Thursday, April 30, 2015

"Perhaps a fitting way to celebrate the anniversary of the founding of the Library of Congress is to take a few hours to read a few selections from the books our Founders read (all of which are available free on the Internet), drinking from the deep and refreshing wells of knowledge that nourished them."

215th Anniversary of the Library of Congress: Books the Founders Read
Written by Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.

This month marks the 215th anniversary of the establishment of the Library of Congress.

As they did at so many critical moments in the history of our Republic, the dynamic duo of James Madison and Thomas Jefferson played major roles in the creation and continuation of the country’s unofficial national library.

Madison, known to history as the Father of the Constitution, is more deserving of the moniker Father of the Library of Congress, as it was his proposal that Congress create such a resource.

Although Madison’s suggestion went unheeded when it was made in 1783, on April 24, 1800 President John Adams signed legislation permitting the transfer of the nation’s capital from Philadelphia to the new federal city. One provision of that bill authorized the expenditure of $5,000 "for the purchase of such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress ..., and for fitting up a suitable apartment for containing them."

An order was sent to London for the new collection, which amounted in that year to 740 books and three atlases.

Jefferson, himself no slouch when it came to the love of books and learning, appointed the first overseer of the Library of Congress. A law signed in 1802 extended book borrowing permission to the president and the vice-president.

About this point in the story, most Americans believe that the library and its contents were destroyed in a fire when the British sacked Washington, D.C. during the War of 1812. According to an official Library of Congress blog post, however, there might be more to the story. Here’s an excerpt from that article questioning the incineration of the first library’s 3,000 or so volumes:

In the immediate aftermath of the fire, there were conflicting reports about the extent of the damage that was inflicted on the original collection. Writing in 1905, Library of Congress historian William Dawson Johnston cited documents preserved in the Annals of Congress that indicate that much of the first library had in fact been preserved.

The Annals of Congress for September 22, 1814, for example, contains a letter written by the staff members of the Library who were assigned the task of removing the collection to safety in the days before the invasion of Washington:

S. Burch (who was furloughed from his post in the militia on August 22 — two days before the fire — so that he might resume his duties at the Library) and the Under-Librarian of Congress, J.T. Frost (who was too old for militia duty). These were the only staff members involved in the evacuation of the Library. The letter was their report to the Librarian of Congress, Patrick Magruder, about the events at the Library leading up to the fire. They wrote:

“[On Monday, August 22] We immediately went to packing up, and Mr. Burch went out in search of wagons or other carriages, for the transportation of the books and papers; every wagon, and almost every cart, belonging to the city, had been previously impressed into the service of the United States, for the transportation of the baggage of the army; the few he was able to find were loaded with the private effects of individuals, who were moving without the city; those he attempted to hire, but not succeeding, he claimed a right to impress them; but, having no legal authority, or military force to aid him, he, of course, did not succeed. He sent off three messengers into the country, one of whom obtained from Mr. John Wilson, whose residence is six miles from the city, the use of a cart and four oxen; it did not arrive at the office, until after dark on Monday night, when it was immediately laden with the most valuable records and papers, which were taken, on the same night, nine miles, to a safe and secret place in the country. We continued to remove as many of the most valuable books and papers, having removed the manuscript records, as we were able to do with our one cart, until the morning of the day of the battle of Bladensburg, after which we were unable to take away anything further.”

Thus far: two oxcarts were taken away to safety — one full of records and papers, and another containing books and papers. The records and papers appear (in another passage) to have been destroyed in a later fire, one that took place in the safe house; but as for the printed books, Burch and Frost state later in the letter, “a number of the printed books were consumed [in the Capitol fire], but they were all duplicates of those which have been preserved.” In other words, the better part of the Library had been removed to safety before the fire, including the most valuable books. Frost mentions the successful rescue of the print book collection again in another letter on December 17, 1814, which he wrote in response to public statements made by the Joint Committee on the Library of Congress. The Committee had claimed that the collection was completely destroyed because no preparatory measures had been taken to expedite its removal. Frost writes, “The several loads [of books] that were saved, were taken from the shelves on which they were placed and deposited in the carts by which they were taken away; they have suffered no injury....”

An official statement issued on December 12, 1814 by the committee on the Library insisted, however, that the library was “destroyed by the enemy on the 24th of August last [1814].”

If any of the books and papers were saved, as Messrs. Burch and Frost claimed, the whereabouts of those invaluable volumes are unknown to this day.

While that little mystery lingers, what is known is that less than a month after the British burned much of the new capital city, Thomas Jefferson offered to sell his personal library — some 6,487 volumes — to the government as a replacement for the destroyed collection. The curious story of that transaction is reported by the Library of Congress:

Thomas Jefferson wrote to his friend, newspaper publisher, Samuel H. Smith (1772-1845) asking him to offer Congress his personal library of between "9 and 10,000 volumes" as a replacement. Jefferson promised to accept any price set by Congress, commenting that "I do not know that it contains any branch of science which Congress would wish to exclude from this collection ... there is in fact no subject to which a member of Congress may not have occasion to refer." Records indicate the total of volumes received by the Library of Congress was 6,487. This more than doubled the holdings that were lost in the fire of 1814.

This must have been quite a sacrifice for Jefferson, who famously declared, “I cannot live without books.”

Don’t worry about him, though; he immediately began replenishing the shelves of his library and he amassed a second collection of several thousand books, the entirety of which was sold at auction in 1829 to pay off Jefferson’s debt to his many creditors.

Perhaps most interesting to modern admirers of the Founders is the list of books housed in the 1812 Library of Congress. This catalogue contains several volumes of “sacred history,” including the Holy Bible; numerous writings of the ancient Greeks and Romans so familiar and influential to the Founders (including Cicero, Tacitus, Herodotus, Thucydides, Appian, Demosthenes, Cato, Xenophon, etc.); and most of the works penned by their British and continental influences, as well: Algernon Sidney, Blackstone, Emerich de Vattel, Samuel Pufendorf, and Jean-Jacques Burlamaqui.

The complete catalogue can be found here.

Perhaps a fitting way to celebrate the anniversary of the founding of the Library of Congress is to take a few hours to read a few selections from the books our Founders read (all of which are available free on the Internet), drinking from the deep and refreshing wells of knowledge that nourished them.


"We will soon find out if Jade Helm is just another military exercise. Some are of the opinion that it could be used to facilitate a false flag operation that would then be used as justification to implement nationwide martial law and to activate Doomsday Executive Orders recently signed by President Obama."

Texas Ranger Drops Jade Helm Bombshell: “There Are Trains With Shackles On Them”

Mac Slavo

The reports about the coming Jade Helm 15 operation across the southwest continue to suggest that this is not merely a standard training exercise to prepare our military personnel for foreign engagements as has been suggested by officials.

A letter sent to Dave Hodges at The Common Sense Show by a concerned Texas Ranger indicates that the government is preparing for a scenario similar to what has been described in William Forstchen’s recent novella Day of Wrath in which ISIS terrorists cross the southern border of the United States and simultaneously attack soft targets across the nation.

But the letter doesn’t stop there. The Ranger, who has kept his identify private for obvious reasons and makes clear that the scope of Jade Helm is so secret that the intent is not completely clear, says that the JH15 mission objectives may go much farther than just preparing for terrorists. According to the law enforcement insider there are trains moving throughout Texas and some of them have been outfitted with shackles, presumably to “transport prisoners of some sort.” The claim adds further credence to a report about Jade Helm dissident roundups and arrests and widespread martial law declarations following an emergency.

His letter sheds some light on the Walmart store closings, suggesting at least one may be utilized in a national security capacity as a staging point for the Department of Homeland Security, an agency that is apparently not trusted by anyone within the Texas Rangers organization, according to the source.

The full letter follows:

Hello Mr. Hodges,

I have been a Texas Ranger for quite some time, and as such, I am privy to much of what is going on with regard to the Midland Walmart store closing, the presence of ISIS on Texas soil and our preparations to combat an insurgent threat.

I will not give you my rank or location because it would not be safe to do so. It is a waste of time to try and trace the IP#, etc., as I have taken steps to ensure that this note cannot be traced back to me. I understand and realize that you seem to have a growing issue with people who will not go on the record with their inside knowledge or first-hand observations, but you cannot understand the pressure and scrutiny that some of us are under. I am taking a big risk writing this email to you.

The main reason that I am writing to you is to encourage you to keep writing on the growing threat of infiltration in Texas and I suspect other states as well. The infiltration I am writing about is not just Special Forces that are going to conducting covert drills in our state. that is concerning and I agree with you this involves martial law. For now I am talking about ISIS and the danger that they pose to all of us. Our intelligence indicates that they have enough manpower & firepower to subdue a small town. The Midland Walmart takeover by DHS is a national security move in which we have been told falls under the Continuity of Government provisions. The Threat Fusion Centers are providing related information on what it is we are facing but the information sharing is only in one direction and that is very concerning.

