Sunday, December 10, 2017

BEYOND Fake News

The "Mainstream" US media has now moved beyond
fake news and is pushing its wishful thinking as real news:

By Glenn Greenwald

Friday was one of the most embarrassing days for the U.S. media in quite a long time. The humiliation orgy was kicked off by CNN, with MSNBC and CBS close behind, with countless pundits, commentators and operatives joining the party throughout the day. By the end of the day, it was clear that several of the nation’s largest and most influential news outlets had spread an explosive but completely false news story to millions of people, while refusing to provide any explanation of how it happened.

The spectacle began on Friday morning at 11:00 am EST, when the Most Trusted Name in News™ spent 12 straight minutes on air flamboyantly hyping an exclusive bombshell report that seemed to prove that WikiLeaks, last September, had secretly offered the Trump campaign, even Donald Trump himself, special access to the DNC emails before they were published on the internet. As CNN sees the world, this would prove collusion between the Trump family and WikiLeaks and, more importantly, between Trump and Russia, since the U.S. intelligence community regards WikiLeaks as an “arm of Russian intelligence,” and therefore, so does the U.S. media.

This entire revelation was based on an email which CNN strongly implied it had exclusively obtained and had in its possession. The email was sent by someone named “Michael J. Erickson” – someone nobody had heard of previously and whom CNN could not identify – to Donald Trump, Jr., offering a decryption key and access to DNC emails that WikiLeaks had “uploaded.” The email was a smoking gun, in CNN’s extremely excited mind, because it was dated September 4 – ten days before WikiLeaks began promoting access to those emails online – and thus proved that the Trump family was being offered special, unique access to the DNC archive: likely by WikiLeaks and the Kremlin.

It’s impossible to convey with words what a spectacularly devastating scoop CNN believed it had, so it’s necessary to watch it for yourself to see the tone of excitement, breathlessness and gravity the network conveyed as they clearly believed they were delivering a near-fatal blow on the Trump/Russia collusion story:

There was just one small problem with this story: it was wishful thinking fundamentally false, in the most embarrassing way possible. Hours after CNN broadcast its story – and then hyped it over and over and over – the Washington Post reported that CNN got the key fact of the story wrong.
The email was not dated September 4, as CNN claimed, but rather September 14 – which means it was sent after WikiLeaks had already published access to the DNC emails online. Thus, rather than offering some sort of special access to Trump, “Michael J. Erickson” was simply some random person from the public encouraging the Trump family to look at the publicly available DNC emails that WikiLeaks – as everyone by then already knew – had publicly promoted. In other words, the email was the exact opposite of what CNN presented it as being.

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ under: you cant make this sh*t up

Saturday, December 09, 2017

With "Friends" Like These...

...Second Amendment supporters don't need enemies

By Tho Bishop

On Wednesday, the Republican controlled house voted to further federalize gun laws in this country. While Ryan McMaken has noted the danger in further centralizing gun legislation, there is another deeply troubling aspect to this bill: it expands the ability of the Federal government to restrict Americans’ right to bear arms.

During the legislative process, the NRA supported merging the bill aimed at nationalizing concealed carry permits with another piece of legislation aimed at “fixing” the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS.) Obviously this legislation was inspired by the failure of the US Air Force to report the criminal record of Devin Kelley, who went on to commit a horrific shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas. While the motivation to do something after this atrocity is entirely natural, unfortunately this bill is simply another example of the Federal government using its own failure to justify expanding its own power.

After all, the “Fix NICS” bill doesn’t seek to punish the US Air Force for its failure to properly process paperwork. Instead, it provides $760 million in additional funding for the Department of Justice to establish new guidelines to ensure compliance among Federal agencies. That funding can also be used “to ensure maximum coordination” between State government and Indian tribes with the NICS.
While the idea of bolstering the already existing Federal gun registry may strike some as relatively benign, it’s important to understand how it has been used in the past.
As Congressman Thomas Massie noted in his own criticism of the bill:
When President Obama couldn’t get Congress to pass gun control, he implemented a strategy of compelling, through administrative rules, the Veterans Administration and the Social Security Administration to submit lists of veterans and seniors, many of whom never had a day in court, to be included in the NICS database of people prohibited from owning a firearm. Only a state court, a federal (article III) court, or a military court, should ever be able to suspend your rights for any significant period of time.
While Republicans and supporters of the NRA may not fear the Trump Administration coming after their guns, it is obviously reckless to grant additional power and resources to future administrative states that may be quite hostile to the right to gun ownership. To put it simply, there is never a good reason to give Federal agencies the power the revoke an individual's ability to lawfully purchase a weapon without due process.
Further, if one needed an example of how dangerous it is to centralize gun legislation in Washington DC, look no further to what gun owners in states like Ohio and Hawaii are currently facing. Both states, having recently legalized the use of medical marijuana, have placed those who need it with the choice of either owning a gun or receiving life-improving medicine.

In 2011, the Federal government sent a letter to licensed gun dealers reiterating that marijuana users were prohibited from owning a gun – even if it they have a medical prescription. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld this decision last year. Hawaii, which requires gun registration, has gone as far as to sending letters to permitted gun owners with marijuana prescriptions requiring they turn over their weapon. While the state is currently asking for “voluntary cooperation,” it could be a matter of time before it turns into compulsory compliance.

While the simplicity provided by nationalizing laws is an understandable appeal, especially if you’re a gun owner who frequently travels, political centralization is never the answer. By supporting this flawed attempt at “National Concealed Carry Reciprocity,” the NRA and their supporters in the House have sided with the power of Federal agencies over the Second Amendment rights of Americans.

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ 

Friday, December 08, 2017

Book Review: Who Knew?

By Dorothy Cummings McLean 

Bombshell: Book claims Pope Francis expected Benedict’s abdication

December 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – An explosive new book is claiming not only that Pope Francis is a power-hungry, manipulative dictator, but that he celebrated the abdication of Benedict XVI.

The Dictator Pope, by a pseudonymous author who calls himself Marcantonio Colonna, claims to describe what Pope Francis is like when his adoring public isn’t looking: “arrogant, dismissive of people, prodigal of bad language and notorious for furious outbursts of temper which are known to everyone from the cardinals to the chauffeurs.”

Despite the hidden identity of the author, the book has hit the bestseller list and received praise from seasoned Vatican watchers.

