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The Tyranny Of Coronaphobia

The Tyranny Of Coronaphobia Authored by Ramesh Thakur via The Browstone Institute, I’ve had two big worries during the pandemic, starting from the very beginning and still ongoing. Both relate to my sense that ‘coronaphobia’ has taken over as the basis of government policy in so many countries, with a complete loss of perspective that life is a balance of risks pretty much on a daily basis. First, the extent to which dominant majorities of peoples in countries with universal literacy can be successfully terrified into surrendering their civil liberties and individual freedoms has come as a frightening shock. There is this truly confronting video of the police in Melbourne assaulting a small young woman – for not wearing a mask! On the one hand, the evidence base for the scale and gravity of the Covid-19 pandemic is surprisingly thin in comparison to the myriad other threats to our health that we face every year. We don’t ban cars on the reasoning that every life counts and even one traffic death is one too many lives lost. Instead, we trade a level of convenience for a level of risk to life and limb. On the other hand, the restrictions imposed on everyday life as we know it have been far more draconian than anything previously done, even during World War II or the great 1918-19 flu. In present circumstances, the argument for the crucial importance of liberties has been made most eloquently by former UK Supreme Court Justice Lord Sumption in a BBC interview on March 31st, and repeated several times since.  But it’s also an argument that Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of America (and therefore suspect in the post-Black Lives Matter and statues-toppling environment), made back in the 18th century: ‘Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety’.  Yet, the evidence for the effectiveness of draconian lockdowns is less than convincing. As one Lancet study concluded, ‘Rapid border closures, full lockdowns, and wide-spread testing were not associated with COVID-19 mortality per million people’. Second, the coronavirus threatens to overwhelm the health and economies of many developing countries where a billion people subsist in a Hobbesian state of nature and life is ‘nasty, brutish and short’. In poor countries, the biggest numbers of deaths are caused by water-borne infectious diseases, nutritional deficiencies and neonatal and maternal complications.  The lockdown has produced its own version of Thucydides’ dictum that the strong do what they can, the weak suffer as they must. In developing countries, saving livelihoods is no less important than saving lives. The privileged jet-setters who imported the virus can utilise the private hospitals but the poor they infect have little access to decent healthcare and will be disproportionately devastated. The rich carry the virus, the poor bear the burden since staying at home means foregoing daily income. Millions ‘fear hunger may kill us before coronavirus’. I remain very puzzled at how so many people I considered to be liberals have been so utterly indifferent to the plight of the poor and the casual labourers who do not have the luxury of working from home, nor savings to fall back on to tide their family over until they can earn an income again.  Celebrities posting videos and selfies of working from home in opulent mansions is positively obscene and revolting. Not surprisingly, given my Indian background, I was powerfully influenced by the visual images of the millions of migrant workers literally on the march by foot over thousands of kilometres trying desperately to make their way back to home villages as all work dried up.  Many died en route and the heartbreaking case of Jamlo Madkam in particular, a 12-year old girl who trekked 100km but died of exhaustion just 11km from home, has never stopped haunting me. This is not to say that high-income Western countries are immune from the deadly effects of lockdown. But the acuteness of the harsh impacts on the poor is just unconscionable and hard to comprehend intellectually as well as emotionally. What about AFTER this pandemic? What worries you the most? Most of my answer to this question is anticipated in the answer to the first question: the long-term impact on the health, nutritional requirements, food security, mental wellbeing of people, etcetera. I’ve been worried from the start by the long-term impact of lockdowns over the coming decade on the lives and livelihoods of poor people in poor countries. I wonder, too, if we have set ourselves up to repeat the folly every year with annual outbreaks of flu, especially if it is a bad flu season. If not, why not? Perhaps someone will come up with the slogan ‘Flu Lives Matter’. Or governments could just pass laws making it illegal for anyone to fall sick and die. How and when are we going to return to the ‘new normal’ and what will it look like? Globalisation has underpinned unprecedented prosperity and the rise of educational and health outcomes for billions of people around the world, along with a dark underbelly of uncivil society. Will its discontents now throw away substantial benefits as the world retreats behind national moats once again? The pandemic proves conclusively the need to demilitarise foreign policy and promote greater multilateral cooperation against grave threats that are global in nature and require global solutions. What my former boss, the late Kofi Annan, called ‘problems without passports’ require solutions without passports. The risk is instead we will move in the opposite direction and recreate regionalised balance of power systems in various hotspots around the world. Pandemics have long been identified as one of many global challenges for which the world should have prepared in advance. Recently The Wall Street Journal had a major investigative article on the failure to do so, despite ample warnings from scientists. ‘A Deadly Coronavirus Was Inevitable. Why Was No One Ready?’ asked the authors, and quite rightly too.  Another catastrophe into which we seem to be sleepwalking is a nuclear war. And remember, the whole point of the sleepwalking analogy is that people walking in their sleep are not aware of it at the time. Other pressing global challenges include growing ecosystem imbalances and fragility, depletion of fish stocks, food and water insecurity, desertification, and of course a host of other diseases that remain the biggest killers on an annual basis. Conclusion By way of a concluding reflection, I think a common error has been to privilege the medical over all other considerations. In reality, and certainly with the benefit of hindsight but also from the very beginning in my case, this should have involved a considered assessment of what I call ‘A Balance of Interests’ (my chapter in The Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy). Governments must take into account and reconcile medical, social, economic, liberal democratic, human rights and international policies in fashioning an integrated public policy response to a pandemic. *  *  * Epilogue The above is extracted from a long, 3,000 word full page interview featured in a Sunday edition of the Argentine daily La Nación on August 22, 2020 (in Spanish): Hugo Alconada Mon, ‘The Tyranny of Coronaphobia’, INTERVIEW WITH RAMESH THAKUR Since then Covid has mutated into multiple variants, mass vaccinations have been carried out in very many countries, and our understanding, data and knowledge have evolved and grown. Despite that, re-reading these two worries each about the policy responses to Covid two years ago and about the possible ramifications for what the post-Covid new normal will look like, I don’t think I would change a single word today.  I confess I still don’t understand the global outbreak of collective panic and hysteria, the shelving of all existing pandemic management plans, the failure of medical professions to speak out, and the astonishing public compliance with authoritarian policies. Tyler Durden Fri, 08/05/2022 - 19:00.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytAug 5th, 2022

The Antidote To Tyranny Is Liberty, Not Democracy Or International Government

The Antidote To Tyranny Is Liberty, Not Democracy Or International Government Authored by J B Shurk, via The Gatestone Institute, When presidents and prime ministers make and enforce their own laws under the pretext of "emergency powers," then citizens should not be surprised when their leaders discover an endless supply of "emergencies" requiring urgent action. The opposite of tyranny is not democracy, but rather liberty and individual rights. Is it not startling, then, that Western leaders extol democracy, yet pay such little homage to personal freedoms? Yet freedom, liberty, and individual rights are rarely mentioned. In their stead, political leaders cherish the "virtues" of democracy and little else. It is as if a linguistic sleight of hand has robbed Western citizens of their most valuable heritage. Is it not strange that Western leaders laud democracy over authoritarianism while simultaneously diminishing the power of their voters and strengthening the authority of foreign institutions [such as the EU, the UN, and the WHO]? Shouldn't "democratic" nations decide their own fates? Why should bigger, broader forms of international government, however, be seen as more virtuous and less corrupt than their national forms?.... For that matter, had Hitler's Nazi Party succeeded in conquering all of Europe, would his "European Union" have deserved greater legitimacy than the national governments of Poland, Belgium, or France? When national populations are denied self-determination and personal liberties are treated as privileges, not rights, then tyranny is never far from taking hold. Political language manipulates political debate. Abortion opponents who define themselves as "pro-life" semantically render abortion proponents as "pro-death." Abortion supporters who define themselves as "pro-choice" semantically render any opposition as "anti-choice." Who wants to be "pro-death" or "anti-choice," after all? Such is the nature of politics. Words are weapons: when wielded deftly, they shape the battlespace for our minds. So what does it mean when Western leaders these days speak so much of democracy but so little of individual rights? Or that they preach the virtues of international institutions, while demonizing nationalism as xenophobic and dangerous? It means that national sovereignty and natural, inviolable rights are under direct attack throughout the West. It has become rather common for European and American politicians to divide the world between "democratic" and "authoritarian" nations, the former described as possessing inherent goodness and the latter declaimed as threatening the planet's very existence. Of course, after two-plus years of COVID-19-related mask, vaccine and travel mandates, often imposed in the West through unilateral executive or administrative action — and not through legislative will or public referendum — it is somewhat difficult to assert that democratic nations are free from authoritarian impulse. When presidents and prime ministers make and enforce their own laws under the pretext of "emergency powers," then citizens should not be surprised when their leaders discover an endless supply of "emergencies" requiring urgent action. Should that truth be in any doubt, one need only look to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's iron-fisted decision to quell truckers' peaceful Freedom Convoy protests against experimental vaccine mandates earlier this year by confiscating bank accounts and effecting forceful arrests with little regard for due process or respect for Canadians' free speech. Trudeau's declared "emergency" trumped Canadian citizens' personal rights. It is also true that democracy in and of itself is no guarantee for a noble and just society. In a properly functioning democracy of one hundred citizens, fifty-one can vote to deny the other forty-nine property, liberty, and even life. Should a member of the minority find himself enslaved to the state or slated for execution simply because the majority wish it so, he will not be singing the praises of democracy while his neck is squeezed within the noose. Principles of federalism (where sovereign government jurisdiction is divided between a central authority and its local, constituent parts) and separation of powers (where the judicial, legislative, and executive functions of government are divided among distinct and independent branches) provide strong checks against the concentration and abuse of too much power. However, it is the West's traditional embrace of natural rights that exist apart from and superior to constitutional authority that create the greatest protection against unjust government power (democratic or not). When natural rights are viewed as inviolable, as they are in the U.S. Declaration of Independence, free speech cannot be censored simply because it is speech with which the government disagrees. When private property ownership is understood as an inherent right possessed by individuals, Trudeau could not so easily go after private bank accounts whenever he might choose to declare an "emergency." When individual natural rights are seen as mere "gifts" from the government, though, they quickly disappear whenever government actors find it expedient. It is increasingly common to see individual rights attacked as "selfish" and contrary to the "common good." Should government leaders convince citizens that personal rights do not exist, or that they should not exist, then authoritarian governments embracing various shades of communism or fascism will come knocking on the door. The rule of law does not excuse tyranny simply because what is unjust was democratically enacted. If any voting minority is vulnerable to the whims of the majority, then to that minority a democratic government feels exceedingly authoritarian, too. And should your life, liberty, or property be on the line, you might very well prefer the judgment of a benevolent dictator to the demands of a vengeful, yet "democratic," mob. The opposite of tyranny is not democracy, but rather liberty and individual rights. Is it not startling, then, that Western leaders extol democracy, yet pay such little homage to personal freedoms? Surely Western Civilization should honor hard-fought victories for freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and free will. Surely the advancement of human liberty should be celebrated as a triumph of reason and rationality over feudal systems of power and their imperious forms of control. Surely any "free" society distinguishes itself from authoritarian regimes through its steadfast protection of inviolable human rights that exist irrespective of statutory law. Yet freedom, liberty, and individual rights are rarely mentioned. In their stead, political leaders cherish the "virtues" of democracy and little else. It is as if a linguistic sleight of hand has robbed Western citizens of their most valuable heritage. If Western political leaders have used rhetorical voodoo to replace "individual liberty" with vague notions of "democracy," they have relied upon a similar witchcraft to replace national sovereignty with international forms of government. What are the European Union, the United Nations, and the World Health Organization if not institutional structures for weakening the individual voting power of a nation's citizens by handing once sovereign national powers to non-citizens? Is it not strange that Western leaders laud democracy over authoritarianism while simultaneously diminishing the power of their voters and strengthening the authority of foreign institutions? Shouldn't "democratic" nations decide their own fates? If not, if they must yield to the authority of the EU, UN or WHO, can individual nations still claim to be governed democratically? "Nationalism" these days has been reduced to a disparaging word, as if anything done in the interests of one particular nation is inherently suspect. Citizens who express patriotic pride in their culture and national history are often rebuked as parochial or downright bigoted. Political movements that champion national self-determination (such as President Trump's MAGA coalition in the U.S. and Brexit in the U.K.) are routinely ridiculed as "fascist" or "neo-Nazi." Even when they achieve victory in democratic elections, they are nonetheless labeled "threats" to democracy. Why should bigger, broader forms of international government, however, be seen as more virtuous and less corrupt than their national forms? When the Roman Republic became the Roman Empire, did its international institutions become inherently more trustworthy? When the Holy Roman Empire united much of Europe, did its emperors seem less authoritarian? For that matter, had Hitler's Nazi Party succeeded in conquering all of Europe, would his "European Union" have deserved greater legitimacy than the national governments of Poland, Belgium, or France? Surely it is just as absurd to praise international institutions over national governments without regard to the forms they take, as it is to praise democracy without regard for personal freedoms and individual rights. Surely it is easier to keep an eye on the actions of a local politician than it is to hold accountable a government official far away in Washington, D.C., New York City, Brussels, or Geneva. Yet international bodies are accorded tremendous respect today, while national bodies are frequently treated with disdain. It is as if national sovereignty has been demolished because the votes of democratic nations cannot be trusted to serve international interests. When Western leaders are all parroting the language of the World Economic Forum, it does not seem as if they are taking their marching orders from their own voters. Deferring to unelected, untransparent, unaccountable organizations seems a rather odd way to fight authoritarianism. When national populations are denied self-determination and personal liberties are treated as privileges, not rights, then tyranny is never far from taking hold. Hiding that reality behind manipulations of language does not change its potent truth. It just forestalls contentious political battles for a later, more explosive day. Tyler Durden Wed, 08/03/2022 - 00:05.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeAug 3rd, 2022

