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A Flawed Impeachment for ‘Incitement’ | Chronicles

Posted by M. C. on January 15, 2021

Mr. Lee gave the crowd Zimmerman’s address—it was erroneous, but that is beside the point—and tweeted several times urging people to “Kill that *,” and similar statements.

But let us set that aside for a moment and use this episode to engage in a philosophical analysis of the law regarding incitement. “Incitement” is pretty much on everyone’s lips, Democrat as well as Republican, friend or enemy of Mr. Trump’s, so this gives a golden opportunity to reflect upon the libertarian analysis of incitement, and why it should not be considered a crime. 

The difficulty with incitement comes over the issue of free will. Murray N. Rothbard said it best when he wrote:

https://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/blog/a-flawed-impeachment-for–incitement-/

By Walter Block

President Donald Trump was hastily impeached by the House for a second time on Wednesday for “inciting insurrection.” 

Legislators accused Trump of egging on, instigating, and inciting his supporters to engage in insurrection and overthrow the U.S. government, starting with a violent attack on Congress. Uttering phrases such as, “You will never take back our country with weakness,” during his speech on Jan 6, 2021, Trump encouraged his supporters “to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard” at the Capitol building. 

There are major factual errors in the House’s decision. We know now that the riots started well before Trump’s speech ended, so it’s wrong to strongly or even weakly imply that the subsequent events were a reaction to his speech. Furthermore, after the impeachment Wednesday, CNN reported that the FBI is examining evidence that the attack on the U.S. Capitol was planned, with the rioters stashing equipment in advance. 

Thus, it is not at all clear that Trump anticipated the actions of the rioters, let alone supported them. Rather, the goal of his speech was to attain an electoral college victory. How so? By demanding that electors from enough Biden states be rejected by Mike Pence in particular, in his role as Vice President, and by Congress in general. It was his last-ditch effort to make the case that Congress should overturn an election that he, along with many others, thought improper. If read carefully, Trump’s Jan. 6 speech will not offer a scintilla of evidence that he incited anyone. 

In retrospect, however, the speech and rally appear unwise, for several reasons. First, he lost the support of such virtue-signaling members of his Administration as Betsy DeVos, William Barr, Mick Mulvaney, Matt Pottinger, Ryan Tully, Stephanie Grisham, and Sarah Matthews. It also gave the likes of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi an opening to attack him. 

As a supporter of President Trump, do I regret that he gave that speech? Yes. Not because of the discourse—which was excellent—but because of the “hay” his enemies were able to make of it. Schumer and Pelosi are deliriously happy that Trump spoke out as he did on this occasion; therefore, I am not.

But let us set that aside for a moment and use this episode to engage in a philosophical analysis of the law regarding incitement. “Incitement” is pretty much on everyone’s lips, Democrat as well as Republican, friend or enemy of Mr. Trump’s, so this gives a golden opportunity to reflect upon the libertarian analysis of incitement, and why it should not be considered a crime. 

The difficulty with incitement comes over the issue of free will. Murray N. Rothbard said it best when he wrote:

Should it be illegal …. to ‘incite to riot’? Suppose that Green exhorts a crowd: ‘Go! Burn! Loot! Kill!’ and the mob proceeds to do just that, with Green having nothing further to do with these criminal activities. Since every man is free to adopt or not adopt any course of action he wishes, we cannot say that in some way Green determined the members of the mob to their criminal activities; we cannot make him, because of his exhortation, at all responsible for their crimes. ‘Inciting to riot,’ therefore, is a pure exercise of a man’s right to speak without being thereby implicated in crime. On the other hand, it is obvious that if Green happened to be involved in a plan or conspiracy with others to commit various crimes, and that then Green told them to proceed, he would then be just as implicated in the crimes as are the others—more so, if he were the mastermind who headed the criminal gang. This is a seemingly subtle distinction which in practice is clearcut—there is a world of difference between the head of a criminal gang and a soap-box orator during a riot; the former is not, properly to be charged simply with ‘incitement.’

In sharp contrast, when filmmaker Spike Lee was incensed at George Zimmerman for his killing of Trayvon Martin, he was not guilty of mere incitement. Mr. Lee was, instead, guilty of actively aiding and abetting the crowd to go and attack Zimmerman, who was later exonerated for his act of self-defense. Mr. Lee gave the crowd Zimmerman’s address—it was erroneous, but that is beside the point—and tweeted several times urging people to “Kill that *****,” and similar statements.

We have a continuum issue here. Lee, who went out of his way to help bring about mob violence, behaved culpably under libertarian law. The person who simply advocates violence does not. The key distinction is that Mr. Lee aided the mob by providing (though erroneous) an address for Mr. Zimmerman. Mr. Trump did no such thing. Lee did not merely incite. He aided and abetted the mob. 

All of this is philosophical, of course: by any standard, President Trump did not incite the mob on Jan. 6, let alone aid and abet them.

P.S. Does anyone notice the wildly different treatment of this right-wing riot compared to the much more devastating ones put on by left-wing “peaceful” marches and mayhems organized by BLM and Antifa? I don’t think it is politically correct to even mention this disparity. So, fughedaboudit, as we say in Brooklyn. 

P.P.S. Is it possible that there was a false flag operation in effect here? That BLM and Antifa snuck into the confused melee, with the goal of undermining President Trump’s authority? Enquiring minds want to know.

(Correction: The 10th paragraph of an earlier version of this article incorrectly spelled Trayvon Martin’s first name without a “y.”)

Walter Block

Walter Block is an economics professor at Loyola University and a Mises Institute senior fellow. He is author or several books, including Defending the Undefendable (1976). 

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Transferism

Posted by M. C. on January 14, 2021

Image may contain: 4 people, text that says 'The animating principle of American politics is neither socialism nor capitalism, but transferism. Politicians gather votes by promising to take from one group of voters to give to another. WORDS NUMBERS wordsandnumbers.org'

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EU Leaders Demand “Standardised” Vaccine Passport For Travel | ZeroHedge

Posted by M. C. on January 14, 2021

However, the EU’s data protection chief Wojciech Wiewiórowski recently labeled the idea of an immunity passport “extreme” and has repeatedly said it is alarming, and ‘disgusting’.

Recently, the government in Ontario, Canada admitted that it is exploring ‘immunity passports’ in conjunction with restrictions on travel and access to social venues for the unvaccinated.

https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/eu-leaders-demand-standardised-vaccine-passport-travel

Tyler Durden's Photoby Tyler DurdenThursday, Jan 14, 2021 – 3:30

Authored by Steve Watson via Summit News,

EU leaders are demanding that the Commission should ‘standardise’ a vaccine passport across all member countries, and that it should be required for people to travel throughout the area.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has penned a letter to EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen, outlining that “Persons who have been vaccinated should be free to travel.”

The letter calls for a “standardised certificate, which will prove that a person has been successfully vaccinated.”

While it stops short at advocating mandatory vaccination, the letter further urges that “It is urgent to adopt a common understanding on how a vaccination certificate should be structured so as to be accepted in all member states.”

Mitsotakis has pledged to raise the issue during an upcoming EU summit on January 21, declaring that “there is an urgent need for a high-level EU-wide mobilization to move things forward.” 

Vaccine passports have previously been touted by the EU, with officials suggesting back in April that visa applicants would also be required to be vaccinated.

EU countries including SpainEstoniaIceland, and Belgium have all indicated that they are open to some form of vaccine passports, as well as sharing the data across borders.

This week, it was also revealed that Denmark is the latest country to announce that it is rolling out a ‘Covid passport’, to allow those who have taken the vaccine to engage in society without any restrictions.

However, the EU’s data protection chief Wojciech Wiewiórowski recently labeled the idea of an immunity passport “extreme” and has repeatedly said it is alarming, and ‘disgusting’.

The spectre of so called ‘immunity passports’ is looming globally.

Having left the EU, Britain would not be part of any standardised European scheme, however it has now confirmed that it is rolling out vaccine passports, despite previous denials that it would do so.

Recently, the government in Ontario, Canada admitted that it is exploring ‘immunity passports’ in conjunction with restrictions on travel and access to social venues for the unvaccinated.

