MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Authoritarianism’

‘The greatest assault on civil liberties in our time…’ – RPI August 22nd Update

Posted by M. C. on August 22, 2020

The “experts” are literally destroying the next generation, and because of fear Americans are going along. The young son of a friend has recently taken his own life, incapable of managing the despair of the hell created for him by the monsters who have grabbed power in a manner that would even make Hitler blush. 

And they aren’t even making the older people safer with these asinine policies! In fact, thugs like Andrew Cuomo in New York purposely pursued a policy guaranteed to kill a maximum of older Americans – putting very sick people into nursing homes!

https://mailchi.mp/ronpaulinstitute/libertyassault?e=4e0de347c8

Dear Friends of the Ron Paul Institute:

First allow me to sincerely apologize for the scarcity of these updates of late. Since the Covid madness has taken over our country, spreading the real virus of authoritarianism to every corner of our republic, we have been barely able to come up for air. Literally every waking hour we spend preparing the next day’s episode of the Liberty Report, focusing on disproving the lies and correcting the misperceptions created by a mainstream media and politically-motivated actors to turn the country into a gulag. As you can imagine, refuting the lies of the mainstream media and politicized health “specialists” is beyond a full time job. They have all the resources at their fingertips, we are extremely limited so we have to work harder. And we have been so doing. 

The reaction to the virus outbreak has been the greatest assault on civil liberties in our time and the approach of those in authority will go down as perhaps the greatest disaster in US history. Even the Director of the CDC admits that more Americans are dying from lockdowns than from coronavirus. Meanwhile the virus is behaving as have all viruses in history: as it moves through society it infects, leaving healthier victims with immunity who in turn act as a wall to prevent infection of the vulnerable. Politicized medicine got in the way of this normal process, which cruelly led to a much longer period of potential exposure of the virus to the unhealthy and aged, its prime victims.

Young people, despite the media pile-on, are as Trump said nearly immune to this virus. According to CDC data, less than 300 Americans under the age of 24 have died from Covid-19. There is literally a better chance of being struck by lightening than dying of Covid if you are under 24. In fact by far the majority of deaths have occurred in those over 80 with other serious existing health problems. Yet these young people are being tortured by stay-at-home orders and masks and cancellation of school and destruction of their economic futures and cancellation of their very lives. No wonder three in four young persons has reported anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts over the coronavirus lockdowns.

The “experts” are literally destroying the next generation, and because of fear Americans are going along. The young son of a friend has recently taken his own life, incapable of managing the despair of the hell created for him by the monsters who have grabbed power in a manner that would even make Hitler blush. 

And they aren’t even making the older people safer with these asinine policies! In fact, thugs like Andrew Cuomo in New York purposely pursued a policy guaranteed to kill a maximum of older Americans – putting very sick people into nursing homes! Even the policies of lockdown and house arrest of the healthy have put the old and vulnerable at risk: the “second wave” is just a delayed first wave and the longer the virus hangs around without hitting the wall of herd immunity the more time the susceptible people can catch it and die.

Fear is the tool used throughout history to manipulate populations and to introduce totalitarian rule. A terrified population cannot make rational decisions, instead they desperately rush to hand their decisions off to a willing dictator to make for them. We know this movie and it does not end well. 

Yesterday the unelected state health commissioner of Virginia, Norman Oliver, announced that residents of the state would have no choice in the matter: the coronavirus vaccine would be mandatory. No exceptions. Your body, the state’s choice. 

From Germany to Ireland to beyond, citizens are rising up to protest the authoritarianism imposed by their governments in the name of a virus. Thus far in the US we have seen little of that. Unless Americans are willing to fight for their freedom there will soon be no freedom to fight for…

Sincerely yours,

Daniel McAdams
Executive Director
Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity

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The New (Pathologized) Totalitarianism – Consent Factory, Inc.

Posted by M. C. on August 12, 2020

Look, I don’t mean to be depressing, but seriously, spend an hour on the Internet, or talk to one of your hysterical friends that wants to make mask-wearing mandatory, permanently. This is the mentality of the Brave New Normal … irrationally paranoid and authoritarian. So, no, the future isn’t looking very bright for anyone not prepared to behave as if the world were one big infectious disease ward.

https://consentfactory.org/2020/06/29/the-new-pathologized-totalitarianism/

The New (Pathologized) Totalitarianism

It was always going to come to this … mobs of hysterical, hate-drunk brownshirts hunting down people not wearing masks and trying to get them fired from their jobs, “no mask, no service” signs outside stores, security staff stopping the mask-less from entering, paranoid pod people pointing and shrieking at the sight of mask-less shoppers in their midst, goon squads viciously attacking and arresting them …

Welcome to the Brave New Normal.

And it isn’t just the Maskenpflicht-Sturmabteilung. The new official narrative is omnipresent. The corporate media are pumping out hysteria about “Covid-19 hospitalizations” (i.e., anyone admitted to a hospital for anything who tested positive for the coronavirus) and “major incidents” (i.e., people at the beach). Police are manning makeshift social-distancing-monitoring watchtowers in London. There are propaganda posters and billboards everywhere, repeating the same neo-Goebbelsian slogans, reinforcing the manufactured mass hysteria. Dissent and nonconformity are being pathologized, “diagnosed” as psychopathy and paranoia. Mandatory vaccinations are coming.

You didn’t think they were kidding, did you, when they started introducing the Brave New Normal official narrative back in March? They told us, clearly, what was coming. They told us life was going to change … forever. They locked us down inside our homes. They ordered churches and synagogues closed. They ordered the police to abuse and arrest us if we violated their arbitrary orders. They closed the schools, parks, beaches, restaurants, cafés, theaters, clubs, anywhere that people gather. They ripped children out of their mother’s arms, beat and arrested other mothers for the crime of “wearing their masks improperly,” dragged mask-less passengers off of public buses, gratuitously beat and arrested people for not “social-distancing” on the sidewalk, shackled people with ankle monitors, and intimidated everyone with robots and drones. They outlawed protests, then hunted down people attending them and harassed them at their homes. They started tracking everyone’s contacts and movements. They drafted new “emergency” laws to allow them to forcibly quarantine people. They did this openly. They publicized it. It’s not like they were hiding anything.

