… Propaganda and marketing are the dominant forces in America, along with a willingness to suspend reality to avoid whatever is complex, knotty, difficult or painful.
Is this what we’ve become, a nation so fearful of the truth that we shun it, avoid it, or paper it over at every turn? It would seem so…
must read —>charles hugh smith: Is This What We’ve Become?.
Well said by Sherpa.
Originally posted on Survival Sherpa:
I have a fear of ventilation. Not the kind in my home HVAC unit. The kind from lead passing through my body. I had a friend who was ventilated by some grudge-holding thug. Apparently, this idiot wanted to get even for a business deal that went south. So he chased my friend through the bays of his car wash shooting at him. Luckily, he was only armed with a .22 revolver. Fortunately, only his love handles got ventilated. After recovering, my buddy began making a plan to never get caught unable to defend himself.
Would you like to play a neat parlor game with your friends? Barack Obama’s long-form birth certificate forgery contains so many forger’s errors which are visible to the naked eye or which can be seen on your computer under slight magnification that you can play a fun game finding them, either alone or in a contest with your friends…
… One Freedom to Travel member, who also happens to be a tenured mathematics professor, applied something called Bayes Rule and the concept of Base Rate Fallacy to the TSA’s behavior-detection methods… It revealed that even if TSA’s current screening practices were 100 percent effective, only one in 5 million flagged “high risk” passengers would be a terrorist.
“The experience to date is 50,000 false positives and 16 known terrorists not flagged,” says Thomson. “No known terrorists have ever been flagged….” via Sott.net.
… The Basis for the Search Warrants states:
Mr. Dutton, a military veteran, has been preparing for the economic collapse of the world. In addition to gathering a large supply of non-perishable items, he also has a modest collection of firearms and ammunition. And he makes fireworks.
During the trial, the prosecution played clips from the popular National Geographic Channel show, “Doomsday Preppers”. The prosecution used images of various “crazy ass preppers” from the T.V. show to successfully paint a picture of Mr. Dutton, as someone on the fringe of society that posed an extreme danger to his community… via off grid survival
…It’s getting ever harder, less private, and more hazardous to deal in Federal Reserve Notes. We’re being unsubtly nudged toward the use of noncash techniques — mainly bank instruments and Electronic Funds Transfers — for our routine dealings. Inasmuch as that concentrates the State’s targets for snooping and predation, it suits our political masters very well… via Liberty’s Torch: King Cash.
Wall Street banks have secretly taken over US firearms and ammunition manufacturers and the world’s largest mercenary firms in a stealth build up private military force.
Originally posted on Survival Sherpa:
NOTE: These books were free as of when this article was published (May 2012). They may not remain free forever.
Big thanks to Atticus Freeman for putting together a great post on FREE reads! Don’t have a Kindle? No worries. Read his post below (and visit his blog) for the how-to on downloading the books without a kindle reader. I’m adding this to my “Blogroll: Indispensable Information Overload List of Links“.
Source: Self-Reliant Info
Disclaimer: The following is a series of fictional accounts of theoretical situations. However, the information contained within was taken from established scientific journals on covered technology and military studies of real life combat scenarios. Alt-Market does not condone the use of any of the tactics described within for “illegal” purposes. Obviously, the totalitarian subject matter portrayed here is “pure fantasy”, and would never be encountered in the U.S. where politicians and corporate bankers are forthright, honest, and honorable, wishing only the sweetest sugar coated chili-dog best for all of mankind…
Imagine, if you will, a fantastic near future in which the United States is facing an unmitigated economic implosion. Not just a mere market crash, or a stint of high unemployment, but a full spectrum collapse driven by unsustainable debt spending and hyperinflationary printing. The American people witness multiple credit downgrades of U.S. Treasury mechanisms, the dollar loses its reserve status, devaluation of the currency runs rampant, and the prices of commodities and imported goods immediately skyrocket. Read more…
… we value our cars, purchased with debt or leased, but the roads are crumbling, filled with potholes, traffic lights aren’t timed, and the small towns are too bankrupt to do anything about it. The second most important thing to the zombies that inhabit this wasteland is mass quantities of food. You’ve got donut shops, fast food joints, pizza places, Chinese restaurants, Irish pubs every two blocks, and coffee houses on a mind numbing scale. It is easy to see why we’re the most obese people on earth. There are no farmers markets, produce stands, or even grocery stores. But there are at least six beer distributors. And of course there is one L.A. Fitness Center for the ten people out of ten thousand who want to keep in shape. I expect to see a Space Available sign in front of this place in the not too distant future….
