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Trump’s Iran Trap

Counterpunch - Tue, 2019-05-21 15:50

Remember President Trump’s tweet and accompanying statements by the Trump administration officials concerning Iran – as reported here by CNN on May 19, 2019.

Trump’s statement amounts to a de facto declaration of war on Iran.

Objectively speaking, it is a lie that Iran threatens the US. It is a lie that the US sends aircraft carriers to the region in self-defence. It’s lies as blatant as the one about Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction.

You may think that this is just psychological warfare and positioning. It is not. Because: Over time, this type of statements develop its own dynamics and the US will not be able to back down from what it threatens to do without loosing face.

President Trump’s statement is a blatant violation of international law, the UN Charter’s Article 2.4 which states:
“All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”

In this extremely worrying situation of years of step-by-step US build-up to war with Iran, every and each government that does not issue a formal public protest distancing itself from this type of rogue state behaviour that endangers world security must be considered co-responsible for a war on Iran if and when it breaks out.

Check out whether your government has the statesmanship and courage to do so, no matter where you live. Protest if it doesn’t.

This is not the way the world’s strongest military and a world leader should behave – against a state that has, according to every report including US assessments, adhered to every word in the JCPOA, the Nuclear Deal with Iran of 2015.

The only – gross and repeated – violator of that agreement is the United States of America, by its withdrawal from it and thereby also violating international law since that agreement is embedded in a UN Security Council resolution.

Additionally, the US continues and has stepped up sanctions that amount to (economic) war crimes and collective punishment of 85 million completely and indisputably innocent civilian Iranians.

NATO and the EU – as collective organisations – must now distance themselves from this policy and, in the field of US Iran policies, defy any pressure exerted by Washington, issue statements to the effect that this type of policies by a friend and ally is completely unacceptable morally and a crystal clear violation of international law as well as civilised behaviour among members of the global society.

Secondly, each member state must practice civil disobedience against the US in this field, step up all types of cooperation with Iran and – in actions and not just words, words and more words – isolate the US.

Any government that keeps silent in this extremely dangerous situation are philosophically as well politically complicit in every violent action that may be directed at Iran and its people at any point in the future.

To quote Albert Einstein: “The world is in greater peril from those who tolerate or encourage evil than from those who actually commit it.”

When it comes to its Iran policies, the United States must now be made clearly and unequivocally aware that it does not have and will not have any support – ethically, politically, militarily or economically – from allies and friends – neither when making such statements not if it is mad enough to start a war on Iran and destroy one more civilisation and sovereign state in the Middle East.

This is in the service of the US itself: One more war will make the US the most hated country on earth. It will devastate the US economy further. It will weaken and spell the end of the US Empire. It will – like all the other wars – be what I have repeatedly ermed a predictable fiasco on its own terms.

If you love America, act now. If you want to see it crumble and fall, keep silent and let it fall into its own – tendentially fascist, militarism-addicted – trap.

What is Anarchism?

Counterpunch - Tue, 2019-05-21 15:47

What is anarchism? It is an attempt to bring about a more peaceful, cooperative, equitable society, as well as a framework with which to judge existing society and a set of tools with which to change it. But anarchism isn’t really one thing; it is rather a range of tendencies, bound together by their libertarian character—notably their opposition to the state—and their critique of both capitalist economic relations and the various forms of state socialism that have come and gone. The coercive power of the state underlies both capitalism and socialism, at least as we have known them, both dominating and submerging the individual and, through law-backed privilege, dividing owners from workers. Both are centralizing, hierarchical systems, monopoly systems kept afloat in the final analysis by force. Anarchists have presented a wide variety of economic proposals and lived a colorful medley of real-life social and economic experiments, sure that other ways—consensual and mutualistic rather than authoritarian and exploitative—are possible. As anarchism has matured, it has confronted ever more inequalities of authority, resisting racism and sexism, among other sources of social domination.

Anarchism emerged in the first half of the nineteenth century as a response to several related phenomena: the growth of industrial capitalism, the development of political economy as a separate and distinct discipline, and the rise of nationalism and the modern nation-state. And while the world is a very different place today, anarchism’s critique of centralized power remains relevant. Anarchism is a real, workable answer that, despite its provocative name, does not drive at lawlessness or chaos, but at a free, fair society in which communities are allowed to develop their own bottom-up solutions to concrete problems. Anarchism takes seriously the idea that if all people are equally free and equally entitled to dignity and autonomy, then no individual or group can have the right to impose upon or violate anyone. Thus did the eminent writer and historian George Woodcock suggest that anarchism is “aristocracy universalized and purified.”

Anarchists see that today’s crises, social, environmental, and economic, are the problems of largeness, of unaccountable monoliths in both the so-called public and private sectors. Concerned to cultivate and preserve genuine, human-scale communities, anarchism is fundamentally decentralist. It contemplates a society of loose networks in which groups may federate from time to time for given purposes, but in which there is no single institution arrogating the power to dictate rules, to dominate social and economic life, to preclude the spontaneous activities of free people. The dominant political dialogue and its menu of choices present a series of false choices, all quarters, whether putatively left or right, progressive or conservative, socialist or capitalist, submitting that, in Ivan Illich’s words, “monopolistic oligarchies” ought “to determine the means by which [our] needs shall be met.” It is not seriously considered by any party or side that monolithic bureaucracies, staffed with the appropriate experts, should not lord over us, making the important decisions as a duly appointed guardian would for a ward. The conversation seems to be premised on unthinking acceptance of twin absurdities: that an economy of giant multinational corporations is a proper free market and that the poor and powerless would benefit under a state socialism in which one capitalist, the state, owns and controls everything. Anarchists say that the names we give our systems are less important than the behaviors and relationships at issue; we argue that any attempt at socialism should be horizontal, decentralized, and libertarian, and that any free market must be free from the pervasive privilege that has always defined corporate capitalism as a matter of historical fact. Anarchism is revolutionary insofar as it looks forward to an end of the existing order, its replacement with a free society. But it requires neither the immediate overthrow of the existing order nor resigned despair until the day of the revolution. To again draw on Woodcock, we might treat anarchism “not as a formula for the immediate changing of society, but as a criterion, as a standpoint from which to judge and criticize existing society, and by which to shape one’s actions so that the libertarian and mutualist elements that exist in every society might be constantly activated and the authoritarian elements diminished.”

Anarchists do not hold fast to one view of human nature, if indeed they believe that such a thing exists at all. They do, however, suggest that if the essence of human nature is good, the state is redundant; if human nature is evil, rapacious, selfish, then the state, empowered with its geographical monopoly on the use of legitimate violence, is even more dangerous than mere criminals, the criminality of whom is at least recognized as what it is. Anarchists have attempted to call attention to this paradox not as enemies of law, order, and social cooperation, but as the harbingers of a more principled and complete order. Even as they are the friends of order, anarchists are the enemies of static orders, of regimentation and social monoculture. Current political language talks a lot about the Peoplebut doesn’t trust them to govern themselves, positing various intermediaries, all of whom of course have their own interests and desires. Our rulers maintain the pretense that they are governing for the good of all in order to continue their plunder and domination, aware that power of the conquerors lives first and ultimately in the minds of the conquered. When we change our minds, anarchists say, their power comes to end.


Venezuela, Iran: Trump and the deep state, by Thierry Meyssan

Voltaire dotnet - Tue, 2019-05-21 15:09
The US Press is spreading a false narrative of the events in Venezuela and the rise of tension between Washington and Teheran. Given the contradictory declarations of both sides, it is almost impossible to discern the truth. After having checked the facts, we need to deepen our analysis and take into account the opposition between the different political currents in these countries.

Trump’s War In Venezuela Could Be Che’s Revenge

Counterpunch - Tue, 2019-05-21 15:04

Che Guevara had a dream. After decades of chasing the American Empire into guerrilla street fights from Guatemala to the Congo, Che dreamed of drawing that dreadful beast into an unwinnable quagmire on the graves of its first victims in the heart of Latin America, the treacherous mountain forests of Bolivia where the Conquistadors first struck it rich with Indio silver. Che dreamed of revenge for centuries of violence, of rape, genocide and colonialism. He dreamed of creating another Vietnam in the Western Hemisphere that would spread across Uncle Sam’s indentured colonies and liberate his people, all of his people, from Tierra del Fuego to Tijuana and beyond. Che chased this Quixotic dream into the rugged highlands of Bolivia in 1966 where he got more than he bargained for. Less than a year later he would be dead at the hands of a CIA death squad. But his dream remained, festering just beneath the flesh of a thousand banana republics.

Flash forward to a half century later. Just a few jungles north-west of Che’s grave, in the embattled nation of Venezuela. May 1st, May Day in this year of our lord Satan, twenty-hundred-and-nineteen. Everything should have gone perfectly. Everything was in place for Washington’s latest Latino coup de tat. After softening up the oil rich left-wing pariah state with decades of crippling sanctions and economic sabotage, the stage was finally set. Uncle Sam’s latest camera-ready caudillos, Juan Guaido and Leopoldo Lopez, a couple of scrumptiously fuckable brown choir boys who appear to have been hand plucked from Manudo by the School of the Americas had secured the loyalty of a score of Venezuelan power brokers from the Supreme Court to the Presidential Guard. The night before, Guaido announced his final triumphant putsch in the form of a march to his master’s house at the American embassy in Caracas. A profound publicity stunt in which the entirety of Nicholas Maduro’s fiercely loyal army would join him in overthrowing their own democratically elected government. His Employer in Chief seconded the motion vis a vis Twitter. It all should have gone perfectly, like a thousand times before.

