Monday, February 29, 2016

Who NOT to Vote For

Why We Are Poor?

"Conservatives are no more devoted to the free market than leftists are."

Conservatives and the Free Market
by Jacob G. Hornberger

One of things that conservatives love to tell people is how devoted to the free market they are. A recent example involved GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio, who criticized Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders for being socialists while Rubio, as a conservative, was supposedly devoted to free enterprise.

What a joke. Conservatives are no more devoted to the free market than leftists are. They just like to tell themselves that and others as well. But their pro-free-enterprise proclamations are nothing more than empty bromides and pabulum.

How do we know this?

Simple. Just look at the government programs they support. Since the government programs they support are socialist, interventionist, and fascist, that’s how you can tell that conservatives are as statist as leftists.

Start with Social Security, the crown jewel of the welfare state. Every one of GOP presidential candidates believes in this socialist program. Don’t forget, after all, that while Social Security was made a permanent part of America’s governmental structure by President Franklin Roosevelt during the 1930s, that’s not where the idea came from. Social Security — the forcible taking of money from young people through government and giving it to seniors — originated among German socialists in the late 1800s. That’s why Adolf Hitler himself, who was a national socialist, believed in Social Security as much as today’s conservatives and progressives do.

Some conservatives want to “privatize” Social Security. They want people to be “free” to keep their own money but then forced by the government to put a percentage of their income into mandatory retirement accounts, operated by government-approved investment houses.

Conservatives call their “privatization” program a “free-market” approach to retirement, but it is nothing of the sort. It is instead a variation of economic fascism, no different in principle from Benito Mussolini’s economic programs in Italy or FDR’s National Industrial Recovery Act during the Great Depression. (See the book Three New Deals: Reflections on Roosevelt’s America, Mussolini’s Italy and Hitler’s Germany, 1933-1929 by Wolfgang Schivelbusch.)

What is economic fascism? It is where the government permits you to keep your own money but then directs and manipulates you into how to use it.

Which is the better system — socialism or economic fascism? Who cares? What matters is that it’s not freedom and it’s not the free market. A free society is one where everyone keeps everything he earns and decides what to do with his own money — that is, where there is no mandatory retirement savings or mandatory charity at all.

It’s the same with healthcare. Conservatives exclaim against Obamacare but then come up with their own pet governmental reform programs to replace it. They never call for the repeal of the root cause of the healthcare crisis — Medicare and Medicaid. That’s because they believe in these two socialist programs — programs that take money from Peter, through government force, in order to provide healthcare for Paul. It came as no surprise to libertarians when GOP presidential candidate John Kascih, the governor of Ohio, made his peace with Obamacare and used it to expand Medicaid in Ohio.

Some conservatives want to replace Obamacare with health-savings accounts, like IRAs. Here again, we have a case of economic fascism, where they want the government, through the IRS, to direct and manipulate what people do with their own money.

Ask a conservative how he’d feel about repealing Medicare and Medicaid, along with the federal income tax, and you will see from his apoplectic response that his devotion to statism is as complete as that of the standard leftist.

Public schooling. It would be difficult to find a better example of socialist central planning than that. Yet, conservatives are ardent supporters of public schooling. Oh sure, they’ll carp about all the horror stories that come with public schooling but they never call for its elimination — that is, they never call for a free market in education. The most they do is call for school vouchers, which are based on the same coercive funding method — taxation — that public schooling relies on. Not surprisingly, conservatives call vouchers a “free-market” approach to education. Like progressives, they reject a genuine free-market educational system, one in which there is no governmental involvement in education at all.

The drug war. Conservatives have been supporting this program for decades. There is certainly no free market here. It’s illegal to possess, trade, exchange, or distribute drugs. No, not all drugs — alcohol and tobacco are legal. But conservatives, like leftists, have long put people into jail for freely engaging in peaceful illicit drug transactions. A genuine free market in drugs would be one in which there were no laws that criminalized the possession, use, or distribution of drugs.

Immigration controls. There is certainly no free market in this government program, which conservatives have long embraced. In fact, both conservatives and leftists have long put foreigners into jail or deported for illegally engaging in peaceful economic enterprise with American employers.

The list goes on and on. Conservative economic philosophy can be summed up in the following phrase: “I favor the ‘free market’ and ‘free enterprise’ except….” And then by the time you add up all the exceptions, you have the destruction of the free market and free enterprise.

Libertarians have it right: If you want a genuine free-market, free-enterprise system, it has to be one in which economic enterprise and markets are totally free of government control and regulation — a way of life where people are free to keep everything they earn and decide for themselves what to do with it — a system where there is a complete separation of money and the state, charity and the state, and economic enterprise and the state.



America and Immigration: a Mixed History With Lessons for Today
Written by Steve Byas

“Instead of their learning our language, we must learn theirs,” complained a Pennsylvania businessman, irritated that the immigrants were causing the native-born to abandon neighborhoods to the newcomers. Another common complaint the native-born had against these immigrants was that they were willing to work for less.

While this may sound like modern America, and it is, it is also a description of colonial America, in Pennsylvania. Benjamin Franklin was the businessman, a highly successful printer, who did not like being forced to learn the language of the immigrant Germans, while others grumbled that English neighborhoods were being “taken over” by the Germans, introducing their different manners and customs.

And the Germans were willing to do the jobs the English did not want to do, or at least they were willing to do them for less. A common irritation for the English was when they saw advertisements and street signs in both English and German, and sometimes only in German!

Franklin asked a question, which no doubt summed up the feelings of many other Pennsylvanians: “Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a colony of aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us, instead of our Anglifying them, and will never adopt our language or customs any more than they can acquire our complexion?”

Franklin’s mixed reaction to the immigration of non-English peoples into English America well illustrates the contradictory feelings that Americans have had toward immigration throughout our nation’s history. Almost every new ethnic group coming to America has been met with suspicion, contrary to those who like to quote the poem of Emma Lazarus, which proclaims, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses.”

Perhaps Americans’ attitude toward immigration is best explained by the fact that immigration has always offered a mixture of positive and negative consequences, all at the same time.

The political situation today is far different from that which existed in early American history, and even from that which existed in the waves of immigrants arriving in the late 19th century into the early part of the 20th century. The America today’s immigrants encounter is far different, offering a cornucopia of government benefits, which discourages work and self-reliance and encourages dependence upon government and those politicians who provide these benefits. This creates a permanent “underclass” that provides a reliable voting bloc for those who stay in power by promising an ever-expanding welfare state. Immigrants of yesteryear did not expect to be taken care of by a paternalistic federal government, much less given free cellphones. As Tom Woods wrote for the Foundation for Economic Education, in his essay entitled Liberty and Immigration, “The current crisis is indeed unique in American history.”

Despite widespread perception to the contrary, throughout our entire history, large waves of immigration have provoked resistance and resentment from many native-born Americans, and immigration has always been controversial. And though, by and large, new arrivals have managed to succeed economically, overcome resentment, and make many positive contributions to their adopted homeland, there were challenges. Thus the history of past waves of immigration into America suggests that the challenges presented by the present generation of immigrants will also be overcome, and that, in the long run, the United States will benefit. But as we shall see, while there are similarities between the past waves of immigration and today’s, there are also important differences that make today’s immigration much more challenging — even threatening — to our constitutional Republic.

A closer examination of the role immigration has played in American history will give us an idea of both the similarities and the differences we find in today’s immigrants compared to those of earlier generations, and provide some lessons to apply for our present condition and what course we should take going into the future.

How the Founders Viewed Immigration

Franklin was not the only “Founding Father” to hold such cautious views toward immigration. Thomas Jefferson addressed his own concerns about immigrants in his Notes on Virginia. His principal concern was that they tended not to hold in high regard (at least not in as high a regard that Jefferson believed his fellow ethnic English had) the concepts of liberty and limited self-government that had been developed in the English residents of English America. He said America’s happy situation derived from “a composition of the freest principles of the English Constitution, with others, derived from natural right and reason,” but most of the non-British immigrants were coming from monarchial nations.

Jefferson was concerned that non-British immigrants would “bring with them the principles of the governments they leave, imbibed in their early youth; or, if able to throw them off, it will be in exchange for an unbounded licentiousness, passing, as is usual, from one extreme to another. It would be a miracle were they to stop precisely at the point of temperate liberty.”

It was Jefferson’s opinion that it would be “safer” to let the natural increase of the American population grow, rather than have it come through mass immigration. He explained his concern: “Suppose 20 millions of republican Americans [were] thrown all of a sudden into France, what would be the condition of that kingdom? If it would be more turbulent, less happy, less strong, we may believe that the addition of a half a million of foreigners to our present numbers would produce a similar effect here.”

Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton disagreed on many other things, but they were in complete agreement in taking a cautious approach to immigration. “The influx of foreigners,” Hamilton wrote, “must, therefore, tend to produce a heterogeneous compound; to change and corrupt the national spirit; to complicate and confound public opinion; to introduce foreign propensities. In the composition of society, the harmony of the ingredients is all-important, and whatever tends to a discordant intermixture must have an injurious tendency.”

Hamilton noted the unhappy fate of the American Indians because of immigration from Europe. “Prudence requires us to trace the history further and ask what has become of the nations of savages who exercised this policy, and who now occupies the territory which they inhabited? Perhaps a lesson is here taught which ought not to be despised.”

Hamilton is clearly correct. The culture of the indigenous Indian tribes was overwhelmed by “immigrants” from Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. A separate article on that issue alone could be written, but the history of the dissolution of the Indian culture provides a stark example of how a native culture can be overwhelmed by immigration.