According to the book, Francis is a master manipulator, and was fully conscious of both attempts to have him elected pope. When the 2005 Conclave elected Cardinal Ratzinger instead, the formerly conservative Cardinal Bergoglio adopted a newly progressive stance in line with the theology of his backers. And it seems that he was privy to the resurrection of their plans when Benedict cut his own papacy short. According to Colonna:
“By the middle of 2012, a few insiders in the Curia knew that Pope Benedict was considering abdication; he had confided his intention to two of his closest associates, the Secretary of State Cardinal Bertone, and the papal secretary Archbishop Ganswein, and he had named the exact date: 28 February 2013.
“Cardinal Bergoglio’s communications with Rome were abruptly stepped up from this time, rising to hectic levels as the date approached. Sure enough, on 11 February 2013 Pope Benedict made his public announcement to the cardinals, and it took almost the whole world by surprise; not Bergoglio and his associates, however, as eyewitnesses discovered.
“On the day of the announcement itself, the rector of Buenos Aires cathedral went to visit his Cardinal and found him exultant. During their interview, the telephone never stopped ringing with international calls from Bergoglio’s allies, and they were all calls of personal congratulation. One Argentinian friend, however, less well informed than the others, rang up to ask about the extraordinary news, and Bergoglio told him:’You don’t know what this means’.”
Renowned Italian journalist and Vatican expert Marco Tosatti who writes for the Italian daily La Stampa, called The Dictator Pope  “important” and  “a panoramic view” of the historic events of the Bergoglian papacy so far. Robert Royal, editor-in-chief of The Catholic Thing and papal watcher for EWTN, characterises The Dictator Pope as “far more probing and detailed than anything that has previously appeared” about Francis’ papacy.

Royal cautions that the book “sometimes stretches evidence,” but adds “the sheer amount of evidence it provides is stunning. About 90 percent of it is simply incontrovertible, and cannot help but clarify who Francis is and what he’s about.”

The United Kingdom’s most popular Catholic weekly comments that The Dictator Pope is “at times harsh,” but praises it saying it “draws on a wide range of material including confidential sources within the Vatican.”
The online book was made available in English on December 4. An insider’s view, it also delves into published articles and books about Francis--some of which have disappeared from Argentine bookstores--to explain the shadow side of the Bergoglio pontificate.

The “scheming Jorge Bergoglio” presented by The Dictator Pope is a startling contrast to the “humble Pope Francis” sold to the public from the date of his election by the world media. What effect the first will have on the second will be interesting to discover.

H/T Paula Deist via Lew Rockwell

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Only the Left Can Have its Cake After Eating It

By Monica Showalter 

Νot only are the Alaska natives seeing too many [polar] bears proliferating, so are the scientists who study them. Professor Susan Crockford of the University of Victoria has observed the proliferation of bears and far from saying they are endangered, she concludes they "are not at risk" which of course got her attacked by ideological leftists and those for whom global warming is a religion.

The Financial Post of Canada's Terence Corcoran notes this [polar] bear issue and the left's shifting story on it is a magic talking point for global warmers who go after anyone who deviates from their party line:
It’s all part of an escalating epic of polar bear junk science. It begins with a paper in which Amstrup, who heads the activist group Polar Bears International, and other climate scientists — including famed temperature hockey-stick maker Michael Mann — produce what must be one of the most pathetic scientific smear jobs in the already sorry history of climate change science smear campaigns. Also along for the hatchet job was Stephan Lewandowsky, an Australian psychologist who asserts that people who have doubts about climate policy are wacky conspiracy theorists who would also tend to believe the 1969 moon landing was faked.
So instead of starving, global warming is now causing bears to proliferate. We are supposed to be upset about it no matter what the truth is. It just goes to show that global warmers just can't get their stories straight. And they want to have their bears and starve them, too.

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Defender of Antifa

By Thomas DiLorenzo

If you are a violent communist criminal who screams at those with whom you disagree, calling them Nazis and beating them bloody, setting cars and buildings on fire, throwing urine and feces at people, throwing bricks and bottles at the police, and instigating riots then there could be nothing but purity and love in your heart according to the Soviet Poverty Lie Center (SPLC), which has refused to label “Antifa” as one of its “hate groups.”  The Singing Nuns are on its list, however, as is almost every conservative and libertarian organization in America.  The American Enterprise Institute was condemned by the SPLC for “mainstreaming hate” by sponsoring a public debate on immigration policy, a topic Americans have been debating since the Louisiana Purchase.  It was the SPLC, under contract with the Department of Fatherland Security, that advised during the Obama administration that anyone with a “Ron Paul for President’ bumper sticker should be considered to be a potential terrorist.  If Antifa is not a hate group, then there is no such thing as a hate group.

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

I Can Hardly Wait...


. . . to see who the new congresscritter from Detroit will be now that Congressman John Conyers, the poster boy for term limits, has resigned in disgrace after fifty-three years in the House of Representatives.  I assume that whomever it is will run under the campaign slogan, “What’s Good for Detroit is Good for America.”

Conyers resigned after admitting to being a pervert whose personal “war on women” included showing up for one-on-one office meetings with female staffers wearing only his boxer shorts, groping and fondling female employees in public, etc.  He said he resigned “to preserve my reputation” and endorsed his son as his replacement.  The people who elected all those Detroit politicians who have done such a fine job there over the past 50 years will undoubtedly put the younger Conyers into the job.  But just in case, his great-nephew has also voiced interest in the job.

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Monday, December 04, 2017

A "Happy" Ending...

 ... in ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ's happy little berg:

By Tom Knighton

A clerk at a Georgia convenience store is the latest example of a clerk successfully using a firearm in self-defense while at work. The Douglasville store is located in a bit of a bad neighborhood, apparently, so the clerk on duty was ready when a man entered the store with a gun.
A store clerk shot an armed robber at a Douglasville, Ga., Chevron gas station.
Located at 6590 E. Broad St./Bankhead Highway, the store clerk called 911 and told the dispatcher that the suspect pointed a handgun at him. The store clerk retrieved his own gun and shot the suspect inside the convenience store.
When officers arrived on the scene, they found the armed robbery suspect on the ground in front of the store, suffering from a single gunshot wound.
Regular customer, Darrell Haley, said he worried about the clerk he sees every day, with a smile, from behind the counter.
“The guy just come [sic] in like five minutes after I walked out; walked in with a gun–brandished a gun, said he was going to rob the place. [The clerk] pulled his and shot first. You know, self-defense,” Haley said, who lives just down the road from the gas station.
“Next thing I know the whole parking lot is lit up with cop cars, detective’s cars, everything–guy laying on the ground shot and it just worried me that it was my buddy.”
The clerk was uninjured. The suspect, 19-year-old Jailateef Williams, died at the hospital a couple of days later.

It doesn’t appear the clerk has been terminated, which is a nice change of pace. If he has, it hasn’t broken on the news yet, and it seems likely that it would have. After all, he appears to have been well-liked by the customers, with more than one referring to him as a buddy. Someone would have said something.

But this is yet another case where a clerk has been forced to defend themselves from an armed attacker. In fact, the idea of an armed attacker is so common that more than a few refer to convenience stores as “Stop-n-Robs,” a play on the name of many such places that use the “-n-” thing in their name and the activities such places are known for.

However, for whatever reason, many such places will not allow their clerks to carry their lawfully owned weapons for personal defense, a policy that may well have resulted in numerous deaths. How many were killed at work because they didn’t dare violate store policy?

The truth is that guns save lives. Armed citizens lawfully using their firearms to defend themselves or others keep people safe and they always have. Further, they always will.

