Saturday, February 28, 2015

Silver, Gold, & Gun Dealers To Be Shut Down?


CIA Torture Whistleblower John Kiriakou: Wake Up, You’re Next...

The Art of Deception Official Full Movie...

"A Message to America’s Proxies – Be Useful Alive, or Be Useful Dead"

Russia: US-Backed Opposition Leader Gunned Down in Moscow

Tony Cartalucci

US-backed opposition groups in Russia have so far failed utterly to produce results. Their transparent subservience to Washington coupled with their distasteful brand of politics has left a rather unpleasant taste in the mouth of most Russians. Each attempt to spread the “virus” of color revolution to Moscow, as US Senator John McCain called it, has failed – and each attempt has fallen progressively flatter.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has never been more popular. His ability to weather serial provocations aimed at Russia by NATO has made him a champion against the perceived growing injustice exacted against the developing world by an increasingly militaristic and exploitative West.

So when US-backed opposition groups in Russia decided to gather again this coming March 1, Sunday, many wondered just exactly what they expected to accomplish.

Bloomberg just a day ago, would report in an article titled, “Anti-Putin Opposition Looks to Russian Spring for Revival,” that:

Just before he was jailed for handing out leaflets at a metro station, Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny used his last moments in a Moscow court to record a video urging supporters to join a March 1 protest against President Vladimir Putin.

Navalny’s removal from the “Spring” rally by a 15-day sentence underlined the beleaguered state of an opposition movement that brought 100,000 onto Moscow’s streets three years ago as well as the Kremlin’s unease about the potential for unrest in Russia.

Squeezed by government persecution and Putin’s near-record approval rating, Russia’s opposition is betting that an unfolding economic crisis will spark a spring revolt on a scale last seen at the winter protests of 2011-2012, the largest since the collapse of Communism 20 years earlier. It seeks to draw as many as 100,000 people to the “anti-crisis march” in Moscow, with protests also planned in 15 other cities. They’ll highlight declining living standards and the conflict in eastern Ukraine that triggered U.S. and European Union sanctions against Russia.

The article however, also stated that:

The opposition “hasn’t been this weak for many years,” Stefan Meister, an analyst at the German Council of Foreign Relations in Berlin, said by phone. “Even when we have a growing economic crisis in Russia, there’s still high support for Putin.”

Clearly to match the expectations the “spring” rally was meant to have, to infuse the “virus” US Senator McCain had claimed was intended for Moscow, something drastic would have to be done to change the current calculus.

The prospect of triggering sustainable unrest aimed at the Kremlin was beyond impossible – that is – until the leader of the planned protest was shot dead, practically on the steps of the Kremlin itself in the heart of Moscow.

Boris Nemtsov, was reportedly shot four times in the back on Friday night in a drive-by shooting. His body laid conveniently for media photographers to capture the Kremlin looming in the background.

Russia immediately condemned the killing, with President Putin noting it was an act of “pure provocation.”

Nemtsov’s Questionable Ties to US Agitators

Nemtsov had led US-backed opposition protests for years. In 2012, he was caught literally walking into the US Embassy in Moscow to meet with then newly appointed US Ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul who had serve on the board of directors of Freedom House and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

The significance of this cannot be overstated.

It was in 2004, when Michael McFaul would write in the Washington Post in an op-ed titled, “‘Meddling’ In Ukraine Democracy is not an American plot,” that:

Did Americans meddle in the internal affairs of Ukraine? Yes. The American agents of influence would prefer different language to describe their activities — democratic assistance, democracy promotion, civil society support, etc. — but their work, however labeled, seeks to influence political change in Ukraine. The U.S. Agency for International Development, the National Endowment for Democracy and a few other foundations sponsored certain U.S. organizations, including Freedom House, the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute, the Solidarity Center, the Eurasia Foundation, Internews and several others to provide small grants and technical assistance to Ukrainian civil society. The European Union, individual European countries and the Soros-funded International Renaissance Foundation did the same.

Added to McFaul’s confession, are similar reports such as the Guardian’s 2004 article titled, “US campaign behind the turmoil in Kiev,” which reported:

But while the gains of the orange-bedecked “chestnut revolution” are Ukraine’s, the campaign is an American creation, a sophisticated and brilliantly conceived exercise in western branding and mass marketing that, in four countries in four years, has been used to try to salvage rigged elections and topple unsavoury regimes.

Funded and organised by the US government, deploying US consultancies, pollsters, diplomats, the two big American parties and US non-government organisations, the campaign was first used in Europe in Belgrade in 2000 to beat Slobodan Milosevic at the ballot box.

Richard Miles, the US ambassador in Belgrade, played a key role. And by last year, as US ambassador in Tbilisi, he repeated the trick in Georgia, coaching Mikhail Saakashvili in how to bring down Eduard Shevardnadze.

Ten months after the success in Belgrade, the US ambassador in Minsk, Michael Kozak, a veteran of similar operations in central America, notably in Nicaragua, organised a near identical campaign to try to defeat the Belarus hardman, Alexander Lukashenko.
That one failed. “There will be no Kostunica in Belarus,” the Belarus president declared, referring to the victory in Belgrade.

But experience gained in Serbia, Georgia and Belarus has been invaluable in plotting to beat the regime of Leonid Kuchma in Kiev.

The operation – engineering democracy through the ballot box and civil disobedience – is now so slick that the methods have matured into a template for winning other people’s elections.

It is important to understand what the US did in Ukraine, Serbia, Georgia, Belarus, and Nicaragua, and who was involved, because that is precisely what the US repeated in 2011 amid the so-called “Arab Spring,” and again in 2013-2014 during the so-called “Euromaidan,” and precisely what they are attempting to do in Russia itself today.

That Nemtsov was meeting directly with McFaul who openly works to subvert governments to suit special interests in Washington and on Wall Street, gives some indication of just how closely tied to US meddling Nemtsov was.

In addition to Nemtsov’s direct contact with representatives of US-backed sedition, Nemtsov’s adviser, Vladimir Kara-Murza, has attended NED forums including one in 2011 titled, “Elections in Russia: Polling and Perspectives,” and an NED forum in 2013 titled, “Russia: A Postmodern Dictatorship?” which was jointly presented by Kara-Murza’s “Institute ofModern Russia,” a joint-US Neo-Con/US-backed Russian opposition propaganda clearing house.

The height of US-backed regime change appeared to be the so-called “Arab Spring.” The Atlantic in an article titled, “The Arab Spring: ‘A Virus That Will Attack Moscow and Beijing’,” would state:

[US Senator John McCain] said, “A year ago, Ben-Ali and Gaddafi were not in power. Assad won’t be in power this time next year. This Arab Spring is a virus that will attack Moscow and Beijing.” McCain then walked off the stage.

Comparing the Arab Spring to a virus is not new for the Senator — but to my knowledge, coupling Russia and China to the comment is.

Senator McCain’s framing reflects a triumphalism bouncing around at this conference. It sees the Arab Spring as a product of Western design — and potentially as a tool to take on other non-democratic governments.

At an earlier session, Senator Udall said that those who believed that the Arab Spring was an organic revolution from within these countries were wrong — and that the West and NATO in particular had been primary drivers of results in Libya — and that the West had helped animate and move affairs in Egypt. Udall provocatively added Syria to that list as well.

“This virus” may have overwhelmed governments around the world at first, but since then, success has been limited with major setbacks in Thailand, Malaysia, and even in Egypt where US-backed regimes were either ousted by military coups, or never made it into power to begin with. Ukraine’s “Euromaidan,” while successful in Kiev, has led to Crimea’s return to Russia and a bitter civil war in the country’s eastern most provinces that have drained the lifeblood from Washington’s newly acquired client state.

It was clear that Washington’s “template” needed an upgrade. What could be done, just days ahead of another attempt to trigger sustainable unrest in Moscow? What could the movement use? A martyr.

Nemtsov, A Convenient Martyr… Too Convenient

The provocative murder in the center of Moscow, in close proximity to the Kremlin itself, would lead the more gullible members of the general public to imagine President Putin himself leaning back in his office chair with a rifle sticking out the window of the Kremlin, and gunning down his rival – in true super villain form.

Already, before any investigation has been conducted, Western news sources are attempting to imply the Kremlin was behind his murder – hoping the general public believes Russia’s leadership would be careless and thoughtless enough to commit such a provocative act just two days ahead of protests.

The BBC in its report, “Russia opposition politician Boris Nemtsov shot dead,” would claim:

He died hours after appealing for support for a march on Sunday in Moscow against the war in Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has condemned the murder, the Kremlin says.

In a recent interview, Mr Nemtsov had said he feared Mr Putin would have him killed because of his opposition to the war in Ukraine.

Of course, the BBC also mentioned Nemtsov’s intentions of exploiting growing economic concerns in Russia, brought on entirely by sanctions placed on Russia by the United States and its allies regarding chaos admittedly caused by overt, admitted US meddling in Ukraine’s internal affairs.

It appears likely that rather than the Kremlin clumsily killing an opponent on their doorstep on the eve of a major protest, he was instead killed by either members of his own opposition movement, or by his US backers themselves. The combination of economic strain brought on by US sanctions, US-backed mobs planning to take to the streets, and now a martyr conventionality delivered just 2 days before the protest he was meant to lead was to take place, has the deck stacked with the most favorable cards to deliver the West the sort of sustainable chaos and unrest it has desired to create in Russia, and has admittedly created in neighboring Ukraine, according to America’s own former Ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul.

A Message to America’s Proxies – Be Useful Alive, or Be Useful Dead

What must be going through the minds of Nemtsov’s colleagues who will undoubtedly repeat the West’s propaganda implying the Kremlin was behind his murder, but who know the Kremlin well enough to know that isn’t true?

