FREEDOM OR ANARCHY,Campaign of Conscience.

Joseph F Barber | Create Your Badge
A message to humanity Our work will be unfinished until not one human being is hungry or battered, not a single person is forced to die in war, not one innocent languishes in prison,and no one is persecuted for his or her beliefs. ~~Leonard Peltier This blog does not promote, support, condone, encourage, advocate, nor in any way endorse any racist (or "racialist") ideologies, nor any armed and/or violent revolutionary, seditionist and/or terrorist activities. Any racial separatist or militant groups listed here are solely for reference and Opinions of multiple authors including Freedom or Anarchy Campaign of conscience.

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The Free Thought Project,The Daily Sheeple & FREEDOM OR ANARCHY Campaign of Conscience are dedicated to holding those who claim authority over our lives accountable. “Each of us has a unique part to play in the healing of the world.”
“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.” - George Orwell, 1984

"Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned, everywhere is war and until there are no longer first-class and second-class citizens of any nation, until the color of a man's skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes. And until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race, there is war. And until that day, the dream of lasting peace, world citizenship, rule of international morality, will remain but a fleeting illusion to be pursued, but never attained... now everywhere is war." - - Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia - Popularized by Bob Marley in the song War

FREEDOM OR ANARCHY,Campaign of Conscience. There is no valid argument for the destruction of our planet and any form of life on it.As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world - that is the myth of the atomic age - as in being able to remake ourselves. Be the change that you want to see in the world.

Friday, February 22, 2019

CouCoups Are Peace, Censorship Is Trust Intolerance Is Love.

CouCoups Are Peace, Censorship Is Trust
Intolerance Is Love.



Exactly 70 years after came out, most fancy themselves smart to totalitarian doublespeak. But perverse lies need no torchlight or mass rallies, just a tailored suit, complacent media and a docile populace.
We know this, yet hear them so often that they become background noise, and even if they come from the mouths of politicians we do not believe, we let the distortions wash over us, unwilling to expend the mental effort to challenge them every time. But when we stop and think, they barely make any sense.
‘Peace-loving nations’
“Peace-loving nations” desire a “peaceful transition” in Venezuela where “peaceful protesters” are being “threatened with violence” by “dictator” Nicolas Maduro, Donald Trump declared recently.
In fact, the US president is openly urging what he must know will be an armed and bloody uprising perhaps magnitudes more devastating than the violence that has already taken place. A month after the same dove-releasing Western powers barely bothered to conceal how they coordinated efforts to endorse out of nowhere a little known self-proclaimed president, furnishing him with every financial tool and foreign-aid incentive to topple the elected government.
One doesn’t have to be a fan of Chavismo or hate America to appreciate the sheer gall. Unless we think of this peace as some cast-iron Western guarantee for post-revolutionary idyll (hello, Libya and Iraq) the only way these nations could be less peaceful is if they actually invaded Venezuela themselves. And it’s not like they haven’t considered that option.
Close relative: NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg telling the Munich Security Conference at the weekend that Russia’s missiles in Europe are a threat to stability, but that the alliance must invest more in weapons “to keep our people secure” – all while insisting that “we remain determined to avoid a new arms race.”
‘Internet of Trust’
“We need to build this new space – a free, open and safe internet – which I believe in profoundly, enabling the access of all but also enabling us to ensure our values and our ideals are respected there,” argued Emmanuel Macron in a speech to the UN last November.
So which is it – “free” or “respectful” ? Because, as he has now discovered with the Yellow Vests, in a truly free internet not everyone might share his “values and ideals.”
Further in his speech Macron did little to hide that censorship was his solution to the quandary: proposing an “Internet of Trust” that offered “regulation” that would keep out “enemies” that “enter all our systems, giving the impression they had the same rights as the others.”
From Ruptly Facebook bans, to German social
 media laws, to the 1984-ish Newsguard, the Internet of Trust is already here.
Close relatives: Fake news. IntegrityInitiative – who, if not these people, should be the inquisitors of online truths? Almost anyone.
‘Don’t let hate win’
Variations of the “Don’t let hate win” refrain are particularly popular among the liberal luminaries even as they spread their love by condemning their political opponents as black-hating or children-caging bigots, denying that they could experience such human feelings as kindness or empathy. All while congratulating themselves on being much nobler people, while occasionally physically assaulting them, if they are Antifa. What a way to defeat hate.
Intolerance for supposed intolerance is an established tactic at this point, and the sympathetic media will clap along as Hillary Clinton talks about “deplorables” or Michelle Obama boasts about how “When they go low, we go high.” The moral high ground was occupied a long time ago.
Close relative: Celebration of diversity. Who could argue with Justin Trudeau or Barack Obama’s assertion that it is indeed our strength? Perhaps those who disagree with them, thus espousing the wrong kind of diversity – of thought. Being the bad kind of diverse is particularly inadvisable for those holding political office or incapable of tear-filled public apologies.

Joseph F Barber,is a Builder /Contractor/ Freelance Writer and Editor of the blog FREEDOM OR ANARCHY,Campaign of Conscience,Founder of the Veterans Project & The Family Assistance Campaign.it is my message to We the people and the citizens of our world That the time has come were we must stand and be counted and to have are voices be heard to stand free and our ground feed another if we can ,I tell you this as it come from with in my soul There comes a point when a man must refuse to answer to his leader if he is also to answer to his own conscience. 

"I don't know how to save the world. I don't have the answers or The Answer. I hold no secret knowledge as to how to fix the mistakes of generations past and present. I only know that without compassion and respect for all Earth's inhabitants, none of us will survive - nor will we deserve to." Leonard Peltier

FREEDOM OR ANARCHY Campaign of Conscience

Pro Deo et Constitutione – 
Libertas aut Mors Semper Vigilans Fortis 
Paratus et Fidelis 


Joseph F Barber
CouCoups Are Peace, Censorship Is Trust
Intolerance Is Love.



Exactly 70 years after came out, most fancy themselves smart to totalitarian doublespeak. But perverse lies need no torchlight or mass rallies, just a tailored suit, complacent media and a docile populace.
We know this, yet hear them so often that they become background noise, and even if they come from the mouths of politicians we do not believe, we let the distortions wash over us, unwilling to expend the mental effort to challenge them every time. But when we stop and think, they barely make any sense.
‘Peace-loving nations’
“Peace-loving nations” desire a “peaceful transition” in Venezuela where “peaceful protesters” are being “threatened with violence” by “dictator” Nicolas Maduro, Donald Trump declared recently.
In fact, the US president is openly urging what he must know will be an armed and bloody uprising perhaps magnitudes more devastating than the violence that has already taken place. A month after the same dove-releasing Western powers barely bothered to conceal how they coordinated efforts to endorse out of nowhere a little known self-proclaimed president, furnishing him with every financial tool and foreign-aid incentive to topple the elected government.
One doesn’t have to be a fan of Chavismo or hate America to appreciate the sheer gall. Unless we think of this peace as some cast-iron Western guarantee for post-revolutionary idyll (hello, Libya and Iraq) the only way these nations could be less peaceful is if they actually invaded Venezuela themselves. And it’s not like they haven’t considered that option.
Close relative: NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg telling the Munich Security Conference at the weekend that Russia’s missiles in Europe are a threat to stability, but that the alliance must invest more in weapons “to keep our people secure” – all while insisting that “we remain determined to avoid a new arms race.”
‘Internet of Trust’
“We need to build this new space – a free, open and safe internet – which I believe in profoundly, enabling the access of all but also enabling us to ensure our values and our ideals are respected there,” argued Emmanuel Macron in a speech to the UN last November.
So which is it – “free” or “respectful” ? Because, as he has now discovered with the Yellow Vests, in a truly free internet not everyone might share his “values and ideals.”
Further in his speech Macron did little to hide that censorship was his solution to the quandary: proposing an “Internet of Trust” that offered “regulation” that would keep out “enemies” that “enter all our systems, giving the impression they had the same rights as the others.”
From Ruptly Facebook bans, to German social
 media laws, to the 1984-ish Newsguard, the Internet of Trust is already here.
Close relatives: Fake news. IntegrityInitiative – who, if not these people, should be the inquisitors of online truths? Almost anyone.
‘Don’t let hate win’
Variations of the “Don’t let hate win” refrain are particularly popular among the liberal luminaries even as they spread their love by condemning their political opponents as black-hating or children-caging bigots, denying that they could experience such human feelings as kindness or empathy. All while congratulating themselves on being much nobler people, while occasionally physically assaulting them, if they are Antifa. What a way to defeat hate.
Intolerance for supposed intolerance is an established tactic at this point, and the sympathetic media will clap along as Hillary Clinton talks about “deplorables” or Michelle Obama boasts about how “When they go low, we go high.” The moral high ground was occupied a long time ago.
Close relative: Celebration of diversity. Who could argue with Justin Trudeau or Barack Obama’s assertion that it is indeed our strength? Perhaps those who disagree with them, thus espousing the wrong kind of diversity – of thought. Being the bad kind of diverse is particularly inadvisable for those holding political office or incapable of tear-filled public apologies.

