WA Policy Center: In Seattle, Failure in Leadership Produces Failure in Governance

From the Washington Policy Center, an article about recent activity in the city of Seattle – In Seattle, failure in leadership produces failure in governance

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Seattle’s elected officials allow widespread law-breaking by some, while imposing full enforcement on the rest of us

We often hear that it is important to lead by example. Lately, the example set by Seattle’s elected leaders has been one of lawlessness, civic breakdown and broken governance. City leaders ordered police to evacuate a police station and abandon a six-block neighborhood to radical left-wing groups, who set up a Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ), since re-labeled an Occupied Protest (CHOP). Authorities retreated after they had failed to stop widespread looting and arson in Seattle’s once-prestigious downtown core.

At the same time, Seattle leaders fully expect everyone else to behave responsibly, respect their authority, and follow the vast web of rules that regulate every aspect of life in the city. For Seattle leaders, one person robbing one store is a crime, but mass looting an entire shopping district is accepted as “protest”.

Conditions in the CHOP deteriorated quickly. In the short time the no-police zone existed, one man and a teen boy were killed and others were seriously wounded in shootings . Medics responding to 911 calls could not enter the zone, but had to respond to a staging area nearby. Violence inside CHOP became so politically sensitive that The Seattle Times shut down its online comment section on the shootings.

Of course it’s easy to accept civic violence when it is happening to someone else. The mayor of Olympia learned that dramatically when politically-motivated property damage, so attractive at a distance, arrived on her own doorstep.

Earlier she had expressed support for the protests, lamented her shortcomings, noting she “was not without sin…” and that she needed to be “more welcoming and nurturing…” Her mood changed swiftly, however, when rioters vandalized her house the evening of June 12th, damaging the front door and porch with spray-painted political slogans. She likened the attack on her home to “domestic terrorism,” adding, “It’s unfair.”

Journalist Chris Martin Palmer had a similar experience, cheerleading for burning buildings and looting in Minneapolis, until groups of rioters approached his neighborhood, at which point he angrily tweeted that protesters should “Go back to where you live.”

The ongoing disfunction in Seattle is representative of the breakdown of civility and peace in cities long governed by one-party rule. The last Republican mayor of Seattle was James Braman, elected in 1964. The last arguably centrist mayor was Wes Uhlman, who left office in 1978. Today the city council is neatly divided into two camps, those on the left and those on the far left.  The latter faction is aggressively led by avowed socialist Kshama Sawant.

Secure in the knowledge that voters have no real alternatives, the party in power naturally becomes increasingly radical as time passes. Interest groups become more strident in their demands. In Seattle’s case key interests include powerful city unions, militant environmental activists and, oddly, the local bicycle club.

The result is that while looting, arson and physical assault are forgiven, laws imposed on average families are strictly enforced. For example, failure to pay property taxes to the city in full and on time include a 3% penalty on the first payment due, and an additional 8% penalty on the second payment, followed by foreclosure and confiscation. Parking, permitting, and red-light traffic camera rules are all strictly enforced. City officials threaten business owners who don’t follow rules with closure and loss of livelihood.

Civic life is not possible without widespread goodwill and cooperation from citizens. Seattle officials rely on voluntary compliance to govern for everything from traffic rules, to re-modeling permits, to paying taxes. Yet the Mayor and city are setting an example that rewards widespread cheating. Why should the average home or business owner live “by the book” when Seattle lets others break any law they like. People may reason, “Sure I cheat on my taxes, but at least I didn’t set a police car on fire.”

If people follow the example of street activists and simply ignore rules they don’t like the city would quickly become marked by commonplace fraud and deception, which is why the mayor’s decision to allow mass lawlessness is so problematic.

Expecting people to obey the rules while accepting widespread law-breaking cannot lead to respect, peace or justice. The Mayor called it a summer of love, but what she really created is a culture of distrust and evasion in community life.

Her belated clean-up of the CHAZ zone does little to mitigate the damage done in terms of the messages already sent. Anarchists and activists know the city can be broken and will want to test it again.  Seattle’s residents and business owners know they cannot have confidence that they will get the protections they pay for and that rules only strictly apply to them.  It will take time to undo that damage.

Only fair and firm administration, civic pride and a sincere respect for order can make and keep Seattle a great place to live for everyone.

Alt-Market: Is America Heading For Civil War? Of Course It Is…

Brandon Smith at Alt-Market writes more about unrest in the USA in Is America Heading For Civil War? Of Course It Is…

In last week’s article I discussed the issue of American “balkanization” and the rapid migration of conservatives and moderates from large population centers and states that are becoming militant in their progressive ideology. In my home state of Montana there has been a surge of people trying to escape the chaos and oppression of leftist states. Some are here because of the pandemic and the harsh restrictions they had to endure during the first lockdowns. Others are here because they can’t stand the hostility of identity politics, cancel culture and race riots. Either way, they are fleeing places with decidedly leftist influences.

Uprooting and moving to an entirely new place is not an easy thing to do, especially in the middle of a pandemic. For many people, such an idea would have been unthinkable only a few years ago. Believe me, moving to a place like the Rocky Mountain Redoubt is not an easy transition for most. Hopefully these people understand that they will have to make extensive preparations for the rough winter and be ready to work hard in the spring and summer months to survive. Maybe they don’t realize yet how tough it is here; maybe they know and don’t care.

That’s how bad the situation has become – Rational and reasonable people are willing to leave behind their old life and risk it all to keep a margin of freedom.

In my view it is clear that the political left has gone so far off the rails into its own cultism that there is no coming back. There can be no reconciliation between the two sides, so we must separate, or we must fight. I advocate for separation first for a number of reasons:

First and foremost, conservatives are the primary producers within American culture. If we leave the leftists to their own devices there is a chance they will simply implode in on themselves and eat each other because they have no idea how to fill the production void. The recent developments in the defunct CHAZ/CHOP autonomous zone are a perfect example. Those people don’t have the slightest clue what they are doing and it shows.

Second, if conservatives separate it provides a buffer that helps defuse future random conflicts. When you force the two sides into a box together eventually they will find a reason to try to kill each other. Putting some distance between them and us reduces the angst.

Third, if the leftists decide they don’t like that we have separated and are thriving on our own, and they attempt to antagonize or attack us where we live, then we hold the clear moral high ground when we smash them to pieces in response.

I fully realize that the third outcome is the most likely. War is probably inevitable. Why? Because collectivists and narcissists are never satisfied. They desire unlimited control over the lives of others and they will use any means to get that control no matter how destructive. Separating from them is only a stop-gap that allows us to take the superior position. Through peaceful migration, we set the pace of the conflict. Eventually they will come after us, and there will be no doubt about our response then. There will be no way to spin the result in their favor, no way for them to play the victims.

Some people might question if we are actually to the point of open conflict; they might accuse me of “doom mongering”. Others may argue that conservatives are acting “passive” and that we will never take any action. These assumptions are common right now because such people do not understand how history progresses and how group psychology evolves.

Domestic war is not something pursued lightly, or haphazardly. The average person knows at least subconsciously that it’s better to seek resolution or to remain patient as events unfold. Conservatives aren’t stupid; we know that before any civil war there is first a culture war. And, we know that the cards are stacked against us and that if we act rashly in any way we will lose position in that culture war.

So, we let the leftists spit and rage like madmen for a little while. Each day people who were on the fence when it comes to the culture war are witnessing this and come over to our side because we’re the only side that is sane. The drawback is, there comes a point in which calm professionalism might be wrongly perceived as weakness. And when people sense weakness among conservatives, they might run into the arms of the extreme left thinking that it’s safer to join the “winning team”.

I believe conservatives have not been sucked into a reactionary stance yet because they are thinking logically and refusing to play the game for now. In some ways it is how we enter the fight that is more important than the fight itself.  To understand why, we have to look at the bigger picture beyond the left/right conflict.

As I noted last week, the political left is a tool for a greater agenda. They are being used as a weapon of chaos by globalist interests. This is not “conspiracy theory”, this is conspiracy fact. Millions of dollars have poured into Antifa and BLM related groups through elitist donors like George Soros and his Open Society Foundation as well as the Ford Foundation. Globalist institutions like these have been influencing the extreme left and promoting identity politics for DECADES. This is openly admitted. What we are witnessing in 2020 is simply the culmination of a half-century long propaganda campaign that created the modern feminist movement, victim group status, entitlement culture, etc.

The reason for the agenda should be obvious: Chaos creates fear. Fear creates division and crisis. And, crisis creates opportunity (as globalist Rahm Emanuel once bragged). Meaning, the extreme left is going to start a war because that’s exactly what the global elites created them for.

Now, some might suggest that this places conservatives in a Catch-22 position; if we don’t fight back then we will look weak. We will be culturally isolated and eventually overrun and wiped from the history books. If we do fight back we will be giving the globalists what they want – A civil war that will tear America apart.

The suggestion by certain special interests will be that there is only one way out; use government power to turn the tide to our advantage. In other words, institute martial law. I don’t really see it that way.

Once we understand that a fight is coming regardless, our task is to position ourselves with the most advantage possible while keeping our culture and our principles intact. This includes our belief in constitutionalism, civil liberties and opposition to tyranny in ANY form. Winning the fight is important, but maintaining our principles in the process is more important. Becoming a monster to fight the monster is the same as losing.

When the left comes for us (and they will), the fight has to be won by us, not government. We cannot hand even more power to government in the name of security. We cannot become the fascists the leftists accuse us of being.

I am often asked these days about my view of the 2020 election and how it will turn out. I did predict Trump’s election win in the summer of 2016 based on the idea that Trump’s presence in the White House would drive the left insane, as well as give the globalists a perfect “conservative” scapegoat for the economic collapse they had been engineering since at least 2008…(continues)

Law Enforcement Today: John Kerry Suggests Revolution Possible if Trump Elected Again

Ukraine revolution, 2014

Law Enforcement Today reports that Former Senator John Kerry suggests there will be a revolution if Trump gets elected again in a statement made at the Alliance of Democracies.

