Rutherford Institute: Founders Would Be Anti-Government Extremists Today

Constitutional law attorney John Rutherford of the Rutherford Institute writes about America’s founding fathers and how they would be branded by our modern imperial government in America’s Revolutionary Founders Would Be Anti-Government Extremists Today

“It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its government.”—Thomas Paine

“When the government violates the people’s rights, insurrection is, for the people and for each portion of the people, the most sacred of the rights and the most indispensable of duties.”—Marquis De Lafayette

Had the Declaration of Independence been written today, it would have rendered its signers extremists or terrorists, resulting in them being placed on a government watch list, targeted for surveillance of their activities and correspondence, and potentially arrested, held indefinitely, stripped of their rights and labeled enemy combatants.

This is no longer the stuff of speculation and warning.

In fact, Attorney General William Barr recently announced plans to target, track and surveil “anti-government extremists” and preemptively nip in the bud any “threats” to  public safety and the rule of law.

It doesn’t matter that the stated purpose of Barr’s anti-government extremist task force is to investigate dissidents on the far right (the “boogaloo” movement) and far left (antifa, a loosely organized anti-fascist group) who have been accused of instigating violence and disrupting peaceful protests.

Boogaloo and Antifa have given the government the perfect excuse for declaring war (with all that entails: surveillance, threat assessments, pre-crime, etc.) against so-called anti-government extremists.

Without a doubt, America’s revolutionary founders would have been at the top of Barr’s list.

After all, the people who fomented the American Revolution spoke out at rallies, distributed critical pamphlets, wrote scathing editorials and took to the streets in protest. They were rebelling against a government they saw as being excessive in its taxation and spending. For their efforts, they were demonized and painted as an angry mob, extremists akin to terrorists, by the ruler of the day, King George III.

Of course, it doesn’t take much to be considered an anti-government extremist (a.k.a. domestic terrorist) today.

If you believe in and exercise your rights under the Constitution (namely, your right to speak freely, worship freely, associate with like-minded individuals who share your political views, criticize the government, own a weapon, demand a warrant before being questioned or searched by the police, or any other activity viewed as potentially anti-government, racist, bigoted, anarchic or sovereign), you’re at the top of the government’s terrorism watch list.

Indeed, under Barr’s new task force, I and every other individual today who dares to speak truth to power could also be targeted for surveillance, because what we’re really dealing with is a government that wants to suppress dangerous words—words about its warring empire, words about its land grabs, words about its militarized police, words about its killing, its poisoning and its corruption—in order to keep its lies going.

This is how the government plans to snuff out any attempts by “we the people” to stand up to its tyranny: under the pretext of rooting out violent extremists, the government’s anti-extremism program will, in many cases, be utilized to render otherwise lawful, nonviolent activities as potentially extremist.

The danger is real.

Keep in mind that the government agencies involved in ferreting out American “extremists” will carry out their objectives—to identify and deter potential extremists—in concert with fusion centers, data collection agencies, behavioral scientists, corporations, social media, and community organizers and by relying on cutting-edge technology for surveillance, facial recognition, predictive policing, biometrics, and behavioral epigenetics (in which life experiences alter one’s genetic makeup).

This is pre-crime on an ideological scale and it’s been a long time coming.

For example, in 2009, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released two reports, one on “Rightwing Extremism,” which broadly defines rightwing extremists as individuals and groups “that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely,” and one on “Leftwing Extremism,” which labeled environmental and animal rights activist groups as extremists

Incredibly, both reports use the words terrorist and extremist interchangeably

That same year, the DHS launched Operation Vigilant Eagle, which calls for surveillance of military veterans returning from Iraq, Afghanistan and other far-flung places, characterizing them as extremists and potential domestic terrorist threats because they may be “disgruntled, disillusioned or suffering from the psychological effects of war.

These reports indicate that for the government, anyone seen as opposing the government—whether they’re Left, Right or somewhere in between—can be labeled an extremist.

Fast forward a few years, and you have the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which Congress has continually re-upped, that allows the military to take you out of your home, lock you up with no access to friends, family or the courts if you’re seen as an extremist.

Now connect the dots, from the 2009 Extremism reports to the NDAA, the National Security Agency’s far-reaching surveillance networks, and fusion centers that collect and share surveillance data between local, state and federal police agencies

Add in tens of thousands of armed, surveillance drones that are beginning to blanket American skies, facial recognition technology that will identify and track you wherever you go and whatever you do. And then to complete the circle, toss in the real-time crime centers being deployed in cities across the country, which will be attempting to “predict” crimes and identify criminals before they happen based on widespread surveillance, complex mathematical algorithms and prognostication programs.

Hopefully you’re getting the picture, which is how easy it is for the government to identify, label and target individuals as “extremist.”

And just like that, we’ve come full circle.

Imagine living in a country where armed soldiers crash through doors to arrest and imprison citizens merely for criticizing government officials. Imagine that in this very same country, you’re watched all the time, and if you look even a little bit suspicious, the police stop and frisk you or pull you over to search you on the off chance you’re doing something illegal.

Keep in mind that if you have a firearm of any kind (or anything that resembled a firearm) while in this country, it may get you arrested and, in some circumstances, shot by police.

If you’re thinking this sounds like America today, you wouldn’t be far wrong.

However, the scenario described above took place more than 200 years ago, when American colonists suffered under Great Britain’s version of an early police state. It was only when the colonists finally got fed up with being silenced, censored, searched, frisked, threatened, and arrested that they finally revolted against the tyrant’s fetters

No document better states their grievances than the Declaration of Independence, drafted by Thomas Jefferson.

A document seething with outrage over a government which had betrayed its citizens, the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776, by 56 men who laid everything on the line, pledged it all—“our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor”—because they believed in a radical idea: that all people are created to be free.

Labeled traitors, these men were charged with treason, a crime punishable by death. For some, their acts of rebellion would cost them their homes and their fortunes. For others, it would be the ultimate price—their lives.

Yet even knowing the heavy price they might have to pay, these men dared to speak up when silence could not be tolerated.

Read the Declaration of Independence again, and ask yourself if the list of complaints tallied by Jefferson don’t bear a startling resemblance to the abuses “we the people” are suffering at the hands of the American police state…(continues)

American Thinker: The Coming Collapse of the Republic

From writer Selwyn Duke at American Thinker is The Coming Collapse of the Republic

 “We’re just one election away from full-blown socialism,” a man recently said to me during a short conversation. This sentiment has become increasingly common lately, even, notably, among the previously apolitical. Yet something is overlooked:

In keeping with President Reagan’s observation, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction,” being one election away from tyranny means that not enough people noticed and took action when we were one generation away — or two or three.

Also perhaps overlooked is that being one election away from tyranny now means we’ll be one election away after the next election — whatever happens November 3. The point is that politics being downstream from culture (and, really, from morality, faith and philosophy), this isn’t merely a “moment.” It’s not a fashion. It won’t just pass. And we need be prepared for things to come.

I’ve often cited late Soviet defector Yuri Bezmenov, who in 1980s interviews warned of “demoralization” — an undermining of a nation’s morality that makes it ripe for leftist revolution — in America. As a young man in my late teens or early twenties at the time, I didn’t know about Bezmenov (no Internet back then). But I’d recently become more intensely “politically” aware and quickly realized, and began telling people, that the West and the U.S. were in decline and gravitating toward tyranny. Oh, I did realize the republic’s demise was decades away.

Now I suspect it’s years away.

General Michael Flynn, whom, it’s clear, was targeted by the Creep State for being a good man, just warned that if we don’t act, two percent of the people are about to control the other 98 percent. But I’m here to tell you: Long term, voting won’t save us.

Oh, for sure, get out and vote in November as if your life depends on it (because in a way, it does). But as was the case in 2016, a Trump victory and partial GOP control of Congress only amount to a “stay of execution.” The clock is ticking.

Moreover, President Trump’s re-election, like his election, would have to defy the odds. Along with traditional media bias — which a college professor determined aids Democrat candidates by 8 to 10 points every election (an underestimation, I believe) — there’s now social media/Big Tech bias. According to liberal psychologist Dr. Robert Epstein’s research, this factor can shift up to 15 million votes toward one party or the other (not an overestimation, I believe). This is enough to turn any modern election.

