The False WWII Analogy by Victor Davis Hanson

Publisher Note:  I don’t normally agree with Hanson’s prognostications beyond his masterful treatment of the ancient world of Greece and his occasional scribbling about the health and impending doom of his small business.  His militaristic instincts and neoconservative sensibilities have blunted the efficacy of his more contemporary ramblings but this particular missive is much more instructive.  I certainly see a far greater historical correlation to post WWII Britain than other comparisons that have been proffered.  Imagine if we had adopted the post WWII economic model adopted by Conrad Adenauer after 1949 leading to the Wirtschaftswunder that briefly led to an industrial revival that was strangled in its cradle by the welfare/warfare statist enthusiasts who then forced Germany to mimic the fascist economic models of the West.  The socialist Atlee was the instigator of taking Churchill’s more fevered dreams of a controlled economy and putting the wartime shackles on peacetime private industry.  Attlee claimed:   “The Labour Party is a socialist party and proud of it. Its ultimate purpose at home is the establishment of the Socialist Commonwealth of Great Britain – free, democratic, efficient, progressive, public-spirited, its material resources organized in the service of the British people.” Government is always at war with industry unless the private sector becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of the government whether through outright expropriation like the British nationalization ventures or the American  variant using total regulatory and tax vertical and horizontal micromanagement to achieve the same objective of Keynesian economic fascism.  One would imagine that absent out trillions poured into the wars in the Middle east and the near trillion dollar annual defense budget, our economic house would be in better order but then again, the socialist theft transfer programs for the welfare state would most likely obviate those savings.  VDH is onto something here. BB

Clement Attlee

But now? Household credit-card and mortgage debt, for all the new frugality, remain high. Consumers are strapped, even those who have jobs and have not lost thousands in collapsed home equity and depleted 401(k) retirement plans, or made nothing in years from near-zero-interest savings accounts. In other words, we do not have a long-deprived public, flush with years of hoarded cash, just waiting with pent-up demand to buy brand new labor-saving devices and shiny new vehicles produced in converted tank and bomber factories. There is no need to add that in a pre-Great Society America, without food stamps, two to three years of unemployment insurance, and housing subsidies, there might have been more incentive to hustle for jobs.

Moreover, the world abroad in 1946 was hardly similar to the world in 2011. Review the prior status of our present global competitors: India was a backward colony and in civil turmoil. War-torn China was about to embark on the most self-destructive social experiment in human history. Two-thirds of a centrally planned Soviet Union was in shambles. Western Europe was near starving after years of bombing and Nazi strangulation. The future export powerhouses of Japan and Germany were in ruins. Brazil was pre-modern. The miracles of Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and South Korea were still imaginary. A victorious Britain was full of self-doubt and exhausted, busy dismantling its colonial empire and nationalizing its steel, transportation, health, and energy industries.

In the immediate postwar years, only a capitalist, self-confident America was poised to supply foreigners with much-needed manufactured goods, expertise, and capital to raise the world from ruin. And from the profits, we were able to pay down our own staggering and unsupportable wartime-incurred debt. Note as well that in 1946 a self-sufficient oil-producing America was not guzzling down a half-trillion dollars’ worth of imported oil each year.

In short, in 2011 there is nothing that suggests the present massive borrowing will lead us to anything like the prosperity of the postwar years — a time when social spending and entitlements accounted for 30 percent, not 70 percent of the annual federal budget; when households both had cash and were eager to buy long-denied items; when America did not import high-cost oil (having recently supplied 80 percent of its wartime allies’ oil needs from domestic production); and when an unscathed industrial-powerhouse United States was alone on top of the world.

But if we must go back to the post-World War II era for an example to enlighten us about what the current Obama policies presage, then the similarities to the present are not to be found in 1940s America. A better guide is Clement Attlee’s 1946 United Kingdom, which, like Obama’s 2011 America, sought to retrench from the world scene, lead from behind, and establish a much-vaunted high-tax, big-government, cradle-to-grave redistributive welfare state — one whose legacy we have just witnessed in London’s streets.

Read the rest:  http://victorhanson.com/articles/hanson082811.html

Winners and Losers in Libya and on Earth by Kaiser Leib

Foreign intervention is the pride of American policy. It has been our raison d’être for a century, beginning with the Spanish-American war in the late 1890s and continuing without meaningful interruption. The people of these united States are amenable to these constant entanglements, it seems, because our enlightened system of democracy allows us to decide what is best for the rest of the world.

Our latest humanitarian effort is the destruction (and forthcoming rebuilding) of Libya. Our intervention in Libya is justified by international consensus, the dictator’s evilness, access to natural resources, and perhaps the specter of weapons of mass destruction. For this reason it is different and more justified than our entanglement in Afghanistan, which was justified by international consensus, the Taliban’s evilness, access to natural resources, and the bad acts of a wealthy Saudi; or our invasion of Iraq, which was justified by international consensus, the dictator’s evilness, access to natural resources, and the specter of nonexistent weapons of mass destruction.

Libya, I am told, is in Africa, a continent full of people who cannot be trusted with their own governance. This is obvious due to how poorly they’ve behaved themselves when conquered, ruled, armed and raped by Europeans. Furthermore, Africans are incapable of conducting successful revolutions without outside help; this is evidenced by the terrible situation in South Sudan. For this reason, it was absolutely necessary for the Western nations to render the rebels assistance against the Gadaffyduck regime, which had been previously armed by Western nations. After the promised short days (not weeks) of fighting, Gadaffyduck is deposed, and NATO forces have left the country.  This all occurred in March, several months ago.

The new Libyan government will be democratic, in the spirit of Afghanistan, Iraq, and the first French Republic. This will guarantee that the human rights of the Libyan people will be respected, and that the NATO powers will have uninterrupted access to Libya’s oil reserves. The National Transition Council (NTC), Libya’s interim government, is largely Muslim; this meets with popular approval after years of secular rule. Muslim populations ought to be allowed to select Muslim leaders, except in Palestine and Iran.

The Korean war persists into its sixth decade, complete with military bases and US troops. Okinawa and Rammstein remain occupied, just in case. Our boys at Guantanamo Bay remain ever-vigilant against the Spanish threat of the 19th century. Poland is a member of NATO, which still has a purpose years after the dissolution of the Warsaw pact. The sun rises, the sun sets, and hastens to the place from which it rose. Still I Hope for Change.

TSA Follies with Firearms by Bill Buppert

TSA on Red Alert

“The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.”
-  HL Mencken

I went to board a flight at Tucson on Monday and checked in my guns in a secure case at the ticket counter like I always do.  Usually I have to wait but they said they would page me if they needed me for anything.  I proceeded to the TSA Security Theater festivities to have my bags and body violated and was stopped by an agent from the ticket counter and asked to return.  The scan of my gun case indicated the weapon was loaded.

A loaded firearm has a round in the chamber by all gun community standards.  We are addressing the legal definition here and not the assumption that all firearms are loaded for safety purposes.  Search as I might, it was difficult to find a Federal definition for loaded but I did find this:

As typical legalese, this definition isn’t all that clear. Luckily, in 1996 the California Appellate Court ruled on the interpretation of “loaded firearm” in People v. Clark, (1996) 45 Cal. App. 4th 1147, 1152. Mr. Clark was arrested for allegedly having a loaded shotgun because, even though there were no shells in the chamber, there were shells in a compartment in the stock of the firearm. The court held that “attached in any manner to” the firearm was intended to encompass a situation where a shell or cartridge might be attached to a firearm or “loaded” for firing by some unconventional method.