“If people don’t have adequate access to the ballot, I mean that’s the stuff on which revolutions are built. If you begin to deny people the capacity of your democracy to work, even the Founding Fathers wrote in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, we have an inherent right to challenge that. And I’m worried that increasingly, people are disaffected.”

John Kerry also suggested that America would be in terrible shape globally if Trump were to lead America in a second term as President, according to Politics.

Kerry added while at the Copenhagen Democracy Summit 2020, that America can only become a world leader again if former Vice President Joe Biden wins in the November election.

PJ Media sheds some light on this rhetoric by Democrats due to some relation between the U.S. State Department and their associated NGOs such as USAID, Freedom house, and NED of which they gave significant amounts of money to George Soros funded businesses in Ukraine.

The plan by the U.S. State Department was to develop a program named Tech Camps where people in other nations would be taught on how to use technology, tools, and media to form movements of protestors. All of these movements received money from Soros related NGOs and U. S. agencies.

Such movements helped overthrow Viktor Yanukovych of Ukraine. The movement was known as the Maidan protestors and known as the Maidan Revolution.

This revolution caused U.S. diplomats to ensure they governed who would be in office after Yanukovych. The Maidan Revolution is not the only movement where our U.S. State Department has participated in such behavior…(continues)

Intelligence Analyst Sam Culper at Forward Observer adds:

One factor that led to regime change in Ukraine’s Maidan revolution was the ability of political opposition to quickly establish popular belief that elections were rigged or ballots were falsified. Kerry is painting a soft justification for domestic revolution upon claims of voter disenfranchisement in a Trump electoral victory. While a left wing revolution will include violence, we’re more likely to see the development of a Maidan or Tahrir Square type of mass protest scenario, than a traditional armed revolution. Throughout the past year, left wing influencers have encouraged mass mobilization protests where millions of Americans would fill the streets and become disruptive enough to force President Trump to resign. Those efforts have so far fizzled. Taking into consideration some recent predictions that President Trump will not willingly depart the White House if defeated, it’s clear that certain elements are priming widespread activism going into November.

Alt-Market: The Insanity Of The Political Left And The Balkanization Of The US

Brandon Smith at Alt-Market writes more about US political polarization, division, violence, and breakup in The Insanity Of The Political Left And The Balkanization Of The US.

Can leftists and conservatives of our modern era peacefully coexist within the same society?  If someone asked me this question only ten years ago I would have said “Sure, it’s possible”.  Today, the answer is a resounding “No way”.  The political divide has become so vast that there is simply no chance for the two sides to reconcile or come to reasonable terms, and make no mistake, this is not a two-sided disaster; the majority of the damage is being done by one side of this equation.

Back in 2016 I wrote numerous articles discussing the issues and dangers of the political divide that was developing within the US, and many of these articles focused on who actually benefits. In my article ‘Order Out Of Chaos: The Defeat Of The Left Comes With A Cost’ I stated:

When I mentioned in my last article the crippling of social justice, I did not mention that this could have some negative reverberations. With Trump and conservatives taking near-total power after the Left had assumed they would never lose again, their reaction has been to transform. They are stepping away from the normal activities and mindset of cultural Marxism and evolving into full blown communists. Instead of admitting that their ideology is a failure in every respect, they are doubling down.

When this evolution is complete, the Left WILL resort to direct violent action on a larger scale, and they will do so with a clear conscience because, in their minds, they are fighting fascism. Ironically, it will be this behavior by leftists that may actually push conservatives towards a fascist model. Conservatives might decide to fight crazy with more crazy.”

The transformation I described in 2016 is now happening in 2020.  The left is going full communist, with a little help of course.  Currently, the Cultural Marxists are seeking to clean house within their own ranks.  They are terrorizing long time Democrats and “allies” of the movement into subscribing to ALL the tenets of the new social justice religion.  No deviation is allowed; all progressives must declare fealty and signal their virtue and submission or they are systematically targeted and destroyed.  It is essentially coercion by cancel culture.

After this phase is over and they have organized the political left into an army of mindless drones, they will fully turn their attention to conservatives.

To be clear, social justice movements are not the primary threat, they are merely a symptom of the disease – A cancer called “globalism”. These people are being used as a weapon of expediency, nothing more. There is an open and admitted organized effort on the part of a tiny minority of power brokers and money elites in our society that seek to manipulate the public into accepting the notion of total centralization and the end of personal liberty and national sovereignty in the name of an arbitrary “greater good”. This is not “conspiracy theory”, this is conspiracy fact.

As Richard N. Gardner, former deputy assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations under Kennedy and Johnson, and a member of the Trilateral Commission, wrote in the April, 1974 issue of the Council on Foreign Relation’s (CFR) journal Foreign Affairs (pg. 558) in an article titled ‘Hard Road To World Order’:

In short, the ‘house of world order’ will have to be built from the bottom up rather than from the top down. It will look like a great ‘booming, buzzing confusion,’ to use William James’ famous description of reality, but an end run around national sovereignty, eroding it piece by piece, will accomplish much more than the old-fashioned frontal assault.”

It is my view, according to the evidence, that the social justice left is a cultivated threat, a product of the gatekeepers of Cultural Marxism that has been gestated over decades to the stage we now see today – a mass movement of useful idiots, insane narcissists and sociopaths obsessed with identity politics and the destruction of the “old world”.

It was globalist institutions like the Rockefeller Foundation and the Ford Foundation that funded different elements of the feminist movement and “gender studies” movements from the late 1960’s onward. This included the Rockefeller Foundation’s large donations to ‘The Feminist Press’ and the Ford Foundation’s programs to indoctrinate teachers into injecting social justice talking points into their curriculum. This is openly admitted in Alison R. Bernstein’s book ‘Funding The Future: Philanthropy’s Influence On America’s Higher Education’. Bernstein is the vice president of Education at the Ford Foundation and the former Associate Dean of Faculty at Princeton.

That’s right folks, social justice activism was paid for and encouraged by the so-called “patriarchy”. This is the reality, and it never stopped. Even today SJW groups are funded by globalists.

For example, as the mainstream media often tries to dismiss or ignore, Black Lives Matter was initially funded by the Ford Foundation and George Soros and his Open Society Foundation. BLM coffers were flooded with over $100 million from uber rich white elites. Again, this is a FACT that even the dishonest spin doctors at Snopes were not able to deny. Instead, they attempt to use strawman arguments and sophistry to distract from the implication of extreme-left mobs receiving seed money from elitist billionaires.

As noted, the political left is being weaponized, but to what end?  To understand the end game we have to understand the concept of the Hegelian Dialectic and “problem – reaction – solution”.

If there is one behavior that stands out above all others as a defining trait of the social justice left, in my opinion it is their obsession with exploiting tragedy and crisis for their own personal and political gain. The George Floyd incident, a terrible event to be sure, should have been held up as a prime example of police abuse, yet it was immediately twisted by BLM into an issue of “systemic racism”. There is no proof of systemic racism. There’s not even any proof that George Floyd was killed because he was black.

Police abuse is something which concerns every American equally, not just black Americans.  But the BLM has obscured the real issue of police accountability and made it about the delusion of “white supremacy” and an attack on basically every element of American heritage and tradition.  This will alienate millions of Americans who would have otherwise agreed to certain points and arguments. The narrative was hijacked by the political left and they reveled in the death of George Floyd as a means to push numerous unrelated agendas forward as quickly as possible.

These agendas include a vast array of censorship in social media and the firestorm of cancel culture, threatening anyone who does not agree with the prevailing leftist narrative. People are losing their platforms, their jobs, and their reputations are being dragged through the mud, and the mainstream media is helping to make this happen.

Now, as a true conservative, I respect the boundaries of private property, and to be sure, a website is indeed private property. A social media company has the right to remove people and content they don’t like, just as any person has the right to remove someone they don’t like from their home. That said, there are some exceptions to this.

For example, when a company has a monopoly over a certain means of communication, then censorship becomes a legal and moral problem and that company must be either limited or broken up. Monopolies are not natural functions of a free market, they are attempts by elites to subvert free markets. Corporations in general receive their charters from government, along with the protections of limited liability and corporate personhood. They are not a natural part of the economy, they are aberrations created by government. They are children of socialism, not “capitalism”.

If we are to solve the current problem in the long term, corporations must either be regulated or abolished and replaced with classical limited partnerships.  Joint stock companies, as corporation used to be called, were never intended to become permanent power structures within free market societies, and now we are witnessing why.

That said, the danger of monopolies does not only extend to corporations. There can also be such a thing as a political or ideological monopoly as well. When a particular minority of ideologues take over a vast majority of mass communication outlets and actively seeks to squeeze out any dissenting voices so that only one point of view is presented to the public, what else do we call this but a monopoly?

I see where the cancel culture is going and it is quickly going to a very ugly place. While google’s removal of ad revenue from conservative websites like Zero Hedge is a legal grey area, the attacks will eventually go far beyond monetization. One day soon, I predict there will be an attempt to influence website host providers to remove “offending” sites altogether. One might argue that handing government the power to nationalize the internet would help to protect free speech, but I doubt that. Government is run by the same ghouls that are funding the social justice cult. Why should we trust them to police the web fairly?

The political left is not only asserting control over speech on the web, but also pushing restrictions in major population centers (to be fair, Trump and his cabinet of elites including Anthony Fauci are also culpable in encouraging medical tyranny). If you lived in a major US city during the first pandemic lockdowns, then you have seen the extreme lengths politicians, mostly on the left, will go to to assert dominance…

The global elites have a different scenario in mind, I think. They certainly want a civil war, but one that they can mold and control on both sides. They are using the left to strike fear into the minds of conservatives and they want us to demand government action as the solution. They want us to push the button on the Insurrection Act and to demand martial law. If we separate and establish conservative strongholds then the temptation to beg for government help will be diminished.