They must now realize that any one of them could be next – that if their utility to their foreign sponsors alive is outweighed by their utility to them dead, they may be in tomorrow’s headlines for all the wrong reasons. Their options are limited – continuing as pawns of an increasingly violent, dangerous, and unstable collection of foreign interests or divesting from their roles as foreign-sponsored agitators, and reapproaching Russian politics in a more honest and constructive manner, even if their capacity remains in opposition to the current government – albeit in a diminished role lacking the resources Washington has lavished upon them.

To America’s proxies beyond Russia’s borders, they too must understand that the days of “color revolutions” sweeping targeted governments from power are over and that their lives are equally in danger of being spent for the cause of “martyrdom” to supercharge their floundering opposition movements.

Regarding Nemtsov’s murder, any good investigator would be tasked with the question, “to whose benefit?” Surely it would benefit the Kremlin to rid themselves of an opponents, but not in this manner. In fact, the only party that stood to benefit from his high-profile execution in the streets of Moscow were his own compatriots and his foreign backers who faced the prospect of yet another failed protest. Sympathy, they hope, will spur Russians who are on the fence politically to take to the streets, joining others who may have previously avoided protests because of Russia’s economic strength before US sanctions sank in.

The opposition, if they were not behind the murder of one of their own leaders, would not dare hold the protest this week – as it would be a shameless exploitation of this tragedy – and they would instead, for both security and respect, mourn the loss of Nemtsov thoughtfully. However, since they and their foreign backers were undoubtedly behind the murder, they will protest, shamelessly leveraging Nemtsov’s death to its fullest – using mourners to bolster their ranks.

When US Senator John McCain called America’s meddling abroad a “virus,” he meant it. It truly is a disease. And if Russians allow it to, it will corrupt and consume their entire nation just as it has corrupted and consumed the opposition planning to march.


The Rothbardian Theory of Taxes: Thomas J. DiLorenzo

Ron Paul Liberty Report: Stephen Hawking and Liberty...

Ron Paul accused of telling the truth, again...

Ron Paul’s Non-“Gaff”
Thomas DiLorenzo

Various media buffoons, most notably Bill O’Reilly, claim to be shocked or offended by a recent statement by Ron Paul., which O’Reilly labeled as a “gaff.” In the course of a discussion on the Lew Rockwell radio show Ron mentioned that the Congressional Black Caucus was a part of the small anti-war contingent in Congress, but its members were not opposed to war for the same reasons that Ron is antiwar. Their main motivation as ideological “liberals,” he said, was to decrease defense spending so that more could be spent on welfare programs such as food stamps.

Some left-wing “journalists” predictably cried “racism” when they heard this, whereas a few neocons like O”Reilly implied that Ron has lost it.

In reality, the position on war of the Congressional Black Caucus is in fact the position of ALL “liberals” during the entire Cold War. They understood the Guns vs. Butter tradeoff, but “butter” to them stood for welfare, not private spending and investment. Indeed, when the Cold War ended “liberals” celebrated the prospects of what they called the “peace dividend.” By this they meant that, at long last, they would be able to achieve their dream of cutting defense spending in order to spend more on things like food stamps. O’Reilly is either ignorant of the history of the Cold War political scene or he is being dishonest. The same goes for left wingers like Rachel Maddow.


" Those who have given up sugar report greater energy, a more positive mood, and successful weight loss. Plus, abstaining from sugar also reduces the risk of many diseases linked to sugar consumption, like diabetes, obesity, hyperactivity, attention deficit disorder, cardiovascular disease, depression, skin disorders, allergies, eye problems, kidney failure, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, hormone imbalance, accelerated aging, and cancer."

Is Sugar Toxic?

There’s been a lot of talk in recent years about the dangers of refined sugars like corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, and more. After decades of research, it appears the serious adverse effects of refined sugars on human health are finally making their way into mainstream attention. According to the CDC, more than 30% of adult Americans are obese. [1] These numbers exploded after health officials began pushing the high-carb, low-fat diet twenty years ago.

The Truth About Sugar

Decades of study on obesity, type II diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and hormone dysfunction reveal sugar isn’t just dangerous, [2] [3] it’s absolutely toxic. While it’s true that our cells rely on glucose for energy, our body in no way requires refined sugar for proper functioning. Despite this, food manufacturers continue to look for new ways to sneak sugar into every last food sold on market shelves. Here’s just a few reasons why you should reduce–if not eliminate–sugar from your diet:
You Can’t See A Natural Sugar

When it comes to sugar, if it’s not a natural component of the food (like a banana, apple, or honey), chances are it’s not a natural dietary sugar. Any sugar extracted from its plant source, processed, and added to food for sweetening purposes is considered refined. This includes the spoonful of raw, organic table sugar many people put in their coffee each morning. Natural sugars occur as starches and complex sugars and are bound to vitamins and minerals. The digestive process uses these nutrients to break this natural sugar down into monosaccharides, a usable nutrient.

Fruits and vegetables don’t have the same effect on blood sugar as a candy bar for most healthy individuals because fiber in produce tends to slow down the rate at which the sugars are digested and absorbed. Table sugar is created by separating sugar molecules, glucose, sucrose, fructose, etc., from their plant nutrients. This converts them into pure, refined, and empty carbohydrates.
Your Daily Poison

We know sugar eats through the enamel of teeth and causes cavities, but its damage doesn’t stop there. Sugar leaves a path of destruction as it passes through the body, causing inflammation and degradation to blood vessels. It also disrupts the digestive process. When sugar mixes with starches in the stomach, fermentation takes place, creating carbon dioxide, acetic acid, alcohol, and water. Carbon dioxide, acetic acid, and alcohol are all toxic substances.

Sugar causes digesting protein to petrify and creates ptomaines and leucomaines, toxic protein substances. Sugars also kill the ‘friendly’ bacteria that create vitamin B12, an essential nutrient for energy creation at the cellular level. Symptoms of B12 deficiency include depression, psychosis, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart disease.

As I mentioned earlier, refined sugars have no nutritional value and lack the nutrients needed to encourage digestion. So, the body must steal these nutrients from other processes to digest sugar. This creates nutrient imbalances and deficiencies. From there, the sugar enters the blood stream.
Sugar Rots from the Inside Out

We know high blood sugar causes diabetes, but long before a pre-diabetic condition develops, widespread damage has already occurred. It all starts with one singular component–insulin. The pancreas releases insulin to trigger cells throughout the body to absorb glucose–a monosaccharide sugar–from the blood. The more constant this release of insulin, the more the cells stop listening to it. The liver then takes the excess glucose, converts it to glycogen, and stores it.

As sugar consumption continues, the liver swells and becomes damaged. This condition is known as fatty liver disease, and it’s on the rise wherever the modern carb-based diet is practiced. When the liver can no longer take the glucose, it gets sent to fat cells for storage. Weight gain and modern diseases follow.

Recent research done by Louisiana State University report those who consume sugar-sweetened beverages have a much higher risk of weight gain, type II diabetes, cardiovascular, and metabolic disease. The reason for this has been identified as the sugar load.

But this shouldn’t surprise us. Dr. Weston Price reported decades ago how primitive societies had good teeth and superior health to those in civilized societies on modern diets. Once a group of indigenous peoples were assimilated into modern society, individuals experienced physical degeneration and the onset of chronic disease all within one generation.
How to Avoid Sugar

Those who have given up sugar report greater energy, a more positive mood, and successful weight loss. Plus, abstaining from sugar also reduces the risk of many diseases linked to sugar consumption, like diabetes, obesity, hyperactivity, attention deficit disorder, cardiovascular disease, depression, skin disorders, allergies, eye problems, kidney failure, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, hormone imbalance, accelerated aging, and cancer. To go sugar free, avoid it for two weeks. If you’re really ambitious, go for a month. Eat only natural, organic foods, and only use stevia whenever you are wanting to sweeten a beverage.

Here’s a list of refined sugars to look out for when you’re going sugar free:

Beet Sugar
Cane Juice
Rice Syrup
Maple Syrup
Cane Syrup
Fruit Juice Concentrate
Corn Syrup
High Fructose Corn Syrup


The other war party...

GOP Platform: War Without End

By Patrick J. Buchanan

If the sadists of ISIS are seeking — with their mass executions, child rapes, immolations, and beheadings of Christians — to stampede us into a new war in the Middle East, they are succeeding.

Repeatedly snapping the blood-red cape of terrorist atrocities in our faces has the Yankee bull snorting, pawing the ground, ready to charge again.

“Nearly three-quarters of Republicans now favor sending ground troops into combat against the Islamic State,” says a CBS News poll. The poll was cited in a New York Times story about how the voice of the hawk is ascendant again in the GOP.

In April or May 2015, said a Pentagon briefer last week, the Iraqi Army will march north to recapture Mosul from the Islamic State.

On to Mosul! On to Raqqa!

Yet, who, exactly, will be taking Mosul?

According to Rowan Scarborough of The Washington Times, the U.S. general who trained the Iraqi army says Mosul is a mined, booby-trapped city, infested with thousands of suicide fighters.

Any Iraqi army attack this spring would be “doomed.”

Translation: Either U.S. troops lead, or Mosul remains in ISIS’ hands.

Yet taking Mosul is only the beginning. Scores of thousands of troops will be needed to defeat and destroy ISIS in Syria.

And eradicating ISIS is but the first of the wars Republicans have in mind. This coming week, at the invitation of Speaker John Boehner, Bibi Netanyahu will address a joint session of Congress.

His message: Obama and John Kerry are bringing back a rotten deal that will ensure Iran acquires nuclear weapons and becomes an existential threat to Israel. Congress must repudiate Obama’s deal, impose new sanctions on Iran and terminate the appeasement talks.

