Forward Observer: Election Legitimacy

The following comes from Sam Culper, principal intelligence analyst at Forward Observer, about the failure of governments and fears over perceived illegitimacy of the 2020 presidential election.

I’ve been watching the Netflix series “Narcos” and have just about wrapped up Season 3. Narcos is a show about Pablo Escobar and the Colombian cartels in the cocaine trade of the 1990s.

Sure, there’s some security tradecraft and intelligence collection in the show, which in my opinion makes it worth the watch, but I found something more interesting:

Cartel kingpin Pablo Escobar didn’t just run a cartel. He ran the entire city of Medellin and the province of Antioquia. He was untouchable. As one of the richest men in the world, he was more powerful than the Colombian president. But it wasn’t just his wealth that gave him power — it was his army of gunmen willing to die to carry out his orders and the overwhelming popular support he enjoyed in his home city.

In the show (and in real life), after a years long battle with the DEA and Colombian National Police, Escobar’s cartel is destroyed and he’s ultimately killed.

After Escobar’s death in the show, I thought, “Well, I guess that’s the end of the series.”

BUT…

The smaller cartels were battling for supremacy to fill in the power vacuum left by Escobar’s death. A clear victor emerges.

There’s an interesting dynamic here because it’s not just the competing cartels fighting for power. The Colombian National Police and their counter-narcotics units complete this circular firing squad where everyone is fighting against each other for power.

I look at this as an analogy of what happens when government loses legitimacy. We see it happen all over the world: the people lose faith in their public institutions — due to decades of corruption and ineptitude — and that’s one way you get failed states. That’s how you get competitors duking it out to fill a power vacuum.

Over the weekend, I perused the shelves of Barnes and Noble’s Current Affairs section, which was rife with anti-Trump books and warnings of the country’s impending fall into fascism. There were books on racism, sexism, religious bigotry (e.g., Christian), and every other flavor of imaginable intersectionality and victimhood. There were books about political resistance and civil disobedience, and books by conservative and progressive authors who lay all blame for every wrong in the world at the feet of their political opponents.

There are clearly a lot of grievances in America (real, imagined, and contrived).

Pending any change to the ballots, roughly 50 percent of the country is going to be unhappy about the results of next year’s elections. Roughly 30% is going to be irate. A smaller percentage may be moved to violence.

The legitimacy of elections may even fall into question again.

Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of government legitimacy. Politicians can have all-time lows in approval ratings, we can impeach and remove our leaders, and elected officials can run the country into the ground — but as long as there are free and fair elections, change is always just a few years away. We at least have faith in the process, even if we don’t like the results.

But what happens when that “faith in the process” ends?

What happens if next year’s elections are disrupted?

What happens if there’s terrorism on the morning of Election Day that keeps millions of Americans from voting due to fear of being harmed?

What happens if a winner is declared, but there are valid claims of voter fraud that might overturn the results?

What is the “hanging chad” equivalent of the 2020 elections?

If there’s one thing that “keeps me up at night” — more than EMP, financial collapse, or any other catastrophic threat — it’s what’s going to happen with this election.

It’s a big, Big, BIG reason to think about the local effects of these potential events. We can’t focus solely on the primary event: what are the second- and third-order consequences? (Financial, economic, etc.)

I’m reminded of the power vacuum left by the death of Pablo Escobar. Even in that hectic period, his enemies didn’t miss a beat. Ours won’t either.

 

And here’s a reminder that Forward Observer will bring their Tactical Intelligence class to Tacoma, WA next June and Coeur d’Alene, ID in April.

AIER: Paul Krugman Is Wrong on Gov Debt

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

Krugman’s Zombie Idea: We Owe It to Ourselves

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

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

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

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

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

A large share of the national debt is owed to foreigners

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

First, deficit spending crowds out private investment…

Click here to continue reading at AIER.org.

Rutherford Institute: Beware the Growing Evil in Our Midst

Constitutional attorney and author John Whitehead writes this piece at The Rutherford Institute on our/society’s obliviousness to the truth and the need to wake up.