 The court said:  “Under the commonly understood meaning of the term “loaded,” a firearm is “loaded” when a shell or car­tridge has been placed into a position from which it can be fired; the shotgun is not “loaded” if the shell or cartridge is stored elsewhere and not yet placed in a firing position.”

This certainly makes sense because imagine the difficulty of finding how a gun is loaded if the rounds are outside the firing chamber whether in a magazine, in someone’s pocket or at your house while you are in your car.  There is no one definitive answer to the question as is the way in American jurisprudence.  But People v. Clark (1996) is now considered case law even by CA criminal code so the round must be in the chamber for the weapon to be considered loaded.

You will find most training facilities are very specific about the command of load which means a round in the chamber.  My weapon was not loaded by any conventional definition.  There was a loaded magazine in the well but no round in the chamber which apparently constitutes a loaded weapon in hoplophobic circles.  I have traveled the gun in this configuration dozens of times.   The TSA clearly state no loaded weapons and I abided by the accepted 1996 CA Appellate Court ruling.   A Glock has three safety features in it that prevent it from firing unless the trigger is pressed.  With no round in the chamber in a locked gun case, it is not possible for the firing pin to fire a round and therefore the weapon was safe in addition to the presence of other rounds in magazines secured in magazine carriers in the case with the gun per the TSA’s own regulations.  The simplest fix is to clearly state no magazines in the weapon for travel instead of this bureaucratic doublespeak that is unclear and silly.  This being modern America, the Tucson Airport police were called to file a report on a “loaded” weapon in a case.

They were very cordial, and in fact, seemed a bit embarrassed to be called for such a mundane and obtuse non-violation.  They even pointed out it was not even actionable in the state of Arizona.  The police then removed the magazine, placed it in the case and ensured no round was in the chamber.  Two TSA drones came with the cop because “they were not pleased” a loaded firearm was in the case.  I tried to explain the firearm was in an unloaded condition but it appeared I might as well be explaining quantum mechanics to a house cat.  I had recently watched Idiocracy yet again and it appeared to be casting call for the movie.  No comprehension appeared and regulations were regulations.  Much like stop signs in America, the regulation was birthed in ignorance, served no explicit purpose for safety.  It defied the common sense usage and lexicon of guns across the fruited plain.

TSA Workin' It!

This is not the first time this has happened and the TSA is usually fairly hostile to gun owners lawfully transporting their firearms on trips.  They simply don’t understand their own regulations and they change and interpret them with the alacrity they execute their security theater – a clown posse whose entry standards for employment are below that of fast food franchises and whose professional standards match the legendary laziness their public behavior consistently portrays.  One almost feels as if they are picking on gun owners but parents are just as despised; just watch the behavior of the TSA to child carriers of all types and the doctrinaire institutionalization of child molestation as adults in uniforms grope children in areas that all other adults would be arrested for and classified as sex offenders if convicted.

I remain free now but who knows what the future portends.  After boarding my winged cattle car, it was made clear to me that the airlines may be publicly traded and “private” but they are now wholesale creatures of the state.  Why else would threats, fines and caging of miscreants be the only way to incentivize the behavior they wish to see on aircraft while you are hostage in the fuselage once airborne.  The flight attendants are rude with a barely discernible challenge to speak out against their ill-mannered ways so one can be manacled and kidnapped at your destination when the aircraft lands.  There was even a new Orwellian droning announcement at the airport government enclave threatening arrest if you “joked” about security.  I suspect other government agencies are closely watching the success of the TSA to condition Americans in the “airport government zones” to be compliant and obedient cattle to the commands of every uniformed goon in the facility.  Imagine a private venue like a mall, car dealership or department store (all concentrations of humans in one place vulnerable to attack) being treated like Americans are at airports.  They would become ghost towns and more brick and mortar retail outlets would become anachronism in the online shopping age.  I fly because I have to but I would much prefer to drive now.

TSA achieves nothing yet expends hundreds of millions every year employing the least qualified individuals in the country.  I suspect that when the currency collapse occurs and the TSA is dissolved for lack of funds, the homeless population will balloon as these uniformed dullards are released from the no skill positions they have with the TSA.  They may find employment as actors if Mike Judge does a sequel to Idiocracy or in police departments across the nation but their employability will otherwise be in severe doubt.

John Pistole, the head of the TSA, wants to expand their charter even further and visit the grief one experiences at the airport to every transportation venue in America.  I would modify their uniforms if they are looking for suggestions.  I would want them to don black lycra or spandex jumpsuits, military helmets two sizes too small and name-tags on large one foot diameter gold discs emblazoned with the TSA logo on chains around their necks to make it easier to confirm their own identities if they happen to forget their own names during the course of their duties. This would go a long way to convince the world we are serious about national security.

But take heart, the President promised us change and it is coming.  His policies in George Bush’s third term are doing the exact opposite of any economically rational system.  There is no more sure path to total economic and systemic destruction than the current direction the Federal government has taken.  Pistole and the whole fetid and iatrogenic TSA will be in the ash heap of history in months if not years when the whole fiscal house of cards crashes down around their ears.

Wait for it.

“A great wave of oppressive tyranny isn’t going to strike, but rather a slow seepage of oppressive laws and regulations from within will sink the American dream of liberty”

- George Baumler

 

 

Free Your Mind By Chris Dates

“Ideas are bulletproof”
~V~
The resistance is growing. The revolution taking place between the ears is beginning to swallow up more of the market share. Millions of humans have begun to shake off the sheep of their Statist slumbers, and more wake up by the  minute. They are beginning to see Politicians for who they are;  paper tigers who point to pieces of parchment as proof of their perverse powers. They are beginning to see governments for what they are; nothing more than  dens full of these pitiful, petty paper tigers who promise peace,  prosperity, and progress,  but only deliver debt, destruction, and death.  For these reasons the light of liberty is blinding for such starving eyes, and too bright for some, but there are those who stand ready to usher in this dawn long overdue.

Ideas have been the weapon of choice in the struggle for freedom, but the common man has stumbled upon something else to compliment his weapon; the Internet.  Now, information is passed around in the cyber world faster than ammo  was passed around to those brainwashed boys in the Government trenches of any given needless war.  The Pandora’s Box that used to harbor the ideas of freedom and liberty has been flung open like so many double doors on the last day of school. It is too late to stop the virtual stampede. Governments around the world now find themselves in a catch-22. If the internet is shutdown, governments risk immediate revolution. If the free flow of information is allowed to continue unfettered, revolution will eventually come. Humans have gotten a taste of the truth, and they seem to like it.

The stranglehold that was placed on truth and information is slipping away. State propaganda and disinformation is being rendered useless. Tyrants are like children who hold clay in their hands, the harder they squeeze, the more they lose. This is what every government has failed to understand throughout their tragic and horrible 10,000 year history. Pure tyranny brings with it pure liberty. As awful as it sounds, my desire is that the grip of tyranny continues. Coercive, violent governments have proven to be the best recruiting tool for those who long for liberty, and if liberty is what lies on the other side of this tyranny, the juice is definitely worth the squeeze.