We expecting an attack on more than one Texas city or town by ISIS and/or any of their partners. I believe the information to be accurate. However, this makes the covert operations of groups like the Navy Seals and others under JH15 highly suspicious. We do not need the insertion of Special Ops into Texas towns and cities. I think that you are probably right about the intention of arresting political undesirables given what we know about JH15. I am of the opinion that whatever the mission objectives of JH15, they have nothing to do with the immediate threat. Therefore, I do not pretend to understand the full scope of JH 15 because there are unfolding operational details which are almost impossible to reconcile with what I already know to be fact based the evidence for what is going on.

Let me drop a bombshell that I have not seen you address. There are trains moving throughout Texas that have shackles inside some of the cars. I have not personally seen them, but I know personnel that have seen this. This indicates that these trains will be used to transport prisoners of some sort. I know from reading your articles that your default belief will be that these are for American political prisoners and will be transported to FEMA detention camps of some sort. We have been told by Homeland that these trains are slated for transporting captured terrorists, non-domestic. We are not sure we can trust this explanation because Homeland is keeping a lot from us and we are growing increasingly uncomfortable with their presence in Texas.

I wanted to tell also you that we believe that Pantex is a high value target for ISIS and much or our preparation is to thwart any action by terrorists against the facility. I am wondering how in the hell you figured that out. Someone on the deep inside must be talking with you.

Keep writing Mr. Hodges, you and the underground media are making a difference. As I am sure you know, Colorado announced today that JH15 is suspended in that state. Unfortunately, we do not have that prerogative because we believe that we are under the threat of eminent attack here in Texas.

I do believe the ISIS threat is legitimate. But you are also correct to suspect the motives behind the JH15 drills. They are clouded in secrecy and we have been shut out regarding their operational intent. The people of Texas and all of the United States of America should be pushing back against JH15.

I will support the Feds in their preparation against ISIS. But the moment that this action turns against our locals is the moment I will perform my oath of office. I am not alone in this feeling. None of my brothers trust Homeland. We will have to see where this is going but I have a bad feeling.

You do your job and keep writing and I will do my job in upholding the Constitution

Thank You

The suspicions of the public are quite justified, it seems. The operational commanders for Jade Helm have compartmentalized the “exercise” to such an extent that no one, not the local and state law enforcement officers involved or the majority of military personnel, has any idea what is actually going on.

As noted in the letter, a realistic threat from our southern border certainly exists and as we’ve written previously, Border Patrol and Homeland Security have been capturing suspected terrorist operatives crossing into the United States for years. But the Texas Ranger who penned the letter says this is not necessarily the full scope of the massive Summer exercise.

And given that people within his own organization report seeing shackles in trains, is it completely out of the question to suggest that the government does, in fact, have procedures in place to detain, transport and imprison those suspected of terrorism, or those who may be suspected of being suspected?

When Gerald Celente warned of the Auschwitz Express back in a 2012 interview he wasn’t joking:

First it was the Patriot Act. Now it’s the National Defense Authorization Act. And then it was Obama’s Executive Order giving El Presidente Los Estados Unidos the supreme right to call Martial Law at a potential threat – a potential threat.

Then there’s Big Bro over there, Attorney General Eric Holder, who just passed these guidelines that could let them listen in to what we’re saying right now, listen to you on your cell phone, watch every stroke of your keyboard, and they at the White House could then determine whether or not the algorythms add up to you being a terrorist or a potential terrorist.

Big Brother never had it so good.

…all aboard the Auschwitz Express…

…That’s what’s going on here… and the people don’t see it, and they’re afraid to speak up… People don’t want to believe it.

Full Interview Via SGT Report

We will soon find out if Jade Helm is just another military exercise. Some are of the opinion that it could be used to facilitate a false flag operation that would then be used as justification to implement nationwide martial law and to activate Doomsday Executive Orders recently signed by President Obama.

It may sound wildly conspiratorial, but it wouldn’t be the first time a government has purposefully engaged in such conduct.


"The biggest mistake America has ever made was to graft the U.S. national-security state apparatus onto our nation’s original governmental structure in the 1940s. Doing so fundamentally altered America’s governmental structure and moved the federal government into a totalitarian-like direction — that is, a direction contrary to that envisioned by the Framers."

Vietnam Was No Business of the U.S. Government
by Jacob G. Hornberger April 30, 2015

This week marks the 40th anniversary of the communist defeat of the U.S. national-security state in Vietnam. Despite the deaths of some 58,000 American soldiers and millions of Vietnamese, the country was united under the rule of the communist regime in North Vietnam. With the possible exception of World War I, it would be difficult to find a better example of a total waste of American life.

If the U.S. national-security state had won the Vietnam War, we all know what they would be teaching children today in America’s public (i.e., government) schools. They would be saying, “If the United States had not intervened in Vietnam, we would all be speaking Vietnamese today.” After all, isn’t that what they say about FDR’s decision to involve America in World War II—“If the United States hadn’t intervened in World War II, we would all be speaking German today”?

And that’s precisely what the Pentagon and the CIA were saying back in the 1960s — that U.S. “national security” depended on conscripting American men and forcing them to kill and die thousands of miles away in Southeast Asia. If the United States failed to intervene in Vietnam’s civil war, we were told, the dominoes would start to fall and ultimately reach the United States, at which point the communists would take control over the Interstate Highway System, the IRS, Social Security, and the rest of the federal government.

We were also told that American troops were killing and dying in Vietnam to protect our “rights and freedoms” — the same tripe that we hear today to justify U.S. interventions in Afghanistan, the Middle East, and other parts of the world.

It was all a lie. North Vietnam never attacked the rights and freedoms of the American people. Its military actions were limited to their own country in an attempt to unify their country. And no, North Vietnam never had any interest — or even the financial or military means — in crossing the Pacific and invading, conquering, and occupying the United States.

It wasn’t the only lie that U.S. officials told to justify their war in Vietnam. Don’t forget the infamous Gulf of Tonkin lie, the one they used to garner congressional support for expanding their war in Vietnam and for bombing the people of North Vietnam. President Johnson and his national-security establishment claimed, falsely, that North Vietnam had attacked U.S. warships in the Gulf of Tonkin. Of course, a similar trick would be used decades later when a fake and false WMD scare was used to garner support for the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq.

One glaring fact remains about the Vietnam War: The United States is still standing, despite the fact that the communists won the war. The dominoes did not fall. The Interstate Highway System, the IRS, and Social Security remain under the control of American bureaucrats, not Vietnamese bureaucrats. Americans continue to speak English.

It was all a total waste of American life and Vietnamese life. The fact is that Vietnam was none of the U.S. national-security state’s business.

How many Americans would have voluntarily gone to Vietnam to fight on the side of South Vietnam if the U.S. government had not intervened in the conflict? About the same number who are travelling to Iraq to protect U.S. “national security” from ISIS — at most only a handful. Certainly not dozens, hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, which were the number of U.S. soldiers that were forced to go the Vietnam.

After all, how many Cold War dead-enders are traveling to Vietnam today to foment a revolution against the Vietnamese communist regime in order to save the Vietnamese people from communism? None! So much for the much-vaunted concern among Cold War dead-enders for people suffering under communism.

With its anti-communist obsession, the national-security state not only infringed on the civil liberties and privacy rights of the American people for decades (and continues to do so today with its “war on terrorism), it also caused tens of thousands of American men to be killed and maimed for nothing in faraway places like Vietnam, all without the constitutionally required congressional declaration of war.

The biggest mistake America has ever made was to graft the U.S. national-security state apparatus onto our nation’s original governmental structure in the 1940s. Doing so fundamentally altered America’s governmental structure and moved the federal government into a totalitarian-like direction — that is, a direction contrary to that envisioned by the Framers. That’s why the U.S. government today stands for assassinations, torture, indefinite detention, coups, invasions, occupations, secret mass surveillance, wars of aggression, partnerships with dictatorial regimes, and other measures that we ordinarily associate with totalitarian regimes.

Of course, the war in Vietnam is long past. But the big “war on terrorism” isn’t. It’s time to acknowledge the biggest mistake in our history and rectify it. It’s time to dismantle, not reform, the national-security apparatus. It’s time to restore a governmental structure based on the Framers’ vision of a constitutional republic. After all, the Cold War, which was the original justification for this deadly and destructive totalitarian-like apparatus, ended a long time ago.


Getting you ready for the Police State...

Are We Being Psychologically Conditioned To Accept Martial Law In America?

By Michael Snyder

Have you noticed that we are starting to be bombarded with images of troops in the streets? Have you noticed that the term “martial law” is coming up a lot in movies, news broadcasts and even in television commercials? In recent years, it seems like the solution to almost every major crisis involves bringing in troops. In fact, it has already gotten to the point where when something really bad happens a lot of Americans immediately cry out for troops to be brought in. And we are seeing the same patterns over and over again. Just remember what happened in Ferguson – protesters were whipped up to a frenzy, when the riots began the police were ordered to stand down and not intervene, and finally National Guard troops were brought in as the “solution” to a crisis that had escalated wildly out of control. This is the exact same pattern that we are witnessing in Baltimore, and as you will see below, National Guard troops all over the nation have been training for this exact type of scenario. A couple of decades ago, many Americans would have regarded the notion of “martial law in America” as absolutely unthinkable, but these days the threat of civil unrest is causing an increasing number of Americans to embrace the idea of troops patrolling our city streets.

