through the asinine voting process, then only a continuation of tyranny will result. So long as kings and presidents are allowed to rule, the people will serve their chosen masters, and remain in a state of servitude, slaves to the system they themselves allow to exist.

Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government but illegal for the citizenry. ~ Thomas Jefferson