Should Bibi and his Republican allies succeed in closing the ramp to a diplomatic solution, we will be on the road to war.

Which is where Bibi wants us.

To him, Iran is the Nazi Germany of the 21st century, hell-bent on a new Holocaust. A U.S. war that does to the Ayatollah’s Iran what a U.S. war did to Hitler’s Germany would put Bibi in the history books as the Israeli Churchill.

But if Republicans scuttle the Iranian negotiations by voting new sanctions, Iran will take back the concessions it has made, and we are indeed headed for war. Which is where Sen. Lindsey Graham, too, now toying with a presidential bid, wants us to be.

In 2010, Sen. Graham declared: “Instead of a surgical strike on [Iran’s] nuclear infrastructure … we’re to the point now that you have to really neuter the regime’s ability to wage war against us and our allies. … [We must] destroy the ability of the regime to strike back.”

If Congress scuttles the nuclear talks, look for Congress to next write an authorization for the use of military force — on Iran.

Today, the entire Shiite Crescent — Iran, Iraq, Bashar Assad’s Syria, Hezbollah — is fighting ISIS. All these Shiites are de facto allies in any war against ISIS. But should we attack Iran, they will become enemies.

And what would war with Iran mean for U.S. interests?

With its anti-ship missiles and hundreds of missile boats, Iran could imperil our fleet in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea. The Gulf could be closed to commercial shipping by a sinking or two.

Hezbollah could go after the U.S. embassy in Beirut. The Green Zone in Baghdad could come under attack by Shiite militia loyal to Iran.

Would Assad’s army join Iran’s fight against America?

It surely would if America listened to those Republicans who now say we must bring down Assad to convince Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Arabs to join the fight against ISIS.

By clashing with Iran, we would make enemies of Damascus and Baghdad and the Shiite militias in Iraq and Beirut battling ISIS today — in the hope that, tomorrow, the conscientious objectors of the Sunni world — Turks, Saudis, Gulf Arabs — might come and fight beside us.

Listen for long to GOP foreign policy voices, and you can hear calls for war on ISIS, al-Qaida, Boko Haram, the Houthi rebels, the Assad regime, the Islamic Republic of Iran, to name but a few.

Are we to fight them all? How many U.S. troops will be needed? How long will all these wars take? What will the Middle East look like after we crush them all? Who will fill the vacuum if we go? Or must we stay forever?

Nor does this exhaust the GOP war menu.

Enraged by Vladimir Putin’s defiance, Republicans are calling for U.S. weapons, trainers, even troops, to be sent to Ukraine and Moldova.

Says John Bolton, himself looking at a presidential run, “Most of the Republican candidates or prospective candidates are heading in the right direction; there’s one who’s headed in the wrong direction.”

That would be Rand Paul, who prefers “Arab boots on the ground.”


I hope he's right...

The FCC Is Toothless and Feckless

By Gary North

The Federal Communications Commission is yesterday’s regulatory system. It is bureaucratic. It is slow. Think of it as a dial-up modem.

Any time that you read that the FCC is about to take over the Internet, keep things in perspective. Click this:

Alternatively, think of the FCC as the Post Office.

It can announce new rules. These rules will apply in the United States.

There are 196 nations. The FCC has zero authority in 195 of them. Each nation has different rules. Anyone can set up a website in most of them. Anyone can select the best legal location for his website. You can’t set up in North Korea. Cuba is off limits, but not for long. But if anyone wants to set up a website, he can find a server somewhere.

There are no significant international regulations.

Web search engines can find any site, anywhere. These days, they have indexed over 4.5 billion pages. The FCC will be able to control almost none of them. The number of pages will rise.

To enforce its rules, the FCC must prosecute a violator in an American court. How many cases can its staff prosecute? How many convictions can it get? How many precedents will survive? Not many.

Think of the FCC as the Securities and Exchange Commission. Think of every website or blog editor as a potential Bernie Madoff. How likely is it that the FCC will be able to enforce its rules?

The FCC is trying to control pricing. It is setting up a system of price controls. When you hear the words “internet neutrality,” think “price controls.” But prices keep falling. Here is a technological law that has yet to be broken: “Bandwidth gets cheaper.”

Here is a universal economic law: “When the price falls, more is demanded.”

Think of the Internet as a game of digital whack-a-mole. The FCC is the sucker who keeps trying to whack the mole. “You almost got it that time, Buddy. You want to try again?” He keeps trying again.

It takes an estimated 100,000 employees in China to regulate the Internet. But Chinese citizens can still gain access to forbidden sites. The United States is not China. The FCC is not in a position to hire 100,000 bureaucrats.

The genie is long out of the bottle. Netscape’s browser arrived in 1995. That opened the World Wide Web to the general public. Two decades of innovation followed. The FCC is now trying for the third time to gain control over the Web. Americans have a phrase for this: “A day late, and a dollar short.”

The Internet has stayed ahead of all regulators. It will continue to do so.

The best and the brightest are developing new programs, new solutions. They are doing this all over the world. The tenured and the tired are planning to regulate this process from Washington. Some kid in India comes up with a new technology. What is the FCC going to do about it? Pass a new rule? Some kid in China will have a work-around a month later.

Yes, things could be a little freer at the margin. This is always true. But in the overall sweep of Internet transformation, the FCC is a flea on an elephant’s back. Nothing fundamental is going to change.

Stop worrying. The FCC is a digital paper tiger. It can make things less efficient. It can increase marginal costs. But all talk about “the end of Internet freedom” is left over from the era of television’s three-network oligopoly. That was back when the FCC had teeth. It is Walter Cronkite-era rhetoric. It is gone with the wind.

I get tired of this: “Woe is us!” I get tired of this: “The federal government is unstoppable.” The federal government is a bunch of tenured bureaucrats who just want to keep their jobs until they retire, and who don’t want to suffer a humiliating defeat in public by suing some large outfit with expensive lawyers on its payroll.

The information gatekeepers are finished. They stand at the gate, telling us that we must meet their standards to get through. Meanwhile, the walls are down.

The essence of bureaucracy is this combination: lack of innovation, lack of courage, lack of vision, lack of long-term planning, and lack of collective IQ.

Government is dumb.

Arthur Godfrey described today’s FCC back in 1951. (Warning: this is racially insensitive.)


"Scared people readily accept dictators..."

ISIS to the Rescue

By Eric Margolis

The wildly exaggerated threat of so-called Islamic terrorism is being shamelessly used by some western governments to boost their flagging fortunes at a time of economic malaise.

Marketing fear is a sure-fire political ploy, as the Bush administration showed. But if you think promotion of “terrorism” hysteria in order to curtail democratic freedoms is something new, have a look at Germany, 1933.

In that year, Germany’s democratic Weimar republic was foundering under economic depression, mass unemployment and raging hyper-inflation. The Reichstag, or parliament, was deadlocked between bitterly feuding parties, including the minority National Socialists, led by Adolf Hitler, the Catholics, Socialists, and Communists.

In Berlin, on the night of February 23, 1933, the Reichstag was burned down by a massive fire set by an arsonist. A young Dutch Communist found on the premises was charged with the arson attack. Germany was outraged and horrified by the crime – as much as was America after 9/11.

The Communists, of course, quickly blamed the National Socialists (or Nazis, for short). But the most likely culprit was indeed the Dutch Communist.

Five days later, Weimar President Paul Hindenberg, a conservative and war hero, signed a new act known as the Reichstag Fire Decree that suspended free speech and assembly and many legal protections. It gave government the right to arrest “terrorists” under a state of emergency.

In early March, Hitler promulgated the Enabling Act that used the threat of so-called “terrorism” to give him virtual dictatorial powers. This coup was made possible by the support of the conservative Catholic Party which, having seen the slaughter of Catholics in Russia and Ukraine by Communists, decided the Nazis were a lesser evil than the Communists.

A few weeks later, arrests of Socialists, Communists and Jews began. Hitler had come to near absolute power by democratic means thanks to national hysteria and fear over so-called terrorism, an utterly meaningless but evocative propaganda term.

The Weimar republic was swept away – perfectly legally – within months. Germans, stampeded by claims of “terrorism,” disgusted by their politicians, did not mourn Weimar.

Today, we see a number of western democratic governments using some of these same shameless scare tactics to drive their nations to the right and, in some cases, keep their leaders in power.

The Charlie Hebdo spectacle in Paris was an egregious example. Before the Paris shootings, bedraggled President Francois Holland’s popularity rates had fallen to a microscopic 8%. After the giant “free speech” jamboree in Paris, his ratings have skyrocketed to close to 50%. In the case of France, “free speech” meant the right to attack and mock Muslims.

Isolated criminal acts by mentally unhinged men in Canada, Denmark, and Australia were similarly inflated into massive national scares that boosted previously unpopular governments assailed by economic problems. So too were “plots” concocted by security police using dimwits or youngsters. Just as al-Qaida fear was fizzling out, along came ISIS to scare the daylights out of westerners.

We must be very careful. Islamophobia and terror hysteria fit worryingly into the template created by former Columbia University Professor Robert Paxton in his brilliant analysis, “The Anatomy of Fascism.”

Paxton sharply defines fascism, a dreadfully over and misused term, as distinct from conservative regimes. For example, he terms 1930’s Italy and Germany as Fascist states, but Franco’s Spain as conservative.

Hallmarks of fascism:

“a sense of overwhelming crisis beyond reach of any traditional solutions;
belief that one’s group is a victim, a sentiment that justifies any action without legal or moral limits, against its internal and external foes;
need for authority by natural leaders (always male) culminating in a national chief who alone is capable of incarnating the group’s destiny; and superiority of his instincts over abstract and universal reason.”

Other traits of Fascism: militarism and historical triumphalism; glorification of war as a purification and nation-building process.

