A Movie That Gets It Right

October 31, 2010

by Jeffrey Tucker

Who are the capitalist folk heroes of our time? The Social Network is a film that celebrates one of the greats, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. It might seem at first like an impossibly boring story that resists movie making: how Facebook came to be founded and grew, meeting trials along the way and becoming the giant that it is today.

In fact, it is not only a super exciting and wonderful movie on its own terms; it is probably the finest movie about free enterprise made in our times. It gets entrepreneurship in the real world exactly right. It deals brilliantly with all the important issues from the motivational drive behind web startups (it is not necessarily money) and the impossibility of slicing and dicing ideas into ownership units. It reportedly mixes fact and fiction, but that does not matter in the slightest for the many lessons and the overall theme.

The movie comes just in time. Facebook has been the victim of an increasingly vituperative campaign by the intelligentsia. It supposedly violates privacy, feeds crazed egoism, destroys lives by tempting people to cough up too much information about themselves, wrecks marriages, leads teens to commit suicide, wastes vast time that people should otherwise be using to enjoy the great outdoors, ruins the culture by digitizing communication at the expense of real face-to-face interaction, and wrecks the language by dumbing down the term “friend.”

Such are the alleged crimes of Facebook, and if you think that the website is guilty, there is an easy answer. Don’t use it. Facebook is all voluntary. It is also free for everyone. People – the latest report has 500 million people signed up, but this will grow to 1 billion and beyond – also happen to love it and depend on it. In fact, it is the most popular website ever. It has connected people as never before, allowing one person to keep up with the goings-on of thousands of others in record time. It is a major contributor to the humanization and personalization of the Internet and has made it possible for a vast plethora of causes and ideas to find expression and an audience.

There is philosophical significance to the phrase “social network.” It echoes a distinction between the economic and political means, as made by Franz Oppenheimer, refined by Albert Jay Nock in his distinction between society and state, and further by Frank Chodorov, who pointed out that the social means is always voluntary and the statist means is always coerced. The Social Network is shorthand for the vast matrix of communication and exchange that springs from human volition alone; it is to “society” in that Chodorovian sense that Facebook owes its energy and orderliness.

As always with free enterprise, it all started with a small idea: people like to know about others and like others to know about themselves. The Internet can make this happen. The film shows how the idea germinated within the microculture of Harvard University as Zuckerberg experimented with software solutions, and gathered ideas from every possible source. He rendered dreams into code that became a phenom. The movie nicely illustrates how his entrepreneurship was driven by ideas, tested on a daily and hourly basis in response to consumer interest and demand, with constant refinements along the way.

The ideas alone, however, were not enough. They were given life by technological genius. They were implemented through deep devotion and even a praiseworthy fanaticism. The film further shows that, while making money and the profit-and-loss test are the crucial signs and seals of commercial success, in the long run, the drive for money was not the fundamental motivation for the creation of Facebook. Zuckerberg is shown as not caring about money. He cares about doing something creative, great, and pathbreaking. He cares about making a dent in the universe.

When Facebook begins to take flight and really catch on, Zuckerberg is quoted as keenly realizing that its popularity, its coolness, is its main asset. He wisely sees that nothing should be done to risk that fundamental asset. The goal is not making as much money as soon as possible but entrenching the love that people have for the thing that Facebook was making available. This attitude among entrepreneurs is far more common than conventional lore would suggest. The archetype is of an achievement-obsessed dreamer, not a greed-obsessed calculator.

Another point that is bang on in this movie concerns the most difficult life lesson that anyone of singular talent, any dreamer who achieves something wonderful, must learn in life. We are born into this world believing that success in anything will be met with praise and acclaim. We are not often told the truth that we see in this film: success is more likely to be met by envy, hate, disparagement, put downs, and loathing, sometimes from the most unexpected sources.

The successful person in any field – and this is probably true in all times and all places – will find himself or herself quickly surrounded by wolves (many of them former sheep) seeking to ruin, wreck, and destroy. Even the grandest achievements are put down as pure luck or credited to others or disparaged as being not so great. If there are laws that give the wolves the opportunity to work out their envy, they will be employed. Every entrepreneur must prepare for this, expect it, and deal with it.

So it was that Facebook was met with early challenges and hate campaigns, and it is no surprise in the digital age that the initial attack occurred on the issue of “intellectual property,” and here the film makes yet another great contribution. It shows how irrelevant IP is for business success, and how it has become the preferred slogan of losers, and the great excuse for whole classes of people with a bad business sense. “He stole my idea” is the great lie of our time, because ideas cannot actually be stolen and there is no existing idea that is not in debt to some other idea.

The film shows how fellow Harvard students Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss had asked Zuckerberg to write the code for their proposed site, Harvard Connection, which eventually became ConnectU. Zuckerberg had other and more elaborate ideas brewing in his brain. Once Facebook took off, the Winklevoss twins cried foul and, after having failed to crush Facebook through every other means, eventually sued Zuckerberg for violating their intellectual property, even though the projects shared none of the same code.

There are a few choice lines in the movie. Zuckerberg is outraged at the idea that he had stolen anything. The Winklevoss twins still had their idea; it’s just that they didn’t do anything with it. And what if Zuckerberg had indeed relied in part on someone else’s notion? As Zuckerberg is quoted as saying, does “a guy who makes a really good chair owe money to anyone who ever made a chair?” Silly Zuckerberg: using common sense in the face of the arcane and mixed-up world of IP.

Another way to put it is a line Zuckerberg uses in the depositions after the lawsuit. He tells one of the twins, “if you had invented Facebook, you would have invented Facebook.” This sounds simple, but it is really all you need to know about the absurdity of such claims. Who wins and who loses in the marketplace is not arbitrary; the marketplace tends to separate the talkers from the doers, the dreamers from the risk takers, the actors from the mere thinkers. If you can’t create and can’t compete, you can always claim a violation of intellectual property. Hey, under American law, there is nothing you can’t use as the basis of a legal extortion scheme.

An essential part of entrepreneurship is choosing which idea, among the millions that hit a person from every direction every day, one is going to use to influence a business venture. At one point in the film, a student comes up to Zuckerberg and asks him whether he knows if some particular girl has a boyfriend and, if so, how serious they are. This gives Mark the idea of permitting users of Facebook to announce their relationship status on their individual pages. The addition of that one feature convinced him that it was time to go live. The new website was launched soon after. By the standards of IP, the fellow student who asked him this question has some stake in the profits of Facebook, because that exchange gave rise to a crucial feature of the website. For that matter, every single user of Facebook has a stake.

By carefully presenting many of the outside influences on Zuckerberg, in a series of brilliant scenes that hit a huge variety of sectors and opinions, the film presents the reality of how ideas come to be, and shows how IP litigation has become a path for losers, a racketeering legal route for the resentful to loot the successful. After all, had Facebook not taken off and been a success, the Winklevoss twins would have never imagined themselves to have been victimized at all. That fact alone shows that there is no real theft involved here.

If someone steals your car, you are a victim whether the robber abandons the car or uses it to win a NASCAR race. IP only ends up being an issue when the defendant makes a go of it. Once any idea becomes a success, you can count on hordes of people to line up and claim that they had it first. Sure enough, the twins use the law to extort millions; and who is right and who is wrong – essential matters of justice – don’t even figure into the decision to settle. Yet again: this is all too realistic.

Especially telling is how the twins imagine how they will destroy Facebook out of resentment for Zuckerberg’s success. They make no bones about it: they want to wreck it. Here we see how IP ends up creating a moral hazard for the envious to set up barriers to social and economic progress.

I have no idea about the real-life details of the case, but it is possible that the film underplays the extent to which Zuckerberg actually did gain valuable influence from the competitive effort to create the Harvard Connection. And yet, as the film also shows, this is how great ideas come about. No great idea in this world is created out of nothing – contrary to the myth. Great ideas result from the interplay of a huge range of influences in all directions. The winner is the one who makes the commercial reality happen. Until then, it is all talk.