The anger toward the police that we see in the city of Baltimore is very real, but there also seem to be a lot of signs that the events of the past several days have been orchestrated and manipulated. This is something that I covered in my previous article entitled “12 Unanswered Questions About The Baltimore Riots That They Don’t Want Us To Ask“. But what we have found out since then is that high school kids appear to have been “herded” by the police into the Mondawmin neighborhood in Baltimore when school was let out on Monday…

When school let out that afternoon, police were in the area equipped with full riot gear. According to eyewitnesses in the Mondawmin neighborhood, the police were stopping busses and forcing riders, including many students who were trying to get home, to disembark. Cops shut down the local subway stop. They also blockaded roads near the Mondawmin Mall and Frederick Douglass High School, which is across the street from the mall, and essentially corralled young people in the area. That is, they did not allow the after-school crowd to disperse.

Even though most of the kids did not seem to have any interest in participating in the much-hyped “purge”, it looks like authorities were determined to get their “purge” one way or another. The following was posted to Facebook by a Baltimore teacher named Meghann Harris…

Police were forcing busses to stop and unload all their passengers. Then, [Frederick Douglass High School] students, in huge herds, were trying to leave on various busses but couldn’t catch any because they were all shut down. No kids were yet around except about 20, who looked like they were waiting for police to do something. The cops, on the other hand, were in full riot gear, marching toward any small social clique of students…It looked as if there were hundreds of cops.

Another teacher seems to confirm the other accounts that you just read…

A teacher at Douglass High School, who asked not to be identified, tells a similar story: “When school was winding down, many students were leaving early with their parents or of their own accord.” Those who didn’t depart early, she says, were stranded. Many of the students still at school at that point, she notes, wanted to get out of the area and avoid any Purge-like violence. Some were requesting rides home from teachers. But by now, it was difficult to leave the neighborhood. “I rode with another teacher home,” this teacher recalls, “and we had to route our travel around the police in riot gear blocking the road…The majority of my students thought what was going to happen was stupid or were frightened at the idea. Very few seemed to want to participate in ‘the purge.’“

This paints a very different picture than we are getting from the media.

But once the violence and rioting did start, the police were nowhere to be found. In fact, it is being reported that the mayor of Baltimore actually ordered the police to “stand down” and allow the chaos to spiral out of control…

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake ordered the police to stand down as riots and looting broke out across they city, a new report claims.

According to a senior law enforcement source, the embattled mayor effectively told her officers to do nothing as the city began to burn – raising questions as to whether the rioting could have been stopped.

Finally, after several hours of madness, the order was given and the National Guard was brought in to quell the rioting.

And it just so happens to turn out that National Guard troops all over the nation have recently been engaged in something called “civil unrest training”…

Many of the Guardsmen are trained for a situation just like the one in Maryland.

It’s called “civil unrest training,” and it was recently completed in Tennessee with a local police department.

Troops have also trained in Maryland and Colorado.

“It really helped put it into perspective the person we are going to be up against – the rioter, the unruly person,” said one National Guard official.

The training includes gas mask training and practice with shields and batons.

Isn’t that convenient?

There are so many instances in which “training” seems to eerily correspond with actual events. That is one of the reasons why so many people are concerned about Jade Helm and all of the other very elaborate military exercises that are being held around the country in 2015. In fact, there has been so much concern about Jade Helm that the governor of Texas has ordered the Texas Guard to monitor Jade Helm…

Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the Texas Guard to monitor federal military exercises in Texas after some citizens have lit up the Internet saying the maneuvers are actually the prelude to martial law.

The operation causing rampant suspicions is a new kind of exercise involving elite teams such as the SEALs and Green Berets from four military branches training over several states from July 15 to Sept. 15

Called Jade Helm 15, the exercise is one of the largest training operations done by the military in response to what it calls the evolving nature of warfare. About 1,200 special operations personnel will be involved and move covertly among the public. They will use military equipment to travel between seven Southwestern states from Texas to California.

The following is a map from Jade Helm materials, and it designates Utah and Texas as “hostile territory”. Yes, I know that this is supposed to be an “exercise”, but even so this is highly inappropriate to say the least…

Read the rest here:

"What differences are there between Great Britain’s old colonial empire and America’s present democratic one today? Should the states be allowed to secede? Do We The People not have the right to self-determination? Isn’t that why we have elections? Is secession the answer? If voting is the means to a peaceful revolution, then what are we going to do to make it happen?"

Support the Right to Self-Determination? It Means Secession Too
by AJ Oatsvall

At one point in the year 2009, there was actual talk and discussions in the mainstream media of one or more of the several states leaving the Union. This brought up much debate on both sides of the issue over the topic. Many inferred that secession implies Confederate-style racism. Many also believe that states cannot leave the Union at all. That would be true, however, if the United States had kept the Articles of Confederation (and Perpetual Union) instead of ratifying the Constitution.

But most Americans do not seem to understand one fundamental thing about every state that makes up this nation we call the United States of America: the states are sovereign, independent unto themselves, even without the existence of the federal government. Even as part of the Union, as per the Constitution, the states are not beholden to the federal government. It’s the other way around. That’s the difference between unitary and federal systems! The United States Constitution, like any political charter, by definition, is a contract. A contract between the several states and the federal government. And like any contract that it is breached by the contracted party, the contract becomes null and void.

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So, if the federal government goes against this contract or beyond the enumerated powers listed, essentially assuming powers it has not been granted by what is the Supreme Law of the Land, then we have a breach of contract. The United States does not exist and the states have every right, as sovereign and independent states should, to work towards protecting their way of life and the lives and property of their citizens. What the secession talks were really about, back in 2009, was not leaving the union, but rather to reaffirm their sovereignty: That the federal government exists because of them and not the other way around.

Nowhere in the Constitution is secession expressly forbidden. Unless, of course, one considers the Articles of Confederation (and Perpetual Union) to be in full effect alongside the Constitution. This, however, is impossible. Because once the Constitution of the United States of America was fully ratified, the Articles of Confederation became null and void, ending the perpetual union clause that existed during the last four years of the American War of Independence. Ergo, the states have the right to leave the Union, just as the thirteen colonies had the right to secede from Britain.

Our Founding Fathers established a confederation of American states to secure the blessings of liberty to themselves and their posterity because of the atrocities enacted upon the colonies by their so-called “mother country.” But the American colonies didn’t really have a mother country. It may be true that the colonies were governed by the British Empire, but many colonists in both the northern, middle, and southern colonies were from many different countries, such as Scotland, Ireland, Sweden, France, Germany, the Netherlands, as well as England and Wales, to name a few. Just as many modern Americans are descendants of people from even many countries!

It is said that the Revolutionary War was not the only war of independence that Americans fought. Nor the only revolution in the history of the United States. The first being the American War of Independence which started in 1775. And just over twenty-five years later America had to reaffirm its sovereignty by fighting against Britain, again, in the War of 1812. And while our first revolution for freedom had been successful but not fully realized, the drums sounded again in 1861 with the outbreak of the American Civil War. Needless to say, the war could have been avoided if the instigators had merely paused and reflected on the consequences of attempting to put down the rebel factions, just as Parliament should have rethought its strategy after Lexington and Concord.

And while some like to think the Civil War was to end slavery, as purported by the Union to the north, it was considered a defense of states’ rights by the Confederacy in the south. But this is not a discussion of why that war was fought. Whatever the case may be, it is beyond a shadow of a doubt that the federal government has grown by leaps and bounds ever since completing its conquest of the southern states. The Confederate States were not trying to impose slavery on the northern states, but the United States imposed abolition upon the southern states. Again, this is not a debate about why or for what reasons the war was fought.

The American Revolutionary War secured our independence from Great Britain. The American Civil War, though, secured domination over all of the states by the federal government. The southern states, by practicing slavery, did not agree with or want the federal government interfering with their state laws, essentially overstepping its bounds as set forth in the United States Constitution. So what did the southern states do? They left the Union, forming the Confederacy only after several states seceded. When the states seceded there was no fighting, no bloodshed, no war. After the Confederacy was established February 4th, 1861. That’s over two months before the outbreak of the Civil War! Only after the war did secession become a taboo; for some reason, due to its association with the deadliest war in all of American history.

But the onset and conclusion of the Civil War allowed the federal government to ignore the Constitution and initiated plans to expand its power, its control, over the entirety of the people. The American Civil War was a war of conquest. Sherman’s March to the Sea is proof of this. It is the kind of campaigning our founders protested against when they drafted the Declaration of Independence! And so the “north” conquered the “south” and readmitted them to the Union. The southern states didn’t have a choice in the matter. This was the same process of conquest and assimilation that the Roman Empire used centuries before. A neighboring state or population is conquered, granted representation in the senate, and becomes part of the “greater good.” Now, over a hundred years later, the American nation has become the exact thing it had declared independence from over two hundred and thirty years prior.