…The Chestnut Plaza truly represents what is important to this community. This Squalor Center, as opposed to Power Center, includes a video porn store, cash checking/payday loan outlet, smoke shop, donut shop, Laundromat, and liquor store. No need for a wedding ring store or resume writing service. Evidently this community values gorging themselves on fast food, getting high, getting drunk, jerking off to porno, and then having their sheets washed. They wouldn’t want to invest a few hundred dollars of their welfare payments on a washer and dryer, when they can spend it on the Direct TV NBA package. They utilize their 8th grade level education to get payday loans from the check cashing store at 40% interest….
must read here, —> Guest Post: More Than 30 Blocks Of Grey & Decay | ZeroHedge.
A new smartphone app called SceneTap made a big splash with its recent launch, but not all of the reviews were entirely favorable. The app employs facial-detection software and cameras placed strategically in bars and nightclubs to tell users the age and gender makeup of an establishment they’re thinking of visiting. The problem is that the patrons being scanned by cameras don’t necessarily know that they’re being monitored….via SceneTap: The creepy app that scans bar-goers’ faces – The Week.
CNET has learned that the FBI has formed a Domestic Communications Assistance Center, which is tasked with developing new electronic surveillance technologies, including intercepting Internet, wireless, and VoIP communications…via CNET News.
Originally posted on The Lizard Farmer:
First off if you ain’t sweating already then you’re likely still asleep so maybe the question should really be “When do we really start sweating? If the Who part didn’t wake you up then I dunno what will. Anyway in this entry I’m going to do some wargaming and get a best guesstimation of when the threat will increase to the point of “Constant Significance”. Constant Significance, WTF is that? That’s the point you need to address it and be concerned constantly – in other words expect to get hit.
For this entry I’m going to do a bit of wargaming. Wargaming is basically a system whereby you run a given scenario out with known and assumed information to determine logical outcomes. The phrase “Conflict Simulation” might be more appropriate there but we’re sticking to wargaming for now.
Also …. TERRY ANDERSON, A LOS ANGELES TALK RADIO HOST, WENT DOWN A LIST OF THINGS SENATOR OBAMA HAS SAID THAT AREN’T EXACTLY CORRECT.
1.) Selma March Got Me Born – NOT EXACTLY, your parents felt safe enough to have you in 1961 – Selma had no effect on your birth, as Selma was in 1965. (Google ‘Obama Selma ‘ for his full March 4, 2007 speech and articles about its various untruths.) Read more…
WASHINGTON — There are two ways to defend gay marriage. Argument A is empathy: One is influenced by gay friends in committed relationships yearning for the fulfillment and acceptance that marriage conveys upon heterosexuals. That’s essentially the case President Obama made when he first announced his change of views.
No talk about rights, just human feeling. Such an argument is attractive because it can be compelling without being compulsory. Many people, feeling the weight of this longing among their gay friends, are willing to redefine marriage for the sake of simple human sympathy. Read more…
Homeschooling often gets an undeserved bad rap, largely through a whole host of myths and stereotypes about the practice that aren’t really founded in reality. The truth is that homeschooled children get an education that’s just as high in quality as their public and private schooled peers, sometimes even more so, and enjoy a whole host of outside extracurricular activities. Many, if not most, go on to success in college and in their careers. There’s plenty of research to back those statements up, too, as studies over the past few decades have proven that homeschooling can actually have some pretty great benefits for students. Here, we highlight some of the most striking findings from those studies, showcasing some stats that will help dispel any lingering myths about the socialization and effectiveness aspects of homeschooling…. go here
… the Trayvon Martin case seems to have lifted the lid off the forbidden box, and, despite attempts to put the lid back on, politically incorrect spirits are escaping into the mainstream. Subsequent events show that a real dialogue may be taking place — with conservatives hitting back instead of submitting to expectations of ideological perp walks and mea culpas.