To say it didn’t would be an understatement to say the least. To say the most, Guaido’s latest recital of counter-revolutionary puppet theatre became the geostrategic equivalent of Donald Trump shitting his tux on prom night. Guaido’s little victory march turned into a laughable pity parade, with Kid Pinochet joined only by a handful of rent-a-thugs in military cosplay. His calls for open revolt fell on deaf ears in all but the toniest barrios of the capital where the entire spectacle was epitomized by the sight of bougie rioteers in Dolce Gabbana, chucking Molotov cocktails. The Supreme Court and the Presidential Guard may have played hooky but the peasants didn’t. Upon word of Uncle Sam’s latest plan to pervert their nation, even Maduro’s enemies flooded the streets in rallies for his defense and, more importantly, the defense of the Bolivarian Revolution. If it wasn’t for the cowardly actions of one role-crazy tank driver in Tienanmen mode, the whole flopped coup may have been a virtually bloodless affair.

Naturally, the Administration Who Couldn’t Shoot Straight excepted defeat with all the honor and modesty of the Bad News Bears. Trump’s troika of tyrannic twats, Mike Pompeo, Elliot Abrams and Lucifer’s favorite mental midget, John Bolton, went berzerk scrambling for excuses to explain their complete and total humiliation at the hands of a porno-stashed ex bus driver nearly universally despised by his own people. It was Russia! It was, it was China! No! Hezbollah! No Cobra Kai! John Kreese himself coaxed Maduro off the tarmac with a hardy pep talk and told him to sweep the leg. Yeah, that’s it. No! It was those wily Cubans again, just like in Grenada. According to Satan’s push-broom, half their goddamn army blocked a sure thing without firing a bullet. Stealthy motherfuckers, those Cubans. Like goddamn ninjas, not one naked eye saw them coming or going. Anything, any excuse, any explanation other than the simple fact that Trump got punked and shit the bed. How did this happen? Latin American coups are supposed to be America’s last growth industry. We use to overthrow another democracy every other week back in the Dulles days. What have we become? What went wrong?

The most painfully obvious reason, at least to anybody outside the swamplands of the Beltway, is that the American Empire has become a joke and Trump is the punchline. Lets face it, somebody should, after Ahmed Chalabi and the boys from Tel Aviv convinced the indispensable nation to hand half the Middle East over to Al Qaeda in a doggy-bag we became a little less indispensable. But aside from the inevitable decline of the west, the best answer for why the Bolivarian Republic couldn’t be flipped like Honduras or Ukraine is the simple fact that it is indeed a republic, a democracy who’s foundation predates even Maduro’s far more honorable predecessor, Hugo Chavez, with the creation of the grassroots council communist experiment of the Barrio Assembly of Caracas in 1991.

Over a decade later, this movement was consecrated with its own popular revolution, not with the election of Chavez but with his defense in the streets during America’s most successful or rather least unsuccessful modern Venezuelan coup attempt in 2002. Revolution is the original direct democracy. Once a people have fought and bled for a republic or any cause for that matter that they can call their own, it becomes very hard, even with state reinforced poverty, to convince them to sell it up the river for a song, especially if the lyrics are in English. This is why Cuba still stands firm as a viable anti-colonialist boogeyman after decades of Yanqui skulduggery. If anything, Trump made Maduro more powerful, which leaves him with all out war as his last option.

This is where Che comes in again. That’s right, dearest motherfuckers, full circle time. Chances are, Trump is simply flexing his flabby glamour muscles for those decomposing fossils back in Little Havana. But if Bolton has his way, and never count that sick fucker out, every bluster will end in a ground war and a ground war in Venezuela would be a complete and total unmitigated disaster for the world’s last superpower, an Iraq sized black hole in the heart of Bolivar country. This disaster however could be an unexpected gift from the devil himself to Latin America’s flagging anti-imperialist left, from the fearsome collectivos to the resilient Shinning Path. Che spoke at length about the strategic value of creating two, three, many Vietnams to sap the American Empire of its resources across the Third World. With Afghanistan, Syria and possibly Iran, a costly war south of the border could be the final Vietnam that Che dreamed of and died for in Bolivia. Trump’s war in Venezuela could be Che’s revenge.

Call me a communist, dearest motherfuckers(we actually prefer Kropotkinite-American), but I can’t think of a more fitting end for a more despicable Imperial experiment. Death by greed on the stoop of Potosi, in the dark heart of where it all began, with Che’s wicked laughter hanging like cigar smoke above the ruins. I hate war, but with any luck this could be America’s last.

Springtime in New York

Counterpunch - Tue, 2019-05-21 14:03

Springtime in New York

New York’s a glorious place
In the spring
Why would anyone split
When the leaves are so green
To go sit like a mouse in a house
And chew cheese, yes
And New York’s so nice
With the breeze through the trees
And the gold-dotted starlings who peck
With their beaks
As the violet pigeons all preen
In the streets
And you won’t see shells
Slicing children apart
Just cars crushing kids
Two or three times a week
And you won’t see children in jail
By the border, just ICE by the courthouse
As so many do,
you can look away too,
And like them can say
That you just never knew
As the ice sheets collapse
And the green parrots flew
Through the streets and the trees
Of New York in the spring
In 2019


China’s Belt And Road Is Increasingly Popular

Oriental Review - Tue, 2019-05-21 12:56
The tunnel vision of Indian strategic analysts with regard to China’s Belt and Road Initiative has become the mainstream opinion in the country, inevitably. This is unfortunate because it is a flawed assumption basically to conclude that the tiny slice one sees through the tunnel is the  whole world. The […]

The Disinformationists

Off-Guardian - Tue, 2019-05-21 12:00

CJ Hopkins So, the election-meddling Putin-Nazi disinformationists are at it again! Oh yes, while Americans have been distracted by Russiagate, Obstructiongate, Redactiongate, or whatever it’s being called at this point, here in Europe, we are purportedly being bombarded with Russian “disinformation” aimed at fomenting confusion and chaos in advance of the upcoming EU elections, which …

The post The Disinformationists appeared first on OffGuardian.

On the streets of Edmonton with street preacher Dale: 'It's really tough'

Rabble News - Tue, 2019-05-21 11:40
David J. Climenhaga

Dale the street preacher is doing the Lord's work.

We can acknowledge this, even if we don't share his idea of whom the lord is, or accept his view about what's going to happen when we die.

In addition to standing on a soapbox containing an electronic amplifier and preaching a rather strident version of the Christian gospel that doesn't shy from blunt talk about hellfire, Dale is out there fighting for our fundamental constitutional rights to say what we think and worship as we wish, even if that means not worshipping at all.

His is not an easy calling. Say what you will about his message, it takes courage to say it out loud on a street corner every day.

In the six years since Dale reached the conclusion he'd been called to preach the gospel on the streets of Edmonton, the 60-year-old retired fire rescue captain has been insulted more times than he can count, threatened by an intoxicated woman with a knife, and punched in the head a couple of times.

The first time he was punched out, Dale recalls, "I was goin' to heaven that day, I thought."

He's told regularly to shut up and move along by the law. "The police have talked to me, without exaggeration, over 200 times." So in addition to his passionate take on the gospel of Christ, this has made Dale the street preacher something of a constitutional fundamentalist too.

Dale has a last name, by the way, but you won't read it here out of respect for the man and his family, who don't entirely share his religious views and are uncomfortable with his mission. "I don't do much preaching at home," he observes, almost wryly. And if his adult kids don't share his beliefs, "I still tune up their cars and change their oil."

Dale is hard to miss. He's very pale, tall and lean, with a passing resemblance to the Clint Eastwood of recent years. He's usually accompanied by an assistant who hands out tracts while Dale preaches. For the past five years, he's been somewhere on Jasper Avenue, rain or shine, over the lunch hour every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Friday nights he preaches to the bar-goers of Whtye Avenue. That's a much tougher venue to practice his calling, he told me recently. More alcohol. More insults. More violence.

Still, Dale persists, driven by the conviction that if he slacks off, a soul might be lost. "I believe there is a hell," he explains. "I don't want people to go there."

On the other hand, Dale doesn't seem to be one of those fundamentalists determined to force people who don't believe to do things his way anyway. Well, he told me philosophically, "Everybody has a choice. I want them to believe. Nobody's going to heaven against their will!"

The first time I actually talked with Dale he was surrounded by six grim-faced Edmonton Police Service officers, some of them tugging on their black latex gloves, telling him that if he didn't pack up his amplifier and move along they were going to take him in. A police van was pulled up to the curb.

As this was going on, a biker on a Harley roared by rattling office windows. Nobody even looked up. Loud pipes save lives, I guess, if not souls. Unpopular words are something else entirely.

Dale sounded a little strained that day, but he was calmly insisting he was within his constitutional rights to preach, his amplifier was set in accordance with the city's noise bylaw, and could they please just call their supervisor before they arrested him.

It turns out the street preacher can quote the Constitution, in addition to the Bible, chapter and verse. "As soon as we don't follow the Constitution," he later warned me, "we're doomed!" The five times he’s been ticketed, he notes, the Crown has dropped the charge.

When the police supervisor eventually showed up, Dale told me later, he acknowledged to the preacher that, yes, just as any Canadian trade unionist knows, you do have a right to express your views on the streets of a Canadian city. That day the police backed off.

With no religion in his upbringing, Dale's path to his street ministry started with a not uncommon tale of mid-life ennui. He'd been thinking, "there must be more to this than just going to work and struggling and then you die one day!"

On watch at a fire hall in the wee hours one morning, he took to reading the Bible, the first five chapters of the Book of Genesis on the first night. That started him on the path to his lonely mission in the streets of Edmonton. "If you'd said to me then I'd be a street preacher, I'd have said, 'You're crazy!'"