I write this partially for my friends who live in Northern California, who I know will read this. You are already living like there is no government; you live like you are free. You stand on the edge of mental emancipation, all you need to do is take that last step. I know thinking about Anarchy is frightening at first, but this is only your mental falling back on the years of indoctrination that was spoon fed to you in government school. We were all taught that Anarchy is chaos, and only government can deliver law and order. The fear is always the same; the other guy will turn into a monster. Just stop for a second and examine what YOU would do. Stop worrying about what the other guy would do. This is the source of your mental slavery. The government has us so scared of our neighbors, that we now are to the point where we beg for coercive government. Ask yourself this question; would you turn into a murderer without the State? Try this one; would your mother be a whore without the State? Government has robbed us of our humanity, and if there is one thing this wretched institution has been successful at it’s pitting neighbor against neighbor.

Centralized power is the midwife of chaos. If this body dies wrapped in chains and shackles, my mind will not.

“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our minds.”

~Bob Marley

 

It’s 1989 All Over Again by Bill Buppert

“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Already they have raised up a monied aristocracy that has set the government at defiance. The issuing power (of money) should be taken away from the banks and restored to the people to whom it properly belongs.”
-Thomas Jefferson

In six months or six years, the nation known as the United States is going to dissolve roughly along the same lines that the other Soviet republic, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), died with a whimper in 1989-1991.  Like the ersatz Russian experiment in economic stupidity and incompetence, the American variant of the collectivist experiment shares some parallels.  The main structural difference was the fascistic approach to wealth expropriation the Americans adopted versus the more direct exsanguinations of the populace that took place in the USSR.  The Communists are simply more forward in the robbing and enslavement of its subject population.  The American model was a bit more forward-looking in seeing that when the subject population is bombarded with the concept that they are sovereign individuals who may pursue what they wish, they tend to be more productive.  During the twentieth century, America’s prosperity was a hollow ideal built on the fundamentals of war, debt, heavy taxation and universal regulation of everything  (that which could not be effectively regulated like  drugs became illegal, creating yet another expansionist opportunity for more government employment of bureaucrats and increases in power).

When one is able to grasp that your government school civics classes were nothing more than cheerleading events for bigger and bigger government and the very institution of government schools supercharged the collectivist enthusiasm in every young mind, careful reflection demonstrates that the government media-education complex is nothing more than a sophisticated propaganda mechanism to make the cattle feel good about the feed lot they are on; all the pieces start to fall into place.

Many, including myself, have visited the laundry list of items that have produced the economic super-storm that is the American meltdown in front of us; the debt, the deficit, the spending, the promises and the endless ideological wholesaling of other people’s money and resources as if none of it belonged to the original owners.

Like the USSR, we live in a one-party state whose sole ideology is a wicked combination of Mussolini-style state corporatism, mercantilism and national socialism.  The United States is too big to fail only in the minds of the political and chattering classes but increasingly its dissolution is becoming evident as the only resolution to the biggest problem of all:  central planning does not and never has worked. Period.  Divorce that conceit from the rulers on Mordor on the Potomac and they have no solutions whatsoever.  When was the last time the Federal government surrendered any of its power to its political subsidiaries in the States after the Coolidge administration?  The warfare/welfare state is the more honest explanation for what America is.  Fortunately, war is also the the greatest slayer of nation-states, so Afghanistan may be the bellwether for defeat as it was for the other hapless nations that invaded it.

We even have our own gulag system in the US with different prison populations scattered from the continental US to Guantanamo to CIA “black sites”.  We have even become the Torture nexus of the Western world.  Homeland Security has even given us many Soviet artifacts and cultural residuals like the TSA and other internal security apparatuses that mimic the KGB and Stasi.  We are even asked to inform on our neighbors much like the block committees in the Communist world.  We have mirrored our former Cold War enemy even before our formal alliance with them in WWII (the War to Save Josef Stalin).

Many will say the biggest difference is that we don’t have rationing and standing in lines.  True to a large extent but the reason for high fuel prices is a combination of regulation, fiat currency and wars around the globe.  The high prices for fuels are a result of government not the market.  Go to any government agency ranging from the post office to local Department of Motor Vehicles to the Socialist Security Administration and you will have lines.  Try running a business and walking away from the regulatory process with a smile on your face.

You can count on Obama in fulfilling the promise of Bush’s third term:  to man the chariot with other blind men with a group of lemmings under chases rocketing over the edge of the cliff to their economic doom.  Obama is going to be a tragic historic figure in much the same way as Gorbachev was:  a helmsman who was hired to right a ship but proceeded to sink it.  The USA is a dead man walking economically and the zombie simply simply needs to be put down before it does more damage to its people and Earth.

Der Spiegel revealed the following conversation between German President Helmut Kohl and Mikhail Gorbachev during the last months of the Soviet republic in September-December 1991:

Kohl sent Köhler to Moscow. Gorbachev, who was already predicting horrific scenarios in light of the hesitant support from the West, met with Köhler on Sept. 12.

Gorbachev:What is happening with the assistance for the USSR? We are negotiating, weighing the options and doing the calculations. This is simply inexcusable. It’s reminiscent of the Weimar Republic in Germany. While the democrats argued with each other, Hitler came to power without any particular effort. Foreign countries owe us about $86 billion, which is roughly the sum we need now. I hope you will draw the necessary conclusions from what I have said.

Köhler: The chancellor has authorized me to inform you that we have approved the first request, namely to provide a billion deutschmarks. As far as the request for the second billion is concerned, we have no choice but to involve our partners in the European Union and the G-7. The search for options is complicated by the rather steep financial expectations on your side.

Gorbachev: Couldn’t you find a way to provide loans at more favorable terms? Perhaps even interest-free loans?

Köhler: That’s very difficult. I will try to convince my partners (in the G-7) that your country is still creditworthy. To that end, however, I need details on your foreign debt and the possibilities of selling your gold reserves.

Gorbachev: The harvest figures are not good. I spoke with (Kazakh President Nursultan) Nazarbayev just before your arrival. He told me that the harvest in the area of newly reclaimed land is worse than even the most modest estimates had predicted.

Köhler: According to American agencies, the harvest in your country will amount to 190 million tons of grain this year, compared with 230 million last year. A massive difference.

Gorbachev: It would be nice if we could bring in 180 million tons… During the Gulf War (following Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait ), everyone got together and collected huge sums of money to support the effort, close to $100 billion. But when it comes to supporting this historic process in a huge country, one that everything in the world depends on, we start to haggle.

Köhler: The Americans won that war without investing a single dollar of their own.

Gorbachev: And what about all the things the Soviet Union has done for the world? Who is tallying up those figures? How much have our perestroika and our new way of thinking saved? Hundreds of billions of dollars for the rest of the world!

Köhler: There is no time to lose. It’s a matter of weeks, even days. One of the miscalculations in your perestroika was to underestimate the economic side of this issue.”

The amounts seem quaint by comparison to the modern travails our politicians have inflicted on us.