How Technocommunism Will Institute The CBDC: The Central Bank Game Plan In Under 3 Minutes

How Technocommunism Will Institute The CBDC: The Central Bank Game Plan In Under 3 Minutes Via '2nd Smartest Guy In The World' Substack, The entire global financial system is now essentially a technocommunist black ops money laundering crime scene. Central banks, their wall street coconspirators and the major corporations are all colluding in ushering in their hyper-centralized CBDC dystopia. This central bank “currency” will of course be inextricably tethered to the A.I. social credit score system which will algorithmically surveil and control the genetically modified debt-slave tax mules. The perdurable emergency “pandemic” scheme has emboldened the banksters such that they are now showing their hand, goading the public with their cashless power grab. In some nations the UBI bribe will be a necessary step in achieving adoption, but there are currently enough WEF “penetrated” governments that will outright subject their citizenry to draconian currency laws. Pfizer’s petri dish nation of Israel is leading the way. Not only is the Israeli populace undergoing a slow motion holocaust by slow kill bioweapon injection currently at dose 6, but they are now being aggressively herded into a CBDC hell. Cash deals exceeding 6,000 NIS ($1,700) will be illegal, as part of the effort to fight against money laundering and criminal activity; the law will exempt charitable institutions and trade with West Bank Palestinians By invoking money laundering and criminal activity these illegitimate anti-human governments are simply projecting their very own crimes, while attempting to steal away the last vestiges of people’s freedoms. “We want the public to reduce the use of cash money,” Adv. Tamar Bracha, who is in charge of executing the law on behalf of Israel’s Tax Authority, told The Media Line. “The goal is to reduce cash fluidity in the market, mainly because crime organizations tend to rely on cash. By limiting the use of it, criminal activity is much harder to carry out.” Source. In other words, reduce freedom fluidity and remove all privacy. And it is no coincidence that Israel has one of the most advanced “vaccine” passport programs which will seamlessly integrate with their CBDC scheme. The goal is to not only link every human to their social credit score, but to tax, inflate (stealth tax), debank and deperson at will. Building on the DEATHVAX™ program, everyone will be injected with nano-microchips which will assimilate the posthuman digital-chattel into the AI. The elites will then finally gain control of the very lifespans of their pod dwelling synthetic bug sludge eating subjects. The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) was established to collect and disburse Germany's World War I reparation payments, but by WW2 it was the primary war spoils money laundering operation for the Nazis — the irony is always rich with these sociopaths — and is today effectively the world central bank, or the bank of central banks. The BIS is the controlling node for all of the other central planning entitles such as The Fed, ECB, BOJ, etc. It controls most of the transferable money in the world, which it uses to drive sovereign governments into debt on behalf of the IMF. Ironically, the BIS General Manager happens to be a man whose lack of impulse control as it pertains to his eating addictions directly carries over to his insatiable compulsion for tyranny: “We do not know who is using a hundred dollar bill today.”  Busybodies like Agustin Carstens have less than zero authority to know anything about what anyone is using, or doing, or anything about them, whether it be cash, medical records, communications or anything else for that matter. Not that the NSA and CIA have these rights, nor does the Constitution allows for internationalist technocommunist banksters; quite the contrary, but we digress. Theft via taxation is nothing more than social engineering, and so too is this rush to a cashless brave new world. CBDC’s represent one of the last steps in the final social engineering solution. And just like the UN, WEF and WHO, the BIS operates outside of all sovereign government laws. It is the monetary arm of the One World Government, leading with the requisite environmental, social and governance “criteria” as outlined in the UN’s Agenda 21 and Agenda 2030. Because a cashless society perfectly paves the way for a propertyless society. It is also no coincidence that the CBDC is the high tech apotheosis of the 5th Plank of the Communist Manifesto: Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly. Today this Plank may be updated to read as follows: Hyper-centralization of the singular global CBDC in the hands of internationalist technocrats with exclusive monopoly. The other Planks require similar revision for today’s technocommunism. WEF eviscerated nations like Israel, Canada, Australia and New Zealand will be the CBDC trial balloon experiments. The obvious goal upon successful abolition of cash in each respective nation is to port the respective CBDC into a singular crypto-SDR CBDC for a true one world currency. Which brings us to Richard Werner’s must see presentation: The Central Bank Gam Plan In Under 3 Minutes. Do NOT comply. *  *  * Become a paid subscriber: support the “Do NOT comply.” It’s 8 cents a day. Tyler Durden Tue, 08/02/2022 - 22:45.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeAug 2nd, 2022

Navigating The Fourth Turning

Navigating The Fourth Turning Authored by Jeff Thomas via InternationalMan.com, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” So, Thomas Paine wrote in 1775 in his publication of “The American Crisis.” Not so well-remembered today are the words that followed that famous quote: “Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” At that time, Colonial America was passing through the early stages of a “Fourth Turning,” an historical time of crisis that occurs roughly every eighty years. As a point of reference, a First Turning is a period of renewal; one in which a historical crisis has ended. The populace has risen to the occasion, thrown off tyranny and conquered social, political and economic tribulation. Having done so, they now create a renewal, based on hard work, personal responsibility and moral integrity. A Second Turning occurs a generation later, when the rewards of a First Turning have resulted in prosperity and stability. Those new adults who have grown up during a First Turning will be well-off and will seek to pursue high-mindedness and social concerns. Along the way, they will also pursue self-indulgence. (A deterioration begins.) In a Third Turning, again a generation later, complacency sets in. Politically, those individuals who are sociopathic (a clinical aberration, estimated at about 4% of any society at any given time) tend to rise in political spheres, replacing the older generation of responsible people. They tend to raise taxes, increase social welfare programmes and increase government spending in every way – really, any excuse to seize increased power over the populace. Then, in a Fourth Turning, again a generation later, power having been seized, the sociopaths seek total power – the elimination of all freedoms, to be replaced by totalitarian rule. Historically, in a Third Turning, a complacent people make it possible for sociopaths to take power. In a Fourth Turning, the sociopaths exert that power. It matters little whether the excuses put forward by political leaders are climate control, racial equity, CBDCs, cancel culture, owning nothing, digital IDs, transhumanism, vaccine mandates or a Green New Deal, the objective is singular: total dominance of the ruling class over the subservient class. Any excuse will do, if it has totalitarian rule as its outcome. In any Fourth Turning, those who are more thoughtful and forward-thinking will begin to make sense of the ruse, but find themselves being heavily criticized by all and sundry. The media will do all within their power to slap down those who denounce the ruling class. But more to the point, the greater proportion of the populace will remain in their slumber and resist the awakening strenuously. It is at such a time that the few who have figured out the ruse experience their greatest challenge – whether to speak out or whether to just go along. This group must struggle in the darkness to a great degree, as the majority of the population fight against an awakening, as it disturbs their complacency and is too horrendous to contemplate. The latter half of a Fourth Turning becomes a chaotic and confusing period – one in which many people desperately hope to just get along, whilst those who are more visionary become increasingly aware that their freedoms are being flushed away on a wholesale basis. And, whilst it is the smaller, more visionary group that creates the spark of change, it is, historically, a different and unlikely group that actually creates substantive change in the latter half. The group that turns the tide is the group that I often (unflatteringly) refer to as the hoi polloi – the average guy. At some point, the average guy, who simply wanted to be allowed to get on with his life – go to work, mow the lawn, sit on the couch with a six-pack and watch the game – has had his life so disrupted by the ruling sociopaths and their increasingly manic oppression that he accepts that he must turn off the TV and do “something.” He is not a leader, but he is a joiner. When, in Ottawa, Canada, a few truckers staged a small demonstration, and the average guy saw it on the news, he got in his truck and joined. He may have had no real idea of how events might develop; he simply added what weight he had to the effort. But the very fact that he is the average guy – that the bulk of the population is made up of average guys, makes their collective weight greater than those who may have been more inspired thinkers, and – more importantly – greater than the weight of the oppressors. As simplistic as a convoy of Canadian truckers may be, their numbers become their strength. More to the point, they carry with them the sympathies of other average people, who come out to cheer them on, bring them food and donate money. Not surprisingly, their achievement is brief, as it’s so simplistic, but they do succeed in bringing about temporary change, setting Government back on its heels. Then, a few farmers in the Netherlands hear about the Canadians and decside to drive their tractors into the city, and it happens again. And it keeps happening. Throughout history, it’s been the same. In 1775, when Paul Revere rode into Lexington and Concord, it’s quite unlikely that he shouted courageously, “To arms! To arms!” That would have been treason and treason was one of only three capital offenses at that time. More likely, he went to a few back doors and spread the word quietly. After all, the people of America were at that time British. The hoi polloi of the day – especially those of middle age or older – were relatively successful and had a lot to lose. They did not approve of revolt and were willing to pay the small stamp tax that had triggered it. They argued vociferously in the House of Burgesses to “just get along.” But a few firebrands kept up their challenge and, eventually, they were joined by farmers and shopkeepers who, like the truckers, had had enough and decided to do “something.” For those of us who saw the warning signs early – decades ago – the first half of the Fourth Turning has been extraordinarily distressing. The Globalists have been thorough in their planning and have successfully executed the removal of freedoms with great stealth that we assumed any “thinking” person should have seen coming. But most people are not thinkers. Most people “go along.” They continue to go along, right until the moment that…. they don’t. Thomas Paine was correct. “These are the times that try men’s souls.” Paine was a visionary who, through his writing, attempted to bring about an awakening. An awakening happens only gradually, but the point arrives when the common man has had about enough. He may not be intellectually inspired, but his collective weight is, and throughout history, has been the turning point. We are now on that cusp. *  *  * It’s clear there are some ominous social, political, cultural, and economic trends playing out right now. Many of which seem to point to an unfortunate decline of the West. That’s precisely why legendary speculator Doug Casey and his team just released this free report, which shows you exactly what’s happening and what you can do about it. Click here to download it now. Tyler Durden Tue, 08/02/2022 - 16:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeAug 2nd, 2022

Capitol rioter who accepted "full responsibility" for his actions on Jan. 6 is now writing a book from jail

Derrick Evans, a former West Virginia state lawmaker, claimed that his name has been "slandered" since the siege. Derrick Evans pictured inside the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.The Justice Department. A Capitol rioter announced that he is writing a book while serving out his three-month sentence. Derrick Evans, a former West Virginia state legislator, pleaded guilty to Jan. 6 charges earlier this year. Since his sentencing, Evans has repeatedly downplayed his role in the insurrection.  A former West Virginia state legislator who just weeks ago apologized to a judge for his role in the January 6 Capitol riot, is now writing a book from jail in hopes of bringing about "true justice."Derrick Evans was a newly-elected member of West Virginia's house of delegates when he traveled to Washington, DC and participated in the siege on January 6, 2021. Sworn in just weeks before the attack, Evans initially refused to step down from his government role, despite calls from his colleagues.He ultimately resigned on January 9, 2021, saying in a formal letter that he took full responsibility for his actions and "deeply regretted" any pain or embarrassment he caused his fellow West Virginians.Evans was sentenced to three months in prison this past June after pleading guilty to one felony count of civil disorder. During his sentencing, Evans apologized for his role in the riot, saying he had let down his family and regretted his actions.A video still of Derrick Evans' livestream outside the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, according to prosecutors.The Justice DepartmentBut in a Monday statement announcing his forthcoming book, Evans said his name had "been slandered in any which sort of way you can think of" since the insurrection more than a year and a half ago."I can state with full confidence that I am merely one of many people affected by the extreme polarization of our country's politics," he said.Following Evans' sentencing, prosecutors filed an official note with the court castigating the former lawmaker for repeatedly downplaying his role in the attack, including during a radio interview that aired the day after his sentence was handed down, during which Evans said he would never have "regrets" about "standing up to tyranny."An attorney for Evans did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. Evans has struck a book deal with Defiance Press, according to a Monday press release. A representative for the publisher did not immediately respond to Insider's questions about the specifics of Evans' deal. "I firmly believe that partnering with Defiance Press will allow me to share my story with the world, express my frustration with the current state of our country, and bring about true justice for January 6th all in hopes to build a better future for the next generation," Evans said.The publisher's Monday statement said Evans reported to federal prison on July 25th and will finish writing his manuscript while behind bars for the next three months. The publisher also boasted previous titles from Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Daniel Miller, a leading advocate for Texas secession.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderAug 1st, 2022