A second legal issue portrayed in the film concerns Zuckerberg’s squabbles with his best friend, who was named the CFO of Facebook before being squeezed out of the company when the top players, among whom is another legend, Sean Parker of Napster, concluded that he wasn’t really up to the job. This case strikes me as a matter of manners and contract but not intellectual property. The case was settled out of court.

As EconomicPolicyJournal pointed out, this film could end up driving millions of young, code-savvy students to become entrepreneurs, and further entice students into the world of digital enterprise. More than likely, this is not something people will learn in class. They will learn it from their extracurricular exposure to the fast-moving world of commerce and from developing an intuition about what really makes people tick and how to tap into that in the marketplace.

You may not like Facebook, but it has evidently improved life for millions of people. In any case, for decades I’ve heard the intelligentsia disparage the latest thing, only to find those same people using that very technology a few years later. Today’s technology bashers are tomorrow’s late adopters.

Just the other day, I visited an elderly gentlemen, a prominent fiction writer, in a retirement home. He treats his desktop computer as his lifeline to the world outside, permitting him to keep up with all his extended family and communicate with friends all over the country. My mind raced back to a conversation I had with him 17 years ago. I had asked him what he thought of the Internet and email (there was no web back then). He said that he regarded these innovations as “the end of the world.” He said it with an ominous tone in his voice. Well, perhaps he was right about that, but it was also the beginning of a new world that this very person has since learned to love.

So it is with Facebook. Zuckerberg ended one world and began a new and better one for many millions of people. The Social Network shows how the commercial marketplace gave a code geek a chance to do that and how he did it. It is a film that celebrates the good guys, ridicules the bad guys, shows the reality of what any successful person will face, makes the legal system look like the pathetic enemy of enterprise that it truly is, and provides a tribute to entrepreneurship that is long overdue.

This film is a glorious success – which means of course that it is under attack: A Washington Post reviewer thinks that it doesn’t show how private innovation is really just luck of the draw, and it fails to highlight the wonderful essentials of public infrastructure as provided by government.

Yeah, sure, and this reviewer might back a similar movie called The Government Network, starring bureaucrats and their defenders at the Post, and see how it does at the box office.

Copyright 2010 Mises.org.

Jeffrey Tucker is editorial vice president of www.Mises.org and a real snappy dresser.


An Open Letter To the People Of Texas

October 30, 2010

By Daniel Miller, President
Texas Nationalist Movement

A few weeks back, I expressed my frustration to you about those who just could not see the light. I equated what you were going through to Battered Women’s Syndrome. Even though it was, I believe, a perfect analogy, some believed it to be somewhat harsh.

Well, folks, these are times for being harsh.

I would like to draw your attention to a country that has been the butt of many jokes over the past several years – France. Recently, the government suggested that it might be necessary to raise the retirement age. The people of France, after paying in to a system for most of their adult lives, took to the streets in protest virtually shutting that country down. This continued for days and weeks until the government relented.

Whether you agree or disagree with the French or the policies of the French government, there is one thing that you cannot argue. They showed the government who was in charge in France.

All of this was over a single policy. Just one. Not a sweeping change of governmental structure or ideology. It was one policy. One policy drove them to the streets. One policy drove them to shut their country down. One policy drove them together. One policy led them away from their jobs for days to march. One policy led them away from their homes for days to march. One policy led them away from their entertainment for days to march. One policy led them to take drastic action.

Which brings us back to Texas and my question to you. What is it going to take?

Let me just lay out the current situation for you.

The Border

Our border with Mexico, managed by the United States, has failed. Not due to a single policy but to a systematic plan by the Federal Government to force it to fail.

Here in Texas they have failed to secure the border with Mexico.
• They have denied the Governor’s request for the necessary National Guard troops to secure the border.
• They have offered incentives for people to cross illegally.
• They have turned a blind eye to the violence which is spilling over the border.
• They have set up a program where they bus captured illegal aliens from all of the Southwestern states and release them in Presidio, Texas.
• When Texas has assumed the burden, they have failed to pay their fair share.
When Arizona took matters into their own hands:
• The FedGov sued them challenging their sovereignty and declaring their attempts to solve the problem as “racist”.
• The FedGov offered indirect support of a nationwide boycott of Arizona and its businesses.
• The FedGov denounced them to the United Nations and turned their fate over to the likes of Iran, Libya, Syria and Venezuela.
• The FedGov harassed their law enforcement officials through bogus Department of Justice investigations which continue to this day.

The Economy

The Federal Government and its incessant manipulation, interference and social engineering have destroyed the economy.

• They accumulated a national debt that is statistically impossible to pay off and have obligated us to over $200 TRILLION in debt over the next few decades placing us, our children and future generations into financial bondage.
• They have violated the trust of the people by taking from our paychecks to fund a Social Security pension system from which they have stolen driving it into bankruptcy.
• They have presided over the collapse of the mortgage industry and have set the stage for the collapse of the bond market, hyperinflation and credit defaults to foreign nations which will, in effect, place the foreign governments as our owners.
• When the big banks invested your money in risky schemes to fatten their wallets and those schemes collapsed, the Federal Government came to their rescue. When that chaos put many of you out of work, they turned a blind eye and deaf ear to your plight and paved the way for multi-million dollar bonuses for those who decimated the economy.
• They have created such a destructive financial climate that there is now a three year waiting list for FDIC audits on banks that have failed meaning that there is not enough money to cover the FDIC insurance on your deposits.
• They have attacked energy distribution in Texas using the EPA as a tool to virtually shut down the refineries in Texas costing jobs.
• They have attacked energy production in Texas by issuing a crippling moratorium on drilling in the Gulf and then lifting the ban while establishing an unreasonable permitting process for those wishing to drill in the Gulf.
• Further, they have attacked on-shore production in the Barnett Shale. All of this costs Texans jobs and works to destroy our economy.
• They have passed National Healthcare placing an unsustainable tax burden on the Texan people and Texas businesses using a mechanism that is an unconstitutional use of the “interstate commerce clause” again forcing businesses to lay off Texans and reduce or eliminate health benefits.
• In addition to all of this, on January 1st, 2011, they will impose the largest tax increase in history placing the stake in the heart of the economy.

The Government

The Constitution provides for a very limited Federal Government. Any activities or powers outside of those limits are reserved to the states and to the people. The Federal Government has exceeded its mandate in the Constitution in its size and actions and has shown that it is inept at the most basic functions of a national government.

• They have abused their power to regulate interstate commerce by defining everything that we do as “interstate commerce” and claiming jurisdiction.
• A sitting President has incited racial hatred by telling Hispanics that white people are their enemy. He, and his supporters, have fanned the flames of hatred by declaring that those who disagree with his policies are racists.
• They have denied the right of the people to seek redress of their grievances by ignoring their pleas for a return to the Constitution even when millions gathered at the seat of government.
• They have exhibited the height of arrogance when faced with a populace begging to be heard by calling them extremists, insulting them and equating the use of their voice with violence.
• They have conspired to turn concerned citizens into terrorists by classifying legitimate, peaceful political protest as domestic terrorism.
• The Executive Branch has systematically, over time, accumulated more power rendering the Legislative and Judicial branches of the government irrelevant.
• They have conspired and have succeeded in denying the rights of the people and transferring the sovereignty of the states to the Federal Government and have, subsequently, transferred that sovereignty to foreign powers who have no regard for our rights and institutions.
• They have sent our young men and women to fight in foreign wars without a constitutionally required declaration of war essentially abusing the desire of the best of our citizens to serve at the cost of their lives all the while draining our national coffers and destroying the Constitution.
• They have engaged the political machine to give us false choices in our supposedly free elections. We have been reduced to making a choice for the lesser of two evils and have been denied the right to vote according to our conscience.
• When we have sent elected representatives to Washington that will stand firm on Constitutional principles, they have been relegated to the sidelines, ostracized or co-opted by the same political machine.
• They have passed thousands of unconstitutional laws, instituted thousands of unconstitutional programs and set up hundreds of unconstitutional agencies creating a monster bureaucracy with hundreds of thousands of bureaucrats who harass, threaten and intimidate daily.
• They have used money that we paid in the form of special taxes to bribe and extort compliance out of state and local governments.
• They have interpreted the 14th Amendment to give it a meaning far removed from its intent, conferring birthright citizenship on the children of illegal immigrants, creating an incentive for illegal immigration, establishing a permanent economic underclass, diluting the labor pool making vested citizens uncompetitive in the workforce and adding more support to the existing government and its unconstitutional course.
• They have intruded into our personal lives in the name of security while denying us appropriate proportional representation in Congress and have denied the right of the states to be represented by allowing the direct election of Senators.
• They have utilized the mass media, concentrated in New England and California, to issue forth streams of propaganda and impose their values and desires on Texas. While there is debate over the direction of the government, the concentration of the message always falsely presents that the solution lies in the Federal Government.