Joseph F Barber,is a Builder /Contractor/ Freelance Writer and Editor of the blog FREEDOM OR ANARCHY,Campaign of Conscience,Founder of the Veterans Project & The Family Assistance Campaign.it is my message to We the people and the citizens of our world That the time has come were we must stand and be counted and to have are voices be heard to stand free and our ground feed another if we can ,I tell you this as it come from with in my soul There comes a point when a man must refuse to answer to his leader if he is also to answer to his own conscience. 

"I don't know how to save the world. I don't have the answers or The Answer. I hold no secret knowledge as to how to fix the mistakes of generations past and present. I only know that without compassion and respect for all Earth's inhabitants, none of us will survive - nor will we deserve to." Leonard Peltier

FREEDOM OR ANARCHY Campaign of Conscience

Pro Deo et Constitutione – 
Libertas aut Mors Semper Vigilans Fortis 
Paratus et Fidelis 


Joseph F Barber


The President and Chilling Free Speech

The President and Chilling Free Speech



While the public discourse has been consumed over the realization that abortion physicians actually let viable babies who survive late-term abortions die — as well as whether President Donald Trump or House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will blink first over the issue of congressional authorization for building a wall at the country’s southern border, to say nothing of the race-and-sex-infused mess at the top of the government in Virginia — a profound free speech issue has been bubbling below the radar.

A former White House communications aide and former Trump campaign adviser who has written a blistering tell-all book about the Trump White House now finds himself in litigation about whether he can freely publish his book — which he has already done — and freely profit from it.

The former Trump friend and colleague is Cliff Sims, and his book is called “Team of Vipers.” It makes Chris Christie’s book about his bitter experiences with those around the president look as if it were written by Mother Teresa by comparison. The president and his folks, who knew of the book before it was published, apparently bristled at the stories related and allegations contained and opinions expressed in it.

This is an unhappy tale, not with regard to accuracy or fairness in reporting but with regard to the doctrine of fair comment and the natural and constitutional right to the freedom of speech. Here is the back story.

When Sims began his time as an official of the Trump campaign, he signed a nondisclosure agreement, or NDA. NDAs typically bar the revelation of information gathered during one’s employment. They were nearly universal in the Trump campaign.

Sims’ NDA also provided that if there was any dispute between him and the campaign over the meaning of the NDA or whether he or the campaign violated it, that dispute would be resolved in secret arbitration, not in a public courtroom in front of a judge and jury. The NDA further provided for liquidated damages — a pre-agreed-upon amount of money that Sims would owe to the campaign if arbitrators found that he violated the NDA.

What about the freedom of speech and the right to a fair trial? The theory of an NDA is that the signer has knowingly waived those rights in return for the employment contemplated by the NDA. This is a quid pro quo. You get hired at a job you want; you get the pay and perks you sought; you agree to keep silent the secrets you learn. And if there is a dispute about what you can say and to whom you can say it, the dispute itself will be resolved in secret because you agreed to that in the NDA. If the arbitrators find that you violated the NDA, you owe a certain amount of money to the other party — in this case, $10 million to the Trump campaign — whether you caused damages in that amount or not.
That is at least the theory of how these NDAs are supposed to work. The courts do not favor these agreements, because they often stifle free speech — and often it is speech in which there is a material and serious public interest. Yet as they are between private parties, NDAs are enforceable.

In this case, the speech is about Trump — not as a candidate but as the president. So after Sims’ book was published and after the folks in the West Wing, where he worked for a year, read what he wrote, the Trump campaign — it still has a skeleton staff and lawyers on the payroll — filed a complaint with the designated arbitration entity, demanding the liquidated damages of $10 million.
Then Sims’ lawyers filed a complaint in federal district court, asking a judge to enjoin the arbitration proceeding because what Sims’ wrote he learned about while working for the government, not on the campaign. The campaign will no doubt point to an NDA it claims Sims signed when he began his tenure in the West Wing and argue that it applies as effectively as the NDA he signed for the campaign. Sims recalls no NDA at the White House.

Here is the problem for Trump. The campaign is not subject to the First Amendment, but the White House clearly is. Even if Sims did sign an NDA at the White House, the First Amendment bars the government from enforcing it, and several federal statutes protect whistleblowers, no matter what they agreed not to say at the outset of their work, unless it is classified material being protected. In the West Wing, Sims worked for the federal government, not Donald Trump personally and not the campaign.

Can the government punish speech of someone who agreed to remain silent? In a word: No. It cannot deter speech, and it cannot chill speech. Chilling takes place when government behavior is so oppressive that the potential speaker is afraid to speak about what he knows.

And if the speech is comment about public people or public policy, it is protected by the doctrine of fair comment. That is a Supreme Court rubric underscoring the truism that the whole purpose of the First Amendment is to protect and encourage open, wide, robust speech about the government — speech that sheds light on dark government corners, speech that is unafraid of and immune from the slightest whiff of government redress, speech that can be harsh in tone and discomfiting in delivery.

It is that brand of public free speech that the Framers intended to protect by the First Amendment. As one of President Trump’s no-holds-barred predecessors famously said, “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”

If presidents can use legal artifices to punish the speech they hate and fear, they are no longer presidents in a free society. They are princes in an empire.

Reprinted with the author’s permission.
 Andrew P. Napolitano

Joseph F Barber,is a Builder /Contractor/ Freelance Writer and Editor of the blog FREEDOM OR ANARCHY,Campaign of Conscience,Founder of the Veterans Project & The Family Assistance Campaign.it is my message to We the people and the citizens of our world That the time has come were we must stand and be counted and to have are voices be heard to stand free and our ground feed another if we can ,I tell you this as it come from with in my soul There comes a point when a man must refuse to answer to his leader if he is also to answer to his own conscience.

"I don't know how to save the world. I don't have the answers or The Answer. I hold no secret knowledge as to how to fix the mistakes of generations past and present. I only know that without compassion and respect for all Earth's inhabitants, none of us will survive - nor will we deserve to." Leonard Peltier

FREEDOM OR ANARCHY Campaign of Conscience

Pro Deo et Constitutione –
Libertas aut Mors Semper Vigilans Fortis
Paratus et Fidelis

Joseph F Barber

The President and Chilling Free Speech



While the public discourse has been consumed over the realization that abortion physicians actually let viable babies who survive late-term abortions die — as well as whether President Donald Trump or House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will blink first over the issue of congressional authorization for building a wall at the country’s southern border, to say nothing of the race-and-sex-infused mess at the top of the government in Virginia — a profound free speech issue has been bubbling below the radar.