Add to this vote fraud and vote harvesting — the latter of which flipped conservative Orange County, Calif., from GOP to Democrat control in 2018 — and left-wing mail-in voting scams, and the picture is clear: Even if Trump wins, the chances of him having two simpatico Houses are slim. And if Trump triumphs but the Democrats hold the House and seize the Senate, there’s a good chance he’ll be deposed.

Really, though, focusing on this, the micro, is to not see the forest for the trees. An excellent high-profile commentator said a while back that this all (the current unrest, intensifying cancel culture, etc.) seemed to happen so suddenly. But only the spark, the George Floyd situation, and the fire were sudden, and something else could have triggered the blaze as well. The kindling, however, and the many-layered sea of morally dead and intellectually dry wood had long been burgeoning.

And the spark only catalyzed the firestorm because we’d reached a point of critical mass.

This is why what we began talking about in the ‘80s, political correctness, has metastasized into “cancel culture.” It’s why two people in two recent days — one a cop, the other an acquaintance — told me what’s plain: They, and everyone else, are afraid to speak their minds, fearing career and reputational destruction. It’s why social media censorship is intensifying by the month. An iron muzzle has descended upon America, and what can’t be spoken against can’t be effectively combated.

As I warned in 2012, there no longer is a culture war. “What is occurring now is a pacification effort.” Its progress is why corporate America, including the now-absorbed Chick-fil-A and NASCAR, has turned decidedly to the dark side (shifted “left”). It’s why prominent people, including Republicans such as Indiana senator Mike Braun, are bowing before terrorist group Black Lives Matter. It’s why mobs are enabled and good people hobbled for defending themselves from the mobs. It’s why we’re seeing a complete cultural collapse — portending a political collapse.

This is partially due to a new “woke” generation having entered the corporate sphere and others of influence. But what did you expect? The apocryphal saying (no, it’s not Lincoln’s) informs, “The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.” Did you really think the Left could completely control academia for generations and that, somehow, it all would “stay in college”?

Leftists have also controlled entertainment, which could even be more significant. A (perhaps loose) paraphrase of ancient Greek philosopher Plato warns, “When modes of music change, the fundamental laws of the state change with them.”

Now, though, we have television and the Internet, whose effects I’ve examined, which dwarf music’s influence. Then there’s the aforementioned media (conventional and social). This culture-shaping media/academia/entertainment triad has long been leftist-controlled, the result of the long Gramscian “march through the institutions,” the rotten fruits of all our squandered yesterdays.

Being a culture-shaper also ultimately means, again, being a politics-shaper (and civilization-shaper), and this brings us to conservative rationalization. Even if we could somehow seize control of the media/academia/entertainment axis, sorry, it takes generations to thus reshape society, and the time for that was 60 years ago. That ship has sailed (and sunk).

Then there’s our 1965-born immigration policy, which, I’ve estimated, gives Democrats 300,000 new voters yearly, three million a decade. And when the Democrats assume full control, they’ll legalize the illegal aliens among us and open the floodgates further (goodbye, wall), giving themselves perhaps tens of millions of new voters in short order.

So Democrat presidential sock puppet Joe Biden, echoing the man whose name he couldn’t recall a while back (because echoes are all he has left), not long ago said we had to “fundamentally” change America. But that fundamental change has already occurred. Does the 2020 U.S. even remotely resemble its few-generations-back former self?

So the question isn’t what’s coming, but this: Will you be ready? When leftists take full political control federally, they’ll mercilessly impose their agenda as they always do. If you have no idea what that agenda is, you’re likely not reading this. But do know that it will be effected no-holds-barred.

For not only is there the critical-mass factor, but Machiavellian leftists have convinced their useful idiots, projecting all the way, that conservatives constitute a hateful, “racist,” fascistic, White Supremacist™ threat to civilization. They thus have an ideal pretext for iron-fistedly crushing opponents. When “Nazis” threaten your civilization, after all, you’re faced with desperate times requiring desperate measures, right, comrade?

So how do we proceed? This isn’t a defeatist screed. I’m not saying keep a cyanide capsule handy. But knowing tomorrow’s strategy requires knowing tomorrow’s battlefield. So what can be done when, after this election or the next, the federal government becomes a complete leftist Leviathan wholly unmoored from constitutional constraints?

I’ve long advocated nullification — meaning, in this case, the ignoring of unconstitutional federal and judicial dictates — something Thomas Jefferson called the “rightful remedy” for all federal overreach. This should have been embraced long ago (e.g., in response to the Obergefell opinion), but will become more conservative states’ only recourse in the not-too-distant future. Note, too, that we’d just be doing what leftists do with their “sanctuary” cities and their defiance of federal drug laws.

In this vein, you can’t win a contest being a “connedservative” who insists on fighting by Queensberry rules while your adversary operates no-holds-barred. Remember that, more and more, we’re living in post-constitutional and post-rule-of-law America. We’re now increasingly subject to the rule of men and, in the coming conflict, it’s only a matter of which men will win.

America is irremediably divided — if a marriage, she would’ve dissolved long ago — and the above resistance would, of course, make that division more official. This brings me to what I believe will be our fate…

Continue reading at American Thinker by clicking here.

 

Mises Institute: The State – The Deadliest Virus

Professor Jesús Huerta de Soto, a Spanish economist, writes this piece for the Mises Institute about government tyrannies in Spain, but most of them could just as easily be applied to the US government — The State: The Deadliest Virus.

The deadliest virus is the institutionalized coercion which lies in the very DNA of the state and may even initially permit a government to deny the outbreak of a pandemic. Evidence has been suppressed, and heroic scientists and doctors have been harassed and silenced simply because they were the first to realize and expose the gravity of the problem. As a result, weeks and months have been lost, at an enormous cost: hundreds of thousands of people have died due to the worldwide spread of an epidemic which, in the beginning, the shamefully manipulated official statistics made appear less dangerous than it actually was.

The deadliest virus is the existence of cumbersome bureaucracies and supranational organizations, which did not manage or wish to monitor in situ the reality of the situation, but instead endorsed the information received, while offering constant support and even praising—and thus becoming accessories to—all the coercive policies and measures adopted.

The deadliest virus is the notion that the state can guarantee our public health and universal welfare, when economic science has demonstrated the theoretical impossibility of the central planner’s giving a coherent and coordinating quality to the coercive commands it issues in its attempt to achieve its pompous objectives. This impossibility is due to the huge volume of information and knowledge which such a task would require and which the planning agency lacks. It is also, and primarily, due to the fact that the institutional coercion typical of the agency impacts the social body of human beings, who alone are capable of coordinating themselves (and do so spontaneously) and creating wealth. Such coercion prevents the emergence of precisely the firsthand knowledge the state needs to bring about coordination with its commands. This theorem is known as the impossibility of economic calculation under socialism. Mises and Hayek discovered the theorem in the 1920s, and the events of world history cannot be understood without it.

The deadliest virus is the dependency and complicity shown toward the state by countless scientists, experts, and intellectuals. When authorities are drunk with power, this symbiosis leaves a manipulated civil society unarmed and defenseless. For instance, the Spanish government itself urged citizens to take part in mass demonstrations of hundreds of thousands of people while the virus was already spreading exponentially. Then, just four days later, the decision was announced to declare a state of alarm and coercively confine the entire population to their homes.

The deadliest virus is the demonization of private initiative and of the agile and efficient self-regulation characteristic of it, combined with the deification of the public sector in every area: the family, education, pensions, employment, the financial sector, and the healthcare system (a particularly relevant point at present). Over 12 million Spanish people, including—quite significantly—almost 90 percent of the more than 2 million government employees (and among them a vice president of the Spanish government), have freely chosen private healthcare over public healthcare. The doctors and nurses of the public healthcare system work hard and selflessly, and their heroic efforts are never sufficiently recognized. However, the system cannot possibly do away with its internal contradictions, its waiting lists, or its proven incompetence in the matters of universal prevention and the protection of its own workers. But, by a double standard, any minor defect in the private sector is always immediately condemned, while far more serious and flagrant defects in the public sector are viewed as definitive proof of a need to spend more money and increase the size of the public sector even further.