A History of Mixed Blessings and Curses

After the initial settlement of the colonies, very little population growth resulted from immigration. Technically, the English and Scottish settlers were not “immigrants,” since they were still within the British Empire. Still, natural increase accounted for most of the population growth, except for the Germans in Pennsylvania that caused Franklin so much concern.

Most of the colonial-era settlers were Protestant Christians, with notable exception in the “Catholic” colony of Maryland. At the time of the first census of the United States, the Catholic population was less than five percent. Those designated as “Irish” were not Irish, who were overwhelmingly Catholic, but rather Scots-Irish (Presbyterian Scots who had settled in the northern provinces of Ireland). This separate development of the colonies contributed greatly to the creation of an environment that caused the growth of respect for religious liberty.

It is difficult to imagine American history without the Scots-Irish. In his book Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America, former Senator Jim Webb recalled a high-ranking British army general telling him that the Scots “are the hardest, toughest people on earth.” The Romans proved unable to conquer them. Later, the English were only able to subdue them after making a Scot, James Stewart, king of England.

Webb recalled his reaction to the general: “I could not restrain a knowing smile, for the culture had hardly changed after it crossed the Atlantic Ocean three hundred years ago and set up its communities in the Appalachian Mountains. There’s an old saying in the mountain South. Insult a Yankee and he’ll sue you. Insult a mountain boy and he’ll kill you.”

Many other ethnic groups completed the mixture of peoples of colonial America. None were more important, of course, than the black Africans, brought to the colonies in chains as slaves. Their hard labor contributed greatly to the prosperity of the cotton fields and tobacco plantations of the American South.

The colony of New Sweden, with few colonists, was conquered by the Dutch in 1655, but pioneers on the American frontier owed a great debt to the Swedes for their innovation known as the log cabin. The Dutch formed New Netherland, in what is now New York and New Jersey, before they were in turn conquered by the English. The Dutch settlers remained, however, adding yet another ingredient to the growing American “melting pot.” Some Jews escaped centuries of antagonism in Europe by settling in Philadelphia (where Pennsylvania had long tolerated any person who expressed a belief in one God) and Newport (where Rhode Island had no established church and complete religious liberty).

Arriving in the 1770s, the French settler Michel-Guillaume Jean de Crevecoeur commented on the variety of human beings he saw in the colonies, “What then is the American, this new man?,” marveling at this “strange mixture of blood, which you will find in no other country.”

Still, at the time of the first census of the United States in 1790, 80 percent was of British ancestry. From 1770 to 1830, immigration was insignificant. By then, the English, the Scots-Irish, the Dutch, the Germans, and the other smaller ethnic groups had settled into what many probably thought was going to be the permanent ethnic mix.

But attracted by economic opportunity, or to escape religious and political persecution in Europe, immigration began to increase. While we often hear “America is a nation of immigrants,” except for the indigenous peoples already here, and the black Africans brought to these shores as slaves, most of the residents of the United States at the time of its independence were subjects, or the descendants of subjects of the British Empire. They were simply moving to another part of that Empire. Calling them “immigrants” would be like calling someone who moves from Wisconsin to Florida an immigrant. The more accurate term would be “migrant.”

Even at the low numbers of immigration in the early years of the Republic, the “foreign vote” probably tipped the scales in favor of Jefferson’s “Republican” Party in the election of 1800, when he narrowly defeated the Federalist Party incumbent, John Adams. Sensing that immigrants were trending toward Jefferson’s party, the Federalist-controlled Congress enacted the Alien Acts in 1798. These three acts were attempts to mitigate the influence of aliens — those residing in the United States who were not yet citizens. One act increased the period of residence required for a foreign-born person to become a U.S. citizen from five to 14 years. Other acts allowed the deportation or, in wartime, the imprisonment of aliens, at the president’s discretion. These laws proved unable to prevent the election of Jefferson, however, and were allowed to expire when Jefferson settled into the White House in 1801 and his party took control of Congress.

Perhaps this early overreaction to immigration in the early years of the Republic provides some guidance for today’s lawmakers, as they struggle to deal with this difficult issue. While immigration provides many challenges for our country, it is imperative that we do not overreact with laws that are draconian, unconstitutional, and antithetical to liberty.

In 1820, immigration into the country was less than 10,000 people. As late as 1830, the numbers were still less than 25,000. By 1830, 98.5 percent of the population was native-born. But 600,000 came in the next decade, and America was on its way to being, if not a nation of immigrants, certainly a nation with a large number of immigrants and their descendants. Still, the native-born population remained far greater than the non-native population, which is contrary to what the phrase “nation of immigrants” could be interpreted to imply.

The 600,000 immigrants arriving in the 1830s were followed by 1.7 million in the 1840s, mostly from Ireland and Germany.

The potato famine depopulated Ireland. An estimated two million died in the Emerald Isle, about one-fourth of the population. They were too poor to buy land in the western part of the United States — and besides that, the land in Ireland had failed them — so they moved into cities in the East, swelling the populations of Boston and New York City. They were willing to work for less than native-born workers, and this led to great resentment. Despite their widespread illiteracy, they soon learned to read signs that appeared in storefront windows and at factory gates: “No Irish Need Apply.”

But as poor as first-generation immigrants were, they soon became citizens and gained the right to vote. Politicians took notice, and began courting the Irish vote. Much like today, this immigrant voting bloc began to change the political dem­ographics of the country, especially in certain states, such as Massachusetts and New York. Powerful city machines, such as Tammany Hall, were soon dominated by the Irish.

Then there were the Germans, who arrived in the hundreds of thousands, mostly driven to America by their own crop failures. But mixed in with the mostly hard-working farmers were a number of political radicals, who sailed after the failed revolutions that swept across Europe in 1848. As a group, Germans tended to be modestly more wealthy than the Irish, and they largely headed for the Middle West, especially Wisconsin, to continue farming.

These Germans made positive contributions to American culture, including the Conestoga wagon, so important in the settling of the West. They also became the backbone of antiwar, noninterventionist sentiment in 20th-century America, having seen enough of the militarism of Europe.

Irish and German immigrants were significant in a number of ways. Their numbers, especially the Germans, helped swell the ranks of the Union armies during the Civil War, and may have tipped the balance in that great conflict. Unfortunately, immigration has probably contributed to a decline in the understanding of the value of the idea of sovereign states in a federal system as a powerful tool in the struggle to maintain limited government.

With the rising tide of Catholic immigration, there were fears this flood would overwhelm the native Protestantism of the country. In 1849, the Order of the Star-Spangled Banner was formed to combat Catholic immigration, and this soon evolved into the American Party of the 1850s. Popularly known as the “Know-Nothing Party” because members held secret meetings about which they would tell inquirers, “I know nothing,” they demanded restrictions on immigration and the deportation of alien poor.

Anti-Catholic literature was common. Awful Disclosure, by Maria Monk, even alleged that nuns regularly had babies by priests, and buried their tiny bodies underneath convents. This libelous tract sold over 300,000 copies.

But anti-foreign feeling by itself was not enough to propel the American Party into power. For one thing, the American economy was growing rapidly, and general prosperity mitigated resentment toward the newcomers. And there is little doubt that the Irish industrial workers and the German farmers were contributing to that prosperity enjoyed by all Americans.

For years, American Unitarians, such as Horace Mann, pushed for the establishment of public schools, but most Americans had little regard for either the Unitarian religion or their idea of public schools. Unitarians denied the doctrine of the Trinity (that God exists in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), and promoted the idea of the “perfectability of man.” Mann suggested “perfection” could best be accomplished through public schools, even boldly predicting, “Let the common [public] school be expanded to its capabilities, let it be worked with the efficiency of which it is susceptible, and nine-tenths of the crimes in the penal code would become obsolete; the long catalogue of human ills would be abridged; men would walk more safely by day; every pillow would be more inviolable by night.”

Finally, Mann found some allies to implement his idea of public schools — Protestant ministers who saw public schools as a way to make Protestants out of Catholic children. Protestant Christianity provided the philosophical foundation for these early public schools — prayer and Bible reading from a Protestant perspective were part of the school day until the 1960s — and Catholics knew it. This led to the creation of a parochial Catholic school system, which coexisted with the public schools for the next several decades. Of course, Catholics of today no longer fear their children being indoctrinated into Protestant Christianity in the public schools. Christianity — whether Protestant or Catholic — has been largely expelled from America’s public schools, replaced by secular ideology, despised by evangelical Protestants and devout Catholics alike.

After the Civil War, technological improvements in ships, making transatlantic voyages more feasible for the average traveler, combined with the growing need for workers in America’s expanding factories, led to what historians have often referred to as “the new immigration.” Beginning in the 1880s and continuing to the time of World War I, America saw a shift in the pattern of its immigration from northern and western Europe to southern and eastern Europe. Immigrants even came from Asia, crossing the Pacific Ocean.

In 1882, Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, which stipulated that only a limited number of Chinese immigrants could enter the country for the next 10 years, and this law was renewed in 1892 and 1902. H. Paul Jeffers, writing in An Honest President, a biography of President Grover Cleveland, said that Cleveland had first been “sympathetic to the plight of the Chinese, most of whom had been brought into the country as laborers for building railroads in the West.” They were often subjected to violence, leading Cleveland to the conclusion that overcoming the deep prejudice against absorbing the Chinese into the mainstream of American life “was an impossible goal.”

Cleveland signed a bill in 1888 to ban the return to the United States of Chinese who had left the country. He said, “The experiment of blending the social habits and mutual race idiosyncracies of the Chinese laboring classes with those of the great body of the people of the United States has been proved by the experience of twenty years … to be in every sense unwise, impolitic, and injurious to both nations.” Immigrants from Japan faced similar hostility, as both groups were willing to work cheaper than native-born Americans. This anti-Japanese immigration policy contributed to the deterioration of American-Japanese relations in the 20th century.