Dale says he takes no money for his new vocation, paying his way with his pension. The sky's his cathedral, the box with the amplifier his pulpit. His signs slide into a homemade wooden box atop a modest SUV as he moves to the next stop on his circuit. His assistant hands out leaflets from a U.S. publisher of religious tracts. "Freely I have received, so freely I give," Dale explains.

His efforts are not connected with any organized church -- and, the truth be told, Dale's got a kind of fire in his belly that would make a normal institutionalized church pretty nervous.

Unlike a church minister, Dale doesn't have the luxury of a congregation that even pretends to listen. So every sermon has to be elevator pitch: "I have to preach the truth quickly and succinctly."

And when a cranky passerby gives him hell, he observes, quoting scripture, "a soft answer turneth away wrath." Sometimes.

Sometimes not so much. But it's surprising, he noted, how many people from the tough Whyte Avenue crowd return to say they're sorry once they've sobered up. "They didn't get converted, but they came back to apologize."

Even the lady with the knife came back, he remembers, the one he'd held off with the pole of the sign he habitually carries until the police, welcome for once, arrived. She'd got religion in jail, he said, and wanted to say thanks.

"It's really tough," Dale admits. "But after five years, the only time that I feel normal is when I'm on that box preaching."

That's not so different, I think, from many of us who preach the message that better things are possible in this world. Sometimes we're pretty strident, too, and sometimes it seems as if our message also falls on stony ground. There are certainly people in the current government of Alberta who would very much like to make us shut up too.

Well, as a Jehovah's Witness of my doorstep acquaintance once observed when he came upon me handing out union leaflets to uninterested passersby: "Now you're doing what I do." He paused to look around. "No fun, is it?"

Whether Dale chose his calling or had it thrust upon him, it's no fun either.

So here's my suggestion if you come upon the man and you don't like what he's saying. Just walk on by. Show him some respect. Every time he stands up to the bullies who want to shut him up, whether or not they're wearing uniforms, he's fighting for your right to do the same thing.

David Climenhaga, author of the Alberta Diary blog, is a journalist, author, journalism teacher, poet and trade union communicator who has worked in senior writing and editing positions with The Globe and Mail and the Calgary Herald. This post also appears on David Climenhaga's blog,

Image: David J. Climenhaga

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The Bad News About Nudges: They Might Be Backfiring

Naked Capitalism - Tue, 2019-05-21 11:02
Public policy nudges devised by fans of behavioral scientst Richard Thaler might not be all that they are cracked up to be.

Trading With the Enemy

Lew Rockwell - Tue, 2019-05-21 11:01

During the French and Indian War (1754-1763), Americans continued the great tradition of trading with the enemy, and even more readily than before. As in King George’s War, Newport took the lead; other vital centers were New York and Philadelphia. The individualistic Rhode Islanders angrily turned Governor Stephen Hopkins out of office for embroiling Rhode Island in a “foreign” war between England and France.

Rhode Island blithely disregarded the embargo against trade with the enemy, and redoubled its commerce with France. Rhode Island’s ships also functioned as one of the major sources of supply for French Canada during the war. In the fall of 1757, William Pitt was told that the Rhode Islanders “are a lawless set of smugglers, who continually supply the enemy with what provisions they want…”

The Crown ordered royal governors to embargo exports of food and to break up the extensive traffic with the West Indies, but shippers again resorted to flags of truce and trade through neutral ports in the West Indies. Monte Cristi, in Spanish Hispaniola, proved to be a particularly popular intermediary port.

The flags-of-truce device particularly irritated the British, and the lucrative sale of this privilege—with the prisoners’ names left blank—was indulged in by Governors William Denny of Pennsylvania and Francis Bernard of New Jersey. French prisoners, for token exchanges under the flags, were rare, and therefore at a premium, and merchants in Philadelphia and New York paid high prices for these prisoners to Newport privateers. The peak of this trade came in 1759, for in the following year, with the end of the war with New France, the Royal Navy was able to turn its attention to this trade and virtually suppress it.

However, in the words of Professor Bridenbaugh, “Privateering and trade with the enemy might have their ups and downs . . . but then as now, government contracts seemed to entail little risk and to pay off handsomely.”1 Particularly feeding at the trough of government war contracts were specially privileged merchants of New York and Pennsylvania. Two firms of London merchants were especially influential in handing out British war contracts to their favorite American correspondents.

Thus, the highly influential London firm of John Thomlinson and John Hanbury (who was deeply involved in the Ohio Company) received a huge war contract; the firm designated Charles Apthorp and Company its Boston representative, and Colonel William Bayard its representative in New York.

In addition, the powerful London merchant Moses Franks arranged for his relatives and friends—David Franks of Philadelphia, and Jacob Franks, John Watts, and the powerful Oliver DeLancey of New York—to be made government agents, New York, furthermore, was made the concentration point for the British forces and the general storehouse of arms and ammunition, thus permitting “many merchants to amass fortunes as subcontractors if they enjoyed the proper family connections.” By 1761, however, all the great ports in America were suffering badly from the severe dislocation of trade wrought by the war.

Smuggling and trading with the enemy were not the only forms of American resistance to British dictation during the French and Indian War. During the French wars of the 1740s, Boston had been the center of violent resistance to conscription for the war effort, an effort that decimated the Massachusetts male population. During the French and Indian War, Massachusetts continued as the most active center of resistance to conscription and of widespread desertion, often en masse, from the militia.

Thomas Pownall took over as governor of Massachusetts in early 1757, and cracked down bitterly on Massachusetts’ liberties: he sent troops outside Massachusetts without Assembly permission, threatened to punish justices of the peace who did not enforce the laws against desertion (hitherto interpreted with “salutary neglect”), and threatened Boston with military occupation if the Assembly did not agree to the arrival and quartering of British troops. In November, English recruiting officers appeared in Boston, and the Assembly and the Boston magistrates forbade any recruiting or any quartering of troops in the town. Pownall vetoed these actions as violations of the royal prerogative, especially in “emergencies.”

The magistrates then countered by detaining recruiting officers in order to investigate them as potential carriers of disease. When Pownall tried to frighten the Massachusetts Assembly with the French threat, it cogently replied that the real threat was the English army, and that if that army marched on Massachusetts, as their commander-in-chief Lord Loudoun was threatening, Massachusetts would resist the troops by force. The legislature insisted on the natural rights of the people of Massachusetts, to defend which they would “resist to the last breath a cruel, invading army.”

Lord Loudoun was threatening to send his army from Long Island, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania to compel the quartering of troops in Boston. In exasperation, Lord Loudoun wrote to Governor Pownall in December 1757:  “They [the Massachusetts Assembly] attempt to take away the King’s undoubted prerogative;… they attempt to take away an act of the British Parliament; they attempt to make it impossible for the King either to keep troops in North America, or…to march them through his own dominion….” The Massachusetts legislature finally agreed to permit the quartering of troops, but formally insisted that this quartering come under its own authority and not that of England or its governor.

So few citizens of Massachusetts volunteered for the 1758 campaign that Governor Pownall resorted to the hated device of conscription. Resentment among the people was intensified by such British recruiting methods as dragging drunken men into the army. The people erupted angrily in a series of riots, attacking and beating up recruiting squads, all of which required the British to retain a large troop in Massachusetts to crush an imminent rebellion. The Massachusetts draftees then resorted to the silent but effective nonviolent resistance of mass desertions, refusal to obey the hated officers, and going on sick call.

Lieutenant Governor Thomas Hutchinson was appointed to round up deserters, and hundreds were betrayed by the government’s network of paid informers. The people’s resentment and resistance were intensified by the economic depression in Massachusetts caused by high taxes for the war effort.

Following the disastrous Ticonderoga campaign in 1758, the English general James Wolfe wrote in vehemence arid despair that “the Americans are in general the dirtiest, most contemptible cowardly dogs, that you can conceive. There is no depending upon them in action. They…desert by battalions, officers and all.” Other officials and observers remarked wonderingly of the individualistic spirit of the militiamen: “Almost every man his own master and a general.” With the militia officers democratically elected by their men, “the notion of liberty so generally prevails, that they are impatient under all kind of superiority and authority.”

Moreover, the Americans added a new concept to the age-old European peasant and yeoman practice of desertion: the assassination of officers who would not cooperate.

Even in the following years of English victory, the Massachusetts militia continued its resistance. In 1759, it refused to remain at Lake Champlain for the winter, mutinied against its officers, and returned home. The following year, the Massachusetts militia refused to go from Nova Scotia to Quebec, and mutinied again. General Jeffery Amherst had high-handedly decided, in late 1759, to keep the Massachusetts troops in Nova Scotia over the winter of 1759—60, despite the fact that their terms of enlistment had expired. The men unanimously announced their refusal to serve any longer, and wrote to the commander demanding that they be sent home. The Americans were all placed under guard thereafter.

The British decided to shoot the mutinous colonists, but bloodshed was averted at the last minute when the Massachusetts General Court extended the terms of enlistment to six months, and sweetened the pill with an extra bonus of four pounds per soldier. By spring, however, the men and the General Court remained firm: the troops unanimously decided to leave and the General Court refused to extend their terms in the army. So anxious were the Massachusetts soldiers to leave to go home that a party of them commandeered a ship and set sail for home. It was wholly in vain that Amherst demanded British-style discipline for these rebellious, democratically governed militiamen.

Large numbers of deserting sailors, furthermore, left to join the merchant marine for large-scale smuggling and trade with the enemy. New York City was a lively center for deserting sailors, and New York merchants systematically hid the sailors from the British troops. The British compelled their return in 1757 by threatening to conduct a deliberately brutal and thorough house-to-house search, and to treat New York as a conquered city. British troops were quartered upon New York against the vehement opposition of the citizens they were supposedly “protecting.” In Philadelphia, pacifist mobs repeatedly attacked recruiting officers and even lynched one in February 1756.

