Secession and the President/Overseer/Savior

July 31, 2011

(Editor’s Note: Reprint. I’m off this weekend.)

Over and over, I see the unrelenting search in the American populace for a President/Overseer/Savior, otherwise known as a “POS” (any resemblance of this definition of POS to the other definition that means “piece of s*** is entirely intentional as well as interchangeable). There appears to be a quixotic quest to find that one man or woman who has all the answers, and can be the newest, latest POS. I see:

“Ron Paul for President”
“Sarah Palin for President”
“Andrew Napolitano for President”
“Barack Obama…four more years”
“Mitt Romney in 2012”

What is it about the psyche of the American citizen that is constantly searching for a POS Messiah? Why does the average person invest so much emotion and belief (and money) in one person to solve all their problems?

Throughout human history we see a long list of kings, caesars, presidents, dictators and other potentates that have treated their subjects miserably, to the point that the people eventually overthrew them. But did those people learn? No! They usually just sat another person on the throne and started the process all over again.

In the Old Testament story of the children of Israel, they had God as their king. How could they improve on that? But they were so “ate up” to be like their neighbors and have a human POS that they began a monarchy that oppressed them for hundreds of years.

In the early days of our Republic, prior to the ratification of the US Constitution, the new colonies/nations of America governed themselves just fine with the Articles of Confederation. Under that document, there was no Chief Executive POS.

This American POS longing has its roots in the Hamiltonians of the late 18th Century. Alexander Hamilton was a staunch Royalist, desirous of an American king. He had many supporters in the new united States, and the reason that our Constitution made provision for an Executive Branch is entirely attributable to Hamilton’s tireless advocacy for a POS.

And just because it is the year 2010 doesn’t mean that Americans have learned anything about leadership and self governance. Quite the contrary.

I think that Americans, by and large, are a toxic combination of laziness and ignorance of the workings of a constitutional republic. These evil twins residing in their minds make them incapable of accepting the responsibility of self control that comes with self governance. It’s much easier to “hire” or elect a POS than to lift and carry the weight of your own liberty…even if it doesn’t work.

Day after day, I read all kinds of websites and blogs about political issues and political events. There are candidate debates, primaries, elections, state secession movements, Tea Party Rallies, Money Bombs, political leadership conventions (CPAC) and major party rallies. The traditional media outlets are the propaganda machines for Big Government, focusing American attention on the four-year cycle of electing the newest POS. The cycle now never truly ends.

Listen to the next radio news broadcast of your choice. Nearly every newscast, no matter what network, leads with a story of what the President is doing or has done. Doesn’t matter who is in office…the lead story is the same.

But do the media simply provide the populace with the info-tainment they demand, or do the media create the demand for the info-tainment that the populace is force-fed? Are the American people led by media or do they lead the media? Which comes first, the chicken or egg?

Alternatively, there is DumpDC.com (close to my heart), Campaign for Liberty, Second Vermont Republic, Texas Nationalist Movement, Tenth Amendment Center, LewRockwell.com, Secession.net, Antiwar.com, The Abbeville Institute and the list could go on and on. In these forums, the quest to find a new POS is conspicuously missing. These thought leaders strive to lead individuals into a love of the law…specifically Natural Law…not the blind following and worship of a POS.

It’s not even reasonable to think that a national POS can solve our problems. Contrary to the image projected, a POS is one person with very limited power. There are 535 junior POS Congress critters that also must be bought off. Then there are the political favors that must be doled out after an election to all the big campaign contributors. The American POS has degenerated into a carnival barker front-man who reads prepared speeches from a TelePrompTer to provide sound and video bytes for public consumption. A POS is an empty suit.

It is axiomatic that the present system of electing a POS guarantees that the newly-anointed POS will have made so many compromises to attain the office that he/she is the least qualified person to accept the office of POS. Integrity and compromise wage unending war with each other, and compromise wins the battles and the war. Leadership toward a return to liberty is antithetical to the world view of a POS.

So, what is the point of this diatribe about our American process of electing the person who will occupy the office if the President/Overseer/Savior? Simply to point out that the American political system is so hopelessly broken that it cannot be repaired. It must be replaced. Secession is the method whereby broken governments are replaced in a lawful, non-violent manner. At least we hope secession will be non-violent.

Secession is the Hope For Mankind. Who will be first?

DumpDC. Six Letters That Can Change History.

© Copyright 2010, Russell D. Longcore. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.


Government Bonds For Kids

July 30, 2011

Making Debt Slaves

Terrific short video about how bonds work. Show this to your kids…after you watch it yourself.

When you buy a government bond, you are loaning money to the government. Are you satisfied with what the government is doing with the money you lend them? Are you culpable for the criminal acts of the government when you lend them money?

Taxation is slavery. Remember that the national sales tax is the least hideous form of taxation. The Fair Tax is one of the most hideous, and people think it is good. Read HERE about the Fair Tax.


Bankrupt US States: Why Not Secede?

July 29, 2011

by Russell D. Longcore

Many of the states in the USA are effectively bankrupt. The US Constitution does not make any provision for states to declare bankruptcy and reorganize. Nor should it. That little eventuality could be considered a Tenth Amendment issue, since all powers not delegated to USA are reserved to the states and to the people.

The states in the worst financial condition are states that have most closely mimicked Washington: Illinois, New York, Connecticut, California and New Jersey…the bluest of the blue states. They have the strongest unions and greater desires for public programs…just like DC. There are 23 states that are effectively “underwater”…that’s nearly half the country.