No, they told us exactly what was coming, and advised us to shut up and follow orders. Tragically, most people have done just that. In the space of four months, GloboCap has successfully imposed totalitarianism — pathologized totalitarianism — on societies all across the world. It isn’t traditional totalitarianism, with a dictator and a one-party system, and so on. It is subtler and more insidious than that. But it is totalitarianism nonetheless.

GloboCap could not have achieved this without the approval (or at least the acquiescence) of the vast majority of the masses. The coronavirus mass hysteria was a masterstroke of propaganda, but propaganda isn’t everything. No one is really fooled by propaganda, or not for long, in any event. As Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari noted in the opening of Anti-Oedipus:

“The masses were not innocent dupes. At a certain point, under a certain set of conditions, they wanted fascism, and it is this perversion of the desire of the masses that needs to be accounted for.”

I am not going to try to account for the “perversion of the desire of the masses” here in this essay, but I do want to dig into the new pathologized totalitarianism a little bit.

Now, I’m going to assume that you understand that the official “apocalyptic pandemic” narrative is predicated on propaganda, wild speculation, and mass hysteria, and that by now you are aware that we are dealing with a virus that causes mild to moderate symptoms (or absolutely no symptoms at all) in 95% of those infected, and that over 99.5% survive … thus, clearly, no cause for widespread panic or justification for the totalitarian “emergency measures” that have been imposed. I am also going to assume that you watched as GloboCap switched off the “deadly pandemic” to accommodate the BLM protests, then switched it back on as soon as they subsided, and that you noted how their propaganda shifted to “cases” when the death count finally became a little too embarrassing to continue to hype.

So, I won’t waste your time debunking the hysteria. Let’s talk pathologized totalitarianism.

The genius of pathologized totalitarianism is like that old joke about the Devil … his greatest trick was convincing us that he doesn’t exist. Pathologized totalitarianism appears to emanate from nowhere, and everywhere, simultaneously; thus, technically, it does not exist. It cannot exist, because no one is responsible for it, because everyone is. Mass hysteria is its lifeblood. It feeds on existential fear. “Science” is its rallying cry. Not actual science, not provable facts, but “Science” as a kind of deity whose Name is invoked to silence heretics, or to ease the discomfort of the cognitive dissonance that results from desperately trying to believe the absurdities of the official narrative.

The other genius of it (from a GloboCap viewpoint) is that it is inexhaustible, endlessly recyclable. Unlike other official enemies, the “deadly virus” could be any virus, any pathogen whatsoever. All they have to do from now on is “discover” some “novel” micro-organism that is highly contagious (or that mimics some other micro-organism that we already have), and wave it in front of people’s faces. Then they can crank up the Fear Machine, and start projecting hundreds of millions of deaths if everyone doesn’t do exactly as they’re told. They can run this schtick … well, pretty much forever, anytime the working classes get restless, or an unauthorized president gets elected, or just for the sheer sadistic fun of it.

Look, I don’t mean to be depressing, but seriously, spend an hour on the Internet, or talk to one of your hysterical friends that wants to make mask-wearing mandatory, permanently. This is the mentality of the Brave New Normal … irrationally paranoid and authoritarian. So, no, the future isn’t looking very bright for anyone not prepared to behave as if the world were one big infectious disease ward.

I’ve interacted with a number of extremely paranoid corona-totalitarians recently (just as a kind of social experiment). They behave exactly like members of a cult. When challenged with facts and basic logic, first, they flood you with media propaganda and hysterical speculation from “medical experts.” Then, after you debunk that nonsense, they attempt to emotionally manipulate you by sharing their heartbreaking personal accounts of the people their therapists’ brother-in-laws’ doctors had to helplessly watch as they “died in agony” when their lungs and hearts mysteriously exploded. Then, after you don’t bite down on that, they start hysterically shrieking paranoia at you (“JUST WAIT UNTIL THEY INTUBATE YOU!” … “KEEP YOUR SPITTLE AWAY FROM ME!”) and barking orders and slogans at you (“JUST WEAR THE GODDAMN MASK, YOU BABY!” … “NO SHOES, NO SHIRT, NO MASK, NO SERVICE!”)

Which … OK, that would be kind of funny (or terribly sad), if these paranoid people were not just mouthpieces echoing the voice of the official power (i.e., GloboCap) that is transforming what is left of society into a paranoid, pathologized, totalitarian nightmare right before our eyes. They’re kind of like the “woman in red” in The Matrix. When you are talking to them, you’re not talking to them. You’re talking to the agents. You’re talking to the machines. Try it sometime. You’ll see what I mean. It’s like talking to a single algorithm that is running in millions of people’s brains.

I can’t lie to you. I’m not very hopeful. No one who understands the attraction (i.e., the seduction) of totalitarianism is. Much as we may not like to admit it, it is exhilarating, and liberating, being part of the mob, surrendering the burden of personal autonomy and individual responsibility, fusing with a fanatical “movement” that is ushering in a new “reality” backed by the sheer brute force of the state … or the transnational global capitalist empire.

It is irresistible, that attraction, to most of us. The chance to be a part of something like that, and to unleash one’s hatred on those who refuse to go along with the new religion … to publicly ridicule them, to humiliate them, to segregate them from normal society, to hunt them down and get them fired from their jobs, to cheer as police abuse and arrest them, to diagnose them as “abnormal” and “inferior,” these social deviants, these subhuman “others,” who dare to challenge the authority of the Party, or the Church, or the State, or the Reich, or Science.

Plus, in the eyes of GloboCap (and its millions of fanatical, slogan-chanting followers), such non-mask-wearing deviants are dangerous. They are like a disease … an infestation. A sickness in the social body. If they refuse to conform, they will have to be dealt with, quarantined, or something like that.

Or they can just surrender to the Brave New Normal, and stop acting like babies, and wear a goddamn mask.

After all, it’s just a harmless piece of cloth.

CJ Hopkins
June 29, 2020
Photos: (1) DHVANI billboard/pymnts.com; (2) United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Oesterreichische Nationalbibliothek.