It’s time store policies and anything driving them to change. Failing to do so will result in countless more deaths as innocent clerks will be murdered in cold blood because they’re too afraid of losing their job to carry a firearm in defiance of store policy.

Maybe it’s time for families to sue these stores when disarmed loved ones are shot while at work. Maybe that will change the underlying problems.

Is George Will finally Right?

By Laurence Vance

Concerning a case before the Supreme Court regarding sports gambling, [George] Will says that the Supreme Court should let states set their own sports gambling laws. This is a no-brainer since the Constitution nowhere authorizes the federal government to have anything to do with the regulation or prohibition of gambling on sports or anything else. I hope that Will and others who agree with him on this point will also say that states should make their own drug laws, but I suspect that that is not the case. And of course, as a libertarian, I must point out that even if these things were left up to the states, that would not mean that I would be happy. No state should make any laws concerning gambling or drugs.

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

A Well Regulated Militia...?

By Chris Eger

A north Harris County, Texas homeowner and former Marine was confronted by four males while standing in his driveway with his garage door open Friday night, and soon found a gun to his head.

Homeowner Alexander Borrego told Click2 Houston that his wife and children were inside the home when four teens grabbed him around 10:30 p.m. and pulled a gun on him. However, they were in for a surprise as Borrego, concerned about his family, had a handgun of his own concealed in his hoodie.
“As soon as I got my hand on my pistol I turned towards the guy that had the gun at the back of my head. I immediately removed the pistol away from my head as I began firing at those guys,” Borrego said.

The four ran from his home and one, shot in the chest and leg by Borrego, later showed up at a local hospital. The teen, brought to the hospital by his mother, is recovering.

H/T Lew Rockwell. Read the rest

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Today's Dow 23,836.71 up 255.93 +1.09%

“Tilt! Game Over”
by Jeff Thomas

 Anyone who’s ever played a pinball machine can attest to the fact that the player easily becomes wrapped up in it, to the point of the exclusion of all else happening around him. He hits the flippers rapidly, glancing up from time to time at his increasing score. It becomes irresistible to jiggle the table frequently, in an effort to get the ball to go where the player wants it to go.

And, of course, every player is familiar with the disappointment that comes when he’s overplayed his body English and the machine stops suddenly, lighting up a sign that says, “Tilt! Game Over.”

Much of the world is now embroiled in an economic game similar to pinball. The stakes are becoming ever greater, the flipper buttons are being pressed ever faster, and those who are desperately attempting to keep the collapsing system going are shoving the table ever more recklessly.

At this point in the world economy, the number of possible triggers that could take the system down is growing ever more rapidly. And, for those who are paying attention, the list of dominoes that we’ll see fall is becoming ever more starkly apparent. Let’s have a look at just some of the more basic dominoes:
    •    Creditor countries dumping US Treasuries back into the US market. (This has already begun and will continue until the dollar crashes.)

    •    Cessation of the US dollar as the petrodollar. (This is about to begin, but will take several years to play out fully.)

    •    Economic sanctions by the US against Russia and China (that are unlikely to have the support of the US’s allies).

    •    Implementation of tariffs, resulting in a tariff war.

    •    A rise in interest rates (as was consciously created in 1929 by the Fed in order to trigger a timed crash).

    •    Bursting of the bond market bubble.

    •    A major stock market crash.

    •    Dramatic increase in mortgage defaults.

    •    A spike in commodity prices, coinciding with a drop in asset values (inflation and deflation at the same time—the worst possible combination).

    •    Collapse of the paper gold market.

    •    A switch to the new IMF cryptocurrency and a major effort to end the use of cash. (This will succeed to some extent, but will create a worldwide monetary black market.)

    •    US defaults on its debt. (This, too, will occur over several years.)

    •    Collapse of the dollar.

Many of these events will be black swans. As can be expected, some of the events will be sudden, whilst others will take time to play out. In addition, although they’re likely to occur roughly in order, several will be in play at any given time.

 Although each of these events can be anticipated, they won’t come with warning notices. Their actual occurrences will be unheralded. (As an example, when a stock market crash occurs, investors will wake up to discover that it’s occurred whilst they were sleeping.)

And, just as in pinball, the end of the game will come quite suddenly. The moment that the player will know that it’s “Game Over” will be when he goes to his ATM and finds that the screen is dark. The machine has been made inoperative overnight. Annoyed, he’ll go to the next-nearest ATM, but will find that that one, too, is shut down. He’ll go to others and, at some point, will realise that they’re all shut down.

Without spending cash in his wallet, he’ll then go to the local gas station or supermarket and attempt to pay with his credit cards but will find that they’ve all been made inactive. In trying to sort out the problem with the manager, he’ll be told that all credit cards for all his customers have been denied that day.

Read the rest if you're feeling Froggy

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Saturday, November 25, 2017

¡YA BASTA! Enough Already!

The glorification of the military has grown to new heights in the last year as the Deep State pays major league sports teams to honor and pay tribute to war mongering. There isn’t a country on earth who is truly a threat to our peace and well being, but we spend a trillion dollars per year sowing discontent and chaos around the globe so we can keep our troops and navies occupied killing and bombing people as the profits flow to the military industrial complex. The soldiers being glorified on the local news, on TV dramas, movies, in feel good mainstream media stories, and at local sporting events are nothing but dupes and cannon fodder for the Deep State.

We are being played by the Deep State oligarchs as their raping and pillaging financial scheme reaches its limits and they attempt to convince us going to war against Iran, North Korea, Russia, or China is absolutely necessary to maintain our democracy and liberty. It’s nothing but bullshit. And a growing number of critical thinking people know its bullshit. We will not be sold another false bill of goods. The fetid pustules disguised as the leadership of this country can’t fool us again.

There will be no bank bailouts this time. There will be no $800 billion pork laden “stimulus plans”. The Federal Reserve will not get away with dropping dollars from helicopters on Wall Street while screwing old ladies on Main Street. They will not convince us Russian, Chinese, Iranian or North Korean people are my enemy. Their next war will be a civil war if they attempt to enlist our youth as cannon fodder for their globalization empire plans.

The Classic Witch Hunt

By Michael Rozeff

In terms of actually investigating anything worthwhile or accomplishing anything important to this nation, such as ridding us of crime, Robert Mueller and his Justice Department gang are a joke. They possess absolutely nothing that really matters in a criminal sense or is of any consequence to We the People. They are now reaching for obscure meetings, documents and e-mails. They are reaching for failures to report or report in a timely fashion. Their whole shtick is predicated on Russia having been some kind of enemy for years and years and years. Their premise is false, for they see evil via any contact with Russia, any lobbying for Russians or their views, reported or unreported. In their eyes, anything done by anyone that might conceivably have redounded to the credit of Russia or affected U.S. policy without making oneself out to be a foreign agent is worthy of investigation, indictment and prosecution.

This is a witch hunt, the aim being to wound, possibly mortally, the current Republican administration.

Mueller et al are colluding to destroy basic democratic processes in this country, which include elections and investing the winners with political power. In these terms, Mueller is a dangerous joke to those who are in his cross hairs. Mueller and company are colluding to destroy Trump.