Intense propaganda about inflated military “heroes.” Sending small numbers of troops or warplanes to fight or bomb miscreant Arabs in the Mideast is a reliable Viagra for small nations with feeble military budgets.

If patriotism and nationalism are the last refuge of scoundrels, they are also the first platform of fools.

We see the right demonizing enemies who supposedly threaten the entire nation, be they anarchists, socialists, Masons, communists, Jews, or Muslims. Purging the media of free-thinking journalists is a basic step. This has happened in the US and Canada.

In Paxton’s words, “mobilizing passions…form the emotional lava that set Fascism’s foundations.” To see this, just look at fans of Clint Eastwood’s loathsome “American Sniper” film. A fascist fiesta for low-IQ Americans.

ISIS is another example of a small but murderous group whose reach and danger has been wildly hyper-inflated for western domestic political reasons. Fanatical, adept at public relations and social media, ISIS has stolen the limelight from al-Qaida and gladdened the hearts of western militarists, hard rightists, and arms makers.

In fact, ISIS appears to go out of its way to make itself hateful and repulsive to westerners. But the danger it poses outside the Mideast is so far negligible. Before we launch any more crusades against ISIS, let’s be aware that this bunch of killers originated in the US-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and was primarily financed by Saudis. ISIS thrives in the chaos and ruins caused by George W. Bush’s illegal invasion of Iraq and later campaign to subvert Syria.

George W. Bush was re-elected thanks to Midwestern soccer moms who feared Osama bin Laden was about to swoop down from the Hindu Kush and make off with their little Johnnies.

Something similar is happening again in North America, Australia and New Zealand. Many fear ISIS is outside Peoria or Winnipeg. Scared people readily accept dictators.


Poster of the day...

Friday, February 27, 2015

"We have a man occupying the White House that seems absolutely determined to stretch the limits of presidential power as far as they can possibly go."

The War On Preppers: Obama Bans Ammo For The Most Popular Rifle In America

Michael Snyder

Because he can’t get Congress to approve the things that he wants to do, Barack Obama has apparently decided to rule by decree for the rest of his time in the White House. One of Obama’s latest moves is to try to ban some of the most popular ammunition for the most popular rifle in America. Previously, the Obama administration attempted unsuccessfully to ban the AR-15. That didn’t work, so now Obama is going after the ammunition. This is yet another example of the war on preppers that is going on all over the nation. Whether you are a gun owner or not, this assault on our constitutional rights should disturb you greatly. Barack Obama has promised to try to squeeze as much “change” as possible out of his last two years, and in the process he is “fundamentally transforming” America. But what will our country look like when he is done?

At the top of the Drudge Report today, there was a story from the Washington Examiner detailing this ammo ban…

As promised, President Obama is using executive actions to impose gun control on the nation, targeting the top-selling rifle in the country, the AR-15 style semi-automatic, with a ban on one of the most-used AR bullets by sportsmen and target shooters.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives this month revealed that it is proposing to put the ban on 5.56mm ammo on a fast track, immediately driving up the price of the bullets and prompting retailers, including the huge outdoors company Cabela’s, to urge sportsmen to urge Congress to stop the president.

And here is more on this ammo ban from the NRA…

As NRA has been reporting since the night the news broke, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) is moving to infringe upon the rights of law-abiding gun owners with a drastic reinterpretation of a nearly 30-year-old law regulating so-called “armor piercing” ammunition. So draconian is BATFE’s new “Framework” that it would prohibit the manufacturing, importation, and sale of M855 ball ammunition, one of the most popular cartridges for the most popular rifle in America, the AR-15. Not coincidentally, the AR-15 is among the firearms the Obama Administration has unsuccessfully sought to outlaw. If they can’t ban the pie, so the thinking apparently goes, they might at least get the apples.

In an effort to thwart BATFE’s attempted action, NRA has worked with U.S. Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, to draft a letter to BATFE expressing the lawmakers’ opposition to the proposed Framework. To read a copy of the letter, please click this link.

According to the letter, “The idea that Congress intended [the ‘armor piercing’ ammunition law] to ban one of the preeminent rifle cartridges in use by Americans for legitimate purposes is preposterous.” It goes on to state that the law “should be construed in accordance with the American tradition of lawful firearms ownership, as protected by the Second Amendment.” This includes due consideration of “the many legitimate uses Americans make of their firearms including target practice, hunting, organized and casual competition, training and skills development, and instructional activities.“ The letter concludes with several pointed questions for B. Todd Jones, BATFE’s director, including why the agency bypassed the Administrative Procedures Act in proposing such a radical change to its prior interpretation and enforcement of the law.

The crazy thing about all of this is the fact that this ammunition has never met the legal definition of being “armor piercing”. So what the Obama administration is attempting to do is outside the law.

A recent Infowars article broke this down…

The ATF is trying to ban M855 AR-15 ammunition by declaring it “armor piercing,” despite the ammo containing lead which exempts it from the classification according to law.

To be considered “armor piercing” under 18 U.S.C. 921 (a)(17)(B), a bullet must have an entirely metal core or have a jacket weighting more than 25% of its weight, which wouldn’t include M855 roundsbecause their bullets are partly lead.

The definition in full:


(A) The term “ammunition” means ammunition or cartridge cases, primers, bullets, or propellent powder designed for use in any firearm.

(B) The term “armor piercing ammunition” means- (i) a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium; or (ii) a full jacketed projectile larger than .22 caliber designed and intended for use in a handgun and whose jacket has a weight of more than 25 percent of the total weight of the projectile.

(C) The term “armor piercing ammunition” does not include shotgun shot required by Federal or State environmental or game regulations for hunting purposes, a frangible projectile designed for target shooting, a projectile which the Attorney General finds is primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes, or any other projectile or projectile core which the Attorney General finds is intended to be used for industrial purposes, including a charge used in an oil and gas well perforating device.

Needless to say, this ban is creating quite a bit of panic among gun owners.

Many gun owners are stocking up on this ammo while they still can…

Word of ATF’s proposal sparked a run on ammo at some Springfield gun stores, and steep price spikes for steel-tipped military surplus ammo at some online ammo dealers. Rounds that sold for 25 to 30 cents apiece tripled at some some stores after BATF posted its proposal on its web site.

“We sold out of what we had in stock,” said Ryan Cook, manager of Eagle Armory in Springfield. “We didn’t have a lot in the store but I might have sold four or five cases after ATF’s statement came out. I called our suppliers but they said there was none available to order. It’s like the ammo shortage before. People are going to panic.”

Like I said earlier, even if you are not a gun owner you have got to be extremely concerned about this erosion of our constitutional rights.

We have a man occupying the White House that seems absolutely determined to stretch the limits of presidential power as far as they can possibly go.

And at this point he has become so arrogant that he doesn’t even care if Congress believes that what he is doing is legal. Just consider what he said during one recent speech…

Pres. Obama is daring Republicans to vote on whether or not his executive actions are legal.

Discussing opposition to his executive amnesty orders at an immigration town hall Wednesday, Obama said he would veto the vote because his actions are “the right thing to do”:

“So in the short term, if Mr. McConnell, the leader of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, want to have a vote on whether what I’m doing is legal or not, they can have that vote. I will veto that vote, because I’m absolutely confident that what we’re doing is the right thing to do.”

This is how republics die. When one man starts grabbing more and more power and nobody stops him, eventually a dictatorship is born.

This is not what our founding fathers intended. If they could see us today, they would be rolling over in their graves.

And a lot of Americans are getting fed up.

In fact, according to one recent survey only 47 percent of Americans still believe that Obama loves this country…

While the creepy #ILOVEOBAMA continues to trend on Twitter, fewer than half of American adults, 47 percent, say they believe that the president loves his country.

According to a survey conducted by Huffington Post/YouGov and released this week, a whopping 35 percent of Americans, more than one in three, believe that Obama doesn’t love the United States, while 17 percent said they weren’t sure.

The poll was conducted in the wake of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani telling a gathering in Manhattan that “I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America.”

So what do you think?

Do you believe that what Obama is trying to do is legal?

And do you believe that Obama actually loves this country and everything that it is supposed to stand for?

Please feel free to add to the discussion by posting a comment below…


Human tissue used in 23 vaccines...

MMR vaccines contain cells from aborted human babies
by: Julie Wilson

The recent hysteria propagated by the dinosaur media regarding the latest measles outbreak is beyond illogical and simply based on a patchwork of lies and misinformation. News of the recent "Disneyland measles outbreak" has brought forth a sudden myriad of self-proclaimed "experts" on measles and vaccines, particularly the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps and rubella).

Aside from expressing a know-it-all attitude, vaccine proponents have viciously attacked and threatened anyone in favor of, or even on the fence about, not vaccinating. One of the most classic (and also completely unreasonable) threats insist that parents who choose not to vaccinate should be arrested and charged with child abuse, a concept that infringes not only on natural health freedom but freedoms rooted in the framework of a true democracy.

All of this anger, hate and debate over a disease that hasn't taken a life in the U.S. since the early 2000s? Anyone with remotely any intelligence can sense that this issue goes much deeper than what's being reported on TV.

As with any emotionally charged issue, the measles debate has quickly turned political, being used as a tool to influence voters, as well as eliminate more freedoms through forced vaccinations.

For such a heated debate, little true information is being provided. For one, those only following mainstream media may not realize that people who have been vaccinated for measles may be more dangerous than those who haven't.

As Natural News' Jonathan Benson recently reported, numerous published studies show that people who have received the MMR vaccine shed the diseases for weeks, or in some cases even months. This means that the vaccinated could potentially be infecting others, as the virus is very contagious, making vaccinated individuals very dangerous, especially around those with compromised immune systems.