CJ Hopkins Summer 2018 thumbnail

DISCLAIMER: The preceding essay is entirely the work of our in-house satirist and self-appointed political pundit, CJ Hopkins, and does not reflect the views and opinions of the Consent Factory, Inc., its staff, or any of its agents, subsidiaries, or assigns. If, for whatever inexplicable reason, you appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to support it, please go to his Patreon page (where you can contribute as little $1 per month), or send your contribution to his PayPal account, so that maybe he’ll stop coming around our offices trying to hit our staff up for money. Alternatively, you could purchase his satirical dystopian novel, Zone 23, or Volume I of his Consent Factory Essays, or any of his subversive stage plays, which won some awards in Great Britain and Australia. If you do not appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to write him an abusive email, please feel free to contact him directly.

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A Monument to Authoritarianism – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on June 6, 2020

In other words, what the Lincoln Memorial represents, according to the government that built it, is that the people are the servants, not the masters, of the state.

Would the Soviet government have permitted the defacing of a statue of Stalin?  The Chinese government a trashing of Mao?  How about red devil horns spray painted on Castro’s statue in Havana?  As Murray Rothbard once said, the state considers the most grievous of crimes to be crimes against itself – or in this case its image of itself. 

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/06/thomas-dilorenzo/a-monument-to-authoritarianism/

By

News coverage of the recent riots in Washington, D.C. revealed the utter inability of the police to protect shop owners, residents, and even the church across the street from the White House from vandalism, looting, and arson.  National Guard and even active-duty military troops were brought in to protect the White House itself.  The Secret Service is said to have brought the Trump family into the underground bunker beneath the executive mansion at one point.

Some of the government’s monuments to itself, which seem to be on every street corner and in every intersection in Washington, D.C., were vandalized and spray painted with graffiti.  Yet it was still surprising to see one morning on the news that even the Lincoln Memorial –the most popular tourist destination in the city, the national shrine — had a few graffiti scribblings etched on it during the previous night’s rampant hooliganism.

Well.  That does it.  The line had been crossed.  The response of the government was, to paraphrase President George H.W. Bush after the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait:  “This Shall Not Stand!”  The next morning the news contained images of what appeared to be at least a hundred heavily-armed national guardsmen posted at the front of the Lincoln Memorial.  There were probably dozens or even hundreds more protecting the other sides as though they were preparing for another Battle of the Bulge.  You can loot and burn down every shop in Georgetown, set fires to garbage dumpsters and private cars in the streets, terrorize the public, assault and even shoot police officers and burn their squad cars, but hands off the Lincoln Memorial – the state’s quintessential monument to . . . statism.  Would the Soviet government have permitted the defacing of a statue of Stalin?  The Chinese government a trashing of Mao?  How about red devil horns spray painted on Castro’s statue in Havana?  As Murray Rothbard once said, the state considers the most grievous of crimes to be crimes against itself – or in this case its image of itself.  Not gonna happen, as George W. Bush was fond of saying (at least according to his imitator on Saturday Night Live).

In my new soon-to-be-released (July 7) book, The Problem with Lincoln, I devote a chapter to how Lincoln, who was arguably the most hated and despised of all American presidents during his lifetime (See Larry Tagg, The Unpopular Mr. Lincoln), became deified in the decades after his death by the Republican party, the New England clergy, the government schools, and the entire apparatus of state propaganda, the physical cornerstone of which is the Lincoln Memorial, completed in 1922.

The state itself has described the importance of the Lincoln Memorial as an attempt to inculcate the ideology of authoritarianism and dictatorial rule in the American mind with a National Park Service publication entitled “Secret Symbol of the Lincoln Memorial,” by Nathan King.  The “true meaning” of the Lincoln Memorial, says the U.S. government publication, is represented by a “ubiquitous symbol that is all over the shrine, inside and out.  That symbol is the fasces, a bundle of rods bound by a leather thong.”  This symbol reveals “the higher meaning of the memorial and the man [Lincoln],” according to the U.S. government.

The article explains that the fasces was originally used by the Roman emperors as a “symbol of power and authority,” especially “executive authority” (i.e., dictatorial power).  Someone exercising such authority “could expect his orders to be obeyed, could dole out punishment, and could execute those who disobeyed,” the government document approvingly states.  This is the “true meaning” of the shrine to Abraham Lincoln, says the government.  It has nothing to do with governmental protection of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness or any of the other ideas of the founding generation; by the government’s own admission it is a shrine to fascist authoritarianism, the kind of American state that was ushered in by the Lincoln administration.

The rods of the fasces, the article continues, “suggest punishment by beating.”  The axe “suggests beheading” of those who disobey the state’s orders.  “Power, strength, authority, and justice” are what the fasces (where the word fascism comes from, by the way) mean, says the U.S. government.  They symbolize “the power and authority of the state over the citizens . . .”

In other words, what the Lincoln Memorial represents, according to the government that built it, is that the people are the servants, not the masters, of the state.  They had better obey their rulers’ dictates – or else.  The purpose of government is not to secure our natural rights to life, liberty, and property, but to centrally plan our lives and to punish us if we object or disobey the state’s orders.  Lest Americans balk at associating their government with the brutal and barbaric Roman dictators this symbol of the Roman empire is said to have been “Americanized,” the article explains, by placing an cute little eagle above some of the fasces on and around the Lincoln Memorial.

More than 150 years of relentless state propaganda deified not just Lincoln the man, but all of his unconstitutional, dictatorial behavior, from the illegal suspension of habeas corpus, the shutting down of hundreds of opposition newspapers in the North, the mass arrest of tens of thousands of political dissenters without due process, to committing treason by invading the sovereign Southern States (Article 3, Section 3 of the Constitution defines treason as “only” levying war upon the free and independent states, as they are called in the Declaration of Independence), deporting an opposing congressman from Ohio, and much more.  Is there any wonder that the Coronavirus Planned-demic led so immediately to an orgy of authoritarianism from hundreds of mini-Mussolinis (i.e., governors, mayors, city councils)?  If you want to know where the notion came from that the constitution can (and should) be suspended whenever there is an “emergency,” look no farther than the Lincoln Memorial and who and what it represents.  If you want to know why governors, mayors, and other pipsqueak local politicians think that they will actually be praised by acting like dictatorial tyrants, shutting down businesses on a whim, destroying the livelihoods of their citizens, and enforcing their petty “orders” with heavily-armed and militarized local police, look no farther than the symbolic meaning of the Lincoln Memorial and the man who it has helped to deify.  Even foreign despots invoke “Saint Lincoln” to “justify” their tyranny.  When the former Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf imposed martial law on his country he “justified” it by saying that Abraham Lincoln had done the same thing in his day.