The deadliest virus is the political propaganda channeled through state-owned media and also through private media outlets which, nonetheless, are dependent on the state as if it were a drug. As Goebbels taught, lies repeated often enough to the population can be turned into official truths. Here are a few: that the Spanish public healthcare system is the best in the world; that public spending has continued to decrease since the last crisis; that taxes are to be paid by “the rich” and they are not paying their fair share; that the minimum wage is not detrimental to employment; that maximum prices do not cause shortages; that a universal minimum income is the panacea of well-being; that the northern European countries are selfish and unsupportive, because they do not wish to mutualize the debt; that the number of deaths officially reported reflects the actual number of deaths; that only a few hundred thousand people have been infected; that we are performing more than enough tests; that face masks are unnecessary, etc. Any moderately diligent citizen can easily verify that these are all lies.

The deadliest virus is the corrupt use of political terminology involving misleading metaphors to mesmerize the population and make people even more submissive and dependent on the state. We are told that we are fighting a “war,” and that once we win, we will need to begin the “reconstruction.” But we are not at war, nor is it necessary to reconstruct anything. Fortunately, all of our capital equipment, factories, and facilities are intact. They are there, waiting for us to devote all of our effort and entrepreneurial spirit to getting back to work, and when that happens, we will very quickly recover from this standstill. However, for this to occur, we must have an economic policy that favors less government and more entrepreneurial freedom, reduces taxes and regulations, balances public accounts and puts them on a sound footing, liberalizes the labor market, and provides legal certainty and bolsters confidence. While such a free market policy enabled the Germany of Adenauer and Erhard to recover from a far graver situation following World War II, Spain will be impoverished and doomed to move at idling speed if we insist on taking the opposite path of socialism.

The deadliest virus consists of the deification of human reason and the systematic use of coercion, which the state embodies. It appears before us in sheep’s clothing as the quintessence of a certain “do-goodism” that tempts us with the possibility of reaching nirvana here and now and of achieving “social justice” and ending inequality. However, it conceals the fact that the Leviathan thrives on envy and thus fuels hatred and social resentment. Hence, the future of humanity depends on our ability to immunize ourselves against the most deadly virus: the socialism which infects the human soul and has spread to all of us.

FEE: Police Accountability Begins With Ending Qualified Immunity

Ben Harris at the Foundation for Economic Education writes that Police Accountability Begins With Ending Qualified Immunity

Following the death of George Floyd, peaceful—and less than peaceful—protests have broken out across the country against what is perceived as an abusive police system that often absolves officers of wrongdoing, sometimes in the most egregious cases. To address unjust policing and restore public trust will require big changes in state and federal policy, as well as in police practice.

Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has just passed on an opportunity to effect such change. Several petitions requesting the Court to re-examine a legal doctrine known as qualified immunity were recently denied, leaving little hope that the Court will take the lead on needed reform. Only Justice Clarence Thomas voiced dissent.

Qualified immunity grants police officers and other government officials immunity against civil lawsuits in the exercise of their responsibilities, subject to key limitations. Among the limitations outlined originally by Congress, a police officer loses immunity when he or she, “subjects… any citizen of the United States or other person within… to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws.”

Over the years, the Court has functionally neutered Congress’s original objective of holding public officials accountable for the violation of civil rights. As the case law has developed, the police and other officials receive immunity unless the facts indicate a constitutional right has been violated and the right was “clearly established” at the time of the misconduct.

The term “clearly established” is the minnow that has swallowed the whale.

To determine whether the right was clearly established, it must either be established by statute or case law. But which case law? The Supreme Court can “clearly establish” something as a right, but it rarely does so. Appeals courts have held they can clearly establish a right, but the Supreme Court has cast this assertion into doubt. So the lower courts are left with a Catch-22. They cannot enforce a right without it being established, but the only way to establish the right is to enforce it.

This has led to some of the most egregious case law in recent history. For example, the Cato Institute cites a Ninth Circuit case that alleged the police stole $250,000 in cash from homeowners. “The three‐​judge panel held that while theft may be “morally wrong,” the officers could not be sued because the Ninth Circuit had never specifically considered the issue, and therefore the right not to have police steal your property while executing a search warrant was not “‘clearly established’ in that jurisdiction.” Additionally, the Supreme Court has aggressively policed qualified immunity, supporting officers and dismissing petitions of citizens that would establish those rights.

We do not tolerate such behavior among private citizens; even less should we tolerate it among public servants, who, if anything, should be held to higher standards, not lower. Yet, the current state of the law holds officers to standards lower than is reasonable even for basic citizenship, let alone for their profession, and to avoid facing personal liability for their actions. While doctors and other health care professionals, lawyers, and even general laborers are held to standards of reasonableness appropriate to their work environment, often a more exacting standard, law enforcement is given a bar so low that nearly all conduct clears it.

When the Court created qualified immunity, its concern was that public officials would be deterred from executing their important responsibilities if mired in lawsuits. The Court’s concern is not completely unfounded. Law enforcement is a dangerous job and imposing the cost of a potential civil suit could discourage people from becoming police. However, these concerns are mitigated when provided additional context.

First, policing is not as relatively dangerous among professions as is commonly held. Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicate that log workers, fishery workers, aircraft engineers, roofers, garbage collectors, and many others all have more dangerous jobs than the police.

Second, the risks and costs of civil lawsuits can be managed through insurance markets, just as it is for other professions. Such insurance markets could also be a further check on police abuse. As Clark Neily of the Cato Institute has written:

Like police, doctors have a difficult and stressful job that sometimes involves making life‐​or‐​death decisions under conditions of uncertainty. But unlike police, doctors don’t expect the rest of us to pay for their mistakes. Instead, doctors carry professional liability insurance, which pays to defend them against malpractice claims and protects them from financial ruin by paying out damage awards to successful plaintiffs.

Insurance companies are exceptionally good at identifying risk. Think about car insurance. The more accidents or speeding tickets a driver has had, the higher their premiums will be. The same is true for teenagers, who tend to get in more wrecks than adults and therefore represent a greater risk to the insurance company.

Instead of spreading those risks among all of their policyholders, insurance companies charge risky drivers more while giving a break to their safest drivers, who pay less.

…insurance companies have powerful incentives to identify the greatest risks — whether drivers, doctors or cops — and charge them accordingly. If cops had to carry insurance, the worst offenders would quickly be identified and charged higher rates. If they failed to clean up their act, they would eventually become uninsurable and thus unemployable.

Currently, qualified immunity pushes the cost of police misbehavior onto victims and the public, but because those costs are diffused among many and the benefits concentrated among a few, it is difficult to muster the political momentum necessary to turn it around. Politics remains a barrier to reform.

Additionally, reducing police accountability in the short term is not only unjust, it also undermines the objectives of those who tolerate high leeway for the police. When members of society do not trust that law enforcement will be held accountable for its failings, mostly at the expense of a few, then it impacts the ability of law enforcement to protect people. When law enforcement is truly needed, such as to control rioting and violence, trust that any aggressive interventions are fair and reasonable will have already been compromised, which in turn leads to less trust and more potential rioting, which leads to more heavy-handed police interventions and so forth.

Abolishing qualified immunity raises the costs of misbehavior. And as the cost of abuse increases so will the reputation of law enforcement as an institution that serves all, as bad actors are priced out of the occupation.

But now the cycle is spinning in the opposite direction, largely due to qualified immunity. And it will continue to spin out of control until steps are taken to restore accountability for, and thus trust in, law enforcement.

Access to justice is a sign of an inclusive civilized society, and righting harms through civil law plays an important part in curbing injustice and providing redress to the injured. The Supreme Court has created a system that undermines Congress’s original intent to hold law enforcement accountable and denies civil law remedies to those who have been wronged.

Fortunately, Rep. Justin Amash has introduced a bill to end qualified immunity. Since the Court has proven derelict in its responsibility to defend the constitutional rights of Americans, it is now up to Congress to decide whether they will fulfill that duty.

Liberty Blitzkrieg: It’s Time to Step into the Arena

Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg writes about stepping up to make yourself a better a person, to make the world a better place, to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity in It’s Time to Step into the Arena.