…The dollar was a median step towards a newer and more corrupt ideal. Its time is nearly over. This is open, it is admitted, and it is being activated as you read this. The speed at which this disaster occurs is really dependent on the speed at which our government along with our central bank decides to expedite doubt. Doubt in a currency is a furious omen…
Fear we are returning to a time in history where it is a common occurrence to fight for one’s life? | ZeroHedge
So, … You have been reading Zero Hedge long enough that you are now absolutely convinced that TEOTWAWKI is indeed nigh, and it could well be quite violent. You have also decided that you want to do something to prepare, beyond getting short the equity markets and going long gold and silver coins, but you do not know what to do, exactly. The HELP function on your Bloomberg terminal is, unsurprisingly, not helpful. A quick review of the government and Red Cross emergency preparedness websites tells you nothing about guns. This is problematic, as you fear that we all might be returning to a time in history where it is a common occurrence to fight for one’s life, and you know that we usually do that in today’s day and age with guns, or a knife close in. What to do?
Well, you could read several books such as The Long Emergency, Reinventing Collapse, One Second After, Alas Babylon,Patriots, and Lucifer’s Hammer to gain an understanding of what some recent authors believe TEOTWAWKI might look like, and then try to formulate a plan on your own. You could also read countless blog posts on www.ar15.com/forums/b/10_Outdoors.html, www.survivalblog.com, or www.zombiehunters.org to see what other people with alleged or unknown expertise are doing to prepare for if/when TSHTF. I understand there is now even a television show called Doomsday Preppers that you could watch. Not surprisingly, you can even hire professional consultants to help you prepare for the possibility of a coming apocalypse.
Alternatively, allow me to provide to you absolutely free of charge and in just one brief Zero Hedge article, A Guide for Those with Much Money and Very Little Patience Whom Want to Prepare for Zombie Apocalypse But Are Afraid to Google It For Fear of DHS Labeling Them A Terrorist. There are some unique aspects to this Guide. First, because it is for Those with Much Money, it assumes you can afford to drop as much as $25,000 and thus save much time by not trying to do things on the cheap. Second, because it is for Those with…Very Little Patience, it makes no attempt to explain the rationale behind each recommendation. One can complete the entire Guide within a couple of months, thus allowing you to put this fear out of your mind and move on to much more productive worries, except for fitness. Regular exercise should really become a habit for the duration of your life.
Item 1. Learn that the first rule of preparing for TEOTWAWKI is you do not talk about preparing for TEOTWAWKI. Tell nobody. Do, however, make up some lame excuses in advance for when some friend questions you about your actions and purchases. Say that you are getting ready to visit your rich and crazy uncle whom is a gun nut living in Alaskan bear country, or your friend in Detroit wants you to house sit. Just do not tell anyone what your plans or preparations are, or even that you have plans or preparations. Read more…
…Lawful people are also conditioned to perceive individuals rather than groups or mobs as threats, so most would not fire into a hostile group. Putting buckshot with “to whom this may be addressed” dispersion into a group can be very effective but goes counter to the peacetime conditioning. The number of conversations with 911 dispatchers where people in dire and immediate danger keep asking for permission to fire suggests that the main factor preventing massive casualties to rioters is the lack of the will, not the lack of firepower…
…Similar episodes of unprovoked violence by young black gangs against white people chosen at random on beaches, in shopping malls, or in other public places have occurred in Philadelphia, New York, Denver, Chicago, Cleveland, Washington, Los Angeles, and other places across the country. Both the authorities and the media tend to try to sweep these episodes under the rug…via National Review Online.
Originally posted on John Malcolm:
Abstract: The triumph of the administrative state has been made possible by the emasculation of the legislative power. Washington’s problem is not merely federal spending and debt; it is the arrogance of centralized power. The time is therefore ripe for a major national discussion not only about the size of government, but also about the processes of government. Americans have a choice: to be governed by the rule of law, as hammered out in open legislative debate carried on by elected representatives who are directly accountable to us, or the rule of administrators who are most certainly not accountable to us. The rule of regulators is arbitrary and unaccountable government—exactly what the Founders wished to prevent in crafting the Federal Constitution.
Steve Kroft of CBS recently interviewed President Barack Obama. In response to a question on his job performance, the President ranked himself fourth among America’s chief executives (behind Lyndon Johnson, Franklin Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln) in the production of policy initiatives.
Critics quickly ridiculed his self-assessment as narcissistic nonsense. They’re wrong.
President Obama is transforming American government. Few Presidents have enjoyed more success in enacting such a large policy agenda in such a short period of time.
- Within weeks of his inauguration, the President signed into law a major expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and Medicaid.
- He quickly followed this up with the enactment of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the “stimulus” bill), adding $831 billion to our deficits.
- In 2010, Congress passed the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd–Frank bill), providing for massive and far-reaching financial regulation.