In general, continuing conflict raged between English commanders, who wanted complete control over the colonial militia, and the Assemblies, which insisted on definite limitations on militia service. American disaffection with the war effort was particularly marked after 1756, when the limited campaign to grab Ohio lands was succeeded by full-scale war against French Canada.

If Americans, during the Seven Years’ War, pursued a policy of trading with the enemy, the British bitterly alienated the other countries of Europe by repudiating all the cherished principles of international law on the sea that had been worked out over the past century. The developed and agreed-upon principle of international law was that neutral ships were entitled to trade with a warring country without molestation by any belligerent (“free ships make free goods”), unless the goods were actual armaments. After finally agreeing to this civilized principle of international law in the late seventeenth century, England now returned to the piratical practice of attacking neutral ships trading with France and of stopping and searching neutral ships on the high seas.

England had long been the major opponent of rational international law, and of the great libertarian concept of “freedom of the seas,” which formed an integral part of that law. Neutrals’ rights were a corollary of that concept, as was the doctrine that no nation could claim ownership or sovereignty of the seas—that, in fact, the citizens of any nation could use the open seas to trade, travel, or fish where they would.

During the sixteenth century, Queen Elizabeth had not accepted the grandiose claims of the mystic astrologer Dr. John Dee, of England’s claim to ownership of the surrounding seas. After all, England was then engaged in asserting freedom of the seas against the presumed Spanish and Portuguese monopolies of the newly discovered oceans. But after the accession of the Stuarts, Spain was no longer a grave threat to the seas, and England’s overriding maritime interest was to destroy the highly efficient and competitive Dutch shipping. Very early in his reign, James I claimed ownership of the surrounding seas and the fish therein, and Charles I arrogantly claimed sovereignty over the entire North Sea.

In opposition to the Stuart pretensions, the great Dutch “father of international law,” the liberal Hugo Grotius, laid down the principle of freedom of the seas in his Mare Liberum in 1609, and integrated the principle into the natural-law structure of international law in his definitive treatise of 1625, De jure belli ac pacis. Grotius was able to build upon the sixteenth-century writings of the great liberal Spanish jurists and scholastics Francis Alfonso de Castro, Ferdinand Vasquez Menchaea, and Francisco Suârez, who flourished even in a time when the Spanish interest was in proclaiming its sovereignty of the seas.

Grotius’ libertarian view of freedom of the seas could expect to meet stern opposition in many countries, but the greatest opposition was in England, where the Stuarts mobilized scholars in their defense. The leading opponents of Grotius and celebrants of governmental and especially English sovereignty over the seas were the Scot professor William Welwood (1613); the Italian-born Oxford regius professor Albericus Gentilis (1613), who proclaimed absolute English ownership of the Atlantic as far west as America; Sir John Boroughs, royal bureaucrat (1633); and John Selden (1635).

England continued its grandiose claims during the seventeenth century, but with its shipping ever more extensive by the end of the century, it began to consent to be bound by international law on the high seas. England had also been the major opponent of neutral rights in time of war and the Dutch their major advocate. However, in the Treaty of 1674 with Holland, England finally agreed to the vital rule of “free ships, free goods” in protection of neutral shipping, a principle that France and Spain had at least formally ratified two decades before.

America before the Declaration

But now, on the opening of the Seven Years’ War, England arrogantly informed the Dutch and other neutrals that any of their ships trading with France would be treated as enemy vessels, under a specious, newly coined “rule” outlawing neutral shipping that the enemy had permitted in its ports in time of peace. Chief theoretician of this British reversion to official piracy was the Tory Jacobite Charles Jenkinson.

Britain’s arrogant attacks on neutral shipping and violations of international law during the Seven Years’ War alienated all the neutral countries of Europe, who soon raised a cry to return to “freedom of the seas.” Particularly harassed was the highly efficient Dutch shipping, and fellow sufferers from British policy were Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Russia, Naples, Tuscany, Genoa, and Sardinia.

This is an excerpt (pp. 250-254) from the 4-volume Colonial history Conceived in Liberty by Murray N. Rothbard (1926-1995).

1. Carl Bridenbaugh, Cities in Revolt (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, Capricorn Books, 1964), p. 68.

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Violence Against Women Act

Lew Rockwell - Tue, 2019-05-21 11:01

A common trick of big-government loving politicians is to give legislation names so appealing that it seems no reasonable person could oppose it. The truth is, the more unobjectionable the title, the more objectionable the content. Two well-known examples are the “PATRIOT Act” and the “Access to Affordable and Quality Care Act.”

Another great example is the Violence Against Women Act. Passed in 1994, the Violence Against Women Act provides federal grants to, and imposes federal mandates on, state and local governments with the goal of increasing arrests, prosecutions, and convictions of those who commit domestic violence.

Like most federal laws, the Violence Against Women Act is unconstitutional. The Constitution limits federal jurisdiction to three crimes: counterfeiting, treason, and piracy. All other crimes — including domestic violence — are strictly state and local matters.

The law also forbids anyone subject to a restraining order obtained by a spouse or a domestic partner from owning a gun. This is a blatant violation of the Second Amendment’s prohibition on federal laws denying anyone the right to own a gun. Whether someone subject to a restraining order, or convicted of a violent crime, should lose their rights to own firearms is a question to be decided by state and local officials.

At least the current law requires individuals receive due process before the government can deprive them of their Second Amendment rights. The House of Representatives recently passed legislation reauthorizing and making changes to the Violence Against Women Act. The most disturbing part of this “upgrade” gives government the power to take away an individual’s Second Amendment rights based solely on an allegation that the individual committed an act of domestic violence. The accused then loses Second Amendment rights without even having an opportunity to tell their side of the story to a judge.

This is a version of “red flag” laws that are becoming increasingly popular. Red flag laws are not just supported by authoritarians like Senators Diane Feinstein and Lindsey Graham, but by alleged “constitutional conservatives” like Sen. Ted Cruz.

Red flag laws have led to dangerous confrontations between law enforcement and citizens who assumed that those breaking into their property to take their guns are private, rather than government, thieves.

The House bill also expands red flag laws to cover those accused of “misdemeanor stalking.” Many jurisdictions define misdemeanor stalking to include “cyber” or online stalking. These means someone could lose Second Amendment rights for sending someone an “offensive” Facebook or Twitter message.

Forbidding someone from owning a firearm because of offensive social media posts sets a precedent that could be used to impose legal sanctions on those posting “hate speech.” Since hate speech is defined as “speech I don’t agree with,” this could lead to the de facto outlawing of free speech online.

Instead of addressing concerns over the inclusion of new red flag type laws in the Violence Against Women’s Act, proponents of the bill have smeared their critics as not caring about domestic violence. As Reason magazine senior editor Jacob Sullum has pointed out, these progressives sound like neoconservatives who smear PATRIOT Act opponents as allies of Al Qaeda.

All decent people oppose domestic violence and terrorism. However, the desire to catch and punish wrongdoers does not justify violating the Constitution or denying anyone due process. When government violates the rights of anyone it threatens the liberties of everyone.

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Roe v. Wade Did Not Legalize Abortion

Lew Rockwell - Tue, 2019-05-21 11:01

The infamous Supreme Court case of Roe v. Wade did not legalize abortion in the United States. Its repeal will not outlaw abortion in the United States.

In Roe v. Wade (1973), the Court held that a woman’s right to an abortion fell within the right to privacy protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. States may not ban abortions before the fetus is determined to be “viable.” The case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) reaffirmed Roe, and further prohibited states from imposing an “undue burden” on a woman seeking an abortion.

The Hyde Amendment, implemented in 1977, forbids the use of federal Medicaid funds for abortions except in cases of life endangerment, rape, or incest. Some states also provide state funds for abortions in cases of fetal impairment, medical necessity, or to prevent grave, long-lasting damage to the woman’s physical health.

After President Trump appointed Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, some states, like New York, further liberalized their abortion laws. Other states have done just the opposite.

Like Alabama.

The governor of Alabama, Kay Ivey, recently signed a bill making the performing of an abortion a felony in nearly all cases. There are no exceptions for rape or incest, only when a woman’s life is in danger.

Eric Johnston, the president of the Alabama Pro-Life Coalition, is responsible for the bill. He was recently interviewed by NPR’s All Things Considered.

According to Johnston, the Alabama law is a vehicle to get the Supreme Court to revisit Roe v. Wade and ultimately to save the lives of unborn children. He expects the law to be held unconstitutional “in the trial court and in the appellate court,” but is “hopeful that the Supreme Court will agree to review the case at that point.”

The state of Missouri is taking a different approach.

The Missouri House has passed legislation designed to survive court challenges, which would ban abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy. It includes “exceptions for medical emergencies, but not for pregnancies caused by rape or incest.” Although “women who receive abortions wouldn’t be prosecuted,” “doctors would face five to 15 years in prison.” Missouri’s Republican governor has pledged to sign the bill. Missouri’s Rep. Nick Schroer said his legislation is “made to withstand judicial challenges and not cause them.” The Republican House Speaker, Elijah Haahr, said “the measure was drafted with a legal team and based on previous court rulings across the U.S.”

I have already written about some of the states that have passed “heartbeat bills.”

Abortion supporters and abortion opponents alike have been very careless with their language. I have heard both parties say that Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in the United States. Some abortion opponents think that the repeal of Roe v. Wade would outlaw abortion in the United States. And I suspect that abortion supporters are happy to let them advance that opinion since it furthers their cause when it comes to persuading moderates to keep the status quo.

At least most Americans know that Roe v. Wade was about abortion. I have not seen any recent polls, but a Pew Research Center poll in 2012 found that only 62 percent of Americans and just 44 percent of Americans younger than 30 knew that Roe v. Wade was about abortion. Some thought the case was about school desegregation, the death penalty, or environmental protection.