A former White House communications aide and former Trump campaign adviser who has written a blistering tell-all book about the Trump White House now finds himself in litigation about whether he can freely publish his book — which he has already done — and freely profit from it.

The former Trump friend and colleague is Cliff Sims, and his book is called “Team of Vipers.” It makes Chris Christie’s book about his bitter experiences with those around the president look as if it were written by Mother Teresa by comparison. The president and his folks, who knew of the book before it was published, apparently bristled at the stories related and allegations contained and opinions expressed in it.

This is an unhappy tale, not with regard to accuracy or fairness in reporting but with regard to the doctrine of fair comment and the natural and constitutional right to the freedom of speech. Here is the back story.

When Sims began his time as an official of the Trump campaign, he signed a nondisclosure agreement, or NDA. NDAs typically bar the revelation of information gathered during one’s employment. They were nearly universal in the Trump campaign.

Sims’ NDA also provided that if there was any dispute between him and the campaign over the meaning of the NDA or whether he or the campaign violated it, that dispute would be resolved in secret arbitration, not in a public courtroom in front of a judge and jury. The NDA further provided for liquidated damages — a pre-agreed-upon amount of money that Sims would owe to the campaign if arbitrators found that he violated the NDA.

What about the freedom of speech and the right to a fair trial? The theory of an NDA is that the signer has knowingly waived those rights in return for the employment contemplated by the NDA. This is a quid pro quo. You get hired at a job you want; you get the pay and perks you sought; you agree to keep silent the secrets you learn. And if there is a dispute about what you can say and to whom you can say it, the dispute itself will be resolved in secret because you agreed to that in the NDA. If the arbitrators find that you violated the NDA, you owe a certain amount of money to the other party — in this case, $10 million to the Trump campaign — whether you caused damages in that amount or not.
That is at least the theory of how these NDAs are supposed to work. The courts do not favor these agreements, because they often stifle free speech — and often it is speech in which there is a material and serious public interest. Yet as they are between private parties, NDAs are enforceable.

In this case, the speech is about Trump — not as a candidate but as the president. So after Sims’ book was published and after the folks in the West Wing, where he worked for a year, read what he wrote, the Trump campaign — it still has a skeleton staff and lawyers on the payroll — filed a complaint with the designated arbitration entity, demanding the liquidated damages of $10 million.
Then Sims’ lawyers filed a complaint in federal district court, asking a judge to enjoin the arbitration proceeding because what Sims’ wrote he learned about while working for the government, not on the campaign. The campaign will no doubt point to an NDA it claims Sims signed when he began his tenure in the West Wing and argue that it applies as effectively as the NDA he signed for the campaign. Sims recalls no NDA at the White House.

Here is the problem for Trump. The campaign is not subject to the First Amendment, but the White House clearly is. Even if Sims did sign an NDA at the White House, the First Amendment bars the government from enforcing it, and several federal statutes protect whistleblowers, no matter what they agreed not to say at the outset of their work, unless it is classified material being protected. In the West Wing, Sims worked for the federal government, not Donald Trump personally and not the campaign.

Can the government punish speech of someone who agreed to remain silent? In a word: No. It cannot deter speech, and it cannot chill speech. Chilling takes place when government behavior is so oppressive that the potential speaker is afraid to speak about what he knows.

And if the speech is comment about public people or public policy, it is protected by the doctrine of fair comment. That is a Supreme Court rubric underscoring the truism that the whole purpose of the First Amendment is to protect and encourage open, wide, robust speech about the government — speech that sheds light on dark government corners, speech that is unafraid of and immune from the slightest whiff of government redress, speech that can be harsh in tone and discomfiting in delivery.

It is that brand of public free speech that the Framers intended to protect by the First Amendment. As one of President Trump’s no-holds-barred predecessors famously said, “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”

If presidents can use legal artifices to punish the speech they hate and fear, they are no longer presidents in a free society. They are princes in an empire.

Reprinted with the author’s permission.
 Andrew P. Napolitano

Joseph F Barber,is a Builder /Contractor/ Freelance Writer and Editor of the blog FREEDOM OR ANARCHY,Campaign of Conscience,Founder of the Veterans Project & The Family Assistance Campaign.it is my message to We the people and the citizens of our world That the time has come were we must stand and be counted and to have are voices be heard to stand free and our ground feed another if we can ,I tell you this as it come from with in my soul There comes a point when a man must refuse to answer to his leader if he is also to answer to his own conscience.

"I don't know how to save the world. I don't have the answers or The Answer. I hold no secret knowledge as to how to fix the mistakes of generations past and present. I only know that without compassion and respect for all Earth's inhabitants, none of us will survive - nor will we deserve to." Leonard Peltier

FREEDOM OR ANARCHY Campaign of Conscience

Pro Deo et Constitutione –
Libertas aut Mors Semper Vigilans Fortis
Paratus et Fidelis

Joseph F Barber


Rule by Fiat: National Crises, Fake Emergencies and Other Dangerous Presidential Powers

Rule by Fiat: National Crises, Fake Emergencies and Other Dangerous Presidential Powers