- And on March 23, 2010, he signed into law the 2,800-page Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). It is the largest single piece of social legislation in American history, expanding federal control over one-sixth of the American economy and the personal lives of more than 300 million citizens.
Combine this massive legislative production with his zealous regulatory program. While Washington’s bureaucratic regime has been growing since the early 1900s, under President Obama its growth has exploded. In 2009 and 2010 alone, federal agencies issued 7,076 final rules.
While the President insists that his regulatory output is less than that of President George W. Bush, a closer look reveals that his “major” regulations—those having an annual impact of at least $100 million each—were more numerous. Since President Obama took office in 2009, federal agencies have issued 75 major regulations with an annual additional cost to the economy of $38 billion. Taken altogether, the Small Business Administration last year estimated that the total cost of America’s regulatory burden reached $1.75 trillion—more than twice what Americans pay in individual income taxes.
The U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Treasury, and Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are at the center of this regulatory storm. They alone account for 43 percent of all rules in the federal pipeline. Of the 43 major rules issued in 2010, 10 were based on EPA mandates. With the President’s health and environmental initiatives alone, the Obama White House has dwarfed the regulatory agenda of its predecessors.
The national health law expands the administrative power of the HHS Secretary beyond anything previously attempted. The Secretary is required to act—indicated by the statutory language “shall”—1,563 times in the final language of the legislation, and 40 specific provisions of the law mandate or permit the issuance of regulations. Senate Republican Policy Committee staff estimate that the new law creates 159 new agencies or entities, but the Congressional Research Service says that the exact number is “unknowable” inasmuch as certain powerful federal offices are created administratively without direct congressional authorization.
While the law’s schedule of implementation stretches out over eight years, the most far-reaching provisions—the mandates on individuals, employers, and states—take effect in 2014. Nonetheless, in less than two years, the national health law has already generated over 11,000 pages of rules, regulations, and guidelines and related paperwork in the Federal Register.
Just consider the law’s 15-member Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). The powerful board will make its initial recommendations for detailed and specific Medicare payment cuts in January 2015, and the Secretary is empowered to put them into effect unless Congress enacts an alternative set of payment cuts to meet statutory Medicare spending targets. The board’s automatic recommendations are subject to neither administrative nor judicial review, and the law further requires a three-fifths Senate majority to block IPAB’s prescriptions.
Peter Orszag, President Obama’s former director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), has observed that the extraordinary power of this new board is “the largest yielding of sovereignty from the Congress since the creation of the Federal Reserve.”
In 2010 alone, Congress enacted 217 bills that became law, but that same year, federal agencies issued 3,573 final rules covering a wide variety of economic activities. Today, more than at any other time in our history, we are less and less governed by the rule of law, hammered out in legislative deliberations as the Founders intended, and more and more governed by the rule of regulation. We are subject to edicts promulgated by administrators—persons we do not know and will never know, persons protected by civil service law and tenure who are not accountable to us and will never be accountable to us. Nonetheless, the administrators’ detailed decisions have the force of law.
Regulation, as law, can and does directly affect whether or not we can start or run our businesses, determine how many persons we can or cannot afford to hire, how we may or may not use our land or dispose of our property. Not only do administrators publish thousands of pages of regulations, but our fellow citizens can sometimes also go to jail for violating them.
THE TRIUMPH OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE STATE
Ladies and gentlemen, we are witnessing the triumph of the administrative state, but that conquest is only possible because of the emasculation of the legislative power. The Founders made Congress the lawgiver, as clarified in Article I, Section 1 of the Federal Constitution. So much of their focus, reflected in The Federalist and other writings, was on how to check and balance the predominant legislative power, to channel and contain personal ambition and factional interest, to restrain potentially tyrannical majorities and safeguard the rights of beleaguered minorities, to secure personal liberty and protect the rights of property.
Though federal power has grown steadily since President Washington took the oath of office, today the relationship between the individual and the government is changing in a qualitative way. Americans are increasingly the subjects of an administrative regime rather than the free citizens of a democratic republic with a limited government.
Picking Winners and Losers. This steady transfer of legislative power to administrators has another inescapable consequence: arbitrary rule. The champions of administrative power invariably couch their arguments in appeals to expertise. The more complex the economic sector to be planned or regulated, the more that strict uniformity in the application of the rules becomes problematic.