Before the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, abortion was strictly a matter of state law. Thirty states prohibited abortion without exception; sixteen states banned abortion except in the case of rape, incest, life or health threat to mother, and/or fetal impairment; and four states allowed abortions in nearly all cases before the fetus was viable. New York had the most liberal abortion laws, and many women would travel there to have the procedure.

The repeal of Roe v. Wade would fully return the abortion to the states where it belongs. The case should never have reached the Supreme Court to begin with. Conservatives who seek a constitutional amendment to prohibit abortion are absolutely clueless about the nature and structure of government in the United States. There should be no federal legislation to criminalize abortion anymore than there should be federal legislation to criminalize murder, rape, assault, or armed robbery. These are all state matters. Likewise, there should be no attempt by the federal government to regulate or restrict state abortion laws.

It is interesting that liberals want the federal government to override the states when it suits their abortion agenda, but then they want the states to be supreme when it comes to legalizing marijuana if the federal government won’t do it.

Conservatives are no better. They want the federal government to override the states when it suits their drug prohibition agenda, but then they want the states to be supreme when it comes to prohibiting abortion if the federal government won’t do it.

Both of them should have listened to James Madison, who wrote in Federalist No. 45:

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the Federal Government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.

Overturning Roe v. Wade will not end abortion in the United States, but it will do several things besides make it harder for women in some states to obtain an abortion. It will partially restore federalism. It will partially limit the power of the federal government. It will show that the Supreme Court is not infallible. But it will also atone for all the sins of Trump in the eyes of die-hard Republican pro-lifers since he nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

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How To Survive the Journey Ahead:

Lew Rockwell - Tue, 2019-05-21 11:01

“No matter who you are, no matter how strong you are, sooner or later, you’ll face circumstances beyond your control.” — Cersei Lannister, Game of Thrones

Those coming of age today will face some of the greatest obstacles ever encountered by young people.

They will find themselves overtaxed, burdened with excessive college debt, and struggling to find worthwhile employment in a debt-ridden economy on the brink of implosion. Their privacy will be eviscerated by the surveillance state. They will be the subjects of a military empire constantly waging war against shadowy enemies and government agents armed to the teeth ready and able to lock down the country at a moment’s notice.

As such, they will find themselves forced to march in lockstep with a government that no longer exists to serve the people but which demands they be obedient slaves or suffer the consequences.

It’s a dismal prospect, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, we who should have known better failed to guard against such a future.

Worse, we neglected to maintain our freedoms or provide our young people with the tools necessary to survive, let alone succeed, in the impersonal jungle that is modern America.

We brought them into homes fractured by divorce, distracted by mindless entertainment, and obsessed with the pursuit of materialism. We institutionalized them in daycares and afterschool programs, substituting time with teachers and childcare workers for parental involvement. We turned them into test-takers instead of thinkers and automatons instead of activists.

We allowed them to languish in schools which not only look like prisons but function like prisons, as well—where conformity is the rule and freedom is the exception. We made them easy prey for our corporate overlords, while instilling in them the values of a celebrity-obsessed, technology-driven culture devoid of any true spirituality. And we taught them to believe that the pursuit of their own personal happiness trumped all other virtues, including any empathy whatsoever for their fellow human beings.

No, we haven’t done this generation any favors.

Based on the current political climate, things could very well get much worse before they ever take a turn for the better. Here are a few pieces of advice that will hopefully help those coming of age today survive the perils of the journey that awaits:

Be an individual. For all of its claims to champion the individual, American culture advocates a stark conformity which, as John F. Kennedy warned, is “the jailer of freedom, and the enemy of growth.” Worry less about fitting in with the rest of the world and instead, as Henry David Thoreau urged, become “a Columbus to whole new continents and worlds within you, opening new channels, not of trade, but of thought.”

Learn your rights. We’re losing our freedoms for one simple reason: most of us don’t know anything about our freedoms. At a minimum, anyone who has graduated from high school, let alone college, should know the Bill of Rights backwards and forwards. However, the average young person, let alone citizen, has very little knowledge of their rights for the simple reason that the schools no longer teach them. So grab a copy of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and study them at home. And when the time comes, stand up for your rights before it’s too late.

Speak truth to power. Don’t be naive about those in positions of authority. As James Madison, who wrote our Bill of Rights, observed, “All men having power ought to be distrusted.” We must learn the lessons of history. People in power, more often than not, abuse that power. To maintain our freedoms, this will mean challenging government officials whenever they exceed the bounds of their office.

Resist all things that numb you. Don’t measure your worth by what you own or earn. Likewise, don’t become mindless consumers unaware of the world around you. Resist all things that numb you, put you to sleep or help you “cope” with so-called reality. Those who establish the rules and laws that govern society’s actions desire compliant subjects. However, as George Orwell warned, “Until they become conscious, they will never rebel, and until after they rebelled, they cannot become conscious.” It is these conscious individuals who change the world for the better.

Don’t let technology turn you into zombies. Technology anesthetizes us to the all-too-real tragedies that surround us. Techno-gadgets are merely distractions from what’s really going on in America and around the world. As a result, we’ve begun mimicking the inhuman technology that surrounds us and have lost our humanity. We’ve become sleepwalkers. If you’re going to make a difference in the world, you’re going to have to pull the earbuds out, turn off the cell phones and spend much less time viewing screens.

Help others. We all have a calling in life. And I believe it boils down to one thing: You are here on this planet to help other people. In fact, none of us can exist very long without help from others. If we’re going to see any positive change for freedom, then we must change our view of what it means to be human and regain a sense of what it means to love and help one another. That will mean gaining the courage to stand up for the oppressed.

Give voice to moral outrage. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” There is no shortage of issues on which to take a stand. For instance, on any given night, over half a million people in the U.S. are homeless, and half of them are elderly. There are 46 million Americans living at or below the poverty line, and 16 million children living in households without adequate access to food. Congress creates, on average, more than 50 new criminal laws each year. With more than 2 million Americans in prison, and close to 7 million adults in correctional care, the United States has the largest prison population in the world. At least 2.7 million children in the United States have at least one parent in prison. At least 400 to 500 innocent people are killed by police officers every year. Americans are now eight times more likely to die in a police confrontation than they are to be killed by a terrorist. On an average day in America, over 100 Americans have their homes raided by SWAT teams. It costs the American taxpayer $52.6 billion every year to be spied on by the government intelligence agencies tasked with surveillance, data collection, counterintelligence and covert activities. All the while, since 9/11, the U.S. has spent more than $1.6 trillion to wage wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and police the rest of the world. This is an egregious affront to anyone who believes in freedom.

Cultivate spirituality, reject materialism and put people first. When the things that matter most have been subordinated to materialism, we have lost our moral compass. We must change our values to reflect something more meaningful than technology, materialism and politics. Standing at the pulpit of the Riverside Church in New York City in April 1967, Martin Luther King Jr. urged his listeners:

[W]e as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motive and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

Pitch in and do your part to make the world a better place. Don’t rely on someone else to do the heavy lifting for you. Don’t wait around for someone else to fix what ails you, your community or nation. As Gandhi urged: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Say no to war. Addressing the graduates at Binghampton Central High School in 1968, at a time when the country was waging war “on different fields, on different levels, and with different weapons,” Twilight Zonecreator Rod Serling declared:

Too many wars are fought almost as if by rote. Too many wars are fought out of sloganry, out of battle hymns, out of aged, musty appeals to patriotism that went out with knighthood and moats. Love your country because it is eminently worthy of your affection. Respect it because it deserves your respect. Be loyal to it because it cannot survive without your loyalty. But do not accept the shedding of blood as a natural function or a prescribed way of history—even if history points this up by its repetition. That men die for causes does not necessarily sanctify that cause. And that men are maimed and torn to pieces every fifteen and twenty years does not immortalize or deify the act of war… find another means that does not come with the killing of your fellow-man.

Finally, prepare yourselves for what lies ahead. The demons of our age—some of whom disguise themselves as politicians—delight in fomenting violence, sowing distrust and prejudice, and persuading the public to support tyranny disguised as patriotism. Overcoming the evils of our age will require more than intellect and activism. It will require decency, morality, goodness, truth and toughness. As Serling concluded in his remarks to the graduating class of 1968:

Toughness is the singular quality most required of you… we have left you a world far more botched than the one that was left to us… Part of your challenge is to seek out truth, to come up with a point of view not dictated to you by anyone, be he a congressman, even a minister… Are you tough enough to take the divisiveness of this land of ours, the fact that everything is polarized, black and white, this or that, absolutely right or absolutely wrong. This is one of the challenges. Be prepared to seek out the middle ground … that wondrous and very difficult-to-find Valhalla where man can look to both sides and see the errant truths that exist on both sides. If you must swing left or you must swing right—respect the other side. Honor the motives that come from the other side. Argue, debate, rebut—but don’t close those wondrous minds of yours to opposition. In their eyes, you’re the opposition. And ultimately … ultimately—you end divisiveness by compromise. And so long as men walk and breathe—there must be compromise…

Are you tough enough to face one of the uglier stains upon the fabric of our democracy—prejudice? It’s the basic root of most evil. It’s a part of the sickness of man. And it’s a part of man’s admission, his constant sick admission, that to exist he must find a scapegoat. To explain away his own deficiencies—he must try to find someone who he believes more deficient… Make your judgment of your fellow-man on what he says and what he believes and the way he acts. Be tough enough, please, to live with prejudice and give battle to it. It warps, it poisons, it distorts and it is self-destructive. It has fallout worse than a bomb … and worst of all it cheapens and demeans anyone who permits himself the luxury of hating.”