There is no such entity with the assets to bail out America.  No one.

Wait for it.

“It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”
-Henry Ford

Copyright © 2011 by zerogov.com

My Helmet Trial By TigerLily

I live in Nevada – one of 22 remaining helmet-bondage states.  It’s no secret I hate to wear a helmet when I ride my motorcycle and I’ve gotten flack by the indoctrinated sheeple who still believe that helmets and helmet laws save lives.  What a crock!

I used to persuade people that helmet choice is about liberty.  But my research revealed that helmets can also contribute to accidents and death.  I liken it to the world-is-flat theory as it pertained to the safety of sailors.  If they sailed too far and didn’t return it was because they fell off the earth.  If they returned unharmed it was because they didn’t go far enough to fall.  But if the dead of that day could speak, they’d explain that their death was due to illness, storms, faulty ships, or starvation.  Same with helmets.  People swear that helmets save lives.  How do they know?  Because someone told them so.  And government statistics confirm it.  Never mind the number of motorcyclists that die despite wearing a helmet.  But if dead helmeted motorcyclists could talk, how many of them would explain that their helmet impaired their vision or hearing – or that a strong wind caught underneath the rim of their DOT helmet to act like a parachute and cause them to lose control of their ride?

I could write scores of essays on what helmet laws have taught me just since I began my research a year ago.  It’s taught me that our system is immoral – right down to the core.  I’ve witnessed the agenda-driven corruption by every branch of government locally, federally, and levels in between.  I’ve learned that our system is “beyond screwed.”  My insight into this one little-ole, seemingly insignificant issue such as Nevada’s helmet law, is but one cancerous cell lost among the others within its malignant tumor.  I now believe that the only “cure” for the cancer is the extinction of government.

Prior to understanding the principles of anarchy as described in this blog, I had resolved to fight the system with the Constitution.  I became an activist, getting helmet tickets, videotaping bad cops, and annoying bureaucrats.  My mantra then was, “I have nothing better to do than to exercise my rights.”  But I’m beginning to understand the futility of it.  I now understand that “rights” are as nonexistent as the Easter Bunny.  This revelation depressed me at first as I went through the various stages of grief related to the loss of a cherished belief.  But eventually the loss freed me up to focus on what might really help – exposing the truth.  The truth is a beaming light to rid our society of the cockroaches that thrive in the dark.  And I gleefully shine that light.

I’ve been detained by law enforcers five times for my choice of helmet.  The first was an eye opening experience on June 10, 2010, when a female Nevada highway trooper, Angelina Lewis, came at me like a rabid pit bull wanting to chew my leg off.  No ticket.  Just some scary bullying to show me who’s boss.  When I filed an internal affairs complaint and asked for the dash cam, guess what?  The cam “wasn’t working.”  Tax dollar down the drain on equipment that happens to malfunction when the CITIZEN needs it.  You can bet there would have been no missing evidence had it been needed to prosecute someone that harmed a trooper.  That June encounter was the most violent detainment – even worse than the time I was cuffed and sent to a holding tank for 24 hours for capturing my son’s arrest on video.  Prior to that year-old encounter, I had only heard of run-ins between cops and motorcyclists.  On some level I believed the stories.  Yet like most sheeple, I found excuses to justify the tyranny.  I questioned what it was about the bikers that CAUSED the bad reaction by cops.

Of the five helmet detainments, I’ve been cited twice.  The first was by an LVMPD officer and I audio-recorded most of the encounter.  Frankly, I was “trolling” for a ticket to get a story for a motorcycle magazine.  I had already researched the issue to know that helmet laws are technically UNENFORCEABLE.  I also learned that the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled that helmets are NOT to be used by law enforcers as “probable cause” to detain, much less to search and cite.  But, as said by the man that recently set himself on fire in front of a courthouse, our government works off “a second set of books.”  Never mind the law.  Enforcers have their own set of rules protected by lawyers and judges.  And that dubious protection is enabled by sheeple who vote for the tyrant and condone the tyranny – like I used to – and like I continue to catch myself doing.

On August 28th, 2010, I got my first helmet ticket by Officer Gibbs, a motorcycle cop.  I asked him what it was about my helmet that he found objectionable.  I recorded his statements:
a.                   “It’s not a helmet.”
b.                   “I’m wearing one.”
c.                   “It has to be DOT approved.”
d.                  “They [DOT] put an approval sticker on it.”

I asked him if he was sure DOT approves helmets and he said, “Yes.  It says so on my helmet.”  But he refused to let me look at that label.  In fact, I wasn’t allowed to move or to look into my purse.  I wanted to get a snapshot of him writing my ticket for my magazine.  Silly me.  At that time I didn’t know that officer safety trumps EVERYTHING especially the Constitution.

Officer Gibbs was quickly annoyed by my questions so he clammed up while writing the ticket and said, “I’m not gonna argue it out here.  Go to court.”

So I asked to speak to his supervisor.  Sgt. Emry came over on his motorcycle.  I found out he was helping to run a DUI checkpoint about a mile from where I stood getting my helmet ticket.  Unlike Officer Gibbs, the Sgt. allowed me to look at his helmet sticker.  It said “DOT” – not “DOT Approved.”

To that, Sgt. Emry said, “It says on the box where we get them.  They are DOT approved helmets.”

I knew that was complete bullshit, made up by an all-knowing cop to be spewed to a stupid girl wearing a silly helmet.  But the Department of Transportation does NOT approve helmets.  In fact, they don’t approve jack squat.  On their website it says, DOT or NHTSA does not “approve” motorcycle helmets, thus there is no list of “approved” helmets.  I couldn’t wait to get my day in court and educate Gibbs.  That was nearly a year ago.  A lot has happened since.

First off, I learned that I did not qualify for a public defender because the prosecution was not seeking jail time.  However, I was warned that I had better show up to any and all hearings related to my citation or else:  “FAILURE TO APPEAR FOR THIS HEARING WILL RESULT IN A WARRANT FOR YOUR ARREST AND SUSPENSION OF YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE.”  So much for the notion that my offense didn’t rise to the level of serving time.

Thirty days later, I attended my arraignment on September 27, 2010.  There a judge asked me, “Did you bring your helmet with you?”

In my mind, I thought ….’Why?  Do you have a laboratory underneath your robe to test it?  And if you tested it you’d have to destroy it – and you do not have the authority to destroy my property.’  But of course, I simply said, “No.”

He said, “Too bad.  We could have resolved this right now and it could have been over with.  How do you plead?”

“Not guilty.”

So I got a pretrial hearing for April 19th, 2011.  At that pretrial a man announced to the masses something like this, “Okay people… listen up.  You are all here for minor traffic violations.  Today you’re gonna get to speak to a district attorney who is gonna offer you a deal.  Here’s the deal.  Whatever your charge is, you can plead no contest to a parking violation, pay $140, and go home.  There will be no points and your insurance won’t be affected.  If you choose NOT to accept the deal, then you’ll get a trial date and your fine could be more than $1000.”