None of the “lockdown orders” and dictates was constitutional, despite the fact that every last one of them took an oath of office in which they pledged to protect and defend the Constitution.  None of the “orders” were actual laws passed by legislatures but were the mere words of clueless, power-mad politicians.  The glorification of “executive power” has now totally overthrown the quaint notion of the founding generation that the people should be the masters rather than the servants of the state, that government’s just powers depend on the consent of the governed, and that the state should be “bound by the chains of the Constitution,” as Jefferson once said.  Today we have top advisors to  presidents saying such things as “Stroke of a pen, law of the land.  Kinda cool,” as  Bill Clinton advisor Paul Begala once remarked.

The Constitution itself has long been essentially meaningless in that regard, and a key reason for this is the glorification of unconstitutional executive power that really began during what generations of historians have labeled – and generally praised as — “the Lincoln dictatorship.”   If this is acceptable to Americans, then fascist authoritarianism is what they will get and deserve – “good and hard” — as H.L. Mencken once put it.

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Climate Change at Fox News – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on April 25, 2020

Drowning in the swamp. Holding hands with Trump on the way down.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/04/no_author/climate-change-at-fox-news/

By Steve Hall

There has been a drastic change in the climate at Fox News.  We used to think of them as a counter-balance to the “mainstream media”; an alternative perspective, with “balance” and yes, with a healthy dose of skepticism about all things government.  Then suddenly, inexplicably, Fox News jumped on the hysteria bandwagon.

– – – – –

Imagine this:  an old white guy is elected President, with AOC as his running mate.  The old guy can no longer do the job, perhaps perishes, and AOC becomes President.  She immediately sounds the alarm:  the threat from climate change, the destruction of the earth, is imminent.  She shows the models and presents the science.  The media shouts “armageddon” day after after day, incessantly, with a parade of experts who agree.

AOC says that we knew this was coming and yet we did not prepare.  That we had ten years, but now there is no time left.  The public is whipped into fear and mass hysteria.  AOC declares a national emergency and a “War on Climate Change” and the people acquiesce.  She orders temporary measures to cut the use of carbon-based fuel: shuts down oil production; shuts down cruise ships; restricts airline flights; orders people not to drive unless it is essential; and shuts down all frivolous activities.  But the two-week “temporary” shutdown quickly turns into another month, and then another, with no end in sight.

People comply voluntarily.  “Everyone agrees” that this must be done.  But voluntary soon turns to mandatory.  Guidelines, when administered by bureaucrats, become arbitrary laws.  Because the economy is so interconnected, because all workers are essential, the economic impact begins to grow and spread.  Hundreds of thousands of workers are unemployed.  Businesses are bankrupted.  The effects ripple through the entire economy and cause a deep recession.  AOC promises to make everyone whole and initiates massive Federal spending, with Congress happily agreeing (it buys them votes, and would be so politically incorrect to question, let alone dissent).

The Federal government has no money except which it first takes from the people; the shutdown drastically reduces the money coming in.  The Federal government has no savings; they were already deep in debt.  The “Fed” was out of “ammunition”; interest rates had been held artificially low for years and they had already been doing bailouts and QE to keep the economy propped up.  So all of the AOC stimulus and Federal aid has to come from additional, excessive debt, or from what amounts to printing money out of thin air.  America wobbles on the verge of an unprecedented depression, perhaps total economic collapse.

– – – – –

Now try to imagine Fox News jumping on board with AOC in that scenario.  Not questioning the models.  Not presenting other perspectives and alternative views.  Not considering the consequences.  In fact, doing just the opposite – sounding the alarm and promoting the panic, actually encouraging the shut downs!   Unimaginable?  Many of us thought so.  Yet that is exactly what they did with this virus!

Tucker Carlson was one of the very first, sensationalizing how dangerous this could be, urging Federal action.  Within weeks, every Fox News anchor was on board, not only agreeing with the unprecedented step of shutting down the nation, but also with the dangerous, dictator-like experiment of quarantining people who were not sick!

That was, in fact, pretty much what communist China did.  Except in America it was to be  “guidelines”?  Voluntary?  Temporary?  No, it’s turning out to be mandatory.  And once that hysteria was in place, the momentum is to remain shutdown, especially from those who have acquired new powers.  “Flatten the curve” we did, but now the new goal seems to be “no new cases” (an impossible goal in any realistic time frame) or “until there is a vaccine.”  A vaccine, by the way, is no silver bullet; we have had seasonal flu vaccines for years and people still die.

Today at Fox, they repeat, “We all know that we had to do it” while at the same time scrambling to address how we avoid the inevitable economic consequences (which would have been so obvious to anyone who bothered to think about that before taking the leap).  But just like the AOC story, we have shut down oil production; shut down cruise ships; and restricted air travel and driving.  But we went even further, locking down a majority of the population, shuttering most businesses.  Now we have the unemployment and the bankruptcies.  And the politicians are making the ludicrous promise that no one will suffer financially.

So now Fox News folks are resorting to the CNN approach – attacking – complaining about a Governor who makes arbitrary rules, how awful that is.  Do you really expect any different when you make such a leap toward authoritarianism?  That’s what always happens when you replace the Rule of Law with the Laws of Rulers.  Why has Fox News not been interviewing Rush Limbaugh and Judge Napolitano and Lieutenant Dan Patrick and Doctor Ron Paul from the very outset?  Why are they arguing that some are “taking it too far” when they never should have been allowed to “take it” in the first place?