Click HERE to see a slideshow of the eleven states most likely to go bankrupt soon.

The sick states are required by their own constitutions to balance their annual budgets. Many have not. California has not seen a balanced budget for years. And when I say “balanced budget,” I’m not talking about a state that zeroes out its balance sheet with massive borrowing. I’m talking about operating within the strictures of the state’s tax income and nothing else.

I have read recent articles that float the idea that Washington will soon offer a Federal bailout for certain states that DC considers “too big to fail.” But is that the proper remedy? Doesn’t a bailout simply kick the can down the road? A stimulus or bail out merely ignores the underlying cause of the disease…too much spending. Every person who balances a checkbook can clearly diagnose the illness.

Unfunded Federal mandates directly affect the budgets of states. The Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act required programs to be done by the states with no Federal funding. Another example is the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act that require nearly all American emergency rooms to accept any patient regardless of the patient’s ability to pay, but do not provide adequate reimbursement. And there are many more.

But remember…Washington takes the tax money from the states for all manner of do-gooder unconstitutional social engineering programs, and then sends a portion of it back to the states with all kinds of strings attached.

Also remember the challenge I have thrown out many, many times…for any person to give me just ONE benefit that any American state enjoys as a direct result of its inclusion in the United States of America. (I’m still waiting.) I contend that there is no benefit whatsoever for any state to continue in the so-called “Union.”

So if the cost for remaining a state is so high that it bankrupts you…and there is no perceivable benefit for remaining a state…WHY THE HELL STAY??

The best, most logical solution for the financial health of any American state is for it to secede from the Union. At the very moment of secession, all ties to Washington cease. All of the money that Washington takes from the state’s taxpayers stays in that state. All of the US national debt is repudiated by the citizens of that seceding state. All of the unfunded mandates disappear. All of the thousands of pages of regulation handed down over the past few decades vanishes. All of the Federal Court and Supreme Court rulings become null and void. It’s like being released from prison, stepping outside the gates and taking a deep breath of the air that other free men breathe.

Think about what would happen in California if the Federal income tax revenue did not leave the state? I’m not suggesting that it should go to Sacramento. But that gigantic amount of money staying in California would instantly increase the financial health of all individuals and businesses in The Golden State. Visualize a paycheck without Federal deductions…aaaaahhhhh!

Every State has its own constitution. Some states might have to rewrite or revise their constitution to reflect the needs of a nation. Most American states were not sovereign nations when formed, but territories that were granted statehood by acts of Congress. These states may need a new constitution.

As we all know, each seceding state would have to create a monetary system and re-create its militia. But that’s how sovereign nations have always operated.

Dear Readers, state secession solves every problem associated with or created by Washington. In addition, it creates a smaller, more manageable unit of government more closely aligned to the people it serves. And don’t forget that a republic form of government is supposed to protect property rights and individual rights. Everything else should be done by the people themselves. Yes, even police, fire, roads and courts. The free market can do it better than government.

Knowing all of these positives about secession, and knowing all the negatives about remaining a US state, why is secession not openly discussed as a viable solution for any American state? If it’s good enough for South Sudan, it’s certainly good enough for an American state.

Secession is the only hope for mankind. Who will be first?

DumpDC. Six Letters That Can Change History.

© Copyright 2011, Russell D. Longcore. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.


Ten Years Ago Portugal Legalized All Drugs

July 28, 2011

What happened next? When the nation legalized all drugs within its borders, most critics predicted disaster. But a decade later, drug use has plunged dramatically.

by Tony O’Neil
Alternet

(Editor’s Note: I post this for all the folks that still think that the “War on Drugs” is worth fighting. Prohibition was tried for 13 years right after WWI. It was a massive failure. The WOD is the identical idiocracy. When secession happens and some state becomes a new nation, I can only pray that the national leaders look at Portugal…not DC…for its template on drug policy. All the new nation has to do to craft a drug policy is DO NOTHING…in the lack of laws is found the nation’s new drug policy.)

The government in Portugal has no plans to back down. Although the Netherlands is the European country most associated with liberal drug laws, it has already been ten years since Portugal became the first European nation to take the brave step of decriminalizing possession of all drugs within its borders—from marijuana to heroin, and everything in between. This controversial move went into effect in June of 2001, in response to the country’s spiraling HIV/AIDS statistics. While many critics in the poor and largely conservative country attacked the sea change in drug policy, fearing it would lead to drug tourism while simultaneously worsening the country’s already shockingly high rate of hard drug use, a report published in 2009 by the Cato Institute tells a different story. Glenn Greenwald, the attorney and author who conducted the research, told Time: “Judging by every metric, drug decriminalization in Portugal has been a resounding success. It has enabled the Portuguese government to manage and control the drug problem far better than virtually every other Western country.”

Back in 2001, Portugal had the highest rate of HIV among injecting drug users in the European Union—an incredible 2,000 new cases a year, in a country with a population of just 10 million. Despite the predictable controversy the move stirred up at home and abroad, the Portuguese government felt there was no other way they could effectively quell this ballooning problem. While here in the U.S. calls for full drug decriminalization are still dismissed as something of a fringe concern, the Portuguese decided to do it, and have been quietly getting on with it now for a decade. Surprisingly, most credible reports appear to show that decriminalization has been a staggering success.