They Live, We Sleep: Beware the Growing Evil in Our Midst

We’re living in two worlds, you and I.

There’s the world we see (or are made to see) and then there’s the one we sense (and occasionally catch a glimpse of), the latter of which is a far cry from the propaganda-driven reality manufactured by the government and its corporate sponsors, including the media.

Indeed, what most Americans perceive as life in America—privileged, progressive and free—is a far cry from reality, where economic inequality is growing, real agendas and real power are buried beneath layers of Orwellian doublespeak and corporate obfuscation, and “freedom,” such that it is, is meted out in small, legalistic doses by militarized police armed to the teeth…

We’re being fed a series of carefully contrived fictions that bear no resemblance to reality.

The powers-that-be want us to feel threatened by forces beyond our control (terrorists, shooters, bombers).

They want us afraid and dependent on the government and its militarized armies for our safety and well-being.

They want us distrustful of each other, divided by our prejudices, and at each other’s throats.

Most of all, they want us to continue to march in lockstep with their dictates.

Tune out the government’s attempts to distract, divert and befuddle us and tune into what’s really going on in this country, and you’ll run headlong into an unmistakable, unpalatable truth: the moneyed elite who rule us view us as expendable resources to be used, abused and discarded.

In fact, a study conducted by Princeton and Northwestern University concluded that the U.S. government does not represent the majority of American citizens. Instead, the study found that the government is ruled by the rich and powerful, or the so-called “economic elite.” Moreover, the researchers concluded that policies enacted by this governmental elite nearly always favor special interests and lobbying groups.

In other words, we are being ruled by an oligarchy disguised as a democracy, and arguably on our way towards fascism—a form of government where private corporate interests rule, money calls the shots, and the people are seen as mere subjects to be controlled…

the real battle for control of this nation is taking place on roadsides, in police cars, on witness stands, over phone lines, in government offices, in corporate offices, in public school hallways and classrooms, in parks and city council meetings, and in towns and cities across this country.

The real battle between freedom and tyranny is taking place right in front of our eyes, if we would only open them.

All the trappings of the American police state are now in plain sight.

Wake up, America…

Read the entire article by clicking here.

Gary Barnett: All Hail the Emperor

All Hail the Emperor by Gary Barnett.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tenth Amendment Center: The Presidency is Too Powerful

The following article was written by Trace Mitchell at the Foundation for Economic Education, but republished at the Tenth Amendment Center. In The Presidency is Too Powerful Mitchell lays out an explanation for how President after President has drawn more power to the office. And his analysis there is correct – Presidents have sought to increase the power of the office. However, after giving an example of President Trump’s rhetoric over China Mitchell says “That is how we got to where we are today.” This, unfortunately, ignores the fact that Congress on its own initiative has shifted more power to the executive over time through their desire to escape responsibility. Mitchell touches on it when he talks about Congress delegating their power, but he only puts it in terms of a response to Presidential rhetoric. Congress has accomplished this escape from culpability by unconstitutionally transferring their power and duty to pass all laws to various administrative agencies in the executive. The executive branch now writes administrative law which is enforced by executive agents and judged in executive administrative courts.

This problem was being noted as early as 1944 in a Virginia Law Review article titled “Administrative Law: A Threat to Constitutional Government?” There are times when Congress finds itself at an impasse over certain issues. They know that an action must be taken, but it get done in Congress because of political interests. Sometimes they are able to pass this off to independent committees which decide the outcome and Congress decides that they will vote yea or nay on the committee’s decision without subjecting it to further debate. Other times, though, Congress will simply pass a law that authorizes an executive agency to create the laws covering an area. Congress wins because they can tell their constituents that they acted to resolve an issue, but any negative outcomes can be blamed on the executive agency. Representatives are happy because they can’t be held accountable. Presidents are happy because the executive branch has more power. Citizens lose doubly.