It was a mistake to shut down the country.  Because of economic repercussions, of course.  But also in our loss of liberties, another huge step toward an authoritarian America.  Not to mention that the deaths that result long-term are very likely to far exceed the death toll from the virus.  Especially if our economy collapses.  Or if we experience hyperinflation.  Or we we engage in a huge new hot war to “pull us out of the depression”.

What is so sad and disheartening now is the refusal of Fox News to admit that the shutdown was a mistake, or to even entertain the idea that it might have been.  I guess they are in CYA mode, just like so many politicians.  Instead, they continue to straddle the fence – “we all agree that we had to do it, but now we need to decide how best to open up.”  They continue to promote the theory that “if we hadn’t done it, it would have been much worse” – – when there is no valid data to support that (we’ll likely, eventually, prove that theory to be false).

Where are the models and the what-ifs and the projections about what might have happened if we had not shut down?  If we had Instead just issued the guidelines and encouraged people to act responsibly?  Even on Fox, that discussion seems to be off limits.

We were never going to stop this virus, because it is so contagious; they told us that from the beginning.  The bottom line is this:  if someone is afraid, has underlying health issues – in fact for for any reason at all – they have the option of self-isolating.  If they do, and if they sanitize incoming, wash their hands, and don’t touch their face, then they will not get the virus!  (Or at least the chances are so slim as to be statistically negligible.)  No one is stopping them!

But many people are willing to take the small risk.  After contact, there’s maybe a 50/50 chance of contracting the virus.  Of those that do get infected, only 4% will get seriously ill.  In other words 96% – ninety-six percent – will experience mild symptoms, or none at all.  The risk of dying from Covid-19 looks to be about the same as from the flu just a few years ago.  Less total deaths than from driving automobiles.

It is pure irony to see the “awful mainstream media” and Fox News on the same page!  Promoting mass hysteria, crazy models, and un-vetted “science”.  Let alone supporting a national lock down and lock up.  Ironic, too, that it is the Washington Post, of all people, now questioning these trillions of dollars of spending and debt.  Maybe their objectives really are no different?  This pandemic, and our response, is revealing the crumbling infrastructure of the American experiment and our Constitutional Republic.  Perhaps we were unprepared do defend against this latest virus (it is, after all, one of about 200), but neither was Fox News prepared to defend our liberty.

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They Are Rolling Out The Architecture Of Oppression Now Because They Fear The People – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on April 13, 2020

“World Health Organization executive director Dr. Michael Ryan said surveillance is part of what’s required for life to return to normal in a world without a vaccine. However, civil liberties experts warn that the public has little recourse to challenge these digital exercises of power once the immediate threat has passed,” reads a recent VentureBeat article titled “After coronavirus, AI could be central to our new normal“.

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2020/04/11/they-are-rolling-out-the-architecture-of-oppression-now-because-they-fear-the-people/

“As authoritarianism spreads, as emergency laws proliferate, as we sacrifice our rights, we also sacrifice our capability to arrest the slide into a less liberal and less free world,” NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden said in a recent interview. “Do you truly believe that when the first wave, this second wave, the 16th wave of the coronavirus is a long-forgotten memory, that these capabilities will not be kept? That these datasets will not be kept? No matter how it is being used, what is being built is the architecture of oppression.”

“Apple Inc. and Google unveiled a rare partnership to add technology to their smartphone platforms that will alert users if they have come into contact with a person with Covid-19,” reads a new report from Bloomberg. “People must opt in to the system, but it has the potential to monitor about a third of the world’s population.”

“World Health Organization executive director Dr. Michael Ryan said surveillance is part of what’s required for life to return to normal in a world without a vaccine. However, civil liberties experts warn that the public has little recourse to challenge these digital exercises of power once the immediate threat has passed,” reads a recent VentureBeat article titled “After coronavirus, AI could be central to our new normal“.

“White House senior adviser Jared Kushner’s task force has reached out to a range of health technology companies about creating a national coronavirus surveillance system to give the government a near real-time view of where patients are seeking treatment and for what, and whether hospitals can accommodate them, according to four people with knowledge of the discussions,” reads a recent article by Politico, adding, “But the prospect of compiling a national database of potentially sensitive health information has prompted concerns about its impact on civil liberties well after the coronavirus threat recedes, with some critics comparing it to the Patriot Act enacted after the 9/11 attacks.”

“Mass surveillance methods could save lives around the world, permitting authorities to track and curb the spread of the novel coronavirus with speed and accuracy not possible during prior pandemics,” The Intercept‘s Sam Biddle wrote last week, adding, “There’s a glaring problem: We’ve heard all this before. After the September 11 attacks, Americans were told that greater monitoring and data sharing would allow the state to stop terrorism before it started, leading Congress to grant unprecedented surveillance powers that often failed to preempt much of anything. The persistence and expansion of this spying in the nearly two decades since, and the abuses exposed by Snowden and others, remind us that emergency powers can outlive their emergencies.”

As we discussed recently, it’s an established fact that power structures will seize upon opportunities to roll out oppressive authoritarian agendas under the pretense of protecting ordinary people, when in reality they’d been working on advancing those agendas since long before the crisis being offered as the reason for them. It happened with 9/11, and we may be certain that it is happening now.

The reason for this is simple: the powerful are afraid of the public. They always have been. For as long as there has been government power, there has been the fear that the people will realize the power of their numbers and overthrow the government that is in power. And understandably so; it has happened many times throughout history.

This is more the case now than ever. The oppressive, exploitative nature of neoliberalism has created a dissatisfaction that’s converged with humanity’s historically unprecedented ability to network and share information, which has seen anti-government protests and movements arising all around the world. Despite the longstanding media blackout on the Yellow Vests protests in France, you may be absolutely certain that eyes widened and leaders snapped to attention all around the planet when the words “We’ve chopped off heads for less than this” were scrawled in graffiti on the Arc de Triomphe during the early days of the demonstrations.

Leaders are made vastly more fearful and skittish by the fact that this dissatisfaction with the current world order just happens to be occurring at a time when that world order is already at its most tenuous point in decades, with a surging China poised to surpass the US as a superpower on the world stage and collaborating with Russia and other unabsorbed nations to create a truly multipolar world. It becomes much more difficult to control dominant narratives in a way that can effectively manufacture consent for the aggression that will be necessary to freeze and reverse this shift away from unipolar domination when the denizens of that unipolar empire are out in the streets demanding its downfall.