Jeffers said that Cleveland did not approve of “hyphenated Americans,” contending that immigrants must leave their nativism behind and “become Americans.” Cleveland’s view was the prevailing opinion of both American politicians and American citizens.

Italian immigrants from 1880 to 1920 numbered more than five million. One of the more famous descendants of this wave was the only undefeated heavyweight boxing champion in history, Rocky Marciano. Over one million Swedes and Norwegians came during this same time period, with most settling in the Midwest, especially in Minnesota (thus the NFL team, the Vikings). Over two million Jews fled Russia to escape persistent persecution. Greeks, Poles, and others from Eastern Europe joined, and, interestingly for today, Syrians and Lebanese Christians also came, hoping to leave the Muslim-dominated Middle East.

Most of these immigrants from Europe and the Middle East came through New York Harbor, with the processing done at Ellis Island in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, erected in 1886. The French had given the statue to honor the United States’ association with liberty. The statue had nothing to do with immigration, but not surprisingly, it came to be associated with immigration.

One of the myths of the processing done at Ellis Island is that the processors summarily changed immigrants’ family names. Writing in Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing, Megan Smolenyak explained: “In spite of what you’ve been told or what you still read in normally reliable sources, names were not changed at Ellis Island. All those stories you’ve heard about the last syllable of your surname being lopped off by some official who found it too cumbersome to pronounce? Not true.” What is true, is that “many of our immigrant ancestors’ names were changed — by them — and after their brief interlude at Ellis Island.”

It was the greatest flood of legal immigration, in percentage terms, in history. Many nativists were worried that these new immigrants could not be assimilated. Various restrictions were proposed, and finally, in 1921, Congress responded with the National Origins Formula, with further revisions in 1924. This both restricted the total number of immigrants and established quotas based on national origins. For the next 40 years, there was relatively little immigration into the country. Exceptions included refugees from communism, such as the Cubans and the Hungarians; immigrants from the Philippines; and war brides. The Displaced Persons Act of 1948 also allowed about 200,000 “displaced” Europeans — displaced by World War II — to immigrate into the country.

During World War II, following the Great Depression, the employment situation drastically changed. By 1942 the country was experiencing a severe labor shortage, and enforcement of immigration laws, as it related to workers from Mexico, became lax. Illegal immigration from Mexico increased by 6,000 percent from 1944-1954. These laborers, like the Chinese, the Irish, and others before them, were willing to work for lower wages — it is estimated that the Rio Grande valley cotton growers were only paying about half the wages paid elsewhere in Texas.

This led to the Eisenhower administration’s “Operation Wetback,” in which over one million illegal Mexican workers were forcibly repatriated to Mexico, in a joint effort by the United States Border Patrol and city, county, state, and federal authorities.

Today’s Immigration and Its Challenges

In 1965, the Hart-Celler Act radically changed American immigration laws, abolishing the quota system. The law replaced the quotas with preferences based on family relationships. Potential immigrants who had relatives in the United States were given preference. Thus, once some immigrants made it to the United States from places such as China, India, and Pakistan, they became part of what is commonly referred to as “chain migration.”

President John F. Kennedy initially proposed this radical change in immigration policy. Democratic consultant Patrick Reddy praised the Kennedys for this change in 1998: “The 1965 Immigration Reform Act promoted by President Kennedy, drafted by Attorney General Robert Kennedy, and pushed through the Senate by Ted Kennedy has resulted in a wave of immigration from the Third World that should shift the nation in a more liberal direction within a generation. It will go down as the Kennedy family’s greatest gift to the Democratic Party.”

The law dramatically increased immigration — legal and illegal. By the 1980s, a new federal law was passed to deal with the situation — the Immigration Reform and Control Act. The law gave amnesty to about three million illegal aliens already in the country, with the government promising to curtail future illegal immigration. Since the government did not keep this promise or many other promises in regard to subsequent amnesties, amnesty supporters today have a very difficult time convincing anti-amnesty Americans that the government would do anything to restrict future illegal immigration. About three million people, mostly from Mexico, received the amnesty. For the first time, the law prescribed penalties for employers who hired illegal aliens.

Instead of stemming the tide of illegal immigration, the numbers have only increased dramatically. Legal Mexican immigrant totals neared eight million in 2000. Estimates of the numbers of illegal immigrants is placed at 12 to 20 million (80 percent from Mexico), with many believing it is closer to 30 million. No one knows for sure, but about one-fifth of the formerly Mexican population now lives within the borders of the United States.

These immigrants share many of the characteristics of other immigrants in American history. Many come for economic opportunity, and add economic vibrancy to neighborhoods that had deteriorated and business areas of cities that had also declined economically. They are accused of driving down wages, introducing crime (the immigrants of the late 19th and early 20th century were also charged with the rise of ethnic gangs in urban America), and speaking foreign languages, much to the resentment of many Americans.

They also tend, like their predecessors, to vote for the “party of government,” the party that provides more social programs. Despite claims that these Hispanic immigrants are “natural conservatives” because they are hard workers and have devotion to family, the reality is that, for the majority, government social-program availability trumps social conservatism when they enter the voting booth.

The millions of immigrants from southern and eastern Europe also tended to vote Democrat. (In 1928, Democrat Al Smith of New York carried the 12 largest cities of the United States, despite losing by a large margin to Republican candidate Herbert Hoover.) These immigrants and their descendants provided the foundation for Democratic Party hegemony for a generation of American politics. But by the end of the 1960s, as a result of the Democratic Party’s lurch to the left, the immigrants’ disatisfaction with the Vietnam War, and their gradual assimilation during the 40 years of scant immigration, the Democrat run was ending. The Republicans, starting in 1968, won five of the next six elections, ending with Bill Clinton’s election in 1992. The Kennedy family’s immigration law “gift” to the Democratic Party, combined with the Republican Party’s own liberal drift with candidates such as the Bushes, Bob Dole, John McCain, and Mitt Romney, had begun to do its own work. Since the Republicans’ presidential victory in 1988, the Democrats have dominated presidential elections.

But there are important differences between these post-1965 immigrants and their predecessors. As Pat Buchanan points out in The Death of the West, “Unlike the immigrants of old, who bade farewell forever to their native lands when they boarded the ship, for Mexicans, the mother country is right next door. Millions have no desire to learn English or to become citizens. America is not their home; Mexico is; and they wish to remain proud Mexicans. They have come to work. Rather than assimilate, they create Little Tijuanas in U.S. cities, just as Cubans have created a Little Havana in Miami. Only America hosts twenty times as many people of Mexican descent as of Cuban descent. With their own radio and TV stations, newspapers, films, and magazines, the Mexican Americans are creating an Hispanic culture separate and apart from America’s larger culture. They are becoming a nation within a nation.”

As Buchanan so aptly wrote, a country is not just an area marked on a map. It possesses a national identity or an ideal based on a common culture and values. If immigration from other cultures is large enough, it can change the culture of the country.

This unfortunate situation also weakens American unity and patriotism. Large numbers of immigrants are actually discouraged from assimilating. This results in the decline of American national sovereignty in the face of international institutions — the World Court, the World Trade Organization, the United Nations — which grow increasingly more powerful. When President Obama campaigned in 2008, he promised the “transformation” of America. Recently speaking to a group of newly naturalized Americans, he commented that they were an important part of creating the “new” America he envisioned.

As America becomes increasingly divided along ethnic lines, the ideal of a United States of America becomes increasingly more difficult to achieve. Union of America with other nations becomes increasingly easier to achieve if a large number of residents simply have no allegiance to the United States and the constitutional Republic we have long enjoyed.

“The extraordinarily high rate of immigration, legal and illegal, into the United States is an indication that our country is doing something right,” wrote Tom Woods. “Currently, half the world’s immigrants come to the United States.”

Yet, to hear the Left tell it, America is populated mostly by bigots and haters. Why would so many of the world’s people want to come to a country that hates them so much?

Woods asked whether we will “be more or less free after even two more generations of immigration the size and composition of recent decades. That immigrants and the American bureaucracy that serves them will become yet another pressure group, clamoring for privileges and benefits in Washington, can scarcely be doubted.”

He continued, zeroing in on the problem we now face: “In order to destroy the cultural and ethnic cohesion that acts as a bulwark against its expansion, the state has a history of engaging in deliberate dem­ographic scrambling. When this forced integration inevitably produces animosity, the state is all too eager to impose order on a chaos of its own creation.”

Wood concludes, “A facile advocacy of open borders gives the central state exactly what it wants; the chance to supersede the preferences of property owners, and to provide the pretext for further encroachments on local and individual liberty.”

Americans have always had immigration, with periods of time to absorb these new immigrants. It is undeniable that immigration has given the United States many blessings, but also many challenges. That is why Americans have always been both hot and cold toward increased immigration.


Follow the money...

Climate change profiteers have so far created a $53 billion market based on FEAR and FRAUD

by: Ethan A. Huff

It used to be that pharmaceuticals were one of the biggest profiteering frauds in the global market (besides warmongering). But "climate change," and the ever-present fear of it, has created a whole new market for carbon dioxide "trading," that analysts at Thomson Reuters Point Carbon say is now worth $53 billion worldwide.

The value of global markets for carbon dioxide, says the group, rose by about nine percent last year, bringing the total to just shy of 50 billion euros. And this amount is expected to climb even further in 2016, as the United States and other North American countries are forced into the new "global warming" paradigm of carbon taxes and credits.