“When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.”—Richard Nixon
Who pays the price for the dissolution of the constitutional covenant that holds the government and its agents accountable to the will of the people?
We all do.
This ill-advised decision by President Trump to circumvent the Constitution’s system of checks and balances by declaring a national emergency in order to build a border wall constitutes yet another expansion of presidential power that exposes the nation to further constitutional peril.
The damage has already been done.
As reporter Danny Cevallos points out, “President Donald Trump only had to say ‘national emergency’ to dramatically increase his executive and legal authority. By simply uttering those words … Trump immediately unleashed dozens of statutory powers available to a president only during a state of emergency. The power of the nation's chief executive to declare such an emergency knows few strictures — it was designed that way.”
We have now entered into a strange twilight zone where ego trumps justice, propaganda perverts truth, and imperial presidents—empowered to indulge their authoritarian tendencies by legalistic courts, corrupt legislatures and a disinterested, distracted populace—rule by fiat rather than by the rule of law.
This attempt by Trump to rule by fiat merely plays into the hands of those who would distort the government’s system of checks and balances and its constitutional separation of powers beyond all recognition.
This is about unadulterated power in the hands of the Executive Branch.
This is about corporate greed disguised as a national need.
Most of all, however, this is about the rise of an “emergency state” that justifies all manner of government tyranny and power grabs in the so-called name of national security.
This is exactly the kind of concentrated, absolute power the founders attempted to guard against by establishing a system of checks of balances that separates and shares power between three co-equal branches: the executive, the legislative and the judiciary.
“The system of checks and balances that the Framers envisioned now lacks effective checks and is no longer in balance,” concludes law professor William P. Marshall. “The implications of this are serious. The Framers designed a system of separation of powers to combat government excess and abuse and to curb incompetence. They also believed that, in the absence of an effective separation-of-powers structure, such ills would inevitably follow. Unfortunately, however, power once taken is not easily surrendered.”
The Constitution invests the President with very specific, limited powers: to serve as Commander in Chief of the military, grant pardons, make treaties (with the approval of Congress), appoint ambassadors and federal judges (again with Congress’ blessing), and veto legislation.
In recent years, however, American presidents have anointed themselves with the power to wage war, unilaterally kill Americans, torture prisoners, strip citizens of their rights, arrest and detain citizens indefinitely, carry out warrantless spying on Americans, and erect their own secretive, shadow government.
The powers amassed by each past president and inherited by each successive president—powers which add up to a toolbox of terror for an imperial ruler—empower whomever occupies the Oval Office to act as a dictator, above the law and beyond any real accountability.
Consider some of the presidential powers—which have been acquired through the use of executive orders, decrees, memorandums, proclamations, national security directives and legislative signing statements and can be activated by any sitting president—that have allowed past presidents to operate above the law and beyond the reach of the Constitution.
The power to kill. As the New York Times concluded, “President Obama, who came to office promising transparency and adherence to the rule of law, has become the first president to claim the legal authority to order an American citizen killed without judicial involvement, real oversight or public accountability.” Obama’s kill lists—signature drone strikes handpicked by the president—have been justified by the Justice Department as lawful because they are subject to internal deliberations by the executive branch. “In other words,” writes Amy Davidson for the New Yorker, “it’s due process if the President thinks about it.”
The power to wage war. Ever since Congress granted George W. Bush the authorization to use military force in the wake of 9/11, the United States has been in a state of endless war without Congress ever having declared one. Having pledged to end Bush’s wars, Barack Obama extended them.
The power to torture. Despite the fact that the Bush Administration’s use of waterboarding as a torture tactic was soundly criticized by Obama, the Obama Administration refused to hold anyone accountable for participating in the rendition and torture programs. In the absence of any finding of criminality, the authorization of such torture tactics remain part of the president’s domain—should he or she ever choose to revive it.
The power to spy on American citizens. In the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to carry out surveillance on Americans’ phone calls and emails. The Bush Administration claimed that the Constitution gives the president inherent powers to protect national security. The covert surveillance continued under Obama and is full force under Trump.
The power to indefinitely detain American citizens. In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an executive order requiring that all Japanese-Americans be held in internment camps. While that order was later rescinded, the U.S. Supreme Court declared it to be constitutional. The ruling has never been overturned. Pointing out that such blatantly illegal detentions could happen again—with the blessing of the courts—Justice Scalia warned, “In times of war, the laws fall silent.” In fact, each National Defense Authorization Act enacted since 2012 has included a provision that permits the military to detain individuals—including Americans citizens—indefinitely without trial.
The power to strip American citizens of their constitutional rights. The Bush Administration claimed it could strip American citizens of their constitutional rights, imprison them indefinitely, and deny them legal representation simply by labeling them as enemy combatants. While the Obama Administration jettisoned the use of the term “enemy combatant,” it persisted in defending the president’s unilateral and global right to detain anyone suspected of supporting terrorist activities.
The power to secretly rewrite or sidestep the laws of the country. Secret courts, secret orders, and secret budgets have become standard operating procedure for presidential administrations in recent years. A good case in point is Presidential Policy Directive 20, a secret order signed by President Obama as a means of thwarting cyberattacks. Based on what little information was leaked to the press about the clandestine directive, it appears that the president essentially put the military in charge of warding off a possible cyberattack.
The power to transform the police into extensions of the military and indirectly institute martial law. What began in the 1960s as a war on drugs transitioned into an all-out campaign to transform America’s police forces into extensions of the military. Every successive president since Nixon has added to the police’s arsenal, tactics and authority. In fact, the Trump Administration has accelerated police militarization by distributing military weapons and equipment to police and incentivizing SWAT team raids and heavy-handed police tactics through the use of federal grants and asset forfeiture schemes.
The power to command the largest military and intelligence capabilities in the world and, in turn, “wag the dog.” As Professor Marshall points out:
In his roles as Commander-in-Chief and head of the Executive Branch, the President directly controls the most powerful military in the world and directs clandestine agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency. That control provides the President with immensely effective, non-transparent capabilities to further his political agenda and/or diminish the political abilities of his opponents. Whether a President would cynically use such power solely for his political advantage has, of course, been the subject of political thrillers and the occasional political attack. President Clinton, for one, was accused of ordering the bombing of terrorist bases in Afghanistan to distract the nation from the Lewinsky scandal, and President Nixon purportedly used the Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate his political enemies. But regardless whether such abuses actually occurred, there is no doubt that control of covert agencies provides ample opportunity for political mischief, particularly since the inherently secretive nature of these agencies means their actions often are hidden from public view. And as the capabilities of these agencies increase through technological advances in surveillance and other methods of investigation, so does the power of the President.
The power to declare a national emergency. The seeds of this present madness were sown more than a decade ago when George W. Bush stealthily issued two presidential directives that granted the president the power to unilaterally declare a national emergency, which is loosely defined as "any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions." Moreover, that national emergency can take any form, can be manipulated for any purpose and can be used to justify any end goal—all on the say so of the president. For instance, back in 1952, President Harry S. Truman tried—and failed—to use a national emergency declaration to seize control of the country’s steel mills. He lost when the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer against the presidential power grab.
Be warned: none of these powers expire at the end of a president’s term. They remain on the books, just waiting to be used or abused by the next political demagogue.
All of these imperial powers amassed by Trump’s predecessors—to kill American citizens without due process, to detain suspects (including American citizens) indefinitely, to strip Americans of their citizenship rights, to carry out mass surveillance on Americans without probable cause, to wage wars without congressional authorization, to suspend laws during wartime, to disregard laws with which he might disagree, to conduct secret wars and convene secret courts, to sanction torture, to sidestep the legislatures and courts with executive orders and signing statements, to direct the military to operate beyond the reach of the law, to establish a standing army on American soil, to operate a shadow government, to declare national emergencies for any manipulated reason, and to act as a dictator and a tyrant, above the law and beyond any real accountability—have become a permanent part of the president’s toolbox of terror.
Thus, Trump is not the first president to weaken the system of checks and balances, sidestep the rule of law, and expand the power of the president. He is just the most recent.
To our detriment, every successive occupant of the Oval Office since George Washington, who issued the first executive order, has expanded the reach and power of the presidency and made our republic that much more vulnerable to those who would abuse those powers in the future.
As Professor Marshall explains, “every extraordinary use of power by one President expands the availability of executive branch power for use by future Presidents.” Moreover, it doesn’t even matter whether other presidents have chosen not to take advantage of any particular power, because “it is a President’s action in using power, rather than forsaking its use, that has the precedential significance.”
In other words, each successive president continues to add to his office’s list of extraordinary orders and directives, granting him- or herself near dictatorial powers.
There’s no point debating which politician would be more dangerous with these powers.
As It points out in the book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the fact that any individual—or branch of government—is empowered to act like a dictator is danger enough.
Joseph F Barber,is a Builder /Contractor/ Freelance Writer and Editor of the blog FREEDOM OR ANARCHY,Campaign of Conscience,Founder of the Veterans Project & The Family Assistance Campaign.

Rule by Fiat: National Crises, Fake Emergencies and Other Dangerous Presidential Powers