What’s It Going To Take?

These are just SOME of the abuses. It’s more than one. It’s more than was cited in the Declaration of Independence. It’s way more than what sent the people of France into the streets. What will it take for you?

I look back on the recent protests or rallies that I’ve attended. There have been, at most, a thousand people congregated for, at most, four hours. While holding signs encouraging one another to “stand up” against the Federal Government, most are being held by people sitting in lawn chairs. But at least those people showed up. I have endured one excuse after another why people can’t get involved in this fight to save Texas.

• “I don’t have $18.”
• “I have to work.”
• “That’s the same day as the Texas-OU game.”
• “I have to mow the grass.”
• “It’s too far to drive.”
• “I have a cold.”
• “Driving that far makes my back sore.”
• “I can’t afford to take that time off of work.”

The excuses don’t cut it anymore. You know what I know about this situation. The United States, as you have known it, is over. The Federal Government has seen to it. Texas must leave the Union to save the principles that we care about. If other states do it as well, then good for them. We cannot change the United States. We cannot preserve the principles and stay in the Union.

So what is it going to take?

The Founders of Texas declared independence from Mexico for far less and sacrificed way more. The Founders of the United States declared independence for far less and sacrificed way more. The people of France took to the streets for far less and sacrificed way more.

It is time for you to make a decision. Either you want to live like this or you want something better. Either you or perfectly fine with where the Federal Government is taking you or you want to be rid of it. Either you want to live in bondage or you want to be free and independent. There is no “option c”. There is no compromise option. There is no middle ground. There is only slavery or freedom.

If you fail to choose, you have chosen. We either create history or it’s created for us.

Years from now, you will have the opportunity to explain this period in our history to the generations yet to come. When they ask you what you did when Texas became a Republic again, are you going to tell them that you couldn’t take off of work? Are you going to tell them that you missed out because the Cowboys game was on? Are you going to tell them that a pizza or a case of beer was more important?

If you ignore this call to join with the Texas Nationalist Movement, then never complain about the Federal Government again. Never complain about Obama, Pelosi, Reid or any of their successors. Never complain about taxes, inflation, unemployment or immigration. When the banks run out of money, don’t complain. When your job goes to an illegal alien, don’t complain. When your money becomes worthless, don’t complain. When the price of food goes sky high, don’t complain.

And whatever you do, never insult the French. They at least did something that you were unwilling to do for far less.

However, if you are ready to join with me and other Texans who are ready to give everything and sacrifice all to live for a cause, then I welcome you and embrace you as my countrymen.

Daniel Miller
President
Texas Nationalist Movement
Join the TNM Today!

Texas Nationalist Movement
3104 Nederland Avenue
Nederland, TX 77627


Getting Back to the ‘Real’ Constitution–Fagettaboutit!

October 29, 2010

By Kirkpatrick Sale

There’s much talk these days, particularly by the Tea Party types, about getting back to the “real” Constitution, forcing the Obama government to honor the “original intent” of the Founding Fathers, and “understanding the Constitution through the eyes of its creators,” as one contributor to the Tenth Amendment Center recently put it. That center, in fact, is dedicated to, and attracting a growing following for, a rigid interpretation of that amendment reserving to the states the powers not expressly given to the Federal government.

And along with it in the last few years has grown up a Constitution Party that has the idea that the nation’s problems can be solved by “a renewed allegiance” to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and hence a return to “limited government.” The problem with current officials of both parties, as the CP see it, is that they “ignore their oaths to uphold the Constitution,” that is to say, the Constitution as originally written and used in the 18th century .

This would be a far different country, of course, if it paid an allegiance to the document of 1787 that the renegade Congress had come up with, in secret, that summer in Philadelphia, even along with its first ten amendments. But what all the critics who believe that going back to the original Constitution would forestall the kinds of forces that have led to the present bloated, overstretched, intrusive, and unwieldy government do not realize is that this is what it almost inevitably had to lead to.

Let’s wake up these “real Constitution” die-hards and the ardent “Tenthers” and tell them that it’s a waste of time to try to resurrect that document in order to save the nation. Because the growth of government and the centralization of power is inherent in its original provisions…as the anti-Federalists were trying to say all along from the very beginning of the ratification process. Only when we get people today off this understandable but ill-fated track can we begin to open their eyes to the reality of our present peril: we have a big overgrown government because that’s what the Founding Fathers founded, and we won’t escape from it until we take the idea of secession as seriously as it must be taken.

Let’s look at some of the dangerous elements of the “real” Constitution.

It starts off with a phrase that, right there at the start, sounded alarm bells in those who, having experienced the powers of the individual states as sovereign states under the Articles of Confederation, saw that it was not to the states but to “we the people” that power would be given. “What right had they to say, We ,the people,” cried Patrick Henry to the Virginia ratification convention, “instead of, We, the states?” He saw that the phrase gave power to an amorphous “people” whom the new government could define and use as it chose, bypassing and undercutting the states. If “the people” spoke through the Congress, it could willy-nilly ignore the individual states.

Which, indeed, is what happened, and Congress was cheerfully ratified in doing so by another centralizing branch of government, the Supreme Court. But the idea was never more egregiously used than when Lincoln denied that the states had any particular power, indeed denied that they were sovereign entities at all, and argued that all power rests with the people, who had created a United States and wanted it united. “Government of the people,” in other words, means that Washington can do whatever it damn pleases in their name.

And the anti-Federalists had warned of exactly that seventy years before. The framers of the Constitution, said Luther Martin, a delegate to the convention from Maryland, were crypto-monarchists whose “wish it was to abolish and annihilate all State governments, and to bring forward one general government…of a monarchical nature, under certain restrictions and limitations.” That was said in November 1787 – don’t say you weren’t warned.

But let’s go on with the faults of the centralizers’ Constitution. There is in Article I a bold statement that “Congress shall have the power to” and there follow some specifics about taxes and debts—and then “provide for the general welfare of the United States.” Agree to that and you’ve agreed it can do anything it likes without check or rein, for what measure could not be thought to be enhancing the “general welfare”? James Madison, who had a hand in Federal enlargement elsewhere in the document, saw the danger here: “If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of…in short, everything, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police.” That is not what they had fought a war against the British monarchy for.

Not more than a few phrases away is the famous “commerce clause,” by which a Supreme Court, ever-willing to enhance the powers of the Washington establishment, managed almost from the beginning to enhance Congressional control over what the states would be allowed to do. Congress shall have the power, it reads, “to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states.” That would seem to mean that Congress could establish terms by which states could trade with each other, so that none would establish tariffs against any other—“a negative and preventive provision against injustice among the States themselves,” as Madison saw it, “rather than as a power to be used for the positive purposes of the General Government.”