North America is precisely where the biggest gains in CO2 value were seen in 2015, rising an astounding 220 percent to about 10.6 billion euros compared to 2014. This is due to the massive expansion of the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) scheme, which now covers transportation fuel emissions.

Also known as "cap-and-trade," the scheme involves government-mandated use and emissions restrictions for CO2, a concept that stems from the idea that carbon dioxide is somehow responsible for a disastrous situation known as "climate change." But rather than focus on the worst climate offenders – which include factory farming, confined animal feeding operations and industrial chemicals – cap-and-trade initiatives are targeting everyday consumers.

The program has also been accused of making climate conditions worse, due to the fact that it's routinely abused as a way for corrupt entities to make money, while doing little to curb environmental pollution. We've been saying this all along – that, and the fact that carbon is good for the environment, when properly sequestered in soils where it should be.

Cap-and-trade has led to more pollution, carbon emissions

According to a report by the Stockholm Environment Institute, carbon credit schemes in Europe have already led to an increase in emissions of about 600 million tons. Particularly in Russia and the Ukraine, companies intentionally generated more "climate warming" chemicals, so that they could then "destroy" them in order to claim carbon credit cash.

Cap-and-trade should also make people immediately think of Enron, the now-defunct energy company that just so happens to have been one of the first major traders in carbon credits. This commodity exchange, explains the report, allowed Enron's stock prices to rise to unrealistic levels very quickly, which in turn eventually led to the company's failure, along with the collapse of the coal industry.

"We were surprised ourselves by the extent [of the fraud]; we didn't expect such a large number," stated one of the co-authors of the paper, Anja Kollmuss, to BBC News. "What went on was that these countries could approve these projects by themselves [since] there was no international oversight, in particular Russia and the Ukraine didn't have any incentive to guarantee the quality of these credits."

And yet, the carbon credit market continues to boom, despite mounds of evidence showing that it doesn't work and has no, or only negative, effects on the overall amount of emissions released into the atmosphere. It's no better than any of the other commodities scams we've seen over the years, that basically invite fraudulent activity.

"As researchers we can not prove the fraud, we can just point to the facts," Kollmuss adds about the three projects in particular that she and her team evaluated. "[W]hen they could gain credits they immediately increased production of [polluting] greenhouse gas in order to destroy them, and that lead [sic] to them getting many more credits than if they had produced it like they did before."

Learn more:

Cartoon of the day...

"Anybody who expects the government of the United States to preserve liberty over the long run is suffering from terminal naïveté. He is going to be disappointed..."

Why Our Civil Liberties Are Increasing

By Gary North

There are three phrases, each of which is three words long, that govern the thinking of economists.

Supply and demand

High bid wins

At some price

I will focus on the final three words: “At some price.” I want to raise its corollary: “At what price?”


Everyone in this country says he has a right to this or that. Rarely is the word “right” rightly defined. The confusion has always been there. It is the difference between the right to something and the right to be immune from something.

If I have a right that makes me immune, nobody else has a right to interfere with my liberty in this particular area. On the other hand, if the civil government says that somebody else has a right to my income, then I don’t have a right to immunity.

These two concepts of rights are in conflict most of the time. Most voters do not understand the extent to which they are in conflict.

To understand a civil right, which is a guarantee of immunity from interference, we have to understand that civil governments are systematically taking away our rights. Employees of civil governments want to be able to interfere with our actions at any time. Civil governments want to lay down the rules of the game. They want to be able to change the rules of procedure on a regular basis to favor the expansion of the state’s power into our lives. This is basic to all civil governments. Anybody who doesn’t understand this does not understand civil government.

What we have to look at is this: the cost to the government of enforcing its rules. In other words, we must ask: “At what price?” The more expensive it is to the central government to enforce its rules, the greater the degree of civil rights the population can maintain. If we look at civil rights as unconnected with the price of enforcement, we will then have to trust the civil government to be self-restrained. If the civil government can enforce the terms of obedience to its commands at zero price, there will be a great extension of commands. (“As the price falls, more is demanded.”) The cheaper it is for the government to enforce its will, the fewer the civil liberties — legal immunities — we will retain as individuals.

It is a mistake to look at the government as a source of protection of civil rights in the long term. There may be protection by one bureaucracy of its jurisdiction, which means that there may be barriers institutionally that are available to slow down the extension of some other government bureaucracy into our lives. In other words, we pit one bureaucrat against another bureaucrat. We get a turf war going inside the bureaucracy that may conceivably enforce some zone of our liberties. This is what the Soviet Union did almost from the beginning. The only way to get any kind of liberty in the Soviet Union was either to pay a bribe or to get one bureaucratic agency to declare that another bureaucratic agency was intruding into the first bureaucratic agency’s zone of authority.

Anybody who expects the government of the United States to preserve liberty over the long run is suffering from terminal naïveté. He is going to be disappointed...

Read the rest here:

Friday, February 26, 2016

In case you didn't know...

The Rule of Men vs. the Rule of Law
by Jacob G. Hornberger

There is a common misconception regarding the term “the rule of law.” Lots of people, including U.S. officials, believe that it means that people should obey the law. But that’s not what it means. What it means is a society in which people have to answer only to the law and not to the edicts or orders issued by government officials. A society in which people have to respond to edicts and orders issued by politicians and bureaucrats is what is called “the rule of men.”

As Friedrich Hayek pointed out in The Constitution of Liberty, the rule of law is not all that is necessary for a free society but it is a necessary prerequisite for a free society.

For a good example of the rule of men, all we have to do is turn to the United States, where the U.S. government has just issued an ominous notice to U.S. banks. U.S. officials are telling the banks that the U.S. government does not want them to invest in Russian bonds.

Now, mind you, there is nothing illegal about U.S. banks investing in Russian bonds. It’s just that to do so would run counter to the U.S. government’s anti-Russia foreign policy. No, there isn’t a declared war against Russia but U.S. officials consider Russia to be a “rival” to the U.S. Empire — an increasingly “assertive” one. So, U.S. officials have issued their not-so-subtle notice to the banks: If you know what’s good for you, don’t invest in those Russian bonds because it will help our rival.

What will happen to banks that ignore the warning? They will be swarmed with bank regulators, who will write up countless violations of minute bank regulations. Or they will be audited by the IRS. Or their officers will be indicted for some insider-trading violation.

And when any of that happens, you can rest assured that U.S. officials will play the innocent and claim that their adverse actions against the recalcitrant bank have nothing to do with the banks’ having chosen to ignore the rule of men in favor of acting in accordance with the law, just as they did after indicting QWEST CEO Joseph Nacchio for some ludicrous insider trading violation after he refused federal requests to participate in an secret illegal scheme to sell out the interests of his customers.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, “So far, there is no consensus among the Wall Street firms about whether to move ahead. Some bank officials, including at Citigroup, say they won’t participate. Other banks, including Goldman and J.P. Morgan, continue to weigh their options.”

Ironically, this is the way that things used to work under the old Soviet Empire. It’s also the way things work today in Russia under the Putin regime. Government officials issue their edicts and orders, and businessmen and banks are expected to obey them.

The difference, however, is that Putin and Russia don’t pretend to operate under the rule of law while President Obama and U.S. officials do. Given such, who are the bigger hypocrites?



Leading Authority on Sea Levels Disputes Study Asserting Sea Level Rise Is Fastest in 27 Centuries
Written by Warren Mass

A newly released study led by Bob Kopp, a climate scientist at Rutgers University and nine colleagues from several U.S. and global universities claims: “The 20th century rise [in sea levels] was extremely likely faster than during any of the 27 previous centuries.”

However, the findings of the study were immediately challenged by Dr. Nils-Axel Morner, the former head of the paleogeophysics and geodynamics department at Stockholm University and a leading world authority on sea levels and coastal erosion.

“The PNAS paper is another sad contribution to the demagogic anti-science campaign for AGW. It is at odds with observational facts and ethical principles,” Morner wrote to the Climate Depot news service. “The paper is full of very bad violations of observational facts,” Morner continued. For instance, the Kopp paper says that the tide gauges at Christmas Island, Kiribati, show increases, yet as Morner notes, while showing the tide gauge record from that island for the past 40 years, "How can anyone find a rapidly rising trend in this tide gauge record? It is flat or rather slowly falling — but in no way rising.” He added that nowhere are there records of true "acceleration."

The disputed study, “Temperature-driven global sea-level variability in the Common Era,” was published on February 22 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

An article about the study in the Washington Post noted:

Unsurprisingly, the study blames the anomalous 20th-century rise on global warming — and not just that. It also calculates that, had humans not been warming the planet, there’s very little chance that seas would have risen so much during the century, finding that instead of a 14 centimeter rise, we would have seen somewhere between a 3 centimeter fall and a 7 centimeter rise.

Climate Depot called attention to statements about the sea-level study made by another climate expert, Judith Curry, Ph.D., who was profiled in a recent article posted by The New American, “Meet the Climate Realists.” (Curry is the former chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology.) Curry wrote on her blog on February 23:

So, what to make of all this?

Sea level rise is the main “danger” from human caused climate change (any increase in extreme weather events is hypothesized rather demonstrated using historical data, with possible exception of heat waves in a few regions).

At a presentation that I made earlier this year to CEOs of small electric cooperatives, one participant was surprised by what I had to say about sea level rise — he hadn’t realized that there had been sea level rise prior to 1950. I.e., like “climate change”, all sea level rise has been sold as caused by humans.

Sea level has overall been rising for thousands of years; however, as the Kopp et al. paper points out, there have been century scale periods of lowering sea level in the recent millennia. It is not clear from my cursory reading as to whether meaningful decadal and multi-decadal variations in sea level can be discerned from their data.