Last month, Israel announced that citizens who get the COVID-19 vaccine will be given ‘green passports’ that will enable them to attend venues and eat at restaurants.

litany of other government and travel industry figures in both the US, Britain and beyond have suggested that ‘COVID passports’ are coming in order for ‘life to get back to normal’.

Anna Beduschi, an academic from Exeter University, commented on the potential move toward vaccine passports by EU, noting that it “poses essential questions for the protection of data privacy and human rights.”

Beduschi added that the vaccine passports may “create a new distinction between individuals based on their health status, which can then be used to determine the degree of freedoms and rights they may enjoy.”

A report compiled last year by AI research body the Ada Lovelace Institute said so called ‘immunity’ passports “pose extremely high risks in terms of social cohesion, discrimination, exclusion and vulnerability.”

Sam Grant, campaign manager at the civili liberties advocacy group Liberty has warned that “any form of immunity passport risks creating a two-tier system in which some of us have access to freedoms and support while others are shut out.”

“These systems could result in people who don’t have immunity potentially being blocked from essential public services, work or housing – with the most marginalised among us hardest hit,” Grant further warned.

“This has wider implications too because any form of immunity passport could pave the way for a full ID system – an idea which has repeatedly been rejected as incompatible with building a rights-respecting society,” Grant further urged.

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EconomicPolicyJournal.com: California Is Worse Than You Think

Posted by M. C. on January 14, 2021

For example, the California legislature in its progressive wisdom effectively decriminalized theft as long as thieves take less than $950 worth of merchandise, officially reducing such theft to a misdemeanor but in effect making it legal, since progressive California prosecutors don’t like to be bothered by petty criminals.

Democrats also have the immigrant vote in their back pockets, and California has seen a wave of immigrants help turn it into a one-party state. For now, the numbers are just overwhelming, and we can expect California to move even further to the left as its housing and poverty problems become worse and Democrats successfully convince voters that free markets are cause.

https://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2021/01/california-is-worse-than-you-think.html

By William L. Anderson

My colleague from the philosophy department was becoming increasingly angry. He was trying to be polite, but it was clear that he was raging inside. After a few minutes, he smiled a very strained smile and excused himself.

Our conversation was about California, or to be more specific, California governance. As readers can imagine, he was bullish on how the Democratic Party governs the state, California being perhaps the most one-party state in the USA. Every statewide election has gone to a Democrat in the last decade, and Democrats have a supermajority in the state legislature, which means that there is no meaningful Republican opposition and whatever the Democrats want, they get.

Not surprisingly, California governance is squarely progressive. The unions representing government employees effectively run the legislature, and as a result, pay, benefits, and pensions for those workers increasingly are straining the state budgets. (Steven Greenhut, a libertarian journalist based in California has documented the unsustainable growth of government in that state for nearly two decades.) Yet, the state continues to march politically and economically in the progressive direction as though the laws of economics didn’t matter.

For the most part, I have observed progressive California from far away, but my life took a different turn a few years ago, and the state is becoming my new home. I married a retired nurse from Sacramento in 2018, and because of health issues with her adult daughter, she has had to remain in that city, something not in our original plans. Because our campus either has been closed or severely restricted during the covid-19 lockdowns, I have spent most of the past year working from my wife’s home.

Living and working in California has offered me the opportunity to observe California progressivism up close, and it has been an interesting experience. Yes, the state where I officially reside, Maryland, is famously one-party and progressive, but the progressivism of California makes Maryland’s legislature look almost red state by comparison and surreally so in some ways.

For example, the California legislature in its progressive wisdom effectively decriminalized theft as long as thieves take less than $950 worth of merchandise, officially reducing such theft to a misdemeanor but in effect making it legal, since progressive California prosecutors don’t like to be bothered by petty criminals. In practice, that means consumer goods are much harder to find in California stores than one might experience elsewhere. For me, the difference was quite revealing, as I recently returned to Maryland after spending close to nine months in Sacramento.

When I go to the Walmart near my wife’s home, I find that many things that openly are on display in Maryland are behind locked cases in California. Furthermore, California’s draconian labor laws mean Walmart has fewer employees, so if I wish to purchase something I easily could buy in Maryland, I have to wait for a long time and often I just walk away because no one is available to open the glass case. Yet, even with these provisions, shoplifting losses for California retailers are enormous, and the state’s protheft laws have encouraged organized grab-and-run rings.

My progressive colleagues, like my philosophy professor friend, see no problem with such developments. To them, the real thieves are the capitalists, the retailers like Walmart that refuse to pay “living wages” to their employees, and, according to Senator Bernie Sanders, the capitalists have “been looting” Americans for years. Thus, the wave of theft in that state is a positive development, according to progressives.

I can go on, but it isn’t difficult to expose the vast array of sins (economic and otherwise) committed by the California political classes, and I liken this kind of punditry to swinging a bat in a room full of pinatas—one simply cannot miss. Steven Greenhut has been exposing California’s follies for years. However, perhaps the best recent commentary I have read on the progressive mentality that governs the state comes from blogger Mike Solana, who deftly skewers progressive politicians from the Golden State who now are accusing the tech industry of having “extracted wealth” from California and then left for the greener pastures of lower-tax havens such as Texas and Florida.

Solana’s rip is worth the read if for no other reason than that he exposes the cluelessness of progressive politicians and pundits, and one can be assured that progressive politicians will fit Tallyrand’s description of the Bourbons: “They had learned nothing, and had forgotten nothing.” Yet, Solana also is puzzled as to why Bay Area politicians who fail spectacularly also win landslide elections:

Nothing in San Francisco can be set on a path to slow correction until at least six of the eleven district board seats along with the mayorship belong to sane, goal-oriented leaders cognizant of our city’s many problems, and single-mindedly focused on solving them. These politicians will likewise need to be extremely well-funded. This is to say we need a political class, funded by a political machine, neither of which currently exist. Even were both the class and the funding apparatus to rapidly emerge, and even were the new political coalition to win an undefeated string of miracle elections, it would take four years to seize meaningful political power from the resident psychotics in charge, who, as per the last election, appear to be very popular among close to ninety percent of voters (a curiosity for another wire). This is to say nothing of the broader Bay Area political toxicity, nor the state political dynamics, which are poised to exacerbate every one of our problems. It is a multi-front political catastrophe.

During the covid-19 pandemic, which California politicians—and especially Governor Gavin Newsom—mismanaged spectacularly, California voters overwhelmingly chose the progressive status quo. While writers go on and on about the mind-boggling politics of California, the voters continue to send the left-wing progressives into office at all levels of government. While some might believe that “education” is the key to the so-called self-governance of democracy, voters in California clearly are choosing their candidates for reasons other than demonstrating wisdom in office. Indeed, why voters insist on putting the worst on top is perhaps the most intriguing question one asks about California politics.

Typical wisdom says that voters “vote for their pocketbooks,” but the progressives whom the lower-income voters overwhelmingly choose to elect are responsible for California having the nation’s highest poverty rates. Furthermore, for all the antiwealth rhetoric that California’s progressive candidates spew out, the very poor and the very rich voters in California tend to choose and support the same candidates, and the Democratic Party is the party of choice of the state’s large number of billionaires.

There is little or nothing that the current progressive state government has done that promotes the promotion of real wealth in California, yet even as state authorities actively destroy economic opportunities, the voters respond by demanding more of the same. That would seem to be a mystery, but maybe not. Let me explain.

In the past few years, wildfires have ravaged huge tracts of mostly public land in California (and in much of the West, although California has been hit the hardest). There are many reasons for the fires, the most obvious being that most of California receives little rainfall and many fires occur in mountainous terrain, where it is difficult to fight them. But there is much more, and most of it has to do with progressive policies. Even the George Soros–funded Pro Publica recognizes the role of fire suppression-based land management practices in making the fires worse:

The pattern is a form of insanity: We keep doing overzealous fire suppression across California landscapes where the fire poses little risk to people and structures. As a result, wildland fuels keep building up. At the same time, the climate grows hotter and drier. Then, boom: the inevitable. The wind blows down a power line, or lightning strikes dry grass, and an inferno ensues. This week we’ve seen both the second- and third-largest fires in California history. “The fire community, the progressives, are almost in a state of panic,” (Tim) Ingalsbee said. There’s only one solution, the one we know yet still avoid. “We need to get good fire on the ground and whittle down some of that fuel load.”