The time has come to complete another revolution. One that will bring about a peaceful declaration of independence not just to the world, but to the institution of government in general. Americans never needed anyone or anything to look after them; we’ve been independent and free-spirited ever since our forefathers first came to this continent to get away from government control and interference in the “old world”. Americans never needed anyone or anything to tell them what to do; we all know the difference between right and wrong. We the people have always had a mind to be self-reliant, self-capable, and self-determined. We have minds of our own and we know that if the rights of our fellow citizens, or of a foreigner, were to be ignored, then we would not be far from the same fate ourselves.

The thirteen colonies seceded from Great Britain. The existence of the United States of America is based entirely on the act of secession, or breaking away, from the British Empire and declaring our independence. Secession is a fundamental ingredient for the preservation of freedom. The Articles of Confederation clearly established a perpetual union between the first thirteen states but when the the Constitution was ratified the Articles became null and void; just like any other contract. Yet, it clearly states in the Bill of Rights, with the tenth and ninth amendments, that anything not expressly delegated to the federal government, or prohibiting the states from doing so, is retained by the states and, or, the People.

The united States of America have always been a beacon of hope to the world. But now we have become a broken dream. A promise of false hope and lies. The Founding Fathers did not trust the British Parliament, so why should the American people of today trust Congress? With an enormous debt held over our heads by a frayed thread and our freedoms becoming a “burden” to the government, we find ourselves strained by the prospect of more and more taxes; the same crossroads the American colonists faced before the onset of the War of Independence. But what are we to do?

The answer is quite simple: We reaffirm our sovereignty! America is the land of the free and home of the brave. But what freedom will we have if none of us are brave enough to stand up? We cannot be free if we are not brave! The time is now to chant that old cry for freedom: Give me Liberty or give me Death!

Thus, if the People, of one particular state, decide they no longer like being part of a nation ruled by a government that ignores the principles upon which it was founded, then they have a right, as well as a duty, as human beings, to secede from such a union completely and dissolve the bands that united them in the first place. This was essentially the same reasoning behind the Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution. Let us not, as heirs apparent, discourage or reprimand fellow patriots who describe similarities between our modern political atmosphere with that of the government from which we declared independence from. Instead of inciting hatred and fear amongst each other, like we so foolishly did before, let us sit down and talk things out to find a peaceful solution.

What differences are there between Great Britain’s old colonial empire and America’s present democratic one today? Should the states be allowed to secede? Do We The People not have the right to self-determination? Isn’t that why we have elections? Is secession the answer? If voting is the means to a peaceful revolution, then what are we going to do to make it happen?


Setting the Pope straight...

Climate Realists Challenge UN at Vatican Global Warming Conference
Written by William F. Jasper

While United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other global warming activists addressed a bevy of political and ecclesiastical heavyweights at the Vatican-sponsored international symposium on climate change in Rome on April 28, another group of scientists and policy experts met nearby to express their dissent and to urge Pope Francis to reconsider the perilous path he is trodding.

In his address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Ban Ki-moon stressed that “climate change is the defining issue of our time.” “Responding to it effectively is essential for sustainable development,” he averred.

The UN secretary-general continued: "Climate change is intrinsically linked to public health, food and water security, migration, peace and security. It is a moral issue. It is an issue of social justice, human rights and fundamental ethics. We have a profound responsibility to the fragile web of life on this Earth, and to this generation and those that will follow."

“If ever there were an issue that requires unity of purpose, it is climate change,” Ban Ki-moon insisted. “Science tells us we are far off track from reducing global emissions sufficient to keep global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius. We are currently on course for a rise of 4-5 degrees Celsius. This would alter life on Earth as we know it.This is morally indefensible. It contradicts our responsibility to be good stewards of creation.”

In a “prebuttal” on April 27 organized by the Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based libertarian think tank, climate experts exposed the scientific fallacies and anti-Christian agenda promoted by the UN-led confab. Meeting at the Hotel Columbus, about a block from St. Peter’s Square, the speakers warned that the Vatican was in danger of making “an Unholy Alliance” with climate fear promoters. On April 28, Heartland held a second counter-event for the press and public to further explain the dangers posed by the UN fearmongering over “climate change” and to argue that it is wrong for Christian leaders to lend the cloak of moral authority to this effort. Experts speaking at the Heartland conference included:

• Dr. Richard Keen of the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Colorado;

• Harold Doiron, retired NASA physicist/engineer and current NASA consultant;

• Marc Morano, former communications director for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and founder of the watchdog website Climate Depot;

• Elisabeth Yore, an international children’s rights attorney and expert witness in human trafficking;

• Lord Christopher Monckton, chief policy advisor to the Science and Public Policy Institute and former special advisor to Margaret Thatcher when she served as U.K. prime minister from 1982 to 1986;

• Dr. Thomas Sheahen, director of the St. Louis-based Institute for Theological Encounter with Science and Technology;

• Dr. E. Calvin Beisner, founder and national spokesman for the Cornwall Alliance, a Biblically-based public policy network of inter-faith religious leaders and scholars dedicated to free-market solutions to economic, social, and environmental challenges; and

• Jim Lakely, director of communications at the Heartland Institute and former White House correspondent for the Washington Times.

Dr. Keene, a professor of meteorology, told the Heartland conference that the “solutions” proposed by the UN are “like using surgery to solve a sniffles. It’s bad on two counts. The cure is worse than the ailment and number two, the cure does not even fix the ailment. So why bother? All of these draconian policies that would increase world poverty would be flawed policies that would fail to solve a non-existent problem.”

In his message for Pope Francis, retired NASA scientist Hal Doiron said: “I am here to report today: Houston we do not have a problem. It is impossible to think global warming will cause any problem especially when you look at the benefits of adding CO2 to the atmosphere.”

Climate Depot’s Marc Morano said he is concerned that Pope Francis “appears to be about to take an extra step that other Popes have not. That extra step is to endorse a UN climate treaty. This is a game changer from previous Popes and previous Vatican statements.” Morano continued: "The Pope is essentially going to replace Leonardo DiCaprio at this year’s UN climate summit in New York City to speak on behalf of the UN to lobby for a climate treaty. So Leonardo DiCaprio in 2014, to Pope Francis in 2015. This will sow confusion among Catholics in America [and] around the world."

Morano noted:

We already have a phenomena that many Catholics recognize — a la carte Catholicism — where Catholics pick and choose which doctrine they want to follow. With the Pope coming out with such strong statements on global warming and endorsing a UN treaty ... the Vatican is essentially going to confuse Catholics into thinking that their positions on man-made global warming fears are now an article of faith — are now part of Catholic doctrine.

This is nothing short of an "Unholy Alliance" between the Vatican and the man-made climate fear promoters. One of the greatest friends of poor people around the world — an estimated 1.3 billion people who lack running water and electricity — is carbon based fuels.

When the Pontifical Academy of Science announced the Vatican-UN summit, it said the event’s objective is to produce “a joint statement on the moral and religious imperative of sustainable development, highlighting the intrinsic connection between respect for the environment and respect for people — especially the poor, the excluded, victims of human trafficking and modern slavery, children, and future generations.”

Attorney Elisabeth Yore, who has been an international children’s rights advocate for 30 years, called the UN-Vatican statement “preposterous” and “deceptive,” noting there’s no connection between climate change and human trafficking.

“This declaration of an intrinsic connection, a nexus between climate change and human trafficking is on its face, preposterous, deceptive and infinitely damaging to the plight of victims of human trafficking around the world,” Yore said. “This fallacious statement links a real human crisis of modern slavery with a manufactured one of climate change.” Yore argued that trafficking is growing for other reasons, such as war and sex-selective abortions. “Abortion, not climate change, is fueling the industry of human slavery,” she said.

Yore also blasted Columbia University professor and UN advisor Jeffrey Sachs, who is one of the guiding lights behind the UN-Vatican climate gambit. Sachs and the UN, she said, are opposed to the “precious and profound tenets of the Catholic Church regarding the sacredness of life and human dignity.” Yore, who is a Catholic, said “It is perplexing that abortion and reproductive rights zealots like, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and Jeffrey Sachs, the Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network are prominently highlighted at this Catholic Conference in anticipation of Pope Francis’ Environmental Encyclical.”

“As a Catholic,” said Yore, “I am deeply troubled by the recommendations and policies promulgated over the last 20 years by Jeffrey Sachs, in his various roles at the United Nations. As Director of the UN Millennium Development Goals, and now, as director of UN Sustainable Development Solutions, his rabid advocacy of abortion, and reproductive health services are in direct contravention of the moral teaching of the Catholic Church.”

In his latest book, Sustainable Development, published this year, Dr. Sachs’ states: "The legality of abortion also plays an evident role as well. Different societies have widely divergent views about abortion, but the data suggests that those countries with legalized abortion tend to have lower observed fertility rates than countries where abortion is illegal."

“I find it incomprehensible that the Vatican would be misled into thinking that the UN and the Vatican share common solutions,” she said. “The Church welcomes children as a gift from God, when the United Nations and Sachs want to limit the number of children.”