The DEA sees it a bit differently. Portugal, they say, was a disaster, with heroin and HIV rates out of control. “Portugal’s addict population and the problems that go along with addiction continue to increase,” the DEA maintains. “In an effort to reduce the number of addicts in the prison system, the Portuguese government has an enacted some radical policies in the last few years with the eventual decriminalization of all illicit drugs in July of 2001.”

However, as Glenn Greenwald, the author of the Cato study, concludes: “By freeing its citizens from the fear of prosecution and imprisonment for drug usage, Portugal has dramatically improved its ability to encourage drug addicts to avail themselves of treatment. The resources that were previously devoted to prosecuting and imprisoning drug addicts are now available to provide treatment programs to addicts.” Under the perfect system, treatment would also be voluntary, but as an alternative to jail, mandatory treatment save money. But for now, “the majority of EU states have rates that are double and triple the rate for post-decriminalization Portugal,” Greenwald says.



For those looking for clues about how the U.S. government can tackle its domestic drug problem, the figures are enticing. Following decriminalization, Portugal eventually found itself with the lowest rates of marijuana usage in people over 15 in the EU: about 10%. Compare this to the 40% of people over 12 who regularly smoke pot in the U.S., a country with some of the most punitive drugs laws in the developed world. Drug use of all kinds has declined in Portugal: Lifetime use among seventh to ninth graders fell from 14.01% to 10.6%. Lifetime heroin use among 16-18 year olds fell from 2.5% to 1.8%. And what about those horrific HIV infection rates that prompted the move in the first place? HIV infection rates among drug users fell by an incredible 17%, while drug related deaths were reduced by more than half. “There is no doubt that the phenomenon of addiction is in decline in Portugal,” said Joao Goulao, President of the Institute of Drugs and Drugs Addiction, at a press conference to mark the 10th anniversary of the law.

We’re not holding our breath that the Portuguese example will lead to any kind of abrupt about-face in America’s own sputtering drug war, which is still sputtering steadily along at a cost of trillions a year. However, with the medical marijuana movement so far refusing to be strangled out of existence by the DEA, Senators Jim Webb and Arlen Specter recently made a proposal to create a blue ribbon commission to look at prison and drug sentencing reform. And for any pro-legalization presidential hopefuls in 2012, the movement for a common sense drug policy in the United States may be finally moving into the mainstream.

Activist Post is an Independent News blog for Activists challenging the abuses of the establishment.


Property Rights

July 27, 2011

by Armen A. Alchian
Library of Economics and Liberty

(Editor’s Note: Here’s a good basic lesson on property rights. One thing this author doesn’t talk about are the property rights inherent in a free-market hard money monetary system. That is, that a government is not stealing the value of your property…your money…through inflation by devaluing the money supply. That’s a deal-killer in secession. Either your money is your absolute property or it is not.)

One of the most fundamental requirements of a capitalist economic system—and one of the most misunderstood concepts—is a strong system of property rights. For decades social critics in the United States and throughout the Western world have complained that “property” rights too often take precedence over “human” rights, with the result that people are treated unequally and have unequal opportunities. Inequality exists in any society. But the purported conflict between property rights and human rights is a mirage. Property rights are human rights.

“The definition, allocation, and protection of property rights comprise one of the most complex and difficult sets of issues that any society has to resolve, but one that must be resolved in some fashion. For the most part, social critics of “property” rights do not want to abolish those rights. Rather, they want to transfer them from private ownership to government ownership. Some transfers to public ownership (or control, which is similar) make an economy more effective. Others make it less effective. The worst outcome by far occurs when property rights really are abolished.” (see tragedy of the commons).

A property right is the exclusive authority to determine how a resource is used, whether that resource is owned by government or by individuals. Society approves the uses selected by the holder of the property right with governmental administered force and with social ostracism. If the resource is owned by the government, the agent who determines its use has to operate under a set of rules determined, in the United States, by Congress or by executive agencies it has charged with that role.

Private property rights have two other attributes in addition to determining the use of a resource. One is the exclusive right to the services of the resource. Thus, for example, the owner of an apartment with complete property rights to the apartment has the right to determine whether to rent it out and, if so, which tenant to rent to; to live in it himself; or to use it in any other peaceful way. That is the right to determine the use. If the owner rents out the apartment, he also has the right to all the rental income from the property. That is the right to the services of the resources (the rent).

Finally, a private property right includes the right to delegate, rent, or sell any portion of the rights by exchange or gift at whatever price the owner determines (provided someone is willing to pay that price). If I am not allowed to buy some rights from you and you therefore are not allowed to sell rights to me, private property rights are reduced. Thus, the three basic elements of private property are (1) exclusivity of rights to choose the use of a resource, (2) exclusivity of rights to the services of a resource, and (3) rights to exchange the resource at mutually agreeable terms.

The U.S. Supreme Court has vacillated about this third aspect of property rights. But no matter what words the justices use to rationalize such decisions, the fact is that such limitations as price controls and restrictions on the right to sell at mutually agreeable terms are reductions of private property rights. Many economists (myself included) believe that most such restrictions on property rights are detrimental to society. Here are some of the reasons why.

Under a private property system the market values of property reflect the preferences and demands of the rest of society. No matter who the owner is, the use of the resource is influenced by what the rest of the public thinks is the most valuable use. The reason is that an owner who chooses some other use must forsake that highest-valued use—and the price others would pay him for the resource or for the use of it. This creates an interesting paradox: although property is called “private,” private decisions are based on public, or social, evaluation.