Yet, the progressivist religion that defines the Democratic Party in California cannot acknowledge that the leave-nature-alone policies could have anything to do with the scope and intensity of the wildfires. Instead, the powers that be have decided that climate change—and only climate change—is responsible, and the way to deal with the problem is to impose draconian rules that make life difficult for most people living there, from outlawing new natural gas residential hookups to its infamous “road diets” imposed to discourage people from driving cars. Despite the fact that California politicians, such as Gov. Gavin Newsom, claim that these policies will significantly reduce global temperatures and make wildfires less intense, the reality is quite different, as California accounts for less than 1 percent of so-called greenhouse gases in the world.

Perhaps the most symbolic action by California’s government of progressive arrogance is the continued development of the “bullet train,” an ambitious (to be charitable) project to build high-speed rail from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Under urging from then governor Jerry Brown, voters in the Golden State in 2008 agreed to permit a bond issue to begin funding what Brown claimed would require a maximum of $33 billion. California’s mountainous terrain forced design and route changes, turning the LA-SF “dream” into a train that would run between Bakersfield and Merced, two cities in the flat Central Valley. To make matters even worse, passenger rail service via Amtrak already exists in the valley, and even if everything were to go to plan (a heroic assumption, one might add), the bullet train would save only forty-five minutes in travel from the existing route.

As the proposed length of the bullet train becomes shorter, the costs continue to skyrocket. The original $33 billion estimate now has ballooned to more than $100 billion—if the project even is completed. Yet the project continues to live. Last year I spoke to a former coworker of my wife who enthusiastically supports the rail project. When I asked her about the cost and the fact that there really is no demand for this service, her response was instructive: “But we NEED trains!” Never mind that this is a boondoggle that dwarfs almost anything else we know as government waste; never mind that California taxpayers are being forced to fund a massive wealth transfer to politically connected contractors in which there are all costs and no benefits. The state “needs” trains.

My faculty colleague also became angry at my panning the California bullet train, and I have wondered why progressives are so defensive about this project. There is no doubt that it is a huge waste of money and that the passenger-mile costs are well above anything else that exists in public transportation, but that doesn’t seem to matter. One would think that “good government” progressives would see the disconnect here.

One possible explanation comes from Murray Rothbard, who recognized that progressives ultimately are at “war with nature.” While Rothbard was writing about egalitarianism, nonetheless one can argue that progressive policies are aimed at producing very different outcomes than what would happen if people were free to make their own choices, and especially choices with their own money.

Because of the rise of the tech industry, California has seen an increase in wealth that probably is unprecedented in the history of this country—and maybe the world. Not surprisingly, the state’s tax take has massively increased in the past two decades, with the percentage of income tax revenues rising dramatically as tech entrepreneurship has created a new billionaire class. While one can think of these new billionaires as a new class of wealthy, in many ways their outlooks (at least after they become wealthy) often reflect the outlooks of the wave of entrepreneurs such as Andrew Carnegie who developed new technologies, put them to economic use, created vast amounts of wealth, and then created the foundations that ultimately would be governed by a wealth-destroying philosophy of progressivism.

In part, the wealth created permits foundation-financed “visionaries” to demand that resources be directed in a different way than would be done in a market economy, with “serve the people” and “make a difference” as mantras. We see that time and again in California, where tax-engorged “visionary” progressive politicians seize wealth created by private enterprise in order to pursue their own causes such as environmentalism.

Of course, as we already have pointed out, progressive policies tend to make the original problems worse. Not only have progressives made mass wildfires more likely, but they also have been behind the rise in homelessness in California. In the late 1970s, the San Francisco city government instituted rent controls. Not surprisingly, housing shortages followed, and the real price of housing skyrocketed. As shortages became worse, progressive politicians doubled down on the controls. Today, more than five thousand people live on the streets in San Francisco, and the government—bound by its own progressive ideals—is helpless to do anything but hand out money and defend its policies. And this in the city with the most billionaires per capita in the world.

There are three reasons why California governance will not change even as it heads toward a fiscal cliff. First, and most important, progressive ideology is intractable and does not yield to the laws of economics. Progressive politicians are feted in the mainstream media and in California’s left-wing education institutions, and voters don’t seem to want any alternatives. (After all, California “needs” trains.) Politicians who raise questions as to this model of governance can expect to be demonized in the media and will face violent protests if they show up in public venues—and especially on college campuses.

The second reason is that California voters are drawn to progressive Democrats no matter what disasters these politicians might inflict. The highly educated voters do not support progressive Democrats just on economic issues, but also on the highly contentious social issues, and with the 2020 “revolt of the rich” dominating Democratic Party politics at the present, it is doubtful that this current wave of progressive-favoring voters will change direction.

Democrats also have the immigrant vote in their back pockets, and California has seen a wave of immigrants help turn it into a one-party state. For now, the numbers are just overwhelming, and we can expect California to move even further to the left as its housing and poverty problems become worse and Democrats successfully convince voters that free markets are cause.

The third reason things won’t change in California is that progressive government creates its own sets of monopoly rents that are distributed to politically connected interest groups. In the case of the Golden State, state-employee and municipal labor unions are by far the most powerful political entity, and they control vast blocs of voters. Their power was recently demonstrated by their support of the covid-19 lockdowns in the state—during which public employees continued to draw full pay even as the lockdown policies ravaged the state’s tax base.

Should one doubt the power of California’s government-employee unions, witness the “success” of what was called AB 5, the law that almost killed the “gig” industries in the state, putting thousands of freelance writers and musicians out of work. Written by the AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations) as a means of ending the Uber and Lyft rideshare services (and protect unionized taxi and public transportation workers), the fallout was so bad that even the legislature had to back off some of the restrictions. Voters did the rest last November when they beat back most of the most onerous provisions of the law. (One doubts that the musicians and writers that lost their jobs changed their progressive voting patterns in the most recent election. Such is the staying power of progressive ideology.)

If one believes that perhaps the wave of progressive voters will become “converted” to a “free minds and free markets” approach (the “left libertarian” position), the experience of New York City should be instructive. In 1975, the economy was in recession, businesses were fleeing the city’s onerous tax rates and antibusiness climate, and city officials were fraudulently selling capital bonds to pay for previously issued capital bonds. (William E. Simon, the US secretary of the Treasury in 1975, laid out the entire scenario in his blockbuster A Time for Truth.)

New York’s problem was obvious—except in the minds of progressives. Where most of us would understand that having unions running away with the budgets while suppressing productive private enterprises is a losing proposition, progressives see a nefarious capitalist plot. That New York City had a relatively brief renaissance in large part because of the deregulation of banking and finance (which was begun by President Jimmy Carter) plays no role in progressive thinking at all.

Unlike New York City, California does not have an economic ace in its pocket. Even though much of the tech industry has prospered during the state’s draconian pandemic shutdowns, the state government (not to mention cities and counties) is facing the worst financial crisis perhaps in its history. Not surprisingly, the progressive response is to increase incendiary rhetoric toward wealth creators and demand even higher taxes and more business regulations.

Progressivism is a utopian philosophy of governance that will never find nor create its utopia. If California voters and politicians do not understand the current crisis and how it came about, they probably never will understand. Instead, we will see the continuous march to perdition as California politicians refuse to acknowledge that they are killing the geese laying the golden eggs.

William L. Anderson is a professor of economics at Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Maryland.

The above originally appeared at Mises.org

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If You Care About Ashli Babbitt, You Should Care About George Floyd | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on January 14, 2021

Babbitt’s special treatment by police on the way into the capitol undoubtedly gave her extra confidence as she continued down her path into the back rooms of the capitol. Literally, right up to the moment she was shot, police showed her special treatment and, in fact, moved out of the way to allow Babbit to climb through the window where she would be shot.

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/if-you-care-about-ashli-babbitt-you-should-care-about-george-floyd/

by Matt Agorist

Ashli Babbitt

As she breached multiple doors in the U.S. Capitol, while accompanied by dozens of other rioters, Ashli Babbitt’s last moments alive were spent attempting to break into a heavily barricaded area, climbing through a window before being shot in the chest by a police officer. Though she was breaking the law, she was unarmed when she was killed.

Babbitt was a wife and a veteran and despite her royally screwed up mistakes and disregard for the law on January 6, her life mattered. That is undeniable.