Meanwhile, on April 27, the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation released “An Open Letter to Pope Francis on Climate Change” signed by more than 100 scientists, economists, and religious leaders expressing opposition to the worldview and central-planning agenda put forward by the UN's anthropogenic (manmade) global warming, or AGW, alarmists.


Practicing Martial Law...

Operation Jade Helm 15 is what ‘the bane of liberty’ looks like

by Bob Livingston

Operation Jade Helm 15, a covert multi-agency, seven-state, eight week training exercise coming to the Southwestern U.S. later this summer, is causing anxiety in the liberty community generally and in the center of the operation, Texas, specifically.

An Army spokesman sent to Bastrop County, Texas earlier this week did little to allay the fears of county residents and expressed surprise that Texans would be hesitant to allow thousands of soldiers and tons of military equipment to swarm across their region for two months.

Army Lt. Col. Mark Lastoria told Bastrop residents that the operation was a training exercise, not a military operation to take over Texas and much of the Southwest, that no foreign fighters would be involved, that U.S. troops would not confiscate Texans’ firearms and the Army did not intend to implement martial law.

That prompted one attendee to ask, “When we have a federal government that cannot tell the truth, how do we know that what you’re saying is true?”

Or, as John W. Whitehead wrote for The Rutherford Institute:

Let’s assume, for the moment, that Jade Helm 15 is not a thinly veiled military plot to take over the country lifted straight out of director John Frankenheimer’s 1964 political thriller Seven Days in May, as some fear, but is merely a “routine” exercise for troops, albeit a blatantly intimidating flexing of the military’s muscles.

The problem arises when you start to add Jade Helm onto the list of other troubling developments that have taken place over the past 30 years or more: the expansion of the military industrial complex and its influence in Washington DC, the rampant surveillance, the corporate-funded elections and revolving door between lobbyists and elected officials, the militarized police, the loss of our freedoms, the injustice of the courts, the privatized prisons, the school lockdowns, the roadside strip searches, the military drills on domestic soil, the fusion centers and the simultaneous fusing of every branch of law enforcement (federal, state and local), the stockpiling of ammunition by various government agencies, the active shooter drills that are indistinguishable from actual crises, the economy flirting with near collapse, etc.

Suddenly, the overall picture seems that much more sinister.

Americans, Texans especially, have a load of reasons to question the motives behind military operations on American soil. It was only four years ago that Attorney Criminal Eric Holder threatened to make Texas a no-fly zone if the state legislature passed a bill it was considering that would have booted the Transportation Security Administration out of Texas airports. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, troops barged into homes and confiscated weapons in the interest of “safety.”

Following the bombing at the Boston Marathon, troops locked down the city, ordered people from their homes at gunpoint and set up outposts in people’s homes, all during a search for one man.

During the Bundy Ranch standoff last year, President Barack Obama considered deploying the U.S. military under the approbation of a Pentagon directive on military support to civilian authorities signed in 2010. The Department of Defense directive provides U.S. commanders with the emergency authority to use military support to quell domestic disturbances where needed to “prevent significant loss of life or wanton destruction of property” and when “necessary to restore government function and public order.” A second condition is when Federal, State or local authorities “are unable or decline to provide adequate protection for federal property or federal governmental functions.”

The Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security have each put out several reports calling conservatives, Ron Paul supporters and Tea party members terrorists. Members of the U.S. military are increasingly being conditioned (i.e., brainwashed) into perceiving Constitutionalists, Tea Party members, 2nd Amendment advocates and members of the liberty movement as terrorists. And the list of groups that are “right-wing” terrorists continues to grow.

The American people fought a revolution over a standing army.

During the Virginia Ratifying Convention, George Mason warned that, “once a standing army is established, in any country, the people lose their liberty.”

And Elbridge Gerry, in a debate in the House of Representatives, said, “What, sir, is the use of militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty…”

Regarding Jade Helm, Texas Governor Greg Abbott is rightly concerned over what the military is up to. He’s ordered Major General Gerald “Jake” Betty, commander of the Texas State Guard, to monitor the exercise and provide him with regular updates.

But that won’t completely alleviate fears that military is practicing for a day soon when they will take over all or significant portions of the country.


There is hope...

Climate Alarmists Fighting a Losing Battle: Nearly Half Of Young Americans Are Climate Skeptics

The Younger They Are, The More Skeptical

By Anthony Watts

New Survey: Nearly Half Of Young Americans Are Climate Sceptics

From the Harvard Political Review, 29 April 2015 by Emma Kromm (h/t to The GWPF)

At the White House Correspondents Association Dinner last Saturday night, President Obama got angry. With the help of his anger translator, Luther (played by comedian Keegan-Michael Key), the president abandoned his usual reasonable tone to condemn those who deny climate change. “The science is clear,” he began. “Every serious scientist says we need to act. The Pentagon says it’s a national security risk.” As the president continued, it became clear that he no longer needed Luther to reveal his inner anger, and he drew laughs from the crowd after letting loose. “It is crazy! What about our kids? What kind of stupid, shortsighted, irresponsible… ”While the president’s skit might have been the highlight of the night, do Americans really need this kind of angry reminder that climate change is a problem? Some seem to think we are living in a world where climate change is widely acknowledged as an irrefutable fact. Mary Robinson, the seventh president of Ireland and founder of the Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice, has argued that the generation in power now is the first to fully know about climate change, and the last with the ability to prevent its projected effects. She and others are of the opinion that, at this point, all but a few outliers understand global warming, its causes, and its dire consequences.New data from the Harvard Public Opinion Project tell a very different story. Only 55 percent of survey participants agreed with the statement,

“Global warming is a proven fact and is mostly caused by emissions from cars and industrial facilities such as power plants.” Twenty percent held the belief that “Global warming is a proven fact, and is mostly caused by natural changes that have nothing to do with emissions from cars,” and the remaining 23 percent who answered the question believe that “Global warming is a theory that has not been proven yet.”

Read the rest:

"The suppression of interest rates and pervasive accounting fraud has thundered through the financial system, and the deformities caused by it have emerged in currency war, currency instability, trade collapse, and political crisis. Years of central bank intervention have stolen the capital of the future to construct a Potemkin economy meant to conceal the sickening gyre of diminishing returns strangling business as usual."

Money Worries

James Howard Kunstler

The cynicism among the informed classes has never been so deep. Even the pompom boys in the cheerleading clubs like CNBC and The Wall Street Journal express wonderment at the levitation of stock indexes and bond values. They chatter about a “correction” of 20 percent being a healthful tonic that would clear away some dross and quickly usher in a new episode of “growth” — or growthiness, which, like truthiness, became an acceptable approximation of the real thing. The truth, as opposed to truthiness, is they no longer believe their own bullshit about growthiness.

The suppression of interest rates and pervasive accounting fraud has thundered through the financial system, and the deformities caused by it have emerged in currency war, currency instability, trade collapse, and political crisis. Years of central bank intervention have stolen the capital of the future to construct a Potemkin economy meant to conceal the sickening gyre of diminishing returns strangling business as usual.

Until it collapses by a great deal more than the wished-for mere 20 percent, more perversities will be piled onto the already existing burden. Is it not a wonder that professionalized interest groups like AARP have not screamed bloody murder over the suppression of interest rates which deprives its members of bank account and bond interest on savings? Instead AARP, like virtually every enterprise in America, has turned to racketeering. Don’t worry, they’ll be gone from the scene soon enough.

The next shoe to drop will be various forms of bail-ins and attempts to prevent bank account and money market holders from getting access to their cash. A withdrawal above $2,000 already can trigger a report to the IRS. The next step will be to put a simple ceiling on withdrawals. Will that trigger public ire? Who knows? Nothing yet has in the USA. The meme currently circulating is the fear that government would like to abolish cash altogether and put in a regime of all-electronic money. Being allergic to conspiracy ideas, I’m skeptical about this idea, but I really can’t dismiss it.

A cashless society would conceptually allow government much more leak-proof control of all citizen money transactions. Mainly it could funnel tax revenue into the treasury much more efficiently. It raises some obvious practical concerns, such as: would such a program lead to an enhanced colossal skim of credit card company off-creaming? And what about the percentage of poorer Americans who don’t have credit cards or bank accounts now, either because they don’t understand how it all works, or they’re forced to function in the “gray” economy for one reason or another (e.g. a drug felony rap). And what kind of as-yet-unknown perverse work-arounds would this new system provoke?

I put the question to a table of college-educated people last night and their response was surprising: utter complacency. They’re already used to paying for most things with plastic, they said, and their employer already withholds a big part of their regular paycheck for taxes, so what does it matter? They couldn’t grok the possibility that a cashless money system might easily deprive them of access to whatever reserves they have. Or perhaps, more specifically, they couldn’t imagine an economic or political emergency that might provoke such a situation.