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the only way we’ll ever achieve change in this country is for the American people to finally say “enough is enough” and fight for the things that truly matter.

It doesn’t matter how old you are or what your political ideology is. If you have something to say, speak up. Get active, and if need be, pick up a picket sign and get in the streets. And when civil liberties are violated, don’t remain silent about it.

Wake up, stand up, and make your activism count for something more than politics.

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The Assange/Manning Cases

Lew Rockwell - Tue, 2019-05-21 11:01

Update: In my explanation today of Assange’s case, I noted corruption in the British court’s ruling.  Former British Ambassador Craig Murray indentifies the corrupt act committed by the British judge, Lord Phillips.  The ambassador’s explanation is here

Everyone who is aware of the US government’s extraordinary criminal actions at home and abroad bears a heavy weight.  The millions of peoples murdered, maimed, orphaned, widowed, and displaced by gratuitous American military aggression comprise a Holocaust of deaths based entirely on lies and false accusations in order to advance secret American and Israeli agendas. I suspect that the heavy burden of responsibility for mass murder and destruction committed in our name is the reason most Americans prefer the fake news fed to them about how good and wonderful and exceptional we are and how hard our government works to protect us from the nasty folks elsewhere.  This storyline converts the illegal brutal war crimes of the US government against women, children, defenseless citizens, schools, wedding parties, funerals, and farmers in their fields into glorious and brave defenses of our liberty and virtue. If you want the truth watch the video leaked by Manning of US troops enjoying themselves while from the air they machine-gun reporters and innocent civilians walking along a street and follow up by machine-gunning a father and his two young children, babies, who stopped to help the wounded bleeding in the street.  The leak of the video that showed the true picture of Washington’s wars is the reason Manning was tortured and imprisoned.  It is the person who told the truth, not the criminals who committed the murders, who was punished.

I agree that the fake story of America’s moral worthiness is much easier to live with than it is to bear the shame of the true story.  But in the end the fake story destroys our liberty even more completely than would conquest by a foreign opponent. People are more suspicious of an occupying power than they are of their own government and are less likely to believe foreign occupiers when they lie to them.  In contrast, a people’s own government can trap them in a false consciousness and keep them there with fake news.

Wherever one looks at the behavior of Americans today, from airline flight attendants to police to national security advisors and secretaries of state, one sees people devoid of moral conscience, integrity, compassion, empathy, and self-control. For unreasonable and petty spite alone, a female airline attendant on a long-delayed Southwest Airline flight called police and had a man to whom she took a dislike arrested and taken off the airplane.  All of the passengers protested to the police that the arrested person had done nothing, but the cops didn’t listen. They had another victim to abuse. Was the victimization of this person the result of Identity Politics teaching women to hate men?  

Recently, a black woman pushed an elderly white male off a bus into the street simply because he interrupted her harangue of other passengers by telling her she should be nicer to people. He died from his injuries. Was this murderous act the product of Identity Politics teaching black Americans to hate white Americans?  

Trump’s crazed war criminal national security adviser, John Bolton, and the idiot secretary of state, Pompeo, want to cause massive civilian deaths in Iran and Venezuela.  Iran is to be overthrown for Israel, and Venezuela for US oil companies. The motives are blatant and obvious, but Bolton and Pompeo are not denounced and forced to resign for their shameful murderous intentions.  Yet, if they used the n-word or sexually harassed a woman, they would have to resign.  This demonstrates the twisted and sick state of American morality today.  Bombing people is acceptable, but words might really hurt them.

Washington’s case against Julian Assange is so contrived and so weak, that the corrupt US attorney assigned to frame-up Assange has resorted to persecution of Manning in an effort to coerce false testimony against Assange from Manning. After being tortured and serving seven years in prison for revealing a US war crime, as Manning was required to do under the US military code, Manning was pardoned by President Obama. Now Manning is back in prison for a second time after being pardoned, because Manning will not cooperate in the frame-up of Assange by giving false testimony to a grand jury.  Without false testimony, the corrupt US attorney hasn’t a case that could get a conviction from even the typical insouciant American jury, normally a collection of gullible people easily manipulated by the prosecutor. 

When Manning was imprisoned for 63 days for refusing to tell lies about Assange, Manning spent 28 of those days in solitary confinement.  Why?  

A week after Manning was released, the corrupt US attorney called Manning again before the grand jury that the corrupt US attorney is using to contrive a case against Assange.  Again Manning refused to cooperate in the frame-up, and was again held in contempt and again remanded into federal prison.  This time a corrupt US federal district judge, Anthony Trenga, added to Manning’s jail time a daily fine of $500 rising to $1,000 daily after 60 days.  In other words, the corrupt judge is helping the corrupt US attorney to coerce Manning into cooperating in a frameup of Assange.  Americans need to understand that their judges are not judges. They are operatives of the American police state.

When I characterize the US attorney and judge as corrupt, I don’t mean that they are taking money, although that cannot be ruled out.  I mean that they are corrupt in the sense that they have abandoned the rule of law and do not see their function as serving justice.  The US Constitution and its amendments establish law as a shield of the people against coercive and arbitrary actions of government, but the US attorney and judge are using law as a weapon against individuals against whom authorities want revenge.  For years we have been witnessing the rule of law being attacked from every level, from the president to the local police. See Roberts and Stratton, The Tyranny of Good Intentions.  

No one has protested the open and highly visible effort to force Manning to commit perjury that can be used to build a case against Assange or otherwise be imprisoned for “contempt” and fined into penury.  The despicable liberal-progressive-left whores that comprise the US print and TV media and NPR will not protest the injustice.  They hate Manning and Assange for having more integrity than all of them together.  The conservative talk radio hosts won’t protest the attempt to coerce Manning, because they love Trump, Washington’s wars, and hate “anti-Americans,” which is everyone who dares tell the truth about the US.  On conservative talk radio on May 17, I heard one popular host say “I am happy Manning is in prison.” 

No US senators or representatives and neither the Senate or House judiciary committee sees anything untoward in forcing an American citizen to produce the needed lies for framing up the world’s best journalist.  Law schools and bar associations are not demanding the corrupt US attorney to be disbarred for violating every precept laid down by US Attorney General, Surpreme Court Justice, and Nuremberg prosecutor Robert Jackson.  Nor are they demanding the impeachment of the corrupt federal district judge, who perhaps has his eye on appointment to the appeals court for his cooperation in finishing off the First Amendment.

The American people are too insouciant and brainwashed to know what is happening.  Regardless, they are as powerless as third world peasants who have a dictator’s boot on their necks.  

The “Western democracies”—what a joke—have not raised a voice at the US government’s public display of intimidation of a witness, at the US government’s use of imprisonment and coercive fines in a public display of forcing a person to lie in order that the US government can get revenge on a journalist who published leaked materials that show conclusively that the US government is a deranged war criminal, a liar and deceiver of its dumbshit allies and population, and the greatest threat to peace and stability in the world.

Assange might be saved by prosecutors with a guilty conscience in Sweden, the country in which Assange’s troubles began.  Assange’s troubles began in Sweden where two women enthralled with his celebrity separately invited him into their beds. One of them became alarmed when he did not use a condom.  To reassure herself that he did not have a sexually transmitted disease, she asked him to take a test.  He foolishly refused.  She went to the police, not to report a rape but to inquire if Assange could be forced to submit to testing. The other woman found out about the other woman, and was angry that she was not the only woman in his sexual life.

It was the police and a feminist prosecutor taught to hate men who made it into a rape investigation.  But as the women said it was consensual sex, the charges were dropped.  Assange was released and free to leave Sweden.  

His second mistake was to go to England, an American puppet state. Once Assange was in Britain, he was as good as in Washington’s hands.  Washington encouraged a second Swedish feminist prosecutor to reopen the case.  As there were no charges against Assange, all the feminist prosecutor could do was to try to extradite Assange for more questioning.  Once Sweden had him, the expectation was that Washington would pay the bribe for his extradition to the US. Normally, extradition requires formal charges, but Sweden had none.  Normally, there is no extradition for questioning.  But a corrupt British court, perhaps well paid by Washington, agreed to the extradition for questioning and placed Assange under house arrest under a large bond paid, if memory serves, by Sir James Goldsmith’s  daughter. 

Whether or not Sir James’ daughter understood it, Assange and his lawyers understood that he was in line to be delivered to Sweden and from there to the Washington torturers. Therefore, asylum was arranged for Assange in the Ecuadoran Embassy where he lived seven years until a Washington-compliant and corrupt Ecuadoran president, well paid with an IMF loan, gained power and revoked Assange’s asylum. The British police then did Washington’s bidding and dragged Assange out of the embassy and placed him in a maximum security prison as if he were some sort of dangerous criminal.

The second Swedish prosecutor had eventually consented to interviewing Assange in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London and afterward dropped her extradition request, and the case was closed for the second time. But the corrupt British legal system, which is almost as corrupt as the American one, put Assange in jail for 50 weeks based on “bail jumping” despite the fact that the extradition request from Sweden on which the bail was based was withdrawn. 

Now Washington’s British vassal is considering the request from Britain’s Washington master to hand over Assange for torture, confession, and death or long-term imprisonment. But suddenly Sweden has found that there is “still probable cause” that not using a condum could be a sexual offense and have again requested Britain to hand Assange over to Sweden.

Is this a rescue attempt on Sweden’s part to make up for having ruined the life of the world’s best journalist? Or is it Washington’s insurance polcy against the British coming to their senses and, on the basis of justice, refusing Washington’s extradition order?

In England the decision is up to the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, who is not of British ethnicity. Hopefully, he is an immigrant from one of the abused colonies and will stick his finger in the UK/US eye and turn Assange over to Sweden where he is unlikely to be convicted for engaging in unprotected sex. Hopefully, Assange will not  be so stupid as to then travel to another Washington puppet state. If he does, he will experience his tribulation again.