There’s a passage in Teddy Roosevelt’s famous 1910 “Citizenship in a Republic” speech I want to share with you today:

If a man’s efficiency is not guided and regulated by a moral sense, then the more efficient he is the worse he is, the more dangerous to the body politic. Courage, intellect, all the masterful qualities, serve but to make a man more evil if they are merely used for that man’s own advancement, with brutal indifference to the rights of others. It speaks ill for the community if the community worships those qualities and treats their possessors as heroes regardless of whether the qualities are used rightly or wrongly. It makes no difference as to the precise way in which this sinister efficiency is shown. It makes no difference whether such a man’s force and ability betray themselves in a career of money-maker or politician, soldier or orator, journalist or popular leader. If the man works for evil, then the more successful he is the more he should be despised and condemned by all upright and far-seeing men. To judge a man merely by success is an abhorrent wrong; and if the people at large habitually so judge men, if they grow to condone wickedness because the wicked man triumphs, they show their inability to understand that in the last analysis free institutions rest upon the character of citizenship, and that by such admiration of evil they prove themselves unfit for liberty.

The above words strike me as a perfect description of the deep hole we find ourselves in presently throughout these United States of America. It takes a whole nation to screw things up as badly as we have, and boy have we ever.

Yes it took parasites, sociopathic oligarchs and a power drunk national security state to bring us to our current state of affairs, but it also took the rest of us. For far too long we as a people have been apathetic, hoodwinked spectators to the life unfolding around us. Voting for “the lesser of two evils” for decade upon decade thinking it might be different this time. Putting up with the economic game that’s been put in front of us, despite the fact that it demonstrably and systematically rewards and incentivizes predatory and destructive behavior. As a people, we have been superficial, indifferent and gleefully ignorant of reality. It’s time to change all that.

You can consider today’s post a rallying cry to step into the arena. Stepping into the arena is often portrayed as becoming involved in national politics or some other large platform action, but I see it differently. If you think the only way to have a real impact is by voting or running for Congress, you’re likely to give up and remain passive. The truth is your entire life can be repurposed to be an expression of increased kindness, wisdom and strength. It’s the most impactful long-term action most of us can have on this earth, and anyone can do it.

I think what keeps a lot of people on the sidelines of a conscious life is an inability to intimately process the above. Many people discount the little things, the countless actions of daily existence that impact those around you and cumulatively make you who you are.

I think one reason mass media puts so much emphasis on voting at the national level is the owners of these propaganda channels know voting will change absolutely nothing. The oligarchy and national security state are fully in charge, and they’re not going to allow the pesky rabble to get in the way of such a lucrative racket by voting. Getting those who are politically inclined to spend all their time and energy on a rigged and completely corrupt phantom democracy in D.C. is a great way to keep them busy with nonsense. It’s also a perfect way to demoralize that portion of the population which understands it’s just theater. If you can be convinced that voting at the national level is the only way to change things, you’re much more likely to recede into apathy and become intentionally disengaged. This happens to a lot of people, but it’s a big mistake.

When I look back at my life thus far, it was during my decade on Wall Street when I was the most ignorant and superficial . So focused on stroking my ego, making a bunch of money and career advancement, I lost a lot of who I am at my core during that time. I often wonder if that’s the case for a lot of people who achieve conventional success within the current paradigm. It’s fortunate I removed myself from that situation and began thinking more deeply about who I am and what really matters.

Stepping up and getting into the arena will mean something different for each of us, but the one word that keeps popping into my head is resilience. There are several clear ways to become more resilient. There’s mental and emotional resiliency, there’s financial resiliency and there’s physical resiliency (where and how you live). I see all three as fundamentally important and functioning best when working together. Resiliency starts at the most basic level because if you and your family aren’t resilient, then you won’t be much use to anyone else. If the people of a community or nation lack resiliency it provides the perfect space for authoritarianism and evil to manifest and flourish.

Case in point, see the following comments by Alan Dershowitz during a recent interview.

This is despotism plain and simple, and it’s being expressed by a guy who still has considerable influence despite his many Jeffrey Epstein related controversies. It’s going to take a resilient, courageous and ethical public to stand up to scoundrels like this and just say NO. No, you will not grab me, drag me off somewhere and inject something into my body without my consent. We’ve been passive spectators in the destruction of our society for far too long. It’s time to both say no and to create something better…

Free-Man’s Perspective: Nothing Changes as Long as You Obey

Paul Rosenberg at Free-Man’s Perspective writes about how complaining doesn’t make changes because complainers continue to obey in Nothing Changes as Long as You Obey.

I hear the same complaints about politicians that you do. And while I understand them, the fact is that complaining accomplishes almost nothing. And there is a very simple reason why complaining has no real effect:

Because the complainers keep right on obeying.

As long as you obey, the things you complain about will keep on happening.

The Proof

This idea that “nothing changes as long as you obey” has a modern proof – that of American blacks in the southern United States. Specifically, between the civil war and Martin Luther King Jr.

King is badly misunderstood. His legacy has become a tool for garnering of political power. He has been turned into a semi-mystical symbol and used by power grabbers of many types.

The real Martin King, however, was a minister who exposed the truth that obedience keeps us in chains. His crucial synthesis was to combine disobedience with goodness. His crucial work (and this is greatly under-appreciated) was to hold disobedience and goodness together.

Blacks suffered for many decades in the American south. They complained endlessly, but the laws were against them and remained against them. A significant number of white people were sympathetic, but everyone obeyed the law and little changed.

Until King came along, of course, with his new strategy of goodness plus disobedience.

King, for whatever his shortcomings, was a serious minister, and had a clear vision of what goodness entailed. And, he became very good at communicating it. King added disobedience to goodness, and combined them with teachings on courage and self-control.

Within a decade or so of using this strategy, things changed in the American south. First, individuals changed. And, after a while, laws followed.

There is far too much to tell of this decade, so I will give you some quotes from Dr. King:

Non-cooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good.

We will not obey unjust laws or submit to unjust practices. We will do this peacefully, openly, cheerfully because our aim is to persuade. We adopt the means of nonviolence because our end is a community at peace with itself.

Most people can’t stand up for their convictions, because the majority of people might not be doing it. See, everybody’s not doing it, so it must be wrong. And since everybody is doing it, it must be right.

Cowardice asks the question: is it safe? Expediency asks the question: is it politic? Vanity asks the question: is it popular? But conscience asks the question: is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular – but one must take it simply because it is right.

Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.

How to Stop Obeying

First of all, understand that how to do this must be YOUR decision. If you follow the “blueprint” of anyone but yourself, you’ll be falling right back into the same trap of obeying an authority…(continues)

Liberty Blitzkrieg: You’re Being Conditioned to Live in a “Smart City” – Resist It

Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg writes this article to warn of the dangers of so-called “smart cities” which are really high tech surveillance states, tracking your every movement and tracing every human contact you make- You’re Being Conditioned to Live in a “Smart City” – Resist It.

And at the dead center of it all is Eric Schmidt. Well before Americans understood the threat of Covid-19, Schmidt had been on an aggressive lobbying and public relations campaign pushing precisely the “Black Mirror” vision of society that Cuomo has just empowered him to build. At the heart of this vision is seamless integration of government with a handful of Silicon Valley giants — with public schools, hospitals, doctor’s offices, police, and military all outsourcing (at a high cost) many of their core functions to private tech companies.

The Intercept: Screen New Deal

Each crisis in the 21st century has been aggressively and ruthlessly wielded into a massive wealth and power grab by the American oligarchy and national security state. The big power grab following 9/11 centered around whittling away constitutional rights via mass surveillance in the name of “keeping us safe”, while the money grab after last decade’s financial crisis concentrated wealth and assets into fewer hands while entrenching financial feudalism and making the Federal Reserve and mega banks even more powerful.

Despite the success of this diabolical and intentional concentration of money and power, there’s still too much privacy, freedom and independent wealth around for the imperial oligarchy to feel comfortable. As such, the current pandemic is being used to put the finishing touches on whatever little political and economic freedom remains in these United States.