There will be numerous arguments made against this strategy – They will say the cities and high population states are economically essential and leaving will be financially disastrous for individuals. But, if producers are leaving in droves, then they can build an economy anywhere they please. It’s the leftists that need conservatives to feed off of their labor and production; conservatives don’t need leftists for anything. There will be others that claim that when we leave blue states and counties we are abandoning the fight and leaving those places to be completely taken over. I disagree with this mentality. By leaving and forming conservative communities and economies and businesses we are changing the landscape of the conflict. Instead of constantly contending with political obstruction we will be free to actually build something lasting.

This is what the establishment is afraid of; they do not want conservatives to become proactive. They want us to hide in our homes in fear and apathy waiting for someone else to save the day…

Read the entire article at Alt-Market by clicking here.

Mises Institute: COVID Lockdowns Crippled the Division of Labor, Setting the Stage for Civil Unrest

Photo courtesy Associated Press

Associate Professor Jonathan Newman of Bryan College writes for the Mises Institute about how the breakdown of voluntary participation in the economy created fuel for social disturbance in COVID Lockdowns Crippled the Division of Labor, Setting the Stage for Civil Unrest.

In his podcast, Dave Smith has likened the lockdowns to gasoline and the murder of George Floyd to a spark.

But why were the lockdowns fuel for social unrest? One of the reasons the lockdowns paved the way for social unrest is that they led to a widespread breakdown in the division of labor. This could only result in more conflict and social unrest.

Economist Ludwig von Mises has explained why this is so. In Human Action, Mises presents the division of labor as more than a purely economic concept. Although he certainly expounds the increased productivity attributable to the division of labor, he also heralds it as civilization itself. It is social cooperation and mutuality. He presents it in opposition to conflict and violence. The division of labor is predicated on and also results in peaceful relations between individuals.

Here, I want to discuss the gasoline, and not the spark. Mises.org writers have discussed the spark and the related issues of institutional problems with police departments, police brutality, a breakdown in trust in the police, and police militarization.

What Is the Division of Labor?

The division of labor is just what it sounds like: one person does one job while another person does a different job. In a market economy, these jobs are not assigned randomly, but are purposefully chosen by each individual according to his or her own skills and values. Instead of trying to produce everything we want to consume on our own, we produce one good and offer it in exchange for a variety of goods we prefer.

The ability to consume a larger variety of goods is not the only benefit of the division of labor. Total production increases enormously, such that each individual who participates in the division of labor enjoys a massive increase in his standard of living. The division of labor allows us to emerge from bare subsistence and flourish as a civilization, producing art, writing philosophy, celebrating holidays, and exploring space. These things are impossible for man in economic isolation.

One of the greatest laws of economics is the law of association, which Mises proves mathematically (uncharacteristically) in Human Action. The law of association shows that everyone who participates in the division of labor gains as a result. No one is excluded from this opportunity. Thus,

The law of association makes us comprehend the tendencies which resulted in the progressive intensification of human cooperation. We conceive what incentive induced people not to consider themselves simply as rivals in a struggle for the appropriation of the limited supply of means of subsistence made available by nature. We realize what has impelled them and permanently impels them to consort with one another for the sake of cooperation. Every step forward on the way to a more developed mode of the division of labor serves the interests of all participants. (p. 159)

Unraveling the Division of Labor

The undoing of the division of labor and the social cooperation that it both requires and entails is social conflict.

The market economy involves peaceful cooperation. It bursts asunder when the citizens turn into warriors and, instead of exchanging commodities and services, fight one another. (p. 817)

During the months of government-imposed lockdowns, everybody was prevented from participating in the division of labor as they were accustomed to. Even those who kept their jobs could not exchange goods with those who did not keep their jobs. The entire social nexus was reduced to a small list of government-defined “essential” services. The increase in unemployment is really only a part of the picture of the economic harm caused by the lockdowns. Everybody who relied on the goods and services produced by the so-called nonessential businesses was harmed: consumers, employees, and proximate businesses in the structure of production alike.

Man shall not live by government-defined essential services alone, however. For a short time, and where possible, citizens resorted to black markets and self-sufficiency (which, as we have seen, is hardly sufficient). But a spark and the cover of protests in the streets gave some a chance to acquire goods by theft. These opportunists are aided by additional mayhem like vandalism, violent assault, and arson. Unfortunately, both insufficient and over-the-top responses by police also add to the mayhem, giving violent rioters more opportunity and also poorly reasoned, two-wrongs-make-a-right self-justification for their aggression.

We only have three options for getting what we want: we can produce it, we can take from somebody who has produced it, or we can exchange peacefully with somebody who has produced it. The third option is the division of labor, and it is the only one that involves peaceful cooperation with others. It is also the only option that sustains civilization. Looting, vandalism, assault, and arson are regressive—they are not a means to advance society. They are the unraveling of society and the social harmony brought about by the division of labor…

Peace can only resume when entrepreneurs find it profitable to reopen their businesses. Government lockdowns and violent mobs are data for the entrepreneur’s decision-making process. Mises warns that it can get so bad that civilization crumbles…(continues)

The Organic Prepper: Eye Witness Account of Seattle Riots

The Organic Prepper has an eye-witness account from a national guard member of the Seattle riots – An Eye-Witness’s Shocking Account of What’s REALLY Happening During the Seattle Riots. The takeaway? “You can’t depend on anyone to come and save you when unrest shows up in your neighborhood. The people who were there, willing, and able to defend Seattle were forced to stand down. You have to expect to be completely on your own.”

A social media post (which has been removed) by a member of the Washington National Guard has been shared more than 7000 times since it was written on June 12th. It’s a true education in mob mentality.

As Toby Cowern says, “Look how much ‘othering’ has been done already. Once that’s happening there’s a big problem.”

He’s right – and here’s the shocking truth about what’s really going on in Seattle from a person who had a front-row ticket to the mayhem.

An eye-witness account

I previously said I had a lot to say regarding my experiences while in downtown Seattle [Incoming VERY long post…]. When I came home, I was exhausted, angry, and saddened by what I had experienced. I said I needed to share what happened, but I also said I needed some time to rest and reflect. My unit was activated for 12 days. We worked long hours but we continued to stay dedicated to the state and the mission. I can’t stop that now. I’ve been up all night, trying my best to put into words what I experienced and observed. This is too important to wait. I rarely post on social media, but I’m making this post, hoping it reaches those that want to know the truth. I can imagine, given the current environment, this post may cause some controversy. That is not my intention what-so-ever. I agree the excessive use of force in Minnesota was inexcusable but reacting with hatred and violence is contradictory to the message of peace and change. Either way, people need to know what’s actually happening behind the guise of this “movement.” Whether localized or nationalized, what I witnessed NEEDS TO STOP!

Activation:

I was working nights and the day of my phone call, I had difficulties sleeping that morning. I had a lot on my mind, and I decided I was going to stay up and do some yard work. As I was preparing to go outside, I started receiving text messages and phone calls. “We’ve been activated! Hit time at the armory is 1700!” I looked at my watch and I had maybe an hour before hit time. “Well, I’m going to be late…” I thought. I immediately responded to the text messages and phone calls, telling them I would be there as soon as possible. Why was I going to be late?

My unit is in Western Washington and I live in Southeastern Washington… to drive, at a pace much faster than the speed limit, I’d be lucky to make it in three hours… Without hesitation, I grabbed all my staged military gear and threw it into the back of my vehicle. I figured, “Heck, if it’s an emergency, they’re not going to have time to put out a packing list… so, I mise well bring everything.” As I was throwing military gear into my vehicle, I received text messages telling me to pack for at least a week. “Wow, this is serious…” I thought. Being activated and expecting the mission to last a week or more, whatever the activation was for, it was going to be an uphill battle… I threw a few uniforms and a week’s worth of clothing in my rucksack and proceeded to drive to the armory.

Preparation:

I arrived at the armory in the evening and realized I had now been awake for over 24 hours. I contacted my chain of command and determined we’d leave at zero dark hundred for Seattle. I gathered my issued equipment, added it to my ruck sack, and tried to take a one-hour nap. I awoke to people on the move and bright fluorescent lights. It felt like I had just closed my eyes, but it was go-time. I grabbed my bags and met my unit in the parking lot of the armory. There was no time to waste! We loaded every cot we had, all our personal bags, and whatever we could quickly think of that we might need. We loaded our transportation and were off to Seattle in what seemed like minutes…

The Build Up:

On our way to Seattle, I had time to dwell and self-reflect. What’s so out of control that the Guard would be called up? Who and/or what am I going to be protecting? Am I going to be protecting rights, life, property, or all the above? I told myself that no matter what happens, I will do my utmost to remain impartial, to uphold the Constitution, to protect the rights of the citizens of the United States, and to protect life and property to the best of my ability. As a Soldier, we take an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against ALL enemies, foreign and domestic. Regardless of the political climate, a Soldier has the responsibility to remain impartial, to ensure all citizens’ rights are protected and that the Constitution is adhered to. As we approached Seattle, I did so with an open mind and a sympathetic heart. I prayed that I may understand whoever needs our help, that I may do my job to the utmost of my ability, and that the rights of all those involved would be preserved.

The Gear:

Per order of the Governor of Washington State, Jay Inslee, the Washington Army National Guard went into Seattle COMPLETELY UNARMED. We had NO way to defend ourselves and HAD TO rely upon the SEATTLE POLICE DEPARTMENT to protect us… Not all of us had vests or plates that would stop rifle bullets. In the beginning, most of us didn’t even have shin guards… A few Soldiers didn’t have batons… Shields were hit or miss, but we ended up sharing where we could…

The Riots:

Oddly enough, my first day was one of the hardest days. We touched ground and were immediately dispatched to the Seattle Police Department (SPD) East Precinct near the intersection of 11th St and Pine St (Capitol Hill). This location would become very familiar for me, due to all of the “peaceful protesters” rioting here almost every night… Only one other unit arrived the day before we did, and they were sent to Westlake Center due to it being actively vandalized and destroyed.