The key issue is whether the sea level rise during the past 50 years reflect an acceleration in sea level rise. The IPCC figure 3.14 suggests that there is no acceleration, given the large rates of sea level rise in the first half of the 20th century. Until we have an understanding of variations in decadal and multi-decadal sea level rise, we can’t make a convincing argument as to acceleration. [Emphasis added.]

Some names in the ongoing debate between those climate scientists who dispute that naturally cyclical environmental phenomena such as climate change, global warming, and changes in sea levels are caused by human activity (i.e., anthropogenic) and those who maintain that human activity is responsible tend to keep popping up. We found that Pennsylvania State University professor Michael Mann of discredited hockey-stick graph fame recently tweeted that Curry is “#AntiScience.” (Mann’s "hockey stick" graph warning of pending global warming eco-catastrophe was found by a congressional investigation to be fraudulent.)

Mann and his “hockey stick” graph were referred to in the Post’s article about the Kopp, et al. sea-level report, which noted:

The new work is particularly significant because, in effect, the sea level analysis produces a so-called “hockey stick” graph — showing a long and relatively flat sea level “handle” for thousands of years, followed by a “blade” that turns sharply upwards in very recent times.

The discovery of such patterns itself has a long history, going back to a 1998 study by climate researcher Michael Mann of Penn State University and two colleagues — who found a “hockey stick” graph for the planet’s temperature, rather than for its sea level. Since then the “hockey stick,” in its various incarnations, has come in for voluminous criticism from skeptics and doubters of human-caused climate change — even as multiple scientists have continued to affirm the conclusion that the last 100 years or so are way out of whack with what the planet has seen in the past thousand or more.

Though the Post may assert that “multiple scientists” “affirm” that we are presently undergoing “human-caused climate change,” there are also multiple scientists who just as adamantly insist just the opposite. Several of these scientists were profiled in the aforementioned article in The New American, “Meet the Climate Realists.” We have mentioned Judith Curry, whose research has earned her appointments to and awards from the American Meteorological Society, the American Geophysical Union, NASA, NOAA, and the National Science Foundation.

When the 2009 “Climategate” e-mail scandal revealed that correspondence between UN researchers suggested fraudulent reporting of data to favor their political agenda (and also discredited Mann’s “hockey stick” graph), Curry said she “saw it as a threat to the IPCC [the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] and all of climate science, largely because of this trust issue.”

Curry told David Rose of The Spectator: “I started saying that scientists should be more accountable, and I began to engage with skeptic bloggers. I thought that would calm the waters. Instead, I was tossed out of the tribe.”

Being “tossed out of the tribe,” noted Van Jensen in the Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine, meant: “Curry lost her place in the IPCC clique.” Suddenly, “her opinions were called ‘unconstructive,’ full of ‘factual misstatements,’ and ‘completely at odds’ with her previous position on global warming.”

Another climate expert profiled in the article was Richard S. Lindzen, Ph.D., an emeritus professor of meteorology at MIT, whose credentials are too numerous to list here, but who is a distinguished senior fellow at the Cato Institute and has served as consultant to NASA and was lead author of the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report on climate change in 2001.

Lindzen stated his opinion of anthropogenic global warming at a November climate summit hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation quite bluntly: “It’s just nonsense. Demonization of CO2 is irrational at best, and even modest warming is mostly beneficial.”

His protestations against the climate-change alarmists has made Lindzen the target of attacks, including a baseless “investigation” and smear campaign launched by U.S. Representative Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) Such retribution against climate-change “deniers” is more common than most people realize.

Many articles in The New American over the years have described and quoted from respected scientists who have gone against the establishment by countering the climate change, global warming alarmists. As far back as 2008, the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Pubic Works announced a 231-page U.S. Senate Minority Report containing statements from over 650 dissenting scientists challenging man-made global-warming claims made by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and former Vice President Al Gore.

More recently, in 2014, a group of climate scientists and researchers from a variety of disciplines and many nations converged on Las Vegas, Nevada, for Heartland Institute’s 9th International Conference on Climate Change. Among the respected experts who spoke were:

• Dr. Roy Spencer, principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and Team Leader on NASA’s Aqua satellite;

• Lord Christopher Monckton, chief policy advisor to the Science and Public Policy Institute;

• Dr. Patrick Moore, a founding member of Greenpeace, former president of Greenpeace Canada, and former director of Greenpeace International;

• John Coleman, veteran meteorologist and founder of The Weather Channel;

• Dr. Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen of the University of Hull, England, and a former expert reviewer for the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC);

• And the previously mentioned Dr. Nils-Axel Morner, who has just challenged the finding of the new report on rising sea levels.

The debate will continue. As for why the political and academic establishments are so intent on proving that climate change is caused by human activity, the explanation is quite simple: If global warming and rising seas are caused by humans, as they assert, then the way to stop these climatic events is to restrict human activity. And there is nothing that the architects of national and international big government love better than to have the power to control human activity.


"Whoever wins, you lose. Politicians are politicians under any brand. They are paid and pensioned by Washington. Where do you think that their loyalties lie?"

All politics is staged ‘reality’

by Bob Livingston

Politics is not what the people assume it to be.

American voters these days are actively working to elect someone who will right the sinking ship of state. They go to the polls in good faith. They vote in good faith. They caucus and they volunteer to work for campaigns in good faith.

But they believe a lie.

Politics is staged. It’s not reality. To the establishment, politics is both a game and a livelihood. Politicians, consultants, pollsters and campaign operatives are in the game for the money and power and prestige. They have no core values. This applies to the political hacks, especially, who will go from one politician to the next at the drop of a hat.

Just watch, as one candidate after the other drops out, how the consulting-class political operatives who worked to smear one candidate on behalf another jump to the team of the candidate they were smearing just the week before.

The voting people watch town hall events and what passes today for political debates and see crowds and hear cheers, or alternatively, boos, and presume the crowds are passionate supporters or detractors, reacting based on their political beliefs.

It’s all fake. Talent agencies and acting pools supply people for the crowds based on whatever criteria is needed to drive a particular narrative. Need a Hispanic to agitate and make this candidate look like he hates brown people? There’s an ad for that, and an actor to fill the role. Need a black person or two in order to dilute a white crowd and make that candidate look like a champion for black causes – whatever those are? The talent pool has some willing black actors on hand.

A company called Crowds on Demand is one such “talent agency.” Others include Crowds for Rent and Extra Mile Casting. They provide actors with assignments and scripts and have been doing so for several years.

“I have worked with dozens of campaigns for state officials, and 2016 presidential candidates,” Crowds on Demand CEO Adam Swart told NBC4, adding that he won’t name any names. “I can’t go in to (sic) detail… if I did, nobody would hire us.”

Beyond just paying people to show up, Swart told NBC Los Angeles that sometimes clients want more. “Yes, I have scripted it on some occasions,” he said.

Last year, Personal Liberty’s Sam Rolley interviewed Swart. Swart admitted:

Yes, we do designate specific crowd members to approach members of the press and of course we tell them what to say. Sometimes it’s just a list of talking points, while some campaigns give us an exact script. More often than not, they want a specific type of person to approach the press to get a certain point across.

Read the story, “For some campaigns, political rallies are just commercials… complete with paid actors,” for the whole interview and more on staged politics.

And here are copies of letters from one talent agency looking for actors for a “smear video against Donald Trump.”

Americans are the most propagandized people in the world. Most have no clue.

And it’s not just in political races. The crowds that have been outside fast food restaurants “protesting” for a higher minimum wage were mostly paid actors and some out-of-work union thugs, not real fast food workers. This is true of most “spontaneous” protests these days. It’s all astroturf lobbying.

Donald Trump used fake crowds at his campaign launch, though he doesn’t need them now. The “reality TV” star has plenty of his own fans. Fitting, given America’s current “reality TV” culture.

Until people wake up and quit providing “legitimacy” to this failed system of American politics, nothing will change. I have told you before that politicians and their hack handlers are wordsmiths and master persuaders. It’s all salesmanship 101 (Trump is a master salesman), and the American people fall for it hook, line and sinker.

Whoever wins, you lose. Politicians are politicians under any brand. They are paid and pensioned by Washington. Where do you think that their loyalties lie?


"After two and a half centuries of America, we’re down to a self-obsessed publicity hound who used to be a Democrat, or a self-important power hound who used to be a Republican."

The candidates we deserve

Posted on February 26, 2016 by Ben Crystal

All right, kids. Before we go a step further down the rabbit hole, I just have to ask: Are we really doing this?

With 330 million Americans wandering about our vast fruited plain, at least 1 million or 2 million of whom might not be a complete presidential catastrophe, are we really going to choose between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton for the position of Leader of the Free(ish) World?

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not necessarily averse to the idea. After all, eight years of President Barack Obama has me pretty well inured to the idea that the Oval Office could double for the main stage at the “Ha Ha Hut.” The Prince of Grant Park, propelled by unshakable belief in the teaching of such worthies as Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright and Karl Marx, has bumbled from scandal to scandal like an amateur Benny Hill. In fact, the only aspects of his tenure that have been less ridiculous than his ham-fisted attempts at dictatorin’ have been his marble-mouthed excuses therefore.

So maybe it’s appropriate that the two people vying for the title are likely to be:
1.A loud-mouthed billionaire who has been bankrupt nearly as often as he’s been a Democrat; and campaigns – and lives – as if his entire existence is a reality TV show starring himself.
2.A possibly-brain-damaged sociopath who has turned being married to an alleged rapist into an enormous amount of power and influence which she has neither earned nor shown any aptitude for handling in a positive manner.