The lessons learned from prior crises are being rolled out simultaneously this time around while people remain incapacitated at home due to Covid-19. The 2008/09 financial collapse taught those in power they can get away with unprecedented, unaccountable theft during an economic and stock market crash. Similarly, 9/11 demonstrated people will relinquish civil liberties without much protest when immersed in a state of fear.

As such, a new round of society-wide economic pillaging has occurred and is ongoing, while at the same time an equally nefarious agenda to sell you on a completely new way of living — conveniently brought to you by technocratic big tech oligarchs — is in the works.

During moments of heightened confusion and fear, the public is sold and conditioned in subtle ways to accept some new reality they never asked for or wanted. The “smart city” appears to be a key oligarch bucket list item this time around, and I’ve started focusing more attention on it after watching the following exceptionally creepy clip from Reuters.

There’s a desperate and deliberate attempt to emphasize how “smart cities” will benefit humanity and solve a plethora of problems, but the video’s creep factor simply cannot be ignored. Significantly, the plan here seems to be to just go ahead and create smart cities without asking permission from the residents who live there. Thanks to governor Andrew Cuomo, it appears New Yorkers will be big tech oligarchs’ first guinea pigs.

Health care and education represent very big areas of human civilization. Who voted for Eric Schmidt to mold and micromanage New York as if it’s his own personal startup?

As reported by The Intercept:

Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who joined the governor’s briefing to announce that he will be heading up a blue-ribbon commission to reimagine New York state’s post-Covid reality, with an emphasis on permanently integrating technology into every aspect of civic life.

“The first priorities of what we’re trying to do,” Schmidt said, “are focused on telehealth, remote learning, and broadband. … We need to look for solutions that can be presented now, and accelerated, and use technology to make things better.” Lest there be any doubt that the former Google chair’s goals were purely benevolent, his video background featured a framed pair of golden angel wings.

Just one day earlier, Cuomo had announced a similar partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop “a smarter education system.” Calling Gates a “visionary,” Cuomo said the pandemic has created “a moment in history when we can actually incorporate and advance [Gates’s] ideas … all these buildings, all these physical classrooms — why with all the technology you have?” he asked, apparently rhetorically.

It has taken some time to gel, but something resembling a coherent Pandemic Shock Doctrine is beginning to emerge. Call it the “Screen New Deal.” Far more high-tech than anything we have seen during previous disasters, the future that is being rushed into being as the bodies still pile up treats our past weeks of physical isolation not as a painful necessity to save lives, but as a living laboratory for a permanent — and highly profitable — no-touch future.

So we get a pandemic and suddenly the governor of New York is like yeah let’s just let a couple billionaires and their organizations decide what society needs to look like. It’s as brazen as it is dangerous.

In my last piece, I warned that the imperial oligarchy would try to sell the public on the ludicrous idea we need to become China to defeat China. Meanwhile, Eric Schmidt hasn’t been particularly shy about his apparent desire to recreate China’s surveillance state in the U.S…(continues)

Click here to read the entire article at Liberty Blitzkrieg.

 

Liberty Blitzkrieg: The Future Must Be Decentralized and Localized

Michael Krieger at Liberty Blitzkrieg has written The Future Must Be Decentralized and Localized in order to explain the alternative to our current, authoritative, decidedly non-democratic system of government.

…From my perspective, humanity remains stuck within antiquated paradigms that generally function via predatory and authoritarian structures. We’ve been taught — and have largely accepted — that the really important decisions must be handled in a centralized manner by small groups of technocrats and oligarchs. As a result, we basically live within feudal constructs cleverly surrounded by entrenched myths of democracy and self-government. We’d prefer to be lazy rather than take any responsibility for the state of the world.

We’re now at a point where simply recognizing current structures as predatory and authoritarian isn’t good enough. We require a distinct and superior political philosophy that can appeal to others likewise extremely dissatisfied with the status quo. My belief is humanity’s next paradigm should swing heavily in the direction of decentralization and localism.

Decentralization and localism aren’t exactly the same, but can play well together and offer a new path forward. The simplest way to describe decentralization to Americans is to look at the political framework laid out in the U.S. Constitution.

As discussed in the 2018 piece, The Road to 2025 (Part 4) – A Very Bright Future If We Demand It:

At the federal level, a separation of powers between the three branches of government: the legislative, the executive and the judicial was a key component of the Constitution. The specific purpose here was to prevent an accumulation of excessive centralized power within a specific area of government…

Beyond a separation of powers at the federal level, the founding founders made sure that the various states had tremendous independent governance authority in their own right in order to further their objective of decentralized political power.

Localism takes these Constitutional ideas of political decentralization and pushes them further, by viewing the municipality or county as the most ethical and logical seat of self-governance. The basic idea, which I tend to agree with, is that genuine self-government does not scale well. A one-size fits all approach to governance not only ends up making everyone unhappy, it also entrenches a self-serving political and oligarchical class at the top of a superstate which makes big decisions for tens, if not hundreds of millions, with little accountability or oversight. This is pretty much how the world functions today.

While localism implies relative political decentralization, decentralization is not always localism. One of the best examples of this can be found in bitcoin. Unlike traditional monetary policy, which is handled in a topdown manner by a tiny group of unelected technocrats working on behalf of Wall Street, there’s no bitcoin politburo. There’s no CEO, there’s no individual or organization to call or pressure to dramatically change things out of desire or political expediency. The protocol is specifically designed to prevent that. It’s designed to operate in a way that makes all sorts of people uncomfortable because they’re used to someone “being in control.” We’ve been taught that centralization works well, but the reality is political and economic centralization concentrates power, makes the public lazy and ultimately winds up in a state of authoritarian feudalism.

Bitcoin also demonstrates how decentralization and localism, though not quite the same, can complement one another well in an interconnected planet. Imagine a world where governance is largely occurring at a local level, but global trade remains desirable. You’d want a politically neutral, decentralized and permissionless money to conduct such transactions. Similarly, a free and decentralized internet allows the same sort of thing in the realm of communications. Regions that can’t grow coffee will still want coffee, and people in New York will still want to chat with people in Barcelona. Decentralized systems allow for the best of both worlds — localism combined with continued global interconnectedness… (continues)

Click here to read the entire article at Liberty Blitzkrieg.

Liberty Blitzkrieg: What Are You Gonna Do About It?

Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg has posted an article government not letting a good crisis go to waste, the failure of mass movements to take hold for change, and asking What Are You Gonna Do About It?

Tucked into the recent recovery bill was a provision granting the Federal Reserve the right to set up a $450 billion bailout plan without following key provisions of the federal open meetings law, including announcing its meetings or keeping most records about them, according to a POLITICO review of the legislation.

The provision further calls into question the transparency and oversight for the biggest bailout law ever passed by Congress. President Donald Trump has indicated he does not plan to comply with another part of the new law intended to boost Congress’ oversight powers of the bailout funds. And earlier this week, Trump dismissed the government official chosen as the chief watchdog for the stimulus package.

The changes at the central bank – which appear to have been inserted into the 880-page bill by sympathetic senators during the scramble to get it approved — would address a complaint that the Fed faced during the 2008 financial crisis, when board members couldn’t easily hold group conversations to address the fast-moving economic turmoil.

The provision dispenses with a longstanding accountability rule that the board has to give at least one day’s notice before holding a meeting. Experts say the change could lead to key information about the $450 billion bailout fund, such as which firms might benefit from the program, remaining inaccessible long after the bailout is over.

The new law would absolve the board of the requirement to keep minutes to closed-door meetings as it deliberates on how to set up the $450 billion loan program. That would severely limit the amount of information potentially available to the public on what influenced the board’s decision-making. The board would only have to keep a record of its votes, though they wouldn’t have to be made public during the coronavirus crisis.

A Fed spokesperson did not comment on the changes in the law or whether the Fed would continue keeping records of its meetings.

– Politico: Recovery Law Allows Fed to Rope off Public as It Spends Billions

An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted.

– Arthur Miller

Before going any further, I want to share a graphic that accurately summarizes my position on the current pandemic affecting the world.

Unfortunately, it’s quite common for many to latch on to one of these conclusions and singularly obsess about it to the detriment of the others, when we need to be thinking about all three simultaneously.