The reactions by the defendants were varied.  Many were relieved to get such a “great” offer.  Some still complained that they didn’t have the $140.  It was like a game of let’s make a deal.  Behind curtain number one you could get off with paying $140.  That was a sure thing.  But behind curtain number two is either a complete vindication of a wrongful charge, or a fine of more than $1000 for NOT taking the deal.  My own fine was $195 plus costs.  So what a deal, right?  I kept my own reaction to myself which was, “Fuck you!  Can’t wait to see the cop in court!”

It was clear to me the court system is backed up and that the drones working the courts are possibly even more eager than the defendants to get the cases moved.  After all, I was in a room with scores of defendants who had all plead NOT GUILTY – like me.  When my name was finally called, I told the young district attorney – NO DEAL!  She looked astounded, as if she couldn’t believe I would want to be bothered with a trial, as though I was a fool to gamble by selecting curtain number 2.  So a trial date was set – August 11, 2011 – almost one year after getting the citation.

I just had my court date.  I prepared a lovely opening and closing statement and a pithy list of questions to make my accuser look like the dumbass he is.  I had pictures, audio, and video to demonstrate how – just one hour after getting that citation – I went through a DUI checkpoint wearing the subject helmet and was NOT cited by any of the dozen or so cops that lined the checkpoint.  Even though I knew my efforts were going to be futile, I intended to ask the judge:

1.      To find me NOT GUILTY,
2.      To make the City of Las Vegas pay me for my costs and attorneys fees (this actually was done in District Court on an appeal of someone else’s helmet trial).
3.      For a permanent injunction against Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department to make those ass-clowns STOP detaining motorcyclists to inspect helmets.

I was psychologically prepared to be told to go to hell.  To be found guilty.  To be told to pay $1000 for daring to challenge a helmet ticket.  I was prepared to appeal.  I was prepared to be ridiculed by a judge like I’ve seen other helmet defendants get ridiculed by judges.  I was prepared to take every financial, emotional, or psychological stone thrown my way by any of those elitist mongrels.  But what I wrongly failed to consider was the very real possibility of what actually happened.

The bailiff in the courtroom announced that when the judge calls our name, we are to enter into the court area and stand inside a square that was drawn on the floor.  He said, “There’s a reason for that but you don’t need to know why, you just need to do it.”  I think it’s because there are video cams that are recording.  But I thought to myself, “Fuck you, you totalitarian civil servant employee of mine!”

Judge Joseph S. Sciscento called my name and I stepped into that box ever so slowly so as to purposely annoy the bailiff who liked his courtroom to run like a military boot camp.  The judge looked at the paperwork in front of him, shook his head a bit and said, “I’m dismissing the charge.  Have a nice day.”

I stood there, caught by surprise.  I should have at least asked… why?  Did the prosecution elect not to prosecute?  Did the cop fail to show up?  But I said nothing.  The judge looked a tad perplexed at my reaction.  I bet he mostly gets relieved sighs when he dismisses charges.  But I felt like telling him off.  I could think of no profanity strong enough to reflect the rage I felt in the pit of my gut.  What happened to my right to face my accuser?  Oh yeah, rights = Easter bunny.  No need for a cop to be FORCED to hear about their shitty enforcement of NRS 486.231  …the way bikers are FORCED to stay still, not move, and be ultra polite to them while they illegally write us up?

I posted a short complaint on Facebook about my charge being dismissed and got some comments.  One friend said, “Yeah, it must suck to WIN. :)”

I posted back:  LOL everybody. I don’t feel at all like a winner – I take it personally that I was “DISSMISSED.” As in – cast off, unworthy of further discussion. The only winner was the cop and LVMPD because each time we get ignored, it further emboldens them to violate us. No consequences to them. Not even the “threat” of having to face us in court. That’s what the dipstick told me – and I have it on tape. He said at the side of the road, “I’m not gonna argue it out here. Take it to court.” I did and was not given my moment to “argue it in court.” Fuck the system !! I’m off to find a way to sue the bastard even if only in small claims court – even if I lose. I’ll be damned if I allow myself to be thrown into the oven with “grace.” Fuck that – I’m giving my Nazi captor a black eye and scratch him in the eyeball or squeeze his nuts till they pop BEFORE he gets the “final” blow to force me to submit to that slave master and his plantation owner.

My mantra was, “I have nothing better to do than to exercise my rights.”  Today my objective is to seize every opportunity to burden the system.   It can’t collapse soon enough.

Police and Terrorism: One and the Same by Bill Buppert

“I said to (Haynes) that if we come up short and there are some acquittals in our cases, it will at least validate the process.”

“At which point, his eyes got wide and he said, ‘Wait a minute, we can’t have acquittals. If we’ve been holding these guys for so long, how can we explain letting them get off? . . . We’ve got to have convictions.’”

- Morris Davis to William J. Haynes II (Former General Counsel for Department of Defense) on Guantanamo trials of detainees during the War on Terror.

 

This is what the police do (to Kelly Thomas RIP). "If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever." George Orwell

The current War on Terror inaugurated in 2001 by Bush II ushered in an era when the US government made torture its official policy as I wrote here.  It also started a broad fusillade against every basic liberty of every human living within the borders of the American tax jurisdiction.  While ostensibly a full scale assault on “terrorists”, it has provided an object lesson in how one becomes what one hunts.

I will state my desire up front:  I don’t want the police to be reformed, watched, video-recorded, monitored, disarmed, watch-dogged, controlled, quality checked, investigated, punished, prosecuted or anything else.  I simply want them gone.  I want their current employment  to cease and desist.  From the FLEAs (Federal Law Enforcement Agents) all the way to the local constabulary, all must be permanently furloughed and asked to find more productive work like mowing lawns, bagging groceries or playing video-games.  It could be somewhat cathartic to have apology tours across the nation by every cop employed or retired through the communities they “served”.  We could provide them with a by-name list of anyone they have harassed, fined, kidnapped, caged or maimed to map out their respective apology tours.  Those murdered by departments could have their graves identified for the appropriate visit by the acknowledged killer (who most likely served nothing more than a paid administrative “leave”) in the thin “black and blue” line.

I have made a comprehensive case for the reduction and elimination of police forces already and will not make the case here.

All department buildings, vehicles, uniforms and the miscellany of appropriated goods can be sold at auction to include all asset forfeiture and seizure “property”.  The proceeds would be disbursed to all the arrested and caged victims of consensual and non-violent crime enforcement.

A free society would not require the tattooing or branding of these former officers to readily identify them as a threat to polite society but a shunning campaign could be instituted for the more egregious bullies in their ranks.

Before the 20th century, cops were few and far between in these united States, yet today most of the populace mewl in fear when one proposes the cops simply go away…forever.

What are they afraid of?  The police have no duty to protect individuals from harm in society.

“The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled numerous times since 1856 that law enforcement officers have no duty to protect any individual, despite the motto “protect and serve”. Their duty is to enforce the law in general. The first such case was in 1856 (South v. Maryland) and the most recent in 2005 (Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales).[69]

Their charter is clear and always has been:  they enforce the laws of our rulers no matter how unjust, silly, murderous or just plain stupid.