“When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.”—Richard Nixon
Who pays the price for the dissolution of the constitutional covenant that holds the government and its agents accountable to the will of the people?
We all do.
This ill-advised decision by President Trump to circumvent the Constitution’s system of checks and balances by declaring a national emergency in order to build a border wall constitutes yet another expansion of presidential power that exposes the nation to further constitutional peril.
The damage has already been done.
As reporter Danny Cevallos points out, “President Donald Trump only had to say ‘national emergency’ to dramatically increase his executive and legal authority. By simply uttering those words … Trump immediately unleashed dozens of statutory powers available to a president only during a state of emergency. The power of the nation's chief executive to declare such an emergency knows few strictures — it was designed that way.”
We have now entered into a strange twilight zone where ego trumps justice, propaganda perverts truth, and imperial presidents—empowered to indulge their authoritarian tendencies by legalistic courts, corrupt legislatures and a disinterested, distracted populace—rule by fiat rather than by the rule of law.
This attempt by Trump to rule by fiat merely plays into the hands of those who would distort the government’s system of checks and balances and its constitutional separation of powers beyond all recognition.
This is about unadulterated power in the hands of the Executive Branch.
This is about corporate greed disguised as a national need.
Most of all, however, this is about the rise of an “emergency state” that justifies all manner of government tyranny and power grabs in the so-called name of national security.
This is exactly the kind of concentrated, absolute power the founders attempted to guard against by establishing a system of checks of balances that separates and shares power between three co-equal branches: the executive, the legislative and the judiciary.
“The system of checks and balances that the Framers envisioned now lacks effective checks and is no longer in balance,” concludes law professor William P. Marshall. “The implications of this are serious. The Framers designed a system of separation of powers to combat government excess and abuse and to curb incompetence. They also believed that, in the absence of an effective separation-of-powers structure, such ills would inevitably follow. Unfortunately, however, power once taken is not easily surrendered.”
The Constitution invests the President with very specific, limited powers: to serve as Commander in Chief of the military, grant pardons, make treaties (with the approval of Congress), appoint ambassadors and federal judges (again with Congress’ blessing), and veto legislation.
In recent years, however, American presidents have anointed themselves with the power to wage war, unilaterally kill Americans, torture prisoners, strip citizens of their rights, arrest and detain citizens indefinitely, carry out warrantless spying on Americans, and erect their own secretive, shadow government.
The powers amassed by each past president and inherited by each successive president—powers which add up to a toolbox of terror for an imperial ruler—empower whomever occupies the Oval Office to act as a dictator, above the law and beyond any real accountability.
Consider some of the presidential powers—which have been acquired through the use of executive orders, decrees, memorandums, proclamations, national security directives and legislative signing statements and can be activated by any sitting president—that have allowed past presidents to operate above the law and beyond the reach of the Constitution.
The power to kill. As the New York Times concluded, “President Obama, who came to office promising transparency and adherence to the rule of law, has become the first president to claim the legal authority to order an American citizen killed without judicial involvement, real oversight or public accountability.” Obama’s kill lists—signature drone strikes handpicked by the president—have been justified by the Justice Department as lawful because they are subject to internal deliberations by the executive branch. “In other words,” writes Amy Davidson for the New Yorker, “it’s due process if the President thinks about it.”
The power to wage war. Ever since Congress granted George W. Bush the authorization to use military force in the wake of 9/11, the United States has been in a state of endless war without Congress ever having declared one. Having pledged to end Bush’s wars, Barack Obama extended them.
The power to torture. Despite the fact that the Bush Administration’s use of waterboarding as a torture tactic was soundly criticized by Obama, the Obama Administration refused to hold anyone accountable for participating in the rendition and torture programs. In the absence of any finding of criminality, the authorization of such torture tactics remain part of the president’s domain—should he or she ever choose to revive it.
The power to spy on American citizens. In the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to carry out surveillance on Americans’ phone calls and emails. The Bush Administration claimed that the Constitution gives the president inherent powers to protect national security. The covert surveillance continued under Obama and is full force under Trump.
The power to indefinitely detain American citizens. In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an executive order requiring that all Japanese-Americans be held in internment camps. While that order was later rescinded, the U.S. Supreme Court declared it to be constitutional. The ruling has never been overturned. Pointing out that such blatantly illegal detentions could happen again—with the blessing of the courts—Justice Scalia warned, “In times of war, the laws fall silent.” In fact, each National Defense Authorization Act enacted since 2012 has included a provision that permits the military to detain individuals—including Americans citizens—indefinitely without trial.
The power to strip American citizens of their constitutional rights. The Bush Administration claimed it could strip American citizens of their constitutional rights, imprison them indefinitely, and deny them legal representation simply by labeling them as enemy combatants. While the Obama Administration jettisoned the use of the term “enemy combatant,” it persisted in defending the president’s unilateral and global right to detain anyone suspected of supporting terrorist activities.
The power to secretly rewrite or sidestep the laws of the country. Secret courts, secret orders, and secret budgets have become standard operating procedure for presidential administrations in recent years. A good case in point is Presidential Policy Directive 20, a secret order signed by President Obama as a means of thwarting cyberattacks. Based on what little information was leaked to the press about the clandestine directive, it appears that the president essentially put the military in charge of warding off a possible cyberattack.
The power to transform the police into extensions of the military and indirectly institute martial law. What began in the 1960s as a war on drugs transitioned into an all-out campaign to transform America’s police forces into extensions of the military. Every successive president since Nixon has added to the police’s arsenal, tactics and authority. In fact, the Trump Administration has accelerated police militarization by distributing military weapons and equipment to police and incentivizing SWAT team raids and heavy-handed police tactics through the use of federal grants and asset forfeiture schemes.
The power to command the largest military and intelligence capabilities in the world and, in turn, “wag the dog.” As Professor Marshall points out:
In his roles as Commander-in-Chief and head of the Executive Branch, the President directly controls the most powerful military in the world and directs clandestine agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency. That control provides the President with immensely effective, non-transparent capabilities to further his political agenda and/or diminish the political abilities of his opponents. Whether a President would cynically use such power solely for his political advantage has, of course, been the subject of political thrillers and the occasional political attack. President Clinton, for one, was accused of ordering the bombing of terrorist bases in Afghanistan to distract the nation from the Lewinsky scandal, and President Nixon purportedly used the Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate his political enemies. But regardless whether such abuses actually occurred, there is no doubt that control of covert agencies provides ample opportunity for political mischief, particularly since the inherently secretive nature of these agencies means their actions often are hidden from public view. And as the capabilities of these agencies increase through technological advances in surveillance and other methods of investigation, so does the power of the President.
The power to declare a national emergency. The seeds of this present madness were sown more than a decade ago when George W. Bush stealthily issued two presidential directives that granted the president the power to unilaterally declare a national emergency, which is loosely defined as "any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions." Moreover, that national emergency can take any form, can be manipulated for any purpose and can be used to justify any end goal—all on the say so of the president. For instance, back in 1952, President Harry S. Truman tried—and failed—to use a national emergency declaration to seize control of the country’s steel mills. He lost when the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer against the presidential power grab.
Be warned: none of these powers expire at the end of a president’s term. They remain on the books, just waiting to be used or abused by the next political demagogue.
All of these imperial powers amassed by Trump’s predecessors—to kill American citizens without due process, to detain suspects (including American citizens) indefinitely, to strip Americans of their citizenship rights, to carry out mass surveillance on Americans without probable cause, to wage wars without congressional authorization, to suspend laws during wartime, to disregard laws with which he might disagree, to conduct secret wars and convene secret courts, to sanction torture, to sidestep the legislatures and courts with executive orders and signing statements, to direct the military to operate beyond the reach of the law, to establish a standing army on American soil, to operate a shadow government, to declare national emergencies for any manipulated reason, and to act as a dictator and a tyrant, above the law and beyond any real accountability—have become a permanent part of the president’s toolbox of terror.
Thus, Trump is not the first president to weaken the system of checks and balances, sidestep the rule of law, and expand the power of the president. He is just the most recent.
To our detriment, every successive occupant of the Oval Office since George Washington, who issued the first executive order, has expanded the reach and power of the presidency and made our republic that much more vulnerable to those who would abuse those powers in the future.
As Professor Marshall explains, “every extraordinary use of power by one President expands the availability of executive branch power for use by future Presidents.” Moreover, it doesn’t even matter whether other presidents have chosen not to take advantage of any particular power, because “it is a President’s action in using power, rather than forsaking its use, that has the precedential significance.”
In other words, each successive president continues to add to his office’s list of extraordinary orders and directives, granting him- or herself near dictatorial powers.
There’s no point debating which politician would be more dangerous with these powers.
As It points out in the book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the fact that any individual—or branch of government—is empowered to act like a dictator is danger enough.
Joseph F Barber,is a Builder /Contractor/ Freelance Writer and Editor of the blog FREEDOM OR ANARCHY,Campaign of Conscience,Founder of the Veterans Project & The Family Assistance Campaign.