The fundamental purpose of property rights, and their fundamental accomplishment, is that they eliminate destructive competition for control of economic resources. Well-defined and well-protected property rights replace competition by violence with competition by peaceful means.

The extent and degree of private property rights fundamentally affect the ways people compete for control of resources. With more complete private property rights, market exchange values become more influential. The personal status and personal attributes of people competing for a resource matter less because their influence can be offset by adjusting the price. In other words, more complete property rights make discrimination more costly. Consider the case of a black woman who wants to rent an apartment from a white landlord. She is better able to do so when the landlord has the right to set the rent at whatever level he wants. Even if the landlord would prefer a white tenant, the black woman can offset her disadvantage by offering a higher rent. A landlord who takes the white tenant at a lower rent anyway pays for discriminating.

But if the government imposes rent controls that keep the rent below the free-market level, the price the landlord pays to discriminate falls, possibly to zero. The rent control does not magically reduce the demand for apartments. Instead, it reduces every potential tenant’s ability to compete by offering more money. The landlord, now unable to receive the full money price, will discriminate in favor of tenants whose personal characteristics—such as age, sex, ethnicity, and religion—he favors. Now the black woman seeking an apartment cannot offset the disadvantage of her skin color by offering to pay a higher rent.

Competition for apartments is not eliminated by rent controls. What changes is the “coinage” of competition. The restriction on private property rights reduces competition based on monetary exchanges for goods and services and increases competition based on personal characteristics. More generally, weakening private property rights increases the role of personal characteristics in inducing sellers to discriminate among competing buyers and buyers to discriminate among sellers.

The two extremes in weakened private property rights are socialism and “commonly owned” resources. Under socialism, government agents—those whom the government assigns—exercise control over resources. The rights of these agents to make decisions about the property they control are highly restricted. People who think they can put the resources to more valuable uses cannot do so by purchasing the rights because the rights are not for sale at any price. Because socialist managers do not gain when the values of the resources they manage increase, and do not lose when the values fall, they have little incentive to heed changes in market-revealed values. The uses of resources are therefore more influenced by the personal characteristics and features of the officials who control them. Consider the socialist manager of a collective farm under the old Soviet communist system. By working every night for one week, he could have made, say, one million rubles of additional profit for the farm by arranging to transport the farm’s wheat to Moscow before it rotted. But because neither the manager nor those who worked on the farm were entitled to keep even a portion of this additional profit, the manager was more likely than the manager of a capitalist farm to go home early and let the crops rot.

Similarly, common ownership of resources—whether in the former Soviet Union or in the United States—gives no one a strong incentive to preserve the resource. A fishery that no one owns, for example, will be overfished. The reason is that a fisherman who throws back small fish to wait until they grow is unlikely to get any benefit from his waiting. Instead, some other fisherman will catch the fish. The same holds true for other common resources whether they be herds of buffalo, oil in the ground, or clean air. All will be overused.

Indeed, a main reason for the spectacular failure of the 1980s and early 1990s economic reforms in the former Soviet Union is that resources were shifted from ownership by government to de facto common ownership. How? By making the Soviet government’s revenues de facto into a common resource. Harvard economist Jeffrey Sachs, who advised the Soviet government, once pointed out that when Soviet managers of socialist enterprises were allowed to open their own businesses but still were left as managers of the government’s businesses, they siphoned out the profits of the government’s business into their private corporations. Thousands of managers doing this caused a large budget deficit for the Soviet government. In this case the resource that no manager had an incentive to conserve was the Soviet government’s revenues. Similarly, improperly set premiums for U.S. deposit insurance gave banks and S&Ls (see savings and loan crisis) an incentive to make excessively risky loans and to treat the deposit insurance fund as a “common” resource.

Private property rights to a resource need not be held by a single person. They can be shared, with each person sharing in a specified fraction of the market value while decisions about uses are made in whatever process the sharing group deems desirable. A major example of such shared property rights is the corporation. In a limited liability corporation, shares are specified and the rights to decide how to use the corporation’s resources are delegated to its management. Each shareholder has the unrestrained right to sell his or her share. Limited liability insulates each shareholder’s wealth from the liabilities of other shareholders, and thereby facilitates anonymous sale and purchase of shares.

In other types of enterprises, especially where each member’s wealth will become uniquely dependent on each other member’s behavior, property rights in the group endeavor are usually salable only if existing members approve of the buyer. This is typical for what are often called joint ventures, “mutuals,” and partnerships.

While more complete property rights are preferable to less complete rights, any system of property rights entails considerable complexity and many issues that are difficult to resolve. If I operate a factory that emits smoke, foul smells, or airborne acids over your land, am I using your land without your permission? This is difficult to answer.

The cost of establishing private property rights—so that I could pay you a mutually agreeable price to pollute your air—may be too high. Air, underground water, and electromagnetic radiation, for example, are expensive to monitor and control. Therefore, a person does not effectively have enforceable private property rights to the quality and condition of some parcel of air. The inability to cost-effectively monitor and police uses of your resources means “your” property rights over “your” land are not as extensive and strong as they are over some other resources such as furniture, shoes, or automobiles. When private property rights are unavailable or too costly to establish and enforce, substitute means of control are sought. Government authority, expressed by government agents, is one very common such means. Hence the creation of environmental laws.

Depending on circumstances, certain actions may be considered invasions of privacy, trespass, or torts. If I seek refuge and safety for my boat at your dock during a sudden severe storm on a lake, have I invaded “your” property rights, or do your rights not include the right to prevent that use? The complexities and varieties of circumstances render impossible a bright-line definition of a person’s set of property rights with respect to resources.