In terms of anything of substance that relates to foreign influence, which is their bugbear, Mueller and company are a total diversion. They are a ruse. They divert attention to matters of no importance whatsoever. If our government had any serious interest in investigating foreign influence, it would be busy 24 hours a day.

Consider, for example, the case of Ahmed Chalabi. Here is a man with unquestioned great influence on U.S. politicians and policies. The influence he had was as harmful and criminal as it can get. He is one of the key persons whose lies led to the Iraq War. He was not the subject of official investigations by our government.

Our government and the electorate are constantly being influenced from many and diverse sources that are far more important in their impact than trivial meetings and e-mails that involved Donald Trump, Jr. and Jared Kushner, or from handshakes and trivial banter at meetings and cocktail parties, none of which anyone recalls or kept records of.

The real crimes that pass as lobbying go unmentioned and uninvestigated. The U.S. supports Saudi Arabia in its war on Yemen. Saudi influence in Washington is huge. The Department of Justice doesn’t investigate arms sales to Saudi Arabia. That’s just business.

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Thursday, November 23, 2017

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?


Should the government borrow against the future? Should it guarantee higher taxes for your children and grandchildren in return for lower taxes for you?

If government’s moral legitimacy depends on the consent of the governed, as Thomas Jefferson argued in the Declaration of Independence, can the federal government morally compel those who haven’t consented to its financial profligacy — because they are not yet born — to pay higher taxes?

These questions are at the base of the debate — such as it is — in Congress these days over the so-called Republican tax reform plan. But you will not hear these questions even asked, much less answered, on Capitol Hill because the Republican leadership of the House and Senate is afraid that the answers might drive them from power. The same can be said for Democratic leaders when their party controls Congress.

In fact, with the exception of a few courageous senators, such as Rand Paul of Kentucky, and representatives, such as Justin Amash of Michigan and Thomas Massie of Kentucky, most in Congress in both parties think the only limit on the government‘s taxing power is what it can politically get away with at any given moment.

And it gets away with a great deal because vast majorities in both major political parties recognize no moral limits to the government’s sordid pattern of tax, borrow and spend.

The numbers are chilling.

The federal government collects about $2.5 trillion in revenue and spends about $4 trillion, annually. The difference between what it collects and what it spends is made up in borrowing. But it doesn’t borrow money as you or I do or any business does — with a planned schedule to pay back the principal it owes plus interest. Rather, it goes deeper into debt to pay its debts.

Though the federal government has been in debt since day one, when it borrowed millions to pay the debts that the states had amassed in fighting the American Revolution (who knows whether the states would have formed a central government without its promise of assuming their war debts?), but from time to time, it has paid back the principal that it borrowed.

Since the presidency of Woodrow Wilson 100 years ago, however, with two then-novel revenue-generating tools — the personal income tax to produce cash and the Federal Reserve to print cash — the federal government has rolled over debt but has never retired it. Stated differently, the feds have always made timely interest payments, but when principal has come due, they have simply borrowed more money to pay the principal and of course thereby incurred more debt.

For example, the federal government still owes the $30 billion Wilson borrowed to finance the useless and fruitless World War I, but the lenders it owes it to are different from those from which it originally borrowed that money. It has paid more than $15 billion in interest on this rolled-over and still-owed $30 billion principal in the past 100 years.

No household, no business, no bank, no government can long survive by doing this.

Since Wilson began this process, all of his successors have added to it, so that the federal government’s debt has swelled in 100 years from $30 billion to $20.5 trillion. Of the $4 trillion the feds spend annually, more than $850 billion of it is interest payments to its current creditors on its debts.

The Republican House tax changes — they cannot be called a “reform,” because they reform nothing; they just redistribute wealth and add debt — would lower taxes for some and raise taxes for many and add $1.5 trillion in debt for all.

If the feds follow their 100-year consistent pattern, this debt will never be retired, will be rolled over hundreds of times and will cause the taxes on generations of unborn Americans — where is their consent? — to rise without benefit to them and without popular or legislative approval.

But you won’t hear any of this debated in Congress because there — and in the White House, as well — we have insufficient political courage to address this problem prudently.

This is now so severe and so consistently an accepted method of operation for the federal government that one can only surmise that those who can address it today must expect that they will no longer be on earth when the bubble bursts.

The bubble, soon to consist of $1 trillion in annual federal government interest payments on $25 trillion in debt, has been characterized by no less a warrior than the current secretary of defense and by his colleague the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as the greatest contemporary threat to national security America faces — greater than Russian President Vladimir Putin, North Korea and all the terrorist crazies who wish us ill combined.

The threat is that people will stop paying taxes because nearly half of revenue will soon go to debt service and nearly half to fixed transfer payments and the productive earners will get little or nothing for their taxes. Then the government’s creditors will not be paid, and the government will not be able to borrow money. Then America as we have known it will cease to exist, and individuals and groups will be on their own to protect life, liberty and property.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Call me the skunk at the garden party if you will, but we need these sober thoughts on this Thanksgiving holiday, lest the blind continue to lead us into a pit with false claims of tax reform that really are part of our government-induced march to perdition.

At some point, the bribing of the poor with welfare and the middle class with temporary tax cuts and the rich with bailouts will come crashing down — unless we change the direction of the government before it is too late.
Reprinted with the author’s permission.

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The "Borking" of Roy Moore

Bork: Verb (used with object)
1. to attack (a candidate or public figure) systematically, especially in the media.
1988, Americanism; after Judge Robert H. Bork, whose appointment to the Supreme Court was blocked in 1987 after an extensive media campaign by his political opponents. See also Clarence Thomas, Supreme Court confirmation
By Thomas DiLorenzo

After the D.C. company newspaper, the Washington Post, accused Judge Roy Moore, a trained lawyer and assistant district attorney, of sexually harassing 14-year-old jail bait almost 40 years ago virtually the entire D.C. establishment, led by Senator Mitch McConnell and other GOP swamp creatures, immediately denounced the judge and thereby supported his opponent, Doug Jones.  Like almost all D.C. Democrats, the communistic Mr. Jones supports the policy of infanticide, which the D.C. establishment deceivingly calls “partial-birth abortion.”  This article in The American Thinker points out some of the illogic, inconsistencies, and absurdities of this latest D.C. swamp witch hunt.

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Syrian Barrel of Worms

By Michael Rozeff

Anti-ISIS forces arranged a large-scale escape of ISIS forces and their families, 4,000 in number, from Raqqa on October 12, 2017. ISIS fighters numbered about 250. How this occurred is examined in detail in a BBC news report dated 13 November, 2017. The convoy included at least 163 vehicles spread over 6-7 kilometers.

ISIS forces re-located east of the Euphrates in several areas. A map shows Abu Kamal to be one such location. Syrian government forces have been fighting ISIS there in the last few days and have also attacked Atareb.
The U.S. has bases and military forces in Kurdish-administered areas in northeastern Syria.