An excerpt from The Presidency is Too Powerful:

Even if Trump does not have the power to directly order all U.S. firms to cease trade with Chinese corporations, the discretionary power held by the executive branch is strong—so strong that he may be able to achieve a similar outcome through other means. He could impose massive tariffs so large they essentially act as de facto prohibitions. He could threaten noncompliant firms with harsher regulations or enforcement that is more aggressive. He may be able to achieve his goals indirectly even if he cannot achieve them directly.

Either way, rhetoric like this shifts the Overton window further and further. We begin to accept things that seemed entirely unacceptable not long ago. We become desensitized. The dividing lines between the different branches of government become increasingly blurred. That is how we got where we are today.

Executive overreach is not a new phenomenon, but it does have an accumulative effect. Each president is able to get away with a little bit more, typically under the guise of an “emergency.” Slowly they amass greater and greater power. Slowly the concept of strictly limited, enumerated powers deteriorates. While each president since the founding has attempted to increase the scope of their power, this behavior took a new form after Woodrow Wilson.

Wilson was able to take advantage of an overly ambitious president’s best friend: war. As FDR’s Attorney General Francis Biddle said, “The constitution has not greatly bothered any wartime president.” Wilson began by going after one of the most fundamental constitutional guarantees: freedom of expression.

After being inaugurated into his second term, Wilson asked Congress to give him the authority to censor the press during times of war, to criminalize the promotion of America’s enemies, and to combat literature that was “of a treasonable or anarchistic nature.” Congress listened and passed the Espionage Act of 1917, which gave Wilson almost everything he asked for except the ability to censor the press. However, just a year later the Espionage Act was amended with the Sedition Act of 1918, which provided for more government surveillance of its citizens and further limited speech that was viewed as detrimental to the government. Wilson finally amassed most of the power he wanted.

Franklin D. Roosevelt continued this legacy of expanding executive power during times of distress. In fact, during his first week in office, FDR used the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917—a law granting the president vast economic powers during times of war or national emergency—to order a “bank holiday” in order to prevent bank runs. This was particularly aggressive because the act did not give him the power to regulate the domestic economy. Since FDR, executive power has continued to expand and grow, increasing more and more under each successive president. Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton, Bush Jr., Obama, and Trump have each used and built upon the powers seized by their predecessors.

The Founders were afraid of this exact scenario. James Madison, often referred to as the “Father of the Constitution,” wrote that power “is of an encroaching nature” and thought “it ought to be effectually restrained from passive the limits assigned to it.” To combat this tendency, he created a system of checks and balances where each branch has significant authority over their domain and can limit the power of the other branches. Or, in the words of the great modern philosopher Kanye West, “No one man should have all that power.” However, Madison did not predict that branches would delegate their power to the extent they have with legislation like the Espionage Act or the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

Click here to read the entire story at the Tenth Amendment Center.

Mises Wire: The Meat-Packing Myth

In this article from Mises Wire, Murray Rothbard discusses the Meat Inspection Act of 1906, heralded at the time as a successful regulation of the large meat packets for the health of the people. In fact, Rothbard argues, the regulation was at the behest of those large meat packers to stifle competition. This behavior by wealthy corporations to use regulations to kill off competitors continues to this day and is the main source of both conservatives’ dissatisfaction with Congressional corruption and progressives’ anger over corporations running the government.

In fact, both conservatives and progressives are correct. The US Congress operates on corruption largely funded by wealthy corporations influencing laws to their own benefit. Conservatives get angry that their representatives aren’t doing what is right. Progressives get upset that the corporations are not more heavily regulated. Members of Congress are not motivated by finding solutions to problems. Finding solutions is not lucrative. Continued battle over emotional issues and doing favors for wealthy corporate donors on the other hand makes millions.

Gun control does not solve violence problems. Fighting over it makes millions. Neither Democrats nor Republics have passed much legislation in the past two decades in regards to firearms, but they’ve talked about it, threatened it, introduced some token legislation and made millions as citizens fought over it.