Benson's report continues to note that nearly two decades ago the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention realized this phenomenon when they tested urine samples collected from newly vaccinated 15-month-old children as well as young adults and found that nearly all of them had detectable levels of the measles virus inside their bodies.

If I had to bet, I doubt emerging self-proclaimed "experts" on the MMR vaccine and measles aren't privy to this information, making their accusations even more unfounded.

MMR vaccine contains human DNA from fetal cells linked to autism?

Another important tidbit of information that's being completely ignored on a national level is the possible link between the MMR vaccine's ingredients and autism. A study released in 2011 called "Theoretical aspects of autism: Causes--A review," considers a host of peer-reviewed, published theories that suggest a possible connection between vaccines and autism.

The study's lead researcher, Helen Ratajczak, a former senior scientist at a pharmaceutical firm wrote:

"Documented causes of autism include genetic mutations and/or deletions, viral infections, and encephalitis following vaccination. Therefore, autism is the result of genetic defects and/or inflammation of the brain."

Human tissue used in 23 vaccines

One of Ratajczak's biggest concerns is the human DNA used in vaccines, including cells from the fetal lung tissue of aborted babies. Around the time vaccine makers removed thimerosal (mercury) from most childhood vaccines (except for the flu shot), they began making vaccines using human tissue to grow viruses, including measles and chicken pox.

Ratajczak observed a correlation between the introduction of human DNA to the MMR vaccine and autism, suggesting a possible link. She also notes an additional spike in autism in 1995 after vaccine makers began growing the chicken pox vaccine in human fetal tissue.

In regard to why human DNA could possibly cause brain damage, Ratajczak said that the DNA in vaccines is taken up by human cells and recombined into their genome. She further stated:

"That DNA is incorporated into the host DNA. Now it's changed, altered self and body kills it. Where is this most expressed? The neurons of the brain. Now you have body killing the brain cells and it's an ongoing inflammation. It doesn't stop, it continues through the life of that individual."

Learn more:

Another Bush war-monger...

Jeb Bush wouldn’t hesitate to start ‘third Bush war’
by Tribune News Service

Jeb Bush may be his own man, but that would not stop him from starting a war in the Middle East like his father and brother before him.

Appearing on the Hugh Hewitt radio show on Wednesday, Bush said that his family legacy would not be a factor in how he would handle potential military conflicts if the safety of the American people were at risk.

Asked by Hewitt whether he would be “overly cautious about using force for fear of having a ‘third Bush war’ occur,” Bush was resolute.

“No, that’s an interesting question, and I’m glad you asked it. It wouldn’t, if I was, if I decide to go forward with a race and I’m fortunate enough to go through that whole process, and God willing, win, then I would have a duty to protect the United States,” Bush responded, adding, “I wouldn’t be conflicted by any legacy issues of my family. I actually, Hugh, am quite comfortable being George Bush’s son and George Bush’s brother. It’s something that gives me a lot of comfort on a personal level, and it certainly wouldn’t compel me to act one way or the other based on the strategies that we would be implementing and the conditions that our country would be facing.”

Hewitt followed up by asking whether conservatives should worry that the former governor would be reluctant to use U.S. military power in the Muslim world.

“I don’t think there’s anything that relates to what my dad did or what my brother did that would compel me to think one way or the other. I think that history’s a good guide for our country. And the simple fact is you start with the premise that America’s role in the world is a force for good, not for bad things to happen, you’ll have, lessen the likelihood of having to use military force around the world.”

Bush’s answers echoed sentiments he’d expressed in a speech last week at the Chicago Foreign Affairs Council.

“As you might know, I’ve been fortunate to have a father and a brother who helped shape America’s foreign policy from the Oval Office. I recognize as a result that my views will often be held up in comparison to theirs,” Bush said in Chicago. “In fact, this is a great fascinating thing in the political world, for some reason, sometimes in contrast to theirs. Look, just for the record, one more time, I love my brother. I love my dad. I actually love my mother, I hope that’s OK. And I admire their service to the nation and the difficult decisions that they had to make, but I’m my own man, and my views are shaped by my own thinking and my own experiences.”

On Wednesday, Hewitt was able to draw out some of the most specific answers on Bush’s views on engaging in military conflict by asking whether the presumptive candidate would “hesitate to use ground forces in substantial numbers in Iraq a third time” in order to combat the Islamic State. This gave Bush a chance to put the blame for the ongoing conflict on the man who succeeded his brother in the White House.

“Well, had we kept the 10,000 troop commitment that was there for the president to negotiate and to agree with, we probably wouldn’t have ISIS right now,” Bush asserted. “So to reflect on this, there is a, by putting all these preconditions, the president has really weakened our hand. And so look, I can’t speculate about the size of a commitment going forward. It may not be necessary. But it looks to me like the president is currently building up some military support in Iraq. It may actually get back to the level that had he kept the 10,000 there, we wouldn’t have had the mess to begin with.”

In regards to the Democrat that Bush could likely face if he prevails in the Republican primary, Hewitt poised another question that, once again, hit on the question of legacy.

“And then the last question, Governor, what’s the message to the newly emerging democracies, that the world’s oldest democracy keeps recycling Bushes and Clintons and Clintons and Bushes?” Hewitt asked. “Does it send the wrong message to the Nigerias and the Indias of the world about dynasty?”

“If the campaigns are about, if the campaign’s about a dynasty, I’m not sure that that’s’ going to work,” Bush replied. “If it’s about how you advance ideas that will help people rise up, then it will be an inspiration for others. And that’s what we need to do. We need to be talking about the future by fixing a few really big, complicated things, to allow the middle to rise, and for people stuck at the bottom to rise up as well. And we can do it. That’s the good news, is the inspiration of America is going to be when we start growing at 4 percent per year rather than 2 percent per year. We will inspire the world to emulate us.”


Ultimately, we’ll end up with the Ministry of Information issuing “blogging licenses.”

The truth of ‘net neutrality’ and Obama’s Internet takeover
by Ben Crystal

The deadline for this column fell before the Federal Communications Commission’s historic vote on so-called “net neutrality.” However, barring an unforeseen “global warming” catastrophe, the Democrat-dominated, yet supposedly independent-by-statute, regulatory agency will have voted, probably 3-2, that the federal government should envelop the Internet in its smothering embrace. In a world where the Internet is freely and easily employed by everyone from President Barack Obama to the lowliest jihadi warming the bench for the “junior varsity” Islamic State, the Democrats have decided that they need to step in, lest “@AkbarUlulates4Allah” has to wait an extra millisecond to post to his Twitter feed.

Through a misinformation campaign conducted with almost breathless expertise, Obama, backed by groups funded by nearly $200 million of George Soros and Ford Foundation resolve, has managed to convince an inordinate number of Americans that a lack of so-called “net neutrality” will result in evil, faceless telecom companies forcing you to wait hours to upload the family Kwanzaa pics to Instagram, while evil, faceless telecom executives can log on to in the blink of an eye. Of course, anyone who is reading this is rolling down the information superhighway at speeds that were unimaginable just a few years ago. Those speeds, which would presumably continue to improve on the same curve they’ve followed since the days of AOL dial-up, are possible only because of the continued improvements made by the same companies that are now being accused of throttling the life out of the Web. As FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai noted earlier this week, net neutrality is “a solution that won’t work to a problem that doesn’t exist.”

“Net neutrality” isn’t what you think it is. It won’t “level the playing field.” It will introduce government regulation to a nearly flawless model of free-market growth. Telecom giants like AT&T and Verizon and content providers like Netflix push an almost geometrically higher amount of traffic onto broadband than they accept. As a result, the broadband providers have responded by raising rates and/or lowering speeds (aka “slow-laning”) some content. Essentially, monster telecoms and content providers — Netflix is the most famous example — are demanding first-class seating in a 747 while paying jump seat-in-a-Piper prices. And they’ve managed to convince millions of people — not to mention the Democratic Party — that they’re the proverbial little guy, standing up to the corporate fat cats. Having successfully played themselves into the hearts and minds of every selfie-posting hipster from Brooklyn to Berkeley, they’ve further pushed the idea that the FCC should force the broadband providers to adhere to a federally structured framework of service and fees. Gigantic content delivery networks (CDNs) will now be able to dictate the terms of their agreements to broadband providers upon pain of civil — or even criminal –prosecution.

Think of it this way:

You run a courier service. You charge customers a rate to run documents across town. As often as not, those documents need to be signed and returned — also a part of your service.

One day, one of your customers, a massive operation many times the size of your company, adds something to the outgoing deliveries. But it’s not a letter; it’s a package weighing close to 20 pounds. The next week, you deliver a few files; the massive operation sends out a filing cabinet’s worth, then a storeroom’s worth and then a warehouse’s worth. All this time, you’re using the same delivery vehicle. As the customer’s outgoing load increases in volume, your delivery times begin to lag. The customer immediately complains. Your slower delivery times are causing its customers headaches. You inform the customer that in order for you to prioritize its increasingly large deliveries — which are also increasingly larger compared to its incoming service — you’re going to have to buy a bigger truck. In order to do so, you’ll have to raise its rate. The only alternative is slower delivery times, a consequence of its (ab)usage.

Rather than either agree to contend with slower — but still extremely quick — deliveries, buying its own vehicles and handling its own courier needs, or paying a higher fee, your customer joins with some of your other heavyweight customers and a consortium of exceptionally well-funded and tax-exempt activist groups to lobby the government to declare your courier “common carriage,” set your fee schedule to benefit the customer and threaten you with fines — or worse — if you fail to comply. And their push is effective, because the top regulator for your industry used to be one of their lobbyists.

Six months later, you’re out of business; and the customer ends up signing with UPS, which had the resources to move in and grab up the local business after “courier neutrality” stomped it out of existence — for a much higher rate anyway.