It’s absolutely critical we understand governments throughout the world are rapidly mobilizing to use the crisis as an excuse to extract more wealth from society and condition the public to relinquish more precious civil liberties. The response in my own imperial oligarchy masquerading as a country has been particularly grotesque. A government that told us masks don’t work and couldn’t roll out testing for weeks, is now responding with the worst of both post-9/11 and post-financial crisis responses. The idea of representative government or democracy in America is a complete myth. The interests and desires of the people are irrelevant, and our economic system can be best described as financial feudalism.

We’ve seen this movie before. The U.S. government and Federal Reserve used major crises to consolidate wealth and power twice before this century, and it’s happening again. They got away with it before — and they’re getting away with it now — because the public accepts it. I hate to write that, but it’s true. People will tell me the public has no way to fight back, but that’s not accurate. The public hasn’t even tried historical methods like mass strikes and boycotts, instead they’ve been successfully neutered by phony red/blue team mainstream politics, through bickering about marginal issues like pronouns and bathrooms, and by endless entertainment and debt-based consumption. This is why the oligarchy keeps winning. Americans aren’t a serious people yet.

Witnessing the massive theft and power consolidation during the financial crisis a decade ago shook me to my core. I learned so much about how the world really works I simply couldn’t go on in the same way, so I quit my finance job and moved out of NYC. I was convinced such in your face theft would lead to effective popular movements and that the people would discover their power and take direct action, but I was wrong. Rather than economic populism transcending other differences to become ascendant and potent, most Americans were successfully shoved back into convenient political boxes easily managed by oligarchy. The rest is history…(continues)

Click here to read the entire article at Liberty Blitzkrieg.

Mint Press: The Attack on Civil Liberties in the Age of COVID-19

Rhode Island National Guard Military Police direct a motorist with New York license plates to a checkpoint, March 28, 2020, David Goldman | AP

Constitutional attorney John Whitehead writes about The Attack on Civil Liberties in the Age of COVID-19 at Mint Press. It is important to reflect upon whether the government is taking actions for which it has the authorized power in perilous times like these. There have been many calls on the federal government to take actions for which it has no Constitutionally delegated authority – like national quarantines. State governments have more power, but still limited by their own constitutions – a reason why Washington State, for example, recently passed a constitutional amendment to provide for broader emergency powers. That being said, during this pandemic, some people have taken the absurd approach that if the government is requiring you to do something, and you believe that requirement is unconstitutional, then you it is your duty to do the opposite. For example, because you believe that a statewide stay at home order is an unconstitutional exercise of power, you may deliberately gather with others to protest. This is akin to shooting yourself in the head because the government makes suicide illegal. Just because a particular exercise of power is not constitutionally sound, the underlying requirement may still be the wise course for people to take, and indeed may be your duty as a responsible citizen to take. Protest the illegality, but not by getting people killed.

You can always count on the government to take advantage of a crisis, legitimate or manufactured.

This coronavirus pandemic is no exception.

Not only are the federal and state governments unraveling the constitutional fabric of the nation with lockdown mandates that are sending the economy into a tailspin and wreaking havoc with our liberties, but they are also rendering the citizenry fully dependent on the government for financial handouts, medical intervention, protection and sustenance.

Unless we find some way to rein in the government’s power grabs, the fall-out will be epic.

Everything I have warned about for years—government overreach, invasive surveillance, martial law, abuse of powers, militarized police, weaponized technology used to track and control the citizenry, and so on—has coalesced into this present moment.

The government’s shameless exploitation of past national emergencies for its own nefarious purposes pales in comparison to what is presently unfolding.

Deploying the same strategy it used with 9/11 to acquire greater powers under the USA Patriot Act, the police state—a.k.a. the shadow government, a.k.a. the Deep State—has been anticipating this moment for years, quietly assembling a wish list of lockdown powers that could be trotted out and approved at a moment’s notice.

It should surprise no one, then, that the Trump Administration has asked Congress to allow it to suspend parts of the Constitution whenever it deems it necessary during this coronavirus pandemic and “other” emergencies.

It’s that “other” emergencies part that should particularly give you pause, if not spur you to immediate action (by action, I mean a loud and vocal, apolitical, nonpartisan outcry and sustained, apolitical, nonpartisan resistance).

In fact, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has been quietly trotting out and testing a long laundry list of terrifying powers that override the Constitution.

We’re talking about lockdown powers (at both the federal and state level): the ability to suspend the Constitution, indefinitely detain American citizens, bypass the courts, quarantine whole communities or segments of the population, override the First Amendment by outlawing religious gatherings and assemblies of more than a few people, shut down entire industries and manipulate the economy, muzzle dissidents, “stop and seize any plane, train or automobile to stymie the spread of contagious disease,” reshape financial markets, create a digital currency (and thus further restrict the use of cash), determine who should live or die…

Click here to read the entire article at Mint Press.

See also Aesop of Raconteur Report’s response to claims of never ending government tyranny related to Covid.

…”Objection: Assumes facts not in evidence, i.e. that a temporary quarantine will become a decades-long boondoggle.

Reductio ad absurdum Fallacy, 20 yard penalty and loss of possession.

And I observe FTR that people crying about something that’s not yet three weeks old as though it will go on endlessly are children who were never spanked, sent to bed without their supper, or told to wait for any form of gratification…(continues)

Rutherford Institute: A Case for Not Giving Up on the American Dream

From Constitutional attorney John Whitehead at The Rutherford Institute, We’re All in This Together: A Case for Not Giving Up on the American Dream on paying attention and not being distracted so that we don’t lose our liberty.

The powers-that-be want us to forget these basic lessons in how to get along. They want us to fume and rage and be so consumed with fighting the so-called enemies in our midst that we never notice the prison walls closing in around us.

Don’t be distracted.

No matter what happens in the next presidential election, no matter how many ways the powers-that-be attempt to sow division and distrust among the populace, no matter how many shouting commentators perpetuate the belief that there is only one “right” view and one “wrong” view in politics, the only “us vs. them” that will matter is whether “we the people” care enough to stand united in our commitment to the principles on which this nation was founded: freedom, justice, and equality for all.

The rest is just noise intended to distract us from the fact that life in America has become a gut-wrenching, soul-sucking, misery-drenched, demoralizing existence, and it’s the government that is responsible.

Even so, here’s why I’m not giving up on the American dream of freedom, and—despite all the reasons to the contrary—why you shouldn’t either: because this is still our country.

I’m outraged at what has been done to our freedoms and our country. You should be, too.

We have been subjected to crackdowns, clampdowns, shutdowns, showdowns, shootdowns, standdowns, knockdowns, putdowns, breakdowns, lockdowns, takedowns, slowdowns, meltdowns, and never-ending letdowns.

We’ve been held up, stripped down, faked out, photographed, frisked, fracked, hacked, tracked, cracked, intercepted, accessed, spied on, zapped, mapped, searched, shot at, tasered, tortured, tackled, trussed up, tricked, lied to, labeled, libeled, leered at, shoved aside, saddled with debt not of our own making, sold a bill of goods about national security, tuned out by those representing us, tossed aside, and taken to the cleaners.

We’ve had our freedoms turned inside out, our democratic structure flipped upside down, and our house of cards left in a shambles.

We’ve had our children burned by flashbang grenades, our dogs shot, and our old folks hospitalized after “accidental” encounters with marauding SWAT teams.

We’ve been told that as citizens we have no rights within 100 miles of our own border, now considered “Constitution-free zones.”

We’ve had our faces filed in government databases, our biometrics crosschecked against criminal databanks, and our consumerist tendencies catalogued for future marketing overtures.

We’ve seen the police transformed from community peacekeepers to point guards for the militarized corporate state. The police continue to push, prod, poke, probe, scan, shoot and intimidate the very individuals—we the taxpayers—whose rights they were hired to safeguard. Networked together through fusion centers, police have surreptitiously spied on our activities and snooped on our communications, using hi-tech devices provided by the Department of Homeland Security.

We’ve been deemed suspicious for engaging in such dubious activities as talking too long on a cell phone and stretching too long before jogging, dubbed extremists and terrorists for criticizing the government and suggesting it is tyrannical or oppressive, and subjected to forced colonoscopies and anal probes for allegedly rolling through a stop sign.