At least Donald Trump’s ascendancy is entertaining. Say what you want about the man’s variable politics, apparent ignorance of serious governmental matters and dalliances with both the Clintons and the anti-life abortion movement, he is the living embodiment of Joseph de Maistre’s prescient axiom. An America that allows the constitutional excesses of the Obama administration, the fiscal excesses of the Bush administration and the everything excesses of the Clinton administration deserves the personal excesses of a guy who once hawked bottled water with his own picture on the label.

Under any other circumstances, Trump might be viewed as a brilliant buffoon; a fame-seeking savant who has erected a gaudy glass tower of a life (with his own name in lights, of course) through force of shameless will. As a presidential candidate, he’s a retort to the open warfare Obama and the political elite have waged on the rest us. They built a wall around Obama, deflecting every criticism of his disgraces with coded racial invective and outright dishonesty. In their zeal, they also built a candidate who is seemingly immune to their tactics.

Trump has lived at the center of a tabloid tornado for nearly 40 years. Stand or fall, succeed or fail, Trump has done it all by the credo that all publicity is good publicity. He hosted the Clintons at one of his weddings. He played a part in a long-running WWE storyline. He was even a Democrat. He’s about to be the Republican nominee for president of the United States. And he doesn’t care how you feel about that.

So what if a President Trump makes the rest of the world treat us like we’re their weird cousin? The rest of the world is already looking at us funny. Our Nobel Prize-winning president has spent seven years accusing law-abiding Americans being racist religious wacko terrorists, while sending their hard-earned money to actual racist religious wacko terrorists. That created a world in which we’re literally paying people to hate us. At least Trump won’t pretend to care what the rest of the world thinks when he tells them to get bent.

However, that could create a world in which America ends up more isolated than Kim Jong Un at NBA tryouts. And this is where I get hung up on Trump. While I like the idea of a president who is unapologetically brash, I’m not wild about the idea of a president who is unapologetically boorish. It’s a line Trump tends to see only in the rear view mirror. We need a thoroughbred. Trump often appears to be only the south end of the horse.

Of course, the only alternative the two major parties are offering is a woman who veers between being foggier than a retired bare-knuckles prizefighter and being meaner than the guy wearing the hockey mask in a teenage slasher flick.

On the plus side, she might not be criminally responsible for national security leaks which led directly to multiple murders. Unfortunately, that would require her being either one more bump on the head from drooling in her pudding, or as far behind the curve as a Victrola salesman in an Apple store.

She earned obscenely heavy stacks of cash from the fattest cats at Goldman Sachs and the bankster class, but somehow embarked on her latest presidential journey “dead broke.” That would require her being either greedier than George Soros, or as fiscally irresponsible as Kanye West.

After two and a half centuries of America, we’re down to a self-obsessed publicity hound who used to be a Democrat, or a self-important power hound who used to be a Republican. Neither one would be the first choice on any sane person’s presidential ballot. We’re probably not going to get the government we want. But don’t we deserve better?


Has Progressivism Killed Conservatism, Or Was It Suicide?

The war on cash...

An Escalating War on Cash
By John Browne

On February 16th, The Washington Post printed the article, “It’s time to kill the $100 bill.” This came on the heels of a CNNMoney item, the day before, entitled “Death of the 500 euro bill getting closer.” The former cited a recent Harvard Kennedy School working paper, No. 52 by Senior Fellow Peter Sands, concluding that the abolition of high denomination notes would help deter “tax evasion, financial crime, terrorist finance, and corruption.” In recent days, former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, ECB President Mario Draghi, and even the editorial board of the New York Times came out in support of the elimination of large currency notes. Apart from the question as to why these calls are being raised now with such frequency, the larger issue is whether these moves are actually needed or if they merely a subterfuge for more complex economic manipulations by central banks to extend control over private wealth.

In early 2015, it was reported that Spain had already limited private cash transactions to 2,500 euros. Italy and France set limits of 1,000 euros. In France, all cash withdrawals in excess of 10,000 euros in a single month must be reported to government agencies. In the U.S., such limits are $10,000 per withdrawal. China, India, and Sweden are among those with plans under way to eradicate cash.

On April 20, 2015, the Mises Institute reported that Chase, a subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase and a bailout recipient of some $25 billion (ProPublica, 2/22/16), had announced restrictions on its customers’ ability to use cash in the payment of credit cards, mortgages, equity lines and auto loans. Before that, on April 1, 2015, Chase, in concert with JPMorgan, updated its safe deposit box lease agreement to provide, “You agree not to store any cash or coins [including gold and silver] other than those found to have a collectible value.”

The war on cash unquestionably has extended from government into the private banking sector. But the public is predominantly unaware of the ever-increasing encroachment of individual privacy and freedom.

On February 5, 2016, The New York Times reported, “the United States could face a new recession in 2016 due to a ‘perfect storm’ of economic conditions.” Ten days later, in an introductory statement, Draghi told a European Parliamentary Committee that, “In recent weeks, we have witnessed increasing concerns about the prospects for the global economy.”

When consumers worry about the economy, unemployment, and their own finances, spending on non-essentials diminishes. Caution results also in paying down loans and hoarding cash.

When economic growth falters, central banks lower interest rates and inject funds into the economy. But if consumer confidence falls further, cash hoarding causes a fall in the velocity of money. This stimulates central banks to discourage the hoarding of cash by introducing negative interest rates to force deposits out of banks. On February 10th, during her congressional testimony, Fed Chair Janet Yellen admitted that there had been a discussion but never fully researched “the legal issues”. However, her Vice-Chair, Stanley Fischer, already had told the Council on Foreign Relations, nine days earlier, that the Fed had discussed negative rate policy all the way back in 2012.

Should negative rates fail to force funds out of banks, governments may look to limit, and even forbid, the use of cash in large transactions. This is tantamount to a war on cash as part of an effort to eliminate citizens’ control over their wealth.

Furthermore, a war on cash could extend even to a seizure of cash deposits under certain circumstances. The confiscation of bank deposits may seem remote to Americans. However, the 2013 Cypriot banking crisis exposed the new central bank stance of ‘bail-ins’ whereby deposits could now be frozen and even confiscated to rescue a bank!

Most of the great economic growth and apparent prosperity of the past 45 years, since the U.S. broke its dollar’s last link to gold, has been financed by credit-unimaginable trillions of dollars of credit. At the heart of this massive credit system are the banks.

The current collapse of oil prices places pressure on the sovereign wealth funds of oil-rich nations to reduce deposits and to sell securities. Lower deposits reduce the banks’ ability to lend and generate profits. If simultaneously, a shrinking economy leads to bankruptcies and non-performing loans, banks would appear not only less profitable but increasingly risky. Currently, banks are experiencing many of these pressures, which threaten a credit shortage just when it is needed most to boost confidence. This helps to explain why the current downturn in markets is being led by the financial sector.

To help make sure that depositors’ money stays in banks despite the negative rates, governments have proposed measures to eradicate opportunities to pay in cash. These measures are camouflaged politically as ‘protective’ means against money laundering, especially by terrorists.

But perhaps the most insidious of government motivations to ban cash is to increase the capability of surveillance over all spending by citizens and corporations. Undoubtedly, this makes it harder for anyone to shield income from the taxman, but it also makes it more difficult to achieve any type of anonymity in the marketplace. Soon there may be no legal place to shield legitimate wealth or spending patterns from the eyes of politicians.

Negative interest rates combined with the eradication of cash appear as a desperate attempt to control global private wealth. Jamie Dimon is one of the world’s most astute and powerful individual bankers.

On February 11th, he invested some $26.6 million in the depressed stock of his bank, JPMorgan Chase. Reported as demonstrating confidence, it may be that Dimon sees the stock price recovering strongly when it is realized more widely just how much the banks might benefit from negative rates and the erosion of cash held privately outside the banks.

President Nixon’s decision to unilaterally abolish the last remnants of a gold standard in 1971 heralded a nuclear age for international trade in which nations looked to gain advantage through serial debasement of their currencies and make up the difference with massive debt creation, unfettered by any link to gold. Similar to the nuclear strategy of mutually assured destruction, it set international trade on a course of mutually assured economic destruction.

The size and scope of the political, economic and financial problems that now challenge the relative stability and tranquility of developed societies are unprecedented. Should the war on cash prove unsuccessful in its early stages, banks could be closed for long periods.

Investors should be aware of such possibilities and consider whether to hold cash and precious metals prudently outside the banking system. Better to be even months too early than a second too late should we be left facing a bank’s closed doors.


History stuff...

Verdun: They Shall Not Pass

By Eric Margolis

One hundred years ago this week, German artillery launched a mighty barrage of one million shells at French defenses on the wooded hills and deep ravines above the ancient fortress city of Verdun. The thunderous explosions of the “trummelfeuer” were heard 160 km away.

By the second year of World War I, static trench warfare extended along the Western Front from the Belgian coast to Switzerland – a bloody modern version of medieval siege warfare. Neither the German Empire nor the Allies could impose a decisive victory. Suicidal frontal attacks against machine guns and field artillery slaughtered hundreds of thousands of soldiers.

German army chief Eric von Falkenhayn decided to bleed the French Army to death by attacking a position it could not cede – Verdun. Heavy artillery and poison gas were his weapons of choice. Battles of attrition are the last resort of poor, unimaginative, brutal generals.

The initial German infantry attack fell on the Bois de Caures, defended by two French battalions of Col. Emile Driant. His valiant defense delayed the German attack, but Driant was killed and his two battalions wiped out.

The French commander, Gen. Nivelle, ordered his 2nd Army: “No surrender; no retreat, not even an inch. Die where you stand.” And it did.