However, Assad’s stated policy is that U.S. forces are invaders and should leave Syria. He wants Syria intact and undivided. Syrian forces aim to retake northern and eastern Syria. Trump and his generals are going to have to decide how to address Assad’s demands that they leave, and Assad is going to have to decide how to handle the American presence in the Kurdish area. This all involves political and military jockeying that has already begun. This includes Erdogan piping up.

Trump can close up shop in Syria, but not without being heavily-criticized by the neocon contingent. He can try to re-arrange Syria jointly with Putin, and this too will result in hysterical criticism from neocons. Netanyahu will want a buffer in southern Syria, and he has already reiterated that he’ll bomb Syria if he pleases.

Trump has a good many political tools available to weather these storms, if they arise. He can get his generals to speak up in his support. He can change the subject. He can raise the level of his anti-Iran rhetoric. He can appease the opposition with talk of new elections in Syria. He can tout the victory over ISIS, even if the Russians were instrumental in bringing it about. He can always rely on Nikki Haley making [idiotic] inflammatory and/or liberal interventionist statements at the U.N.

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

By Any Means Necessary

By Thomas DiLorenzo

 It’s The American Way, after all.  Whenever a libertarian/constitutionalist runs for national office both major parties conspire to snuff him or her out.  Just look at how they treated Ron Paul, even planting Bozos in the front row of debates to screech loud horse laughs at everything Ron said.

 Both parties are experts at Gerrymandering and other tricks that rig elections that guarantee at least 95% of all congressional incumbents have been reelected for the past half century or so.  The latest example is the smearing of Roy Moore in Alabama by a Washington Post reporterette who herself had previously been convicted of passing bad checks.  Then there’s Gloria All-Red with some woman who claimed that Moore locked her in his car 40 years ago, back when cars did not even have child-proof car locks and it was impossible to lock a passenger in a car.  So it appears that conspiring to rig elections is fine and dandy unless it’s done by “the Russians.

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Monday, November 13, 2017

Had Enough Yet?

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

The Fifth Column

By Michael Rozeff

America has a fifth column. A fifth column is a “group of people who undermine a larger group from within, usually in favor of an enemy group or nation.” The fifth column in this case consists of all those in the deep state and elsewhere such as academia, politics, and the media who have worked for a soft coup against Trump, who have spread falsehoods to undermine his presidency, and who are actively working to impeach him or invoke the 25th Amendment on specious grounds. The fifth column aims to undermine the far larger group within this nation who accept the results of last November’s election and who are not trying to overturn it by devious non-election hook or by non-election crook. The fifth column aims to undermine and overturn a legitimate election using foul play, not fair play. The fifth column cuts across party lines. It’s defined by its adoption of underhanded non-election means to bring Trump’s presidency to a premature end. The fifth column wants to see Trump deposed by anti-Trump forces within the government.

One of these fifth columnists is a former advisor to Hillary Clinton by the name of Adam Parkhomenko. He tweeted “Russia has an agent in the White House. His name is Donald Trump.” Parkhomenko accuses Trump of acting on behalf of Russia. Fifth column activities can be overt or clandestine. An accusation like this is overt. Parkhomenko also accused Melania of being an agent of Russia.

Parkhomento’s claim that Trump is acting on behalf of Russia is wild, unfounded and imaginary. His claim is representative of the continual nonsense that is aired by the anti-Trump fifth column.

If the fifth column succeeds in getting Trump’s departure from office, it means that they will have succeeded in overturning an election using non-election methods. Elections are a part of American rule of law. Fifth column success in deposing Trump would be a severe blow to rule of law in all its other manifestations. Success by this fifth column would mean even greater rule by factions of government, media and the deep state than already exists. Fifth column success would mean success of the swamp creatures, at least until other ways are devised and employed to drain their power.

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Sunday, November 12, 2017

A Retrospective Political Litmus Test

...From which the Left in exempt.

By Porter

A dutifully ignored element of the Roy Moore story is America’s changing customs of courtship. As you may know, we habitually project today’s mores backwards, and hold our predecessors strictly accountable to them. It’s a remarkably dishonest cultural tic that someone should eventually write a piece about.

Pertinent to this topic was a conversation I had with an old friend I’ll call Mike following the Roy Moore revelations. As boys, Mike and I occasionally played at his grandparents’ sprawling farmhouse, with he being one of some multitude of grandchildren that marriage ultimately produced. While talking the other day Mike described how his grandfather first approached his future father-in-law seeking permission to court the woman who would eventually become his wife. His grandfather was 32 at the time. His grandmother was 17. Her father said yes. A 50+ year marriage was the result. So was Mike’s grandfather a predator? Was his great grandfather a pimp?

If the answers are yes, then the old age homes are bursting with malice. That’s because the median age of women at first marriage was 20.6 as late as 1970. I understand math is a less precise discipline to liberals than raysis, though that figure suggests that half of all marriages in America involved a teenaged bride within most adults’ lifetimes. Does anyone think some number of these completely common unions didn’t involve men in their early 30s? Were all those people child molesters like Roy Moore and Jerry Seinfeld?

Like every WaPo reporter, I know nothing of Roy Moore’s sexual pursuits. Though the left’s replacement pursuits are quite a bit more clear. Thus I tend to side with populist conservatives, even when they are being attacked by the media organs who hate me. If the age 14 accusation were confirmed that would change. But it’s likely that stealing an election is the only salve his accusers seek.

Friday, November 10, 2017

By Becky Ackers

In what has by now become a habit, the TSA bombed its latest round of undercover tests. This time, though, the rate of failure was only 80% rather than the 95% of a few years ago.

These grim results monopolized a Congressional hearing today. And in what has also become a habit, Our Rulers clutched at various straws that will supposedly reform and improve the unspeakable TSA. New equipment, better training of the agency’s pedophiles and thieves, the ever-elusive magic bullet: both the TSA’s chief crook and whitewasher and the congresscriminals trotted out the same tired lunacy they’ve floated since 2001. But of course, nothing ever changes.

Which, as we all know, is the popular definition of “insanity”: doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results. I trust none of us needs additional proof that politicians and bureaucrats are certifiably bonkers. but if so, here it is.

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Monday, November 06, 2017

What is to Be Done?

By Thomas Woods

Shortly after Donald Trump was elected a year ago, I sent out an email to the effect that American society was coming apart.

And it's only gotten worse.

Ideological and cultural differences have reached a point at which huge pluralities simply loathe each other. What one group considers holy and praiseworthy the other considers abominable and deplorable.

When people of a particular political persuasion are the victims of violent assault, the media downplays it and half of social media suggests they had it coming. Meanwhile, when someone slightly right-of-center wonders if six-year-olds should really be encouraged to transition to another gender, the knives come out.

This was not always the case. Check out an episode of the old show What's My Line? on YouTube. Panelist Bennett Cerf was one of the founders of Random House publishing. He was a left-liberal by the standards of his day. But he was gentlemanly, well dressed, charming, affable, courteous, well mannered -- the very opposite of his counterparts today.