They might find out sooner than they realize. As I suggest in the lede, apprehension is growing that some kind of “corrective” event is at hand on the financial scene. Even the supposedly salubrious 20 percent S & P drop could set off a chorus of margin calls that would make the trumpets of Jericho sound like a kazoo concert. What will Americans do if they can’t get their money out of the banks? The last time this happened, 1933, we were a hard-up but polite and highly-regimented society, and the automatic rifle was a novelty restricted to a relatively tiny army and Al Capone’s crew. Behind the financial jitters of the informed minority is the greater fear of social unrest.


The end of cash...

The War on Cash: Transparently Totalitarian

By Nick Giambruno

When asked what he thought the future might look like, George Orwell said “imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.”

Not exactly a cheery thought, and one I don’t agree with.

While the forces pushing for centralization of power have been prevailing for decades, they haven’t won a total victory yet. Technologies that empower the individual and that tend toward decentralization—including the Internet, encryption, 3D printing, and cryptocurrencies—offer a powerful ray of hope, reasons to be optimistic about the future.

So the tug of war between the collectivists and the rest of us continues.

One thing that would tip the scales heavily in favor of the collectivists would be victory in the War on Cash. Their goal is to eliminate the use of hand-to-hand currency, so that governments can document, control, and tax everything.

It’s exactly like what Ron Paul said: “The cashless society is the IRS’s dream: total knowledge of, and control over, the finances of every single American.”

One way they are waging the War on Cash is to lower the threshold at which reporting a cash transaction is mandatory or at which paying in cash is simply illegal. In just the last few years…

•Italy made cash transactions over €1,000 illegal;
•Switzerland has proposed banning cash payments in excess of 100,000 francs;
•Russia banned cash transactions over $10,000;
•Spain banned cash transactions over €2,500;
•Mexico made cash payments of more than 200,000 pesos illegal;
•Uruguay banned cash transactions over $5,000; and
•France made cash transactions over €1,000 illegal, down from the previous limit of €3,000.

I recently spoke about this with Dr. Joe Salerno, an Austrian economist with the Mises Institute. Joe is the best chronicler of the global War on Cash and is here to offer an Austrian rebuttal to the economic nonsense peddled by advocates of this war.

I am happy to bring you his informed insight.

Nick Giambruno: What is the War on Cash?

Joe Salerno: The War on Cash is the attempt by governments to phase cash out of their economies. Governments hate cash because they hate the financial privacy cash makes possible. And they prefer that you keep your money in a bank to help prop up an unsound fractional reserve banking system.

Nick: How did you get interested in this topic?

Joe: I noticed that every time there was a war on something—a war on crime, a war on drugs, a war on terror and so forth—the more the government encroached on financial privacy. The US government has long been waging a hidden war on cash.

One symptom of the war is that the largest denomination of US currency is the $100 note. US currency used to be issued in denominations running up to $10,000 (including also $500; $1,000; $5,000 notes). The US government stopped printing large denomination notes in 1945 and officially discontinued their issuance in 1969, when the Fed began removing them from circulation.

Since then, the largest currency note available has a face value of $100. But since 1969, the inflationary monetary policy of the Fed has caused the US dollar to depreciate by over 80%, so that a $100 note today has less purchasing power than a $20 bill in 1969.

So in addition to lowering the nominal size of the largest bill, they also reduced the bill’s purchasing power through inflation.

Despite this enormous depreciation, the Federal Reserve has steadfastly refused to issue notes of larger denomination. This has made large cash transactions extremely inconvenient and has forced the American public to make much greater use than is optimal of electronic-payment methods. Of course, this is precisely the intent of the US government.

Nick: Looking around, what are the latest examples of the War on Cash?

Joe: One right here in the United States occurred in 2011. It flew under the radar for a while. The State of Louisiana banned “secondhand dealers” from making more than one cash transaction per week. The term has a broad definition and includes Goodwill stores, specialty stores that sell collectibles like baseball cards, flea markets, garage sales and so on. Anyone deemed a “secondhand dealer” is forbidden to accept cash as payment. They are allowed to take only electronic means of payment or a check, and they must collect the name and other information about each customer and send it to the local police department electronically every day.

Nick: What about Europe?

Joe: In France recently, the limit on cash transactions was lowered from €3,000 to €1,000. The reason given was the attacks on Charlie Hebdo. It turns out that those attacks were financed in part by cash. Well, what a big shock that criminals use cash to finance their operations. They also use, of course, public sidewalks and automobiles, they buy clothing and so on. So this whole thing is ridiculous. It’s just a way of obscuring the government’s true goal, which is to get rid of financial privacy. Governments don’t really think that by lowering the limit of legally allowable cash payments that it’s somehow going to cut down on terrorist attacks. That’s just the narrative we’re given.

Nick: What is the mindset of someone who would advocate the elimination of cash?

Joe: Let me give you an example. Recently Willem Buiter—a prominent economist for Citibank—came out with a proposal to abolish cash. The reason is to enable the Fed to push interest rates into negative territory. He suggested that we could have avoided a lot of the problems with the financial crisis if the Fed could have set the interest rate at negative 6%.

But of course the availability of hand-to-hand currency would get in the way of that plan. People would say “I’m not going to put my money in the bank and have them take 6% every year.” They would avoid the bite of negative interest rates simply by holding hundred-dollar bills.

This really shocked me, that a prominent economist would make a case for abolishing cash, so that the central bank could set interest rates at a negative level. This is really crazy thinking, but it’s their mindset. It’s nuts.

Nick: Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff made a similar argument. Did you hear about that?

Joe: Yes, I did. In fact, Buiter took his cue from Rogoff. But there are a number of hyper-Keynesian economists who want to remove all barriers to negative interest rates, so that you’ll hurry up and spend whatever cash you have. But the only way they can do that is to corral everyone’s money in to the banking system.

It’s absurd, and they’ve gone way beyond Keynes with this craziness.

Nick: It reminds me of how Paul Krugman advocated for faking a space alien invasion as an excuse for the government to waste money on countering it. Or how he later supported minting a trillion-dollar coin. The real scary part is that he—and his juvenile solutions—are taken seriously by many people. Krugman, Buiter, Rogoff and their ilk have the government’s ear, they are presented respectfully by the mainstream media and are given Nobel prizes in economics. How do people not see what they are advocating, like eliminating cash, as transparently totalitarian?

Joe: I think that harkens back to the progressive era, from 1900 or so to the end of World War I. Government-employed experts supposedly were disinterested and dispassionate and would apply their knowledge and skills to do what was best for society. They would be the technocrats.

That’s how they pulled the wool over the American people’s eyes, by saying, well, you know, we are fixing the economy’s problems. This has nothing to do with politics. This has nothing to do with totalitarianism. We are trying to make the economy better for you and for everyone else.

That was just a bunch of nonsense, and it still is. People who believe it are still living in the 1930s, always worried about deflation, rather than worrying about the real problem, which is, of course, the Fed’s monopoly control of money and the inflation the Fed promotes.

Nick: What is the response of Austrian economists to this way of thinking?

Joe: Fortunately, the free market provides the prospect of an escape from the fiscal police state that seeks to stamp out the use of cash through either depreciation of central-bank-issued currency combined with unchanged currency denominations or direct legal limitation on the size of cash transactions. As Carl Menger, the founder of the Austrian School of economics, explained over 140 years ago, money emerges not by government decree but through a market process driven by the actions of individuals who are continually seeking a means to accomplish their goals through exchange most efficiently.

Every so often history offers up another example that illustrates Menger’s point. The use of sheep, bottled water, and cigarettes as media of exchange in Iraqi rural villages after the US invasion and collapse of the dinar is one recent example. Another example was Argentina after the collapse of the peso, when grain contracts priced in dollars were regularly exchanged for big-ticket items like automobiles, trucks, and farm equipment. In fact, Argentine farmers began hoarding grain in silos to substitute for holding cash balances in the form of depreciating pesos.

Austrian economists would think that the War on Cash is really absurd and unscientific. We would say, allow people to choose the form of payment they want to use, whether that be cash, gold, debit card, or something else. We want to remove all barriers to people using different kinds of currency, take all excise taxes, sales taxes, capital gains taxes off gold and silver and off foreign currencies. And also get rid of all legal tender laws. You can keep the dollar in existence, but allow people to use currencies that compete with the dollar.

So we want to move in the exact opposite direction from abolishing cash. In fact, we want to encourage people to withdraw money from banks they don’t trust. Fractional reserve banking, apart from the ethical question, is unsound economically.

Nick: We recently published an article from Doug Casey on sound and unsound banking.

If you look at all the skirmishes in the War on Cash in recent years in so many different countries and map it all out, it looks like there is coordination among those governments. Is that right?

Joe: Formation of the Better than Cash Alliance in 2012 is one piece of evidence. The partners in the Better than Cash Alliance include the Ford Foundation, USAid, Citibank, MasterCard, Visa, and a number of UN agencies. They want to abolish the use of cash and force all payments to be made electronically, especially in emerging nations. These are international organizations that influence almost every government in the world. They could be the basis of coordinated efforts to discourage the use of cash.

They are promoting the idea that the use of cash excludes poor people from the economy. But that’s nonsense. Poor people don’t have checking accounts or credit cards; they depend on cash.