Sadly, however, her death is being used to further stoke divide between the left and the right. Many on the right are hailing her as a hero and a martyr who died fighting for freedom. But is that really the case?

RIP✝️ Ashli Babbit
We will remember you sister in arms.

Please pray for her family and our nation. No words.
pic.twitter.com/RK5R4wpXP8

— Code of Vets ™ (@codeofvets) January 7, 2021

Babbitt was shot by a Capitol police officer, after “multiple individuals forced entry into the Capitol building, and attempted to gain access to the house and attempted to gain access to the house, room, which was still in session,” Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert Contee said last week.

Babbitt’s special treatment by police on the way into the capitol undoubtedly gave her extra confidence as she continued down her path into the back rooms of the capitol. Literally, right up to the moment she was shot, police showed her special treatment and, in fact, moved out of the way to allow Babbit to climb through the window where she would be shot.

VIDEO: Ashli Babbitt in the Capitol leading up to her shooting.

Note: this was not merely a matter of looting from corporations or destroying property. These people were threatening the lives of duly elected federal officials (like them or not) and #TheyLetThemIn. Cops moved. pic.twitter.com/UYgjVjDbiw

— Johnny Akzam (@JohnnyAkzam) January 8, 2021

Sadly, though Babbitt thought she was a patriot fighting for freedom, in reality, she was there to make sure Donald Trump stayed in power. She was there to support a man who advocated for a policy which ultimately led to her death. In May, Trump famously advocated for the extrajudicial execution of people for doing exactly what Babbitt died doing. Remember, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”?

Because the right didn’t speak out against their ruler when he called for the extrajudicial murder of people for misdemeanors in May, it was ultimately used against them. This is the case 100 percent of the time and why standing up to tyranny should never take a back seat to party politics.

Sadly, many on the right continue to remain oblivious to these facts. At the same time, however, the left is calling her a thug terrorist who deserved it and praising her death which is just as dangerous and repugnant.

Police did a great job !! Ashli Babbit is a domestic terrorist!! All of Trump’s domestic terrorists should be gunned down immediately to protect the democracy and the freedom of this country and those terrorists deserve it pic.twitter.com/xVL4vUqjmA

— ryota Kei (@kei_ryota) January 7, 2021

Amazingly enough, when Twitter banned tens of thousands of pro-Trump and anti-establishment voices on Friday, the person above, who is literally advocating for the genocide of his political enemies, came through it unscathed and their tweet remains active. But that is another point entirely.

Perhaps Babbitt should have been arrested and charged under a domestic terrorism charge, but she never got that chance because she was gunned down while unarmed. It is not up police or to Twitter or anyone else to decide who lives and who dies for their alleged crimes. In America we are guaranteed due process and no one has the right to remove that, even for the most vile of criminals.

In May, after George Floyd was killed, he became a martyr for the left who said that his life mattered and he should not have been killed. They were entirely correct in this assertion. However, just like left is calling Babbitt a thug and a terrorist, at the time of his murder, the right called Floyd a thug and a criminal and repeated the phrase of “if you don’t want to get killed by police, don’t break the law.”

Now that the right is experiencing the same police state that the left has experienced, instead of finding common ground and standing against tyranny, both sides are holding onto their contradictory ideologies in hopes that they can one day point the police state back at their political rivals.

This is how freedom dies—political power is wielded over and over by both sides until there is nothing left by the police state, who then silences ALL dissent, regardless of party.

Unjustified police killings of unarmed individuals is not some weapon to be pointed at your political enemies. Either you support due process and equal justice for all or you support despotism.

There is no picking sides when it comes to the state playing judge, jury, and executioner. When you support extrajudicial murder and removal of due process because it benefits you politically, you are not only a hypocrite but you are a cog in the wheel that is the police state and you deserve the hellish technocracy and violence you so adamantly supported when it inevitably comes back to be pointed at you.

This article was originally featured at The Free Thought Project

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Biden and power by force, by Thierry Meyssan

Posted by M. C. on January 14, 2021

https://www.voltairenet.org/article211917.html

by Thierry Meyssan

The seizure of the Capitol by supporters of President Trump is presented as an attempted coup, while he is still in the White House. On closer inspection, it could be the other way around. Freedom of speech has been confiscated by an illegitimate power in favour of Joe Biden.

The Usual hype

JPEG - 30 kbFor “The West Australian”, for his last days, Donald Trump, like Adolf Hitler, wishes for “the twilight of the gods”.

In every presidential election in the United States, we are told that the incumbent was a monster, that we are sorry for the crimes he committed, but that a new day is dawning for humanity with the rise of a new leader. The only exception is the election of Donald Trump in 2016. At that time and even before he was sworn in, we were told that this billionaire was elected following a regrettable mistake, that he was misogynistic, homophobic, racist, that he did not embody the “country of freedom”, but the supremacism of the “little whites” and the interests of the rich. For four years, we were constantly being convinced that this diagnosis was right. He was called a liar and his ideas and achievements were ignored.

This time, the insurrection on Capitol Hill allowed the dominant news agencies to add a layer to it. The outgoing president, Donald Trump, is unanimously accused of destroying democracy, which the incoming president, Joe Biden, will of course restore. Are those who remember the elections of George H. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama ready to be fooled again?JPEG - 62.1 kbFor “Milliyet” (Turkey), the virtuous America has gone mad.

Yes, because the shock caused by the capture of the Capitol is such that one is willing to believe anything. If the United States is inexorably heading towards civil war [1], what will become of us Westerners?

This is why we did not want to see the crisis that is beginning to unfold. Only a few Greek newspapers had recently explained the reasons for the anger, which we have been dealing with for five years already (i.e. before Trump’s election).

This is also why we don’t want to look it in the face and we are satisfied with the blind comments that this shameful episode will not have a tomorrow. But who can believe it? It is true that things will calm down for a while and the repressive machine will crush the January 6 demonstrators, but it will only be a postponement and the civil war will not be long in coming.

Non-Westerners have already understood that the United States has such internal problems that it will no longer be able to set itself up as a model for the world, let alone give lessons in democracy to those it wants to subjugate.

Undemocratic elections

JPEG - 33.6 kbAccording to “La Razon” (Spain), the insurgency in the United States was the Trumpeters taking Capitol Hill.

In the 2000 presidential election, the bewildered world watched as the Supreme Court chose to ignore the recount of the Florida ballots. In accordance with the Constitution, it declared that it had no business interfering with a state’s ballot and was constrained only by Governor Jeb Bush’s decision that his brother George W. Bush had been elected by his constituents. Twenty years later, the world is watching the dismissal of 60 appeals filed by Donald Trump alleging massive fraud in many states.

As I wrote earlier, from a US legal perspective, Al Gore and then Donald Trump lost. But from a democratic point of view, they probably won. To tell the truth, it is impossible to know exactly, but given the results of the other elections that were held at the same time, there is little doubt about that. The only thing that can be said is that there is nothing democratic about this election: the counting of the votes is done by the governors, who in many federal states choose the civil servants or private companies that will do the counting. On the contrary, if the system were democratic, the counting would be done by citizens in public. Everyone could see ballot boxes being taken from the polling stations to a counting centre where officials opened them and then closed the curtains to prevent citizens from finding out more. No one can question the sincerity of these officials, but no one can guarantee it either. A democratic election can only exist in transparency. Therefore, this election is legal under US law, but simply not democratic.

Turnarounds

JPEG - 39.3 kbAccording to the “Corriere della Sera” (Italy), Trump’s fury is the assault on the Capitol.

To understand the events, we must observe two reversals of the situation that preceded the attack on the Capitol.

In mid-December 2020, President Trump organised a meeting at the Oval Office with the participation of General Michael Flynn. Flynn outlined his idea of martial law for transparent elections [2]. Most of the councillors present were opposed, despite the change of leadership in the Pentagon. Two weeks later, on 4 January 2021, the 10 former defence secretaries still alive signed a brief op-ed in the Washington Post [3]. They assured that all those who tried to introduce martial law would have to answer to the Justice Department. The unanimity of the former Secretaries of Defense attests that martial law was feasible and real. According to the Post [4], which reconstructed the meeting on the basis of the confidences of the former defence secretaries (who did not attend but were informed), President Trump never contemplated staying in power through the use of violence. On the contrary, he filed complaints and supported various legal actions to have the election annulled. He was preparing to campaign to return to the White House in 2025 [5].JPEG - 53.2 kbFor the Hindustan Times (India), the states of the Americas are no longer united, but on fire.