Before I talk about the first day, I have to admit that my squad was later sent to Westlake. While I was there, I saw remnants of fire and broken glass everywhere I went. Almost all glass areas were boarded up and the area was devoid of business. What I, and most non-locals didn’t know, is that Westlake is a shopping center. It’s blocks upon blocks of popular businesses in downtown Seattle. It’s essentially an outdoor shopping mall… Due to the fact that not a single store was open, I was curious about the extent of damage to the area the night before. While I was looking through photos on Google while on break, one of the Seattle Police Department Police Officers pointed to an area down the street and said, “The bastards torched my patrol car right there.” As she said that, the newspaper headline photo lit my smartphone screen as I could see protesters celebrating around broken business windows and a couple vehicles that were aflame. I thought to myself, “Why would someone do this?” As I read through the headlines, I came to realize the businesses were broken into, looted, and then set ablaze… all in the name of “Black Lives Matter.” I tried my best to connect the dots… but how does social injustice relate to graffiti, theft, malicious mischief, and arson? If there was a specific political statement from these crimes, even the news media didn’t interpret or understand it… it was obviously a crime of opportunity…

Returning back to my first day at East Precinct, I was assigned as one of the squad leaders. My squad, consisting of primarily Soldiers from my unit, were fairly distinct. Like everyone else in my unit, we wore a black vest that distinguished us against every other Guardsman in Seattle. I could explain why, but it’s not relevant. If you want proof of where I was, find the Soldiers with black vests in Seattle… I was one of them.

Anyways…

On the first day, we were initially on the line behind the Seattle Police Officers at the East Precinct. The Officers weren’t carrying shields like us that day. During the protests, I observed Officers shaking hands with those yelling at them. I also saw one Officer approach a male crying in the crowd. The Officer asked the male if he wanted a hug and the protester replied, “Yes!” I watched as the Officer embraced and comforted the crying protester. Seeing these things, I thought to myself “Why am I here? Seattle PD obviously has a connection with the population, what am I supposed to accomplish or prevent here?” It didn’t take long for that to change.

I took up position on our right flank, recognizing a weakness in our line. A female quickly made eye contact with me, while recording me with her cell phone, and started yelling… “HEY! ARMY! Where are you from?!” I told her I was a Soldier with the Washington Army National Guard. She asked if I lived in Washington State. I told her, “Yes, I’m a citizen of Washington State, just like you.” She then abruptly said, “Why do you guys keep killing us?” I told her, “Excuse me?! I haven’t killed anyone…” She looked at me, befuddled, and said… “You guys keep killing us! You know, your training… don’t you have some sort of limitation where you can’t kill people?! You know, where you can only shoot us if we shoot at you?” At this point, I obviously knew she was referring to our Rules of Engagement (RoE) but it was obvious she was trying to provoke me. I tried to explain to her that what she was saying wasn’t true, but she kept interrupting me. Every time I’d try to speak, she’d raise her voice and interrupt me. As she continued to escalate, I recognized she was trying to provoke an exaggerated reaction out of me. I looked at her, shrugged, and proceeded to ignore her as I scanned the crowd. She grumbled and said, “You don’t even know your own regulations?!” I looked at her, shrugged again, and continued to ignore her… As I was scanning, I saw a male protester point out and move towards an African-American Police Officer.

The protester proceeded to yell, asking why the Officer was on the “white-man’s side.” He called the Officer an “Uncle Tom,” a “pretender,” a “race traitor,” and a N-word I’d prefer not to use. Every fiber of my being wanted to lash out. How can you use racist terms and protest racism while using it in a derogatory manner towards someone else? How can you even find fault in someone that is remaining peaceful, that is protecting your rights, and is obviously concerned for the community?! I was furious as the protester continued berating the Officer… We then got replaced by another squad for relief.

During their “protest” I observed multiple people tell others to “shut up” because of their “white privilege.” I also saw two protesters almost get into a fight because one wasn’t “letting the black man speak.” Another protester, when a male had a megaphone, yelled “Listen to him! He’s black!” I was raised, under the impression, that equality means treating everyone equally… Race won’t cease to be an issue until we stop talking about it. All my brothers and sisters are one color: green. It’s cool to honor your heritage, but no one gets special anything due to their skin tone… Everyone is treated the same and everything is equal. How is this (equality) a hard concept?

I talked to my Soldiers during our downtime. I had a few African-American Soldiers in my squad. I pointed out and talked to them about what I had just observed. I told them they may be focused upon, that the racists in the crowd might single them out because they’re African-American. It wasn’t long before we returned to the protest line...(continues)

Wilder, Wealthy & Wise: Civil War 2.0 Weather Report

Here is Wilder’s latest Civil War 2.0 Weather Report at Wilder, Wealthy & Wise.

“If we can stop him, we shall prevent the collapse of Western Civilization.  No pressure.” – Sherlock Holmes:  A Game of Shadows

CLOCK

I liked the ticking of the clock I got from the pawnshop, but in the end it was a second-hand emotion.

  1. People actively avoid being near those of opposing ideology.  Might move from communities or states just because of ideology.
  2. Common violence. Organized violence is occurring monthly.
  3. Opposing sides develop governing/war structures.  Just in case.
  4. Common violence that is generally deemed by governmental authorities as justified based on ideology.
  5. Open War.

In the first issue of the Civil War Weather Report, I put together ten steps to a new civil war.  I did not expect that on the one year anniversary of that first report we’d move from step 6 nearly to step 9.  Step 9. is, of course, two minutes to midnight.

We are very, very close.  I debated internally more than a bit whether we were at an 8. or a 9. this month.  I finally decided to stay at an 8., despite multiple jurisdictions doing everything but arming the rioting faction of the protest movement with automatic firearms and bullhorns that make them all sound like Gilbert Gottfried.  It is clear we are at least an 8., and you will see in the graphs section that our Wilder Violence Index has reached new highs.

In this issue:  Front Matter – You Knew Where This Was Going – Violence and Censorship Update – Updated Civil War 2.0 Index – Balkans or Caesar Might Be The Best Case Scenario – Links

Welcome to Issue 12 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.

You Knew Where This Was Going

The most popular posts on this site have been about the political state of the country.  The Civil War Weather Reports aren’t my usual form of post, but have proven to be very popular.  I’m sure it’s not just for graphs featuring bikinis.  Well, at least not only because of the bikinis.

I think the reason these posts are popular is simple:  many people could sense the fragile peak that it seems all of Western Civilization is perched on.  Whether it is a conscious review of the surrounding culture or just a feeling in the pit of the stomach when confronted with an outrageous news article, something’s just not right.  Society has been changing by increments over the years, but those changes are coming faster and faster and faster.

Claire Wolfe, the groundbreaking and iconic Freedom blogger said it very well at her place last week (LINK):

Each day I think I’ve processed the latest craziness enough to blog something coherent. Useful even. But then new waves of craziness wash over the world. I don’t know what to say. I can’t write good sense against the onslaught of the crazy. I don’t know how civilization is holding together under tsunamis of crazy.

But then, of course civilization isn’t holding together — and I’m not just talking about the one-two punch of totalitarian don’tleaveyourhouseism followed without pause by riotandlootallyouwantism.

Chains of rapid-fire events and chaos like this are not generally the friend of those that love freedom.  The Russian Revolution promised:

  • Peace, through ending World War I,
  • Food, because Communists are well known to produce excess food,
  • Land, whereby peasants would get parts of land owned by the wealthy,
  • Minimum wages,
  • Maximum working hours,
  • Running factories by elected worker representatives and
  • Lots of other promises.

In the end, up to 12,000,000 people (mainly civilians) died in the civil war that followed, and the promises that were made were largely ignored.  The Bolsheviks said and promised anything to get a force of disaffected behind them.  Not sure if this sounds familiar to AOC fans?

Hey girl, are you the French Revolution?  Because I keep imagining you sans-culottes.

I get a sense that the Left today is up to the same trick.  They’ve “created” media events and have managed them to get power – political power and power in the street.  Some of the Leftists may even be stupid enough to believe that there are magic economic levers that they can move to keep the promises they’re making.  In reality, they really don’t care:  it’s all about the power.

Lenin’s reintroduction into Russia and subsequent funding from foreign sources bring George Soros to mind.  Soros continually funds groups in the United States that are directly opposed to actual freedom.  The protesters and their associated rioters have a structure that has been funded and provisioned with everything from water and medical supplies to pre-staged bricks and gasoline.  Not saying that George is funding those directly, but . . .

More on that, below.

Violence and Censorship Update

No politician has ever captured the attention of the Left like Donald Trump.  They hated Reagan, and George W. Bush was famous for “stealing” an election.  But something about Trump drives them nearly crazy enough to try to get a job.  The media’s portrayal of Trump as the anti-ChristObama, perhaps?

The violence, of course, is plain for anyone reading any news to see.  It’s not in just the United States:  these protests have been coordinated across nearly every Western nation.  If the protests had been confined to Minnesota, I could buy the idea that they were organic.  And to the extent that they are peaceful gatherings to seek political redress?  I celebrate them.

LOOT

It’s not looting, it’s just an involuntary clearance sale.

But to flash across the world with violence and destruction?  That takes amplification and organization and is clearly the seed of revolution against the West.

The amplification of the signal comes from both mainstream and social media.  Whereas the original death that started the protests was (rightly) exposed, the subsequent deaths of protesters, rioters, and innocent civilians hasn’t been mentioned much at all.  How many dead?

I’m not sure.  This should be a fairly easy number to get to, but I’ve seen numbers between 12 and 18.  Absent media tracking, I’m not sure how you’ll count them up.  If we wait long enough, I’m sure they’ll all be counted and attributed to COVID-19.  To add to the butcher’s bill, thousands have been injured.

Regardless, I have seen, at minimum tens of millions of dollars in damage.  I would expect the number to increase to hundreds of millions, at least.  A fire is, as I write this, blazing in downtown Phoenix.  Odds that it’s related to the rest of the violence?  Nearly 100%.

Censorship is on the rise, as well.  I already spouted off on that last week (Free Speech: Endangered Species – WRSA is Down) in response to Western Rifle Shooters Association being shut down (You Can Find Him Here).  I expect to see that it will be on the increase during the next six months – the election is too important to the Left to leave it in Biden’s hands – chances are good he might wander off to try to buy a rotary phone at Montgomery Wards™.