We’ve been arrested for all manner of “crimes” that never used to be considered criminal, let alone uncommon or unlawful, behavior: letting our kids walk to the playground alonegiving loose change to a homeless manfeeding the hungry, and living off the grid.

We’ve been sodomized, victimized, jeopardized, demoralized, traumatized, stigmatized, vandalized, demonized, polarized and terrorized, often without having done anything to justify such treatment. Blame it on a government mindset that renders us guilty before we’ve even been charged, let alone convicted, of any wrongdoing. In this way, law-abiding individuals have had their homes mistakenly raided by SWAT teams that got the address wrong. One accountant found himself at the center of a misguided (armed) police standoff after surveillance devices confused his license plate with that of a drug felon.

We’ve been railroaded into believing that our votes count, that we live in a republic or a democracy, that elections make a difference, that it matters whether we vote Republican or Democrat, and that our elected officials are looking out for our best interests. Truth be told, we live in an oligarchy, politicians represent only the profit motives of the corporate state, whose leaders know all too well that there is no discernible difference between red and blue politics, because there is only one color that matters in politics: green.

We’ve gone from having privacy in our inner sanctums to having nowhere to hide, with smart pills that monitor the conditions of our bodies, homes that spy on us (with smart meters that monitor our electric usage and thermostats and light switches that can be controlled remotely) and cars that listen to our conversations, track our whereabouts and report them to the police. Even our cities have become wall-to-wall electronic concentration camps, with police now able to record hi-def video of everything that takes place within city limits.

We’ve had our schools locked down and turned into prisons, our students handcuffed, shackled and arrested for engaging in childish behavior such as food fights, our children’s biometrics stored, their school IDs chipped, their movements tracked, and their data bought, sold and bartered for profit by government contractors, all the while they are treated like criminals and taught to march in lockstep with the police state…

Appearances to the contrary, this country does not belong exclusively to the corporations or the special interest groups or the oligarchs or the war profiteers or any particular religious, racial or economic demographic.

This country belongs to all of us: each and every one of us—“we the people”—but most especially, this country belongs to those of us who love freedom enough to stand and fight for it.

As I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we are fast approaching the point at which we will have nothing left to lose.

Don’t wait for things to get that bad before you find your voice and your conscience. By then, it will be too late.

As Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s character reflects in The Gulag Archipelago:

How we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if … during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.

Take your stand now—using every nonviolent means at your disposal—while you still can.

Don’t wait to reflect back on missed opportunities to push back against tyranny.

Don’t wait until you’re the last one standing.

Time is running out.

Click here to read the entire article at The Rutherford Institute

The Burning Platform: Collapse of Trust Imminent

In Spirits in the Material World the Burning Platform discusses the imminent loss of trust in our institutions as part of the fourth turning (ala Strauss & Howe), warning that strife is on the horizon which will force people to focus on the spiritual aspects of life and make choices for the future.

…Bloody revolutions don’t happen during Awakenings or Unravelings. But they do happen during Fourth Turning Crisis periods. There is no possibility of political solutions. The nation has split into competing camps, with no possibility of compromise or negotiated settlements. Our culture has been degraded. After decades of gorging on iGadgets, luxury automobiles, McMansions, and keeping up with the Joneses, the cynicism and desperation of the masses is palatable.

Greed, swindles, delusion and avarice have created an unpayable mountain of debt, severely risking the future of our country, and producing social disorder which will lead to bloodshed. There is a simmering rage just below the surface of a superficial civility, ready to explode at the slightest provocation. The 2016 ascension of Trump against the wishes of the Republican establishment and Sanders’ current ascension against the wishes of the Democrat establishment is proof the existing social order is rapidly losing control and will be swept away in a torrent of violence once the debt dam ruptures. The mood darkens by the day…

 

There must be another way. We are halfway through this Fourth Turning and answers are few. The questions are many. Humanity’s tendency toward self-destruction is a spectacle which reaches its zenith during Fourth Turnings. Decades of bad choices, living for today, accumulating insane levels of debt, and being deluded by the powers that be, has created a culture of alienation, greed, violence and materialism. The coronavirus pandemic, rapidly spreading across the globe, has the potential to dramatically shift the stranglehold of big business, big government, globalism, and Deep State surveillance over our lives.

Are the ghosts about to conquer the machine? Will the spiritual side of humanity arise once again and defeat the powers of evil who currently control the levers of society? A struggle against dark forces awaits the good people who choose the truth over the lies plied by the corrupt establishment.

The winner-take-all battle between good and evil approaches swiftly. Those with a spiritual basis for their actions will be pitted against those driven by greed, authority and oppression. This coronavirus pandemic, whether biologically weaponized by government authorities to further their agenda of control through fear, or organically formed through genetic mutations in filthy third world countries, appears to be the catalyst which will propel us into the ether of death and devastation, pervasive during the climax of Fourth Turnings. I’ve never been less sure about the future than I am today.

Is the planet about to experience a worldwide contagion that kills millions and brings global economic activity to a standstill, triggering a collapse in outrageously overvalued markets and implosion of the mountain of global debt? Or will the Deep State and their pliable servants utilize standard fear mongering techniques to further enslave a populace insufficiently capable of distinguishing reality from make believe.

The establishment will continue to lie and cheat because they are anchored in the material world and its ephemeral riches. They hate those who do not fall into line and can’t be corrupted by earthly riches. Either scenario will ultimately result in a showdown between good and evil. We all have choices to make. Will we ascend into the light of the spiritual or descend into the darkness of demons?

A complete collapse in trust is on the horizon. The excesses of materialism and greed have reached their zenith. Propaganda, money printing and Trump tweets cannot overcome a global pandemic. The ineptitude of government agencies and cluelessness of government bureaucrats has been on display in China and will be laid bare in the U.S. when the coronavirus continues its rampage across the globe. It will also reveal the propensity of government to act in a totalitarian manner when they are given free rein to control our lives. This virus will expose the fascist nature of our surveillance state and their incompetent response to a life or death crisis on our doorstep.

A crisis where life or death hangs in the balance will force people to focus on the spiritual aspects of life and make choices about what kind of world they want to leave for future generations. As this coronavirus brings our interconnected global just in time economy to a halt and millions once again see their 401ks evaporate, materialism will lose the admiration of the masses and people will begin to realize humanity can only survive and thrive if we adjust our priorities towards liberty, reason, responsibility, and doing what’s right today in order to leave a viable future for our children. The dark clouds of a monster storm on the horizon beckons. We will be forced to make difficult choices. Hopefully, enough people will make the right choices…

 

Click here to read the entire article at The Burning Platform.

Liberty Blitzkrieg: Critical Thinking Has Never Been More Important

Michael Krieger at Liberty Blitzkrieg has a brief article on the elites’ disdain for the citizenry.

There are several reasons I spend so much time discussing and analyzing the current state of affairs. The primary motivation, aside from a drive to share personal opinions and spread awareness, is to encourage people to think critically. I don’t want readers to agree with everything I say, I want people to become inspired to think for themselves.

The ruling class doesn’t want you to think, they want you to simply accept the nonsensical stories they tell you. By contrast, I don’t want readers to blindly accept any of my conclusions, rather, I want my work be a case study on how to deploy independent logic and insight to a variety of topics and situations.

While I haven’t discussed the 2020 presidential campaign much here, I comment on it quite a bit over at Twitter, and people often ask why I discuss the circus at all. The reason isn’t because I expect a politician to come save us and make everything right again, but because the establishment response to populist-type candidates is so instructive.

Although Trump hasn’t done much of anything to address our nation’s core fundamental problems; such as a two-tier justice system, central bank power, financial feudalism, aggressive militarism/empire, rogue intelligence agencies, civil liberties abuses and tech giant censorship, his unexpected victory over chosen one Hillary Clinton nevertheless exposed many individuals and institutions for the frauds they are. Bernie Sanders’ run is doing the same thing. You don’t have to like the specific policies of Trump or Sanders to appreciate how any candidate with even a hint of grassroots populism puts the “elites” into panic mode.