And he still believed in that now discarded idea: the honorable disagreement. He could call Ayn Rand a "brilliant woman" while still disagreeing with her "cockamamie philosophy."

Whatever political disagreements there were, Americans shared quite a bit in common culturally, morally, and in the most basic standards of civilized behavior.

That's all gone now.

And the double standards are ridiculous. Left-liberals who had precisely zero to say about Barack Obama's connivance at the starvation of an entire country -- Yemen -- become hysterical about immigration restrictions that are extremely mild by historical and global standards. I don't know precisely where on the scale of state enormities those rank, but I'm fairly certain it's somewhere below starvation.

I have to admit: even though I knew the status quo -- the low-intensity civil war brewing beneath the surface in America -- could not go on forever, I am surprised at how quickly things are changing.

I see two groups: one, full of ideological imperialists, wants to impose its vision of the world on everyone, destroying the careers and reputations of anyone who resists.

The other group, which is plenty divided, prefers not to be lectured to, demonized, or ruined.

Everyone once took for granted that the goal was to seize the federal apparatus and impose their vision on the country.

How about just abandoning this crazy, inhumane task?

Why not admit the differences are irreconcilable, and simply go our separate ways?

Is this not obviously the most humane solution?

Or is there some expectation that somehow, down the road, we'll all be reconciled?


To the contrary, it's only going to get worse.

Forcing these irreconcilable parties to continue along in this way is what normal people would call "extremist."

Radical decentralization and secession, on the other hand, are the obvious and necessary solution.

And you know it's the sensible solution, because no one is allowed to discuss it.

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

The Short List...

...of government lies:

By Robert Gore
A “modest” income tax will only be levied on the very rich. A central bank will smooth out economic fluctuations, stop financial crises, and maintain the value of the dollar. President Wilson will keep us out of Europe’s War. World War I will be the war to end all wars and make the world safe for democracy. The New Deal will end the Great Depression. President Roosevelt will keep us out of Europe’s war. World War II will be the war to end all wars and make the world safe for democracy. Dropping atomic bombs on Japan is necessary to save a million American lives. The Communists want to rule the world. The president was killed by a lone gunman. There is light at the end of the tunnel in Vietnam. “I am not a crook.” Whip Inflation Now. Wars against poverty, drugs, and terrorism will eradicate poverty, drugs, and terrorism. Legally mandated racial, ethnic, and gender preferences are not discriminatory. The Muslims want to rule the world. Invading foreign countries, fighting undeclared wars, and regime changes will make the world safe for democracy. Spying on you full-time will make you safer and preserve your freedom. If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor; if you like your plan you can keep your plan.
Yet, faith in government runs deep, there’s still that substantial segment who believes whatever it tells them.
Your time would be well spent reading the entire essay.

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Friday, November 03, 2017

Leftist "Logic"

By Jordan Stein

It's an amazing thing.
A Muslim radical used a Home Depot truck to kill eight people in New York City on Tuesday.  
But the Mayor of the city and the Governor of the state just couldn't resist efforts to call for more gun control at a news conference on Wednesday.

That's right. Tuesday's truck attack became an excuse for anti-gun politicians to call for more gun control That's real ignorance.

The fact is, the creep who killed eight people was finally stopped by a good guy with a gun -- NYPD Officer Ryan Nash.

And more to the point, it's possible that the bad guy could have been stopped even quicker if New York City didn't have such ignorant restrictions on law-abiding citizens carrying concealed firearms.

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Finally; GOOD NEWS!!

Utah Nurse Who Was Falsely Arrested Gets $500,000 Settlement


[Wubbels] will use a portion of the money to help people get body camera footage, at no cost, of incidents involving themselves, she said at the news conference.

Look for body cameras to be suddenly turned off at convenient times and for incriminating footage to go mysteriously missing.

Below is Payne’s body camera.  Notice how the university officers not only did nothing to defuse the incident where the city officers were clearly in the wrong, but (as pointed out by the Salt Lake Tribune) one of them actually slows down Wubbels as an assist to Payne in making the illegal arrest. Useless to dangerous at the most decentralized level.

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

What If the Victims Had Been Armed?

By Becky Akers

Wise folks avoid Baltimore, given a story Bill Martin sent me. “The heart of [its] tourism industry,” the Inner Harbor,
turned into a nightmare for a visiting family of 10 earlier this month. Out of nowhere, they were swarmed and beaten by a large number of teenagers. … “They swarmed us,” said Stacey. “They hit my husband in the head. They knocked him out… and then it was just complete bedlam.” … The 10 family members, from grandparents to grandchildren, were walking … when they were overwhelmed. “And they punched my nephew in the face and knocked him to the floor,” Stacey said. “My sister went to protect her son, and they were kicking her. I was knelling [sic] with my husband screaming ‘Somebody help us, why is nobody helping us?’”
Well, because that’s the cops’ job. Oh, wait: the badged bullies are helplessly throwing up their hands and explaining the crimes rather than doing anything about them:
Baltimore City police spokesman T.J. Smith says groups of teens have been a problem in the city.
“It’s always groups of them,” he said. “Someone in that group starts it, and that’s what we saw in this situation.”
A victim from another of the teens’ attacks offered a suggestion: “Maybe if there’d been police on foot, those people would never have been congregating there, looking for a fight, you know looking to hit somebody,” 

To which our spokesliar Smith responded: “Well we did have cops all over the place, but again they probably got there relatively quickly, but we can’t have cops on every corner in every single block of the city…”
Yep. Defending ourselves when the incompetent, corrupt State fails to do so is one of the lesser reasons for the Second Amendment; a major one is defending ourselves from the incompetent, corrupt State. Yet Baltimore and the People’s Paradise of Maryland have zealously stripped their taxpayers of this inalienable right.
No wonder teen-aged criminals reign supreme.oo

Videos of the incident reveal the perpetrators to be "juveniles" wink wink, nudge nudge. 

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Look Out Below!!

By David Stockman

There is about to be a changing of the guard in the Eccles Building. That comes straight from the tweeter-in-chief, who actually verbalized his thoughts on the matter during interviews yesterday:
I tell you what, she was in my office three days ago. She was very impressive. I like her a lot. I mean, it’s somebody that I am thinking about......(but) I have to say you’d like to make your own mark....  
We'll take the bolded phrase as gold watch time for Janet Yellen upon expiration of her term in February. And with a full measure of Trumpian gusto, we'd also say: GOOD RIDDANCE!

When the story is finally written about how capitalism was strangled and America impoverished during the first quarter of the 21st century, Janet Yellen will rank high on the list of villains----right along with Ben Bernanke and Alan Greenspan.

Their unforgivable sin was to systematically falsify the most important prices in all of capitalism-----the prices of money, debt and other financial assets.

They did so in the arrogant and erroneous belief that 12 mortals on the FOMC can improve upon the work of millions of consumers, producers, workers, entrepreneurs, savers, investors and speculators on the free market; and that it's possible to centrally plan and manage a $19 trillion economy by fiddling with interest rates, manipulating the yield curve and massively and fraudulently monetizing the public debt.