But Washington pays so well I doubt Assange can escape. The corrupt Western media is against him because Assange  shows them up as devoid of an ounce of integrity and devoid of the practice of journalism. The American presstitutes don’t care about the First Amendment.  As they never tell the truth, they don’t need First Amendment protection.

Washington, which claims to represent the American people, is for war and more war.  Bolton intends that the US will, for Israel, attack Iran and create chaos there as was created in Iraq and Libya, and also in Syria prior to the Russian intervention.

Under neoconserative and Israeli leadership, America has become a deranged country, distrusted by other governments and considered the primary threat to peace and life on earth.

Every American should be ashamed.  But they are not.  At some point, the Russians, Chinese, Europeans, Iranians, and everyone else will finally realize, hopefully before it is too late, that Washington is overwhelmed by evil, capable only of destruction, and a dangerous threat to life on earth. 

The post The Assange/Manning Cases appeared first on LewRockwell.

NBC Journalist Quits Then Blows The Whistle

Lew Rockwell - Tue, 2019-05-21 11:01

Confusion can arise when trying to understand why millions of people still tune into mainstream media. Because of this, they (mainstream media) are still having a huge impact on the consciousness of those who watch and surf their platforms for information about what’s happening in our world.

That being said, many have come to the conclusion that mainstream media often does have an agenda, and will  push their own version of ‘fake news,’ while at the same time, labelling other narratives, perspectives and evidence as the real ‘fake news.’ What’s required in this time of confusion is doing our own research, and seeking independent media sources to better understand our world.

Are people even reading for information anymore? Or are they simply looking at headlines on the internet while watching T.V. news broadcasts? Are we seeing what fits our narratives as opposed to what’s challenging them?

The evidence that what we have been told by mainstream media is either false or lacking the full picture comes in the form of official declassified documentation, real world examples, and from multiple award winning mainstream media journalists who have committed the rest of their lives to letting people know how the media has deceived people.

Those who are participating in actions they know are deceptive to people and that does not create a better world are having a change of heart, and as a result they are speaking out. We are also seeing this with many soldiers returning from modern wars, realizing they themselves are tools of destruction rather than forces of peace.

Some Back Story

One person to speak out recently is NBC/MSNBC reporter William Arkin, a longtime and well-known military reporter who is best known for his groundbreaking, three-part Washington Post series in 2010. He co-reported it with two-time Pulitzer winner Dana Priest on how sprawling, unaccountable, and omnipotent the national security state has become in the post-9/11 era. This report dealt with black budget operations, programs that not even the commander in chief nor Congress has any idea about.

It is ironic that the U.S. should be fighting monstrously expensive wars allegedly to bring democracy to those countries, when it itself can no longer claim to be called a democracy when trillions, and I mean thousands of billions of dollars have been spent on projects which both congress and the commander in chief know nothing about. – Paul Hellyer, Former Canadian Defence Minister (source)

Their investigation lasted approximately two years and concluded that America’s classified world has “become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.”

This was many years ago, and the latest developments with regards to these programs has come in the form of $21 trillion missing dollars from the Department of Defence, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Michigan State professor and Economist Mark Skidmore, along with former assistant secretary of Housing and Urban Development Catherine Austin Fitts found that this money was going towards black budget programs as well. Fitts has also been quite outspoken about a secret space program.

You can read more about that particular story here.

With regards to the report by Arkin,

When that three-part investigative series, titled “Top Secret America,” was published, I hailed it as one of the most important pieces of reporting of the war on terror, because while “we chirp endlessly about the Congress, the White House, the Supreme Court, the Democrats and Republicans, this is the Real U.S. Government:  functioning in total darkness, beyond elections and parties, so secret, vast and powerful that it evades the control or knowledge of any one person or even any organization.”(source)

This is one of many proofs of the Deep State. It’s been referenced by countless politicians and academics throughout history.

Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and  corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day. – Theodore Roosevelt

The most recent politicians to reference it were Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad, as well as Vladimir Putin. Western mainstream media will have you believe this narrative as being completely ‘fake,’ despite the fact that many western politicians themselves have also shared this perspective.

William Arkin Speaks Out Against NBC & MSNBC

Arkin recently blasted NBC News along with MSNBC news in an email for “becoming captive and subservient to the national security state, reflexively pro-war in the name of stopping President Donald Trump, and now the prime propaganda instrument of the War Machine’s promotion of militarism and imperialism.” This is something, based on my research, mainstream media has always been. It’s why they were created in the first place.

Arkin stated that, as a result of this, “the national security establishment not only hasn’t issued a beat but indeed has gained dangerous strength, and “is ever more autonomous and practically impervious to criticism.”

Another great quote comes to mind here,

“The real menace of our Republic is the invisible government, which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy legs over our cities, states and nation . . .  The little coterie of powerful international bankers virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes. They practically control both parties . . .  [and] control the majority of the newspapers and magazines in this country. They use the columns of these papers to club into submission or drive out of office public officials who refuse to do the bidding of the powerful corrupt cliques which compose the invisible government. It operates under cover of a self-created screen [and] seizes our executive officers, legislative bodies, schools, courts, newspapers and every agency created for the public protection.”  (source)(source) – Mayor of New York City from 1918-1925

Arkin has worked with NBC and MSNBC since 2016, and it’s great to see that he’s leaving due to the fact that these outlets have become nothing but the “central propaganda arm of the CIA, the Pentagon, and the FBI. This network alone consists of former CIA, NSA and Pentagon officials as news analysts. MSNBC host and former Bush-Cheney Communications Director Nicole Wallace is one of multiple great examples.

Establishment Media Mouthpieces

MSNBC’s star national security reporter Ken Dilanian was widely mocked by media outlets for years for being an uncritical CIA stenographer before he became a beloved NBC/MSNBC reporter, and let’s not forget CNN’s Anderson Cooper’s connections to the CIA.

Operation Mockingbird, a CIA program to infiltrate mainstream media and use it to influence the minds of the masses decades ago, seems to be in full effect today, at a larger scale than anyone can possibly imagine.

In early 2018, NBC hired former CIA chief John Brennan to serve as a “senior national security and intelligence analyst.”

A declassified document from the CIA archives in the form of a letter from a CIA task force addressed to the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency details the close relationship that exists between the CIA and mainstream media and academia. The document states that the CIA task force “now has relationships with reporters from every major wire service, newspaper, news weekly, and television network in the nation,” and that “this has helped us turn some ‘intelligence failure’ stories into ‘intelligence success” stories,’ and has contributed to the accuracy of countless others.” Furthermore, it explains how the agency has “persuaded reporters to postpone, change, hold, or even scrap stories that could have adversely affected national security interests or jeopardized sources and methods.”

The Email

Again, all of this lead to Arkin publishing a critique of NBC and MSNBC in the form of an email he sent to multiple outlets, including the Intercept where I first came across this story.

You can read it in its entirety below.

My expertise, though seeming to be all the more central to the challenges and dangers we face, also seems to be less valued at the moment. And I find myself completely out of synch with the network, being neither a day-to-day reporter nor interested in the Trump circus. …

To me there is also a larger problem: though they produce nothing that resembles actual safety and security, the national security leaders and generals we have are allowed to do their thing unmolested. Despite being at “war,” no great wartime leaders or visionaries are emerging. There is not a soul in Washington who can say that they have won or stopped any conflict. And though there might be the beloved perfumed princes in the form of the Petraeus’ and Wes Clarks’, or the so-called warrior monks like Mattis and McMaster, we’ve had more than a generation of national security leaders who sadly and fraudulently have done little of consequence. And yet we (and others) embrace them, even the highly partisan formers who masquerade as “analysts”. We do so ignoring the empirical truth of what they have wrought: There is not one county in the Middle East that is safer today than it was 18 years ago. Indeed the world becomes ever more polarized and dangerous. …

Windrem again convinced me to return to NBC to join the new investigative unit in the early days of the 2016 presidential campaign. I thought that the mission was to break through the machine of perpetual war acceptance and conventional wisdom to challenge Hillary Clinton’s hawkishness. It was also an interesting moment at NBC because everyone was looking over their shoulder at Vice and other upstarts creeping up on the mainstream. But then Trump got elected and Investigations got sucked into the tweeting vortex, increasingly lost in a directionless adrenaline rush, the national security and political version of leading the broadcast with every snow storm. And I would assert that in many ways NBC just began emulating the national security state itself – busy and profitable. No wars won but the ball is kept in play.

I’d argue that under Trump, the national security establishment not only hasn’t missed a beat but indeed has gained dangerous strength. Now it is ever more autonomous and practically impervious to criticism. I’d also argue, ever so gingerly, that NBC has become somewhat lost in its own verve, proxies of boring moderation and conventional wisdom, defender of the government against Trump, cheerleader for open and subtle threat mongering, in love with procedure and protocol over all else (including results). I accept that there’s a lot to report here, but I’m more worried about how much we are missing. Hence my desire to take a step back and think why so little changes with regard to America’s wars. …

In our day-to-day whirlwind and hostage status as prisoners of Donald Trump, I think – like everyone else does – that we miss so much. People who don’t understand the medium, or the pressures, loudly opine that it’s corporate control or even worse, that it’s partisan. Sometimes I quip in response to friends on the outside (and to government sources) that if they mean by the word partisan that it is New Yorkers and Washingtonians against the rest of the country then they are right.