Vice-President Mike Pence, who was under heavy pressure from the Jacksonians, made his position known on January 6, the day the two congressional assemblies met in joint session [6]. He noted that his role as presiding officer was purely ceremonial and that it was not his job to decide the dispute, even though a certain reading of the Constitution theoretically gives him the right to do so. He therefore deferred to the parliamentarians. To do otherwise would have opened the smouldering civil war. At times like these, everyone knows what he or she can lose, and few people, particularly among the notables, are willing to take such a risk. As soon as this position became known, several important members of the Trump team resigned. The Jacksonians experienced these reversals as cowardice and betrayal of their ideals and their homeland.

A few hours later, Donald Trump held a meeting, not far from Congress, to denounce once again a “stolen election” and announce his return for the 2024 campaign. He never called on his supporters to take Capitol Hill, although some may have understood it that way.

Taking the Capitol

JPEG - 30.3 kbAccording to “Dawn” (Greece), “Trumpism is here and it threatens us”.

Some groups that were marginalized during the meeting tried to enter the Capitol. According to the videos, the Capitol police let them in without any real resistance. The demonstrators initially behaved deferentially in this place, which is sacred to them. However, they had been infiltrated by a group of Antifas. Without knowing why or how, things suddenly got out of hand. The hemicycle was invaded and parliamentarians’ offices were ransacked.

Anyone who has lived through a civil war knows that this is the worst thing that can happen. Like the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes, who lived through the first English civil war, they all believe that it is better to suffer a tyrannical state than to be deprived of a state (The Leviathan [7]). Taking the Capitol and eventually overthrowing the US “order” is an act with terrible consequences. It has not gone that far. The police who had allowed the demonstrators to enter the building suddenly and successfully pushed them back.

President Donald Trump himself called for calm, but without his wife. According to the US national religion, God’s blessing – and thus peace and prosperity – must descend through the president and first lady [8] on the “chosen people”. By choosing to speak on his own, Donald Trump has challenged the national religion.

Reactions in the US

JPEG - 37.6 kbAccording to the “Daily Mirror” (UK), now in the United States, it is now government by the mob.

Democratic congressmen, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, immediately accused President Trump of having launched his troops on an assault on Congress. They proposed to impeach President Trump, even though he had only 13 days left in his term, through the 25th Amendment, paragraph 4 of the Constitution. This move, which they had previously discussed, would remove his right to stand for re-election.

However, the text invoked should not apply in this case: it concerns a disability attributable to the health of the President. The debates at the time of its adoption concerned the heart attack which prevented President Woodrow Wilson from fulfilling his duties at the end of his term of office (2 October 1919 to 4 March 1921) and the stroke – less serious – of President Dwight Eisenhower (24 September 1955 to 20 January 1961) which temporarily deprived him of some of his faculties and led him to share his powers with his vice-president Richard Nixon.

The ruling class felt the wind of the cannonball blowing. Whether the capture of Capitol Hill was a failure of its police force, as they try to persuade us, or whether it was organized under a false flag by Donald Trump’s enemies, those who conceived it have the capacity to overthrow institutions and sack their entire staff.

Reactions abroad

JPEG - 26.8 kbFor the “Boston Herald” (USA), this is chaos.

After a century of US domination, the rest of the world still doesn’t know what they are. It doesn’t know that the Constitution was written to establish a regime inspired by the British monarchy and that it was rebalanced by 10 amendments that guarantee people’s rights. The country that Alexis de Tocqueville describes in Democracy in America [9] is the country of this compromise, a country of freedom, but this balance was upset during the Obama years. Blinded, the rest of the world did not see that the United States has reverted to what it was in the first four years of its foundation: an oligarchic system, this time in the service of a class of international billionaires. It deliberately ignored the plight of the former middle classes, the grouping of the population by cultural affinity and the preparation of two-thirds of the population for civil war.

The Chinese media cannot help but notice the double standard when comparing photos of the Hong Kong assembly being taken by a high-voltage crowd with those from Washington. While the Russian media, busy with the Orthodox Christmas party, smiled disillusioned at their historic rival on land.

For their part, the Western media have embraced without reservation the neo-Puritan “cancel culture” that destroys all republican symbols and replaces them with others glorifying minorities, not for what they do, but because they are minorities. In doing so, they have identified a little more with the ideology that oppresses “America” [10]. As submissive vassals, they presented the US election as if their readers were going to participate and Joe Biden as their new master.JPEG - 29.2 kb The “Chicago Tribune” (USA) does not denounce sedition, but sees insurrection.

Reacting to the events on Capitol Hill, European leaders are taking their dreams for granted: German President and former head of the secret service, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, said that armed pro-Trump protesters had taken Capitol Hill; while the French President and former secretary to a well-known philosopher, Emmanuel Macron, denounced an attack on the fundamental principle of democracy “One man, one vote”.

No. With few exceptions, the Capitol demonstrators were unarmed.
No. The U.S. Constitution does not provide for equality among citizens of any state.
Yes. It is the US ruling class that despises democracy and the Jacksonians who defend it.JPEG - 28.1 kb“God help us! “proclaims the Philadephia Daily News (USA). “The non-civil war has come to this point: rioters have taken the Capitol”.

Already the very great fortunes that stand behind Joe Biden have seized power. They have put an end to freedom of expression. They “preventively” closed the Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitch accounts of the White House, President Trump and his supporters in order to “prevent them from calling for further violence” (sic). In doing so, they have arrogated to themselves the powers of Justice and have escaped the Trump decree of 28 June 2020 enjoining them to choose between the status of neutral carrier of information or that of committed producer of information [11].Thierry Meyssan Translation
Roger Lagassé

[1] “Civil war becomes inevitable in the USA”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Roger Lagassé, Voltaire Network, 15 December 2020.

[2] “General Flynn, QAnon and the US Elections”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Roger Lagassé, Voltaire Network, 1 December 2020.

[3] “The time for questioning the election results has passed”, Washington Post (United States) , Voltaire Network, 4 January 2021.

[4] “Trump’s final efforts to overturn election create discomfort for the military”, Paul Sonne & Missy Ryan & Ellen Narashima, The Washington Post, January 6, 2021.

[5] “‘I’ll See You in Four Years’: Trump and the Ghost of Grover Cleveland”, Peter Baker, The New York Times, January 3, 2021

[6] “Mike Pence letter to Members of Congress”, by Mike Pence, Voltaire Network, 6 January 2021.

[7] Leviathan or the matter, forme, & power of a common-wealth ecclesiastical and civil, Thomas Hobbes, 1651

[8] Contrairement à une idée reçue, la fonction de «Première dame» n’est pas cérémonielle, mais religieuse. Elle incombe à l’épouse du président et, s’il est célibataire, divorcé ou veuf, à une femme de sa famille qu’il désigne.

[9] De la démocratie en Amérique, Alexis de Tocqueville, Gosselin (1re partie 1835, 2ème partie 1840.).

[10] Les Occidentaux sont persuadés que les Noirs et les Hispaniques ont tous voté contre Trump. En réalité ses électeurs comptaient 18 % d’Afro-Américains et 37 % de Latinos selon les instituts de sciences politiques.

[11] “Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship”, by Donald Trump, Voltaire Network, 28 May 2020.

Thierry Meyssan

Political consultant, President-founder of the Réseau Voltaire (Voltaire Network). Latest work in English – Before Our Very Eyes, Fake Wars and Big Lies: From 9/11 to Donald Trump, Progressive Press, 2019. Biden and power by force Sheikh Rohani stirs up trouble in the Middle East Arbitrariness and censorship are back in the West Who is Destroying Lebanon and Why? Civil war becomes inevitable in the USA This author’s articles To send a message

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New Normal

Posted by M. C. on January 14, 2021

https://youtu.be/8ncE5yYQvJY

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Why Does the US Department of Justice Want to Worsen the Split in the US Population? – PaulCraigRoberts.org

Posted by M. C. on January 14, 2021

The violent looters who rampaged through American cities have not been held accountable. Yet the US Justice Department is intent on framing people protesting what they believe was a stolen election as “insurrectionists” with a conspiracy of sedition. If Sherwin and the Establishment he serves had any judgment, they would not throw gasoline on a fire unless they want a bigger fire. It seems that a bigger fire is what they do want.