Trump's Brazen Unconstitutional Overreach

Trump's Brazen Unconstitutional Overreach


Last week, President Donald Trump followed through on a threat he had been making for months. It was not a blistering or insulting tweet. It was not an attack on the press or congressional Democrats. It was an attack on the Constitution.

Here is the back story.

In 2015, Trump began offering that as president, he would build a “big, beautiful wall” along the border of the United States and Mexico and that Mexico would pay for the wall. His stated purpose throughout the 2016 presidential campaign and beyond was that a wall is necessary to stop the onslaught of immigrants illegally entering the United States at places other than lawful ports of entry.

He also offered his personal view that many of the folks entering through these unapproved areas are gang members who are trafficking in drugs and human slavery.
After the president of Mexico rejected paying for a wall, Trump asked Congress to do so. Curiously, he did not ask for the wall payment during the first two years of his presidency — when Republicans controlled both houses of Congress — but waited until the Democrats, who largely oppose the wall, were in control of the House.

So determined has he been to build a wall — any wall, so as to be able to assert that he has fulfilled a campaign promise — that he has dropped his demand that Mexico pay for it, modified his demand that it even be a wall (because his own Border Patrol folks told him that a wall would impair their ability to observe behavior on the south side of it) and reduced the length of his proposed barrier from 1,000 miles to 55 miles. Congress still refused.

So determined has he been to build a barrier of any length that he rejected budgetary measures that had been passed by both the Republican Senate and the then-Republican House, and permitted about one-third of the federal government to shut down for 35 days at the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019. During negotiations, he demanded $5.7 billion as a down payment for his $25 billion wall. Then, seeing the misery the shutdown caused, he relented and signed essentially the same spending legislation that had been passed before and that he had rejected, though it was only for three weeks. He continued to demand $5.7 billion, but all Congress would give him was $1.4 billion for border security, much of it not for a wall and none of it for where he wants to build.

After he signed the legislation with little money for the wall, he signed an executive order declaring a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border. He described the migrants there as being engaged in an “invasion,” so he ordered the departments of Defense and Homeland Security to divert unspent appropriations, money authorized by Congress for other purposes, to building a wall.
Was it legal for him to do that? In a word: No. As my colleagues at The Wall Street Journal wrote last week: President Trump, meet Justice Jackson. Robert Jackson was the last attorney general of the United States and the last justice of the U.S. Supreme Court never to have graduated from law school. He was also a gifted jurist who played a pivotal role in a famous case in 1952.

In 1952, when American steelworkers went on strike and the U.S. military was fighting the Korean War, President Harry Truman asked Congress for the authority to occupy the steel mills and pay nonunion workers to replace the strikers. When Congress refused, Truman declared a state of emergency and directed his secretary of commerce, Charles Sawyer, to hire workers at federal expense to operate the mills.

When the mills’ owners challenged Truman’s order, a federal district judge enjoined the president from enforcing it, and the Supreme Court upheld the injunction. Youngstown Sheet & Tube v. Sawyer, known as the Steel Seizure Case, held that the president was without authority to occupy private property and pay others to do so without express appropriations from Congress because the Constitution defines clearly that no federal dollars can be spent without an appropriation by Congress.

Now, back to Justice Jackson. Rarely in Supreme Court history has a concurring opinion been cited and relied upon by future courts more than the majority opinion, but this case is the exception. In concurring with the majority on the court, Justice Jackson offered his now iconic views of the presidency vis-a-vis Congress under the Constitution.

When the president acts pursuant to authority granted to him by the Congress in an area of government delegated to him by the Constitution, his authority is at its peak, and he is free to exercise it as he sees fit. When he acts in an area as to which the Congress has been silent, he acts in a twilight zone and can succeed only if the area of his behavior is delegated to him under the Constitution and if he enjoys broad public support.

But when the president acts in an area that the Constitution gives exclusively to Congress — such as spending money — and when he acts in defiance of Congress, his acts are unconstitutional and are to be enjoined.

Years later, Justice Anthony Kennedy would explain that presidents cannot act as if they were Congress any more than Congress can act as if it were the president. They cannot constitutionally exchange roles voluntarily, much less by defiance. This underscores the separation of powers. It is the most integral unique aspect of our Constitution. James Madison argued that it preserves personal liberty by keeping both the president and the Congress in check — even if it means they are sometimes at tension with each other.

President Trump’s emergency declaration would be viable, though probably unsubstantiated factually, if it did not involve spending money. But by spending money not unauthorized by Congress, he has failed to uphold the Constitution, which he has sworn to preserve, protect and defend.

Reprinted with the author’s permission.

 Andrew P. Napolitano

Trump's Brazen Unconstitutional Overreach


Last week, President Donald Trump followed through on a threat he had been making for months. It was not a blistering or insulting tweet. It was not an attack on the press or congressional Democrats. It was an attack on the Constitution.

Here is the back story.

In 2015, Trump began offering that as president, he would build a “big, beautiful wall” along the border of the United States and Mexico and that Mexico would pay for the wall. His stated purpose throughout the 2016 presidential campaign and beyond was that a wall is necessary to stop the onslaught of immigrants illegally entering the United States at places other than lawful ports of entry.

He also offered his personal view that many of the folks entering through these unapproved areas are gang members who are trafficking in drugs and human slavery.
After the president of Mexico rejected paying for a wall, Trump asked Congress to do so. Curiously, he did not ask for the wall payment during the first two years of his presidency — when Republicans controlled both houses of Congress — but waited until the Democrats, who largely oppose the wall, were in control of the House.

So determined has he been to build a wall — any wall, so as to be able to assert that he has fulfilled a campaign promise — that he has dropped his demand that Mexico pay for it, modified his demand that it even be a wall (because his own Border Patrol folks told him that a wall would impair their ability to observe behavior on the south side of it) and reduced the length of his proposed barrier from 1,000 miles to 55 miles. Congress still refused.

So determined has he been to build a barrier of any length that he rejected budgetary measures that had been passed by both the Republican Senate and the then-Republican House, and permitted about one-third of the federal government to shut down for 35 days at the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019. During negotiations, he demanded $5.7 billion as a down payment for his $25 billion wall. Then, seeing the misery the shutdown caused, he relented and signed essentially the same spending legislation that had been passed before and that he had rejected, though it was only for three weeks. He continued to demand $5.7 billion, but all Congress would give him was $1.4 billion for border security, much of it not for a wall and none of it for where he wants to build.

After he signed the legislation with little money for the wall, he signed an executive order declaring a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border. He described the migrants there as being engaged in an “invasion,” so he ordered the departments of Defense and Homeland Security to divert unspent appropriations, money authorized by Congress for other purposes, to building a wall.
Was it legal for him to do that? In a word: No. As my colleagues at The Wall Street Journal wrote last week: President Trump, meet Justice Jackson. Robert Jackson was the last attorney general of the United States and the last justice of the U.S. Supreme Court never to have graduated from law school. He was also a gifted jurist who played a pivotal role in a famous case in 1952.

In 1952, when American steelworkers went on strike and the U.S. military was fighting the Korean War, President Harry Truman asked Congress for the authority to occupy the steel mills and pay nonunion workers to replace the strikers. When Congress refused, Truman declared a state of emergency and directed his secretary of commerce, Charles Sawyer, to hire workers at federal expense to operate the mills.

When the mills’ owners challenged Truman’s order, a federal district judge enjoined the president from enforcing it, and the Supreme Court upheld the injunction. Youngstown Sheet & Tube v. Sawyer, known as the Steel Seizure Case, held that the president was without authority to occupy private property and pay others to do so without express appropriations from Congress because the Constitution defines clearly that no federal dollars can be spent without an appropriation by Congress.