Fighting over issues like the national debt and healthcare are not meant to solve problems, but to provoke donations and monetary influence.

Most of the anger on “both” sides (as if there were only two) of the political aisle finds it root in out of control government though often the sides don’t realize it.  The BLM movement. Bundy ranch and Malheur standoffs. Occupy Wall Street. The Tea Party. And so on, are all at base problems that come from unaccountable, out of control government.

But I digress…

Excerpt from The Meat-Packing Myth

…This rigid inspection law satisfied European medicine, and European countries swiftly removed their prohibition on American pork. But the European meat packers were upset in proportion as their physicians were satisfied. Quickly, the European packers began discovering ever higher “standards” of health — at least as applied to imported meat — and European governments responded by reimposing import restrictions. The American meat industry felt it had no other choice but escalating its own compulsory inspection — as the minuet of ever higher and hypocritical standards continued. The Department of Agriculture inspected more and more meat and maintained dozens of inspection stations. In 1895, the department was able to get Congress to strengthen meat inspection enforcement. By 1904, the Bureau of Animal Industry was inspecting 73% of the entire U.S. beef kill.3

The big problem for the large packers was their smaller competitors, who were able to avoid government inspection. This meant that their smaller rivals were outside the attempted cartelization and benefited by the advantage of being able to ship uninspected meat. To succeed, the cartel had to be extended to, and imposed upon, the small packers.

…The large meat packers were enthusiastically in favor of the bill, designed as it was to bring the small packers under federal inspection. The American Meat Producers’ Association endorsed the bill. At the hearings of the House Committee of Agriculture on the Beveridge bill, Thomas E. Wilson, representing the large Chicago packers, put their support succinctly:

We are now and have always been in favor of the extension of the inspection, also to the adoption of the sanitary regulations that will insure the very best possible conditions. … We have always felt that Government inspection, under proper regulations, was an advantage to the live stock and agricultural interests and to the consumer …5

One advantage to imposing uniform sanitary conditions on all meatpackers is that the burden of the increased costs would fall more heavily on the smaller than on the bigger plants, thereby crippling the smaller competitors even further.

…Senator Knute Nelson realized that the law was a meat packer’s bonanza: “Three objects have been sought to be accomplished — first, to placate the packers; next, to placate the men who raise the range cattle, and, third, to get a good market for the packers abroad.” Even Upton Sinclair himself was not fooled; he realized that the new law was designed to benefit the packers…

Wales Prepares for Brexit

As the Welsh are the most stolid and practical UK citizens, the Welsh government is leading the way in preparing for the UK’s exit from the EU (aka Brexit). The government of Wales recently published a preparedness planning document for the possibility of a no-deal Brexit. While the document is mainly aimed at apprising citizens of the actions the government is taking, it also lays out some probably effects Brexit would have on people so that they can make their own preparations. As some people have wondered just what the dangers are of a Brexit that one would get worked up over, here are some excerpts:

  • Major transport disruption for people and goods at the borders. As additional checks are required once the UK is no longer part of the Single Market and Customs Union. This is particularly significant at the Northern Ireland/Ireland border, the Channel crossings and atsea ports, including in Wales, where the role of Welsh ports is key to trade  with Ireland. There is also potential for delays at airports. Any delays could have significant knock-on impacts on the wider transport network, for example requiring “stack” operations on major highways and roads to ports. A number of the economic and other risks outlined below are linked to the critical issue of ensuring a smooth flow of goods through major ports–any delays could cause issues for the availability of some (fresh) food products and medicines and have a damaging impact on some trade sectors. The recently released Yellowhammer assumptions suggest a reduction to the flow rate to 40% to 60% of current levels of goods moving across borders compared to current levels if there is no mitigation. This could last up to three month safter exit day before it improves to around 50-70%.
  • Welsh Government has secured agreement for a UK-wide table top exercise, to test the co-ordinated response for the disruption to food supply and the potential public response, scheduled for the end of September.
  • Local authorities have been assured they would be able to continue to provide food in schools in the event of a no deal Brexit. But menus may need to be revised, although healthy eating in schools will be maintained
  • Contingency plans are in place to mitigate the risks of disruption to water supply chemicals.
  • Economic turmoil. The potential for major disruption to international trade (particularly, but not only, with the EU) impacting on exporting businesses, import supply chains and inward investment, could risk the sustainability of some businesses and have a negative impact on jobs and wages. This could be compounded by workforce impacts (see below). We are already feeling the consequences of a weaker economy as a result of three years’ of Brexit uncertainty –the Bank of England has estimated households are £1,000 worse off every year as a result of Brexit, compared to before the EU referendum. Some further impacts could happen very quickly after exit day, with some emerging over time. There is likely to be a further fall in the value of the pound relative to other currencies–Sterling has fallen markedly in value since the referendum and as the prospect of a no deal Brexit has intensified. This could, over time, translate into rising inflation on some products and lower economic growth
  • Some of the above factors, individually or in combination, could become too acute to manage locally. In that case, it may be necessary to assess the issue and treat it as a civil contingency

So, only things like food, water, medicine, jobs, and money may be materially affected. Minor stuff. Other information for Welsh preparing for Brexit can be found at the following websites:

https://gov.wales/preparing-wales

https://llyw.cymru/paratoi-cymru

 

Viking Preparedness: TEOTWAWKI SHTF Government

Pastor Joe Fox of Viking Preparedness released one of his Patreon videos to his YouTube channel. This one briefly discusses government in your mutual assistance group, tribe, community, assembly, whatever in the event of major collapse/shtf event. His message is plan for how you will run things post event now or you won’t last as a community.

Liberty Blitzkrieg: Humans Are Creating Their Own Narratives

Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg has an article on how the US government, including the FBI and the military, are becoming involved in policing what you think and talk about because the government believes that conspiracy theories pose a domestic terrorism threat… Or maybe the government just wants more control over what you do and say to make sure that people can only hear the government’s own narrative. Here’s an excerpt from Humans Are Creating Their Own Narratives.

Somewhere between the arrest of Jeffrey Epstein and his extremely suspicious death in a Department of Justice operated prison, the public learned that an FBI intelligence bulletin published by the bureau’s Phoenix field office mentioned for the first time that conspiracy theories pose a domestic terrorism threat. This was followed up last week by a Bloomberg article discussing a new project by the U.S. military (DARPA) to identify fake news and disinformation.

We learned:

Fake news and social media posts are such a threat to U.S. security that the Defense Department is launching a project to repel “large-scale, automated disinformation attacks,” as the top Republican in Congress blocks efforts to protect the integrity of elections.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency wants custom software that can unearth fakes hidden among more than 500,000 stories, photos, videos and audio clips. If successful, the system after four years of trials may expand to detect malicious intent and prevent viral fake news from polarizing society.

Recall that after the 2016 election, focus was on social media companies and we saw tremendous pressure placed on these platforms by national security state politicians and distressed Democrats to “do something” about the supposed fake news epidemic. Fast forward three years and it’s now apparently the U.S. military’s job to police human content on the internet. This is the sort of natural regression a society will witness so long as it puts up with incremental censorship and the demonization of any thought which goes against the official narrative.

Before we dissect what’s really going on, allow me to point out the glaringly obvious, which is that politicians, pundits, mass media and the U.S. military don’t actually care about the societal harm of fake news or conspiracy theories. We know this based on how the media sold government lies in order to advocate for the Iraq war, and how many of the biggest proponents of that blatant war crime have gone on to spectacularly lucrative careers in subsequent years. There were zero consequences, proving the point that this has nothing to do with the dangers of fake news or conspiracy theories, and everything to do with protecting the establishment grip on narrative creation and propagation.