They constantly and insipidly insist that they are simply doing their jobs, much like the Nazi defendants at Nuremberg.  Their behavior is much more like an occupation force than a community peace officer operation.  From the Drug War to the Raw Food raids, they are the enablers of all the bad laws people constantly and incessantly bellyache about yet the government-media complex has done an extraordinary job of hanging bunting and patriotic gore on the image of the armed tax-eater as a hero and pillar of the community; such a worthy protector that his safety will always trump that of a mundane citizen.

If the object of policing is creating a safe and stable community for people to work and play in, then that is certainly not the effect.  Cops are historians when it comes to real crimes, especially those perpetrated against individuals, for they respond to crimes in progress or well after the fact and rarely seem to resolve violent situations without leaving a trail of blood and tears behind them.

I would love to find the documented evidence of how many innocents are run down or petty criminals shot by cops annually.  As a matter of fact, when the bagpipes are playing at a funeral for a cop, there is a greater than fifty percent chance they died in a traffic accident and the numbers are minuscule per capita (56 died by gunfire in 2010 and no percentage identified of how many were the result of fratricide):  nearly one million sworn “officers” and on average approximately 125 die every year in the line of duty.  Nearly three times that number perish annually by their own hand.  There are 17,000 police departments in these united States and zero reliable data available on the number of people maimed and killed by the police but simply from the news and anecdotal reports, the numbers are certainly higher than cop fatalities.

I am going to make a banal but obvious correlation between police forces and terrorism.  They are one and the same.  I have a natural Rothbardian revulsion toward any initiated violence and find that in the lion’s share of police confrontations in America, the police inevitably draw first blood and participate, under color of law and authority, in the most sadistic and vicious behavior humans can outside of the CIA “Black Sites” although the behavior inside police stations may rival that.  Caleb Carr has stated in his brilliant tome, The Lessons of Terror, that terrorism is simply “politically motivated violence against non-combatants and innocents”.

What political component?  By their own admission, police officers are law enforcers and the political process  is how laws are divined; so, cops are by their very nature the Praetorian Guard for the ruling class at all levels.  How many times has one heard the tired old saw by police that they are simply “upholding the law”?  One can dither about the employment of the term unlawful but in America that has as much definitional weight as unconstitutional.  If you suppose this is making too fine a point then why would America turn its back so abruptly on the Hague and Geneva Conventions and the Convention Against Torture to quite literally bureaucratize and institutionalize torture and cruelty in the global military campaign  to eradicate a tactic e.g., terrorism?  Can one adduce that the American police culture increasingly mimics the military in dress and behavior?  Can you think of a more natural seedbed for cruelty and torture than the video evidence that piles up day after day of police abuse of the citizenry?  These are not isolated incidents.  The modern police demand instant obedience or they will beat, electrocute or shoot you for the mere act of resistance or defiance.  Let that sink in:  the government sanctions the initiated savaging of innocent civilians (presumption of innocence) who don’t grovel and scrape and obsequiously comply with the orders of the armed agents of big government.  America, indeed.

Let’s use the government’s own definitions to make the case for a healthy petard hoisting.  One finds that the straightforward and simple US National Counterterrorism Center definition dovetails nicely with Carr.

US National Counterterrorism Center

The US National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) described a terrorist act as: “…premeditated; perpetrated by a sub national or clandestine agent; politically motivated, potentially including religious, philosophical, or culturally symbolic motivations; violent; and perpetrated against a noncombatant target.” [57]

Other agencies propose the following variations:

United States Code (U.S.C.)

Title 22, Chapter 38 of the United States Code (regarding the Department of State) contains a definition of terrorism in its requirement that annual country reports on terrorism be submitted by the Secretary of State to Congress every year. It reads:

“Definitions … the term ‘terrorism’ means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by sub national groups or clandestine agents;”[53]

US Code of Federal Regulations

The US Code of Federal Regulations defines terrorism as “…the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives” (28 C.F.R. Section 0.85).

US national security strategy

In September 2002 the US national security strategy defined terrorism as “premeditated, politically motivated violence against innocents”.[55] This definition did not exclude actions by the United States government and it was qualified some months later with “premeditated, politically motivated violence against noncombatant targets by sub national groups or clandestine agents”.[56]

United States Department of Defense

The United States Department of Defense recently changed its definition of terrorism. Per Joint Pub 3-07.2, Antiterrorism, (24 November 2010) the Department of Defense defines it as “the unlawful use of violence or threat of violence to instill fear and coerce governments or societies. Terrorism is often motivated by religious, political, or other ideological beliefs and committed in the pursuit of goals that are usually political.”

The new definition distinguishes between motivations for terrorism (religion, ideology, etc.) and goals of terrorism (“usually political”). This is in contrast to the previous definition which stated that the goals could be religious in nature.  The sly use of the term lawful and unlawful allows the DoD to give soldiers a “get out of jail free” card for what appears to be terroristic behavior; a standard that has been suborned into the corpus of the American constabulary.

USA PATRIOT Act

The USA PATRIOT Act defines terrorism activities as “activities that (A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the U.S. or of any state, that (B) appear to be intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion, or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping, and (C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S.”

Quite simply, no War on Terror is complete without a total dismantling and salting of the earth of all government sponsored police organizations and their concomitant support apparatus.  One could make a robust case that our various “police actions” around the world and especially in the Middle East prompted the attack on America in the first place.  One can make an even more convincing case that none of our freedoms would be extinct or disappearing absent the presence of police.

The War on Terror truly begins at home.  The terror mindset emulates the TSA’s mantra of “Dominate. Intimidate. Control” which saturates police training across the fruited plain and is the sine qua non of cop behavior in the most benign encounters.  This nicely complements the illogical and cowardly “officer safety” mantra that literally gives them a license to initiate violence and get away with it. Until Americans finally realize that police are not their friends but their masters, no freedom is possible.  They are not there to protect the citizenry; they are the armed bulwark for big and small government, the tip of the spear thrust into every notion of decency, liberty and freedom. Most likely, few of the crimes policed are malum in se such as crimes against property or person and most are crimes the government created out of whole cloth such as drug use, DUI, prostitution and the myriad  federal regulations that ensnare unwitting citizens.  Essentially, crimes with no victims except the unfortunates fined and caged by the police.

We have all seen and read the horrific accounts of the police savaging and mauling of women and children.  This is not only what they are capable of, this is what they do.  Every day.

The police are just as legitimate as the rulers and masters who walk their leashes.  The odd political tensions between alleged Left and Right differences mean that, quite literally, you agree to the rightness and moral superiority of every law.  Good luck with that.

The next time you watch one of the legions of police brutality videos on the internet, ask yourself: who really hates you for your freedoms (what few are left)?

-  On June 8, 1978, Solzhenitzyn, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for Literature in 1970 for his book “The Gulag Archipelago,” was addressing an audience at Harvard University:

And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand? . . .”

Malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

 

 


No Man an Island by Kent McManigal

They say “no man is an island”, and that we all need other people for support.  Especially when things go wrong.  Sometimes it helps to have the right kind of support.

Several years ago I woke up in a really bad situation.  Through bad choices, and bad people seeking to harm me, I one day found myself in the position that my wife was telling me to get out of my house within 24 hours.  She was moving her boyfriend in, and he intended to beat me up if I was still at the house when he arrived.