In broad congressional grants of power, lawmakers give administrators wide latitude in the development and enforcement of the rules, so those who make the rules can also unmake them by granting waivers and exemptions. In the case of the health care law, HHS has already granted over 1,722 temporary waivers to certain businesses, unions, and gourmet restaurants in San Francisco that don’t have to comply with national coverage rules that apply to other companies throughout the country.
Treating similarly situated Americans differently, either as individual citizens or as citizens of a particular state, amounts to arbitrary rule; and arbitrary rule is inherently unjust.
THE NEED FOR A HIGHER LEVEL OF PUBLIC DEBATE
Today’s debate over the powerful bureaucracy is usually framed in terms of economic impact: How will federal rules affect economic growth and job creation, the price of gasoline or electricity, the cost of health insurance or the quality of medical care? While this level of debate is necessary, it is insufficient. Yes, we cannot neglect the trees, but it is really the health of the forest that matters.
The big question is this: How does this bureaucratic ascendancy affect ordinary Americans? My answer: Our very civic life is at stake, not just our prosperity.
The current trend is an affront to our self-government. The tacit assumption: Millions of us are not smart enough to make our own decisions for ourselves. Rather, we need to be closely supervised by officials. They will prescribe for us, for example, what kind of light bulbs and washing machines we should use. The provision of nutritional or caloric information on restaurant menus, or food items dispensed through vending machines, is now a federal mandate under Section 4205 of the Affordable Care Act.
Our supervision, though distant and impersonal, becomes more precise and detailed. We are to become increasingly dependent on government for our well-being. Today, almost half of Americans (48.5 percent) live in households that are getting some form of government assistance, largely funded from federal revenues, but nearly half (49.5 percent) of our citizens pay no federal income taxes. But today’s Progressives are still dissatisfied. In their view, the many are to be even more dependent on the few, and the few (the hated “rich,” however they are defined) should be paying even more in taxes than they do today.
Over time, these dynamics will change the character of our people, with corrosive consequences for our political culture and our economic prosperity. America will have a progressively larger class of dependent citizens, and that spirit of freedom and independence for which the Founders risked their lives and fortunes will be broken.
It does not have to be this way. Our task is to paint the big picture, the overarching framework of American civic life. The great medieval philosopher St. Thomas Aquinas, the “First Whig,” defines law as an edict of reason, promulgated by the sovereign for the common good of the community. The law instructs citizens in their rights and duties, and thus has a teaching function. That being the case, as lawmakers, you must become teachers of the Constitution, carriers of our rich political culture of republican government.
What must we do to preserve and protect the constitutional traditions of limited government, individual liberty, the separation of powers, and the unique advantages of federalism? James Madison, “the Father of The Constitution,” was not a lawyer, but he was a Congressman. And in that role, he was also a teacher: He routinely employed his formidable talents in the education of his colleagues and fellow citizens on the first principles of government.
In my reading of the public mood, you also have an eager audience. More and more Americans hunger for the wisdom of the Founders, are reading their biographies, and seek to understand their tightly reasoned arguments for the adoption of our Constitution. They are also becoming aware that there is something deeply wrong with the way in which they are being governed and that this process deviates from the intentions of the Founders. They correctly sense that modern government is ever more distant and disconnected from them. They are right.
HOW WE GOT HERE
President Obama, like President Woodrow Wilson, is a real “Progressive,” but what does that mean? In his recent speech at Osawatomie, Kansas, he recalled President Theodore Roosevelt’s “New Nationalism.” A genuine Progressive, TR favored the imposition of inheritance taxes and the income tax and became the standard bearer of the Progressive Party in 1912.
Reflecting that tradition, President Obama and his ideological allies are also vigorous champions of aggressive executive power. Commenting on President Obama’s governance, New York Times columnist David Brooks predicts, “When historians look back on this period, they will see it as another progressive era…. It’s a progressive era based on faith in government experts and their ability to use social science analysis to manage complex systems.”
Welcome to the “100 Years War” of American politics. Progressivism, after all, was America’s dominant political movement from 1890 to 1920. While the Progressives are identified with social reform and the reining in of corporate interests and trusts, they focused intensely on structural reform of government, particularly civil service reform and the democratization of our politics.
No modern American political movement has been more successful. Within a relatively short span of time, progressives backed the adoption of four transformative amendments to the Constitution. They fostered the income tax (Sixteenth Amendment) and secured direct election of U.S. Senators (Seventeenth Amendment); many backed Prohibition (Eighteenth Amendment); and they allied with the suffragettes (Nineteenth Amendment). In the several states, they broke the power of the political bosses and enacted initiative and referenda and the recall of public officials.