The above tweet summarizes what’s really going on. It’s a provable fact that the harm caused by some crazy person reacting to viral “fake news” on social media doesn’t compare with the destruction and criminality perpetrated by oligarchs like Jeffrey Epstein, or governments which destroy entire countries and murder millions without flinching. It’s the extremely wealthy and powerful, as a consequence of their societal status and influence, who are in a position to do the most harm. This isn’t debatable, yet the U.S. military and media don’t seem particularly bothered by this sort of thing. What really keeps them up at night is a realization that the powerless masses of humanity are suddenly talking to one another across borders and coming to their own conclusions about how the world works. You’re supposed to be told what to think, not to think for yourself...

Click here to read the entire article.

SHTFPlan: Gov’t Shutdown Proves Americans Unprepared

From Mac Slavo at SHTFplan.com, Brutal Reality: Government Shutdown Is Proving Americans Are NOT Prepared For A Recession.

The brutal reality is that most Americans are not prepared for the next economic downturn or recession. The government shutdown is highlighting just how much Americans rely on others as opposed to themselves, and how little they have saved for an emergency.

According to the newest op-ed article by Market Watch, the government shutdown is perfectly proving that Americans are not prepared for a financial disaster of any kind, let alone an economic recession. Many have long assumed that the government (which as we all know is almost $22 trillion in debt) will be using their money (stolen funds aka, taxation) to bail out those who get themselves into trouble. But the shutdown is proving just how little the government actually does and just how financially illiterate many Americans have allowed themselves to become.

Almost 60% of Americans have less than $1000 in savings for a rainy day fund or an immediate emergency. It’s been ten years since the Great Recession left many Americans jobless with no money, and it appears most have learned nothing. The government shutdown serves as a painful warning and preview for what will happen once unemployment rises from 50-year lows.  Americans are far too dependent on others, including the government, for their survival.

Within just a few weeks into the government shutdown, people are struggling to cope. We hear stories about people turning to food banks to feed their families. We hear stories about people who are in dire straits because they can’t get loans. We hear stories about people who can’t pay their mortgages. That’s not even one month into the shutdown. –Market Watch

Most Americans live paycheck to paycheck, including those who work for the government…

Read the entire article at SHTF Plan.

Mises: Brief History of Repressive Regimes and Their Gun Laws

From the Mises Institute comes the article A Brief History of Repressive Regimes and Their Gun Laws

Arguably one of the rights that has seen less government encroachment in the US — in contrast to other activities such as commerce — gun rights are now witnessing unprecedented attacks at the state level and even from politically-connected corporate entities.

Although gun control laws are not created equally in terms of overall impact, gun confiscation holds a special place in the halls of political repression. A trip down memory lane will give us a refresher of how gun confiscation has helped consolidate government power.

The Soviet Union and Its Satellite States

The Soviet Union left its mark as one of the deadliest political regimes in the history of mankind. However, it could not get away with such atrocities without having a complete monopoly on the use of force…

Although the numbers are highly disputed, Robert Conquest contends in his book The Great Terror that at least 15 million people perished under Soviet rule.

Nazi Germany

These days the word Nazi is tossed around liberally, almost rendering its definition meaningless. Regardless, the history of Nazi Germany should never be forgotten. Interestingly, both sides of the gun debate make mistakes when discussing gun control policy in Nazi Germany…

…Gun control may not have a path dependency toward tyranny. However, gun confiscation is an egregious form of gun control that allows authoritarians to steamroll their subjects at will. The way gun confiscation enhances the consolidation of state power is undeniable. A disarmed populace is simply no match for a repressive apparatus that has a monopoly on the use of force.

Gun rights might not guarantee victory against tyrants, but being deprived of them all but guarantees submission.

Click here to ready the entire article at Mises.org.

Northwest Regional Patriot Academy, Idaho, June 20-22, 2018

The Northwest Region Patriot Academy will be held June 20-22, 2018 in Boise, ID.