The Germans pushed south towards the city, fighting for every meter of ground against fierce French counter-attacks. On 4-5 June, the Germans poured 100,000 poison gas shells – chlorine, cyanide, mustard, phosgene – onto the only 4km of French front, then launched infantry assaults. The French soldiers had no gas masks. Thousands died in agony or were blinded. Yet they held.

Shells churned the battlefields into vast quagmires of putrid mud, rotting corpses and hundreds of thousands of horses, overhung by a toxic miasma of lethal gas. Troops went days without food or medical attention; they drank from shell craters filled with rotting corpses – or, very often, drowned in them. Flamethrowers inflicted frightful casualties. Shells poured down around the clock. Every tiny elevation, every fort, became a little Thermopylae.

Twenty forts built in the 1880-1890’s to defend Verdun, and believed obsolete, became the epicenter of the battle. The most attacked were legendary Moulinville, Souville, Douaumont, Vacherauville, Froidterre. Two, Thiaumont and Tavannes, were ground to dust.

At the height of the German attack on Fort Vaux, over 2,000 heavy shells were exploding every hour on the superstructure of the little fort, including 420mm one-ton monsters. When we talk today about soldier’s combat stress, think of the garrison of Vaux, burned, gassed, starving, poisoned by CO2, dying of thirst, drinking their own urine and fearing they would be buried alive if the fort collapsed.

The fort’s last messenger pigeon struggled to French lines, then died of smoke poisoning. His statue sits near the fort’s entrance. When the French commander, Sylvain Reynal finally was forced to surrender, he cockily told the German Crown Prince, “ you did not defeat us; it was thirst.”

For the next ten terrible months, millions of German shells churned up the ground, pulverizing French positions and their defenders. French artillery fiercely riposted. French counter-attacks lost huge numbers of men. The French effort to recapture Fort Douaumont alone cost 100,000 casualties.

Three-quarters of France’s army (8 million men by 1918), an entire generation of French men, was rotated through the hell of Verdun, ensuring that the entire nation would feel its horrors. Units stayed at the front until they lost 60% casualties.

Almost every village in France has a war memorial with the names of its sons killed at Verdun. The grim heights above Verdun became France’s Calvary. The French army’s pledge, “they shall not pass” became France’s national oath and the new commander Marshall Petain’s rallying cry.

The Germans, as always fighting like lions, lost some 700,000 casualties. Fighting like tigers, the French finally held the last defense line before Verdun. Nearly one million French soldiers were killed, wounded or mutilated for life at Verdun. France suffered another million dead during the war, many in the suicidal offensive at the Chemin des Dammes.

At war’s end, there were not enough young Frenchmen to plow the fields or father babies. France’s heart had been torn out. In May 1940, German panzer units, using new fluid tactics of rapid movement and close air support, captured Verdun and its rearmed forts in only 24 hours.


Thursday, February 25, 2016

"America seems to have come full circle since the Scottsboro Boys and the fictional wrongful conviction of Tom Robinson. What truly is ironic is that the USA has a black president who has teamed up with white feminists to help railroad innocent black men into prison or have black male students booted out of colleges and universities because white females have accused them of rape. No doubt, some of those accusations are correct, but many are not, but a black president and white feminists are not interested in separating the guilty from the innocent and, instead, are pushing a Jared Polis standard for higher education."

Tom Robinson Was Guilty! And So Were the Scottsboro Boys!

By William L. Anderson

The recent death of Harper Lee, author of the popular 1960 book, To Kill a Mockingbird, once again has put that book and its storyline into public discussion. Lee’s story – that a black man in a small Alabama town during the Great Depression is falsely accused of raping a white woman and is defended by attorney Atticus Finch – depicts things that were good and bad about life in the 1930s South, and also has made Finch into a timeless hero.

Lee based her story, in part, on the infamous Scottsboro Boys Case in Alabama during the 1930s, which became a symbol of race relations and wrongful convictions, and the vulnerability of black men at that time when falsely accused of raping or sexually assaulting white women. The facts of the Scottsboro Boys ordeal are well-known, and medical evidence clearly demonstrates that accuser Victoria Price was lying when she claimed that a number of black males raped her in a boxcar of a freight train that was going from Chattanooga to Scottsboro in 1931, but none of that mattered to jurors, who had decided from the start that the men were guilty because a white woman made the accusations.

American literature students, both high school and college, are familiar with To Kill a Mockingbird, and even more, Americans are familiar with the 1962 film with the same title starring Gregory Peck as Atticus and marked the film debut of the great actor, Robert Duvall, who played the part of Boo Radley. Both Lee and the film make it absolutely clear that Tom Robinson’s accuser, Mayella Ewell, is lying and that white juror wrongly convicted him simply because Robinson was black and Ewell was white.

Likewise, the same thing happened in a larger and even more volatile setting in the Scottsboro Boys Case. Juries of white Alabama residents ignored evidence and convicted the black defendants because, well, that was what they were supposed to do. In both Macomb (the fictional setting of Lee’s book) and Scottsboro, the accusations of white women of questionable character were the only proof needed for jurors to vote for conviction.

One would hope that American society would be past such injustices, but it seems that the same thing is happening again, this time on American college campuses, and, this time, the “believe-the-white-woman-no-matter-what-the-evidence-says” movement is coming from activists associated with the hard Left. This development is doubly ironic because it was the Left that first rallied to the cause of the Scottsboro Boys, and the Communist Party of the USA provided legal funds for the black defendants.

The problem with the Scottsboro Boys was not the lack of adequate defense, especially after the situation became well-known, and especially after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the convictions. (Alabama authorities retried the defendants and got the predictable “guilty” verdicts.) No, the problem was not evidence or lack thereof; the problem was the narrative itself, and the same narrative exists today among feminists that are demanding that males accused of rape or sexual assault be permitted no defense at all since they obviously are guilty. Why? Women accused them, and that is all the “proof” of guilt needed.

Lest one believe I am exaggerating, take the comments of Congressman Jared Polis, a Democrat from Colorado, speaking about males accused of sexual assault on college campuses:

It seems like we ought to provide more of a legal framework then that allows a reasonable likelihood standard or preponderance of evidence standard. If there’s ten people who have been accused, and under a reasonable likelihood standard maybe one or two did it, it seems better to get rid of all ten people. We’re not talking about depriving them of life and liberty. We’re talking about them transferred to another university.

Polis later backtracked a bit on those statements, but given that much of the audience applauded his statements at that congressional hearing, there certainly is a sizeable constituency for those viewpoints which say that an accusation itself is proof of guilt or, at least, the bar for an accused male to “prove” his innocence should be so high as to be nearly unreachable. As KC Johnson writes, the “Polis Standard” already is in place at the University of Cincinnati, where accusations of sexual assault pretty much mean automatic expulsion for accused males students. Never mind if they actually are guilty as charged; the university has a default position – Always Guilty – and UC officials know that they won’t have to worry about the U.S. Department of Education investigating them for not convicting enough male students of sexual assault.

The automatic assumption of guilt is not something in the shadows and is being increasingly embraced by mainstream writers. Declares feminist writer Zerlina Maxwell:

We should believe, as a matter of default, what an accuser says. Ultimately, the costs of wrongly disbelieving a survivor far outweigh the costs of calling someone a rapist.

Lest one think I am being unfair to Maxwell, she continues with what truly are shocking comments:

The accused would have a rough period. He might be suspended from his job; friends might defriend him on Facebook. In the case of Bill Cosby, we might have to stop watching his shows, consuming his books or buying tickets to his traveling stand-up routine. But false accusations are exceedingly rare, and errors can be undone by an investigation that clears the accused, especially if it is done quickly.

Translation? Men falsely accused of rape are inconvenienced at worst, and authorities almost always will uncover the errors in a subsequent investigation. Both points are false and utterly so. Furthermore, as one reads the accounts of men who have been wrongfully convicted of rape, the consequences are much worse than just being “defriended on Facebook.” From the Central Park Five to Luis Vargas and Jay Cheshire, the consequences of false accusations are horrific, and to call them simply a “rough period” is obscene. Talk to men who have served for decades in prison on wrongful rape or sexual assault convictions and see if they tell you that they merely were inconvenienced, as Maxwell seems to indicate.

Lest one think that the “preponderance of the evidence” standard for determining sexual assault is going to be limited to the college campus, think again. Judith Shulevitz writes in the New York Times that there is a growing movement among American lawyers and so-called legal experts to expand effectually the “preponderance of the evidence” standard to criminal accusations of rape and sexual assault in which guilt automatically is assumed and it is up to the defendant to “prove” oneself innocent, an impossible and illogical standard. Furthermore, she notes that a number of members of the very influential American Law Institute want to expand the interpretations of sexual assault to a point where any touching – including hand-holding – can be classified as “sexual assault.” She writes:

In a memo that has now been signed by about 70 institute members and advisers, including Judge Gertner, readers have been asked to consider the following scenario: “Person A and Person B are on a date and walking down the street. Person A, feeling romantically and sexually attracted, timidly reaches out to hold B’s hand and feels a thrill as their hands touch. Person B does nothing, but six months later files a criminal complaint. Person A is guilty of ‘Criminal Sexual Contact’ under proposed Section 213.6(3)(a).”

Far-fetched? Not as the draft is written. The hypothetical crime cobbles together two of the draft’s key concepts. The first is affirmative consent. The second is an enlarged definition of criminal sexual contact that would include the touching of any body part, clothed or unclothed, with sexual gratification in mind. As the authors of the model law explain: “Any kind of contact may qualify. There are no limits on either the body part touched or the manner in which it is touched.” So if Person B neither invites nor rebukes a sexual advance, then anything that happens afterward is illegal. “With passivity expressly disallowed as consent,” the memo says, “the initiator quickly runs up a string of offenses with increasingly more severe penalties to be listed touch by touch and kiss by kiss in the criminal complaint.”