All The Trips To Davos Have Gone To Larry Fink"s Head

All The Trips To Davos Have Gone To Larry Fink's Head Authored by Scott Shepard via RealClearMarkets.com, Larry Fink really has let all of those trips to Davos go to his head. In what is, so far as I know, the BlackRock CEO’s most recent act of public grandiloquence, he and BlackRock have urged the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) to modify its proposed greenhouse-gas emissions disclosure rule. That standard Fink megalomania comes not from the request itself, but from its grounds. He does not ask that it be withdrawn because it is illegally beyond the SEC’s statutory remit, though it surely is, especially in light of a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling. He doesn’t seek its withdrawal because it will create massive expense for no possible benefit, though that’s true too. He doesn’t even oppose the rule because it will harm small farmers, small businesses and small investors while aggregating wealth and opportunity to his own private-equity class. (Well, no: of course not that.) Rather, Fink’s objection to the rule is that it deviated from the disclosure demands that have issued from him – from him and from Mike Bloomberg and from the self-appointed New Ruling Class – embodied this time as the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). These new malefactors of great self-regard, you see, don’t care for it when representatives of elected government dare to contradict the commandments of the World Economic Forum (WEF) set. Mind you, the SEC’s proposed rule does violate its statutory authority; it does violate the Commission’s basic responsibility of assisting Main Street shareholders and smaller corporations in the capital markets; it is vastly costly, entirely pointless and wholly biased. The TCFD proposals are also immensely costly and entirely pointless and biased (in favor of politicized decarbonization, against basic technological and economic reality) though, and they come without any statutory or moral authority at all. The TCFD, like the Sustainable Accounting Standards Board and the WEF, is just an agglomeration of billionaires who have decided that they’d quite like the world to be run according to their personal policy preferences – thank you very much – and that they don’t intend to subject themselves to indignities like getting elected in order to achieve that end. You can understand why they’ve dropped any plans to earn democratic legitimacy. Recall the spectacular failure that was Mike Bloomberg’s campaign for the Democratic nomination in 2020. From revelations that he had demanded that women staffers abort pregnancies to disclosures that old Nanny Bloomberg was pretty much an authoritarian all around, the Little Dictator didn’t come out of the experience very well. But that hasn’t thwarted his desire to rule. Nor did it serve as a lesson to Fink. One might think Fink would be more careful, given that he carries a raft of fiduciary duties to investors and shareholders that Bloomberg, as the owner of a private company, doesn’t. But no. While he occasionally makes transparently false statements about the nonpartisan character of his interference with the governance and planning at the rest of U.S. publicly traded corporations, the truth invariably outs, as when he accidentally admitted that he is acting to “force” corporations, and through them all of us worldwide, to do his bidding, such as equity-based discrimination and politicized decarbonization, because he personally is “very passionate about” those policy goals. In other words, Larry and Mike very much wish the world to dance to their tunes, exactly as they play them, and they don’t want any interfering governments trying to play along, even if it’s pretty much the same stupid tune. Larry, though, may wish to take a care as he seeks to set a crown upon his head. For as he accumulates the real power of dictatorship, he also collects the responsibility, and the dangers. Surely he is aware by now that forcing the West into climate-catastrophist decarbonization guarantees is already creating a pointless, but world-historical, disaster. Consider developments just in the last couple of weeks: Germany, and Europe generally, have delivered themselves, bound and on their knees, to Russia, having decarbonized according to their incoherent political schedules rather than according to technological and financial need – just as Larry wants to “force” the U.S. to do because he personally is “very passionate about” it. All of this “threatens social peace” in Germany and around the continent – which is fine, right? Nothing bad has ever followed from that. All of this has forced Europe to revert to coal use, meaning that political decarbonization leads to eventual recarbonization of the least-efficient sorts. China continues to ramp up its coal production and use, as do India and other non-western nations, with none indicating any serious willingness to stop such increases. This is fair enough; why should they be denied moving from developing to developed because western billionaires want to change the rules, pulling the ladders up behind themselves? The result: no amount of western decarbonization can have any real effect on the earth’s climate, the only conceivable legitimate justification for decarbonization. (The growing suspicion that the WEF set knows that political decarbonization can’t achieve the stated goals, but really wants it as a way of keeping the hoi polloi trapped in constrained penury so that they can have the world to themselves is, of course, wholly illegitimate.) Japan’s long-struggling economy has been hit hard by the current energy crisis, leaving it less prepared to respond to any negative effects that might arise from the climate change that political decarbonization can’t stop. The Netherlands has erupted in protests in response to government nitrogen-reduction regulations that threaten to destroy one of Europe’s strongest agricultural centers. These pointless regulations, based on doubtful science, do their work just as the world faces serious food shortages. Those food and energy deficiencies, driven by a series of “green” initiatives such as taking the whole country organic, have brought Sri Lanka to its knees – sending one president and prime minister already into exile, and the Sri Lankan people into dire suffering. Here at home, Texas’ inexplicable and undefendable embrace of wind power threatens its energy reliability and – again – forces it back on record fossil-fuel demand. There’s plenty more, but I think these items make the point. Or most of the point. Consider one last fact: that as Larry and Mike (and Brian Moynihan of Bank of America and David Solomon of Goldman Sachs and the rest of the Davos crowd) “force” American corporations to sign on to political-schedule decarbonization because they’re so personally passionate about it, they’ve also engineered an exemption from the European Union’s new “green” fuel tax for – do you even have to guess? – private jets. Larry & Co., you see, mean not only to rule like dictators, but to live like dictators. All of this put me in mind of Patrick Henry. In 1765, when a separate set of dictators (a crowd just as unelected by any Americans as the WEFers) sought to strip proto-Americans of their basic and fundamental rights through the Stamp Act, Henry offered a warning to George III, the chief unelected despot of that era. In the peroration of a speech against the act in the Virginia House of Burgesses he reminded his fellows that “Caesar had his Brutus, Charles the First his Cromwell and George the Third ... may profit by their example.” As Larry, Mike, et al. grasp for themselves the power and trappings of tyranny in order to advance policies that will destroy both liberty and prosperity for the American people – just as George and his parliament did – let us hope that they, too, profit from those examples. *  *  * Scott Shepard is a fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research and Director of its Free Enterprise Project. Tyler Durden Thu, 07/28/2022 - 21:10.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJul 29th, 2022

Ron Paul: Ugly COVID Lies

Ron Paul: Ugly COVID Lies Authored by Ron Paul via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity, After two years of unprecedented government tyranny in the name of fighting a virus, the prime instigators of this infamy are walking free, writing books, and openly pretending they never said the things they clearly said over and over. Take Trump’s White House Covid response coordinator Deborah Birx, for example. She was, as the Brownstone Institute’s Jeffrey Tucker points out in a recent article, the principal architect of the disastrous “lockdown” policy that destroyed more lives than Covid itself. Birx knew that locking a country down in response to a virus was a radical move that would never be endorsed. So, as she admits in her new book, she lied about it. She sold the White House on the out-of-thin-air “fifteen days to slow the spread” all the while knowing there was no evidence it would do any such thing. As she wrote in her new book, Silent Invasion, “I didn’t have the numbers in front of me yet to make the case for extending it longer, but I had two weeks to get them.” She was playing for time with no evidence. As it turns out, she was also destroying the lives of millions of Americans. The hysteria she created led to countless businesses destroyed, countless suicides, major depressions, drug and alcohol addictions. It led to countless deaths due to delays in treatment for other diseases. It may turn out to be the most deadly mistake in medical history. As she revealed in her book, she actually wanted to isolate every single person in the United States! Writing about how many people would be allowed to gather, she said: “If I pushed for zero (which was actually what I wanted and what was required), this would have been interpreted as a ‘lockdown’—the perception we were all working so hard to avoid.” She wanted to prevent even two people from meeting. How is it possible that someone like this came to gain so much power over our lives? One virus and we suddenly become Communist China? Last week in a Fox News interview she again revealed the extent of her treachery. After months of relentlessly demanding that all Americans get the Covid shots, she revealed that the “vaccines” were not vaccines at all! “I knew these vaccines were not going to protect against infection,” she told Fox. “And I think we overplayed the vaccines. And it made people then worry that it’s not going to protect against severe disease and hospitalization.” So when did she know this? Did she know it when she told ABC in late 2020 that “this is one of the most highly-effective vaccines we have in our infectious disease arsenal. And so that’s why I’m very enthusiastic about the vaccine”? If she knew all along that the “vaccines” were not vaccines, why didn’t she tell us? Because, as she admits in her book, she believes it’s just fine to lie to people in order to get them to do what she wants. She admits that she employed “subterfuge” against her boss – President Donald Trump – to implement Covid policies he opposed. So it should be no surprise that she lied to the American people about the efficacy of the Covid shots. The big question now, after what appears to be a tsunami of vaccine-related injuries, is will anyone be forced to pay for the lies and subterfuge? Will anyone be held to account for the lives lost for the arrogance of the Birxes and Faucis of the world? Tyler Durden Tue, 07/26/2022 - 17:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJul 26th, 2022

Watch: Warrantless ATF Agents Show Up At Man"s Home To Perform Gun Inventory

Watch: Warrantless ATF Agents Show Up At Man's Home To Perform Gun Inventory A Delaware man was stunned when two Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents and a state trooper rang his doorbell and asked if they could do an inventory of seven of his legally-obtained firearms.  The gun owner has remained anonymous, but describes himself as a law-abiding citizen and small business owner. He captured doorbell camera video of the unsettling incident and shared the video and his account of the incident with Armed American News: “I was embarrassed. My neighbors saw the whole thing -- guys in these police vests standing in my yard. I was really uncomfortable. I felt really confused, like I was in some way being accused of something even though I didn’t commit a crime. It was quite embarrassing." In a screen shot from a Delaware gun owner's doorbell video, ATF agents and a state trooper ask to perform a surprise inventory of his firearms (via Armed American News)  One of the ATF agents explained the surprise inspection was prompted by the gun owner simply having simultaneously purchased multiple firearms:  “When you purchase more than two guns at a time, it generates a multiple-sales report and it comes to us and we have to check them out...There’s an email from the federal side saying, 'Can you make sure this guy’s got his guns?' " The state trooper explained the agents were trying to police "straw purchases" -- the purchase of firearms with the intent to sell them to someone who's prohibited from buying a firearm, or otherwise doesn't want to go through a background check or have their name associated with a purchase. It's a felony offense.  Though they didn't have a warrant, the agents implied that if the gun owner didn't produce his weapons for inspection, it wouldn't be the end of the matter: "We can look at them and write which ones you just bought, so we can save a trip from coming back,” one of them said.  Even as the ATF agents reassured the gun owner, they added to the authoritarian flavor by bringing up an apparent recent traffic stop: "You did nothing wrong – absolutely zero. I noticed you were stopped in Philly, though, with one of your guns?” The reference to nearby Philadelphia seems to confirm these surprise inspections are part of the Biden administration's crackdown on the so-called "Iron Pipeline," a term used to describe the trafficking of firearms legally purchased in the South and then transported north for illegal resale along the I-95 corridor.  ATF agents and a #Delaware state officer showed up to a man’s house without a warrant demanding to see his #firearms. #2A pic.twitter.com/DKuRd8UtKt — Sarah Fields (@SarahisCensored) July 20, 2022 When the gun owner said he had the weapons in his safe, an ATF agent asked him to unload them and bring them out so the agents could check the serial numbers against their records. "All I'm doing is verifying that you have it...you got two different purchases. If you have them, I'm outta here," he said.  The gun owner, who'd purchased seven weapons since January, decided to consent to the request, telling Armed American News:  "I knew they couldn’t come in, but I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to get put on some watch list. We just got new gun laws here. I didn’t want them coming back again. I felt like they were invading my privacy.”  Montana Congressman Matt Rosendale wants the ATF to explain their actions. He told the Washington Times:   “I’m extremely concerned by the reports of a surprise and unwarranted firearms inspection conducted by the ATF. This incident occurred the same day Steve Dettelbach was sworn in to head the ATF, and it is exactly the kind of action I was concerned about under his leadership. ATF agents did not have a search warrant, and they had to rely on pressuring the homeowner for consent.”  Responding to an inquiry from Washington Times reporter Kerry Picket, the ATF said , “We are unable to comment on the details of any ongoing investigations; however, interviews are an entirely appropriate part of the investigative process for any law enforcement agency.” The gun owner produced one rifle for the ATF to inspect. Apparently having quickly convinced themselves that they weren't dealing with a gun-runner, the agents checked the serial number, skipped the rest of the inventory, apologized for the inconvenience and went off to the next stop on their 2022 summer tyranny tour.   Tyler Durden Mon, 07/25/2022 - 12:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJul 25th, 2022

GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert says he "grieves" for imprisoned Capitol rioters moments after latest Jan. 6 hearing

Thursday night's Jan. 6 hearing found that Trump did little to try to stop his fans from attacking the Capitol and appeared to resist punishing them. Rep. Louie Gohmert.Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images The Jan. 6 panel said Thursday night that Trump didn't want to punish Capitol rioters. Moments later, GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert told Newsmax he "grieves" for imprisoned Capitol rioters. Gohmert said he was not following the Jan. 6 hearings, The Daily Beast reported. Rep. Louie Gohmert told Newsmax that he "grieves" for imprisoned Capitol rioters moments after the latest January 6 committee hearing, which revealed that former President Donald Trump resisted punishing the insurrectionists.The pro-Trump Texas Republican said on Thursday night that he thought it was unfair how some Capitol rioters are being treated, according to a clip published by The Daily Beast."Our January 6 prisoners aren't doing so well, and having been a felony judge it grieves me to see the vendettas," Gohmert told Newsmax."As a former felony judge, there are people involved in January 6 that I would have no problem sending to prison. But most of them committed misdemeanors ... It does not bode well for our justice system at all," he added. Gohmert did not specify whether he was talking about Capitol riot defendants awaiting sentencing in jail or those who had already been sentenced and are serving time in prison.He also told Newsmax that he was not watching the hearings. But his comments had come moments after the House Capitol-riot committee's latest hearing on Thursday night, in which the panel gave insight into Trump's actions as the violence unfolded on January 6.The panel showed pre-recorded testimony from former White House officials who said Trump did not make any calls in an attempt to stop the violence, and watched television in the White House dining room instead.The committee also showed a series of outtakes of Trump's video address the day after the Capitol riot, in which he can be seen resisting holding the rioters to account and calling them "patriots" instead.Rep. Adam Kinzinger, one of two Republicans on the House's select committee, also said the former president "chose not to act" for hours when he did not call off the mob as they gained entry onto Capitol grounds.Gohmert was among the Republicans who actively promoted Trump's baseless claims of voter fraud after the 2020 election. Former Trump aides testified to the January 6 commission that Gohmert sought a pardon from Trump after the riot; Gohmert responded by denying it and calling it "propaganda."Gohmert has consistently downplayed the Capitol riot, saying in a speech last year that the arrests of insurrectionists were a form of "intimidation" and "tyranny." He's also suggested that the insurrection was a conspiracy set up by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Newsweek reported.At the time of writing, more than 880 people have been arrested and charged with crimes relating to the Capitol riot. It is unclear how many of them have misdemeanors.The most serious offenders, including the Proud Boy Dominic Pezzola, are still awaiting sentencing in the Central Detention Facility in Washington, DC.Last year, Gohmert and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene tried to visit the defendants in that jail, but were denied entry. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 22nd, 2022

Ted Cruz: Democrats used to support free speech, but "unfortunately, that time has long since passed"

Tensions ran high during a Senate committee hearing on a bill that requires organizations to disclose donors give $10,000 or more during an election cycle. Sen. Ted Cruz during a Senate committee hearing on the DISCLOSE Act.United States Senate Committee on Rules and Administration The Senate Committee on Rules and Administration debated advancing the DISCLOSE Act.  If passed, the bill would require organizations to disclose donors who give $10,000 or more during an election cycle.  Variations of the DISCLOSE Act were defeated in the Senate multiple times in the past.  Calling it blazingly "unconstitutional," Republican Sen. Ted Cruz foreshadowed yet another defeat for Democrats' unrealized weapon against secret money in politics — the DISCLOSE Act.  "The DISCLOSE Act is designed to target and harass speech that the left doesn't like," Cruz said at a Senate hearing Tuesday.As Cruz's comments indicate, most Republicans have no appetite for forcing politically active organizations to reveal the identities of their mostly wealthy donors, and the DISCLOSE Act is likely to again die this congressional session just as other versions have for years.Conservatives argue that big-dollar bankrollers have a right to anonymously express their political views through campaign contributions, so long as they're not giving the money directly to candidates' own campaigns.The DISCLOSE Act, as written, would require politically active organizations — including corporations, labor unions and independent political action committees — to disclose donors who contribute $10,000 or more during an election cycle. Most elected Democrats argue that unlimited political spending without transparency is corrupting.Technically named the Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections Act, the first DISCLOSE Act proposal first appeared a dozen years ago as Democrat-led response to the Supreme Court's 2010 ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.At the time, then-President Barack Obama criticized the decision as one that would "open the floodgates for special interests … to spend without limit in our elections."Since then, so-called "dark money" — both from the left and right — has flowed into national political elections, often via "social welfare" nonprofit organizations and business leagues that are not, by law, required to publicly disclose their funders. Sometimes, they spend it themselves. Lately, they've been injecting it into super PACs — political committees that may raise and spend unlimited amounts of money, including from non-disclosing nonprofits, corporations, and unions.Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who sponsored the bill in 2010, said the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United is "one of the most awful decisions we've ever had from the court."The DISCLOSE ACT "should be bipartisan through and through, sadly it's not," Schumer said. "The American people have a right to know who is trying to influence the elections. Democracy cannot prosper without transparency." David Keating, president of the Institute for Free Speech, a nonprofit organization that supports the deregulation of political money, testified Tuesday that the DISCLOSE Act would hurt people who exercise their legal right to participate in the nation's elections."Significant portions of the bill would violate the privacy of advocacy groups and their supporters – including those groups who do nothing more than speak about policy issues before Congress or express views on federal judicial nominees," he said. "Free speech can mean the difference between liberty and tyranny."During the questioning, Sen. Angus King, an independent from Maine who caucuses with Democrats, tore into Keating."A person who contributes a million dollars to a political campaign, why are their tender feelings any more worth protecting than my $200 donor who has to be disclosed?" King asked. "The nub of your argument is fear of harassment of people." Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 19th, 2022

Jan. 6 committee witness Rusty Bowers backs away from supporting Trump in 2024, says he"s engaged in "tyrannical" behavior

Bowers previously said he'd support Trump in 2024, despite facing a harassment campaign in 2020. He now tells Insider he'd prefer Pence or DeSantis. Former President Donald Trump and Arizona GOP House Speaker Rusty Bowers.Jamie Squire and Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images Rusty Bowers recently testified about the pressure campaign he faced from Trump after the 2020 election. But the AZ GOP House Speaker later garnered attention for saying he'd still support Trump in 2024. He told Insider he believes Trump has engaged in "tyrannical" behavior and would prefer someone else. PHOENIX, Arizona — Russell "Rusty" Bowers, the Republican speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives, is still doing damage control after telling the Associated Press he'd vote for former President Donald Trump again despite testifying to the House January 6 committee that Trump illegally attempted to overturn the 2020 election.Bowers brought up the issue, which he called "the magic question," during an interview with Insider on Friday that focused largely on his contentious primary race for a state Senate seat in his hometown of Mesa."Any intimation that I have some overriding, some powerful support for Mr. Trump just would be false," Bowers said. "I'm looking for a good candidate. And I hope we can certainly provide one, otherwise it's just going to be a hard thing."Bowers also said he believes Trump has behaved like a tyrant."I think much of what he has done has been tyrannical, especially of late," Bowers told Insider. "I think that there are elements of tyranny that anybody can practice on any given day, and I feel like I've seen a lot of it, a lot of bullying and name calling."In late June, Bowers testified alongside Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his deputy, Gabriel Sterling, in a hearing that focused on Trump's effort to pressure state officials to overturn the 2020 election results.At the public hearing, Bowers detailed the intense pressure campaign he faced from Trump and his allies to reconvene the Arizona House after the election in order to decertify his state's electors, which had been elected to then-President elect Joe Biden. That campaign included months of harassment from Trump supporters at his home, where his daughter was sick with a terminal illness that she died from in January 2021."We have various groups come by and they have had video panel trucks with videos of me, proclaiming me to be a pedophile and a pervert and a corrupt politician," Bowers said at the hearing.Bowers testified alongside Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, and Georgia Secretary of State Chief Operating Officer Gabriel Sterling before the January 6 committee on June 21, 2022.Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty ImagesBut prior to the hearing, he told the AP that he'd still support Trump in 2024 if he was the party's presidential nominee, saying Trump's tenure prior to the COVID-19 pandemic had been "so good for the country." Those remarks  prompted an array of opinion pieces expressing shock at how Bowers could've endured what he did and still support the former president.By the time Bowers spoke with Insider, he'd already tried to clarify the remarks, telling Deseret News that he's "not inclined" to support Trump in 2024, while complaining that he'd been "boxed" by the question.He told Insider on Friday that he would prefer an alternative to Trump, such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis or former Vice President Mike Pence."DeSantis has some of the Trumpian persona, but he's got some character," said Bowers. "Mr. Pence. My family is very solidly impressed with Mr. Pence.""Pence, DeSantis — that level of person, I think, would be awesome as a candidate," he added.A view of Pass Mountain in Mesa, Arizona.Bryan Metzger/InsiderA recent New York Times/Siena College poll found that 25% of GOP voters would support DeSantis over Trump in 2024, while 6% indicated support for Pence.But Bowers also offered some praise for the former president in his interview with Insider, capturing the complexity of his views about Trump."At the same time, as I've said — hey, the regulatory environment that he turned over to other people went fantastic," said Bowers. "The EPA was streamlined and more functional and did a better job, the Abraham Accords in the Middle East — any one of those. Others haven't accomplished as much."Term-limited in the state House, Bowers is now running for the state Senate, where he previously served from 1997 to 2003. He faces former state Sen. David Farnsworth, who was endorsed by Trump following Bowers' testimony in Washington, in the August 2 primary.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJul 18th, 2022

Fiona Hill talks Ukraine, January 6, Trump, Republicans, and 2024: "We"re in a mess"