Similarly, the set of resources over which property rights may be held is not well defined and demarcated. Ideas, melodies, and procedures, for example, are almost costless to replicate explicitly (near-zero cost of production) and implicitly (no forsaken other uses of the inputs). As a result, they typically are not protected as private property except for a fixed term of years under a patent or copyright.

Private property rights are not absolute. The rule against the “dead hand,” or perpetuities, is an example. I cannot specify how resources that I own will be used in the indefinitely distant future. Under our legal system, I can specify the use only for a limited number of years after my death or the deaths of currently living people. I cannot insulate a resource’s use from the influence of market values of all future generations. Society recognizes market prices as measures of the relative desirability of resource uses. Only to the extent that rights are salable are those values most fully revealed.

Accompanying and conflicting with the desire to secure private property rights for oneself is the desire to acquire more wealth by “taking” from others. This is done by military conquest and by forcible reallocation of rights to resources (also known as stealing). But such coercion is antithetical to—rather than characteristic of—a system of private property rights. Forcible reallocation means that the existing rights have not been adequately protected.

Private property rights do not conflict with human rights. They are human rights. Private property rights are the rights of humans to use specified goods and to exchange them. Any restraint on private property rights shifts the balance of power from impersonal attributes toward personal attributes and toward behavior that political authorities approve. That is a fundamental reason for preference of a system of strong private property rights: private property rights protect individual liberty.

Copyright ©2008 Liberty Fund, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Marines In Somalia: Obama’s Newest War

July 26, 2011

World’s Worst Humanitarian Crisis in Somalia: U.S. Sends in the Marines and More Drones

by Glen Ford at www.uruknet.com

(Editor’s Note: Libya…South Sudan…now Somalia. America, how and when are you going to stop Washington from expanding more and more wars? Secession won’t stop the wars, but it will stop the tax money from the seceding state from paying for them.The inevitable economic collapse will stop the wars.)

A U.S. Marine task force is about to be deployed in the war against Somalia, where American drones are stepping up their predations. For the second time in four years, U.S. aggression threatens the lives of multitudes in the Horn of Africa. “A United Nations spokesman describes the food and refugee emergency in Somalia as the ‘worst humanitarian crisis in the world,’ with millions at immediate risk.

Even as U.S. militarization of the Horn of Africa has contributed massively to the threatened starvation of millions, the Americans have announced an escalation of drone attacks against Somalia and the establishment of a Marine task force for the region. A United Nations spokesman describes the food and refugee emergency in Somalia as the “worst humanitarian crisis in the world,” with millions at immediate risk. Not coincidentally, the epicenter of the disaster is the area where Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia meet – which is also a focus of U.S. Special Forces, surveillance and logistics activity.

The Americans blame the al-Shabab resistance for exacerbating the drought emergency, but for at least two years the Americans have used food as a weapon of war in Somalia, in an effort to starve out those who might be supporting the Shabab. The U.S. has armed an array of militias operating near the Ethiopian and Kenyan borders, making normal agricultural pursuits all but impossible, and the current world-class catastrophe, inevitable.

Whenever the U.S. rachets up its armed interventions in Somalia, disaster follows. Four years ago, after the Americans instigated an Ethiopian invasion of Somalia to overthrow an Islamist government that had brought a semblance of peace to the region, it set off what the United Nations then called “the worst humanitarian crisis in Africa – worse than Darfur.” Today, many of those same refugees are confronted with the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet – once again, largely courtesy of the United States.

The original crime – the one from which all the other horrors flow – was the theft of Somalia’s government, and the crushing of its people’s dreams for peace. The American proxy aggression, largely conducted through Ethiopia and now Kenya, and much of it directed from Djibouti, the actual headquarters of the U.S. Africa Command, AFRICOM – is the root cause of the social disintegration of Somalia, which has pushed much of the population to the edge of extinction. These are the crimes against humanity that international courts should be prosecuting. Instead, the International Criminal Court has become a tool of the aggressor, and even proposes to deploy the U.S. military as its deputies, to enforce its warrants: justice turned upside down.

The newly activated Marine task force will augment America’s stepped up drone attacks against the Shabab, an escalation of Obama’s second shooting war in Africa, and war number 6, globally.

In addition to the Marines and the drones, the U.S. recently committed $45 million to equipment and training for the Ugandan and Burundian soldiers that are all that props up the puppet Somali government in Mogadishu, the capital.

The Obama administration has upgraded Somalia and Yemen as hotspots in its endless war-making, claiming al-Qaida operatives in the region are even more dangerous to the U.S. than their counterparts in Afghanistan and Pakistan – which essentially tells us that al-Qaida isn’t really all that relevant to why American is spreading war and misery all over the planet. What is clear, is that the world’s greatest humanitarian threat lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Find Glen Ford at


Ideology and Compromise: Mutually Exclusive Concepts

July 25, 2011

The debt ceiling issue in Washington is shining a glaring spotlight on the behavior and philosophies of Congress and the President. Unfortunately, none of what we can see in that bright light is good for America. My thesis here is that ideology and compromise are mutually exclusive…or at least, they SHOULD be mutually exclusive. If you will compromise your ideology, it’s not an ideology.

President Obama has been begging for compromise with Republicans for two weeks now. And whatever shape that eventually takes, the Republicans will give him the compromise he seeks.