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.

May was again a difficult month.  I had to re-scale the graph on violence as this month nearly pegged every meter.  I will assure my faithful readers that I spent extra time this month finding just the right bikini-clad girl, since I want to at least reach the journalistic integrity standards of the Washington Post®.

Violence:…(continues)

The Organic Prepper: Unconventional Warfare in the US

Political warfare location within four implements of power

Daisy Luther of The Organic Prepper writes about the use of unconventional warfare techniques with the US recently in her article There’s an Actual Playbook for Everything Happening Right Now and the US Wrote It. But Who Is Using It Against Us? Some of this echoes themes written of by intelligence analyst Sam Culper of Forward Observer on low intensity conflict in the US, as you may have seen from articles of his that we’ve posted to this site.

While it might seem like everything that is happening is just chaotically bouncing from one shocking event to the next, that assessment couldn’t be further from the truth. There’s a playbook – a literal playbook – and we’re being manipulated toward the endgame that does not benefit the American people.

What’s the endgame?

Spoiler alert.

It’s widespread guerrilla actions and the destabilization of our country.

What’s this playbook?

The playbook I’m referring to in this article is the US Special Forces Unconventional Warfare Manual from 2010. These were methods that the United States military employed against Libya.

The intent of U.S. UW efforts is to exploit a hostile power’s political, military, economic, and psychological vulnerabilities by developing and sustaining resistance forces to accomplish U.S. strategic objectives. Historically, the military concept for the employment of UW was primarily in support of resistance movements during general-war scenarios. While this concept remains valid, the operational environment since the end of World War II has increasingly required U.S. forces to conduct UW in scenarios short of general war (limited war).

Enabling a resistance movement or insurgency entails the development of an underground and guerrilla forces, as well as supporting auxiliaries for each of these elements. Resistance movements or insurgencies always have an underground element. The armed component of these groups is the guerrilla force and is only present if the resistance transitions to conflict. The combined effects of two interrelated lines of effort largely generate the end result of a UW campaign. The efforts are armed conflict and subversion. Forces conduct armed conflict, normally in the form of guerrilla warfare, against the security apparatus of the host nation (HN) or occupying military. Conflict also includes operations that attack and degrade enemy morale, organizational cohesion, and operational effectiveness and separate the enemy from the population. Over time, these attacks degrade the ability of the HN or occupying military to project military power and exert control over the population. Subversion undermines the power of the government or occupying element by portraying it as incapable of effective governance to the population. (source)

And now this guideline is very clearly being used against the United States. It started years back, but recently, we’ve watched things escalate rather dramatically.

Here’s the guideline.

Consider this a pyramid that begins at the bottom and builds to the apex. This all begins with underground activities and the fanning of legitimate flames, like Selco mentioned in his article about defunding the police.

Does that stuff look familiar? It should because we’re more than three-quarters of the way through this escalation.

The causes are not unjust.

The thing that makes this technique so effective is that the causes themselves are not unjust. They are things that would rightly anger any reasonable, compassionate human being.

Most white people don’t want to see people of other races suffer indignities and violence based on the color of their skin. (I say “most” because there are always outliers and extremists.) Most Americans in general do not want to see police brutality. They don’t want to see families split up or people imprisoned for decades for victimless crimes.

Let me be perfectly clear when I say that it is not unreasonable or wrong to be outraged and want things to change. I hate some of the things I’ve seen our government and police officers do and have written about these misdeeds for years.

But this article isn’t about whether or not our anger is justified. It is an assessment of a playbook.

All of this outrage over injustice forms the foundation of something that can be used against us. The agitation has been building up for years – far longer than President Trump has been in office – so as much as people love to hate him, he isn’t the cause of all this. But he’s certainly not making things go any more smoothly.

An early timeline

Everything I’m writing about today is about how our government in the past has encouraged a resistance in other countries, and how a resistance is being nurtured here in the United States right now.

So what does it take to cause people to be angry enough to resist?

Resistance generally begins with the desire of individuals to remove intolerable conditions imposed by an unpopular regime or occupying power. Feelings of opposition toward the governing authority and hatred of existing conditions that conflict with the individual’s values, interests, aspirations, and way of life spread from the individual to his family, close friends, and neighbors. As a result, an entire community may possess an obsessive hatred for the established authority. Initially, this hatred will manifest as sporadic, spontaneous nonviolent and violent acts of resistance by the people toward authority. As the discontent grows, natural leaders, such as former military personnel, clergymen, local office holders, and neighborhood representatives, emerge to channel this discontent into organized resistance that promotes its growth. The population must believe they have nothing to lose, or more to gain. (source)

There can be more than one resistance going on at a time, too. Currently, everything that is in the news is about the resistance that has sprung up over the death of George Floyd. A few months ago, it was about the sanctuary cities in Virginia standing up against state legislators.

Resistance organizations have been around for years: Black Lives Matter, the NRA, Antifa, the Boogaloo movement, the Black Bloc, the Gun Owners of America. I’m just listing off examples of organizations here, not passing judgment whether they’re good or bad. I’ll bet that most people who join do so because of their own deeply held beliefs. They sincerely feel they’re doing the right thing and have the best of intentions.

But then there are the other people who join – the infiltrators – and they take these kinds of organizations to dark places. Much has been written about the involvement of the Communist Party, neo-Nazis, George Soros, and white supremacists in various groups. And while some of it may be the stuff of legends and propaganda, a lot of it is very likely to be true…(continues)

Liberty Blitzkrieg: Resist the Crazy

Michael Krieger at Liberty Blitzkrieg writes about how elites try to divide the people in order to maintain power, and how you must keep your mind guarded to resist such efforts in Resist the Crazy.

Where’s evil? It’s that large part of every man that wants to hate without limit, that wants to hate with God on its side. It’s that part of every man that finds all kinds of ugliness so attractive – it’s that part of an imbecile that punishes and vilifies and makes war gladly.

– Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night

As things felt like they were spiraling out of control last week, as Americans and people around the world were inundated with endless videos of street violence in addition to reactionary calls to deploy the U.S. military to cities across the country, the temptation to lose control of one’s mental faculties and basic humanity was heightened.

I saw evidence of this all around me. There was a dark and vicious energy in the air, and it felt contagious.

The responses to the tweet above were encouraging and demonstrated many others sensed the same thing and were likewise troubled by it. The overall madness of last week reminded me of the months following Donald Trump’s election. In both cases, the worldview of large numbers of people was shaken to its core. I think the root cause of the breakdown in both instances was that many people’s model of what is “normal” was suddenly shattered.

For example, the idea of Donald Trump being elected president was so incomprehensible and concerning to so many, they completely lost it when he won. Likewise, images of American cities burning amidst widespread looting caused another group to crack. Neither group had fully come to grips with how broken and corrupt the U.S. economy and society had become, and that these sorts of things happen when states begin to fail.

The reaction to Trump being elected from many of those traumatized by it was to try to remove him at all costs, even if this meant spreading an outlandish Russiagate theory for three years straight. Likewise, the knee-jerk reaction from many to the riots was to send in the military to crush them. In both cases, those who had their comfort zones shattered responded by trying to make the uncomfortable situation go away as soon as possible. Nobody wanted to ask why.

Why was Trump elected? People are angry. Why did cities erupt into civil disobedience? People are angry. Lots of people are angry, but why? We should probably try to honestly answer that question sooner rather than later. There are a lot of very good reasons to be angry.

That being said, unless your life is in immediate danger, the best response to an event that shocks you to your core is to step back and take a deep breath.  You don’t have to like what’s happening, but you should consider what a productive or creative response to the situation might look like, as opposed to immediately resorting to an instant-gratification, emotionally charged, reptilian response. The response to a crisis is often worse than the crisis itself.

Someone mentioned to me that he tells all his friends: “you must stand guard at the door of your mind.” Great advice in general, but particularly necessary during times like these. This is also partly what it means to be more conscious, a topic I’ve written about extensively in recent years (see my series on Spiral Dynamics)

It’s never been more important for those who are somewhat conscious to remain that way, because just as consciousness can evolve, it can also devolve. Characteristic of an evolved consciousness is being able to acknowledge one’s own flaws and vulnerabilities. It means being aware of your more base instincts as a human, which means admitting that just as you have the capacity for love, compassion and generosity, you also have the capacity for hate, apathy and selfishness.

Being honest about this and attempting to confront it is key to evolving one’s consciousness, but ego tends to get in the way. The ego has an image it needs to maintain and protect, which ends up acting as a severe roadblock on the path to sustainable self-improvement. It affects and stifles everyone to varying degrees.

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

It’s important to understand that virtually everyone considers themselves a good person. That person on the complete opposite side of the political spectrum whom you detest, thinks of themselves as a righteous warrior fighting for all that’s good and just. Everyone sees themselves in this sort of way to a greater or lesser degree, but not everyone can be right. So we divide ourselves into tribes that reinforce our views of how right and great we are, and how bad everyone else is. This prevents us from seeing where other people are coming from, and it prevents us from uniting on the really big issues that affect us all.

Moreover, there are people who understand this about human nature and intentionally use it against us. A perfect summary of how this plays out every day via social media can be found in the following excerpt from a post recently published at The Prepared.

You should also remember that the split-screen effect means media types can tell whatever story they want to tell. As in the Venezuela clip above, there are some outlets who focus on the peaceful and joyful parts of the present protests, and others who focus purely on the violence and chaos.

All of this stuff—the beautiful and the ugly—is really happening and really matters, but you have to be extremely careful in using news reports to develop a sense of how much of what is happening where.

You need to be the guardian of your mind, and you need to recognize that people are constantly trying to push your consciousness into a fight or flight state where you’re malleable and easy to manipulate. There are times in life when fight or flight is appropriate to survive, but it’s not a healthy state of mind to resonate in over the course of an average day.

You can contribute to the crazy, or you can contribute in some other way.  A new world is on the horizon, but we need to be careful about how we go about building it. What the world desperately needs right now is more conscious people. From that well, a brighter future can be born.