Or, think of it this way:


That is “net neutrality.” It’s the ultimate globalist fantasy: corporations and government working together to dictate the flow of a vital resource. in this case, it’s the most vital resource of all: information. By the time this is published, the FCC, chaired by former telecom lobbyist and Obama campaign flack Tom Wheeler, will have voted its version of net neutrality in regulatory existence. Consequentially, and only consequentially, the public will finally have access to the somewhere between 300 and 350 pages that comprise the misleadingly monikered bureaucratic monstrosity. Prior to the vote, Wheeler, who was appointed to his position by Obama, stubbornly refused to allow the public access to Obama’s vision of “free and open.” Furthermore, he refused to discuss it publicly with the people’s elected representatives in Congress. In fact, Obama-by-Wheeler refused to let anyone other than Internet superpowers like Google, which reportedly exerted direct control over some of the final language, see this magical Internet takeover plan until after it was approved without congressional or public oversight. Of course, we all remember how well “pass it to see what’s in it” worked out for us last time.

Net neutrality as imagined by Obama and Wheeler will not result in faster Internet speeds, an expansion of Internet service provider choices available to home consumers, a lowering of fees or even a reduction of lag times for those of you playing “Call of Duty” online. It will add government oversight where it is neither needed nor wanted. In actuality, by reclassifying the Internet under Title II of the Communications Act, net neutrality will add little more to your online experience beyond added fees (federal “common carrier” status always includes federal taxes). Down the road, those taxes fees will indubitably increase, as will government involvement with content. Ultimately, we’ll end up with the Ministry of Information issuing “blogging licenses.” But hey, at least you won’t have to deal with buffering the next time you watch “House of Cards” on Netflix.


"So, that’s what the fight with ISIS is all about: It’s not over whether Muslims or the Koran are good or bad, but rather over the “authority” of the U.S. Empire to bring death and destruction to Middle East countries in the name of bringing them “freedom” versus those in the Middle East who say: Stop your death and destruction and get out of our part of the world and go home."

ISIS and the National Security Scam
by Jacob G. Hornberger

U.S. national-security officials are scratching their heads over the decision by young people from around the world to join ISIS. Totally befuddled, U.S. officials just don’t understand why anyone would do such a thing.

At the same time, of course, hardly any American is traveling to Iraq to fight on other side — the anti-ISIS side — by joining up with the Iraqi army, notwithstanding the fact that U.S. officials continue to loudly proclaim that ISIS poses a grave threat to national security.

Meanwhile, U.S. officials are putting out new scare alerts about how ISIS terrorists are planning to attack shopping malls in the United States.

Let’s put this all together.

The reason that young people are joining up with ISIS is that they are sick and tired of the death and destruction that the U.S. Empire has wrought on people in the Middle East, most of whom are Muslims. They’ve seen the bombings, the shootings, the night raids, the round-ups, the detentions, the torture, the brutality, the destruction of homes and businesses, and the massive number of deaths, injuries, and maiming at the hands of the Empire.

In sum, they want to rid the Middle East of the U.S. Empire. They want the Empire to exit the Middle East and return to the United States.

That’s why they are joining up with ISIS — to help send the U.S. Empire back home.

Not surprisingly, the U.S. national-security state — i.e., the military establishment and the CIA — will not permit such a thing to happen. In their minds, they have brought freedom, order, and stability to Iraq. After all, the invasion and occupation of Iraq was called Operation Iraqi Freedom, right? Well, if that’s what it’s called, then that’s what it must be, right? And after all, that’s what the Empire is all about — freedom, right?

Since the invasion and occupation of Iraq was about bringing freedom to Iraq, U.S. officials maintain, the Iraqi people had no right to resist the Empire. Every Iraqi should have immediately succumbed to the invasion, deferred to the authority of the Empire, and knelt down in praise and gratitude for the sacrifices that the U.S. troops were making for Iraq. After all, as far as the Empire is concerned, the U.S. government could have chosen any number of other countries for a freedom regime change — e.g., North Korea, Burma, Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, and more. Therefore, Iraq should have been honored to have been chosen to be the recipient of U.S. imperial goodness.

But that’s just not the way the world works sometimes. There are people in the world who hate empires and will do everything they can to rid their countries of foreign imperial occupation.

Indeed, think of the British colonists living in America in 1776. They didn’t think too much of empires either, including the British Empire, which they were living under as British citizens when they decided rid the New World of the British Empire. Not surprisingly, their government considered them to be terrorists because they were killing British troops with the aim of ousting the British Empire from America.

So, that’s what the fight with ISIS is all about: It’s not over whether Muslims or the Koran are good or bad, but rather over the “authority” of the U.S. Empire to bring death and destruction to Middle East countries in the name of bringing them “freedom” versus those in the Middle East who say: Stop your death and destruction and get out of our part of the world and go home.

What about those terrorist threats to American shopping malls? Anyone who has been reading our perspectives here at FFF know that such a threat should come as no surprise. We have long been telling Americans to get prepared for retaliation for what the Empire is doing in the Middle East. What surprises me is that so many Americans are surprised that victims of U.S. imperialism over there might not limit their retaliation to U.S. troops over there and instead choose to retaliate over here.

After all, we all know that the 9/11 attacks were done in retaliation for what the Empire had been doing before that, including the deadly sanctions that destroyed Iraq’s economy and, more important, contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of (innocent) Iraqi children. There were also the blowback from U.S. foreign policy that came in the form of the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, the attack on the USS Cole, and the attacks on the U.S. Embassies in East Africa. And there are all terrorists and would-be terrorists who have been prosecuted since 9/11, all of whom have cited the death, destruction, and mayhem that the Empire has brought to the Middle East as their motivation for retaliation.

As I have long written, if you’re going to have an Empire that is engaged in killing, torturing, and maiming people in the name of bringing them “freedom,” just be prepared for retaliation. It’s a cost of doing empire.

Moreover, the notion that the troops were over there killing everyone before they could come over here and retaliate was foolish from the beginning. Imperial troops are not a magnet and people seeking revenge for imperial wrongdoing are not iron filings. People seeking revenge can choose to inflict that revenge in any way they choose, including on U.S. shopping malls, which the troops are obviously unable to defend. Don’t be surprised if it happens, just like it did on 9/11. Again, just consider retaliation a cost of living under a national-security state empire.

Finally, there is the interesting question as to why American citizens are not traveling to Iraq to join the Iraqi army to fight ISIS. After all, U.S. national-security state officials are very clear: ISIS poses a grave threat to U.S. national security. And since they are obviously lots of people traveling over there to join ISIS, why aren’t there hardly any Americans traveling over there to fight ISIS? Don’t Americans care about national security? Don’t they love their country? Why are they sitting here at home?

I suppose part of the reason is that Americans look at the Empire as their daddy or, even worse, their god. They say, “Let the troops protect national security. I have better things to do.”

But I’d like to think there is another reason — that Americans are finally figuring out, even if on a subconscious level, what a racket the entire national-security state is.

After all, consider all the NSA records that Edward Snowden released detailing the NSA’s secret surveillance scheme on the American people. U.S. officials steadfastly maintained that the release of all those records threatened “national security.”

Really? How? The records were released and the United States is still standing. Nothing happened. And the same is true on every single national-security state secret that has ever been disclosed.

Maybe people are finally figuring out that the entire concept of “national security” is all just a crock, a way to keep what the Empire is doing secret from the American people in order to keep the racket going, a racket that necessarily depends on continuous, perpetual warfare in order to keep the national-security state and its vast army of “defense” contractors busy producing new war plans and new bombs, missiles, bullets, tanks, planes, etc. After all, at the risk of belaboring the obvious, if all that armament isn’t used up on a constant, ongoing basis, it will be difficult to keep all those “defense” contractors keep their employees and sub-contractors busy.

If a sufficient number of Americans finally realize what a racket all this is, the days of the Cold War-era national-security establishment might well be numbered. Just think how everyone except the national-security establishment will be so much better off without a U.S. national-security state apparatus.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Net Neutrality Explained. Simply and Accurately!

Cartoon of the day...

"What a racket. It’s amazing that so many Americans continue to fall for it."

The National-Security State’s ISIS Racket
by Jacob G. Hornberger

The official enemy de jour that has everyone all riled up and scared is ISIS. If U.S. forces don’t bomb ISIS, the argument goes, ISIS will take over Iraq, and Syria, and Lebanon, and Europe, and Asia, and Latin America, and then the United States. If the bombs don’t fall on ISIS, before long Americans will be speaking Arabic and their children will be studying the Koran in America’s government schools.

It’s all just one great big racket — a racket based on “national security,” a term that isn’t even found in the Constitution and that doesn’t even have an objective meaning. The only way that the U.S. national-security state apparatus — i.e., the vast military establishment and military empire, the CIA, and the NSA — can justify its continued existence is by ginning up crisis after crisis with the aim of keeping the citizenry filled with fear, anxiety, and depression. The apparatus then becomes people’s sedative, assuring them that everything is going to be okay because the apparatus is the only thing keeping them safe.

Never mind that the national-security apparatus produces the very threats it then uses to scare people with. After all, did anyone hear of ISIS before the U.S. invaded and occupied Iraq, a country that had never attacked the United States or even threatened to do so?

No. That’s because there was no ISIS before the apparatus invaded and occupied Iraq. It was the invasion and occupation, along with other interventions by the apparatus, such as in Syria and Libya, that has produced ISIS, the new, scary enemy of the day.

But of course, no statist wants to hear that. The national-security state is akin to a god, one that is keeping them safe from all those scary creatures thousands of miles away from American shores, creatures that are brought into existence by the very policies of the apparatus itself.