But positive is what the clause became. The Supreme Court decided that practically anything that went on commercially within one state would have some kind of effect on all the others, in some way or other, and so government can regulate it; as early as 1828 it held that the government could regulate trade on the Hudson river for its entire length because some of it ran along New Jersey, and the monopoly New York state had given to Robert Fulton to run his steamboat it decided to be null and void because it affected New Jerseyans. Its reading of the clause became ever more expansive as time went on and by the New Deal it gave the government carte blanche to interfere in state business down to the level of a janitor’s salary and a farmer’s wheat crop.

And as if that wasn’t a sufficient interference in state business, the Founding Fathers wound up their Constitution with a clause that ringingly asserted that what they had just enumerated as the powers of the government—and any laws that they should subsequently pass “in pursuance thereof”—“shall be the supreme law of the land” and judges in the states better take that to heart. This “supremacy clause” was hotly debated at the time because it, like the other sections above, could be interpreted in such a broad way that the states would be powerless to act on matters of serious concern, and thus it was that when there finally came a slew of amendments that the people of the states demanded as checks on Federal power, one of the most important was the Tenth, asserting that Washington had only the specific powers enumerated in the Constitution and the states had jurisdiction in all else.

Which brings up the final deficiency in that Constitution, that Tenth Amendment itself. It seems clear that a great many serious people felt that when it said “the powers not delegated to the U.S….are reserved to the states…or to the people,” that this guaranteed a considerable sovereignty for the states. But the centralists agreed to it (and put it at the end of the Bill of Rights) because they knew that it was so unspecific, so merely rhetorical, that it was capable of any interpretation—and that a Supreme Court capable of giving itself judicial review over Congress ( not enumerated in the Constitution) would be capable of finding that the powers delegated to the U.S. were pretty vast and those given to the states were few and limited in scope. As it so happened.

The Tenthers are fighting valiantly to reverse the 220 years in which that last item in the Bill of Rights has been emasculated and rendered effectively irrelevant, and they may even be gaining some attention, particularly in the states’ growing resistance to Obamacare. But it seems most unlikely that, with the other centralizing tools at their command, the Federal courts will give it much consideration.

And then when they finally see their beloved amendment in shreds, maybe then the Tenthers and other Constitutional-Firsters will begin to see that the U.S. Constitution, by the centralists, of the nationalists, and for the Hamiltonians, is not a document that will lead them to liberty and sovereignty. The only method for that, let us hope they finally realize, is secession.

Copyright 2010 Kirkpatrick Sale, Middlebury Institute.


A Plus B Equals Your Worst Nightmare

October 28, 2010

by Tom Baugh

Warning: This is probably the most disturbing article I have written. If you have been upset by simple statements from me such as “the upcoming election (whichever) won’t matter” or “The Constitution is about power, not freedom”, then this one won’t help your stress level much. If this describes you, turn back now.

Think you know about radiological dirty bombs? You know, the usual: easily-detected, a suicide mission for the operator, etc. All of these are comforting things that we are told to believe (usually by some perky blonde after talking about what star is in jail for what). Think again. I’ve sat on the idea in this article for over two years now since stumbling across hints of it while researching Starving the Monkeys. Recently I’ve come across confirmations from multiple sources that, yes, the idea is relatively widespread. It is a well-kept secret, but only from you. Rest uneasy, the bad guys already know about this idea.

As the twenty-eight foot rental truck emerged from the east side of the Holland Tunnel, the driver flipped the switch flopping around on the seat behind him. This signal traveled along the pair of twisted wires leading to a small, neat hole drilled from the cab through to the spacious cargo area behind him. But, instead of an explosion, this signal triggered the operation of a handful of electric motors and a heater in the apparatus behind him. Tied to the electrical power system of the truck’s engine, this equipment hardly caused any effect on the vehicle’s power as it climbed the grade from under the Hudson River toward Manhattan. By the time the driver reached Canal Street, the weapon had already started its slow operation.

So far, not bad, right? A simple truck bomb with some kind of delay thingy? Hardly. Now, what you are about to read is possible, but requires the resources of a small nation, or very large company. Fortunately, simply publishing this makes the latter less likely. The former is up to us, and how willing we are to let the bad actors among us continue to wage economic war around the world. On a practical level, this may read like a recipe, but several details have been changed to protect your innocence. No one who doesn’t already know how to do this isn’t going to put one of these together in a storage unit somewhere after reading this article, not even if they follow some of the rabbit trails I mention.

Had anyone bothered to inspect the vehicle, they would have found most of the cargo area occupied by pairs of large, inverted, conical bins arranged throughout the length of the truck. These bins, appropriately enough, struck their designer as resembling miniature missile silos. One bin of each pair contained a liquid substance, the other a granular solid. Piping above the liquid bins had delivered a freshly prepared load of the active ingredient (we’ll call it “A”) from a garage specially equipped for the manufacture and purification of this substance out in New Jersey less than an hour before. Soon, the area immediately around that foreclosed garage would be declared uninhabitable, but no one would notice this in the media frenzy which would soon embroil the island fortress from which economic terrorism is waged on the world’s economies.

I’m not going to tell you what substance A is. Think of this as my contribution to non-proliferation. Unfortunately, most of the actual bad guys (not the ones we are fighting) already know how to do this. And there isn’t just one simple choice for substance A. No, there’s lots of options. And there’s gobs (technical term) of raw material, or feedstock for this stuff, just lying around. You can even see big piles of the feedstock from space in certain states.

The second substance (we’ll call it “B”), a dirty-tan granular material the appearance and consistency of cheap brown sugar, was indefinitely inert, and so required no special handling or precautions. This material had been prepared first, and had sat in a grain silo in Eastern Pennsylvania for two years waiting for its mate.

I’m not going to tell you what this one is, either, but again, the actual bad guys already know. I’ve also changed a few technical details to further cloud things. But, it wouldn’t take a motivated someone of the right background more than a couple of months of intense study to figure out the details. Science is like that: a powerful weapon in the hands of those who know. This is why Johnny lags children from all the other countries in the world in math and science. Our own crop of domestic bad guys fear a smart Johnny more than they fear made-up bad guys abroad.

And no, for those readers of “Starving the Monkeys”, these substances aren’t one of those black holes of knowledge I mention about halfway through that book. Those are even more, uh, interesting than what we’re talking about here.

Once the switch had been engaged, several events happened simultaneously. First, valves opened allowing metered amounts of the liquid to splash onto an augured quantity of the solid leaving its bins like so much chicken feed. This wet mixture passed through an additional auger section where it was mixed thoroughly, and then entered a screw press similar to that used for making wood fuel pellets. Instead of pellets, though, a thick wet spaghetti emerged from the dies then passed over a screened roller which blew hot air over it. Mostly dry now, the brittle extrusion rattled apart, with clumps of the now intimately mixed materials falling through a specially prepared chute, along with the waste hot air stream, just behind the rear axle of the vehicle. No one watching the truck pass by would even notice the tan material falling from the cargo area. The few who might would simply dismiss it as dried mud falling from the axle and wheel wells.

Not all bad things go boom or have the sniffles. Yep, keep seizing those bottles of water before people get on airplanes. And stealing almost full cans of toiletries from passengers.

Once mixed, the material did nothing at all. At least not to the naked eye.

Much like the weapons of economic mass terror launched by financial wizards in New York and elsewhere. Simple plundering profit at first, until the devastating effects are felt by the innocent months and years later.

But at the atomic level, something very interesting was happening. The material began to come alive. First, at totally random intervals, the nuclei of substance A began to emit high-energy alpha particles. Alpha particles are merely helium nuclei stripped of their electrons. This simple material is harmless, except at the energies the substance began to vomit them. At those energies, these lighter-than-air particles are deadly if ingested. This is what killed Alexander Litvinenko in 2006, high-energy alpha particles streaming from the well-known Polonium-210 poison he had ingested. Polonium-210 is also well-known as an initiator material in primitive atomic bomb designs, a radioactive power source for space vehicles, and a subject of study for weapons labs worldwide, including the Weizmann Institute in Israel, where a couple of oopsies killed a half-dozen or so scientists by accident a few decades back before they learned how to handle this deadly poison.