Patriot Academy is a three- to seven-day “boot camp” in leadership and government open to students ages 16 to 25 and held every summer in various state capitols throughout the country. Students delve into the political process from the inside out as they file legislation, debate bills, campaign for office and pass laws. In between legislative activities, they receive training in media skills, public speaking, leadership, current issues and America’s heritage–all from a Biblical worldview. Conservative leaders from all areas of the political field mentor students through the process, sharing their experience and wisdom. Patriot Academy offers students the most realistic, condensed, conservative political training that we know of. The Regional Academies in Arizona, Idaho, Florida and Delaware are 3-day sessions, while the National Academy in Texas is a seven-day session open to all qualifying students from around the country.

Patriot Academy has a single, bold vision: to equip a new generation of leaders to champion the cause of freedom and truth in government, media, entertainment, and education, as we help bring our nation back to the principles on which we were founded. Patriot Academy has a proven track record of excellence through a simple four part strategy:

  1. Train students to understand and influence government policy with a Biblical worldview
  2. Demonstrate the principles of ethical servant leadership from the Founding Fathers’ perspective
  3. Teach the political process and essential leadership skills through intense hands-on training
  4. Inspire students to be salt and light in every area of society and culture

DA-SC-90-03096President Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” Unless we motivate and equip the next generation to take up and advance the torch of freedom, it will extinguish. We desire to help students be positive change agents, and give them the tools needed to successfully engage in the political arena and every area of the culture. Our prayer is that every young person who attends Patriot Academy will understand it is their duty and privilege to guard the precious legacy of liberty. By God’s grace we will raise up a generation who will leading the change in both the public square and the private sector.

 

Rick Green and Nathan Macias are invited speakers for this year’s Northwest Regional Patriot Academy.

The Forgotten Founding Father

From American Founding Principles comes an article on John Calvin, The Forgotten Founding Father.

In a nation that appears to be doing everything possible to expunge the remnants of its Christian foundation and heritage, it is no wonder that John Calvin has been forgotten as the virtual founder of our nation. John Adams, America’s second President; Leopold von Ranke, a nineteenth century leading German historian; and George Bancroft, a Harvard educated historian known as the “father of American history”, all testified to the significant influence Calvin had upon the foundation of America.

Unlike Locke or Montesquieu, however, Calvin did not write a political treatise on how to organize civil government. Instead, he wrote Biblical expositions that completely changed how people in western culture thought about their relation to God and, subsequently, how they thought about their relation to their civil government.

Although he did not write a political treatise, Calvin did popularize three Biblical principles and took one action that helped shape western culture and influenced the founding of America more than anything else he said or did. First, he explained that the civil magistrate and his work are a divinely established order. Second, he explained that although civil disobedience to the magistrate is forbidden, there is a limitation to the magistrate’s authority. Third, he explained that the lesser magistrate is a check on unlawful use of power by a higher magistrate, and fourth, his ecclesiastical organization heavily influenced the political structures of Scotland, England and, ultimately, the American colonies…

In the US Constitution, one can see a reflection of the three main Christian denominations that were prevalent in America in 1787. Over ninety-seven percent of the approximate three million people living in America, around its founding, were Protestant Christians. Of that ninety-seven percent, the three most common denominations were Anglican (Episcopal), Presbyterian, and Congregationalist. The Episcopal Church government was hierarchal, or the rule of the one; the Presbyterian Church government was representative, or rule by the few; and the Congregational Church government was democratic, or rule by the many.

The Executive Branch of the United States national government is a reflection of Episcopal Church government; rule by the one. The Senate, which prior to the Seventeenth Amendment, was a reflection of Presbyterian Church government; rule by the few. The House of Representatives, the only entity in the United States national government that was intended to be elected by the majority of the electorate, is a reflection of the Congregational Church government; rule by the many. In this, one can see the United States national government is a reflection of the different forms of church governments most prevalent in America in 1787. Two-thirds of the United States national government reflects the two-thirds of the Calvinist population living in America at that time and their form of ecclesiastical government…

Click here to read the entire article at American Founding Principles