Long before the New Deal of the 1930s, Progressives concentrated power in Washington. With the backing of the Progressives, Congress created the Federal Reserve System (1913) and the Federal Trade Commission (1914). Federal employment soared. During the Great War, Congress (in the Overman Act of 1918) gave President Wilson enormous discretionary power to consolidate and rearrange executive offices and agencies. Meanwhile, dissent, especially criticism of America’s entry into the war, was suppressed.
“Permissiveness,” the hallmark of the Sixties, was never welcome among Progressives, old or new. Under the rule of the new Progressives, if you want to just “do your own thing,” you won’t. You will do what you are told. If you think you can just “turn on, tune in, and drop out,” think again. You will be forced, for example, to buy government-approved health benefits—including federally certified abortifacients—or pay a fine. You will behave. You will conform. You will comply. You will not march to a different drummer.
The old Progressives were earnest and well-intentioned—old-fashioned “do gooders.” They were also stern and sober social reformers. During the Progressive Era, Congress suppressed the lottery business and interstate prostitution. They enforced prohibition on the sale and manufacture of alcohol, and they imposed taxes on narcotics. Personal vice had become a public enemy. Professor Charles Beard, a leading Progressive historian, wrote in 1930: “Perhaps no country in the world, except Russia, places so many restraints on what is called ‘personal liberty,’ the right to do as one pleases in personal conduct and on the use of property.”
Because Progressivism is an old and recurrent stream in our public life, its influence on public policy is so immense that it is a given: part of our national landscape. Progressive intellectuals generally had—and still have—a profound faith in social science, a conviction that scientific expertise was the key to social progress, especially in a social and economic order that was increasingly complex. Administration was to be the change agent. Again, Beard: “Thus, in our day, a new social science is being staked out and developed—the science of administration in a ‘great society.’ If the ‘great society’ is to endure, then it must make itself master of administration.”
For Progressives, true liberty was not merely freedom from, or “negative” liberty, meaning freedom from arbitrary rule or tyrannical coercion, as embodied in the venerable natural rights tradition of the American Revolution. True liberty was the freedom to be, to act, to grow personally and to fulfill one’s potential.
This was “positive” liberty. It was to be achieved by the removal of economic and customary restraints, creating fairness in social and economic relations, liberating all persons, regardless of class or condition, from the unwelcome vicissitudes of the market and providing child care, education, universal health care, and pensions: in short, security. Justification for government action would be grounded, as Beard argued, not in power, but in service. This new liberty would be secured through broad-scale central planning and social and economic regulation.
Positive liberty, therefore, was to be achieved through the positive state. Think personal “growth” in a straitjacket.
Such ideological assumptions justified a federal role in health care and a national system of social insurance (based on the German model) for pensions in the Progressive Party platform of 1912. They explain the passion for centralization of power, particularly in the executive branch of national government, where scientific expertise would be able to work its will. “Progressivism,” wrote Professor Ralph Gabriel of Yale University, “was an aspect of the rising cult of science.”
But Progressivism carries within it the seeds of contradiction. While Progressives long championed the democratization of our institutions, sunlight in government, and the elimination of the baneful influence of corporate interests, they clung stubbornly to a faith that public problems could be effectively solved through bureaucratic decision-making: little bands of experts appointed to an expanding number of government boards, commissions, or panels. That is at the heart of the Progressive conception of modern government.
Populist rhetoric notwithstanding, the reality of Progressive rule is profoundly undemocratic, precisely because it takes crucial decision-making that directly affects the lives of millions of citizens “out of politics.” Thus, you have the administrative state: the rule of administrators.
Read the full article here.
Originally posted on Evil of indifference:
Fort Lee, N.J. Cracking Down On ‘Dangerous Walking’ By Handing Out Summonses
“Forget dangerous driving, pedestrians are the new threat to street safety — phone calls, texting, music and wandering into traffic. Now, one New Jersey town is cracking down on the practice.”
“Fort Lee’s police chief has seen his share of careless pedestrians texting or talking on the phone in his own town. He said he has counted 23 pedestrian accidents since January, ranging from minor bumps and bruises to three fatalities.
Sometime today, Onyango “Uncle Omar” Obama — who was ordered deported from the United States back during the first Bush’s presidency — will be given a driver’s license by the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. All he has to do is show up.