This isn’t to imply that Mossad assassinated Livinenko with Polonium-210, or that they have in the past assassinated even our own government officials who opposed Israel. If they wanted to do that, simple guns and bullets suffice. Along with a willing media to help propagandize the outcome. Based where, I wonder?

But this liquid, consisting of a solution of substance A compounded in a simple, yet uncommon, salt, doesn’t contain Polonium-210. That isotope would be far too expensive, too detectable, and much too fast-acting for the dried mud which had by now been scattered along the southern half of Broadway as the truck neared the raging bull. No, this material released the deadly yet secretive alphas much more slowly than Polonium-210, and is unfathomably cheaper (and abundant worldwide). But these alphas alone aren’t a problem unless swallowed or inhaled. No, despite their high energies, they can’t even escape an aluminum can, or a small air gap. The driver of the vehicle is perfectly safe, as is the equipment inside the cargo area. No suicide missions here.

Alphas, unlike x-rayish gammas, also can’t be detected from outside the truck, or at a distance in the open, in other words. And did I mention there were big piles of the feedstock for this stuff in lots of places? Besides that, you can buy Polonium-210, or a convenient substitute, if you know where to look and aren’t easily alarmed. But again, the actual bad guys already know this. And probably laughed at the private little joke in what I just said.

An alpha-emitter, even one as deadly as Polonium-210, has to be ingested or in intimate contact with some other material before that target material could be affected. Intimately mixed with the granules by first wetting and then being augured through a die, that is exactly what happened. Now our alphas come slamming into the nuclei of substance B, spalling neutrons off of them like splinters from a sheet of plywood hit with a twelve-gauge shotgun. There isn’t a one-to-one conversion, of course, since almost all of the alphas miss their targets; our shotgun marksman is blindfolded and standing in the mostly empty space at the subatomic level. Plus, the target nuclei wear electron Kevlar which turns glancing blows into complete misses. Never fear, though, the few hits that do barrel straight in are enough. Shortly after the machinery began to operate, neutrons begin pouring out of the dried mud by the millions, but even this is still undetectable at street level, for even a tiny BB still contains trillions upon trillions of iron nuclei.

A good-sized plutonium bomb wipes out a city by burning through less than a kilogram of its own mass. Its neutron yield is stupendously higher, but there’s a lot more nuclei in the tons of material we’re talking about here. Imagine a really big plutonium bomb on the slow cycle.

Give them time, though, because proper selection of substance A allowed the driver of the truck to complete his circuit through every street on Manhattan Island south of Central Park with plenty of time to escape before real damage began. Plenty of time, meaning weeks, or months. A few days or weeks after the attack the symptoms were detectable, if anyone knew what to look for. By then, the apparatus had been removed from the truck, the cargo area pressure-washed to remove any spilled traces, and then returned to the dealer. No tell-tale axles here. No, by the time anyone realized an attack had happened, the perps had simply vanished, along with any leads that might have been gathered. A trick of math allowed investigators to track the mud back approximately to the attack date, but even that was off by a couple of days. An alert traffic pattern analysis might have revealed a truck that covered each street on southern Manhattan Island, but that could apply to hundreds, or thousands, of delivery trucks among the uncountable numbers that visit there each day. Besides, this attack could have been carried out by twenty trucks just as easily as one. No, this attack was as silent and as mysterious as a whisper in the wind.

Planes crashing into buildings, or truck bombs pretending to blow up federal buildings look great on TV, but sometimes the best ways to kill lots of people is like an investment gone bad, silent but deadly. What I’m describing here is nothing compared to the mass starvation that will ultimately kill up to a billion people once New York and pals are done raping the world’s economies while recruiting billions more to the ways of Marxism and radical Islam in desperate response. Rush Limbaugh and gang like to talk about unintended consequences of liberal policies, while ignoring those of their paymasters.

Each of these granules of mud, discharging their supply of neutrons over time like a time-release medication, became detectable only after enough atoms of substance A had decayed to allow the gammas of its daughter- and granddaughter-products to uniquely identify the mother substance. A few weeks after the attack one street-level gamma radiation sensor triggered, then hours later a few more, until by the end of the second day of triggering the entire southern half of the island was ablaze with warning signals. As if this wasn’t bad enough, had the designers of the mud weapon bothered, they could have easily salted substance B with substance C. This third material, when exposed to the neutrons streaming out of the dried mud, converts into another isotope which can be used to irradiate food, removing all traces of living organisms. Or for that matter, remove all trace of living organisms such as people when exposed directly.

Oh, there’s lots of options. Kind-of like designer death. Or think of it as a portfolio of highly-leveraged subprime bonds for your organs. Pick one. It doesn’t matter which.

No, the designers left that little detail alone, opting for more juicy targets for their neutrons, like the legs of the millions of people who walk those streets each day, which also happen to contain critical moderating substances needed to slow those neutrons down into the more deadly so-called thermal variety. Neutron by thermal neutron, day after day, trillions of nuclei of all sorts are converted into dangerous irradiators such as substance C. Why bother to reduce the dose that the truck can carry when all of those people carry sufficient quantities of good-enough in the minerals in their bones? Beyond people being converted into their own walking death chambers, the minerals in the streets, walls and windows also became activated by this constant wash of thermal neutrons. By the time the activity had increased enough to trigger all those alarms, the damage was increasing at rates too fast to stop. And who was going to go into those streets to clean all this up? Hardly anyone cared to volunteer. Not that they could get past the mad rush of those millions who, too late, decided to leave, clogging the bridges and tunnels in their escape.

And of course, that would be the whole point of any dirty bomb, which is to cause mass panic and stampede the masses into killing themselves and each other. The actual radiological damage would be very small, although it would be undeniably deadly to many. Plus, unlike a “normal” atomic bomb or dirty bomb, the thermal neutron radiation can convert exposed people into walking dirty bombs themselves. These people, we can call them “fallouts”, will be able to sicken others exposed to them, but without the ability to further convert those others (unlike zombies). Would you take one in? I didn’t think so.

But what about countermeasures? Surely there must be something that can detect these substances. Hardly. One approach would be the backscatter scanners coming soon to an airport or government building (or highway, in its mobile form) near you. Ironically, these purportedly protect you from dirty bombs by irradiating you today (and tomorrow, and the next day, and so on). But then again, these are defeated, or confused, by simply packing the sides, bottom and top of the cargo area with cases of innocuous “low-Z” substances. Like sugar. Or flour. Or drugs, assuming the right payoffs have been made. Again, all the actual bad guys already know these things.

Hmmm. For that matter, someone wishing to sell a nifty scanner technology, or cleanup robot, might do this just in the interest of demand creation. Huh. Instant bad guy, just add potentially lucrative government contracts.

As I said before, this mud weapon, unlike the aptly-named Manhattan Project, doesn’t take the resources of a superpower, but is well within the reach of a reasonably wealthy individual or company. Which makes it super-easy for even a modestly (or newly) poor nation. Such as one that had its currency manipulated by the same people who trapped you in your upside-down mortgaged home. Payback can be a biatch.

Ignorance isn’t the answer either (my regular readers know that I am firmly convinced that nuclear energy is the only way out, or back up, for civilization at this point). The only real defense to this mud weapon, though, is to stop the unholy trinity of the Wall Street banking interests, their revolving-door pals at the Federal Reserve, and their bootlicks in DC from waging economic warfare (and warfare warfare) around the world. Eventually someone who has had their currency destabilized and their economy drained by this evil force (masquerading as capitalism in your name) will have had enough, and won’t have kept their children deliberately ignorant of science and math as we delight in doing to our own.