Forward Observer: Is This a Revolution?

Intelligence analyst Sam Culper of Forward Observer asks Is this a revolution?

Last night, a veteran friend and I were talking about our takes on the protests and riots.

Is this a civil war? A revolution? A rebellion or insurrection?

My initial assessment is that this actually is a revolution, in the sense of the Maidan or Tahrir Square, where organizers attempt to foment a popular uprising against the government.

Maidan, of course, was Ukraine’s 2014 revolution. Tahrir Square, Egypt’s during the 2011 Arab Spring. In both cases, mass protests and violence eventually succeeded in forcing the resignation of the countries’ leaders. There were other cases, too: Puerto Rico, South Korea, Spain, Iceland, and Finland each had their own bouts of widespread protests that led to political change.

All the way back in 2017, which now seems like 20 years ago, a U.S.-based militant socialist web magazine began promoting the idea of mass protests and small scale direct action as a means to bait President Trump into cracking down on Leftists nationwide.

The anticipated iron fist reaction would rally support for the Leftist cause, the authors explained, and expand the class conflict against capitalism and the state.

Since then, the idea of mass mobilization has become regular fare for both liberal and leftist think-pieces.

Rising to its highest popularity during the impeachment debacle, left wing authors encouraged mass protests where millions of Americans would fill the streets in major cities across the country, demanding an end to the Trump administration. According to this calculus, only mass mobilization could produce enough sustained political, social, and economic pressure to force President Trump’s resignation.

The country’s proponents of class conflict saw this push as a launching pad for socialist revolution. That mass mobilization effort fizzled along with impeachment, but what we’re seeing now is the result of the same organizing.

Riding on top of the protests against police brutality and the death of George Floyd is the socialist class war against law enforcement, capitalism, and the state. This is their revolution — not a singular event but a process.

In response to the protest demands, some municipalities are cutting police budgets. In some cases, there’s serious talk about dissolving police departments altogether. Ostensibly, this is to reduce police violence and redirect budgetary savings to social programs.

For the socialist revolution, without police, there are no evictions. There’s no one to stop looting, theft, and the forced redistribution of goods. Without police, there’s no one to enforce laws that protect the exploitative capitalist class against expropriation and violence from the proletariat, so the theory goes.

Now let’s answer the question: is this an actual revolution? Yes, for a few reasons.

1. These aims are nothing short of revolutionary.
2. The proponents of these political, social, and economic policy changes believe this is a revolution and describe themselves as revolutionaries.
3. We’re seeing some signs of success towards these revolutionary aims.

Success isn’t assured through electoral politics. This is why “dual power” exists. This is the concept of developing both political and social power. Institution-building in oppressed communities, outside of politics, is a form of power that can accomplish what politics often can’t. According to the theory, social power eventually grows larger than the opposition’s political power, and that becomes the basis for socialist revolution.

The bottom line is that the conflict here and it’s going to get much worse as the other side responds. Welcome to the next phase of our low intensity conflict.

Unz Review: The Systemic Collapse of the US Society Has Begun

The Saker has written an article for The Unz Review on the failing state of the USA, The Systemic Collapse of the US Society Has Begun. Other writers who have been featured on this site (such as John Mosby of Mountain Guerrilla) have been writing about the slow collapse of the US for some time. Empires collapse. The decline often takes place over decades with periods of slower or faster decline. Perhaps one day we’ll be saying that the US failed slowly, slowly, then all at once. Only time will tell.

Cops in DC

I have lived in the United States for a total of 24 years and I have witnessed many crises over this long period, but what is taking place today is truly unique and much more serious than any previous crisis I can recall. And to explain my point, I would like to begin by saying what I believe the riots we are seeing taking place in hundreds of US cities are not about. They are not about:

  1. Racism or “White privilege”
  2. Police violence
  3. Social alienation and despair
  4. Poverty
  5. Trump
  6. The liberals pouring fuel on social fires
  7. The infighting of the US elites/deep state

They are not about any of these because they encompass all of these issues, and more.

It is important to always keep in mind the distinction between the concepts of “cause” and “pretext”. And while it is true that all the factors listed above are real (at least to some degree, and without looking at the distinction between cause and effect), none of them are the true cause of what we are witnessing. At most, the above are pretexts, triggers if you want, but the real cause of what is taking place today is the systemic collapse of the US society.

The next thing which we must also keep in mind is that evidence of correlation is not evidence of causality. Take, for example, this article from CNN entitled “US black-white inequality in 6 stark charts” which completely conflates the two concepts and which includes the following sentence (stress added) “Those disparities exist because of a long history of policies that excluded and exploited black Americans, said Valerie Wilson, director of the program on race, ethnicity and the economy at the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning group.” The word “because” clearly point to a causality, yet absolutely nothing in the article or data support this. The US media is chock-full of such conflations of correlation and causality, yet it is rarely denounced.

For a society, any society, to function a number of factors that make up the social contract need to be present. The exact list that make up these factors will depend on each individual country, but they would typically include some kind of social consensus, the acceptance by most people of the legitimacy of the government and its institutions, often a unifying ideology or, at least, common values, the presence of a stable middle-class, the reasonable hope for a functioning “social life”, educational institutions etc. Finally, and cynically, it always helps the ruling elites if they can provide enough circuses (TV) and bread (food) to most citizens. This is even true of so-called authoritarian/totalitarian societies which, contrary to the liberal myth, typically do enjoy the support of a large segment of the population (if only because these regimes are often more capable of providing for the basic needs of society).

Right now, I would argue that the US government has almost completely lost its ability to deliver any of those factors, or act to repair the broken social contract. In fact, what we can observe is the exact opposite: the US society is highly divided, as is the US ruling class (which is even more important). Not only that, but ever since the election of Trump, all the vociferous Trump-haters have been undermining the legitimacy not only of Trump himself, but of the political system which made his election possible. I have been saying that for years: by saying “not my President” the Trump-haters have de-legitimized not only Trump personally, but also de-legitimized the Executive branch as such.

This is an absolutely amazing phenomenon: while for almost four years Trump has been destroying the US Empire externally, Trump-haters spent the same four years destroying the US from the inside! If we look past the (largely fictional) differences between the Republicrats and the Demolicans we can see that they operate like a demolition tag-team of sorts and while they hate each other with a passion, they both contribute to bringing down both the Empire and the United States. For anybody who has studied dialectics this would be very predictable but, alas, dialectics are not taught anymore, hence the stunned “deer in the headlights” look on the faces of most people today.

Finally, it is pretty clear that for all its disclaimers about supporting only the “peaceful protestors” and its condemnation of the “out of town looters”, most of the US media (as well as the alt media) is completely unable to give a moral/ethical evaluation of what is taking place. What I mean by this is the following:

By repeating mantras about how “Black anger is legitimate” the US liberal media is basically placing a seal of approval on the violence and looting. After all, if Black “anger” is legitimate, and if “White privilege” is real, then it is quite “understandable” that this “anger” “sometimes” “boils over” and leads to “regrettable” “excesses”. Just take a look at this image of Biden kneeling down before a Black demonstrator:

Of course, Biden and his supporters will claim that Biden was only kneeling before a cute little girl and her peacefully protesting father, but when combined with the attacks against Trump’s “law and order” rhetoric by Biden and his supporters (including four former US Presidents!), I believe that these kinds of photo-ops are sending a very different message: keep “protesting” as we are on your side which, coming from a guy like Biden, the ultimate symbol of the 1%er elites and a perfect example of “White privilege”, just goes to show that the hypocrisy of US politicians really knows no bounds or limits.

I have to note here that these riots also represent a potential danger for both factions of the Uniparty in power: for the Demolicans the riots probably represent the very last chance to prevent a Trump-reelection, but if the Demolicans are too obvious in support of the riots, then it could backfire against them and turn all the frightened “law and order” types against them. But if they do not support the riots, then the Demolicans will alienate their core constituency (a hodgepodge of various “minorities” pushing their narrow identity-politics agenda). Likewise, for Trump this is an opportunity to show his “law and order” credentials and promise the White people and the relatively fewer Blacks of his base that he will protect them. However, if he is too direct about this and if Trump orders what might be seen by many as unfair or excessive force (of which there has been a lot almost everywhere), then he risks pushing many moderate Republicrats over the edge and side with the Demolicans (or, at least, withhold their vote). In other words, both factions of the Uniparty feel that the riots are both an opportunity and a threat and this is why neither faction can come out and speak truthfully about the real causes of the riots.

The exact same message of weakness and even submissive impotence is, I believe, sent every time a cop kneels when confronting even peaceful demonstrators like on this photo. While this might be intended as a message of compassion, and maybe even an apology, the only thing the rioters will see here is a powerful sign of surrender of the local authorities and I find that extremely dangerous.

Yes, there are plenty of racist, violent and otherwise incompetent cops in the USA. And yes, many of my Black friends reported feeling singled out and treated rudely by cops. But having extensively traveled the world, I want to assure you that the US most definitely does not have the worst cops out there. In fact, I believe that most US cops are decent people. Much more importantly, these cops are the “thin blue line” which protects society against criminals. And while I do believe that US policemen ought to be better educated, better trained, better led and better supervised, I also realize that there is also no short term alternative to them. It is all very fine to dream about educated, peaceful and non-racist cops, but if you remove the existing police force from the equation, there are no other alternatives (the national guard or the regular armed forces do not qualify and don’t have the correct training to deal with civilians anyway), especially in those states which have successfully killed the 2nd Amendment by means of what I call “death by a thousand regulatory cuts” (including NY and NJ)…(continues)

Forward Observer: Where Do We Go from Here? Riot Edition

Intelligence analyst Sam Culper at Forward Observer discusses riots and low intensity conflict in Where to we go from here?

Are these protests and riots the beginning of something larger in our country’s low intensity conflict?  I’m going to try to answer that question here in a few points…

First, let’s start with a simple fact: These riots are what we consider “low intensity conflict,” which exists below the threshold of conventional war (tanks and bombers) but above routine, peaceful competition. This is a gray zone between the black and white of war where we see both violent and nonviolent activity that fails to meet the definition of declared war.