Also, so deeply ingrained is cash in the Italian culture that over 7.5 million Italians do not even have checking accounts. The Italian government will continue to attempt to dragoon these “bankless” Italians into the banking system. That way the notoriously corrupt Italian government can more easily spy on them and invade their financial privacy.

Nick: What happens next?

Joe: I don’t see any end in sight. What keeps this movement going are wars—made-up wars—like the war on terror, the war on organized crime, the war on poverty, war on drugs. That’s what allows governments to ratchet up the intrusiveness into our financial affairs. So I don’t see an end in sight to that. I see the US right now with its Russia policy, for example, goading Russia and inviting more hostility. This feeds a warlike atmosphere in the US so that people just give in, time after time, as the laws become more despotic and intrusive.

What might save us is that we’re due for another crash, we’re due for another financial crisis. In the aftermath, politicians might be forced to move to more free-market-oriented policies. I don’t think that’s a done deal, but I’m hopeful.

Nick: What can International Man readers do to protect themselves from the sociopaths waging the War on Cash?

Joe: I think keeping a good part of your assets outside the banking system is extremely smart. Keeping some cash in a safe is also smart, especially in an era when financial crises are likely. I wouldn’t encourage that as a strategy for earning income, but as a way of protecting yourself and your family.

Nick: One solution I like is the 1,000 Swiss franc note (picture below). It’s the most purchasing power you can pack into a single bill of a relatively sound currency. So if you want to hold cash outside the banking system, having a stash of these might make sense. Any last thoughts?

Joe: The War on Cash reflects the desperation of governments. They want to squeeze every last penny out of their citizens. And they are at wits’ end on how to cure the stagnation of the global economy that began in the 2008 financial crisis. So it really says that they are bankrupt, both literally, in the sense that they can’t pay what they’ve promised, and intellectually.

Nick: I completely agree. Joe, thank you for your time.

Joe: My pleasure.


"The use of drones is not only constitutionally impermissible but also contraindicated by the rules of war."

The Tyranny of One Man's Opinion

By Andrew P. Napolitano

Thomas Cromwell was the principal behind-the-scenes fixer for much of the reign of King Henry VIII. He engineered the interrogations, convictions and executions of many whom Henry needed out of the way, including his two predecessors as fixer and even the king’s second wife, Queen Anne.

When Cromwell’s son, Gregory, who became sickened as he watched his father devolving from counselor to monster, learned that an executioner for the queen had been sent for from France a week before her conviction, he asked his father what the purpose of her trial was if the king had preordained the queen’s guilt and prepaid the executioner. Cromwell replied that the king needed a jury to give legitimacy to her conviction and prevent the public perception of “the tyranny of one man’s opinion.”

In America, we have a Constitution not only to prevent the perception but also to prevent the reality of the tyranny of one man’s opinion. The Constitution’s Fifth Amendment makes clear that if the government wants life, liberty or property, it cannot take it by legislation or executive command; it can do so only by due process — a fair jury trial and all its constitutional protections.

The constitutional insistence upon due process was the result of not only the Colonial revulsion at the behavior of Henry and his successors but also the recognition of the natural individual right to fairness from the government. If one man in the government becomes prosecutor, judge and jury, there can be no fairness, no matter who that man is or what his intentions may be. That is at least the theory underlying the requirements for due process.

President Barack Obama has rejected not only the theory but also the practice of due process by his use of drones launched by the CIA to kill Americans and others overseas. The use of the CIA to do the killing is particularly troubling and has aroused the criticism of senators as disparate in their views as Rand Paul and John McCain, both of whom have argued that the CIA’s job is to steal and keep secrets and the military’s job is to further national security by using force; and their roles should not be confused or conflated, because the laws governing each are different.

Theirs is not an academic argument. The president’s use of the CIA is essentially unlimited as long as he receives the secret consent of a majority of the members of the House and Senate intelligence committees. The secret use of these 37 senators and representatives constituting the two committees as a Congress-within-the Congress is profoundly unconstitutional because Congress cannot delegate its war-making powers to any committee or group without effectively disenfranchising the voters whose congressional representatives are not in the group.

Moreover, the War Powers Resolution regulates the president’s use of the military and essentially precludes secret wars. It requires the public consent of a majority of the full Congress for all offensive military action greater than 90 days. That, in turn, brings about transparency and requires a national political will to use military force.

President Obama has formulated rules — agreed to by a majority of the 37, but not by a majority in Congress — that permit him to kill Americans and others overseas when he believes they are engaging in acts that pose an imminent threat to our national security, when their arrest would be impracticable and when personally authorized by the president. This is not federal law, just rules Obama wrote for himself. Yet none of the Americans he has killed fits any of those rules.

Last week, the White House revealed that in January, the government launched its 446th drone into a foreign land, and this one killed three Americans and an Italian, none of whom had been targeted or posed a threat to national security at the time of his murder. The drone, which was dispatched by a computer in Virginia, was aimed at a house in Pakistan and was sent on its lethal way without the approval of the Pakistani government or the knowledge of President Obama.

The use of drones is not only constitutionally impermissible but also contraindicated by the rules of war. Drones pose no threat and little danger to those doing the killing. Except when the intelligence is bad — as it was in the January case revealed last week — deploying drones is a low-risk endeavor for the country doing so. But Obama’s wars by robots produce more killing than is necessary. War should be dangerous for all sides so as to limit its lethality to only those venues that are worth the risk — those that are vital for national security.

If war is not dangerous, it will become commonplace. By one measure — the absence of personal involvement by decision-makers — it has become commonplace already. A mere three years after his self-written rules for the deployment of drones were promulgated, the president has delegated the authority to order drone killings to his staff, and the members of the congressional intelligence committees have delegated their authority to consent to their staffs.

Obama apparently doesn’t care about the Constitution he swore to uphold, but he should care about the deaths of innocents. Obama’s drones have killed more non-targeted innocents in foreign lands than were targeted and killed in the U.S. on 9/11.

And the world is vastly less stable now than it was on 9/11. The president’s flying robots of death have spawned the Islamic State group — a monstrosity far exceeding even Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell in barbarity.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Hard Truth About The Baltimore Riots...

"There is but one solution to what ails Baltimore and the rest of America: economic liberty, which means the dismantling of the paternalistic state."

The Welfare State versus Baltimore Blacks
by Jacob G. Hornberger

It’s the welfare state and its attacks on African-Americans that are the root cause of what is happening in Baltimore.

Consider the federal government’s mandatory minimum-wage law, the much-vaunted welfare-state measure that purports to help people at the bottom of the economic ladder by supposedly preventing them from being exploited by employers.

In actuality, the minimum wage is a ruthless and vicious attack on the poor, especially inner-city black teenagers, including those in Baltimore.

Suppose the minimum wage were set at $100 per hour. Wouldn’t that make everyone rich? Wouldn’t that be a better way to help workers than a mandatory minimum wage of only $15 an hour?

Even graduates of public (i.e., government) schools could figure out the fallacy of such a measure. Most businesses couldn’t afford to pay their employees $100 an hour. Given such a law, there would be an enormous layoff of workers. There would be mass unemployment.

That’s because it’s just not worth it to employers to pay workers $100 an hour. Every worker whose labor is valued by employers at less than $100 per hour is going to be without a job.

It’s no different when the government sets the mandatory minimum at $15 an hour. Everyone whose labor is valued by employers at less than $15 an hour in the marketplace goes without a job. He is permanently unemployed.

Who would that group of people be? They would be black teenagers in Baltimore, Chicago, New York, and other large cities in the country. For years, black teenagers have suffered a permanent unemployment rate of around 40 percent.

Black teenagers have suffered such a chronic unemployment rate because of the government’s mandatory minimum wage. While employers might be willing to hire black teenagers at, say, $5 an hour, the minimum wage law prohibits them from doing so.

What happens to those black teenagers who would like to get a job? Unlike their rich, white counterparts, who are learning a work ethic, job skills, and how a business operates, the minimum-wage law forces black teenagers to sit at home doing nothing. The state tells them: “Don’t worry, when you grow up, you can go on welfare. We’ll take care of you. We’ll provide you public housing, food stamps, and other essentials.” Of course, in the process the government makes them dependent on its dole, sometimes for life, which enables the government to control them. The welfare-state system is not as effective as slavery was, but it comes close.

What inevitably happens though is that unemployed black teenagers don’t just sit at home watching television but instead look for alternative ways to make money.

The minimum wage meets the drug war, another one of the federal government’s racist government programs. What black teenagers quickly learn is that by selling drugs, they can score big. They can make a lot of money, very quickly.

Of course, it’s just one great big honey trap. The government uses the drug war to do what segregation could never do — it removes blacks entirely from communities and relocates them to federal penitentiaries. Or the drug war removes blacks from life through death that comes from the massive violence that accompanies the illegal drug trade.

Meanwhile, thanks to compulsory school-attendance laws black teenagers are forced to attend the government’s indoctrination centers, called “public schools,” which are army-like regimentation facilities where children are taught deference to authority and obedience to orders. Thus, when the cops arbitrarily stop blacks on the streets and order them to bend the knee in honor and respect, they are expected to quickly do so, saying, “Yas-sah, Massah. Just tell me what I can do to serve you.”