This is one of those “Be afraid; be very afraid” moments. Adherents of this guilt-assuming legal doctrine claim that they just want to place such “crimes” in the “misdemeanor” category, but Shulevitz notes: “…once a law is passed, you can’t control how it is used.” This is not idle speculation, and the best current example is the infamous Patriot Act, passed in the wake of the 911 attacks ostensibly to fight “terrorism.” Today, the law is heavily-used in garden-variety drug cases as a weapon prosecutors can use against the accused since the rules of evidence in the Patriot Act are much more favorable to the prosecution and police than are rules governing ordinary drug laws. Likewise, the infamous RICO statutes passed in the 1970s supposedly to go after “organized crime” figures have been expanded to criminalize ordinary business transactions.

The Barack Obama administration and its feminist allies clearly favor lower evidentiary standards and an expansion of the range of what would be called sexual assault. To further that point, the U.S. Department of Education has demanded that colleges and universities change how they investigate sexual assaults in order to find more male students guilty and expel them. Institutions of higher learning that exonerate males have found themselves being investigated for Title IX violations by the DOE. At the present time, more than 100 institutions are on the investigation list, every one of them for exonerating a male; not one institution is being investigated because it denied due process to the accused or came up with a wrongful conviction and punishment.

If we are to go with the Obama administration and feminist standards, Tom Robinson and the Scottsboro Boys were guilty. So was Emmitt Till. So was Ed Johnson. So were the members of the University of Virginia fraternity who really didn’t rape “Jackie,” but feminists say they did, anyway, and woe to the person – in this case a female UVA dean clearly labeled in the infamous Rolling Stone story – who actually tries to mount a defense or to fight back against lies. And so are the numerous men released from prison after various Innocent Projects investigated, had DNA testing, and convinced judges that miscarriages of justice had taken place. Females accused all I have mentioned either of rape or some other sex-related crime, and if the Obama administration and the gaggle of feminists that now dominate the “discussion” of sexual assault have their way, the Innocence Projects and everyone else who works to exonerate wrongfully convicted people can just go home.

In the same way, feminists and black activists joined together to attack and attempt to discredit clear and convincing evidence of innocence in the Duke Lacrosse Case, and perhaps it is ironic that prosecutor Mike Nifong’s actions were so outrageous that it got him removed from the case and forced state authorities to re-investigate to see if it should go to trial. Had Nifong done what prosecutors normally do in cases where defendants obviously are innocent – just keep pushing forward – he could have brought it to trial in Durham and a Durham jury would have spent no more time deliberating for a guilty verdict than did the jury in To Kill a Mockingbird or in the various Scottsboro Boys trials, given the fact that Durham politically is dominated by the hard left.

And, as Shulevitz has pointed out, if Barack Obama and his political allies have their way, future criminal juries will be able to convict men for sex crimes that never happened because the legal system must support “victims,” including those that never were victims in the first place. However, since the full force of the Obama administration is behind the drive to use kangaroo courts to come to predetermined convictions, there is not much anyone can do.

Stuart Taylor, Jr., an attorney and a well-known journalist in Washington circles, has excoriated the recent “documentary” “The Hunting Ground,” in which the film alleges that women on college campuses are more likely to be raped there than in the most crime-filled cities in the world. Stewart is not alone. A number of members of the Harvard Law School faculty also voiced serious criticisms of the movie, saying it provided a “seriously false picture” of a case at Harvard in which a black law student was accused of sexually assaulting two other students, a situation in which the black student, Brandon Winston, was “vindicated by the law school.”

One of the great ironies of the current push to expel male students from college on flimsy charges is that a number of the males targeted are black. “The Hunting Ground” not only goes after Brandon Winston dishonestly but also targets former Florida State quarterback (and Heisman Trophy winner) Jameis Winston. Taylor notes that the movie butchers many of the facts of the case in which a white female student, Erica Kinsman, accused Winston of raping her. Taking his former employer, The New York Times, to task for its coverage of the Winston-Kinsman case, Taylor writes:

… there is a large body of evidence that The Times has kept from its readers that would lead a discerning reader to another conclusion: that Winston has been cleared by three separate investigations because the evidence shows that his claim that his accuser consented to have sex is as credible as her often-revised account.

The Times‘ coverage of the Winston controversy (and others like it) shows the nation’s most influential newspaper exemplifying bias in the Winston case in particular and on the issue of campus rape in general.

At this point, those on the other side accuse people like Taylor of being “rape apologists” and worse. Note that Taylor has not defended rape or sexual assault. Taylor defends the due process of law. Taylor defends the rights of the accused. In the modern politicized age, defending due process is anathema.

America seems to have come full circle since the Scottsboro Boys and the fictional wrongful conviction of Tom Robinson. What truly is ironic is that the USA has a black president who has teamed up with white feminists to help railroad innocent black men into prison or have black male students booted out of colleges and universities because white females have accused them of rape. No doubt, some of those accusations are correct, but many are not, but a black president and white feminists are not interested in separating the guilty from the innocent and, instead, are pushing a Jared Polis standard for higher education.

It is said that Barack Obama wants to make sure he has a legacy, and in the situation involving accusations of rape and sexual assault on college campuses, Obama certainly has forged one. The only problem is that he has brought back the same standards of “justice” that got black men wrongfully convicted of sex crimes – and Obama apparently sees no irony in all of that. Obama may say that Tom Robinson and the Scottsboro Boys were innocent, but his actions declare them to be guilty.


"If the courts conscripted Apple to work for the government and thereby destroy or diminish its own product, the decision would constitute a form of slavery, which is prohibited by our values and by the Thirteenth Amendment."

Apple’s Involuntary Servitude

By Andrew P. Napolitano

“There is nothing new in the realization that the Constitution sometimes insulates the criminality of a few in order to protect the privacy of us all.” — Justice Antonin Scalia (1936-2016)

After the San Bernardino massacre on Dec. 2, 2015, the FBI lawfully acquired the cellphone of one of the killers and persuaded a federal judge to authorize its agents to access the contents of the phone. Some of what it found revealed that the killer used the phone to communicate with victims and perhaps confederates and even innocents who unwittingly provided material assistance.

Then the FBI hit a wall. It appears that the killer took advantage of the phone’s encryption features to protect some of his data from prying eyes unarmed with his password.

The cellphone was an iPhone, designed and manufactured by Apple, the wealthiest publicly traded corporation on the planet. Apple built the iPhone so that its users can store sensitive, private, personal data on the phone without fear of being hacked by friend or foe.

After the FBI determined it could not replicate the killer’s password without jeopardizing the phone’s content, it approached Apple, and representatives of each negotiated for weeks trying to find a way for Apple to help the FBI without compromising the security of the Internet itself. They failed.

Apple has argued that the government has no legal right to compel it to assist in a government investigation, or to compel it to alter or destroy its business model of guaranteeing the safety and privacy of its customers’ data. Apple knows that any “key” it creates for the FBI, once used on the Internet, is itself vulnerable to hacking, thereby jeopardizing all Apple products and negating the privacy of tens of millions, and even exposing the government to foreign hackers.

The Department of Justice has argued that Apple has a legal duty to help solve the mystery of who knew about the San Bernardino attacks so that the guilty can be prosecuted and the rest of us protected from future harm. Its lawyers asserted that the government would keep securing whatever key Apple created.

After the DoJ/Apple talks broke down, the DoJ made a secret application on Feb. 16, 2016, two and a half months after the massacre, to a federal judge for a search warrant for this key to access the killer’s iPhone.

The warrant was improperly granted because Apple was not given notice of the DoJ application. So, the judge who issued the order denied Apple due process — its day in court. That alone is sufficient to invalidate the order. Were Apple a defendant in a criminal case or were Apple to possess hard evidence that could exonerate or help to convict, the secret application would have been justified.

But that is not the case here.

Instead, the DoJ has obtained a unique search warrant I have ever seen in 40 years of examining them. Here, the DoJ has persuaded a judge to issue a search warrant for A THING THAT DOES NOT EXIST, by forcing Apple to create a key that the FBI is incapable of creating.

There is no authority for the government to compel a nonparty to its case to do its work, against the nonparty’s will, and against profound constitutional values. Essentially, the DoJ wants Apple to hack into its own computer product, thereby telling anyone who can access the key how to do the same.

If the courts conscripted Apple to work for the government and thereby destroy or diminish its own product, the decision would constitute a form of slavery, which is prohibited by our values and by the Thirteenth Amendment.

Yet, somewhere, the government has the data it seeks but will not admit to it, lest a myth it has foisted upon us all be burst. Since at least 2009, the government’s domestic spies have captured the metadata — the time, place, telephone numbers and duration of all telephone calls — as well as the content of telephone calls made in America under a perverse interpretation of the FISA statute and the Patriot Act, which a federal appeals court has since invalidated.

The DoJ knows where this data on this killer’s cellphone can be found, but if it subpoenas the NSA, and the NSA complies with that subpoena, and all this becomes public, that will put the lie to the government’s incredible denials that it spies upon all of us all the time. Surely it was spying on the San Bernardino killers.

There is more at stake here than the privacy of Apple’s millions of customers and the security of power grids and all that the Internet serves. Personal liberty in a free society is at stake. A government that stays within the confines of the Constitution is at stake.

The late great Justice Antonin Scalia recognized that liberty and safety are not in equipoise when he wrote that there is nothing novel about liberty trumping safety under the Constitution. The primacy of liberty and a government subject to the rule of law is the core constitutional principle that, while honored, will keep tyranny at bay. And when dishonored, will let tyranny thrive.