"It's a part of our democracy where we can all hold opposing views. That's important. Trump was not doing that," Hill told Insider Fiona Hill,arrives to testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on November 21, 2019.Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Fiona Hill recently spoke to Insider about Ukraine, Putin, January 6, Trump, and more. Hill said the war in Ukraine has global ramifications and could spark conflicts elsewhere. She also issued dire warnings about the state of US democracy. As the top Russia expert on the National Security Council under the Trump administration, Fiona Hill had a front-row seat to Russian President Vladimir Putin's efforts to manipulate former President Donald Trump. Hill also watched Trump attempt to emulate autocrats like Putin. In 2019, Hill was thrown into the national spotlight as a key witness during the House impeachment inquiry into Trump's dealings with Ukraine.Insider recently spoke with Hill about the Ukraine war, Russia, Putin, the January 6 hearings, Trump, Republicans and the future of US democracy. The conversation revealed how all of these issues are tied together.Editor's Note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity. INSIDER: In November, you told me that Putin was "deadly serious" about neutralizing Ukraine. At the time, there was a fair amount of skepticism about whether Russia would actually invade. You were ultimately correct. But what's been most surprising to you about how the Ukraine war has unfolded so far? Hill: It was clear he was going to do something military to me — but it wasn't clear he was going to try for a full-on invasion. They went full-on, everything at once, which was a bit of a surprise. But I think that's kind of the surprise for Putin as well. They miscalculated, right? They obviously thought — the Russians, Putin, the people around him who planned this adventure with him — that this "special military operation" would be over in a matter of days. And it wasn't. Everyone's surprised by that. The Ukrainians are surprised by it, because they managed to fend it off. Clearly, Putin's surprised by it. But it was clearly because the planning was not for a full-on, full-scale, grinding war that we're seeing now. The surprising element for a lot of people is that it has gone beyond these confines of a much shorter, sharper conflict. It's obvious to all of us that [Putin] massively miscalculated.INSIDER: It's clear that there were major miscalculations here, and the early days of the war were fairly embarrassing for Russia and for Putin. But we're beginning to see Russia make progress in the eastern Donbas region. And the Russian economy, while not exactly in the best shape, has managed to stay afloat. Is the tide turning in Putin's favor?Hill: He wants us to think that. We have to be very careful about that. That's becoming kind of the conventional wisdom — that he can wait us out. It's that whole idea of time and tide. There's that old expression "time and tide wait for no man" — not even for Vladimir Putin. Because he wants us to basically capitulate at this point. He doesn't want this dragging on, either. So all of these statements that Putin is saying like "we haven't even started yet, the worst is yet to come," it's meant to have Ukraine and everybody else just sort of give up now. This is classical medieval siege mentality, right?This is a guy whose father went through the siege of Leningrad. He's thinking in siege-like mentalities, laying siege to all of us. Just basically saying, "I'm going to wait you all out. You cannot prevail because I've got all the time in the world." And that's just not true.The problem becomes one of maintaining the military equipment and everything over the longer term. They're going to be cannibalizing equipment.We're seeing them reverting back, not just to the tactics of earlier times, but the equipment of earlier times. Pulling lots of things out of the scrapyard or cold storage. There's a lot of speculation about how long it will take for them to replenish the equipment that's lost. Russia's got a lot of problems, and over the longer term.We see signs of desperation there in terms of just trying to bring more people in without having a full-on mobilization that would bring in the kids of elites in Moscow and St. Petersburg, etc.INSIDER: In light of these questions regarding whether Russia actually has the manpower and weaponry to continue waging this war in the long-term, where do you see this war going? What are Putin's objectives at this stage of the conflict? Hill: His objectives have not changed. Putin wants to find a way of subjugating Ukraine one way or another. He might take what he can get in the short-term and medium-term. One of the big risks is that if he manages to get some kind of nominal control of the Donbas — Donetsk and Luhansk. But then there might be some kind of effort to create an operational pause for regrouping.And then it just results in a renewal of conflict when the Russians feel that they're in a good position to press ahead again. There are going be ramifications from this war for a very long time. It's an epoch-making war in many respects. It's shaping a whole set of interactions. The war in Chechnya was very similar. For years that went on and it shaped a lot of the dynamics within Russia itself and in neighboring countries. The war in Ukraine has a global reach, global implications — with the food security, Russia's nuclear sabre rattling, Putin running around to Turkey and Iran and reaching out to China for support. This is a conflict already with global dimensions. INSIDER: Putin has offered a series of shifting justifications for the Ukraine war. He's portrayed it as an effort to reclaim lands that he views as historically Russian. He's also framed it as the beginning of the end of a US-led world order. What does he really believe?Hill: Both, because he thinks that the US is an imperial power that has been occupying Europe because it's an outside power. He says it all the time. He's been saying it for forever. The Soviets said it as well — that the US was alien to Europe.The US — we always think of ourselves as liberators, right? World I, World War II, coming in to liberate Europe from the destruction by Germany. And we did occupy Germany. We did occupy Europe. There were US bases all over the place. And there still are in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy, and other places. And the US military is present in NATO, etc. At the end of the Cold War, the Soviet Union/Russia was forced to pull out. Pulling its military back from everywhere. But the US didn't go anywhere. So that's the Putin argument the whole time — the US is an imperial power, we have to get rid of it. Really, what Putin wants to be is the dominant power in Europe.INSIDER: When we spoke in November, you said Putin had an upper hand over the West and the only way this would change was if there's a "collective, forceful, diplomatic response." Does Putin still have the upper hand?Hill: Putin was never so powerful as on February 22nd and 23rd, or in November when he was massing those forces and he was putting all this pressure and everybody's running around trying to appease him and placate him. And then he goes in and he does this. Then everyone has to respond to that and he loses that power of coercion and persuasion.INSIDER: Do you think that the West has the political will to maintain the support that Ukraine needs to withstand Russia? Hill: Well, Putin doesn't think we have. And we can nay-say ourselves into not having it, either. I think it's up to us. What's going on in Ukraine is much larger than Ukraine and Russia, or NATO or the European Union. The food security, knock-on effects of energy, the precedent Putin is setting for similar activities elsewhere. This is really one of those massively transformative conflicts now. People freak out when you use the idea of World War III, but it's that epoch-changing war. There's been many of them in European history. Putin's trying to basically say that all of the history of the past several centuries in Europe doesn't count. All that counts is Putin's version of events — that Ukraine belongs to Russia. What about all the other countries in the world that have come out of multiethnic states or empires?INSIDER: When you learn about the history of World War I in high school, they teach you about the "powder keg of Europe." All of the right elements were there for it to explode, but everyone seemed to be looking the other way. Is that the kind of moment we're in?Hill: We're in it. Look at what's happening with food security and famine. I've used the idea of Putin as the four horsemen of the apocalypse in some of my presentations.Death, famine, destruction, pestilence. This is what Putin's creating here, and it's now on a global scale.INSIDER: Do you think there's a real risk of direct conflict or fighting between the major powers? Hill: There's always a risk. There's a risk of this sparking off other conflicts, just like the Arab Spring did. The Arab spring was initially triggered off by food prices from food shortages and rising inflation and unemployment. And if Putin's war in Ukraine compounds problems we've already had from COVID and other things that are happening, that compounding effect can spark off conflicts in other places. It doesn't have to be between the great powers.I want to be very careful about this because, of course, Putin wants us to believe that this is a proxy war with NATO. He's telling everybody else it is, but it's a war of conquest. INSIDER: What are the stakes if Ukraine loses and Putin gets what he wants?Hill: The stakes are it helps make the case for China with Taiwan. We all worry about that. These things are all fused together now. There's also a real risk of a rift internationally. It's a different form of rift. It's not across Europe, but it's kind of globally with the West and then Russia with the rest. All the countries caught in the middle of all of this and all these sort of knock-on effects of realignments as a result. Is Russia going to reconstruct Ukraine? Hell no. What happens to Ukrainian agriculture? What happens to millions of Ukrainians stuck somewhere else?You just then take out of play, in the same way that Afghanistan and Iraq and other places were taken out of play, a very large country that was contributing a great deal to global markets, commodities, etc. The potash, the fertilizer, all the grain, sunflower oil, all kinds of things there. The weakening of Europe overall as a result of all of this. Russia becomes incredibly weakened over the longer term, too. A win for Putin is a pretty Pyrrhic victory. He'll take it. But everything that people have achieved in Russia in terms of building real businesses, all the steps Russia's taken forward in alleviating poverty, building up a private sector for the last 30 years — is out the window. INSIDER: And a win in Ukraine is really key to Putin's survival politically and maybe even existentially?Hill: Yes. This is why he's trying to tell us that time is on his side when actually it isn't really so much. INSIDER: President Joe Biden has repeatedly said there's a global fight between democracy and autocracy, and has presented the Ukraine war as part of this. Meanwhile, America's democracy isn't in the best shape. Have you been following the January 6 hearings? Do you think they're having an impact? Hill: Yes and yes. But it doesn't mean that everybody else is watching and is being persuaded.There's a lot of people who just won't believe it, no matter what's presented to them.We've become so polarized and partisan. Biden tried to tap toward the center and pull others together, but he hasn't succeeded. Maybe the argument could be that he couldn't possibly succeed given the weight of all the problems. There's just been so much polarization and it doesn't just date back to Trump, it dates back even further. But, of course, the way he handled all this made it infinitely worse. Biden couldn't possibly — against the backdrop of an ongoing pandemic and everything else that's happening — have turned this around. But we always expect that the silver bullet is going to come from the man in the White House, rather than from people doing things for themselves. I guess that's what the January 6 committee is trying to get across here. I personally think they've done a pretty good job. Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger, they're playing those roles, but not getting anybody to stand up as well. Liz Cheney has not stopped being a conservative or a Republican in her defense of our democracy. And it's been weird to see this support for her from Democrats when they probably disagree with her on pretty much every policy issue.But everybody should stand up. It's a part of our democracy where we can all hold opposing views. That's important. Trump was not doing that, he was just basically standing up for himself. And this is what's happening in the case of Putin and Russia. Where you get unchecked power, where there's no consultation, and there's no kind of system of checks and balances. When you get to a situation where there is no institutional check on someone's power, that's the kind of thing you get — somebody could then just declare war. If you got somebody like Trump — we all know that he was running around saying "bomb this person" — if he managed to stay in power and blast through all of the institutional checks and balances, we might be in that situation, too. INSIDER: In your book, you wrote that Trump may have paved the way for someone who's a little less insecure and more capable to "pull a Putin" in America. Based on the current political climate, how worried are you that someone will "pull a Putin" in the US in the near future?Hill: I'm very concerned about it.A lot of people are still running on the back of the lie that the January 6th committee has really tried very hard to refute. Some of the people who will run — and maybe most of those people beat Trump — have not refuted what he's said and never recognized Biden as a legitimate president. Some people have said that might have been our last fair election in 2020. And it's disastrous because that means that a portion of the population will always believe that whoever got elected is illegitimate. And that's a recipe for communal violence and ultimately we could end up in a civil conflict here. Maybe it's at the local level. Maybe it's not at the national level. Or it's inter-communal violence.It's like Northern Ireland. When trust in the different communities and authorities breaks down to such an extent that just people just start fighting with each other. We've already got it. We've already got that happening.INSIDER: Some academics have already said that the US is in a civil conflict or at least a slow-moving civil war. Do you agree?Hill: I've said that myself at times and I've dialed it back a bit. We've got a lot of communal violence. So, we're already kind of in that. But we may have just become ungovernable by many of the things that have happened here. I don't think we'd end up in the kind of conflict that we had between the states — the Union and the Confederacy — back in the day. But people's sense of the civil and civic ways of resolving disputes are out the window. When you get people storming the US Capitol or storming the capitol of different states, for example, thinking about taking the governor hostage, mass violence that's targeted — in some cases against racial groups like we saw Buffalo — this whole atmosphere where everyone's on edge and feeling that they need to resolve the disputes themselves, you're just in really big trouble. However you define it, you're in big trouble.When you go abroad, people just can't believe it. People say to me, "The US is out of control."Our leadership is really tarnished. And that will have negative effects on the US as well because we won't be able to press our interests and the interests of our population internationally.INSIDER: You've said that if Trump is elected again, it's the end of US democracy. But what if someone else who is Trumpian, and who has embraced his false statements on the election, wins in 2024? Hill: If any of these other people who want to present themselves as a Republican candidate win on that basis, it's equally as bad. And it's disastrous if Trump wins on that basis, but also anybody else who's basically helped enable this or perpetuate it and is tapping into it. I am not a partisan person, but it's a little bit hard to take a neutral stance. When I was in the UK, for example, people described the Republican party as a charismatic satanic death cult.[The GOP] seems to be trying to undermine democracy, at least a large number of its members do, particularly on the congressional side. INSIDER: A lot of experts have accused the GOP of embracing authoritarianism. Is the Republican party authoritarian?Hill: It's getting all the hallmarks. This is not the Republican party old. We can also be very critical of the Democrats, but the Democrats are not trying to undermine the overall democratic system. Right now it has to be said that the Republican party, the congressional Republican party, so it seems, so it would appear, is hellbent on undermining democracy to exert minority rule. My reading of the Constitution and all of the writings of the Founding Fathers is they were trying to prevent tyranny of all kinds — including the tyranny of the minority, not just the tyranny of the majority. And they never envisioned this kind of party over country, or individual in the case of Trump. He doesn't care about the Republican party. He says it doesn't exist. We're in a mess, but it doesn't mean to say that we have to be. And you know, that gets back to the whole point about the January 6th committee and how it's talked about more broadly and getting a bit of empathy back in politics.INSIDER: Are Democrats meeting the moment in terms of countering this assault on democracy?Hill: I don't think any of us are meeting the moment. We're all in this together. If we want to still have this democracy, we've all got to work at it. So yeah, they've got to step up, but the rest of us have got to step up as well. Everybody's individually got to think about what can they do in this moment, and really look at things long and hard about the kind of country that they want to live in. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJul 16th, 2022

Rep. Jamie Raskin says "whipping up mob violence to destroy fair elections" is the "oldest domestic enemy" of US democracy