Now, back to Justice Jackson. Rarely in Supreme Court history has a concurring opinion been cited and relied upon by future courts more than the majority opinion, but this case is the exception. In concurring with the majority on the court, Justice Jackson offered his now iconic views of the presidency vis-a-vis Congress under the Constitution.

When the president acts pursuant to authority granted to him by the Congress in an area of government delegated to him by the Constitution, his authority is at its peak, and he is free to exercise it as he sees fit. When he acts in an area as to which the Congress has been silent, he acts in a twilight zone and can succeed only if the area of his behavior is delegated to him under the Constitution and if he enjoys broad public support.

But when the president acts in an area that the Constitution gives exclusively to Congress — such as spending money — and when he acts in defiance of Congress, his acts are unconstitutional and are to be enjoined.

Years later, Justice Anthony Kennedy would explain that presidents cannot act as if they were Congress any more than Congress can act as if it were the president. They cannot constitutionally exchange roles voluntarily, much less by defiance. This underscores the separation of powers. It is the most integral unique aspect of our Constitution. James Madison argued that it preserves personal liberty by keeping both the president and the Congress in check — even if it means they are sometimes at tension with each other.

President Trump’s emergency declaration would be viable, though probably unsubstantiated factually, if it did not involve spending money. But by spending money not unauthorized by Congress, he has failed to uphold the Constitution, which he has sworn to preserve, protect and defend.

Reprinted with the author’s permission.

 Andrew P. Napolitano


Why I’d Rather Live Under a Monarchy than a Democracy

Why I’d Rather Live Under a Monarchy than a Democracy


Of course this is a fairly ignorant thing for me to say, having never lived under a monarchy, save for short stays in Monaco. But I think there’s a strong case to be made for this, and I’d like you to see it.
Point #1: Who’s to Blame?
When things went badly under a monarchy, everyone knew who was to blame: the monarch. Kings and princes weren’t nearly all-powerful, and a king who did stupid things got a lot of pressure. They were regularly threatened and fairly often overthrown.
Now, under “democracy,” everyone is to blame, which means no one is to blame. As John Kenneth Galbraith wrote in The Age of Uncertainty:
When people put their ballots in the boxes, they are, by that act, inoculated against the feeling that the government is not theirs. They then accept, in some measure, that its errors are their errors, its aberrations their aberrations, that any revolt will be against them.
Sure, some measure of responsibility attaches to a president, but nothing like what attached to the king. Some of the best modern thinkers have concluded that democracy depletes the will of people to rebel. Alvin Toffler, for example, specifically blames elections, which he calls “reassurance rituals”:
Voting provided a mass ritual of reassurance… Elections symbolically assured citizens that they were still in command… Elections took the steam out of protests from below.
Allan Bloom wrote something similar in The Closing of the American Mind:
[S]ycophancy toward those who hold power is a fact in every regime, and especially in a democracy, where, unlike tyranny, there is an accepted principle of legitimacy that breaks the inner will to resist…
Because people have been assured that they are ruling themselves, their will to resist has been drained away, and they simply submit. Needless to say, this is a very serious danger.
Point #2: Whose Debt?


Kings and princes were personally responsible for the loans they took. When they defaulted, as they did fairly often, the lenders were simply out that money. As Meir Kohn of the economics department at Dartmouth University writes:
The debt of a territorial government was essentially the personal debt of the prince: if he died, his successor had no obligation to honor it; if he defaulted, there was no recourse against him in his own courts.
But along with democracy – with people believing they were themselves the ruler – came the concept of public credit. And that meant that the debts of the rulers passed to the people and become their responsibility.
And so the politicians who borrowed the money were disconnected from the obligation to pay it back. Instead, all debts passed to the people (and their children) who had no part in the original transaction.
Average people had no idea that democracy would load them with massive debts, of course, but that’s how it happened anyway. Democracy massively indebted the people and provided unheard of levels of protection to the bankers.
Point #3: Democracy Is a Cult

Go to a cocktail party anywhere in the Western world and ask people what the best form of human governance is. Almost universally, they’ll say, “Democracy.” Ask them why they believe such a thing, however, and you’ll mainly get blank stares. On occasion you’ll get, “Democracies don’t go to war with other democracies.” (Which isn’t true[2].)
In other words, a solid billion people have unquestioned faith in democracy, with more or less nothing backing it up. This is a far worselevel of dogma than ever was enjoyed by the Catholic Church. It at least had to contend with the Bible as an external reference. Granted, literacy was poor, but memory was good, and people heard the scriptures at church. All the reformers used the Bible to dismember Church dogma.
What do we have now? Democracy is an idol without a natural antagonist. Everyone knows it’s the greatest thing, because everyone knows it’s the greatest thing. For the sake of human sanity, democracy must, at the least, be fiercely challenged.

Last Words

Democracy is the greatest!



Democracy gave us medicine!
Democracy gave us technology!
Democracy gave us freedom!
Democracy gives us peace!
Except that none of the above is true. They’re all empty dogmas.
Democracy released the ruling class from most of its restrictions and was a godsend for big banks. It saddled the people with endless debts, grew government to an unimaginable size, and drained the will to resist.
Monarchies were highly variable of course, but on average, they left people far freer, more awake in important ways, and massively less indebted.

Why I’d Rather Live Under a Monarchy than a Democracy


Of course this is a fairly ignorant thing for me to say, having never lived under a monarchy, save for short stays in Monaco. But I think there’s a strong case to be made for this, and I’d like you to see it.
Point #1: Who’s to Blame?
When things went badly under a monarchy, everyone knew who was to blame: the monarch. Kings and princes weren’t nearly all-powerful, and a king who did stupid things got a lot of pressure. They were regularly threatened and fairly often overthrown.
Now, under “democracy,” everyone is to blame, which means no one is to blame. As John Kenneth Galbraith wrote in The Age of Uncertainty:
When people put their ballots in the boxes, they are, by that act, inoculated against the feeling that the government is not theirs. They then accept, in some measure, that its errors are their errors, its aberrations their aberrations, that any revolt will be against them.
Sure, some measure of responsibility attaches to a president, but nothing like what attached to the king. Some of the best modern thinkers have concluded that democracy depletes the will of people to rebel. Alvin Toffler, for example, specifically blames elections, which he calls “reassurance rituals”:
Voting provided a mass ritual of reassurance… Elections symbolically assured citizens that they were still in command… Elections took the steam out of protests from below.
Allan Bloom wrote something similar in The Closing of the American Mind:
[S]ycophancy toward those who hold power is a fact in every regime, and especially in a democracy, where, unlike tyranny, there is an accepted principle of legitimacy that breaks the inner will to resist…
Because people have been assured that they are ruling themselves, their will to resist has been drained away, and they simply submit. Needless to say, this is a very serious danger.
Point #2: Whose Debt?