The United States is in a low intensity conflict and has been since at least 2016, if not 2008.

Second, these riots are a continuation of a broader conflict. While many were rather pure in their desire to protest the death of George Floyd, there were other elements using the opportunity to take other action.

Those who committed violence over the past several days can be separated into four categories.

1. Opportunistic actors who sought personal gain.

2. Social conflict actors who expressed their anger over the death of George Floyd and used violence as a means to coerce the political class into making desired changes.

3. Class conflict actors who committed acts of violence in their class struggle against the capitalist system. As one professor recently put it, “[L]ooting is an expression of power.”

4. And, yes, I’ve seen plenty of criticism over some of law enforcement’s heavy handed tactics. This violence should not go unnoticed, because police forces are a part of this conflict, too.

(I’ve also seen some claims that “white supremacists” were in some way responsible for the violent rioting, which comes as no surprise when one considers the outlets pushing that narrative. Pressed on that claim, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said over the weekend that “nobody really knows” the political motivations behind the violence. It didn’t stop him from making that claim prior to the interview. I’ll wager a guess: those responsible for the violence weren’t doing it on behalf of white supremacy.)

Third, it’s important to note the development of soft power. Some on the Right minimize the capability of the Far Left because the Far Left is largely unarmed. This is a mistake.

Aside from hard power — the ability to project force — there’s soft power, which exists on the moral and information plane of conflict.

Over the weekend, we saw much of mainstream media excuse the behavior of the rioters and deflect responsibility for what’s happening.

CNN’s Don Lemon complained on his show that America’s power class weren’t coming to the defense of the protestors and rioters.

“Why aren’t they helping these young people? These young people are out there standing on a platform at the edge of an abyss by themselves… Get on television or do something and help these young people instead of sitting in your mansions and doing nothing. And have some moral courage and stop worrying about your reputation and your brand,” Lemon begged.

That’s soft power. Money and funding, influence, moral support and framing the moral authority — these are the elements that enable hard power. And Don Lemon pleaded with celebrities and the donor class to help develop this soft power.

Finally — let’s look at where we could go from here because the worst might still be ahead for at least two reasons.

First, over the past few days, I’ve seen numerous examples of protestors and rioters saying they want to go to the suburbs next.

With the exception of the one video that was linked to the Drudge Report, the evidence has been on social media, with organizers and influencers putting out these suggestions to those who want to continue the protest outside of urban areas.

I read most of these comments with some skepticism, but I’m completely open to the possibility that protests and violence do migrate in some instances. That would be a mistake, in my opinion.

Today (Sunday), Attorney General Bill Barr published a press release in which he warned that the Department of Justice and the states will “reestablish law and order” through a large scale presence of police and the National Guard.

Barr also threatened that federal law enforcement is out for “violent radical agitators,” and labeled the antifascists as engaging in acts of domestic terrorism. The Department of Justice is working with all 56 regional Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF) to facilitate this action.

The risk in either of these cases is that violence is escalated.

For one, some suburbs might make easy targets in the beginning, but just as we saw militias forming to protect businesses, the suburbs are likely to become harder targets for would-be rioters and looters. If it develops, this scenario obviously brings a likelihood of violence.

And two, law enforcement actions, to include arrests or raids on the homes of “violent radical agitators,” are going to aid the argument that the United States has descended into fascism. That could spark more protests and more unrest.

Mises Institute: Three Ways Lockdowns Paved the Way for Riots

Ryan McMaken at the Mises Institute has an article on Three Ways Lockdowns Paved the Way for These Riots

There were many reasons to oppose the COVID-19 lockdowns.

They cost human lives in terms of deferred medical treatmentThey cost human lives in terms of greater suicide and drug overdoses. Domestic abuse and child abuse have increased. There is also good reason to believe that lockdowns don’t actually work. The lockdown activists capitalized on media-stoked fear to push their authoritarian agenda based not on science, but on the whims of a handful of experts who insisted that they need not present any actual evidence that their bizarre, draconian, and extreme scheme was worth the danger posed to human rights, health, and the economic well-being of billions of human beings.

Those who lacked the obsessive and irresponsible tunnel vision of the prolockdown people warned that there were other dangers as well, in terms of social and political conflict.

It didn’t require an especially clear crystal ball to see that destroying the livelihoods of countless millions while empowering a police state to harass and arrest law-abiding citizens would create a situation that maybe—just maybe—could lead to greater social and political conflict.

Specifically, there are three ways in which the lockdowns laid the groundwork for our current state of unrest.

The Lockdowns Created an Economic Disaster

The COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, business closures, and other forms of coerced social distancing have so far led to job losses for well over 30 million Americans. The unemployment rate has risen to levels not seen since the Great Depression. Food banks are under strain as Americans line up for free food. Thanks to government moratoria on evictions in many areas, it is still unknown to what extent homeowners and renters are unable to pay mortgages and rents, but a wave of delinquencies is almost certainly coming.

To advocates of lockdowns, this is all “worth it” even though these sorts of economic stresses often lead to suicide, stress-induced disease, and death. But impoverishment, unemployment, and financial ruin are all merely “inconvenient,” as described by head lockdown advocate Anthony Fauci.

To someone who isn’t enamored of lockdowns, however, it is clear that millions of job losses are likely to worsen a variety of social ills, sometimes even resulting in violence. Moreover, the current job losses appear to be affecting the young and those who earn lower incomes most.

Lockdown advocates have attempted to avoid responsibility for all this by claiming that it is the pandemic itself that has caused the current economic disaster, and not the lockdowns. This is a baseless assertion. As has been shown, neither the pandemics of 1918 or 1958 led to the sorts of job losses and decline in economic growth that we’re now seeing.

The Lockdowns Destroyed Social Institutions

Another outcome of the lockdowns has been the destruction of American social institutions. These institutions include schools (both public and private), churches, coffee shops, bars, libraries, barbershops, and many others.

Lockdown advocates continue to claim that this is no big deal and insist that people just sit at home and “binge watch” television shows. But researchers have long pointed to the importance of these institutions in preserving peace and as a means of defusing social tensions and problems.

As much as lockdown advocates may wish that human beings could be reduced to creatures that do nothing more than work all day and watch television all night, the fact is that no society can long endure such conditions.

Human beings need what are known as “third places.” In a 2016 report, the Brookings Institution described what these places are:

the most effective ones for building real community seem to be physical places where people can easily and routinely connect with each other: churches, parks, recreation centers, hairdressers, gyms and even fast-food restaurants. A recent newspaper article on McDonald’s found that for lower-income Americans, the twin arches are becoming almost the equivalent of the English “pub,” which after all is short for “public house”: groups of retirees meeting for coffee and talk, they might hold regular Bible study meetings there, and people treat the restaurant as an inexpensive hangout.

Third places have a number of important community-building attributes. Depending on their location, social classes and backgrounds can be “leveled-out” in ways that are unfortunately rare these days, with people feeling they are treated as social equals. Informal conversation is the main activity and most important linking function. One commentator refers to third places as the “living room” of society.

The lockdown advocates, in a matter of a few days, cut people off from their third places and insisted, in many cases, that this would be the “new normal” for a year or more.

Yet, these third places cannot simply be shut down—and the public told to just forget about them indefinitely—without creating the potential for violence and other antisocial behavior.

Indeed, third places act as institutions that provide a type of social control that is key to a well-functioning society. In his trenchant book The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy, historian and social critic Christopher Lasch described the importance of third places in communicating political and social values and conventions to young people, and in setting the bounds of acceptable behavior within the community. Lasch notes that these institutions are also important in defusing violent impulses among the young. Also of great importance is the fact that third places provide a means of social control that is voluntary and not a form of state coercion.

Writing in the 1990s, Lasch was lamenting the decline of third places, although he emphasized their importance even in their modern reduced form. Thanks to the lockdowns, however, these places have been crippled far beyond what Lasch might ever have imagined.

The Lockdowns Empowered the Police State

The lockdowns have created a situation in which millions of law-abiding citizens have been deemed criminals merely for seeking to make a living, leave their homes, or engage in peaceful trade.

In many areas, violations of the lockdown orders have been—or even still are, in many places—treated as criminal acts by police. This has greatly increased negative interactions between police and citizens who by no moral definition are criminals of any sort.

Many have already seen the stories: police arresting mothers for using playground equipment, police arresting business owners for using their own property, police beating people for the “crime” of standing on a sidewalk.

Complicating the issue is the apparent fact that police have not enforced social distancing edicts “uniformly.” Some have alleged, for example, that the NYPD has lopsidedly targeted nonwhites in enforcement:

of the 40 people arrested [for social distancing violations in Brooklyn between March 17 and May 4], 35 were African American, 4 were Hispanic and 1 was white. The arrests were made in neighborhoods—Brownsville, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Cypress Hills and East New York—which have large concentrations of blacks and Latinos.

This may or may not reflect the reality of the general situation, but the fact is that the lockdowns created the perception among many that this is just yet another case of law enforcement targeting certain populations over small-time violations.

Moreover, it is quite plausible that lower-income populations have more often been on the receiving end of state harassment in the name of social distancing. After all, compliance with lockdowns is something of a luxury reserved for higher-income, white-collar residents who can work from home and remain comfortable for long periods in their roomy houses. Working-class people and those with fewer resources are far more likely to need to find income and venture outside during lockdowns. This attracts the attention of police.

Lockdown advocates, apparently in their usual state of extreme naïvete, perhaps believed that further empowering police to violently enforce government decrees against petty infractions would not lead to any unfortunate side effects down the road. Yet criminalizing millions of Americans and subjecting them to heightened police harassment is not a recipe for social tranquility.

Worsening a Volatile Situation

Of course, my comments here should not be interpreted as making excuses for rioters. Smashing up the property of innocent small business owners—or worse, physically harming innocent people—is reprehensible in all circumstances. But this isn’t about making excuses. We’re talking about avoiding extreme and immoral government policies (i.e., police-enforced lockdowns) that remove those institutions and conditions which are important in helping minimize conflict.