First, let’s define terms:

“Ideology”: a set of ideas that constitutes one’s goals, expectations, and actions. An ideology can be thought of as a way of looking at things (a worldview). (courtesy Wikipedia)

“Ideologue”: An adherent of an ideology, especially one who is uncompromising and dogmatic. (The Google Dictionary)

Individual with strong philosophical leanings. Generally unwilling to budge to compromise or work with others with differing views. (www.thisnation.com)

Let me offer an example of ideologues on both sides of an issue – Abortion. Those individuals on both sides of the abortion issue are characteristically unwilling to compromise their positions. One side holds to the sanctity of unborn human life, and one side does not. One side fights to protect unborn human life, and the other side fights to eliminate unborn human life at the whim of the mother. As you have seen over the last 40 years, both sides are dogmatic. The “anti-abortion” ideologues march against abortion, and harass abortion clinics and their employees. The “anti-abortion” ideologues even occasionally have members that will murder a doctor that performs abortions. The “pro-abortion” side does not employ such tactics, yet are as strident in their beliefs as their foes. But for the most part, there is no middle ground upon which both sides can agree. It’s life or death.

Another example would be Christianity. Many Christians would choose death over the renunciation of their faith. That dedication to Christ gets lots of people murdered around the world even today. That’s an ideology.

This article is not about the abortion issue or religion, but these examples are given simply to show that strong ideology is still possible…just apparently not in Washington.

Patrick Henry said, “I know not what course others may take. As for me, give me liberty or give me death.” That’s strict adherence to an ideology. Imagine Henry saying, “We can work with King George. If we just give in on this point and that point, we colonies can continue as British citizens. These taxes and regulations aren’t so bad that we have to revolt.”

There is a big difference between Republicans, Democrats and ideologues. The former is simply a political party affiliation. Ideology is not one’s chosen party…it is one’s core beliefs. Even “Conservative” and “Liberal” are not ideologies, since they are nearly impossible to define and share too many ideas in common. Dare anyone say that politicians that are willing to compromise truly have core beliefs? What would the issues be that, for the politician, are not subject to compromise?

Can you imagine the Republicans refusing to compromise on a balanced budget, even if their refusal to budge pushed the Federal government into default? Can you imagine the Republican leadership coming before the cameras and microphones of the world and saying, “There will be no new higher debt ceiling. There will be NO COMPROMISE by Republicans. There will be either a balanced budget or Washington shuts down until the Democrats and the President agree.”

Shouldn’t one core belief for both sides be to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States?” Words to that effect are in their oath of office. That would at least demonstrate that the politicians had honesty and lawfulness as a core belief. But we know that is not the case.

With the definitions I’ve proffered, I submit to you that there are very few true ideologues in Washington. DC is filled with Quisling pragmatists, compromisers and traitors.

Are you familiar with the term “Quisling?” It is named after the Norwegian Vidkun Quisling, who assisted Nazi Germany as it conquered his own country so that he could rule the collaborationist Norwegian government himself. The name even sounds oily and slithery. Being described as “Quisling” is to be accused of the worst kind of treason and selling out for personal gain.

What better term than “Quisling” describes politicians?

Dear God…give us some ideologues as we leave the United States of America through secession. The very act of secession is an act of no compromise. Only ideologues will promote secession, and the ideologues will eventually win.

Secession is the hope for mankind. Who will be first?

DumpDC. Six Letters That Can Change History.

© Copyright 2011, Russell D. Longcore. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.


Thank You for Your Service?

July 24, 2011

by Laurence M. Vance

(Editor’s Note: The only “thank you” should be spoken to a militia member when he/she is defending his own seceded nation. But when every able-bodied person in your nation between 18 and 50 is a member of the national militia, only the children and seniors would be doing the thanking.)

It is without question that Americans are in love with the military. Even worse, though, is that their love is unqualified, unconditional, unrelenting, and unending.

I have seen signs praising the troops in front of all manner of businesses, including self-storage units, bike shops, and dog grooming.

Many businesses offer discounts to military personnel not available to doctors, nurses, and others who save lives instead of destroy them.

Special preference is usually given to veterans seeking employment, and not just for government jobs.

Many churches not only recognize veterans and active-duty military on the Sunday before holidays, they have special military appreciation days as well.

Even many of those who oppose an interventionist U.S. foreign policy and do not support foreign wars hold the military in high esteem.

All of these things are true no matter which country the military bombs, invades, or occupies. They are true no matter why the military does these things. They are true no matter what happens while the military does these things. They are true no matter which political party is in power.

The love affair that Americans have with the military – the reverence, the idolatry, the adoration, yea, the worship – was never on display like it was at the post office the other day.

While at the counter shipping some packages, a U.S. soldier, clearly of Vietnamese origin in name and appearance, dressed in his fatigues, was shipping something at the counter next to me. The postal clerk was beaming when he told the soldier how his daughter had been an MP in Iraq. Three times in as many minutes I heard the clerk tell the soldier – with a gleam in his eye and a solemn look on his face – “Thank you for your service.” The clerk even shook the soldier’s hand before he left.

I could not believe what I was seeing and hearing, and I am no stranger to accounts of military fetishes in action.

Aside from me not thanking that soldier for his service – verbally or otherwise – I immediately thought of four things.

One, what service did this soldier actually render to the United States? If merely drawing a paycheck from the government is rendering service, then we ought to thank every government bureaucrat for his service, including TSA goons. Did this soldier actually do anything to defend the United States, secure its borders, guard its shores, patrol its coasts, or enforce a no-fly zone over U.S. skies? How can someone blindly say “thank you for your service” when he doesn’t know what service was rendered?