I was living 1500 miles from the nearest family member, having moved across the country at the urging of my wife.  I did have some local friends, but most of them were not in a position to do too much to help, and I hesitated getting them involved since I felt it would show them what an idiot I had been.  They had rescued me from my wife once before on short notice (that time she had actually called someone and told them to come get me or she would kill me) and I was embarrassed that I was in trouble again and that the situation was even worse this time.

At the time I was just trying to avoid having to shoot anyone.  Seriously, I didn’t want to be forced into killing anyone in self-defense- especially when I knew the confrontation was coming.  It has always been my intention to get out of the way of violence when I can.  However, I had no intention of walking away from all my possessions and letting my wife and her new boyfriend have them.  She had already pretty much cleaned me out by buying the house with my money and then refusing to put my name on it.  I had asked her for some time- a week or so- to find a place and get out.  She laughed and said I had better be gone by the next night.  Then she left to drive a few hundred miles to pick up this guy she had met online.

So, I scrambled and put a key lock on my bedroom door, hid any valuables that I could, and did something really stupid: I got a “protection from abuse” order from the local court.  I should have known better (actually, I did know better, but I panicked) and it didn’t turn out well.  Even the local cop I knew told me it was a stupid thing to do- as soon as he found out I had done it.  I was also warned, by the sheriff, that “every woman” who had a “protection order” filed against her will turn around and “cross file” in retaliation- and she did.  This resulted in the sheriff showing up at the house demanding all my weapons- right at the time I needed them most.  I even pointed this ironic fact out to him, but he said “it is The Law”.  Use your imagination to decide whether he got them all or not.  All in all, the protection order did keep my wife and her boyfriend away from me while I found a place to live, but things could have been handled better, and with fewer entanglements and ongoing problems, had other options been readily available on short notice.  Plus, the boyfriend turned out to be so afraid of me I doubt he would have done anything.

Fast forward a few years.

I was living with someone I had discovered to be a liar who was out to hurt me and anyone I cared about.  I fled with nowhere to flee to and with almost no money.  I slept in my car and in the woods.  I showered at friends’ houses when I could, and ate what I could find.  The person I fled from harassed my friends and my family, relentlessly trying to track me down and get everyone to pressure me to go back to her.  Finally, under pressure and with no good options, I gave up and went back.  Defeated and broken, with my family thinking the worst of me due to some very detailed and graphic lies (along with forged documentation).

I’m still dealing with the consequences of both of these messes.

Unfortunate Truth #1 is “People are idiots” and no one exemplifies this truth better than me.  However, no one who is being abused should have to face that alone, idiot or not.

How would things have turned out in those situations had there been a way I could have called for backup?  Would I have even gotten into the second situation had the first turned out better?  What if there had been people I could call for legal advice and help as well as physical assistance when I so desperately needed it?

I’ll never know what would have happened back then, but there is a way to make sure you have access to that kind of back up from now on.

Personal stupidity isn’t the only bad thing that can happen in today’s messed up world.  Simply standing up for what is right- for life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness- can put you in the position of needing specialized help ASAP.

Think about it: How much more bold would you be in “living your liberty” if you knew someone had your back in case of a run-in with The State?  Would you say “No” to agents of The State more readily?  Would you be more willing to stand up for what is right?

When activists like Pete Eyre and Ademo Freeman strike out on one of their road trips to spread the word about liberty they seem to always run into enforcers or other pro-State extremists who are frothing at the mouth in anticipation of making an example of them for not “properly” kowtowing to the “authority” of the badge or the robe.  Fortunately each time this happens people know about it immediately and are able to at least keep an eye on the situation to make sure no abuses can go unnoticed.

But what happens if some power-drunk enforcer corners YOU late one night far from family and friends?

Few of us are well-known liberty activists who have networks of people ready to lend a hand if needed.  In all probability if you or I had a run-in with what passes for “The Law” in these Police States of America, no one but our family would know about it until the crisis had passed and we were able to tweet our adventure to the world.  What if you had a way around that?  Well, you do.

Individual Sovereign University has created the Sovereign Mutual Aid Rescue Team project: SMART (or the “University Association” as it is officially known).  It is a subscription service that can help with raising bail and various other unpleasant but necessary defensive measures.  And that isn’t all they offer if you join the association.  Visit their site (http://indsovu.com/) and also read this list of planned services- http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2011/tle628-20110717-05.html

By way of disclosure, it is possible I may get paid for writing about this, but I refuse to buy into the common statist delusion that there is something dirty about making money.  Paid or not, I’d write this anyway.  As painful as the personal disclosure has been, I want you to avoid the mistakes I have made and I want you to have a plan, and be SMART, when things do go wrong.

Kent’s blog is here:  http://blog.kentforliberty.com/

 

London Glaziers Praise Youth for Economic Stimulus by Kaiser Leib

The Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass has released a statement in support of the economic stimulus activities undertaken this week in London. “Over the past three nights,” said guild spokesman JM Keynes, “The brave young people of London have taken it upon themselves to guarantee the economic health of our city for years to come.” Keynes went on to explain that the Glaziers expect a 10,000% increase in demand for new glass windows over the coming weeks, which will employ hundreds of new glassmakers, who are paid as much as six francs for each new window produced.

Shopkeeper F Bastiat took a rather dimmer view of the stimulus package, citing its cost to his business. “Look here,” he said, gesturing to his store’s broken window. “They broke that, broke the door, came in and took things right off the shelves.” Bastiat expects that his insurance will cover some of the damages, but that much of his inventory will be a total loss. “I had a year’s profits tied up, just in what was on the shelves,” he explained. “And some of it they just destroyed! This television was too heavy to steal, I suppose, so they just smashed it.”

Bastiat’s selfishness, though, is not representative of most Londoners.  In addition to creating jobs and increasing private spending, the stimulus is providing an increased standard of living for some participants. “I got tones of stuff todayyyy!” explained one of the stimulus agents via twitter, ” … whop whop … wat ev;; it was free so i took it ennit,, didn’t get caught so[.]”

The London Olympics, set for 2012, could bring economic stimulus to countries the world over. “Just imagine,” said Keynes, “What would happen if some of these elite athletes had their possessions appropriated by another stimulus, or if they were injured? And there’ll be millions of attendees, too! All these people will have to buy replacement goods and seek health care upon return to their home nations. Everyone will benefit!”

Bastiat could not be reached for further comment at press time.

The Torture State by Bill Buppert


“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be either good or evil.”
- Hannah Arendt

America has been a dangerous place for innocent citizens for a long time.  Whether one was an indentured or chattel slave in the 18th and 19th century or a hapless member of the pensioners who got beat down in the Bonus Marchers Protest in 1932 or one of thousands of Americans kidnapped, caged, maimed and killed by the police annually in the Land of the Free, you live in a country that has not only practiced this behavior but even legally endorsed it in 2001 after the 9/11 attacks in New York and Mordor on the Potomac.

Bush did have the hubris to deliver a speech condemning torture on 26 June 2003 with full knowledge of what his regime was doing:

“Freedom from torture is an inalienable human right. The Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment, ratified by the United States and more than 130 other countries since 1984, forbids governments from deliberately inflicting severe physical or mental pain or suffering on those within their custody or control. Yet torture continues to be practiced around the world by rogue regimes whose cruel methods match their determination to crush the human spirit. Beating, burning, rape, and electric shock are some of the grisly tools such regimes use to terrorize their own citizens. These despicable crimes cannot be tolerated by a world committed to justice.”