But how can we stop this evil trinity of economic mayhem? Only by dismantling the levers of central government power guaranteed by the Constitution, a power which protects them (secession, anyone?) from you. Oops, that central power ensures that you won’t. Or can’t. So keep your head in the sand and imagine that the upcoming election (2010 as this was written, but take your pick) will make a difference, when so many before haven’t. Ultimately, your vote, or your rifle, don’t make one bit of difference. Never have, never will, because the rules are designed to keep you weak and them strong. Get ready for the rocket sled ride to the bottom of civilization as more and more economic wheels fall off. From there, we can rebuild without making this mistake again. Arguing over who should have their hands on the levers of centralized power totally ignores the point that those levers shouldn’t exist (to be eventually abused) in the first place.

But few of the people around the world who must live with the day-to-day fallout of the unholy financial trinity care about trifling details such as our elections. They only see the results. No matter who gets their hands on those levers of power, bad things tend to happen. And have for decades.

On the other hand, one of our “friends” might do this to us, maybe so we’ll fight on their behalf. Who knows? We certainly have a history of fighting over less.

I told you at the start of this article that this would be disturbing. I also obscured or changed important details to satisfy demands for self-censorship in this land of the free and Constitutional rights (LOL). Nonetheless, all the important bad guys know about this stuff already, as do thousands of experts in our own government, industry and academia. Many of those, if questioned about this article, will be dismissive and say something to the effect of “sure, it sounds scary, but knowing what I know about the science, I’m not concerned.” Almost like it was from a script. Watch their eyes while they are saying this, you can see the fear inside.

The only reason that you didn’t already know about this is that you are kept intentionally ignorant. Slaves can’t be trusted with any more knowledge than is absolutely necessary to be productive. You did know that from history, didn’t you? I’m guessing you didn’t, unless you were homeschooled.

But, if this mud weapon is common knowledge among the really bad guys worldwide, why hasn’t this happened yet? Perhaps they haven’t gotten sufficiently weary of the financial raping yet. I just hope that, when enough has become enough, the actual bad guys realize that there is a big difference (is there?) between the financial wizards in New York (and their lackeys in DC and the Fed), and the rest of us.

Tom Baugh is the author of Starving the Monkeys, Fight Back Smarter. He is also a former Marine, patented inventor, entrepreneur and professional irritant.

Posted: October 27th, 2010 by Militant Libertarian


Feasibility And Realities Of Secession

October 27, 2010

courtesy Greeneliberty.org

(Editor’s note: I chose this one because this is a guy who is beginning to have thoughts about secession, and hasn’t thought it all the way through yet. We were all at this point once.)

Due to apparent or at least perceived incompetence of the Federal Government to resolve the problems facing the nation, there has, over the last few years, been a resurgence of a secession movement in North American States. This time it is not just the Southern States that are debating the possibility of peacefully seceding from the Union, but a wide range of States. At last count there were 22 States that had some form of secession bill being considered in their legislatures.

For the most part, this is not the firebrand revolutionary movement of the 13 original State’s secession from England or the armed rebellion of the Southern States to form the Confederate States of America in the early 1860s. There are some individuals and organizations that advocate armed rebellion and hate in general. But for the most part the articles I have read advocate secession as a peaceful and legal matter.

Some advocate that the United States is too big and complicated for a central Government to oversee and control, that the politicians in Washington are self serving if not outright corrupt, there is too much diversity across the nation to be controlled by a central “every law fits all” government and that the current Democrat and Republican parties are out of touch with reality and needs of the people they are supposed to be representing.

There is a strong resentment of Federal encroachment into daily and personal matters in order to gain more power and control. Most of the authors, whither they are expressing a personal or and organization’s point of view, predict an economic crises brought on by the spending policies of Washington. Many quote American and foreign economic experts that support these predictions.

There is a general consensus among those advocating or seriously discussing secession that the United States will weaken substantially if there is another 9/11 type disaster or the Dollar becomes so inflated that a financial crises ensues. This along with a prevailing opinion that the current President is weak, inexperienced in any aspect of Government and will not act effectively or timely enough to forestall the break up of the Union.

The possibility of a continuing recession and downturn to a full-blown depression could well set the stage for secession. With the current continued expenditures by the Federal Government without solid plans to reduce the current and future budget deficit, other than print more money, I tend to believe that the piper must be paid somewhere down the line. Continued job loss and the resulting loss of taxes simply throw fuel on the fire.

Most of the authors I have read on this subject extend the view that they wish the President well and hope that solutions can be identified and enacted to keep the Union together. They are not optimistic that this will happen based on the politics as usual between the White House and Congress. The writers seem to look at secession as plan B. We need a plan to fall back on if and/or when the crisis hits. There are, of course those that dismiss the idea that secession could ever happen and anyone that takes it serious is a nut job. I suspect many of the Greeks and Romans felt that nothing could weaken and topel their governmsnts. Humans do not learn well from History.

The legal aspect that makes secession an option are based primarily on the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In effect this Amendment gives the Federal Government specific duties or obligations such as printing money, defense of the citizens and the like. Those obligations not specifically delegated to the Federal Government are retained by the State Governments.

The problem has been that the Federal Government over the years has been slowly but surly encroaching on the State’s responsibilities. This is usually done by offering the States money with the stipulation that if they accept the money the Federal Government has a major say in how the moneys are used and thus control the States with the strings attached to Federal money and threat of cutting off the funding.

Another tactic is simply to ignore the Constitution. If the President’s party sufficiently controls the Congress, they can enact legislation and have it well in effect before a court case gets to the Supreme Court. Even if it does go to the Supreme Court the decision will be based on the politics of the Justices at the time as much as compliance with the Constitution. Another approach not often used, is that of President Andrew Jackson who once said, when the Supreme Court ruled against one of his actions, “Alright, they have made their decision, now let them enforce it”.

Some of the States, Texas and Alaska in particular are, challenging the Federal Government in the form of bating them using the second amendment, which relates to firearms. As most of us know the Federal Government has enacted laws that require certain firearms to be federally licensed and sold only by a licensed dealer to another licensed individual. There are federally mandated laws requiring security checks and tracking paperwork on all gun sales. Texas and Alaska are in the process of challenging the Feds by enacting a law that in essence forbids any Federal regulation of weapons manufactured in Texas and intended for sale only in the State of Texas. This they feel is not a matter delegated by the States to the Federal Government.

It is the intent of these States, at least in theory, to enact their right to withdraw from the Union if the Feds attempt to force regulation on weapons manufactured and sold inthose States. Other States are following suit with similar legislation. At this time I believe Oklahoma is the only State to have enacted legislation that says the State has the legal right to remove itself from a unity to which they willingly agreed to participate.

The preceding is simply to give the reader a reference point for the following discussion. Almost all the literature I have seen has concerned itself with cheerleading or dismissing the secession movement or offering the legalities and theory about how much better or worse off we will all be if the Union breaks apart. Some articles even go so far as to give detailed community organization and dispensation of local justice plans, much like that in China.

The things I have not seen speak loudly by their absence. What are the practical obligations that the money strapped States are going to have to shoulder if the Federal Government breaks apart either totally or partially.

The thing I see happening immediately is an economic challenge if not crisis for each independent State. They will be faced with printing their own money. Will that money be called a Dollar, or something else? How will the money be valued against the other world currencies? Will the new money be backed by gold or silver or some other commodity? They will need to completely redo their tax system. Will income tax be collected or some other means of funding the new Government? There are a myriad of financial and banking questions that need to be discussed and thought out before a State secedes.

One such question I am very interested inis what happens to those people drawing Social Security or Retirement income from the Military or Federal Civil Service. I am one of those people whose total income comes from retirement from the Federal Government. Will the State take on those huge obligations, If not the new Government might not last too long. There are a large number of Federal/Military/Social Security retirees, especially in the South where a large block of states are again discussing secession.