And so of course internet censorship is being ramped up as well, with the mass media demanding that plutocrat-owned tech companies do more to combat coronavirus “disinformation” and these government-allied tech giants all too happy to oblige. In a recent escalation in this ongoing trend, Youtube changed its rules and began deleting videos accordingly after David Icke said there is a connection between coronavirus and 5G in a controversial video on that platform. Youtube is owned by Google, which has been a military-intelligence contractor with ties to the CIA and NSA since its very inception; you don’t have to like Icke or his views to be repulsed by the idea of this institution manipulating human communication with an increasingly iron fist.

The escalations in internet censorship and the escalations in surveillance are both directed at a last-ditch effort to control the masses before control is lost forever, and neither are intended to be rolled back when the threat of the virus is over. People are now off the streets, with their communications being restricted and the devices they carry in their pockets being monitored with more and more intrusiveness. There are of course some good faith actors who legitimately want to protect people from the virus, just as there were some good faith actors who wanted to protect people from terrorism after 9/11, but where there is power and fear of the public there will be an agenda to reel in the freedom of the masses.

Journalist Jonathan Cook said it best when he wrote, “Our leaders are terrified. Not of the virus – of us.”

__________________________________

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

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COVID-19: The “Experts” Have No Crystal Ball | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on March 27, 2020

To believe in the utility of central planning you must be able to fall for the idea that someone somewhere has a crystal ball. Individual freedom is not only moral, it provides utility and risk mitigation in moments of crisis, precisely like the one we now face.

American federalism provides for fifty experiments. Individual freedom in America provides for 330 million experiments. Some win, some lose. That’s life. Authoritarianism that drags everyone down a common path merely ensures that all will eventually lose.

https://mises.org/wire/covid-19-experts-have-no-crystal-ball?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=9b99efe5d7-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_9_21_2018_9_59_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-9b99efe5d7-228343965

On the night of Tuesday, November 8, 2016, and in the wee hours of Wednesday, November 9, 2016, Donald Trump became US president-elect. I am not aware of a single media source that predicted that. Many predicted Hillary Clinton would win. Some stayed out of the fortune-telling game.

The most striking thing was the lack of admission running up to election night that the experts were all making guesses. “Of course they were making guesses, no one has a crystal ball,” the rational observer might say, but petabytes have been dedicated to making the social sciences and all of their guesswork appear like, well, “science.” That means that it’s all very measurable and clear, when it actually isn’t.

Science, on the other hand, is science. Observable details can be used to solidify hypotheses into theory. Sometimes facts are even arrived at, though theory is usually the best a scientist can hope for.

And then there is the murky area between the two, where scientists use models to predict the future.

This starts to look a lot like when psephologist (election scientist), sabermetrician, and prognosticator Nate Silver in the weeks and months before the 2016 election replaced the term “algorithm” with the suggestion of fact, or referenced a peer-reviewed, proprietary model that one is supposed to believe tells the future. There is no question that the vast portion of social scientists who make predictions want their model to be seen as a crystal ball. “Algorithm” is a fancy word for “guess.” “Model” is a fancy word for “guess.”

The work is built on presumptions that are not philosophically or logically solid, but then a lot of math is used to cover up the illogical and unsteady foundations.

Hundreds of academic authors that I encounter over the course of a year cannot have a logically sound conversation or write logically sound arguments. They fail at the foundation of their arguments, yet proceed to built atop that unsteady foundation, knowing that few will notice. This is intellectual dishonesty, also known as lying. So rooted they are in the social scientist’s belief that their field is a science and that modeling can plausibly predict the future that some may not even be aware of the fundamental shortcomings of such a professional outlook. Yes, perhaps they themselves do not even notice the lie that they profess.

There are economists that put lots of math on top of bad presumptions. Metrics can be incredibly valuable in understanding a discipline or theory. When the logical foundation is faulty, though, the metrics may simply be window-dressing that adds legitimacy where none belongs. Complicated terminology can have the same purpose. Laymen have long understood that con-artist politicians, con-artist salesmen, and con-artist academics alike have opaque jargon, the use of which seems to demonstrate an unwillingness to be understood.

Warwick McKibbin and Roshen Fernando of Australian National University, the authors of a paper about the tens of millions who will die from coronavirus that has been widely cited in the media (“The Global Macroeconomic Impacts of COVID-19: Seven Scenarios“) show off their crystal ball.

To their credit, the corona prognosticators did a good job of stating pretty clearly: “We don’t really know what we are talking about; we are really just guessing” (actual quote: “These results are very sensitive to the assumptions in the model, to the shocks we feed in and to the assumed macroeconomic policy responses in each countries [sic]”), and “Our scary death counts are not reliable and are not even the focus of our work or this paper, we are doing this to provide some sort of economic estimate for people to start working with” (actual quote: “The goal is not to be definitive about the virus outbreak but to provide important information about a range of possible economic costs of the disease. At the time of writing this paper, the probability of any of these scenarios and the range of plausible alternatives are highly uncertain. In the case where COVID-19 develops into a global pandemic, our results suggest that the cost can escalate quickly”).

They also openly admit, “Our intent is to profess political support for global bureaucratic structures in health and medicine and to call for shifts toward better funded and socialized medical systems” (Actual quote: “Many governments have been reluctant to invest sufficiently in their health care systems, let alone public health systems in less developed countries….This study indicates the possible costs that can be avoided through global cooperative investment in public health in all countries”).

The most important takeaway from the paper is not a prognostication, but an observation from the past, the notion that social contagion is the great ill that results from an outbreak, not the contagion itself: “From studying many outbreaks, the real risk is not the disease but public and governmental reaction to the fear of the disease,” (Actual quote: “The fear of an unknown deadly virus is similar in its psychological effects to the reaction to biological and other terrorism threats and causes a high level of stress, often with longer-term consequences (Hyams et al., 2002). A large number of people would feel at risk at the onset of a pandemic, even if their actual risk of dying from the disease is low.”)