It’s important to understand the ruling class doesn’t actually fear Trump or Sanders individually — any one person can be dealt with. What they really fear is you. They fear people flocking to unapproved candidates and then talking about things the establishment doesn’t want them talking about. This is the main reason the whole Russiagate fantasy was unrolled against Trump and pushed hysterically by mass media.

By ensuring “the resistance” to Trump revolved around some invented intelligence agency narrative, the power structure was able to prevent large numbers of people from talking about anything real or significant for four years straight. Although it didn’t remove Trump from office, it successfully reduced hitherto thoughtful people into emotionally broken mental midgets.

This is the reason the exact same tactic was just unrolled against Bernie Sanders, with Jeff Bezos’ Washington Post reporting the day before the Nevada caucuses that Russia is also supposedly helping Sanders. It’s ridiculous, but you have to understand the strategy here. If Sanders can’t be prevented from winning the nomination, the establishment needs a plan B, and that plan appears to be Russiagate all over again. These people aren’t very creative.

When it became clear Trump couldn’t be stopped he was smeared with being a tool of the Russians, and the same seeds are being planted around the Sanders campaign. It doesn’t matter how preposterous it is, the primary goal is to ensure nobody ever talks about anything important. Absent Russia hysteria, a Sanders vs. Trump matchup would quickly become a battle of who’s more populist, and issues that make so-called elites very uncomfortable would become widely discussed.  The ruling class doesn’t want the public talking about such things so they need to turn the election into a complete circus if Sanders can’t be blocked. Instead of talking about economic insecurity, healthcare, the cost of college and wars for empire, the goal is to make Sanders and Trump spend the entire campaign season arguing about who hates Russia more.

The important takeaway here is how completely terrified and decrepit the ruling class of this country really is. They have no argument or philosophy about anything important. As such, their only tactic is to overwhelm the public with nonsense and invented narratives in order to divide, befuddle and control the masses while keeping the imperial oligarchy running exactly as it has for decades. Once you see the game, it’s impossible to unsee it, but the good news is we all possess within ourselves the power they fear most. The power to think for ourselves and to reject ridiculous lies.

This is why we need to place relentless pressure on these people and never let up. When they feel pressure, they get scared. When they get scared, they become desperate. When they become desperate, they make mistakes. After enough mistakes, we win.

 

WA – New Standard Capacity Magazine Ban Introduced – HB2947, Feb. 21, 2020

A new house bill showed up on the Washington legislature web site yesterday – HB2947 – introduced, of course, by civil rights-hating Democrat lawmakers. Today, the 21st, the bill history shows today’s date as the first reading and referral to the Finance Committee.  What is the bill? The bill title somewhat innocuously says “Establishing firearms-related safety measures.” But when you read the bill:

AN ACT Relating to establishing firearms-related safety measures1to increase public safety by prohibiting the manufacture, possession, distribution, importation, selling, offering for sale, purchasing, or transfer of large capacity magazines, and making a violation of these restrictions a gross misdemeanor offense, by defining large capacity magazines to apply to ammunition feeding devices with the capacity to accept more than fifteen rounds of ammunition, by allowing continued possession of large capacity magazines limited to those possessed prior to June 11, 2020, and those inherited on or after June 11, 2020, subject to restrictions on the ability to sell or transfer such large capacity magazines, requiring that they be stored in secure gun storage, and permitting their possession only on the owner’s property or while engaged in lawful outdoor recreational activities or use at a licensed shooting range or when transporting the large capacity14magazine to or from these locations unloaded and in a locked separate15container, by providing limited exemptions solely for government…

So it is yet another standard capacity magazine ban disguised as a firearm safety measure. The bill was introduced by Representatives Valdez (D – 46th), Kilduff (D – 28th), Senn (D – 41st), Peterson (D – 21st), Doglio (D – 22nd), Orwall (D – 33rd), Walen (D-48th), and Bergquist (D – 11th). Walen is the vice chair of the Finance committee, and Orwall is also a committee member.

 

AIER: How Liberalism Can Survive Left-Right Polarization

This article from the American Institute for Economic Research looks into the rise of political extremity, both left and right, in the US, and what we need to do to affirm dedication to liberty while rejecting the vengeful appeal of authoritarianism.

The rise of political extremes in America, both left and right, poses a particular challenge for those of us who prefer liberty over government control. It’s not only in the US; the same grows in the UK, Europe, Latin America, and Brazil. As the old managerial elite in all countries loses credibility and power, socialist and nationalist forms of statism are vying to take their place, while relegating liberalism to the political margins.

To survive and thrive, we will need to gain greater confidence in who we are and what we believe about the social order, clarifying and focusing on what liberty looks like and what precisely we are going for, while avoiding partisan traps along the way. In particular, we need to avoid being lumped in with movements – rightly or wrongly, by expedient or intellectual error – that are contrary to our tradition and philosophical longings.

In case you haven’t heard, for example, many academic and media observers are on a hunt to discover the origin of the nationalist resurgence, and particularly its most bizarre and violent segment of the alt-right. To the horror of many dedicated intellectuals and activists in the liberty space, some academics and journalists have tried to link this movement backward in time to the libertarian political movement as it developed over the last two decades, and, by extension, the rise of the Trump-controlled Republican Party.

It should be obvious that, in theory and contrary to what the socialist left has long claimed, there is no connection whatsoever between what we call libertarianism and any species of rightist ideology. One negates the other. As Leonard Read wrote in 1956, “Liberty has no horizontal relationship to authoritarianism. Libertarianism’s relationship to authoritarianism is vertical; it is up from the muck of men enslaving man…”

And yet today, there does indeed appear, at least superficially, to have been a social, institutional, and even intellectual connection, and migration, between what is called the liberty movement and the emergence of nationalism, right-wing identitarianism, and the politics of authoritarianism. Some of the most prominent alt-right voices in the 2017 Charlottesville marches once identified as libertarians. This fact has been widely covered. It’s a fair question to ask: did these individuals ever really believe in a liberal worldview? Were they trolling all along? Were they just deeply confused?

I’ve been interviewed many times on these questions. How did this come to be? The answer is complex. It was more than six years ago that my article “Against Libertarian Brutalism” raised a conjecture: a libertarianism, rendered simply as nothing more than a “leave me alone” outlook, with no larger aspiration for the good life, and no interest in the subject of social cooperation, could find itself divorced from a historical conception of what the advent of liberty has meant to human life and society as a whole. Without that, we fail to develop good instincts for interpreting the world around us. We are even reduced to syllogistic slogans and memes which can be deeply misleading and feed even illiberal bias.

And where does this bias end up? Where are the limits? I see them daily online. In the name of fighting the left, many have turned in the other direction to embrace an alternative form of identitarianism, restrictions on trade and migration, curbs on essential civil liberties, and even toyed with the freedom of the press and the rights of private enterprise, all in the name of humiliating and eliminating the enemy. Some go further to celebrate anything they believe the left hates, including even odious causes from the authoritarian past.

The rhetoric at the extremes approaches nihilism. The press isn’t really free so why not impose restrictions, censorship, and litigated punishments? The borders aren’t private so why not prohibit all entry? Some speech doesn’t support freedom so why permit it the rights that freedom entails? Social media companies aren’t really private enterprises, so why not force them to carry and promote some accounts that I like? That large company has a government contract so why not bust it up with antitrust?

The gradual evolution of language has unleashed all kinds of confusion. Activists denounce “the establishment” without a clear distinction between government and influential media voices. They will decry “globalism” without bothering to distinguish the World Bank from an importer of Chinese fireworks. They promote identitarianism and racial collectivism without the slightest understanding of the illiberal origins and uses of these ideologies in 20th-century history. After all, they say, there is nothing “inherently un-libertarian” about casting down an entire people, religion, gender, language, or race, so long as you don’t directly use violence.

It takes a special kind of circuitous sophistry to justify, in the name of liberty, collectivistic animus and state violence against voluntary association. But the history of politics shows people are capable of making huge mental leaps in service of ideological goals. All it takes is small steps, little excuses, tweaks of principle here and there, seemingly minor compromises, some element of confirmation bias, and you are good to go, ready to make as much sense as the old communist slogan that you have to break eggs to make omelets…

Click here to read the entire article at AIER.