Two, is there anything that U.S. soldiers could do to bring the military into disfavor? I can’t think of anything. Atrocities are dismissed as collateral damage in a moment of passion in the heat of battle by just a few bad apples. Unjust wars, we are told, are solely the fault of politicians not the soldiers that do the actual fighting. Paul Tibbets and his crew are seen as heroes for dropping an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Before he died, Tibbets even said that he had no second thoughts and would do it again. I suspect that if the United States dropped an atomic bomb tomorrow on Afghanistan and Pakistan, killing everyone and everything, and declaring the war on terror over and won, a majority of Americans would applaud the Air Force crew that dropped the bomb and give them a ticker-tape parade.

Three, why is it that Americans only thank American military personnel for their service? Shouldn’t foreign military personnel be thanked for service to their country? What American military worshippers really believe is that foreign military personnel should only be thanked for service to their government when their government acts in the interests of the United States. Foreign soldiers are looked upon as heroic if they refuse to obey a military order to shoot or kill at the behest of their government as long as such an order is seen as not in the interests of the United States. U.S. soldiers, however, are always expected to obey orders, even if it means going to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, or Libya under false pretenses.

And four, what is a Vietnamese man – who most certainly has relatives, or friends or neighbors of relatives, that were killed or injured by U.S. bombs and bullets during the Vietnam War – doing joining the U.S. military where he can be sent to shoot and bomb foreigners like the U.S. military did to his people?

And aside from these four things, I’m afraid I must also say: Sorry, soldiers, I don’t thank you for your service.

* I don’t thank you for your service in fighting foreign wars.
* I don’t thank you for your service in fighting without a congressional declaration of war.
* I don’t thank you for your service in bombing and destroying Iraq and Afghanistan.
* I don’t thank you for your service in killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans.
* I don’t thank you for your service in expanding the war on terror to Pakistan and Yemen.
* I don’t thank you for your service in occupying over 150 countries around the world.
* I don’t thank you for your service in garrisoning the planet with over 1,000 military bases.
* I don’t thank you for your service in defending our freedoms when you do nothing of the kind.
* I don’t thank you for your service as part of the president’s personal attack force to bomb, invade, occupy, and otherwise bring death and destruction to any country he deems necessary.

Thank you for your service? I don’t think so.

Laurence M. Vance writes from central Florida. He is the author of Christianity and War and Other Essays Against the Warfare State, The Revolution that Wasn’t, and Rethinking the Good War. Visit his website.

Copyright © 2011 by LewRockwell.com.


Flash Headlines III

July 23, 2011

By Russell D. Longcore

Economy: New unemployment claims topped 400,000 for the 15th straight WEEK. That’s over 6 million people that lost their jobs in less than four months. But the jobless rate calculated by the Labor Department stays about 9 percent. Sorry, DC. You’re cooking the books. Real unemployment is above 23%.

Economy II: Gold tops $1,600/oz., Silver tops $40/oz. Buy silver.

DC Crimes: Google the term “Gunwalker Scandal” and learn what The One and his BATFE minions are doing behind America’s backs.

International: Oslo, Norway – The whole thing may be a false flag operation, not Islamist like it first appeared.

International II: Anybody remember that Japan’s worst earthquake and tsunami happened March 11th? That sure fell off the front page fast. Death, destruction and nuclear disaster withers in the face of the Casey Anthony trial.

The Nation: A clutch of Six Senators make vague promises about the future, which are accepted by The One (Pres. O) as The Big Compromise. Meanwhile, the Senate defeats the ill-named “Cut, Cap and Balance” bill. 535 criminals cannot agree on how to steal more money. And, after it all, no one suggests that spending cuts happen in this year’s budget. It’s all theater, folks. Enjoy the show. (By the way, a clutch is a nest of baby turkeys.)

The Nation II: Congress already ignores the entire Constitution and does whatever it wants. Why does anyone think that a Balanced Budget Amendment would have any effect on Congress? Don’t you think that the writers of a Balanced Budget Amendment would write in loopholes?

The Nation III: The gridlock in Washington bodes very well for secessionists. No matter what Congress and The One agree on, it guarantees a swifter collapse of the Federal government and the Dollar. DC will kick the can off the cliff.

The Nation IV: Boehner walks out of Friday’s negotiations. More theater. Here’s hoping that the House of Representatives rejects his sorry ass and throws a monkey wrench in the Federal works and refuses to pass ANYTHING. Let Washington default, then slash and burn the budget.

Elections: Herman Cain, Repub wannabe, actually says it’s OK to discriminate against Muslims, proving that he may love the Constitution but can’t read it.

Business: Would YOU hire people in your business when you can’t be sure what Washington is going to do to screw with your business? Economic uncertainty lies at DC’s doorstep.

Sports: I guess we’ll see if the NFL millionaires and billionaires want to play nice or act like Congress.

Sports II: Looks like we suck at predicting soccer matches.

Entertainment: The last installment of Harry Potter is amazing. Good stomps bad’s ass.

DumpDC. Six Letters That Can Change History.

© Copyright 2011, Russell D. Longcore. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.


Bail

July 22, 2011

by Fred Reed

(Editor’s note: Fred means “bail out”…as in leaving, not the money to get out of jail. Fred’s article is talking about expatriation, but is dangerously close to advocating secession.)