Another area that needs to be considered is that of the Military. Yes each state has its own National Guard establishment which I am sure they will continue to maintain. However there are many States that have very large contingencies of Active duty and Reserve troops and vast land areas that station and house these troops and on which they train and work. It appears to me that the States would not be able to shoulder the huge cost of these troops and facilities.

Closing these facilities would mean a very large number of young men and women being released into a jobless society at one time. If I were one of these people I would tend to be more than a little mad and probably very bitter. It was bad enough for us that came back from Vietnam and were caught in the major downsizing of the military in the early 70s. Again a group of voters or activists to go along with the retirees who may not be receiving enough if anything to live on.

A single sovereign Nation/State will need a diplomatic corps to not only deal with other nations but to the several other Nation/States. The world is full of wolves that will come knocking at the State’s door if not just knock the door down. A single State is much more vulnerable than the Federal Union. How, for instance, would the border states individually be able to defend against annexation by Mexico, or Alaska by Russia. The best answer I can come up with is a mutual defense agreement between the individual Nation /States, and with the Federal Government, if there is one, governing the States that did not secede.

There are many other potential problems that need be thought out before secession from the Union. Things like tariffs, interstate commerce, infrastructure repair, reciprocity of laws, debt resolution between the States and what might be left of the Union, law enforcement and expedition of criminals between the Nation /States and the rest of the world and on and on.

After considering the problems involved with each individual Nation/State dealing with world and the money and economic problems, I believe that it would be impractical for any length of time. A more practical approach would be the formation of a overall governing body that the Nation/States could legally join or leave. This governing body would in a large degree resemble the old Confederate Government. There would be some outstanding differences.

I have read both the Provisional and the final Confederate Constitution. Those documents were for the most part a tweaked United States Constitution. Those parts of the Federal Constitution that were felt to be unacceptable to the Southern States were about the only things changed.

If the writing of a new Constitution for a Confederation of Nation/States becomes necessary there will need to be a much more changed document. For one thing the Southern States in the early 1860s were for the most part of the same mind and had the same issues causing them to leave the union.

This is not true now. There are States from the Northeast, Northwest, South, West, Southwest and Middle America that have Secession movements or discussions ongoing.

The people of the various States must also consider that the Federal Government is like any other strong central government and is capable of killing a very large number of it’s citizens to maintain its grip on power. Just saying we quit probably won’t work out very well. At least not unless the Feds are in such financial crisis that they cannot afford to pay the armed forces.

Secession leaders and advocates are pushing a peaceful (Gandhi and King style) and legal secession using protests, sit-ins, strikes, boycotts and the like. Good luck with that. I predict there will be some, if not a lot of bloodshed involved. Maybe it is just me and my pessimistic view of politicians, but I have a hard time seeing the President and powerholders in Washington saying “off you go, it was fun while it lasted, best of luck on your new endeavors, we will really miss you but if your Governors/Presidents are in the area do have them drop by and see us” More likely there would be a large explosion in the various State Capital buildings and a large presence of tanks and military forces in the Capital Cities.

I served in the United States Government as a Soldier and Civilian, in war ravaged and peaceful areas of the world for almost 40 years and it breaks my heart to be seriously talking of States seceding from the Union. It is a shame that our politicians have brought us to this sorry situation. I still have some hope, though not much, that common sense will prevail and a way will be found to preserve the Union. So many have given so much for this country of ours, it would be unconscionable to let them down.


To the Tea Party: Go Screw Yourself

October 26, 2010

by Karl Denninger

Yes, I mean it.

Here’s a “replay” of my interview with Dylan Ratigan last night:

I, and FedUpUSA, ought to sue anyone using this moniker for their so-called “political affiliation” for defamation.

Yeah, that’s a joke.

But so are you.

All of you.

Especially Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Bob Barr, and douchebag groups such as the “Tea Party Patriots.”

Let’s look at their mission statement:

* Fiscal Responsibility
* Constitutionally Limited Government
* Free Markets

Really? That sounds pretty good. But did you read “Free Markets”?

Free Markets: A free market is the economic consequence of personal liberty. The founders believed that personal and economic freedom were indivisible, as do we. Our current government’s interference distorts the free market and inhibits the pursuit of individual and economic liberty. Therefore, we support a return to the free market principles on which this nation was founded and oppose government intervention into the operations of private business.

Oh, oppose government intervention eh? You mean, you oppose stringing up the people who break the law and steal people’s homes and wealth? Private business is only private up until it rips someone off.

Notice what’s missing from this mission statement and principles: Any mention of why I and others led people to mail tea bags to Congress and our President in the first place: rampant theft of taxpayer money propping up FAILED private businesses.

Then look at what’s over at TeaParty.Org: you’ll find the usual pablum. Guns, gays, God.

Hey, I like talking about Guns, Gays and God too. Let’s talk about all of them within the context of The Constitution, which is what the Tea Party was supposed to be about. In short:

* Guns. What part of “shall not be infringed” didn’t you bother to read? That one’s simple. And yes, this means that under The Bill of Rights there should be no Brady Law nor any bar on a convicted felon who has served his time buying or owning a weapon! I know what the current law says and I understand the reasoning behind it. But you can’t square it with the clear language in the Second Amendment. Our entire system of criminal justice rests on the premise that if you are convicted of a crime and serve the time for it, your debt to society is paid. If said convicted criminal is still dangerous to society (and thus shouldn’t have a right to self-defense) why are we letting him out so he can victimize other people? Sentences should reflect this; you should not be released until you are no longer a danger to society – period. Prison is often debated as to whether it’s about rehabilitation or punishment – I argue it is neither, it is and should be about removing those who harm others from society until they are no longer a threat to others.

* Gays. What part of “what you do in your bedroom is none of my damn business” didn’t you bother with? You can find that in the 4th Amendment as well as elsewhere. In terms of public space what is your private sexual preference and life doing in the public space in the first place? 200 years ago we called such people perverts and stuck them in the stocks. You want to address this problem? It’s simple: That’s a gay (or straight) person’s private life and its none of anyone else’s damn business what two or more consenting adults do behind a closed door on private property.

* God. What part of the Establishment Clause didn’t you bother to read? “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” You want prayer in the schools? Not unless I can lead a prayer to Allah should I so choose; it is not Constitutional to favor one religion over another. Therefore, you either keep it all out or you keep none of it out, and my preference is to keep all of it out, although I’ll settle for none – either position is Constitutional. No other position is, and that’s the beginning and end of it. The same applies to any other publicly-run and funded space. What people do on their own private property with regard to how they worship is none of your damn business.

Now that we’ve dispensed with Guns, Gays and God in the context of what one of the founders of the Tea Party Movement believes, I’ll deal with the rest.

The Tea Party was initiated as a political protest against the unlawful and in fact unconstitutional usurpation of power from the Congress and The People in the form of extortion-led bailouts of enterprises that had engaged in acts that I, and many others, believe were at least civilly actionable and in many cases crossed the line into criminal activity.

This indictment is not limited to the nation’s large banks, although it certainly starts there. The corruption of our economic and monetary systems runs the gamut from Fannie and Freddie through their ties to Congress (including literal sexual encounters in some cases), banking interests selling trash securities to everyone from pension funds on down, judges who don’t judge but rather protect monied interests on Wall Street, The Federal Reserve intentionally debasing our currency and monetizing government debt, government spending that is running 40% above revenues and much more.

In short, The Tea Party was and is about the corruption of American Politics and the blatant and outrageous theft from all Americans that has resulted. It is about personal responsibility and enforcement of the law against those who have robbed, financially f****d and pillaged the nation.