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2021/01/13/why-does-the-us-department-of-justice-want-to-worsen-the-split-in-the-us-population/

Paul Craig Roberts

The initial charges against those few who entered the Capitol during the Trump rally were “entering a restricted building without permission and engaging in disorderly conduct while inside.”  This charge does not carry sufficient punishment for the kind of example the Establishment intends to make of Trump supporters. 

Michael Sherwin, the acting U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, sees a chance for his 15 minutes of fame.  He announced in a press conference that he has built a team of national security attorneys to create sedition and conspiracy charges against Trump “rioters who stormed the Capitol.”  

Note that excessive language accompanies excessive charges. Whether those who got into the Capitol were let in or broke in, there was no “storming,” and certainly no conspiracy to commit sedition.  Sherwin says that he is “treating this just like a significant international counterterrorism or counterintelligence operation.”  

Even the videos shown on anti-Trump news sites, such as The Hill, show the “insurrectionists” in the Capitol walking peacefully and keeping within the roped lane.  How is this violent insurrection?  There are videos making the rounds that show Trump supporters restraining a man who is trying to break a window in the Capitol.  It is clear that the Trump supporters regard the person as an Antifa member. 

In any demonstration there will be nutcases and provocateurs.  To define a peaceful demonstration by the acts of a few is dishonest.  Remember, the presstitutes repeatedly called the Antifa and Black Lives Matter riots that looted and burned business areas of Minneapolis, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, Atlanta and other cities “peaceful protests.”  When the presstitutes had to acknowledge that there was violence, they blamed it on Trump supporters or white supremacists who had allegedly infiltrated the peaceful protests.

Infiltration does seem to have happened to Trump supporters at the Capitol. According to a report by a person present at the Capitol to film the event that was sent to Professor Mark Crispin Miller at New York University, agitators suddenly appeared with bull horns and provoked Trump supporters to rush up the steps at the back of the Capitol. The relatively few who entered the Capitol apparently entered from the front.  Some reports say they were allowed in. Here is the account of the cameraman that I reported on January 7:

“I was in Washington, D.C. today filming the Trump rally and related events.  I also ran across your post concerning the Capitol demonstration tonight.  Perhaps this short account will help you assess what others are saying in a small way.

“I was also at the Capitol before the crowd appeared setting-up my camera on a stone wall around the perimeter of the back of the capitol (the rear facing Constitution Avenue).  Then I waited for President Trump’s speech to end and for supporters to walk-up Constitution Avenue to the Capitol.  I was located at the precise location where supporters first rushed up the slope towards the back of the Capitol after casting aside a section of the first Capitol perimeter barrier.  Supporters gathered roughly at the center of the back of the capitol, but a circle began to grow around the perimeter as the crowd grew larger.  I had no sense that the growing crowd intended to rush the Capitol.

“After a large crowd emerged at the perimeter a man in perhaps his late 30’s or early 40’s showed-up, pacing quickly to his left then to his right before the crowd, and essentially began hurling insults at the crowd challenging their political wisdom.  He excoriated the crowd for thinking that their attendance would be taken seriously by members of congress.  (Hard to say that he was wrong about that, whoever he was).  I cannot recall his precise words, but for a very short period he engaged in a shouting exchange with supporters, and suddenly supporters pushed aside the first barrier and rushed towards the back of the Capitol.  Others on the northern edge of the perimeter followed suit.  But the first rush was right at the center of the back of the Capitol.  I followed the rush to the bottom of the Capitol back steps, and began filming again from atop an inner perimeter stone wall.

“The police, so it appeared, were a little surprised by the rush, and this gave supporters an opportunity to race up the steps.  One or two men even made it as far as the steps leading up to the scaffolds on the south side of the Capitol before police arrested them.  By this time, five or ten men had climbed to the top of the tall steel tower structure facing the Capitol.  Then the police erected and lined-up behind a new barrier perimeter at the foot of the Capitol steps.  Police at the top of the Capitol steps aimed rifles down on the crowd (perhaps rubber bullet rifles, I could not tell).  The crowd began arguing with police and pressing hard against the new barrier.  The police sprayed men pressing directly against the barrier with tear gas from time to time causing them to retreat.  “Meanwhile, the men at the top of the tower began rallying the crowd to challenge the new barrier (over bull horns) by filling any gaps between the barrier and the stone wall that I was using as a filming vantage point.  Another man worked the crowd with a bull horn immediately in front of me and also encouraged supporters to climb over the inner perimeter stone wall (my filming vantage point) and create a wall of pressure on the new barrier at the bottom of the Capitol back steps.

“After about 30 minutes to an hour I dropped to the bottom of the stone wall to reload my camera when suddenly the barrier gave way and police attempted to fortify it by blasting tear gas into the area between the stone wall and the barrier.   I was hit by the gas myself and struggled back over the stone wall in order to breathe.  The gas threw many crowd members into a panic. And I was nearly trampled as I struggled to lift my camera and heavy gear bag over the wall after two women began pulling desperately on the back of my coat to pull themselves up and over the moderately high wall in retreat.

“After the second perimeter barrier gave way, the men with the bull horns began working the crowd very hard to fill-up with Trump supporters the steps of the Capitol and the scaffolding on both sides of it.  At this point one of the calls, which the men with bull horns repeated from time to time in order to encourage people to climb the Capitol steps was “this is not a rally; it’s the real thing.”  Another frequent call was “its now or never.” After about a two hour effort peppered with bull horn calls of this nature the entire back of the Capitol was filled with Trump supporters and the entire face of the Capitol was covered with brilliant small and very large Trump banners, American flags, and various other types of flags and banners.

“Sometime after the rush on the back of the Capitol, people were apparently able to enter the Capitol itself through the front. But I was not witness to anything at the front or inside the Capitol.

“One clearly bona fide Trump supporter who had apparently entered the Capitol himself was telling others emotionally and angrily (including press representatives of some sort, even a foreign newsman) that he witnessed someone inside the Capitol encouraging violence whom he strongly suspected was not a legitimate Trump supporter (apparently on the basis that the man showed no signs at all of Trump support on his apparel).  I did not pay that close attention to his claims (for example the precise claim of the violence encouraged) because, naturally, I had not yet read your post and it had not occurred to me that professional outsiders might play a role in instigating particular violent acts in order to discredit the event.

“I overheard one Trump supporter (who followed the rush on the Capitol himself) say aloud, “I brought many others to this rally, but we did not sign on for this” as he watched matters escalate.

“Still, from my seat, I would say that large numbers of very legitimate Trump supporters felt that it was their patriotic duty to occupy the Capitol in light of their unshakable beliefs that (1) the 2020 election was a fraud, (2) that the vast majority of the members of congress are corrupt and compromised, and (3) that the country is in the throes of what they consider a “communist” takeover (although many use the expression “communism” as a synonym for “totalitarianism”).   They are also convinced that the virus narrative is a fraud and an essential part of an effort to undermine the Constitution –in particular the Bill of Rights.  They have a very real fear that the country and the very conception of any culture of liberty is on the verge of an irreparable collapse.  For most (if not a very large majority) rushing the Capitol was a desperate eleventh hour act of partiotism –even of the order of the revolution that created our nation.  Some Trump supporters sang the Star Spangled Banner and other patriotic songs as others climbed the Capitol steps.  They also demonstrated a measure of respect for the Capitol itself.  I saw no attempt by anyone to deface the Capitol simply for the sake of defacing it.

“The incontrovertibly compromised press has called this event a riot.  But from what I saw and heard this would indeed be a gross and intentionally misleading oversimplification at best.  At least from the standpoint of supporters, if their Capitol event was a riot, then so was the Boston Tea Party.  It also seems to me that some professional help (very aware of deep sentiments) might have come from somewhere to make sure that the party happened.”

It was a riot and violent and an insurrection, because that is what the Establishment wants it to be.  Overstating what happened turns it into a weapon that can be used against Trump and his supporters as Acting US Attorney Michael Sherwin intends to do.