When a country works reasonably well—when the schools teach algebra and not government-mandated Appropriate Values, when the police are scarce and courteous, when government is remote and minds its business and works more for the benefit of the country than for looters and special interests, then pledging to it a degree of allegiance isn’t foolish. Decades back America was such a country, imperfect as all countries are, but good enough to cherish.

As decline begins, and government becomes oppressive, self-righteous, and ruthless yet incompetent, as official spying flourishes, as corruption sets in hard, and institutions rot, it is time to disengage. Loyalty to a country is a choice, not an obligation. In other times people have loved family, friends, common decency, tribe, regiment, or church instead of country. In an age of national collapse, this is wise.

A fruitful field of disengagement might be called domestic expatriation—the recognition that living in a country makes you a resident, not a subscriber. It is one thing to be loyal to a government that is loyal to you, another thing entirely to continue that loyalty when the Brown Shirts march and the government rejects everything that you believe in. While the phrase has become unbearably pretentious, it is possible to regard oneself as a citizen of the world rather than of the Reich.

Home schooling is an admirable form of disengagement for those who cannot physically expatriate. The primary schools once taught enough of reading and arithmetic, and little enough of mediocritizing propaganda, as to render them other than pernicious. Today, no. Here it is worth reflecting, contrary to governmental insistence, that schools are needless, at least for bright children. An intelligent child quickly reads several years ahead of his grade level, at which point school becomes only an obstacle. He will be savagely bored, regard his teachers as imbeciles, and learn nothing that justifies his being there but much that justifies being somewhere else. In the deepening twilight, home-schooling becomes almost a responsibility, a parallel to medieval monks copying Greek manuscripts.

Disengagement from the system of universities is also advisable. This is true, first, because if you seek cultivation, to gain a grasp of such matters as history, literature, the arts and the sciences, you can do it better on your own. Professors serve little purpose other than to ensure that the student does his homework. If the student wants to study, he can do it by himself, and if he doesn’t want to study, he has no business in a university.

Second, universities these days, with exceptions I hope, are citadels of intellectual darkness. They teach little, and chiefly serve to force the young to borrow backbreaking sums from colluding banks. The wasted time and phenomenal cost cannot be justified unless they provide some remarkable recompense, and they do not.

Universities largely prepare the student for a life of office work in some dismal institution, trapping him in the retirement system and making him a prisoner of the state. In a nation subsiding into the third world, institutions cannot be counted on.

It makes more sense to become, say, a commercial diver, or a master auto mechanic. The training costs less than piratical fifth-rate USOs (university-shaped objects). Both are interesting, challenging, and well-remunerated, which cannot be said of law for most who do not go into Wall Street. Crucially important, cars can be found everywhere, and such as oil companies the world over need divers. You are not tied to the United States, where the death rattle begins to be heard over the thump of the storm troopers’ boots.

Disengagement from the consumerist zeitgeist is essential. Yes, I know. Distaste for a life dedicated to buying the unnecessary can seem a pose: “I, I, am of such lofty character that I do not dirty my philosophical hands with mere…things.”

No. It is not a pose. In a time of economic retrogression, rejection of consumerism is utterly practical. And almost treasonous.

One might ask oneself, “What do I really need, and what things really matter to me? How much money do I really need, and how much am I willing to pay to get it?” Remember, you pay more for money than for anything else.

I once lived briefly in an old one-bedroom trailer set in a patch of pine woods near Farmville, Virginia. A brick barbecue came with it, and a large floppy pooch, apparently a mixture of Irish setter and whatever was around. The place was blessedly quiet. Birds and bugs aren’t noise. When it rained I delighted in being almost in the storm, but dry. I think the whole shebang cost the owner five thousand dollars, including a well and septic system.

If you are thinking, “Why…no…I couldn’t possibly live that way,” you are probably right. But if I were doing it now, I would have staggering amounts of pirated music on today’s monstrous memory sticks, a set of very decent speakers for a few hundred doomed green ones, a Kindle or the free computer version for reading books from Amazon if I had the money or Project Gutenberg if I didn’t, and a fairly large flat screen for watching movies donated by uTorrent. Net cost: Under a grand.

Circumstances differ, yes. But you get the idea: Comfort, quiet, music, books, barbecue, undefined dog, storms, friends, for practically nothing. Mutatis mutandis, the principle applies almost everywhere.

It also fits well with Fred’s Bifurcate Law of Economic Independence: If you can’t pay for it, don’t buy it; and if you don’t need it, don’t buy it. Therein lie the seeds of the utter destruction of America, but I’m not Wall Street’s mother.

To labor the point a tad, where I live, near Guadalajara in Mexico, at least two friends are living quite comfortably on a thousand a month, to include beer, internet, and in one case substances crucial to the bloated salaries of DEA. Each has a tired truck, but no granite counter-tops or riding mower.

Another step toward independence is to disengage to the extent possible from the maintenance cycle. You are much better off in bad times if you can do the kind of plumbing, wiring, and auto maintenance that used to be commonly understood. This is easy to say, I know. Yet, if done, it gets you farther off the grid.

Again, circumstances differ and details vary. The principle remains: Disengage, cut your expenses, seek the interstices, and don’t believe in anything unless you are sure it was your idea to believe in it. What is coming looks to be ugly. If so, it will be every man for himself, his family, his friends, and what principles he believes. The government doesn’t give a wan, eitolated damn about you.

©Fred Reed


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 17,447 other followers