If you read the 44-page paper, uncertainty around the data and biases are disclosed by the authors.

But the media took it and ran with it for a salacious headline. The Chicken Littles of the world ran with it. The politicians, emergency services, military, and public health bureaucrats, seeking greater control for themselves, ran with it.

This is all predictable. What is far from predictable is whether you or I will believe any of this salacious nonsense. We don’t need to fall for it. We can look at the prognostication of 15 million deaths by corona, along with anyone who cites it as if it were fact, and challenge them quietly or openly as a heretofore discredited and unreliable person using an unreliable source in a moment where reliable journalism and sources are so badly needed.

Generations, centuries, millennia of humans around the globe have known what November 2016 reminded an entire country of: no one has a crystal ball.

Let us not forget this valuable lesson so quickly.

Will you be a willing megaphone to Chicken Little? Will you laugh at the nonsense, or will you be among those who chase Chicken Little into the henhouse where he belongs?

Whatever you choose, any person lying to you—economist, social scientist, prognosticator—deserves the same skeptical treatment across disciplines, because charlatans find their way into every discipline.

No matter how much modeling they do, the underlying truth is that no one has a crystal ball. Everyone is guessing. The experts didn’t know in 2016 how the election would shape up. The experts don’t know now how corona will shape up. Don’t sacrifice basic liberties to an expert claiming to have a crystal ball. Don’t sacrifice your basic sense of self to an expert claiming to have a crystal ball. Don’t offer the power of your fear, the power of your belief, and certainly not the power of your trust to an expert claiming to have a crystal ball.

Skepticism is the proper tool to use with any holder of any crystal ball. That is true, regardless of the complexity of the algorithm that they claim shows irrefutable proof of what the future will bring one day from now, one year from now, or one century from now.

The future is unknown to us and investing all of a society’s options in one path is detrimental to a successful outcome. One way that free societies have long prospered is by allowing individuals to produce many varying paths, some of which work, some of which fail. That is the risk mitigation method of freedom and individual choice. A single, unified path that no one may oppose removes a great deal of risk mitigation and forces many to make a single bet on a single path. That is a truly foolish idea given the fact that no one has a crystal ball.

To believe in the utility of central planning you must be able to fall for the idea that someone somewhere has a crystal ball. Individual freedom is not only moral, it provides utility and risk mitigation in moments of crisis, precisely like the one we now face.

American federalism provides for fifty experiments. Individual freedom in America provides for 330 million experiments. Some win, some lose. That’s life. Authoritarianism that drags everyone down a common path merely ensures that all will eventually lose.

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Bombs vs Bridges – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on July 23, 2019

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/07/no_author/bombs-vs-bridges-how-two-empires-are-competing-for-their-version-of-the-new-world-order/

By Brandon Turbeville
The Organic Prepper

There is a crisis in the Western world. Both in terms of domestic affairs and foreign policy, Western nations are showing all signs of impending collapse. This is despite the fact that the flagship of the Western world, the United States, continues to expand its empire across the globe. At the same time, the world is witnessing the “rise of China,” an empire in its own right though no one seems to have any interest in calling it what it is.

The American empire has come to terms with itself to some extent. Through all the claims of support for “democracy” and “freedom,” the United States has transitioned to an authoritarian state at home and a rampaging military of conquest abroad. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, Egypt, Somalia, Niger, Cameroon, Nigeria, Venezuela, Chad and Mali all serve as hot battles for the American military (in cooperation with other Western militaries, including Australia) in service of forcing governments into accepting the rule of private central banksbig biotechnology firms, pharmaceutical and industrial corporations and forcing those nations into providing raw materials for major industry centered in the Western world…

But the US is definitely not alone in this.

China is also an empire and it is also marching across the globe attempting to expand its influence and control. However, most Westerners do not recognize it as such and even those anti-imperialist journalists in the alternative media find it difficult if not impossible to call China what it is; an expanding empire. Like the United States, China’s empire is one based on authoritarianism and control, though placing the collective in an even higher priority than its American competitor. Domestically, it has surpassed America in totalitarianism though the US is running as quickly as it can to the Marxist slaughterhouse.

The main reason China is still seen as a victim of American aggression rather than a mutual purveyor of imperialism is the fact that the boots of Chinese empire march much softer than the American version. While the US offers sticks, China offers carrots, albeit tainted ones. The US offers threats of overthrow and chaos, China offers roads and industry. The US offers bombs, China offers bridges…

The Chinese Strategy

With the exception of its domestic oppression, China’s expansion of empire has been largely bloodless. It has focused on the maintenance of its status as a “developing nation” as well as benefiting from Free Trade globalism, the intentional de-industrialization of the West (particularly the United States) and the tyrannical repression of individual rights at home. China’s slave labor industrial model [see here also] has made it the number one dumping spot for jobs that once provided high wages and high living standards to workers in America and, though raising some Chinese out of the poverty of rural areas, has simply moved them to the poverty of the city. With its excessively long hours, authoritarian work culture, extreme pollution, and low living standards, China has made the Chinese people into the collective Mao slaughtered so many to bring about, a mass able to be molded and adapted to serve the whims of the ruling class.

China has used the designation of “developing nation” to its greatest benefit, allowing it to skirt virtually all environmental regulations, turning the country into a toxic cesspit of pollution, chemical pools, and fake food. Its “developing nation” status allows it to avoid the obnoxious “climate change” regulations that have hastened the de-industrialization of the West and heralds the low living standards that have already begun to make themselves manifest wherever climate hysteria takes hold.

Likewise, China has willingly acted as a depository for the Free Trade system, allowing it to soak up jobs and industry that should have remained in the West providing high wages and high living standards for Americans. Unfortunately, however, both the left and the right, as well as the well-meaning but uninformed middle have supported this transition under the name of Free Trade. But the result is not just the weakening of American economic might, it is the growth of China’s economic and, hence, political power…

The Strategy Of Bridges

While the US bombs its way across the world, threatening to overthrow uncooperative governments at the slightest sign of resistance, China has chosen to play the long game, armed with centralized economic control and captured American industry at its command, by using its economic might and promised (often real) guarantees of economic growth to the third and “developing” world. What China offers is development, infrastructure, and economic growth but what it takes in return is influence and control over sovereign affairs. Much like its position of holding America’s debt, China holds critical infrastructure and the purse strings of investment and growth. If one decides to balk at Chinese wishes, they will not face a color revolution or bombs, they will face having the financial spigot cut off. What happens after that is a natural flow of events that will most likely benefit the Chinese, as whoever is able to manage to get that spigot on is likely to be the next one holding the seat of power.