If Sherwin were to conduct a real investigation, he would probably find that the organized plan he is looking for was an Antifa plan or a plan of some Establishment group to use provocateurs to stampede rally attendees into some action that would discredit Trump and the rally. Of course, this is nothing that Sherwin wants to find.

The violent looters who rampaged through American cities have not been held accountable.  Yet the US Justice Department is intent on framing people protesting what they believe was a stolen election as “insurrectionists” with a conspiracy of sedition.  If Sherwin and the Establishment he serves had any judgment, they would not throw gasoline on a fire unless they want a bigger fire. It seems that a bigger fire is what they do want.  

A bigger fire would help the new domestic terrorism bill that criminalizes dissent.  Under this bill, those who challenge Establishment explanations could find themselves charged with terrorism. Law is what prosecutors establish it to be.  What is terrorism becomes a subjective judgment and is whatever a prosecutor says it is.

There was no insurrection on January 6, which is puzzling in a way.  If tens of millions of Americans believe that their democracy is threatened by a stolen election and nothing was being done about it, who would be surprised if there was an insurrection? It seems to me that everyone but the Establishment and its minons would support such an insurrection.  

To charge Trump supporters for something that did not happen, while not charging Antifa for what did happen, is the best way to split the population.  Why does Michael Sherwin want to splint the American population?

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Totalitarianism Is Upon Us – by Robert Ringer

Posted by M. C. on January 14, 2021

The paramount question we should be focused on is not the fact that Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff won the Georgia elections — or even the possibility that their wins might have been a result of the usual Democrat cheating — but how two Marxists were even in a position to run for the United States Senate in a traditionally conservative state.  It seems reasonable to conclude that somewhere between 30-40 percent of voters in this one-time red state apparently prefer socialism to free-market capitalism.

https://robertringer.com/totalitarianism-is-upon-us/

by Robert Ringer

With the hysteria over the Capitol Building dustup Wednesday hogging the news, I think it’s important not to allow the Georgia runoff elections to be buried and forgotten about, because how a majority of liberty-minded Americans view what happened in Georgia will determine the impact it will have on America’s future.

If conservatives and libertarians throw up their hands in despair and view the Georgia elections as the final death knell for liberty in this country, they might just end up being right.  But if they view them as a clarion call to return America to its founding conservative-libertarian roots, they might also be right.  What is needed right now is clear thinking and a great deal of action.

The paramount question we should be focused on is not the fact that Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff won the Georgia elections — or even the possibility that their wins might have been a result of the usual Democrat cheating — but how two Marxists were even in a position to run for the United States Senate in a traditionally conservative state.  It seems reasonable to conclude that somewhere between 30-40 percent of voters in this one-time red state apparently prefer socialism to free-market capitalism.

Clear thinking on this matter also forces one to face up to the reality that America is now closer to becoming a Marxist nation than at any time in its history.  And, if so, I believe it’s important for people to understand what Marxism is all about.

As a prelude, let me start by pointing out that socialism and communism are, for all practical purposes, one and the same.  Karl Marx made it clear that socialism was but a phase along the way to communism, which is why I use those two terms, along with terms like Marxism, progressivism, liberalism, leftism, and collectivism, interchangeably.

Second, communism as Marx described it has never existed on this planet.  Leftists like to romanticize about his heaven-on-earth version of communism, a fantasy wherein the state “withers away” because everyone has equally satisfying lives — food, housing, medical care, and more — thus no one covets his neighbor’s possessions.  In the real world, however, from Lenin to Stalin to Brezhnev, from Mao to Deng to Xi, the term communism (and all of its synonyms) has proven to be nothing more than a euphemism for totalitarian rule.

When communists take control of a country, what actually happens is that people end up with less of everything and are equally miserable.  But not all people.  Under communism, a new privileged class emerges that replaces the previous elites whose property was appropriated by the state.  In the Soviet Union, the privileged class under communism was known as the nomenklatura.  It consisted of tens of thousands of bureaucrats whom the oligarchy depended on to keep the proletariat in line.

Today’s American version of the nomenklatura is much greater in number and much more powerful than its counterpart in the former Soviet Union.  As a result, its members are highly motivated to push toward a totalitarian form of government to protect their elite status.  It’s a push that has been going on for decades, but what is different today is that many in the Democrat Party openly use the term socialism to mask their true goal, totalitarianism.

What is remarkable is that so many voters, who are not part of the corrupt nomenklatura, believe they would be better off under socialism than capitalism.  But why?  I can think of only three possible reasons why someone would favor a theoretical ideology that has resulted in the slaughter of tens of millions of people worldwide, as follows.

Naiveté.

Millions of people who are emotionally immature believe that all pain and suffering are unacceptable and that it is therefore the government’s job to make life risk-free.  Such a naïve mindset is what has given rise to the wild overreaction to the coronavirus pandemic.  Leftists have succeeded in scaring people into putting their lives on hold and focusing instead on protecting themselves from COVID.  This, even though the extreme measures taken by politicians and bureaucrats fly in the face of the actual science.

Staying alive is, indeed, of paramount importance, but being the most important thing does not mean to the exclusion of everything else.  If there is nothing else to life but trying to stay alive, then life has no meaning.  The refusal to accept the reality that risks are an integral part of life is what leads people to naively believe that an all-powerful central government can keep them safe and well fed, and it is this naïve belief that leads to totalitarianism.

Naiveté is not an easy condition to cure, because it requires a willingness to accept facts, something that is anathema to people who are genuinely naïve.  (As the Big Guy famously said, “We choose truth over facts.”)

Ignorance

Speaking of resistance to facts, ignorance is especially prevalent among college students, because in the vast majority of cases the colleges they attend are not bastions of education but cauldrons of miseducation.  Simply put, most of our schools, from kindergarten through college, teach ignorance.

Until a few decades ago, the realities of communism, including the death and destruction it has fostered since the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, was taught in virtually all schools.  Today, however, communism is glorified by Radical Left teachers and professors, which is why it should not surprise anyone that children who have not had the benefit of a sound home environment based on Western values are especially vulnerable to the propaganda of those who promote the lie that communism is nirvana.

If kids were encouraged to study the true history of communism, beginning with Karl Marx in the mid-to-late 19th century and Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin in the 20th century, they would be far less likely to end up as confused, lost souls preaching the wonders of communism and would realize that it is nothing more than an excuse to implement a totalitarian regime.

Italian philosopher Antonio Gramsci, leader of Italy’s communist party in the early part of the 20th century and generally thought of as “the godfather of cultural Marxism,” was an early advocate of playing the “long game.”  He believed that the best way to implement communism was through gradual, stealth revolution over a long period of time, and felt this could be accomplished through communist infiltration of a country’s institutions, particularly schools and universities.  Over the past 50 years, Radical Leftists have adopted this strategy and succeeded in gaining control of America’s culture by planting Marxists throughout the education system.

Deprogramming and reeducating people whose brains have been saturated with lies, half-truths, and, above all, false premises is a herculean task that realistically can produce only limited results.  To be effective, other efforts have to be made, such as taking back our schools and universities, finding ways to minimize the damage done by the fake-news media, and putting an end to big tech’s censorship of libertarian and conservative thought, beginning with repeal of Section 230 of the Communications and Decency Act.

Malevolence

Unfortunately, a majority of Democrats today are hard-core malevolent, meaning they take satisfaction in the pain and suffering of others.  A study of the history of communism makes it clear that it’s an ideology fueled not by a desire to help the downtrodden, but by anger and hate.

It has often been said that liberalism is a mental disorder, because round-the-clock hatred and anger do not comprise a normal mindset.  So, even though it’s true that many people who have bought into the false promises of communism are simply naïve or ignorant, the primary drivers of communism are anger and hate.

Karl Marx was an angry, arrogant intellectual who harbored enormous scorn for the working class, notwithstanding his claim that revolution was necessary in order to free workers from oppression.  While insisting that their salvation could come about only through violent revolution, he made it clear to his fellow intellectuals that he believed the proletariat was too stupid and unmotivated to plan and carry out a world-changing revolution.