When this criminal alien walks into the RMV waiting room, he’ll be walking past American citizens — many of them fighting a tooth-and-claw battle with the bureaucracy to get back the license to which they are legally entitled. Every day, Registrar Rachel Kaprielian’s legion of government hacks screw over legal citizens with legitimate complaints — all because these people can’t legally prove their identity or driving status.
But when a known illegal immigrant whose picture has been on the front page of the Boston Herald for breaking the law walks in, these very same RMV bureaucrats will happily hand over a driver’s license they know he’s not legally entitled to have.
This is not about homosexuality as the homosexual deserves the same respect and the same rights as does any other citizen. Nor is this about committed homosexual relationships as such relationships deserve respect and should be encouraged. It should be acknowledged that same sex committed relationships, whether or not the term marriage is employed, have proven to work out fine for most of those who have chosen to participate in them. The main argument for legal recognition of same-sex relationships as marriage has been that the partners involved deserve the same access to public services as do married couples. It should be acknowledged that this is a real issue that should be legally addressed. Yet clearly such questions as access to services for gay couples are resolvable without necessarily passing a law that declares gay relationships as marriages.
Let’s be blunt with no offense intended. Two people of the same sex cannot be married because two people of the same sex cannot physically consummate a marriage…
It’s no secret that one of the largest blocs of people pressing for so-called “gun control” is the culturally aka not-so-religious American Jewish community. This confounds many observers who would expect that Jews, with such a stunning history of oppression and murder by humanity’s villains, would cling tenaciously to personal firearms and the ability to protect themselves as the Hebrew Scriptures instruct.In reaction to the Holocaust, American Jews adopted the phrase “Never Again!”
If actions mean anything, they don’t believe it…via JFPO
Originally posted on Evil of indifference:
“Jury nullification, a legal concept that dates back to 17th century England, remains perfectly lawful in the United States, according to a ruling by a federal judge last month.
U.S. District Court Judge Kimba Wood said 80-year-old Julian Heicklin, who was arrested by FBI agents for passing out pamphlets marked “Jury Info” from an organization known as the Fully Informed Jury Association to an undercover agent, was within his legal rights under law to do so. Prosecutors had argued that Heicklin was in violation of U.S. law, which prohibits influencing jurors through written communication.
“Heicklen advocates passionately for the right of jurors to determine the law as well as the facts,” Wood wrote. “The pamphlets state that a juror has not just the responsibility to determine the facts of a case before her on the basis of the evidence presented, but also the power to determine the law according to her conscience.”"
For the past four years I have been covering the progression of the global economic crisis with an emphasis on the debilitating effects it has had on the American financial system. Only once before have I ever issued an economic alert, and this was at the onset of the very first credit downgrade in U.S. history by S&P. I do not take the word “alert” lightly. Since 2008 we have seen a cycle of events that have severely weakened our country’s foundation, but each event has then been followed by a lull, sometimes 4 to 6 months at a stretch, which seems to disarm the public, drawing them back into apathy and complacency. The calm moments before each passing storm give Americans a false sense of hope that our capsized fiscal vessel will somehow right itself if we just hold on a little longer. Read more…
Originally posted on The Education Vigilante:
Start you education by visiting these top personal freedom and liberty sites.
Hat tip to The Capital Free Press for putting the list together!
This is a ranking of the top libertarian websites based on the number of unique visitors in the most recent month according to the data compiled by Compete. They only compile data for domains and subdomains, so perhaps this list is more accurately described as the most visited libertarian domains rather than websites. It is compiled through calls to Compete’s API, so it will automatically update when they release new data each month. For more information on this list, see the blog post introducing it.
Automating everything means that adding a new website is as simple as plugging a new url into my list, so you have any suggestions for a website to add, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to the restrictions on the free use of the Compete API, there is a chance that I could run out of API calls in a 24 hour period (resets at midnight EST). The way that I compile this list and the terms and conditions on the use of their API prevent me from displaying the number of unique visitors for each website in the chart, though that information and more can be accessed via the link I have provided.
At some point, the question must be asked: Is that useless degree worth it?? GE.
… According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, between 2007 and 2010, the percentage of people with a graduate degree who were on food stamps or were receiving another kind of federal aid more than doubled, reaching 360,000… In 2007, 9,776 people with PhD’s were receiving some kind of aid. In 2010, that number had more than tripled to 33,655. For people with master’s degrees, the number spiked from 101,683 to 293,029. Austin Nichols of the Urban Institute crunched those numbers for The Chronicle using census data…. via The Daily Caller.