When one examines the first through fourth Geneva conventions and associated protocols, you make a grisly discovery.  Your treatment at the hands of the US government and its associated police agencies down to the local level is better afforded to you as a Prisoner of War than an ordinary civilian in America.  Mind you, even that has become more Orwellian with the abandonment by the Bush administration of even these and a complete reversal of the UN Convention Against Torture ironically passed in 1984.  POWs, in the countries that respect the Geneva and Hague conventions, have more rights than ordinary citizens in the American penal system.

Some of the torture memorandums under Bush have been released and the evidence is clear that not only did the Administration use arcane and amateurish legal arguments to abandon centuries of moral and philosophical proscriptions against torture but it became official policy.  David Addington and John Yoo were the primary architects of the various sundering of civil liberties and twisted legal reasoning that advocated and created the torture complex that Obama has refused to renounce or dispose of.   These worthies were the philosopher kings who devised the means for Bush to not only fight terror with terror but also a justification for barbarism.

In the December [2005] debate with Cassel, Yoo was asked: “If the president deems that he’s got to torture somebody, including by crushing the testicles of the person’s child, there is no law that can stop him?”

Yoo: “No treaty.”

Cassel: “Also no law by Congress? That is what you wrote in the August 2002 memo [that went to the president].”

Yoo: “I think it depends on why the president thinks he needs to do that.”

Article 1 of the Convention Against Torture endorsed in 1984:

Any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person, information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.

In addition Article 16 states: “Actions which fall short of torture may still constitute cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.”

Jane Mayer was asked about the efficacy of torture.  Her book is required reading to see how Mordor codified torture during the Bushevik regime.  As a collectivist journalist, she shares the inner blind spot with the rest of her colleagues at the New York media complex of holding her nose about torture (rightfully so) but being completely blind to her advocacy of big government which relies on violence as its modus operandi.

Q. Leaving aside the essential moral and legal questions, is there any indication that this harsh treatment “worked,” that it yielded valuable intelligence?

A. One thing that came through all of this research was that this new paradigm—again, basically redesigning our laws in order to be able to coerce or maybe even torture detainees when we interrogate them—has been completely counterproductive. It’s been sold as if it’s some sort of tough new effective thing we’ve got to do. In fact, if you really go carefully over these cases, you find that it’s almost always produced false confessions. 

There are so many cases where specific detainees wound up making up stuff in order to make the pain stop, and I’ve got in this book, I think for the first time, some of the contents of the Red Cross report where they interviewed the CIA’s detainees in Guantanamo, who are there now, and Khalid Sheik Mohamed told them, almost sneeringly, that he created false alerts in America. He takes credit for having sent—put the American government on high alert on false premises. So, it’s just created an ocean on false confessions. There’s some real stuff in there, but it’s very hard for the intelligence agencies to figure out what’s real and what’s not. One former CIA official told me 90 percent of what they got was crap.

The way we have handled detainees and the absurd illegal combatant framework in the infamous and state-worshiping War on Terror has been disgraceful, ungentlemanly and philosophically vile.  But then again, what other behavior would I expect from governments?

Here are ten torture techniques endorsed by the Bush administration.

Here is George Bush on the evolution of torture in his regime:

“The United States is committed to the worldwide elimination of torture and we are leading this fight by example.” President Bush on UN Torture Victims Recognition Day 26 June 2003

“Freedom from torture is an inalienable human right and we are committed to building a world where human rights are respected and protected by the rule of law … Many have been detained, arrested, thrown in prison and subjected to torture by regimes that fail to understand that their habits of control will not serve them well in the long term.” Statement by President Bush released by the White House on June 26, 2005

“We do not torture.” President Bush to reporters during a visit to Panama in November 2005

“The bill Congress sent me would take away one of the most valuable tools in the war on terror — the CIA program to detain and question key terrorist leaders and operatives.” President Bush on his veto of a bill that would have outlawed waterboarding in March 2008

“I’m aware our national security team met on this issue. And I approved … I told the country we did that. And I also told them it was legal. We had legal opinions that enabled us to do it.” President Bush in an interview with ABC about interrogation tactics used on detainees in April 2008

Incidentally, while we have witnessed the sickening legal rationale for torturing the detainees captured in the War on Terror, a cursory glance at the mounting tsunami of domestic police abuses and misconduct in America dovetails nicely with the torture codification emanating from the White House for these barbaric and vicious practices.

What makes all the aforementioned treaties and legal prognostications  so wicked is the ease by which an executive authority in the last superpower on Earth can continue to practice an initiation and continuing maintenance of violence unconscionable to virtuous humans.

The State codifies cruelty, violence and torture as a matter of state prerogative.  This is simply what states do.  You would be hard pressed to find any nation on Earth that, when examined closely, does not practice and endorse abuses by its paid agents on the citizens caught in its jurisdiction.  It is unlimited and has been demonstrated here that an American president can justify ANY violence or cruelty visited on other humans.

Truman dropped the atomic bomb on Japan as a warning for the Russians in 1945 because the Japanese signed a treaty in August 1945 they had been pursuing since January of that year (some speculate as early as 1943) eerily similar to the peace proposal floated during the entire year.  The bomb was not meant for a Japanese audience but to get the attention of the Russians at the dawn of the Cold War.  The hapless victims in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were merely a demonstration project to get the attention of the other USSR (the one in Russia not North America).

Look at it from another perspective, if a government is willing to go through all the legal hoops (and bureaucratic stonewalling where it cannot) to justify visiting cruelty, maiming and killing on a class of people it chooses to dispose of in this way, what stops that from expanding to the general citizenry? If the physical and psychological destruction of other humans is not only authorized but encouraged, where does that leave the moral position of government?  How does this affect the torturers themselves?  One can even say that torture policies were in part responsible for the near military coup in France in 1962.

I happen to think that the tolerance and encouragement of torture and cruelty of government agents is a natural outgrowth of all states, we are simply witnesses to the inevitable unveiling of the US abuses over time and their acceleration after 2001.  I hope it it further diminishes and tarnishes even further the expectations anyone has of justice from the State.

For the longest time, the government-media complex has done an extraordinary job of convincing Americans that we are exceptional, the City on the Hill and all the other balderdash going back to the political coup by the Founding Lawyers in 1787-88.  We are not nor never have been.  When government is stripped of its bunting and patriotic gore, it is a tax jurisdiction run by violence-prone psychopaths whose only means to maintenance and expansion of power is violence and the threat thereof.  That violence is codified in the criminal code.  It is exercised around the globe through military means.  And, worst of all, it is justified in our names.

The blood is on everybody.

Resist.

“To call something an ‘enhanced interrogation technique’ doesn’t alter the fact that we thought it was torture when the Japanese used it on American prisoners, we thought it was torture when the North Koreans used it, we thought it was torture when the Soviets used it. You know, it’s almost the moral equivalent of saying that rape is an enhanced seduction technique.”
- Ted Koppel

“You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.”
- Mohandas Gandhi

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