For want of a better term, we refer to this entire, misbegotten Greenspan-Bernanke-Yellen doctrine as Bubble Finance. That's because in an open world economy flooded with cheap labor and capital, current Fed policy ultimately generates destructive financial bubbles on Wall Street, not sustainable prosperity on main street.
 Read the rest

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Monday, October 30, 2017

YouTube Censorship and Government Pressure

By Michael Rozeff

Activist Post had a YouTube channel. YouTube closed it down without warning. YouTube’s enhanced censorship was heralded in early September.

Activist Post still has its web site, of course.

The Activist Post videos can be accessed in new places now, because the internet remains open to entry and competition. I can’t see that these videos in any way violated YouTube guidelines. YouTube’s censorship appears to me to be purely due to political and social differences in positions between YouTube’s powers and Activist Post.

The Activist Post byline is “Propaganda for peace, love and liberty”. On Oct. 7, 2017, it interviewed Dr. Ron Paul in a video.

An interview with co-founder Michael Edwards in 2014 explains the philosophy of Activist Post. There is nothing in it that I can see violates YouTube guidelines.

This action by YouTube is part of a relatively recent wave of censorship imposed by companies called social media companies. Government is behind it:
“The government has held multiple closed door meetings with social media executives and has suggested that services take steps to create government-friendly content, monitor activity, and even tweak algorithms to change the availability of certain posts and users. As we wrote earlier this year, social media companies should decline such invitations to join the national security state.

“At the same time, the social media companies provide little to no transparency about how often they take down content for violations of the rules in their own terms of service, which are prone to enforcement errors and abuse. Such rules typically restrict speech on the platforms in ways that go beyond what the government can restrict under the First Amendment. That raises questions about whether the government may be using the rules to pressure companies to take down content that the government itself could not.”

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Imperial Hubris

By Andrew P. Napolitano

I am in Switzerland this week interacting with and lecturing to students and faculty at the University of Zurich. The subject of our work is the U.S. Constitution and its protections of personal liberty.

In most countries, government has begrudgingly granted snippets of personal liberty to keep those who are demanding it at bay. Throughout history, kings and other tyrants have, from time to time, given in to pressures from folks to recognize their natural rights. These instances of “power granting liberty,” as the practice has come to be known, usually have come about to avoid further bloodshed.

In the United States and in Switzerland, however, the opposite took place. In both countries, sovereign states came together to establish a central government peacefully. This model is known as “liberty granting power.” Indeed, the Swiss Constitution is modeled on our own, whereby free and independent states delegated some of their sovereignty to a new, limited central government.

Today, however, the two countries are embroiled in a below-the-radar dispute over whether U.S. federal courts can try Swiss nationals who have diligently followed Swiss law and who have never been in the U.S.

When Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, he included a section he would later refer to as the indictment of British King George III. It characterized the “long train of abuses and usurpations” designed by the king to “harass our people, and eat out their substance.” This was harsh language, even by today’s standards.

One of those abuses and usurpations was “for transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offenses.” He was referring to the British practice of charging colonists — who had never been to Great Britain — in London for behavior that was lawful in the Colonies but somehow allegedly ran afoul of English law.

The typical charge was speaking out and inducing others to oppose the king and Parliament or refusing to pay their unlawful taxes. These so-called crimes were often generally characterized as treason against the Crown.

This British practice of dragging American colonists before British judges and British juries was so offensive to the colonists that the Framers sought to prevent it from happening here by crafting two prophylactic clauses in the Constitution itself. One clause defined treason as only levying war against the United States or giving aid and comfort to our enemies. The other clause required that people be tried in the state where such crimes were alleged to have been committed.

The Constitution recognizes that American people and property can be harmed by foreigners in foreign countries, and the common law at the time required that if there was no harm, there was no crime.
These first principles — crime is harm and people should be tried in the place where they are accused of committing a crime — have been bedrocks of Anglo-American jurisprudence for hundreds of years.

The reason for trying a criminal case in the place where the action took place is to comply with the constitutional requirements of due process. The form of due process requires the pre-existence of the statute allegedly violated, notice of the violation, a trial before a neutral judge and jurors, and the right to appeal the trial’s outcome, but the essence of due process is fairness.

Fairness at trial means that the defendant has the constitutionally required tools available to him, not the least of which are witnesses and tangible things to aid in his defense. The Framers knew this would be nearly impossible to achieve in a foreign land before a foreign court.
This understanding subsisted until the Reagan administration, when the government began seizing foreigners abroad and bringing them to the U.S. for trial. Though these seizures were repellent, the crimes — violence against individuals or large-scale distribution of dangerous drugs — were crimes everywhere, and the harm caused by them was palpable.
Until now.

Now Swiss bankers who have followed and respected Swiss banking laws — which honor the privacy of customers, no matter who they are — and who have never caused harm to American people or property are on trial in the U.S.

The charges? Violating U.S. banking laws by failing to report suspicious transactions to U.S. banking regulators. And for those “pretended offenses,” these bankers have been transported “beyond Seas” for trial.
The Department of Justice is unable to point to any harm caused by these so-called offenses, but federal judges, just as they did in the Reagan era, are accepting the DOJ argument of universal jurisdiction — that somehow American federal courts can try anyone, no matter where a person is said to have committed a crime, as long as the defendant is physically in the courtroom.

But this violates the Declaration of Independence and Constitution’s first principles, and it subjects American bankers and government officials to the same pretended universal jurisdiction of foreign courts. Indeed, a court in Spain has indicted former President George W. Bush and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld for alleged war crimes committed in Afghanistan.

Why should Bush and Rumsfeld answer to Spain for events that allegedly occurred in Afghanistan? Why should Swiss bankers answer to the U.S. when they didn’t violate Swiss law?

This is all about power and the fiction of universal jurisdiction — a fiction the Framers thought they had buried. It needs to be buried again.

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Saturday, October 21, 2017

John McCain, Imperialist

By Paul Gottfried

Senator John McCain, never one to play it close to the vest, has amped up his criticism of the Trump administration’s foreign policy, calling it a “half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems.”
Quoted fully:
To fear the world we have organized and led for three quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain “the last best hope of earth” for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history.
It is almost impossible to comprehend this speech, delivered by McCain while receiving the National Constitution Center’s Liberty Medal for bipartisanship on Monday, without understanding his party and its neoconservative vision of American global hegemony.

Those who aren’t of the same persuasion as McCain, the Wall Street Journaleditorial page, and Bill Kristol’s Weekly Standard might be puzzled as to how the senator can get away with attacking American nationalism while at the same time calling for an American imperial mission. Exhorting one’s country to advance its ideals and leadership across the globe, even against the wishes of those who don’t want this guidance, sounds very much like vintage Western imperialism. French and British imperialists in the late nineteenth century were always justifying their imperial rule as a transmission belt for bringing their higher morality to unenlightened peoples and races.
Radical Republicans during the French Third Republic defended their country’s territorial penetration of Africa and Asia as efforts to carry their revolutionary principles across the seas. How does McCain’s vision differ from this imperialist mission proclaimed by Europeans before the First World War? By the late nineteenth century all European nationalists pursued empire in the name of universal egalitarian or progressive ideals—even the Italian fascist press invoked such concepts when Mussolini invaded Ethiopia in 1936.