Also see here:
I first met farmer, author, entrepreneur, thinker, and self-described “Christian-conservative-libertarian-environmentalist-lunatic” Joel Salatin at his rural Virginia farm, Polyface, in 2009. We sat in rocking chairs in his home office and talked about everything from food and agriculture to law, regulations, and the Bill of Rights.
I’ve seen Salatin several times since—in Washington, DC, and Little Rock, Arkansas and, most recently, back at his farm—and have even invoked his unsubsidized farming practices to argue that he and farmers like him should serve as the model for supporters of sustainable agriculture—meaning farming that eschews government subsidies while both minimizing environmental impacts and also turning a profit. Read more…
Washington, DC, May 3, 2012—In 2012, Americans will pay approximately $4.041 trillion in taxes, which is $152 billion, or 3.9%, more than they will spend on housing, food, and clothing combined, according to a new study from the Tax Foundation.
In addition, an increasing proportion of government benefits now go to pay for those same basic expenses of low-income Americans…
We’ve got a vivid picture of the Republicans and conservatives in our midst. They’re a sour, dour lot — close-minded, tight-fisted and intolerant. Some are businesspeople, greedy and self-interested. Others are rednecks, poorly informed, clinging to their guns and religion.
If only these folks understood political issues better and cared more about their fellow man, they’d be liberals, right?
Think again. A growing body of research is shattering this conventional wisdom.
Survey data make clear that Republicans, on average, are better informed than Democrats about political issues…
…. Michelle Obama’s August 2010 Vacation in Spain Cost American Taxpayers $467,585 According to Records Obtained by Judicial Watch… see here: Judicial Watch.
A must read example of the incremental and erosive effects of increased federalization of law enforcement in the US.
Also, see here: http://evilofindifference.wordpress.com
Originally posted on John Malcolm:
By Paul Joseph Watson | May 3, 2012 | Infowars.com
Political activists would be pacified to sympathize with the government
Almost 90 percent of the media we consumed is now controlled by 6 giant corporations, versus 50 in 1983…
Hence, CISPA? I.e. Can’t have the sheep getting unauthorized information i suppose…
The Federal Biometric ID program which was announced by ICE back in February of 2011 was introduced under the auspices of tracking immigrants who have been booked for crimes by local police. However, it was quickly revealed through Freedom of Information Act requests by several justice organizations that the program was secretly intended for American citizens as well…. go here –>Activist Post: Mobile Scanner to be Added to Biometric Data Arsenal.
Bruce Quick, attorney for the first American arrested using an unmanned drone says his client was subject to “guerrilla-like police tactics.” Quick tells U.S. News that Lakota, N.D., resident Rodney Brossart should not have been arrested and that authorities had no legal right to use the drone to aid in his capture.
“The whole thing is full of constitutional violations,” Quick told U.S. News. “The drone use is a secondary concern.”
Brossart was in a dispute with authorities over the ownership of six cows that had meandered onto his land. The Grand Forks SWAT team borrowed a Predator drone from the Department of Homeland security to make sure it was safe to arrest Brossart, authorities told the paper…. via Rodney Brossart, American Arrested using predator drone at Huffington Post.
The unexpected death of conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart just got a whole lot more mysterious. Only two months after Breitbart’s passing, the coroner that investigated the cause of death may have succumbed to arsenic poisoning…. via RT.
People Not In Labor Force Soar By 522,000, Labor Force Participation Rate Lowest Since 1981 | ZeroHedge
It is just getting sad now. In April the number of people not in the labor force rose by a whopping 522,000 from 87,897,000 to88,419,000. This is the highest on record. The flip side, and the reason why the unemployment dropped to 8.1% is that the labor force participation rate just dipped to a new 30 year low of 64.3%… via ZeroHedge.
or, from Heritage.org:
and see here from Peter Schiff at RT:
Alternate Inflation Charts. The CPI chart … reflects our estimate of inflation for today as if it were calculated the same way it was in 1990. The CPI on the Alternate Data Series tab here reflects the CPI as if it were calculated using the methodologies in place in 1980. In general terms, methodological shifts in government reporting have depressed reported inflation, moving the concept of the CPI away from being a measure of the cost of living needed to maintain a constant standard of living…