With its ongoing, perpetual crises and wars, the apparatus is also serving as a fount of taxpayer-funded largess for the vast armies of “defense” contractors who are feeding at the public trough on a permanent basis.

As an aside, have you noticed that while some young people are traveling to the Middle East to join ISIS, hardly any Americans are traveling to Iraq to join up with the Iraqi army to fight ISIS. I suppose one possibility is that most everyone is a coward and won’t fight to protect our “national security.” Another possibility, the more likely one in my opinion, is that deep down everyone knows that this is all a crock.

The perpetual crises and fear-mongering are not a new phenomenon. We saw it throughout the Cold War, when the same fear-mongering was being done about communists that is now being done about ISIS, terrorists, and Muslims.

If we don’t stop the communists from infiltrating Latin America, we were told, it won’t be long before Americans are speaking communist. Cuba is a communist beachhead, they repeatedly said, one that was determined to turn the rest of Latin America and then the United States Red.

That’s why the national-security state installed and supported brutal military dictatorships in Guatemala and Chile, entered into a partnership with the Mafia to assassinate Cuba’s president Fidel Castro, participated as a partner in the international torture and assassination ring based in Latin America known as DINA, and much more — all to ensure that the communist-socialist infection didn’t spread to Latin American countries, especially by democratic means. Democracy had to be destroyed, we were told, in order to save democracy.

The tens of thousands of people who were rounded up, tortured, raped, disappeared, executed, and assassinated, were considered an societal inoculation — like a vaccine — to ensure that Latin American regimes and then the United States didn’t go Red.

That’s what arming the Contras and starting an extremely brutal, deadly, and destructive civil war in Nicaragua was all about — to oust the communist-socialist regime of Daniel Ortega. It was also what the invasion of Grenada was all about.

The idea was that if the radical leftists were to gain the reins of power in Latin American countries, especially through democratic elections, the United States as we know it would cease to exist.

It was all a Cold War, national-security state, fear-mongering racket, one that was keeping the national-security state apparatus in existence and, equally important, keeping all those “defense” looters and plunderers in high cotton.

The fact is that it wouldn’t have made any difference at all, insofar as the United States was concerned, if every Latin American country went Red.

How do we know that? Because after the national-security state lost communism as its official enemy, many of those Latin American regimes have ended up with socialist presidents, many of them duly elected by their citizenry. Consider: Cuba, Nicaragua, Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, and more.

In fact, check out this Wikipedia entry entitled “Pink Tide.” It states “In 2005, the BBC reported that out of 350 million people in South America, three out of four of them lived in countries ruled by ‘left-leaning presidents’ elected during the preceding six years.”

Yet, as everyone knows, the United States is still standing. The United States wasn’t the final domino that fell to the communists. Oh sure, we’ve got our own welfare state, which is no different in principle from the socialism that all those Latin American socialist regimes believe in, but that’s just because Americans believe in socialism as much as Latin Americans do, not because Latin American regimes have gone socialist.

It won’t make any difference to the freedom and well-being of the American people if ISIS takes over Iraq, Syria, Libya, or any other area of the Middle East, any more than it has made a difference that socialists and communists have taken over countries in Latin America. It’s all just a fear-mongering racket, one designed to keep the cancerous tumor known as the national-security state, along with its vast army of “defense” plunderers and looters, attached to the body politic, where it is sucking the lifeblood out of the American people.

What a racket. It’s amazing that so many Americans continue to fall for it.


Merchants of death...

Meet The Big Wallets Pushing Obama Towards A New Cold War

By Christian Stork

There’s a familiar ring to the U.S. calls to arm Ukraine’s post-coup government. That’s because the same big-money players who stand to benefit from belligerent relations with Russia haven’t forgotten a favorite Cold War tune.

President Obama has said that he won’t rule out arming Ukraine if a recent truce, which has all but evaporated, fails like its predecessor. His comments echoed the advice of a report issued a week prior by three prominent U.S. think tanks: the Brookings Institute, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the Atlantic Council. The report advocated sending $1 billion worth of “defensive” military assistance to Kiev’s pro-Western government.

If followed, those recommendations would bring the U.S. and Russia the closest to conflict since the heyday of the Cold War. Russia has said that it would “respond asymmetrically against Washington or its allies on other fronts” if the U.S. supplies weapons to Kiev.

The powers with the most skin in the game—France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine—struck a deal on Feb. 12, which outlines the terms for a ceasefire between Kiev and the pro-Russian, breakaway provinces in eastern Ukraine. It envisages a withdrawal of heavy weaponry followed by local elections and constitutional reform by the end of 2015, granting more autonomy to the eastern regions.

But not all is quiet on the eastern front. The truce appears to be headed the route of a nearly identical compromise in September, which broke down immediately afterward.

Moscow’s national security interests are clear. Washington’s are less so, unless you look at the bottom lines of defense contractors.

As for those in the K Street elite pushing Uncle Sam to confront the bear, it isn’t hard to see what they have to gain. Just take a look below at the blow-by-blow history of their Beltway-bandit benefactors:

No Reds Means Seeing Red

Following the end of the Cold War, defense cuts had presented bottom-line problems for America’s military producers. The weapons dealers were told that they had to massively restructure or go bust.

Luckily, carrots were offered. Norm Augustine, a former undersecretary of the Army, advised Defense Secretary William Perry to cover the costs of the industry mergers. Augustine was then the CEO of Martin Marietta — soon to become the head of Lockheed Martin, thanks to the subsidies.

Augustine was also chairman of a Pentagon advisory council on arms-export policy. In that capacity, he was able to secure yet more subsidy guarantees for NATO-compatible weapons sales to former Warsaw Pact countries.

But in order to buy the types of expensive weapons that would stabilize the industry’s books, those countries had to enter into an alliance with the U.S. And some members of Congress were still wary of shelling out money to expand a military alliance that had, on its face, no rationale to exist.

Enter the NATO Expansion Squad

Enter the U.S. Committee to Expand NATO. Formed in 1996, the Committee wined and dined elected officials to secure their support for NATO enlargement. Meanwhile, Lockheed buttressed its efforts by spending $1.58 million in federal contributions for the 1996 campaign cycle.

The Committee’s founder and neocon chairman, Bruce Jackson, was so principled in his desire to see freedom around the globe that he didn’t even take a salary. He didn’t have to; he was a vice president at Lockheed Martin.

By Clinton’s second term, everyone was on board. Ron Asmus, a former RAND Corporation analyst and the “intellectual progenitor” of NATO expansion (who would later co-chair the Committee to Expand NATO), ended what was left of the policy debate in the State Department. He worked with Clinton’s diplomatic point man on Eastern Europe, Strobe Talbott.

Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic were all in NATO come 1999. The Baltic States would soon follow. By 2003, those initial inductees had arranged deals to buy just short of $5 billion in fighter jets from Lockheed.

Bruce Jackson began running a new outfit in 2002. It was called the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq.

(36 F-16s are currently slated for delivery to Iraq at an estimated $3 billion.)

Read the rest here:

"Our freedoms—especially the Fourth Amendment—are being choked out by a prevailing view among government bureaucrats that they have the right to search, seize, strip, scan, spy on, probe, pat down, taser, and arrest any individual at any time and for the slightest provocation."

Forced Blood Draws, DNA Collection and Biometric Scans: What Country Is This?

By John W. Whitehead

“The Fourth Amendment was designed to stand between us and arbitrary governmental authority. For all practical purposes, that shield has been shattered, leaving our liberty and personal integrity subject to the whim of every cop on the beat, trooper on the highway and jail official. The framers would be appalled.”—Herman Schwartz, The Nation

Our freedoms—especially the Fourth Amendment—are being choked out by a prevailing view among government bureaucrats that they have the right to search, seize, strip, scan, spy on, probe, pat down, taser, and arrest any individual at any time and for the slightest provocation.

Forced cavity searches, forced colonoscopies, forced blood draws, forced breath-alcohol tests, forced DNA extractions, forced eye scans, forced inclusion in biometric databases—these are just a few ways in which Americans are being forced to accept that we have no control over what happens to our bodies during an encounter with government officials.

Worse, on a daily basis, Americans are being made to relinquish the most intimate details of who we are—our biological makeup, our genetic blueprints, and our biometrics (facial characteristics and structure, fingerprints, iris scans, etc.)—in order to clear the nearly insurmountable hurdle that increasingly defines life in the United States: we are all guilty until proven innocent.

Thus far, the courts have done little to preserve our Fourth Amendment rights, let alone what shreds of bodily integrity remain to us.

For example, David Eckert was forced to undergo an anal cavity search, three enemas, and a colonoscopy after allegedly failing to yield to a stop sign at a Wal-Mart parking lot. Cops justified the searches on the grounds that they suspected Eckert was carrying drugs because his “posture [was] erect” and “he kept his legs together.” No drugs were found. During a routine traffic stop, Leila Tarantino was subjected to two roadside strip searches in plain view of passing traffic, during which a female officer “forcibly removed” a tampon from Tarantino. Nothing illegal was found. Nevertheless, such searches have been sanctioned by the courts, especially if accompanied by a search warrant (which is easily procured), as justified in the government’s pursuit of drugs and weapons.

Close to 600 motorists leaving Penn State University one Friday night were stopped by police and, without their knowledge or consent, subjected to a breathalyzer test using flashlights that can detect the presence of alcohol on a person’s breath. These passive alcohol sensors are being hailed as a new weapon in the fight against DUIs. However, because they cannot be used as the basis for arrest, breathalyzer tests are still required. And for those who refuse to submit to a breathalyzer, there are forced blood draws. One such person is Michael Chorosky, who was surrounded by police, strapped to a gurney and then had his blood forcibly drawn after refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test. “What country is this? What country is this?” cried Chorosky during the forced blood draw. Thirty states presently allow police to do forced blood draws on drivers as part of a nationwide “No Refusal” initiative funded by the federal government.