Yet today we hear literally nothing about these issues among the so-called “Tea Party” candidates and their backers. Sarah Palin has not said one word about locking up the banksters that brought upon the housing bubble and economic collapse. Not one word about Bernanke’s out-of-control Fed and the arguably unlawful monetization of Fannie and Freddie paper, not to mention the monetization of the Federal Debt. Not one word about throwing judges such as this one – The Honorable Bruce Levine – in the dock – although that, ladies and gentlemen, is a statement of felony judicial corruption. If you as an investor run into trouble with a commodity or futures trade and sue you will not get your day in court – a literal “green light” to rob the people by the big banks with official judicial sanction. And you wonder how Hillary Clinton managed to “win” in her Cattle Futures trades eh? Wonder no more.

Tea Party my ass. This was nothing other than The Republican Party stealing the anger of a population that was fed up with The Republican Party’s own theft of their tax money at gunpoint to bail out the robbers of Wall Street and fraudulently redirecting it back toward electing the very people who stole all the f****ing money!

You want me to support The Tea Party as it is currently constituted?

Do all of the above, do it now, and apologize for attempting to perpetuate the financial f***ing of this nation.

Publicize the following as your LEAD:

STOP THE LOOTING AND START PROSECUTING

And finally, one more:

ALL FIVE OF THE LARGEST BANKS ARE RESOLVED AS OUR FIRST ACT IN CONGRESS.

They caused it, they pay for it. Period.

Until and unless you do?

©2010 Market Ticker


2010 Is Just Deck Chair Politics on the USS Titanic

October 25, 2010

by Ron Holland

“Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.”
~ H.L. Mencken

The political consensus is following the 2010 election, the Tea Partiers and the GOP establishment will breathe a sigh of relief and celebrate their victory and our two-party monopoly system of government will continue as before. A GOP House majority will checkmate Obama and the Democrats in the Senate and political stalemate will result. Many conservatives and a few Washington pseudo-libertarians will claim stalemate is better than a Democrat landslide but they will be wrong.

Like the Titanic, the Washington/Wall Street ship of state hit a Federal Reserve created iceberg under the command of George W. Bush with the recession/depression. Again, like recent evidence suggests, the original Titanic hit the iceberg and sank so fast because of a steering mistake turning the ship in the wrong direction which could have been avoided.

In a similar fashion, both Obama and Bush, following the self-serving orders of Bernanke and Wall Street steered the nation directly into the current depression and coming national debt and dollar collapse by following Keynesian economic principles instead of letting the market quickly resolve the crisis.

Everything you read or see on the establishment propaganda news outlets is just a rearranging of the deck chairs on the Titanic as the ship of state is certainly sinking. The goal of productive American citizens should be to get as far away from the ship of state as possible to avoid the downward pull a sinking vessel exerts on everything in the water as it goes under.

The Establishment Political Consensus Is Dead Wrong

America today is a one-party state much like the Soviet Union, China or Nazi Germany and both nominal political parties are just façades presented to the public to create the illusion of competition and choice. The establishment leadership in both the GOP and the Democrats represent the goals of the same special interests.

Our ability to “throw the bums out” every two or four years is just a release valve built into the political system which guarantees the continued elite control of our political process. Although there are some patriots in national politics in both parties, they never are allowed to take control of either party or the closed political system.

Before the summer of 2011 is over, the Tea Party supporters will already be angry and disappointed as the GOP elites will maintain the status quo and there will only be empty rhetoric rather than political action to control spending, curtail the deficits and limit government. When the coming debt and dollar crisis takes hold, I guarantee the GOP will have an action plan supported by the Democrats which will pass with bilateral support to solve the economic crisis. The solution will be the theft of your private wealth and promised benefits all done in the public interest to save America.

Why Only Nixon Could Go To China

And only the Republicans will be able to steal most of your wealth and get away with it with the acquiescence of the Democrats. Only older readers will remember the above political metaphor as it suggests additional legitimacy for politicians making “tough decisions” can result when strong supporters of a political viewpoint suddenly change their views and direction always in the public interest for a crisis etc. In other words, only Nixon, perceived as a rightwing conservative could have opened the door to China in 1972 as a liberal Democrat would have been criticized, attacked and thwarted by the opposition GOP.

What Asset Will Be lost Or Auctioned?

As America goes under, here are 9 assets and guarantees likely to be stolen by the politicians and then auctioned off to buy more time for the Washington elites of both political parties. Do not believe anything anyone from the establishment tells you as it is always false information.

Social Security Theft – As we see today in France, Social Security retirement ages will be further extended into the future. Wealthy Americans will be “means tested” and entirely forfeit their benefits and Washington will eventually end cost-of-living adjustments for all but the poorest Social Security recipients.

Solution: If you are eligible for SS benefits start taking them as soon as possible even at the lower rate and age currently age 62.

Rising Income & Estate Taxes – This is already a done deal by the Democrats and there will be some minor temporary pushback by the GOP but nothing of substance.

Solution: You might get one more year of the Bush tax cuts so throw all income possible into 2011.

National Health Care Expands – Again, some minor changes by the GOP and Blue Dog Democrats but it will never be overturned and in a few years this travesty will be just as supported by the Republicans as they now support Social Security, the Department of Education and the Patriot Act today. There is no solution.

The Risk of Private Gold Confiscation Will Go Up – When the dollar and Treasury market crashes, Washington will enact legislation against gold investors to curtail your profits, add a confiscatory non-productive asset tax or confiscate your gold with some type of fiat currency exchange. In any case, they plan to end up with your gold as this will be the basis of a restored dollar.

Solution: Move most of your gold offshore in a legal and reportable manner but outside the threat of closed or paralyzed banks, US investment firms and desperate politicians.

Home Values Will Continue To Fall – The long-term effects of the Fed and Wall Street bank created boom and subsequent real estate bust along with the foreclosure crisis now beginning will likely continue to weigh heavily on home prices.

Solution: Wait to buy any property you need at a lower price and walk away from properties outside your residence now sinking further underwater.

Confiscation of Large Retirement Fund Accounts – The long-term confiscation and control idea is to eventually force all retirement benefits under the new automatic/mandatory IRA program where everything will be combined with and managed like your Social Security benefits. Wealthy and productive Americans will find their retirement benefits used to support the trillions in underfunded union, state and local government employee plans.

Solution: When possible, move your substantial retirement assets legally offshore to escape a future liquidity crisis when the theft will occur and drawdown your balances by taking withdrawals as soon as you can without an early retirement penalty.

A National Sales or VAT Tax – This will be a quick revenue generator for the Feds but will probably start out somewhere between 2%–5% and rising quickly after that to confiscatory levels. Americans in low tax brackets may initially be exempted from this tax.

Solution: Make any major purchases sooner rather than later.

An End to the Home Interest Deduction – Again, this will be a quick revenue generator for the Feds but will put additional downward pressure on home prices. There is no solution but never buy anything tangible or even an investment for tax benefits. as tax preferences always change and never in your favor.

An Organized Collapse of the Dollar – The Feds fully hope to get some control over the outstanding national debt externally and internally over transfer payments by depreciating the dollar. How they hope to accomplish this without creating a run and collapse of the dollar and Treasury debt is beyond me but this is their intention.

Solution: Diversify your wealth internationally outside the US in banks and annuities, equities, bonds and real estate not denominated in dollars. Buy gold bullion, quality gold mining and national resource stocks outside the US.

The Bottom Line

It really doesn’t matter where you sit on the deck of the Titanic, you have to get off the boat quickly in a lifeboat of your own design. The call for “women and children first” and “there are plenty of lifeboats for everyone” will just be misinformation to enable the leaders of Wall Street, Washington and the Fed to hide their identities, assets and involvement in creating the crisis.

I can’t wait to see Bernanke, Bush and Obama in a lifeboat disguised and dressed in womens clothing along with most of Congress and the Wall Street insiders. May the sharks not be too hungry and the water not too cold so they will suffer longer. Or as Jimmy Buffet put it so well: You got fins to the left, fins to the right and you’re the only bait in town.

Ron Holland is a contributing editor to the Swiss Mountain Vision Newsletter and Freedom Matters published by Appenzeller Business Press.

Copyright © 2010 by LewRockwell.com.