Rep. Jamie Raskin said that inciting mobs to overturn elections is America's "oldest domestic enemy" at the seventh January 6 hearing. Rep. Jamie Raskin (R) (D-MD), seated next to Rep. Liz Cheney (L) (R-WY), delivers remarks during the seventh hearing by the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol.Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images The House Select Committee to investigate the Jan. 6 on the Capitol held its seventh hearing Tuesday. Rep. Jamie Raskin said that attempts to overturn elections are the "oldest domestic enemy" of America. Raskin cited similar mobs in US history that threatened democracy. At the seventh public hearing held by the House Select Committee to investigate the January 6 attack on the Capitol on Tuesday, Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland said that former President Donald Trump's effort to overturn the election is one of the oldest tricks in the book."The problem of politicians whipping up mob violence to destroy fair elections is the oldest domestic enemy of constitutional democracy in America," Raskin said in his opening statement.Raskin mentioned the 1837 racist mob in Alton, Illinois during Abraham Lincoln's presidency in which rioters broke into the offices of an abolitionist newspaper and murdered the newspaper's editor, Elijah Lovejoy. The congressman compared that mob to the crowd of Trump loyalists, which included white supremacists, who stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021. And he quoted Lincoln saying "mobs and demagogues" will put this country on the "path to political tyranny.""If racist mobs are encouraged by politicians to rampage and terrorize, Lincoln said, they will violate the rights of other citizens and quickly destroy the bonds of social trust necessary for democracy to work," Raskin said.Rep. Raskin said that the integration of the Internet and social media have served as tools of "propaganda" and "disinformation" that the Founding Fathers could have only "dreamed of."The hearing featured clips from former Trump counsel Pat Cipollone, who was deposed by the committee the week before, as well as focused on the role of extremist groups the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers.—NowThis (@nowthisnews) July 12, 2022 Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJul 12th, 2022

Biden"s trip to make up with Mohammed bin Salman won"t help anyone in Saudi Arabia or America

Opinion: The suggestion that the meeting and the trip serve the interests of anyone except MbS doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Mohammed bin Salman at the G20 opening ceremony in Hangzhou, China, on September 4, 2016.Nicolas Asfouri - Pool/Getty Images President Joe Biden's Middle East trip, and plan to meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has been hailed as a triumph of "realism." The suggestion that the meeting and the trip serve the interests of anyone except MbS doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Abdullah Alaoudh is research director for the Gulf Region at Democracy for the Arab World Now. Sam Ratner is policy director at Win Without War. President Joe Biden's upcoming trip to the Middle East, which will include a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) has been hailed by supporters as a triumph of "realism." Yet the implication that this trip — a glorified photo op with no clear deliverables — serves the vital interest of anyone except MbS doesn't stand up to scrutiny.In reality, a visit that ends the Biden administration's commitment to treat the Saudi government as a "pariah" only buttresses a system in which oil-rich authoritarians operate with impunity, secure in the knowledge that major fossil fuel consumers will never demand real change in their behavior.To truly serve the interests of people in the United States and Saudi Arabia, we must pursue a policy that prioritizes major investments in green energy transition and adheres to basic human-rights standards.Green energy investments are necessary to limit the disastrous effects of climate change, and to remove the leverage that keeps US presidents circling back to Riyadh for oil handouts. A strong commitment to human rights helps keep the leverage off by putting the onus for reform on the Saudi government.Then-Vice President Joe Biden with Prince Salman bin Abdel-Aziz at Prince Sultan palace in Riyadh, October 27, 2011.REUTERS/Fahad ShadeeUS interests are more aligned with Saudi human rights activists and the Saudi public who suffered from tyranny for decades than with violent autocrats like MbS.Reducing the leverage held over the United States by leaders like MbS will lessen the power imbalance between the Saudi government and the people of Saudi Arabia, creating new opportunities for progress in the country, including openings for meaningful participation in government decision making and the resumption of the country's emerging civil society.A policy stance that increases, rather than decreases, the negotiating advantage that MbS and other autocrats with control over oil production have over the United States is not a strategic coup, but a strategic failure. The effects of that strategic failure will be felt in Saudi Arabia and throughout the world.For Saudi human-rights activists, a world where the US president reaffirms that MbS will not face even the most rudimentary forms of accountability for his abuses is a more difficult and dangerous one. The freedom and possibly the life of activist Dr. Lina Alshareef, who has been jailed since May 2021 for criticizing the crown prince, depends on how the administration deals with her jailer.Forensic experts investigate at a community hall where Saudi-led warplanes struck a funeral, in Sanaa, Yemen, October 9, 2016.Khaled Abdullah/ReutersSimilarly, Saudi Americans like Walid Fitaihi, Badr al-Ibraheem, and Salah al-Haider are banned from leaving the country, and their freedom to move depends on whether the administration cares for them more than their torturer. In short, Biden's meeting with MbS is a betrayal to human-rights supporters and Saudi dissidents that expected so much more from the president.For those pursuing freedom and climate action around the world, the signal given by Biden's trip could hardly be worse.Letting MbS off the hook in the pursuit of increased oil production not only emboldens the crown prince, but it incentivizes other fossil fuel-rich authoritarians to emulate his actions. It shows that no amount of repression will result in a meaningful decline in relations with the United States, and that no amount of rhetoric about the harms caused by fossil fuels will keep US political leaders from compromising American values to seek increased drilling.Biden consistently touts the need for renewable energy and cites the contest between democracy and autocracy as the struggle of the century, but this visit suggests that there is no struggle at all. A world in which MbS remains a leader to be appeased is one in which fossil fuels rule.Photos of prisoners in Saudi Arabia at a demonstration outside the Sadui Embassy in Mexico City, February 20, 2015.Thomson ReutersThe Biden administration has tried to preempt this line of criticism by claiming that the trip is not primarily about oil but larger security issues throughout the region. This claim is simply not credible. It is impossible to imagine that this sudden reversal to engage with the crown prince of the world's largest oil producing country is unconnected to gas prices ticking over $5 per gallon as the Democrats brace for midterm elections in November.The meeting is about oil and about the mutually reinforcing belief between oil-rich authoritarians and democratic leaders that mollifying oil producers is the highest form of statesmanship.Yet the reality is that no one country, not even a pliant Saudi Arabia, has the power to deliver lower gas prices. While on paper Saudi Arabia could replace some Russian oil that has been taken off the market, the reality is the Saudis are nearing their maximum production capacity. That both limits the amount of new oil they can produce and increases the risk premium on each new barrel, thus cutting the potential savings from any increased output.If going to MbS, hat in hand, looking for oil price relief is what passes for realism, it is time to retire the concept. A move to sacrifice Biden's principled stand against Saudi human-rights abuses in hopes of maybe slightly increasing fossil-fuel production does not serve any real US interest.Pursuing that tradeoff only strengthens the leverage of oil-rich autocrats over the United States and does real harm to Biden's credibility as an advocate for democracy. Freeing ourselves from that leverage, through a green energy transition and a real commitment to human rights, would be a foreign policy worth celebrating.Abdullah Alaoudh is the research director for the Gulf Region at Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN).Sam Ratner is the policy director at Win Without War.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 12th, 2022

One in 10 bags are not making it onto Qantas flights at Sydney airport: report

A baggage handler who works for Swissport said employees cannot keep up with the increase in baggage from the summer travel surge. An Airbus A350-1000 aircraft is parked on the tarmac at Sydney international airport on May 2, 2022, to mark a major fleet announcement by Australian airline Qantas. - Qantas announced on May 2 it will launch the world's first non-stop commercial flights from Sydney to London and New York by the end of 2025, finally conquering the "tyranny of distance".Wendell TEODORO / AFP A baggage handler spoke with The Guardian Australia on the condition of anonymity.  They said staff are overworked, underpaid, and unable to handle the increase in baggage. The source advised travellers to not check bags, or "if you can avoid it, don't fly Qantas at all."  A baggage handler who spoke with The Guardian Australia on the condition of anonymity said one in 10 bags are not making it onto Qantas flights at Sydney airport.According to the news organization, the baggage handler works for Swissport, a company Qantas outsourced its jobs to. Swissport is having it's own labor challenges. The Guardian Australia reported the company made contracts with two separate hiring firms in order to find workers to fulfull its Qantas shifts. The aviation industry is struggling to keep up with summer travel demand. As of June, Sydney Airport had 1,200 vacancies in security and ground-handler positions. The Guardian Australia reported that employees are quitting frequently due to poor working conditions. In response, Swissport has introduced a $50 per day bonus for baggage handlers if they show up for their shifts for the remainder of the year.The employee said baggage handlers are overworked, underpaid, and unable to handle the increase in baggage due to the surge in domestic travel."I would tell everyone, don't check in bags when you fly with Qantas right now, or even better if you can avoid it, don't fly Qantas at all," the worker said.In 2020, Qantas outsourced around 1,700 jobs, which has contributed to the company's shortage of baggage handlers. A federal court ruled the decision was unlawful and partially motivated by anti-union sentiment.   Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 11th, 2022

Big Tech Isn"t Woke... It"s Totalitarian

Big Tech Isn't Woke... It's Totalitarian Authored by Michael Senger via 'The New Normal' Substack, In the mid-18th century, a secretive political group began spreading dangerous conspiracy theories throughout Britain’s colonies. British subjects had long enjoyed the freedom of expression, but these radicals abused novel communication platforms to churn out seditious literature not often grounded in fact, even resorting to threats and violence that endangered those around them. According to their wild theories, a series of modest taxes levied by Parliament actually represented an incremental process to strip away their rights. They had no evidence to back their claims. After they arranged one of the costliest acts of vandalism in the history of the Empire, Parliament very reasonably invoked a state of emergency to protect the public. Yet, characteristically, rather than raising their objections through proper legal channels, these extremists co-signed a document penned by one of their most wily and manipulative agitators, falsely claiming to speak for all the colonists in declaring themselves above the law. In a helpful rebuttal, Governor Thomas Hutchinson thoroughly debunked the document, outlining the many “false and frivolous” claims in this “list of imaginary grievances,” its signatories relying on spurious overtures to “what they called the natural rights of mankind” to evade substantive argument. Hutchinson noted the signers’ racism, “depriving more than a hundred thousand Africans of their rights to liberty,” discrediting their appeals to so-called “natural rights,” as well as “the absurdity of making the governed to be governors,” a laughable contradiction. Moreover, the document was misleading. “The real design was to reconcile the people of America to that Independence.” The signers even referred to their sovereign as a “tyrant,” a profanity for which “indignant resentment must seize the breast of every loyal subject.” The Empire had always been about saving lives, after all—even if it occasionally fell a bit short. In this story, most readers now recognize the birth of the world’s oldest democracy and the modern constitutional republic. But perhaps those who presently govern the mega-platforms collectively referred to as “Big Tech,” on which most online discourse now takes place, take it as a warning of what can go wrong if citizens are permitted to freely express their beliefs. As strangely low an ethical standard as it was, the days of “Don’t be evil” appear to have been left far behind. Big Tech platforms now routinely side with raw state and corporate power, showing a disregard bordering on outright disdain for the rights and welfare of the human beings whom their actions affect. The recent history of Big Tech is a history of repeated usurpations, all demonstrating as their direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over the people. Big Tech platforms openly disavow any role in abiding by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, to which all American citizens owe a duty and to which any person who chooses to become an American citizen must swear an oath to uphold and defend. They censor centuries-old news organizations for publishing true, factual, and timely information. Big Tech platforms routinely censor the legal speech of citizens, concealing the rationale behind their decisions and applying their terms of service selectively, if at all. They mislead the public as to the scale and scope of this censorship, systematically silencing the most articulate voices on one side of any given debate unbeknownst to the vast majority of the public. Big Tech platforms openly collude with governments to suppress the speech of their own people, while overtly abusing the legal system and paying massive settlements to conceal the evidence of their collusion. They craft the false illusion of consensus on political issues of their own choosing, a power unprecedented in our democracy and historically held only by the most despotic regimes, promising in every instance to wield it for good, but falling short every time. Big Tech platforms deploy artificial intelligence to censor and de-boost citizens and opposing viewpoints with increasingly inhuman detachment and efficiency. They retain as leading AI experts—on their boards of directors—personnel with deep and well-documented ties to the militaries of the world’s worst dictatorships. Big Tech platforms routinely apply fact-check labels to true stories and information based on unrelated contextual issues, manipulating political narratives by deceiving the public into believing that the pertinent information is itself false. Meanwhile, they ignore large-scale bot and astroturf campaigns affecting political outcomes all over the world—despite harrowing accounts from whistleblowers—while misleading the public as to the frequency, scale, and purpose of these bot and astroturf campaigns. Big Tech platforms censor the voices of the most well-qualified citizens under the Orwellian pretext of combatting “misinformation,” drowning out their views with those of disinformation agents and bots. Meanwhile, they anoint as “experts” those who hold no relevant qualifications in the designated field other than a groveling deference to the viewpoints of Big Tech, who then regularly publish falsehoods without retribution. Big Tech platforms employ managers who accept bribes to censor political dissidents fighting against the world’s deadliest regimes, to whom they show obsequious deference. They bear a growing resemblance to organized crime syndicates, submitting false statements to the highest courts of law while hiding behind an unlimited legal budget and cutesy PR campaigns replete with amorphous birds and round, lower-case letters to escape legal scrutiny. This is no far-off dystopia. As rapidly as they’ve transpired, these things are already happening, and this is the reality of the world that Big Tech has created today. Given their systematic suppression of dissent against lockdowns, which ultimately killed over 170,000 Americans and countless millions more around the world, it’s hard to think of any ostensibly-private enterprise since the British East India Company that’s been responsible for more widespread human suffering. Much of this behavior is surely being coerced by the federal government, just as the East India Company was largely doing the bidding of the British Government. But Big Tech might want to ask how well “just following orders” worked as a defense in 1945. I conclude with the words of another individual who ultimately came to sign that radical 18th-century document, but other than whom no man ever fought harder for peace. “Look upon your Hands! They are stained with the Blood of your Relations! You and I were long Friends. You are now my Enemy—and I am Yours.” *  *  * Michael P Senger is an attorney and author of Snake Oil: How Xi Jinping Shut Down the World. Want to support my work? Get the book. Already got the book? Leave a quick review. Tyler Durden Fri, 07/08/2022 - 03:30.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJul 8th, 2022

Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, Early COVID Therapeutics Innovator, Dies Of Cancer At 48

Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, Early COVID Therapeutics Innovator, Dies Of Cancer At 48 Authored by Enrico Trigoso via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours), Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, a Nobel prize-nominated physician who famously discovered and used an early treatment for COVID, dubbed the “Zelenko Protocol,” passed on June 30, 2022, at the age of 48 after a long battle with pulmonary artery sarcoma, a rare form of cancer. Dr. Vladimir Zelenko. (Courtesy of the Zelenko Freedom Foundation) He was born in 1973, in Kyiv, Ukraine, and came to Brooklyn, New York, in 1977 with his family. Zelenko earned a B.S. in chemistry with high honors at Hofstra University and then earned an M.D. at the Buffalo School of Medicine in 2000. He had been practicing in Monroe, New York, in 2020 during the outbreak of COVID-19, and is credited with having treated about 7,500 patients with his method. The doctor, who could not sit back and wait for politicians and health officials to agree on prescribed treatments, came up with the “Zelenko Protocol”—a combination of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), zinc, azithromycin, and other drugs, including steroids. He credited divine intervention for the discovery of the abovementioned treatment. Several experts and doctors who knew him personally expressed their condolences and praised his achievements. “Dr. Zelenko was not just our hero, he was a man of God,” Kevin Jenkins, co-chair of the Zelenko Freedom Foundation, told The Epoch Times. Vladimir Zelenko (C), Kevin Jenkins, and Ann Vandersteel. (Courtesy of the Zelenko Freedom Foundation) “Two years ago, he stepped into the fire to save humanity. The world is better off today because of his God Courage. Our prayers and love go out to Zev’s friends and family. At the Zelenko Freedom Foundation, his dream for the world will never be forgotten. We will work tirelessly to further his legacy and encourage everyone who is worried about the growing menace of medical tyranny to stand with us and make a positive change,” Jenkins added. The other co-chair of the Zelenko Freedom Foundation, Ann Vandersteel, told The Epoch Times: “Dr. Zelenko was a course correction for humanity. As a man of God, his faith gave him the strength to stand in the breach and deliver his life saving Zelenko Protocol when the medical community faltered. His Protocol saved millions of lives worldwide and is a standard of care for physicians who honor their Hippocratic oath.” Zelenko, also known as “Zev,” had sent a letter to then-President Donald Trump about hydroxychloroquine. “I recall hearing President Trump during a March 2020 press conference talk about a letter he received from a country doctor in upstate NY. That letter that saved millions of lives. Zev had discovered that hydroxychloroquine was, in fact, an efficacious treatment for coronavirus. I believe that was the beginning of the end of big pharma, and with the public’s support, we will continue Zev’s fight through the Zelenko Freedom Foundation,” Vandersteel said. Tyler Durden Tue, 07/05/2022 - 23:00.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJul 6th, 2022

The Woke Inquisitors Have Come For The Freethinking Heretics

The Woke Inquisitors Have Come For The Freethinking Heretics Authored by J.B.Shurk via The Gatestone Institute, Attacks on free speech are on the rise. A British college recently expelled a student for expressing support for the government's official policy of deporting illegal immigrants. A Wisconsin school district charged three middle-schoolers with sexual harassment last month for refusing to use the plural pronoun "they" when referring to a single classmate. US President Joe Biden's National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy recently encouraged social media companies to censor from their online platforms any opinions that contradict Biden's climate change narrative. In its continued commitment to preserve the government's monopoly over COVID-19 information, Twitter actually suspended a medical doctor for merely sharing a scientific study that suggests the Pfizer vaccine affects male fertility. And the NFL's Washington Commanders fined defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio $100,000 and forced him to apologize only weeks ago for having expressed his opinion that 2020's summer of riots across the United States after George Floyd's death was more destructive than the few hours of mayhem at the Capitol on January 6, 2021. In contrast, it has become newsworthy that entertainment powerhouse Paramount has chosen not to censor old movies and television shows containing content that today's "woke" scolds might find "offensive." In a "cancel culture" world where censorship and trigger warnings have become the norm, preserving the artistic integrity of a film is now considered outright daring. In fact, even publishers of old literary classics have begun rewriting content to conform with "politically correct" sensibilities. Examples such as these, where personal speech is either censored or punished, are becoming much more frequent, and anybody who minimizes the threat this increased intolerance for free expression poses to a democratic society is either gullibly or willfully blind. As any defender of liberty knows, nothing more quickly transforms a free society into a totalitarian prison than crackdowns on speech. Of all the tools of coercion available to a government, preventing individuals from freely expressing their thoughts is most dangerous. Denying citizens that most basic societal release valve for pent-up anger and disagreement only heightens the risk for outright violence down the line. Either silenced citizens become so enraged that conflict becomes inevitable, or the iron fist of government force descends on the public more broadly to preemptively curtail that possibility. Either way, the result is a disaster for any free society. For Americans who cherish free speech, this undeniable war on language and expression is jolting but not shocking. Whenever censorship slithers back into polite society, it is always draped in the mantle of "good intentions." Fifteenth-century Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola's "bonfire of the vanities" destroyed anything that could be seen to invite or reflect sin. The notorious 1933 Nazi book burning at the Bebelplatz in Berlin torched some 20,000 books deemed subversive or "un-German". During Communist China's decade-long Cultural Revolution in the 1960s and '70s, the vast majority of China's traditional scrolls, literature and religious antiquities went up in smoke. All three atrocities were celebrated as achievements for the "greater good" of society, and people inebriated with "good intentions" set their cultural achievements aflame with fervor and triumph. Much like today's new censors who claim to "fight hate" because "that's not who we are," the arsonists of the past saw themselves as moral paragons, too. They purged anything "obscene" or "traditional" or "old," so that theocracy, Nazism, or communism could take root and grow. And if Western institutions today are purging ideas once again, then it is past time for people to start asking just what those institutions plan to harvest next. We in the West are running — not walking — toward another "bonfire of the vanities" in which normal people, egged on by their leaders, will eagerly destroy their own culture while claiming to save it. This time around the "vanities" will be condemned for their racist, sexist, transphobic, anti-science or climate-denying ways, but when they are thrown into the fire, it is dissent and free expression that will burn. There will one day be much disagreement as to how the same Western Civilization that produced the Enlightenment and its hallowed regard for free expression could once again surrender itself to the petty tyranny of censorship. Many will wonder how the West's much-vaunted "liberal" traditions could meekly fold to the specter of state-controlled speech. The answer is that the West has fallen into the same trap that always catches unsuspecting citizens by surprise: the steady encroachment on free speech has been sold as a "virtue" that all good people should applaud. First, certain thoughts became "aggravating factors" that turned traditional crimes into new "hate crimes" deserving of additional punishment. Then the definition of what is "hateful" grew until politicians could comfortably decree anything at odds with their agendas to be examples of "hate." Who would be for "hate," after all? Surely no-one of good sense or good manners. Now "hate" has transformed into an elusive description for any speech that can be alleged to cause the slightest of harms. From there, it was easy for the state to decree that "disinformation," or rather anything that can be seen to contradict the state's own official narratives, causes "harm," too. Those who despise free speech told society, "If you do not punish hate, then you're a bigot." And today, if you oppose the government's COVID-19, climate change, immigration, or other contentious policies, your harmful "disinformation" must be punished, too. It is a slippery slope, is it not? Once governments normalize censorship and the punishment of points of view, free expression is firmly stamped with an expiration date. After the Nazis went down this poisonous path, repentant Germans built a public memorial to remember the book burning at the Bebelplatz and ensure its tragic lesson was never forgotten. On a plaque in the square is a commemorative engraving, paraphrasing the 19th century German writer Heinrich Heine: "That was only a prelude; where they burn books, they will in the end also burn people." That warning comes with no expiration date. Tyler Durden Tue, 07/05/2022 - 02:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJul 5th, 2022

Supreme Court Targets The Real Enemy

Supreme Court Targets The Real Enemy Authored by Jeffrey Tucker via The Epoch Times, The flurry of rulings from the Supreme Court has everyone’s head spinning. The most significant among them, even if it doesn’t capture all the headlines, is West Virginia vs EPA. The majority opinion is impressive but the part I found truly wonderful is the concurring opinion by Neil Gorsuch. This is where we see things headed, toward a major and much-welcome curbing of the power of the administrative state. Just to review what this thing is, it is the unelected bureaucracy that rules the country without oversight from voters or legislatures. For well over 100 years, most courts have given it a pass, just assuming that the “experts” in the bureaucracies are handling things just fine, faithfully interpreting legislation, and merely creating rules for easy compliance. Generations have gone by as this 4th branch of government has grown in size, scope, and strength. For the most part, its baneful impositions have been felt by one business or one industry at a time. You have heard the stories. The car dealer complains of how the Department of Labor is making him crazy. The machine-parts manufacturer is going bonkers about letters from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The energy company can never satisfy the Environmental Protection Agency. They are stories and we find them unfortunate but we’ve generally avoided thinking of these as systematic, all pervasive, and truly dangerous to the idea of freedom itself. However, there are some 432 of these agencies. The authors of the Declaration of Independence noted their existence back in the day when they accused the English king of having “erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their Substance.” They fought a revolution to end the tyranny but now we have a home-grown form, starting in 1883 with the Pendleton Act and continuing throughout the 20th century as each new administration creates its own bureaucracy. The thing has taken on a power of its own. Strangely, the topic hardly comes up at all during elections, and this is for a reason. Politicians running for office like to advertise their power to make change. They might even believe it. In reality, elected officials have very little influence over the conduct of public life relative to the administrative state. As Trump found it, not even the president is a match for the deep state. Here is what has happened since March 2020: the beast showed its face. Seemingly out of nowhere, these strange agencies and people for whom we never voted were ruling our lives. They restricted travel, forced us to cover our faces, closed our churches and schools, and forbid our businesses from operating unless they were big enough to afford a powerful lobbying arm in Washington. The whole scene was appalling. It caused many people—including some earnest judges—to take notice. Once you see the problem, you cannot unsee it. ... When you consider the implications of this one decision, they are awesome. It doesn’t just apply to the EPA and its elaborate plans for changing the global climate through command and control. It also applies to every other agency, including the CDC and even the Federal Reserve itself. They all should be accountable to the people through their elected representatives. If we cannot get back to that system, we will lose everything. Read more here... Tyler Durden Mon, 07/04/2022 - 22:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJul 4th, 2022