Kings and princes were personally responsible for the loans they took. When they defaulted, as they did fairly often, the lenders were simply out that money. As Meir Kohn of the economics department at Dartmouth University writes:
The debt of a territorial government was essentially the personal debt of the prince: if he died, his successor had no obligation to honor it; if he defaulted, there was no recourse against him in his own courts.
But along with democracy – with people believing they were themselves the ruler – came the concept of public credit. And that meant that the debts of the rulers passed to the people and become their responsibility.
And so the politicians who borrowed the money were disconnected from the obligation to pay it back. Instead, all debts passed to the people (and their children) who had no part in the original transaction.
Average people had no idea that democracy would load them with massive debts, of course, but that’s how it happened anyway. Democracy massively indebted the people and provided unheard of levels of protection to the bankers.
Point #3: Democracy Is a Cult

Go to a cocktail party anywhere in the Western world and ask people what the best form of human governance is. Almost universally, they’ll say, “Democracy.” Ask them why they believe such a thing, however, and you’ll mainly get blank stares. On occasion you’ll get, “Democracies don’t go to war with other democracies.” (Which isn’t true[2].)
In other words, a solid billion people have unquestioned faith in democracy, with more or less nothing backing it up. This is a far worselevel of dogma than ever was enjoyed by the Catholic Church. It at least had to contend with the Bible as an external reference. Granted, literacy was poor, but memory was good, and people heard the scriptures at church. All the reformers used the Bible to dismember Church dogma.
What do we have now? Democracy is an idol without a natural antagonist. Everyone knows it’s the greatest thing, because everyone knows it’s the greatest thing. For the sake of human sanity, democracy must, at the least, be fiercely challenged.

Last Words

Democracy is the greatest!



Democracy gave us medicine!
Democracy gave us technology!
Democracy gave us freedom!
Democracy gives us peace!
Except that none of the above is true. They’re all empty dogmas.
Democracy released the ruling class from most of its restrictions and was a godsend for big banks. It saddled the people with endless debts, grew government to an unimaginable size, and drained the will to resist.
Monarchies were highly variable of course, but on average, they left people far freer, more awake in important ways, and massively less indebted.


Sunday, February 17, 2019

Who owns you

Who owns you? Are you anyone's slave?



To be GOVERNED is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be GOVERNED is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be place under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality."


https://youtu.be/qpcfZzx8xY0

Who owns you? Are you anyone's slave?



To be GOVERNED is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be GOVERNED is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be place under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality."


https://youtu.be/qpcfZzx8xY0


Friday, February 15, 2019

Freedom for All Begins With Freedom for the Most Marginalized

Freedom for All Begins With Freedom for the Most Marginalized


When I visited the African American Civil War Museum in Washington, D.C., a volunteer docent asked the following question: “Who freed the slaves after the Civil War?”
There were about 10 of us in the group. Some looked around wondering if it was a trick question, while others blurted out, “Abraham Lincoln!” After some time, the docent finally offered his response: “Enlisted slaves freed themselves, with the help of Union soldiers.”
I had a powerful reaction to this response, because history tells a different story of Lincoln as the “Great Emancipator.”
The truth is, President Lincoln knew the Union army would be unsuccessful in its Civil War campaign without more able bodies to defeat the Confederate army.
When he issued his Emancipation Proclamation, he didn’t merely announce the end of slavery in rebel territories. Lincoln also asked Blacks to enlist in the Union army, inviting “people so declared to be free” to be “received into the armed service of the United States.” Lincoln knew he needed troops, but he also knew he couldn’t make such a request without freeing the slaves.
My ancestors didn’t go to war to help the Union army, or to prevent the South from seceding. Nor did they fight alongside Union soldiers because of a shared cause for a country undivided. My ancestors fought in the Civil War because freedom was the reward after centuries of enslavement.
Blacks knew what was at stake. This wasn’t about politics, nor was it about patriotism. This was about freedom — freedom for themselves, their grandchildren, their great grandchildren — and freedom for me, a distant descendant. There was no other way around it. Sadly, war was their only hope.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “No one is free until we all are free.” What he meant at the time was that we couldn’t dare refer to our nation as “Land of the Free” when not all of us were.
This was a contentious debate even for the founding fathers. During the Revolutionary War campaign for freedom from the British monarch, leaders of the new nation were viewed as hypocrites abroad for enslaving Africans.
Matched only by America’s treatment of indigenous people, slavery is by far the darkest period of U.S. history. Even after the Civil War, Blacks in America endured another century of Jim Crow while fighting for civil rights. Even today, the struggle for Black lives continues, as racist systems and politicians continue to erode our democracy.
America wouldn’t be America if not for the wealth generated by Blacks forced into domestic slavery. So as we celebrate Black History Month — a too-short 28-day memorialization highlighting the contributions of Black Americans — I invite you to consider how their contributions benefited the greater good of society despite malicious attacks on our freedom.
Harriett Tubman literally brought slaves to freedom via the Underground Railroad. She was also a political activist and armed scout for the Union Army during the Civil War.
Sojourner Truth, meanwhile, was an early advocate for women’s rights alongside Susan B. Anthony. Her work paved the way for future leaders like Tarana Burke, founder of the Me Too movement that’s done so much to raise awareness about pervasive sexual assault in our society.
If you want life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, just look to Black Americans at the helm of freedom and justice movements throughout the nation.
Barack Obama said, “Our freedom depends on you being free too.” Freedom for all begins with freedom for those marginalized. The Black community has been denied basic freedoms for centuries, which is why we inherently understand what it means to truly be free.

Freedom for All Begins With Freedom for the Most Marginalized


When I visited the African American Civil War Museum in Washington, D.C., a volunteer docent asked the following question: “Who freed the slaves after the Civil War?”
There were about 10 of us in the group. Some looked around wondering if it was a trick question, while others blurted out, “Abraham Lincoln!” After some time, the docent finally offered his response: “Enlisted slaves freed themselves, with the help of Union soldiers.”
I had a powerful reaction to this response, because history tells a different story of Lincoln as the “Great Emancipator.”
The truth is, President Lincoln knew the Union army would be unsuccessful in its Civil War campaign without more able bodies to defeat the Confederate army.
When he issued his Emancipation Proclamation, he didn’t merely announce the end of slavery in rebel territories. Lincoln also asked Blacks to enlist in the Union army, inviting “people so declared to be free” to be “received into the armed service of the United States.” Lincoln knew he needed troops, but he also knew he couldn’t make such a request without freeing the slaves.
My ancestors didn’t go to war to help the Union army, or to prevent the South from seceding. Nor did they fight alongside Union soldiers because of a shared cause for a country undivided. My ancestors fought in the Civil War because freedom was the reward after centuries of enslavement.
Blacks knew what was at stake. This wasn’t about politics, nor was it about patriotism. This was about freedom — freedom for themselves, their grandchildren, their great grandchildren — and freedom for me, a distant descendant. There was no other way around it. Sadly, war was their only hope.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “No one is free until we all are free.” What he meant at the time was that we couldn’t dare refer to our nation as “Land of the Free” when not all of us were.
This was a contentious debate even for the founding fathers. During the Revolutionary War campaign for freedom from the British monarch, leaders of the new nation were viewed as hypocrites abroad for enslaving Africans.
Matched only by America’s treatment of indigenous people, slavery is by far the darkest period of U.S. history. Even after the Civil War, Blacks in America endured another century of Jim Crow while fighting for civil rights. Even today, the struggle for Black lives continues, as racist systems and politicians continue to erode our democracy.
America wouldn’t be America if not for the wealth generated by Blacks forced into domestic slavery. So as we celebrate Black History Month — a too-short 28-day memorialization highlighting the contributions of Black Americans — I invite you to consider how their contributions benefited the greater good of society despite malicious attacks on our freedom.
Harriett Tubman literally brought slaves to freedom via the Underground Railroad. She was also a political activist and armed scout for the Union Army during the Civil War.
Sojourner Truth, meanwhile, was an early advocate for women’s rights alongside Susan B. Anthony. Her work paved the way for future leaders like Tarana Burke, founder of the Me Too movement that’s done so much to raise awareness about pervasive sexual assault in our society.
If you want life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, just look to Black Americans at the helm of freedom and justice movements throughout the nation.
Barack Obama said, “Our freedom depends on you being free too.” Freedom for all begins with freedom for those marginalized. The Black community has been denied basic freedoms for centuries, which is why we inherently understand what it means to truly be free.