Not even court rulings declaring such practices to be unconstitutional in the absence of a warrant have slowed down the process. Now the police simply keep a magistrate on call to rubber stamp the procedure over the phone. That’s what is called an end-run around the law, and we’re seeing more and more of these take place under the rubric of “safety.”

The National Highway Safety Administration, the same government agency that funds the “No Refusal” DUI checkpoints and forcible blood draws, is also funding nationwide roadblocks aimed at getting drivers to “voluntarily” provide police with DNA derived from saliva and blood samples, reportedly to study inebriation patterns. When faced with a request for a DNA sample by police during a mandatory roadblock, most participants understandably fail to appreciate the “voluntary” nature of such a request. Unfortunately, in at least 28 states, there’s nothing voluntary about having one’s DNA collected by police in instances where you’ve been arrested, whether or not you’re actually convicted of a crime. The remaining states collect DNA on conviction. All of this DNA data is being fed to the federal government. Indeed, the United States has the largest DNA database in the world, CODIS, which is managed by the FBI and is growing at an alarming rate.

Airline passengers, already subjected to virtual strip searches, are now being scrutinized even more closely, with the Customs and Border Protection agency tasking airport officials with monitoring the bowel movements of passengers suspected of ingesting drugs. They even have a special hi-tech toilet designed to filter through a person’s fecal waste.

Iris scans, an essential part of the U.S. military’s boots-on-the-ground approach to keeping track of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, are becoming a de facto method of building the government’s already mammoth biometrics database. Funded by the Dept. of Justice, along with other federal agencies, the iris scan technology is being incorporated into police precincts, jails, immigration checkpoints, airports and even schools. School officials—from elementary to college—have begun using iris scans in place of traditional ID cards. As for parents wanting to pick their kids up from school, they have to first submit to an iris scan.

As for those endless pictures everyone so cheerfully uploads to Facebook (which has the largest facial recognition database in the world) or anywhere else on the internet, they’re all being accessed by the police, filtered with facial recognition software, uploaded into the government’s mammoth biometrics database and cross-checked against its criminal files. With good reason, civil libertarians fear these databases could “someday be used for monitoring political rallies, sporting events or even busy downtown areas.”

As these police practices and data collections become more widespread and routine, there will be no one who is spared from the indignity of DNA sampling, blood draws, and roadside strip and/or rectal or vaginal searches, whether or not they’ve done anything wrong. We’re little more than economic units, branded like cattle, marked for easy identification, and then assured that it’s all for our “benefit,” to weed us out from the “real” criminals, and help the police keep our communities “safe” and secure.

What a bunch of hokum. As I point out in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, these databases, forced extractions and searches are not for our benefit. They will not keep us safe. What they will do is keep us mapped, trapped, targeted and controlled.

Moreover, what if you don’t want to be forced to trust the government with your most intimate information? What if you don’t trust the government to look out for your best interests in the first place? How do you protect yourself against having your blood forcibly drawn, your DNA extracted, your biometrics scanned and the most intimate details of who you are—your biological footprint—uploaded into a government database?

What recourse do you have when that information, taken against your will, is shared, stolen, sold or compromised, as it inevitably will be in this age of hackers? We know that databases can be compromised. We’ve seen it happen to databases kept by health care companies, motor vehicle agencies, financial institutions, retailers and intelligence agencies such as the NSA. In fact, 2014 was dubbed the Year of the Hack in light of the fact that over a billion personal data records were breached, leaving those unlucky enough to have their data stolen vulnerable to identity theft, credit card fraud and all manner of criminal activities carried out in their names.

Banks now offer services —for a fee—to help you in the event that your credit card information is compromised and stolen. You can also pay for services to protect against identity theft in the likely event that your social security information is compromised and misused. But what happens when your DNA profile is compromised? And how do you defend yourself against charges of criminal wrongdoing in the face of erroneous technological evidence—DNA, biometrics, etc., are not infallible—that place you at the scene of a crime you didn’t commit?

“Identity theft could lead to the opening of new fraudulent credit accounts, creating false identities for criminal enterprises, or a host of other serious crimes,” said Jason Hart, vice president of cloud services, identity and data protection at the digital security company Gemalto. “As data breaches become more personal, we’re starting to see that the universe of risk exposure for the average person is expanding.”

It’s not just yourself you have to worry about, either. It’s also anyone related to you—who can be connected by DNA. These genetic fingerprints, as they’re called, do more than just single out a person. They also show who you’re related to and how. As the Associated Press reports, “DNA samples that can help solve robberies and murders could also, in theory, be used to track down our relatives, scan us for susceptibility to disease, or monitor our movements.”

Capitalizing on this, police in California, Colorado, Virginia and Texas use DNA found at crime scenes to identify and target family members for possible clues to a suspect’s whereabouts. Who will protect your family from being singled out for “special treatment” simply because they’re related to you? As biomedical researcher Yaniv Erlich warns, “If it’s not regulated and the police can do whatever they want … they can use your DNA to infer things about your health, your ancestry, whether your kids are your kids.”

These are just a few of the questions we should be asking before these technologies and programs become too entrenched and irreversible.

While the Fourth Amendment was created to prevent government officials from searching an individual’s person or property without a warrant and probable cause—evidence that some kind of criminal activity was afoot—the founders could scarcely have imagined a world in which we needed protection against widespread government breaches of our privacy on a cellular level. Yet that’s exactly what we are lacking.

Once again, technology has outdistanced both our understanding of it and our ability to adequately manage the consequences of unleashing it on an unsuspecting populace. As for all of those databases being sold to you for your safety and benefit, whether or not they’re actually effective in catching criminals, you can be assured that they will definitely be snatching up innocent citizens, as well.

In the end, what all of this amounts to is a carefully crafted campaign designed to give the government access to and control over what it really wants: you.


What if???

What if the Government Fears Freedom?

By Andrew P. Napolitano

What if the current massive spying on Americans began with an innocent secret executive order signed by President Reagan in 1986? What if Reagan contemplated that he was only authorizing American spies to spy on foreign spies unlawfully present in the U.S.?

What if Reagan knew and respected the history of the Fourth Amendment? What if the essence of that history is the colonial revulsion at the British use of general warrants? What if general warrants were issued by a secret court in London and authorized British agents in America to search wherever they wished and to seize whatever they found? What if the revulsion at this British government practice was so overwhelming that it led to the Revolutionary War against the king?

What if the whole purpose of the Fourth Amendment was to outlaw general warrants? What if the Fourth Amendment specifically guarantees the right to privacy to all in America in their persons, houses, papers and effects?

What if, in order to emphasize its condemnation of general warrants, the Fourth Amendment requires the government to obtain a warrant from a judge before invading the persons, houses, papers or effects of anyone and lays down the preconditions for the issuance of such warrants? What if those preconditions are individualized suspicion and articulated evidence of crime — called probable cause — about the specific person whose privacy the government seeks to invade?

What if these principles of constitutional fidelity, privacy and probable cause and the unlawfulness of general warrants have been regarded universally and publicly as quintessentially American values, values that set this nation apart from all others?

What if the administration of President George W. Bush was so embarrassed that 9/11 happened on its watch that it fought a useless public war in Iraq — which had nothing to do with 9/11 — and a pernicious private war against American values by unleashing American spies on innocent Americans as to whom there was no individualized probable cause so that it could create the impression it was doing something to keep America safe from another 9/11-like attack?

What if the Bush folks took Reagan’s idea of spying on foreign spies and twisted it so that they could spy on not just foreign spies, but also on foreign persons? What if they took that and leapt to spying on Americans who communicated with foreign persons?

What if they then concluded that it was easier to spy on all Americans rather than just those who communicated with foreign persons? What if they claimed in secret that all this was authorized by Reagan’s executive order and two federal statutes, their unique interpretations of which they refused to discuss in public? What if the Reagan order and the statutes authorized no such thing?

What if The New York Times caught the Bush administration in its massive violation of the Fourth Amendment, whereby it was spying on all Americans all the time without any warrants? What if the Times sat on that knowledge during, throughout and beyond the presidential election campaign of 2004? What if, when the Times revealed all this, the Bush administration agreed to stop spying? What if it didn’t stop?

What if President Obama came up with a scheme to make the spying appear legal? What if that scheme involved using secret judges in secret courts to issue general warrants? What if the Obama administration swore those judges to secrecy? What if it swore to secrecy all in the government who are involved in undermining basic American values? What if it forgot that everyone in government also swears an oath to uphold the Constitution? What if Edward Snowden violated his oath to secrecy in order to uphold his oath to the Constitution, which includes the Fourth Amendment, and spilled the beans on the government?

What if all this spying by the feds has spawned spying by the locals? What if more than 50 local police departments now have received false cell towers from the FBI, but have sworn not to tell anyone about them? What if these towers trick cellphone signals into exposing the content of cellphone conversations to the police? What if the police have done this without the knowledge of the elected representatives who are their bosses? What if they do this without any warrants? What if the Supreme Court last year outlawed police invading cellphones without warrants?

What if both Bush and Obama have argued that their first job is to keep America safe, and they will twist, torture the plain meaning of and even break laws in order to accomplish that job? What if the presidential oath is to enforce all laws faithfully, including ones the president may hate?

What if Bush and Obama have been wrong about the priority of their constitutional duties as president? What if the president’s first job is to preserve the Constitution? What if that includes the Fourth Amendment? What if the president keeps us safe but unfree?

What if invading our freedoms keeps us less safe? What if the president has failed to keep our freedoms safe? What if the government doesn’t like freedoms? What if the government is afraid we will exercise them?