Dear America, Happy Birthday, Kind Regards From The Brits

Dear America, Happy Birthday, Kind Regards From The Brits Here in the UK we should celebrate American Independence with more enthusiasm. After all, as MorningPorridge.com's Bill Blain explains, it was an absolute stroke of genius – on our part! Independence Day was the culmination of our great plan to improve the UK. It was brilliant for its time. Over centuries we’d come to realise the main issues in the UK were down to a whole host of conflicting demographic and people problems – which we easily solved by exporting them elsewhere. In the 1600s the new Britain (not yet the United Kingdom) emerged from millennia of mostly slaying each other: Britons against Saxons, Saxon against Angles, Angles against Scots, Scots against Picts, Everyone against Vikings, Scotland vs England, Britain against Spain, France and anyone else wanting to have a go, Religious Wars and Civil Wars. Suddenly, peace (of a sort) broke out. The aristocracy moved from damp draughty castles into nice modern stately homes. The peasantry moved from disease riven mud-hovels into brick-built boxes in new cities. People stopped dying of preventable diseases and a lack of soap, and the population began to boom. The UK is a small island, and we don’t really have the space. We wanted to avoid the kind of unpleasantness we’d seen generated by civil wars, rebellions and overly dangerous political and religious ideas – like levelling up or social equality, questioning the divine authority of kings, or further outbreaks of religious intolerance. Hence, we came up with the wizard wheeze of exporting all the useless pains-in-our-backsides to New World across the Atlantic. So: We got rid of surplus impoverished second, third and n+1 sons of the minor aristocracy (drones by any standard), and the middle classes by offering them land in the fertile south and shipping them off to found new agricultural estates. We winnowed the cities of surplus labour by offering “opportunity” in the new world – shipping them off to work the land, build the cities and direct the industry and commerce of the new provinces. We got rid of our religious nutters. The frankly dull, boring and mostly harmless ones dressed in black were shipped off to the new world and promised they could do whatever they wished in terms of their religion. They happily established themselves in New England and in typical Puritan style started burning old women as witches because the milk had gone sour. The more radical Catholic dissenters were shipped south. The Scottish/English borderers – who’d spent centuries raiding each other – were offered Northern Ireland, or if particularly violent, given land in the New World with added attraction of being able to fight the French to the West and North. And every time we experienced a national tragedy, like wars and clearances in Scotland, or famine in Ireland – there was plenty of space for the inconvenient survivors in the colonies. As the colonies grew, it was easy to persuade bright young folk that a lifetime spent paying back the costs of their economic migration was worthwhile. Brilliant. Britain’s population excess solved. We got rid of our unnecessary surplus, and foisted them off on the Americas.. which then had the absolute temerity to complain about being taxed by London. Ungrateful little tykes. Enough is enough. Despite the fact we’d help them get established and protected them from the marauding French, we had our second genius moment. Why pay for the America’s to be our national dumping ground…? Let them pay for themselves! So we engineered a rather lame revolution, helped them write a rather ironic constitution that befuddles them still to this day, persuaded them to sort themselves out by adopting ridiculous political structures, and left them to get on with it, confident, in time they’d see things our way and become an English Speaking bastion on the unfashionable side of the Atlantic.. Which from our perspective; has pretty much panned out as planned. But the fervid mix of hotheads, genetic misfits, bad ideas and even worse behaviours we shipped out do seem to be battering into each other rather appallingly these days..  With all that in mind, in an effort to be fair and balanced, we give the last few words to American artist Ben Garrison, who reminds us all that 'a house divided cannot stand', so "choose wisely"... The Fourth of July used to stand for all Americans coming together to celebrate our independence day from tyranny. Now, too many demand the return of the very same tyranny our forefathers rebelled against. We’ve been around long enough and seen enough independence days to notice that America is now more divided than ever. In our younger days we observed how Democrats and Republicans didn’t often agree with each other, but such disagreements were done with a certain modicum of class and mutual respect. Both parties placed the overall interests of America first. This is no longer the case. Biden said he was not a ’nationalist’ and he placed globalism above America’s interests. Biden does not want to make America great again. It’s why we’re seeing such high gas prices at the pumps. It’s why we’re involved in another war that does not serve our interests. Biden doesn’t want America to be energy independent. He wants the globalist’s ‘climate change’ agenda to be forced upon us regardless of the consequences. Biden doesn’t want to control the borders. He wants America overrun and its middle class destroyed. The Democrats want everyone dependent on Big Government. Under Obama and now Biden, the Democrats hate America outright. They especially hate what it once stood for—freedom and liberty. Patriots were called ‘bitter clingers’ by Obama. The anti-American ‘woke’ Democrats want statues that commemorate America’s history pulled down. They want ‘green’ energy, which means much higher gas prices. They want more crime and wide open borders, an endless war a half a world away, abortion on demand, and even the end the very family structure itself. They are blurring and destroying the very definition of what men and women are, the Democrats have shown that they are anti-human. They urge women to get abortions in order to stay in the corporate workplace. This is anti-family. Many ‘RINO’ Republicans work with the Democrats, but overall the two parties are more divided than ever. We don’t see much changing that would remedy this situation. Our country is not going to come together again. The Democrats continue to impeach and impugn their arch-enemy, Trump, even though he’s not in office. They’ve resorted to the crassest lies to ensure he doesn’t run again and if they keep stealing elections, real fireworks will eventually begin. Our forefathers objected to taxation without representation and we must do the same if our Constitution is ignored while tyranny, criminality, and corruption run rampant among those who would rule us. With this is mind, cherish your families and this Independence Day weekend, don’t let it be your last. *  *  * Support Ben Garrison Cartoons with a One time donation! Keep Cartoons Online Click to Donate! Tyler Durden Mon, 07/04/2022 - 18:15.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJul 4th, 2022

Declare Your Independence From Tyranny, America

Declare Your Independence From Tyranny, America Authored by John W. Whitehead & Nisha Whitehead via The Rurtherford Institute, Imagine living in a country where armed soldiers crash through doors to arrest and imprison citizens merely for criticizing government officials. Imagine that in this very same country, you’re watched all the time, and if you look even a little bit suspicious, the police stop and frisk you or pull you over to search you on the off chance you’re doing something illegal. Keep in mind that if you have a firearm of any kind (or anything that resembled a firearm) while in this country, it may get you arrested and, in some circumstances, shot by police. If you’re thinking this sounds like America today, you wouldn’t be far wrong. However, the scenario described above took place more than 200 years ago, when American colonists suffered under Great Britain’s version of an early police state. It was only when the colonists finally got fed up with being silenced, censored, searched, frisked, threatened, and arrested that they finally revolted against the tyrant’s fetters. No document better states their grievances than the Declaration of Independence, drafted by Thomas Jefferson. A document seething with outrage over a government which had betrayed its citizens, the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776, by 56 men who laid everything on the line, pledged it all—“our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor”—because they believed in a radical idea: that all people are created to be free. Labeled traitors, these men were charged with treason, a crime punishable by death. For some, their acts of rebellion would cost them their homes and their fortunes. For others, it would be the ultimate price—their lives. Yet even knowing the heavy price they might have to pay, these men dared to speak up when silence could not be tolerated. Even after they had won their independence from Great Britain, these new Americans worked to ensure that the rights they had risked their lives to secure would remain secure for future generations. The result: our Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution. Imagine the shock and outrage these 56 men would feel were they to discover that 246 years later, the government they had risked their lives to create has been transformed into a militaristic police state in which exercising one’s freedoms—at a minimum, merely questioning a government agent—is often viewed as a flagrant act of defiance. In fact, had the Declaration of Independence been written today, it would have rendered its signers extremists or terrorists, resulting in them being placed on a government watch list, targeted for surveillance of their activities and correspondence, and potentially arrested, held indefinitely, stripped of their rights and labeled enemy combatants. Read the Declaration of Independence again, and ask yourself if the list of complaints tallied by Jefferson don’t bear a startling resemblance to the abuses “we the people” are suffering at the hands of the American police state. Here’s what the Declaration of Independence might look and sound like if it were written in the modern vernacular: There comes a time when a populace must stand united and say “enough is enough” to the government’s abuses, even if it means getting rid of the political parties in power. Believing that “we the people” have a natural and divine right to direct our own lives, here are truths about the power of the people and how we arrived at the decision to sever our ties to the government: All people are created equal. All people possess certain innate rights that no government or agency or individual can take away from them. Among these are the right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. The government’s job is to protect the people’s innate rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. The government’s power comes from the will of the people. Whenever any government abuses its power, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish that government and replace it with a new government that will respect and protect the rights of the people. It is not wise to get rid of a government for minor transgressions. In fact, as history has shown, people resist change and are inclined to suffer all manner of abuses to which they have become accustomed. However, when the people have been subjected to repeated abuses and power grabs, carried out with the purpose of establishing a tyrannical government, people have a right and duty to do away with that tyrannical government and to replace it with a new government that will protect and preserve their innate rights for their future wellbeing. This is exactly the state of affairs we are under suffering under right now, which is why it is necessary that we change this imperial system of government. The history of the present Imperial Government is a history of repeated abuses and power grabs, carried out with the intention of establishing absolute tyranny over the country. To prove this, consider the following: The government has, through its own negligence and arrogance, refused to adopt urgent and necessary laws for the good of the people. The government has threatened to hold up critical laws unless the people agree to relinquish their right to be fully represented in the Legislature. In order to expand its power and bring about compliance with its dictates, the government has made it nearly impossible for the people to make their views and needs heard by their representatives. The government has repeatedly suppressed protests arising in response to its actions. The government has obstructed justice by refusing to appoint judges who respect the Constitution and has instead made the courts march in lockstep with the government’s dictates. The government has allowed its agents to harass the people, steal from them, jail them and even execute them. The government has directed militarized government agents—a.k.a., a standing army—to police domestic affairs in peacetime. The government has turned the country into a militarized police state. The government has conspired to undermine the rule of law and the constitution in order to expand its own powers. The government has allowed its militarized police to invade our homes and inflict violence on homeowners. The government has failed to hold its agents accountable for wrongdoing and murder under the guise of “qualified immunity.” The government has jeopardized our international trade agreements. The government has overtaxed us without our permission. The government has denied us due process and the right to a fair trial. The government has engaged in extraordinary rendition. The government has continued to expand its military empire in collusion with its corporate partners-in-crime and occupy foreign nations. The government has eroded fundamental legal protections and destabilized the structure of government. The government has not only declared its federal powers superior to those of the states but has also asserted its sovereign power over the rights of “we the people.” The government has ceased to protect the people and instead waged domestic war against the people. The government has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, and destroyed the lives of the people. The government has employed private contractors and mercenaries to carry out acts of death, desolation and tyranny, totally unworthy of a civilized nation. The government through its political propaganda has pitted its citizens against each other. The government has stirred up civil unrest and laid the groundwork for martial law. Repeatedly, we have asked the government to cease its abuses. Each time, the government has responded with more abuse. An Imperial Ruler who acts like a tyrant is not fit to govern a free people. We have repeatedly sounded the alarm to our fellow citizens about the government’s abuses. We have warned them about the government’s power grabs. We have appealed to their sense of justice. We have reminded them of our common bonds. They have rejected our plea for justice and brotherhood. They are equally at fault for the injustices being carried out by the government. Thus, for the reasons mentioned above, we the people of the united States of America declare ourselves free from the chains of an abusive government. Relying on God’s protection, we pledge to stand by this Declaration of Independence with our lives, our fortunes and our honor. In the 246 years since early Americans first declared and eventually won their independence from Great Britain, “we the people” have managed to work ourselves right back under the tyrant’s thumb. Only this time, the tyrant is one of our own making: the American Police State. The abuses meted out by an imperial government and endured by the American people have not ended. They have merely evolved. “We the people” are still being robbed blind by a government of thieves. We are still being taken advantage of by a government of scoundrels, idiots and monsters. We are still being locked up by a government of greedy jailers. We are still being spied on by a government of Peeping Toms. We are still being ravaged by a government of ruffians, rapists and killers. We are still being forced to surrender our freedoms—and those of our children—to a government of extortionists, money launderers and corporate pirates. And we are still being held at gunpoint by a government of soldiers: a standing army in the form of a militarized police. Given the fact that we are a relatively young nation, it hasn’t taken very long for an authoritarian regime to creep into power. Unfortunately, the bipartisan coup that laid siege to our nation did not happen overnight. It snuck in under our radar, hiding behind the guise of national security, the war on drugs, the war on terror, the war on immigration, political correctness, hate crimes and a host of other official-sounding programs aimed at expanding the government’s power at the expense of individual freedoms. The building blocks for the bleak future we’re just now getting a foretaste of - police shootings of unarmed citizens, profit-driven prisons, weapons of compliance, a wall-to-wall surveillance state, pre-crime programs, a suspect society, school-to-prison pipelines, militarized police, overcriminalization, SWAT team raids, endless wars, etc. - were put in place by government officials we trusted to look out for our best interests. As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People and in its fictional counterpart The Erik Blair Diaries, the problems we are facing will not be fixed overnight: that is the grim reality with which we must contend. Yet that does not mean we should give up or give in or tune out. What we need to do is declare our independence from the tyranny of the American police state. Tyler Durden Mon, 07/04/2022 - 15:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJul 4th, 2022