Now, imagine if all three of these institutions were abolished, which they should be.

With the minimum wage gone, blacks teenagers would be free to compete for jobs on the basis of price. A black teenager could approach a well-established business and say, “I’ll do what that rich white kid is doing for $15 and I’ll do it for $2 an hour.” All of sudden, the employer finds it in his interest to hire the black kid. He’s able to add $13 an hour to his profit margin.

Why would the black kid work for $2 an hour? To get his foot in the door. To learn what it’s like to work in a business. To learn that he can’t skip work like he can skip school. Or the importance of getting to work on time, which is not the same as making it to class on time. To see how a business operates. To learn work skills.

Meanwhile, he lives with his family, which is providing him with room and board. After a year, he’s more marketable. He finds another business and asks for a job, only this time he asks for $5 an hour because he’s got work experience. Each year, the same thing happens. At some point he might begin thinking about opening his own business.

Suppose today a poor black in the inner city wants to start up a new business to compete against the well-established businesses. He summons the black teenagers in the area for a meeting and offers them $2 an hour plus some stock options. The teenagers say, “Great! We’ll do it!” But there’s one big obstacle: The government’s minimum wage makes it illegal to do it. In the name of helping the poor, the minimum wage law requires that black entrepreneur to pay $15 an hour, which he cannot afford. The start-up business never comes into existence.

Thus, the minimum wage law is really just one great big protection racket for the already established big firms — the ones that can afford to pay the minimum wage.

Now, suppose the minimum wage is abolished, along with drug laws. In fact, let’s go even further and abolish the entire welfare state apparatus that has been grafted onto our original governmental structure along with the federal income tax and all laws that infringe on economic liberty (and, well, while we’re at it, the entire warfare-state apparatus too). Let’s have a totally free market system — that is, a separation of economy and the state and a separation of charity and the state, just like we have a separation of church and state.

Now, all of sudden you have an outburst of economic activity in the poorest parts of Baltimore and other American cities. Suddenly black entrepreneurs have wide latitude to start businesses and hire people in the area. And there’s no more drug war to lure young blacks down a road that leads to death or incarceration.

And abolish government schooling as well, which would enable blacks to secure a real education, one that revolves around whatever their passion is in life — one that nurtures a love of learning and independent thinking rather than one that is designed to produce a deferential and obedient mindset.

Life in the poorest parts of Baltimore and other big cities is much like life was like in the Soviet Union — a life filled with hopelessness, despair, and despondency. That’s why there is so much alcoholism and drug addiction among inner-city blacks, just like there was in the Soviet Union.

There is but one solution to what ails Baltimore and the rest of America: economic liberty, which means the dismantling of the paternalistic state.


Questions about Baltimore...

12 Unanswered Questions About The Baltimore Riots That They Don’t Want Us To Ask

By Michael Snyder

Why did the Baltimore riots seem like they were perfectly staged to be a television event? Images of police vehicles burning made for great television all over the planet, but why were there abandoned police vehicles sitting right in the middle of the riot zones without any police officers around them in the first place? Why was the decision made ahead of time to set a curfew for Tuesday night and not for Monday night? And why are Baltimore police officers claiming that they were ordered to “stand down” and not intervene as dozens of shops, businesses and homes went up in flames? Yes, the anger over the death of Freddie Gray is very real. Police brutality has been a major problem in Baltimore and much of the rest of the nation for many years. But could it be possible that the anger that the people of Baltimore are feeling is being channeled and manipulated for other purposes? The following are 12 unanswered questions about the Baltimore riots that they don’t want us to ask…

#1 Why are dozens of social media accounts that were linked to violence in Ferguson now trying to stir up violence in Baltimore?…

The data mining firm that found between 20 and 50 social media accounts in Baltimore linked to the violence in Ferguson, Mo. is now reporting a spike in message traffic in Washington D.C., Philadelphia and New York City, with “protesters” trying to get rides to Baltimore for Tuesday night.

The firm, which asked to remain anonymous because it does government work, said some of the suspect social media accounts in Baltimore are sending messages to incite violence. While it is possible to spoof an account, to make it look like someone is one place and really is in another, that does not fully explain the high numbers.

#2 Who was behind the aggressive social media campaign to organize a “purge” that would start at the Mondawmin Mall at precisely 3 PM on Monday afternoon?…

The spark that ignited Monday’s pandemonium probably started with high school students on social media, who were discussing a “purge” — a reference to a film in which laws are suspended.

Many people knew “very early on” that there was “a lot of energy behind this purge movement,” Baltimore City Councilman Nick Mosby told CNN on Tuesday. “It was a metaphor for, ‘Let’s go out and make trouble.'”

#3 Even though authorities had “credible intelligence” that gangs would be specifically targeting police officers on Monday, why weren’t they more prepared? On Tuesday, the captain of the Baltimore police tried to make us believe that they weren’t prepared because they were only anticipating a confrontation with “high schoolers”…

Police Capt. John Kowalczyk said the relatively light initial police presence was because authorities were preparing for a protest of high schoolers. A heavy police presence and automatic weapons would not have been appropriate, he said. Kowalczyk said police made more than 200 arrests — only 34 of them juveniles.

#4 Where were the Baltimore police on Monday afternoon when the riots exploded? During the rioting, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said that the “disappearance of the police for hours this afternoon is something that is going to haunt this city for decades”.

#5 Why are police officers in Baltimore claiming that they were instructed to “stand down” during the rioting on Monday afternoon?…

Police officers in Baltimore reportedly told journalists that they were ordered by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake not to stop looters during yesterday’s riots.

Rawlings-Blake, who waited 5 hours before even making a statement on the unrest, was already under intense critcism for saying that violent mobs were provided with “space” to “destroy” during riots which took place on Saturday.

One Baltimore shopkeeper said that he actually called the police 50 times asking for help and never got any assistance at all. Other business owners reported similar results. This is so similar to what we saw back during the Ferguson riots.

#6 Why was the decision made ahead of time to set a curfew on Tuesday night but not on Monday night?

#7 Why were so many police vehicles conveniently parked along the street in areas where the worst violence happened? After the destruction of a number of police vehicles on Saturday night, the Baltimore police had to know that they were prime targets. So why were there even more police vehicles available for rioters to destroy on Monday? And where were the cops that should have been protecting those vehicles?

#8 Why is an organization funded by George Soros stirring up emotions against the police in Baltimore?

#9 Why is CNN bringing on “commentators” that are promoting violence in Baltimore?…

Marc Lamont Hill, a Morehouse College professor and regular CNN commentator, embraced radical violence in the streets during an interview Monday on CNN.

“There shouldn’t be calm tonight,” Hill told CNN host Don Lemon as riots raged in the streets of Baltimore.

“Black people are dying in the streets. We’ve been dying in the streets for months, years, decades, centuries. I think there can be resistance to oppression.”

#10 Why did Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake initially tell reporters that a decision was made on Saturday to give “those who wished to destroy space to do that”?

#11 Why were rioters given hours to cause mayhem before a state of emergency was finally declared on Monday? Maryland Governor Larry Hogan seems to think that Mayor Rawlings-Blake waited far too long to declare a state of emergency. Just check out what he told one reporter…

I‘ve been in daily communication with the mayor and others in the city and our entire team has been involved from day one. Frankly, this was a Baltimore city situation. Baltimore city was in charge. When the mayor called me, which quite frankly we were glad that she finally did, instantly we signed the executive order. We already had our entire team prepared.

We were all in a command center and second floor of the state house in constant communication and we were trying to get in touch with the mayor for quite some time. She finally made that call and we immediately took action.

#12 Does the fact that the mayor of Baltimore has very close ties to the Obama administration have anything to do with how events unfolded during the riots? The following is from…

Rawlings-Blake was one of three mayors who provided broad input into President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, which advocates the federalization of police departments across the country by forcing them to adhere to stricter federal requirements when they receive funding.

“The federal government can be a strong partner in our efforts in build better relationships between the police and community,” she said in written testimony before the task force.

That would explain her inaction to stop the rioting when it began: by allowing it to spiral out of control, the mayor and her friends at the Justice Dept. could use the unrest to justify the expansion of federal power into local law enforcement, which would also allow her to receive more funding.

And why did it take Barack Obama several days to publicly condemn the violence in Baltimore? Why didn’t he stand up and say something on Monday when the riots were at their peak?

Something doesn’t smell right about all of this. Much of the violence could have been prevented if things had been handled differently.

In the end, who is going to get hurt the most by all of this? It will be the African-American communities in the heart of Baltimore that are already suffering with extremely high levels of unemployment and poverty.

I wish that we could all just learn to come together and love one another. Over the past few days, I have seen a whole lot of “us vs. them” talk coming from all quarters. This kind of talk is only going to reinforce the cycle of mistrust and violence.

Sadly, I believe that this is just the beginning of what is coming to America. The following are some tweets that show the mayhem and destruction that we have been witnessing in Baltimore the past few days…