One such example of the rapid expansion of Chinese influence in world affairs is the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative. OBOR is a global “development initiative” launched publicly by the Chinese government in 152 countries and “international organizations” spanning the globe in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. The “Belt” aspect of OBOR refers to overland routes as well as road and rail routes (aka “Silk Road Economic Belt”) and the “road” aspect involves the sea routes, the 21st Century “Maritime Silk Road.” Interestingly enough, the plan involves the improvement of infrastructure on land routes that equate to the old Silk Road. It is essentially the creation of a trading network controlled and owned by the Chinese government.

But the Chinese initiative is about much more than mere trade routes. It is a neo-colonial project that is using the carrots of trade and infrastructure held in front of the third world as bait, while the subservience of the recipient nations is what is paid in return. Not all third world countries see sovereignty as a willing trade for infrastructure crumbs, however. In 2018, for instance, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad canceled a number of Chinese-funded projects warning that “there is a new version of Colonialism happening.”…

China is going after other countries with “debt traps”

Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, and Zambia have already suffered such consequences from China and Sri Lanka also has a story tell. To get an idea of how the Chinese “debt trap” works, examine the article “How China Got Sri Lanka To Cough Up A Port,” written by Maria Abi-Habib published in the New York Times on June 25, 2018.” Habib writes,

Every time Sri Lanka’s president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, turned to his Chinese allies for loans and assistance with an ambitious port project, the answer was yes.

Yes, though feasibility studies said the port wouldn’t work. Yes, though other frequent lenders like India had refused. Yes, though Sri Lanka’s debt was ballooning rapidly under Mr. Rajapaksa.

Over years of construction and renegotiation with China Harbor Engineering Company, one of Beijing’s largest state-owned enterprises, the Hambantota Port Development Project distinguished itself mostly by failing, as predicted. With tens of thousands of ships passing by along one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, the port drew only 34 ships in 2012.

And then the port became China’s.

Mr. Rajapaksa was voted out of office in 2015, but Sri Lanka’s new government struggled to make payments on the debt he had taken on. Under heavy pressure and after months of negotiations with the Chinese, the government handed over the port and 15,000 acres of land around it for 99 years in December.

The transfer gave China control of territory just a few hundred miles off the shores of a rival, India, and a strategic foothold along a critical commercial and military waterway.

The case is one of the most vivid examples of China’s ambitious use of loans and aid to gain influence around the world — and of its willingness to play hardball to collect.

The debt deal also intensified some of the harshest accusations about President Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road Initiative: that the global investment and lending program amounts to a debt trap for vulnerable countries around the world, fueling corruption and autocratic behavior in struggling democracies.

It should be noted that a sizeable portion of Chinese money was also funneled directly to the Sri Lankan President and his aides, ensuring that he and his administration would be more willing to agree to the ridiculous Chinese terms.

As far what lies ahead for Djibouti, ‘The debt with China increases exponentially. They are going to take this port, just like they did in Sri Lanka,’ Doualeh Egueh Ofleh, a deputy in the National Assembly with the opposition Movement for Democratic Renewal and Development told ISS Today.

This is what lies ahead for all the nations who take part in China’s OBOR initiative.

OBOR Is About Free Trade

With China expected to invest around $1.3 trillion in infrastructure projects across the globe, it should be remembered that what China is promoting is not even a plan designed to protect the Chinese economy, it is a Free Trade network that will see China at the helm of the exploitation of workers, worker’s rights, and the environment.

OBOR is not about fighting against Free Trade with the cooperation of third world countries, it is about expanding exploitation to those countries with a Chinese flavor instead of the Western Anglo version.

That, in a nutshell, is what Free Trade is all about. Indeed, Free Trade and colonialism have always existed side by side. The two are virtually inseparable…

How Could The US Turn It Around?

If the United States wishes to maintain its influence on the world stage, it must abandon its desires for an empire and it must cease attempting to force systems of government upon sovereign nations, particularly the Anglo-financier system. If the United States does not wish to see its influence eroded and eliminated in the coming decades, it must focus on providing tangible improvement in the lives of the citizens of the countries it wishes to influence and it must do so through an open and honest channel, unlike the Chinese debt trap and unlike and most unlike the carpet bombing American version. America has done everything in its power to squander the enormous good will many of the world’s people had in the past and still continue to have for it today. However, that need not be the case. America could once again establish good will for generations to come if it decides to influence the world by improving the living standards of its people. America’s legacy must cease to be war and destabilization and instead must become clean water, clean air, industry, infrastructure, and freedom…

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America's sport

Government’s favorite sport-War

 

 

 

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Not All Teens are Begging for their Rights to be Taken | The Daily Bell

Posted by M. C. on April 18, 2018

What do you think will be the result on society, when generations of children have been brought up indoctrinated to think that it is normal for the government to search them, monitor them, question them, and dictate every second of their day?

But the theory behind free-range parenting has merit. It is based on the science that says coercion leads to psychological problems….

http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/not-all-teens-are-begging-for-their-rights-to-be-taken/

By Joe Jarvis

Authoritarianism creeps in from seemingly unlikely places…

And yet the media has manipulated teens into marching not to have their human rights restored, but to take more of their rights away. They want to make sure no one under 21 can protect themselves.

This again is one of those things that sounds like a reasonable idea.

“Teenagers are unstable, we don’t want them having guns!”

Of course, 15-year-old gang members already seem quite capable of getting guns. And basically any 15-year-old in America can get cigarettes, alcohol, and illegal drugs.

So instead of protecting “kids,” and protecting society from “kids,” these rules serve only to infantilize teensIt is a spiral–as teens are more restricted, they lash out in protest, which is used as further evidence of the need to restrict them. Read the rest of this entry »

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