The difference between them and us, at least as understood by McCain and his neoconservative friends, derives from their claim of moral superiority. They didn’t have it, McCain thinks, whereas we do. Unlike those morally defective empire builders of centuries past, McCain wants us to believe that we really do raise up the lowly and confused wherever we exert influence. Besides, we’re only practicing true imperialism, argues Stanley Kurtz of the Hoover Institution, if we directly rule a territory that we intend to control. No other form of control counts as imperialism, according to this fastidious definition. Finally, according to neoconservative teachings, it is only America haters who despise our universal values and propositional nationhood, and who therefore question our duty to civilize the entire planet. All this reminds me of a riddle that we used to pose jokingly when the neocons rose to prominence in the 1980s. “When is an empire not an empire?” The answer: “When neocons say it’s not.”

Read the entire article

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Friday, October 20, 2017

Government and Money

By Gary North

In the era of the gold coin standard, when citizens could bring in paper money and demand gold coins from a local bank, this transferred tremendous authority into the hands of the general public. The public could participate in a run on a local bank's gold. If this took place nationally, this would cause a run on the central bank's gold. This would force the central bank to stop inflating through fiat money. That was the great advantage of the gold coin standard. It transferred power into the hands of the general public. The general public could veto central bank policies of monetary inflation.

This is why all the governments of Western Europe outlawed the gold coin standard soon after World War I began in August 1914. Commercial bank runs began almost immediately. So, central banks and governments allowed commercial banks to break their gold contracts with their depositors. Then the central banks confiscated the gold in the commercial banks. They wound up with the public's gold. It was a gigantic act of theft. It was the end of the gold coin standard. There was a huge loss of liberty.

This happened in the United States on Monday, March 6, 1933, at 1 AM. President Roosevelt unilaterally allowed the federal government to steal the public's gold at $20 an ounce. Then, when the government had a lot of the gold, Congress hiked the price to $35 an ounce, thereby enriching the federal government by 75% on the stolen gold. This was a gigantic act of theft. The public did not care. Most of the economists did not care.

The only logical case for having government ownership of gold was under a gold standard. The government had to sell its gold at a fixed price. Because the government always asserts a monopoly over the monetary system, and because the gold coin standard did allow a veto of central bank policies, there was a case -- weak -- for a central bank's vault full of gold.

It would have been far better if the governments of the world had never been allowed to exercise any control at all over the monetary systems. Money is like anything else of value. It is best managed under liberty. It is best managed by private ownership of the means of production. Government monopolies over money always lead to inflation, and the inflation creates the boom bust business cycle. But economists, other than Austrian School economists, do not believe this.

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Trump and Obamacare


Under the Constitution, when Congress passes legislation that directs the president to spend federal tax dollars — or, as is likelier the case today, dollars borrowed by the federal government — Congress must appropriate funds for the expenditure. So for every federal program that spends money, Congress must first create the program — for example, building a bridge or paving an interstate highway — and then it must pass a second bill that appropriates money from the federal treasury and makes it available to the president for the purpose stated in the first law.

When Obamacare was drafted in 2009 and 2010, one of the many compromises that went into it was the gradual rollout of its provisions; different parts of the law became effective at different times. The law was enacted with all Democratic votes. No Republican member of either house of Congress voted for it, and only a handful of Democrats voted against it.
By the time the subsidy provisions took effect, the Republicans were in control of Congress, yet Obama was still in the White House. When Obama asked Congress to appropriate the funds needed to make the subsidy payments required by the Obamacare statute, Congress declined to do so.

Thus, Obama — who, as the president of the United States, was charged with enforcing all federal laws — was denied the means with which to enforce the subsidy portion of his favorite legislation.

So he spent the money anyway. He directed his secretaries of the treasury and health and human services to take appropriated funds from unstated programs and to make the subsidy payments to the seven largest health insurance carriers in the United States from those funds. Of course, by doing so, he was depriving other federal programs, authorized and funded by Congress, of the monies to which they were entitled. But Obamacare was his legacy, and he was not about to let it die on the vine.

Can the president spend federal dollars, whether from tax revenue or borrowing, without an express authorization from Congress, even if he is following a law that requires the expenditures? In a word, no.

That’s because the drafters of the Constitution feared the very situation confronted by Congress and Obama in 2013 — a law that is no longer popular, is no longer supported by Congress and costs money to enforce, with a president eager to enforce it and a Congress unwilling to authorize the payments. To address this tension between a president wanting to spend federal dollars and a Congress declining to authorize him to do so, the drafters of the Constitution put the power of the purse unambiguously in the hands of Congress. The Constitution could not be clearer: “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law."

It follows that where the appropriations have not been made by Congress, the funds may not be spent by the president. When Obama declined to recognize this constitutional truism, the House of Representatives sued the secretary of health and human services in federal court, seeking to enjoin her from making the subsidy payments, and the House won the case. The court underscored the well-recognized dual scheme of the Framers whereby two laws are required for all federal expenditures — one to tell the president on whom or on what the money should be spent and the second to authorize the actual expenditure. Without the second law — the express authorization — there can be no lawful expenditure.

President Trump, after making the same unlawful expenditures for nine months, decided last week to cease the practice. Whether he did so to bend Congress to his will on health care or he did so out of fidelity to the Constitution, he did the right thing, but he should have done it on his first day in office.

Let’s not lose sight of the whole picture here. President Obama has triumphed over President Trump and the Republicans who control Congress, because all but a handful of those who are faithful to the Constitution are behaving as if there were a constitutional obligation on the part of the federal government to provide health insurance for everyone in America. According to a plain reading of the Constitution — and even as articulated by the Supreme Court in the case that upheld the constitutionality of Obamacare — there isn’t.

Reprinted with the author’s permission.

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Our Idiot PC Media

Marc Faber Fired by CNBC, Fox, Sprott

For the following remark:

“I don’t want to enter into a serious discussion of the tearing down of monuments of historical personalities, but I cannot omit mentioning how the liberal hypocrites condemned the Taliban when they blew up the world’s two largest standing Buddhas (one of them 165 feet high), situated at the foot of the Hindu Kush mountains of central Afghanistan, in 2001. But the very same people are now disturbed by statues of honourable people whose only crime was to defend what all societies had done for more than 5,000 years: keep a part of the population enslaved. And thank God white people populated America, and not the blacks. Otherwise, the US would look like Zimbabwe, which it might look like one day anyway, but at least America enjoyed 200 years in the economic and political sun under a white majority. I am not a racist, but the reality — no matter how politically incorrect — needs to be spelled out as well. (And let’s not forget that the African tribal heads were more than happy to sell their own slaves to white, black, and Arab slave dealers.)”
Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