Some may insist that the riots would have occurred no matter what, but it’s easy to see how the lockdowns made a bad situation worse. Yes, some of the rioters are lifelong thugs who are always on the lookout for new opportunities to steal and maim. But experience suggests that the pool of people willing to engage in riots is often larger during periods of mass unemployment than during other periods. In addition, those people who exist on the margins of criminality—the sorts of people for whom third places serve an important role in moderating their more antisocial tendencies—are more likely to be swept up in these events when third places are abolished. And, as we have seen, lockdowns also create more opportunities for police abuse that ignite riots of the sort we’ve seen in recent days.

It’s true the responsibility for the riots lies primarily with the rioters. But we cannot deny that policymakers fuel the flames of conflict when they outlaw jobs and destroy people’s social support systems by cutting them off from their communities. It’s also wise to not provoke people by pushing for widespread human rights violations and additional police harassment. But this is what lockdown advocates have done, and their imprudence should not be forgotten.

James Kunstler: That Change You Requested…?

Author James Howard Kunstler gives his opinion on recent events in That Change You Requested…?

All the previous incidents of white cops killing blacks were just too ambiguous to seal the deal. Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri (a murky business); Tamir Rice in Cleveland (waving the BB gun that looked like a .45 automatic); Trayvon Martin (his killer George Zimmerman was not a cop and was not “white”); Eric Garner, Staten Island (black policewoman sergeant on the scene didn’t stop it); Philando Castile, Minneapolis (the cop was Hispanic and the vic had a gun). Even the recent February killing of jogger Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Georgia, had some sketchy elements (did Arbery try to seize the shotgun?) — YouTube has scrubbed the video (?) — and then it took months for the two white suspects (not cops) to be arrested.

The George Floyd killing had none of those weaknesses. Plus, the video presented a pretty much universal image of oppression: a man with his knee on another man’s neck. Didn’t that say it all?  You didn’t need a Bob Dylan song to explain it. The Minneapolis police dithered for four days before charging policeman Derek Chauvin with Murder 3 (unpremeditated, but with reckless disregard for human life). The three other cops on the scene who stupidly stood by doing nothing have yet to be charged. Cut it, print it, and cue the mobs.

The nation was already reeling from the weird twelve-week Covid-19 lockdown of everyday life and the economic havoc it brought to careers, businesses, and incomes. In Minnesota, the stay-at-home order was just lifted on May 17, but bars and restaurants were still closed until June. Memorial Day, May 25, was one of the first really balmy days of mid-spring, 78 degrees. People were out-and-about, perhaps even feeling frisky after weeks of dreary seclusion. So, once the video of George Floyd’s death got out, the script was set: take it to the streets!

Few Americans were unsympathetic to the protest marches that followed. Remorse, censure, and tears flowed from every official portal, from the mouth and eyes of every political figure in the land. The tableau of Officer Chauvin’s knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck was readymade for statuary. Indeed, there are probably dozens of statues extant in the world of just such a scene expressing one people’s oppression over another. And yet the public sentiments early-on after the George Floyd killing had a stale, ceremonial flavor: The people demand change! End systemic racism! No justice, no peace! How many times have we seen this movie?

What is changing — and suddenly — is that now it’s not just black people who struggle to thrive in the USA, but everybody else of any ethnic group who is not a hedge fund veep, an employee of BlackRock Financial, or a K-Street lobbyist — and even those privileged characters may find themselves in reduced circumstances before long. The prospects of young adults look grimmest of all. They face an economy so disordered that hardly anyone can find something to do that pays enough to support the basics of life, on top of being swindled by the false promises of higher education and the money-lending racket that animates it.

So, it’s not surprising that, when night falls, the demons come out. Things get smashed up and burned down. And all that after being cooped up for weeks on end in the name of an illness that mostly kills people in nursing homes. Ugly as the ANTIFA movement is, it’s exactly what you get when young people realize their future has been stolen from them. Or, more literally, when they are idle and broke and see fabulous wealth all around them in the banks’ glass skyscrapers, and the car showrooms, and the pageants of celebrity fame and fortune on the boob tube. They are extras in a new movie called The Fourth Turning Meets the Long Emergency but they may not know it.

Hungry for change? You won’t have to wait long. This society may be unrecognizable in a few months. For one thing, there’s a good chance that the current violence in the streets won’t blow over as it has before. There hasn’t been such sudden, massive unemployment before, not even in the Great Depression — and we’re not even the same country that went through that rough episode. Just about every arrangement in contemporary life is on-the-rocks one way or another. Big business, small business, show business… it’s all cratering. The great big secret behind all that is not that capitalism failed; it’s that the capital in capitalism isn’t really there anymore, at least not in the amounts that mere appearances like stock valuations suggest. We squandered it, and now our institutions are straining mightily to pretend that “printing” money is the same as capital. (It’s just more debt.) Note, the stock markets are up this morning at the open! Go figure….

Change? We’re getting it good and hard, and not at a rate we were prepared for. It’s hugely disorienting. It produces friction, heat, and light, which easily becomes violence. There’s, for sure, plenty we can do to make new arrangements for American life without becoming communists or Nazis, but a lot of activities have to fail before we see how that could work. The overburden of obsolete complexity is crushing us, like Derek Chauvin’s knee on George Floyd’s neck. They were both, in their way, common men, caught in the maelstrom of metaphor. That proverbial long, hot summer we’ve heard about for so long…? It’s here.

Liberty Blitzkrieg: We’re in the Thick of it Now

Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg writes about recent rioting and government tyranny in We’re in the Thick of It Now – What Happens Next?

It’s with an extremely heavy heart that I sit down to write today’s post. Although widespread civil unrest was easy to predict, it doesn’t make the situation any less sad and dangerous. We’re in the thick of it now, and how we respond will likely determine the direction of the country for decades to come.

If the combination of peaceful protesting, looting and violence witnessed across American cities over the past few days completely caught you off guard, you’re likely to come to the worst possible conclusion about what to do next. The knee-jerk response I’m already seeing from many is to crush the dissent by all means necessary, but that’s exactly how you give the imperial state and oligarchy more power. Power it will never relinquish.

The pressure cooker situation that erupted over the weekend has been building for five decades, but really accelerated over the past twenty years. After every crisis of the 21st century there’s been this “do whatever it takes mentality,” which resulted in more wealth and power for the national security state and oligarchy, and less resources, opportunities and civil liberties for the many. If anything, it’s surprising it took so long to get here, partly a testament to how skilled a salesman for the power structure Obama was.

The covid-19 pandemic, related societal lockdown and another round of in your face economic looting by Congress and the Federal Reserve merely served as an accelerant, and the only thing missing was some sort of catalyst combined with warmer weather. Now that the eruption has occurred, I hope cooler heads can prevail on all sides.

On the one hand, you can’t pillage the public so blatantly and consistently for decades while telling them voting will change things and not expect violence once people realize it doesn’t. On the other hand, street violence plays perfectly into the hands of those who would take the current moment and use it to advocate for a further loss of civil liberties, more internal militarization, and the emergence of an overt domestic police state that’s been itching to fully manifest since 9/11.

It’s my view we need to take the current moment and admit the unrest is a symptom of a deeply entrenched and corrupt bipartisan imperial oligarchy that cares only about its own wealth and power. If people of goodwill across the ideological spectrum don’t take a step back and point out who the real looters are, nothing’s going to improve and we’ll put another bandaid on a systemic cancer as we continue our longstanding march toward less freedom and more authoritarianism.

While we aren’t going to solve everything at once, something should be done as soon as possible to at least partially address current anger and frustration.

Clearly there’s a major problem when it comes to policing in America, particularly in poor inner-city communities. Let’s start by ending qualified immunity.

Qualified immunity, created by the Supreme Court in the 1970s, shields police and other government officials from liability in civil rights lawsuits when the illegality of their actions was not “clearly established” at the time of the offense.

Attorneys representing the families of Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor called for policing reforms—including rolling back qualified immunity—at a press conference today…

While it may seem like George Floyd’s right to not be choked to death by a police officer would be rather obvious, the fuzzy phrase “clearly established” has evolved over time to become a pedantic and unforgiving standard. Plaintiffs are often required to go fishing for cases that match their exact circumstances, lest their lawsuit get tossed. Last year, a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel granted qualified immunity to an officer who, without warning, shot a 15-year-old holding an airsoft gun. 

Ending qualified immunity may seem like a small thing, but it’s an important step toward adding some accountability to those in positions of power. As it stands, power at all levels in our society largely operates above the law. This applies to politicians, national security state operatives, CEOs, Wall Street, the police, and of course, Jeffrey Epstein. Those in positions to do the most damage to society are simultaneously most immune from the consequences of their actions. This is a core systemic problem in our country, so let’s take a small step and start with qualified immunity for police officers while the opportunity exists. From there we can turn our attention to the bigger fish.

I understand my message will likely fall on deaf ears, and I’m used to things not going the way I want them to. I have no idea where society will go from here, but I know we’re at a key inflection point in our nation’s history. We can begin to turn this thing around, or we can go totally off the deep end. Try to be as creative, constructive and conscious as possible during these trying times.

See also Michael Snyder’s The Horrifying Civil Unrest We Have Been Warning You About Is Here, And America Is Literally Coming Apart At The Seams at TMIN.

For a very long time, many of us have been loudly warning the American people that this was coming.  The mainstream media and many of our national leaders have been fanning the flames of hatred, anger, frustration and division on a daily basis for many years, and it was just a matter of time before we witnessed an eruption of violence of this magnitude.  Over the last week, we have seen protests in at least 145 different U.S. cities, and reports of rioting, looting and violence are coming in so fast that it is literally impossible to keep up with them all.  So far, at least 40 U.S. cities have imposed curfews, the National Guard has been activated in at least 15 states, and at least 4,100 people have been arrested.  On Sunday night, the violence in Washington D.C. became so alarming that President Trump was actually rushed to a secret bunker under the White House