Vladimir Lenin, who led the world’s first communist revolution, was even angrier than Marx.  From an early age, he showed signs of being an extreme sociopath.  There are firsthand accounts of his amusing himself as a small child by ripping the arms out of dolls and torturing animals.  This anger propelled him to become a bloodthirsty dictator who, like Marx, had a low regard for farmers, workers, and peasants and excluded them from party meetings and policy-making decisions. 

Thus, the reality wasn’t so much “workers of the world unite” as it was “workers of the world, shut up and do as you’re told.”  Which is exactly the message coming from the today’s Democrat Party.  Totalitarian Democrats look down on everyday Americans, particularly blue-collar workers, and resent any attempt on their part to express their opinions.

Which brings me back to the Georgia runoff elections.  Now that the commies have taken control of the Senate, what Republicans need to do is resort to every dirty Democrat trick in the book in order to stall the Dems totalitarian agenda until January 2023.  By that time, Democrats will have brought so much pain and misery to most Americans that Republicans should win both the House and Senate by landslide margins — unless, of course, they still have not figured out a way to stop Democrat cheating.

The road ahead is no less challenging than the one faced by the Founding Fathers in 1776 when they threw out the British.  As Benjamin Franklin famously said at the time of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, “We must all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.”  This is where we are in 2021 America, and people should not delude themselves into believing that this is just a bump in the road and that America will somehow work things out.

As I have repeatedly said, if the objective is to take back America, the first order of business should be to primary Republicans who never tire of giving the middle finger to the voters who put them in office.  Not just vermin like Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse, and Mitch McConnell (all three of whom President Trump naively endorsed), but choirboys like John Thune, James Lankford, John Cornyn, and Marco Rubio as well.

If Republicans do not get serious about cleaning house, nothing else they do to fight the totalitarian left will matter, because you have no chance of winning if you allow the enemy to operate freely within your ranks.  The most sickening thing about the last four years was watching establishment Republicans like Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, and Kevin McCarthy snipe at President Trump for saying and doing things that swamp Republicans deem to be “unpresidential.”

What happened in Georgia is a wakeup call for liberty-loving Americans nationwide.  The reality is that totalitarianism is upon us.  Now, the question is, how many of us are willing to show, through our actions, that we are prepared to hang together? 

Robert Ringer

Robert Ringer is an American icon whose unique insights into life have helped millions of readers worldwide. He is also the author of two New York Times #1 bestselling books, both of which have been listed by The New York Times among the 15 best-selling motivational books of all time.

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Covid-19 and the Socialist Calculation Problem | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on January 14, 2021

Nevertheless, government’s response to covid-19 assumes that it knows everyone’s personal risk hierarchy and can tailor an appropriate public response. This is as impossible as knowing values in a socialist commonwealth. In the place of a hierarchy of wants, we have a hierarchy of risk. And just as everyone’s hierarchy of wants is different, everyone’s hierarchy of risk is different. No one can deny this. We see it played out everywhere.

https://mises.org/wire/covid-19-and-socialist-calculation-problem

Patrick Barron

One hundred years ago Ludwig von Mises wrote the definitive exposure of the impossibility of socialism: “Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth.” In a recent Mises Wire essay—”Socialist Robert Heilbroner’s Confession in 1990: ‘Mises Was Right.’“—Gary North sums up the socialist problem succinctly (his emphasis).

But Heilbroner failed to present the central argument that Mises had offered. Mises was not talking about the technical difficulty of setting prices. He was making a far more fundamental point. He argued that no central planning bureau could know the economic value of any scarce resource. Why not? Because there is no price system under socialism that is based on the private ownership of the means of production. There is therefore no way for central planners to know which goods and services are most important for the state to produce. There is no hierarchical scale of value that is based on supply and demand—a world in which property-owning individuals place their monetary bids to buy and sell. The problem of socialism is not the technical problem of allocation facing a planning board. It is also not that planners lack sufficient technical data. Rather, the central problem is this: assessing economic value through prices. The planners do not know what anything is worth.

Notice North’s point. Socialism is impossible, not just technically difficult. Knowing what to produce requires a price system. A price system requires private ownership of the means of production. Why? Because the price system rests on individually held hierarchical scales of values. And the hierarchical scale of values require private ownership of the means of production. In other words, if you don’t own something, you cannot know its worth. This doesn’t mean that everyone has the same hierarchical scale of values. But all these individual scales of value do meet in the marketplace to determine marginal prices at given points of time. Your Beanie Baby collection may be worth a thousand dollars in today’s market and possibly zilch tomorrow. Now, your beanie baby collection may be priceless to you and you don’t really care about its value to others. But if you decided to make a business of selling Beanie Babies or even to simply sell your collection, you would be forced to confront the reality of the marketplace.

Covid-19 and the Socialist Calculation Problem

You may well ask what this has to do with covid-19. covid-19 isn’t a marketable good. It isn’t owned by anyone. No one wants it. Quite the opposite in fact. True. Nevertheless, government’s response to covid-19 assumes that it knows everyone’s personal risk hierarchy and can tailor an appropriate public response. This is as impossible as knowing values in a socialist commonwealth. In the place of a hierarchy of wants, we have a hierarchy of risk. And just as everyone’s hierarchy of wants is different, everyone’s hierarchy of risk is different. No one can deny this. We see it played out everywhere. Young people in college assess their personal health risk from covid-19 as very low. The aged and those suffering from other illnesses assess their personal health risk as very high. Furthermore, one’s response is determined by what one gives up. The elderly living on pensions may be giving up very little in a lockdown or quarantine other than their social lives. Certainly they are not giving up their life-sustaining income by staying in semi-isolation. But those still of working age have a very different tradeoff. Business owners who are forced to shut down may lose their entire wealth. Salaried and hourly workers may see a slower drain on their wealth, but the longer the lockdowns continue, the more accumulated wealth they will see drain away.

I have used stereotypical broad categories here for illustrative comparisons only. Of course, those of the same age, health profile, wealth accumulation, etc. may have entirely different personal risk assessments. The old adage applies that no two people are alike. These facts of human existence make universally acceptable public policy responses to covid-19 not just difficult but impossible. The only acceptable public response is one of perfect liberty; i.e., each individual decides his own response to covid-19 as long as he does no harm to others.

What about Externalities?

This brings up a common retort that perfect liberty does harm others. A typical government justification for coerced lockdowns and quarantines was that there was a need to conserve hospital beds for the expected onslaught of covid-19 patients. Sounds reasonable at first, but not upon further examination. This so-called line of reasoning rests upon faulty externality theory; i.e., that everything you do affects others in some degree. By this logic government has a right to regulate everything you do. Forgetting for a moment that government’s access to information is no greater than that of thousands of others, there is the ethical problem of government’s right to determine to whom a private entity may offer services. For example, a private hospital may refuse patients who wish to have elective surgery in order to preserve beds for what the hospital considers more important patients, but government may not insert its power of coercion into this decision. Like the socialist allocation problem, government has no “skin in the game” and, therefore, it has nothing upon which to make a universally applicable policy except the temporary prejudice of those currently elected to office and/or those currently working for government. Perhaps an even more damning criticism of the externality rationale is that there is no attempt and probably no definitive calculation of the many adverse consequences to lockdowns and quarantines, from delayed medical treatment that leads to worsening health (both physical and mental) or even death to permanent loss of one’s ability to feed, house, and clothe one’s family adequately.

The Double Standards of Politicians

So, we are left with these conclusions: since all risk is personal, no one knows the risk tolerance of others. Therefore, one’s response to covid-19 is a personal decision based upon one’s personal risk assessment. In other words, perfect liberty must be respected, because it is the only rational option. Impractical? This is the very policy actually followed by many of the authors of the current restrictions. Governor Newsom of California attended a lavish dinner party after issuing new and more onerous restrictions on public and private gatherings. Illinois Governor Pritzker has been unapologetic about visiting his many out-of-state residences after telling his constituents not to do the same. Other politicians have been similarly embarrassed. Are they taking unnecessary risks, both to themselves and others? There is no definitive answer. By the very fact that they violated their own restrictions, we can conclude that they valued their freedom to do so above their personally perceived risk. Why should not that same right be available to all of us? Author:

Contact Patrick Barron

Patrick Barron is a private consultant to the banking industry. He has taught an introductory course in Austrian economics for several years at the University of Iowa. He has also taught at the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin for over twenty-five years, and has delivered many presentations at the European Parliament.

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