For me I realized how out of step I was when I looked at Trump’s various bumbling intuitions: his desire to improve relations with Russia, to denuclearize North Korea, to get out of the Middle East, to question why we are fighting in Africa, even in his attacks on the intelligence community and the FBI.  Of course he is an ignorant and incompetent impostor. And yet I’m alarmed at how quick NBC is to mechanically argue the contrary, to be in favor of policies that just spell more conflict and more war. Really? We shouldn’t get out Syria? We shouldn’t go for the bold move of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula?  Even on Russia, though we should be concerned about the brittleness of our democracy that it is so vulnerable to manipulation, do we really yearn for the Cold War? And don’t even get me started with the FBI: What? We now lionize this historically destructive institution?

Arkin has joined many others to blow the whistle on how all of this works, and how mainstream media as “become ground zero for these political pathologies of militarism and servitude to security state agencies.”

A Few More Examples

Dr. Udo Ulfkotte is a top German journalist and editor and has been for more than two decades. He went on the record stating that he was forced to publish the works of intelligence agents under his own name, also mentioning that noncompliance would result in him losing his job. Not long ago, he made an appearance on RT news Stating that:

“I’ve been a journalist for about 25 years, and I was educated to lie, to betray, and not to tell the truth to the public. But seeing right now within the last months how the German and American media tries to bring war to the people in Europe, to bring war to Russia — this is a point of no return and I’m going to stand up and say it is not right what I have done in the past, to manipulate people, to make propaganda against Russia, and it is not right what my colleagues do and have done in the past because they are bribed to betray the people, not only in Germany, all over Europe.” (source)

Here is a great TEDx talk from veteran investigative journalist and former CBS NEWS investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson. In it, she explains how “astroturf,” or fake grassroots movements, funded by political, corporate, or other special interests, are very effectively manipulating and distorting mainstream media messages, whether it be political or corporate.

Amber Lyon is a three time Emmy award winning journalist at CNN. She has gone on record stating that the mainstream media outlets are routinely paid by the US government as well as foreign governments to selectively report and distort information on certain events. She has also stated that the United States government has editorial control over mainstream media content.

Again, these are just a few examples out of many.

“The problem of fake news isn’t solved by hoping for a referee, but rather because we as citizens, we as users of these services, help each other. We talk and we share and we point out what is fake. We point out what is true. The answer to bad speech is not censorship, the answer to bad speech is more speech. We have to exercise and spread the idea that critical thinking matters, now more than ever, given the fact that lies seem to be getting more popular.” –Edward Snowden (source)

Reprinted with permission from Collective Evolution.

The post NBC Journalist Quits Then Blows The Whistle appeared first on LewRockwell.

Reflections on This Weird, Wild

Lew Rockwell - Tue, 2019-05-21 11:01

Sometimes really really famous people share my stuff and a deluge of haters rush in to admonish them for doing so because I am evil. I am still not used to either of these things.

I took a couple of days off for my wedding anniversary and during that time Susan Sarandon shared my last article, demanding to know why we’re not discussing the important fact that a document from the OPCW’s investigation contradicting the official OPCW findings on an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria was not shared with the public. Just as when Roger Waters promoted me on his Twitter account, any time I checked Twitter I saw a bunch of people arguing about whether or not I’m a secret Nazi or a plagiarist or an Assad lover or a racist, all in response to the sharing of an article that questioned a narrative used to support western imperialism. It’s a weird experience.

This whole job has been weird, really, and with some days off I’ve had time to reflect on that. I’ll write a proper article shortly, but I just wanted to tap out a few thoughts on this strange journey I’ve been on while they’re still on my mind.

This is really important. Why aren’t we talking about it?

“We may have just discovered a major piece of the puzzle explaining how seemingly independent international organizations help deceive us into consenting to wars and regime change interventionism around the world.”

— Susan Sarandon (@SusanSarandon) May 17, 2019

This whole gig has been a glorious accident. Back in 2016 I needed a job and saw an advertisement on Facebook for a self-publishing news aggregate called Inquisitr, and I figured maybe I could finally put my journalism degree to some use. Whenever I wrote hard news stories they tended to flop, but when I wrote opinion pieces about the Sanders campaign and the fraud of the DNC they shared really well. People told me I was giving a voice to things that needed saying, and I started building up an audience. After the election everyone started freaking out about “fake news” and Inquisitr asked me to move back to hard news stories, but by then I had a lot to say so I made the transition to becoming crowdfunded.

Moving from narrow discussions about presidential candidates to general commentary on world politics was like suddenly jumping into a deep ocean full of strange creatures and mystery. I could see that the system was corrupt, I had my intuition and I knew a few hard facts, but the following I was gaining quickly put me on the same turf as people who’ve been studying this stuff for many years and it was intimidating. Because I can make jokes and write prolifically about things in a fresh and interesting way, my audience grew a lot faster than that of other alternative media writers, and it made people suspicious of me.

Unlike the indie journos who I tend to get lumped in with, I didn’t spend my first years working my way up through media outlets mostly unseen under the guidance of editors and senior staff; I just got tossed into the mix and had to build my own system for navigating this strange new ocean by myself. I had to learn everything on the fly while in full visibility. The first part of my career was basically just me telling readers “Hey, that thing over there looks suspicious!” and “No, you’re not crazy, I see the corruption too” while simultaneously trying to figure out exactly what the hell’s going on here and sorting out quality sources of information from crap. I had no coach or adviser for any of this besides my husband I’d only just married, who was even more new to it all than I was.

During those early days I pissed a lot of people off, saying things you’re not supposed to say and advancing ideas you’re not supposed to advance. I mean, I still piss people off all the time today, but I feel like I would navigate that whole scene a lot more gracefully if I had it all to do over again. The nature of being new to something is to not be very graceful at it, though; if I would have let fear of my own clumsiness and inexperience stand in the way, I never would have begun this journey. So no regrets.

Some Common Criticisms Of My Work Addressed, By Caitlin Johnstone

“I thought it might be good to just tap out a few responses to common criticisms of the writing I’ve been doing since I started this gig two and a half years ago.”

— Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) March 31, 2019

So my whole political commentary career has basically just been me learning about the world and sharing what I’ve learned with my readers. It started out as crude crayon drawings of what’s going on, but as my knowledge and experience has increased those drawings have been getting more and more refined. I now feel like I have a solid understanding of what’s going on in the world and why things are fucked in the way that they are fucked, and I’m always adding more tools to my toolbox for describing it.

Along the way I had to sort out a whole heap of self-esteem issues too. It’s not easy being a forty-something mum of two who hardly even had much of a social life, let alone found herself in the spotlight. Like many women my age, I have a lot of shame about my body and my looks and I certainly had no intention of ever putting either of those things out there for scrutiny, let alone scrutinized by people who are heavily invested in hating me. That part has been really scary for me in an eerily primal way. I’ve come to realize that my sexuality and my creativity are the same thing. I need confidence in myself in order to write well. Men who hate you seem to know that; they instinctively reach for insults and threats that specifically target my sexuality. So having every horrible thing I’ve ever feared or I’ve ever secretly thought about myself be tweeted and shared and laughed at and liked is not something I’ve enjoyed. The thought “This is why women don’t do this” has come up more than once, but I keep going because yes, this is why women don’t do this but dammit if I’ll let it stop me.

I also have a secret weapon in my husband Tim who not only works with me full time but who can very quickly make me feel like the sexiest goddamn bitch that ever stalked the earth. So there’s that. I struggle to convey how important Tim is to this thing and how there is no way I could do it without him. My whole prolific output is because of the stability of our fusion. I say this because I don’t want anyone comparing themselves to me and feeling bummed out by their output. You need to know that you’re looking at two people in a very tight, stable collaboration and if you’re working alone then you shouldn’t compare your output to mine. Keep going, we need you more than ever!

So anyway, now here I am trying to shove healthy ideas into mainstream consciousness with an acute awareness that every time I get anywhere near the mainstream I get a bunch of angry people telling everyone that I’m all sorts of horrible things. And it’s weird. I see the ideas I share as valuable enough that the periodic hate brigade isn’t enough to silence me, but I can certainly understand how people are pressured by manipulators and groupthink bullies into staying invisible and making a small target of themselves.

The usual regime change characters swarmed Sarandon for amplifying what they want buried about Syria and her responses are so good and satisfying

— Rania Khalek (@RaniaKhalek) May 18, 2019

And Sarandon actually did do a great job of staving off the war propagandists who tried to attack her for sharing my work rather than addressing the information in the article. Journalist Rania Khalek tweeted, “The usual regime change characters swarmed Sarandon for amplifying what they want buried about Syria and her responses are so good and satisfying.”

Which is good. The fact that I was able to throw an important idea over the wall of the establishment narrative managers into a wider audience without my name poisoning it is encouraging. That’s a major shift. Hopefully I’ll be able to get more and more ideas over that wall going forward.

So that’s my challenge: getting dissident ideas past the goalkeeping of the narrative managers and into the bloodstream of public consciousness. I don’t care if those ideas get there through me or if someone else picks them up and carries them over the edge themselves; the important thing is waking up the mainstream public to what’s going on in their world so that they can cast off the propaganda manipulations that have been keeping them sedated and start making society work for them instead of for a few sociopathic oligarchs. Keeping these ideas in the fringe (while egoically pleasing to a certain subset of political dissidents who enjoy keeping their stuff marginal for the same reason a hipster enjoys boasting that they liked a band before they were popular) is not going to save the world. Keeping anti-establishment ideas on the fringe is exactly what the narrative managers want, and we mustn’t allow it to continue.

So I intend to keep plugging away at this thing, keep learning, keep coming up with new ideas and approaches, and keep writing the most sizzling hot articles I possibly can. Maybe I’ll help move the needle enough to shift public consciousness to where it needs to be, maybe I won’t, but god dammit I’ll be able to tell my kids that I tried.

Thanks for coming along for the ride.


Everyone has my unconditional permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitterthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here.

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The post Reflections on This Weird, Wild appeared first on LewRockwell.


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