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Rand Paul Is Right about the Nazis and Socialism | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on October 18, 2020

https://mises.org/wire/rand-paul-right-about-nazis-and-socialism?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=ae1f73d0a3-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_10_02_06_25_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-ae1f73d0a3-228343965

David Gordon

In “No, the Nazis Were Not Socialists,” which appeared online in Jacobin, the philosopher Scott Sehon makes a surprising claim. In the course of criticizing some remarks by Senator Rand Paul, Sehon says,

Paul seems to quote the mid-century economist Ludwig von Mises:

Under national socialism there was, as Mises put it, “a superficial system of private ownership…[sic] but the Nazis exerted unlimited, central control of all economic decisions.” With profit and production dictated by the state, industry worked the same as if the government had confiscated all the means of production, making economic prediction and calculation impossible.…

It turns out that Paul’s most clear assertion about Nazi control of the economy was, apparently, just something that the senator made up and falsely attributed to Ludwig von Mises.

Had Sehon looked into Mises’s views more carefully, he would have found that Mises did indeed believe that Nazism was a form of socialism, marked by state direction of the economy rather than collective ownership. In Omnipotent Government (p. 56), Mises says,

The German and the Russian systems of socialism have in common the fact that the government has full control of the means of production. It decides what shall be produced and how. It allots to each individual a share of consumer’s goods for his consumption….The German pattern differs from the Russian one in that it (seemingly and nominally) maintains private ownership of the means of production and keeps the appearance of ordinary prices, wages, and markets. There are, however, no longer entrepreneurs but only shop managers (Betriebsführer)….The government, not the consumers, directs production. This is socialism in the outward guise of capitalism. Some labels of capitalistic market economy are retained but they mean something entirely different from what they mean in a genuine market economy.

Sehon says that this view is false and cites an article I have not yet been able to gain access to that argues that business under the Nazis retained a large degree of autonomy. But in his well-received book The Wages of Destruction (2007), the historian Adam Tooze says this: “The German economy, like any modern economy, could not do without imports of food and raw materials. To pay for these it needed to export. And if this flow of goods was obstructed by protectionism and beggar-my-neighbour devaluations, this left Germany no option but to resort to ever greater state control of imports and exports, which in turn necessitated a range of other interventions” (p. 113). This is exactly Mises’s point. Interventionist measures in the free market such as price control fail to achieve their purpose. This leads the government to add more interventionist measures in an effort to remedy the situation, and continuing this process can quickly lead to socialism.

This is what happened under the Nazis. Businesses that were reluctant to follow the plans of the new order had to be forced into line. One law allowed the government to impose compulsory cartels. By 1936, the Four Year Plan, headed by Hermann Goering, had changed the nature of the German economy. “On 18 October [1936] Goering was given Hitler’s formal authorization as general plenipotentiary for the Four Year Plan. On the following days he presented decrees empowering him to take responsibility for virtually every aspect of economic policy, including control of the business media” (Tooze 2007, pp. 223–24).

Sehon says that there were socialists in the Nazi party, principally Gregor Strasser and his brother Otto, but that their influence ended when Hitler purged this wing of the party in the Night of the Long Knives in 1934. (By the way, Otto was more of a socialist than his brother Gregor, and the latter repudiated his brother’s views as too radical.) This is not entirely accurate. What it ignores is that Josef Goebbels, the influential minister of propaganda, held strongly socialist views despite his personal enmity for Strasser.

According to George Watson,

On 16 June 1941, five days before Hitler attacked the Soviet Union, Goebbels exulted, in the privacy of his diary, in the victory over Bolshevism that he believed would quickly follow. There would be no restoration of the tsars, he remarked to himself, after Russia had been conquered. But Jewish Bolshevism would be uprooted in Russia and “real socialism” planted in its place – “Der echte Sozialismus“. Goebbels was a liar, to be sure, but no one can explain why he would lie to his diaries. And to the end of his days he believed that socialism was what National Socialism was about.

In his article, Sehon criticizes Watson extensively for relying on a book by Otto Wagener, a Nazi who was removed from his position of authority in 1932, but he does not mention Watson’s quotation from Goebbels’s diary.

Goebbels was by no means alone among the Nazis holding power in his radical opinions. Ferdinand Zimmerman, who worked as an important economic planner for the Nazis, had been before their rise to power a contributor under the pen name Ferdinand Fried to the journal Die Tat, edited by Hans Zehrer, and a leading member of a group of nationalist intellectuals known as the Tatkreis. Fried strongly opposed capitalism, analyzing it in almost Marxist terms.

Wilhelm Roepke wrote a devastating contemporary criticism of Fried, now available in translation in his Against the Tide (Regnery, 1969). One of the best scholarly accounts of Fried’s views, which includes some discussion of his activities under the Nazi regime, is in Walter Struve’s Elites against Democracy: Leadership Ideals in Bourgeois Political Thought in Germany, 1890–1933  (Princeton University Press, 1973).

Sehon makes another misleading point in his article. He says,

Paul’s argument here goes from the undeniable premise that the Nazis had “socialist” as part of their name to the conclusion that the Nazis were, in fact, socialists. For that inference to work, Paul needs an intermediate premise like the following: If an organization has an adjective in their name, then the organization is correctly described by that adjective.

But if Senator Paul really believed this, then he would be forced to conclude that communist East Germany and present-day North Korea count as democracies, for the German Democratic Republic and the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea both have the adjective “Democratic” as part of their name.

Sehon is right that the word “socialist” does not by itself tell us much, but unfortunately it does not occur to him to investigate what the Nazis meant by this word and why they used it. Author:

Contact David Gordon

David Gordon is Senior Fellow at the Mises Institute and editor of the Mises Review.

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Rand Paul, Tulsi Gabbard, Thomas Massie, Ron Wyden Join Forces To Unplug the President’s ‘Internet Kill Switch’ – Reason.com

Posted by M. C. on September 29, 2020

https://reason.com/2020/09/25/rand-paul-tulsi-gabbard-thomas-massie-ron-wyden-join-forces-to-unplug-the-presidents-internet-kill-switch/

Civil libertarians on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers of Congress have joined forces to call for canceling a little-known executive power.

Sens. Rand Paul (R–Ky.), Ron Wyden (D–Ore), and Gary Peters (D–Mich.), along with Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (D–Hawaii) and Thomas Massie (R–Ky.), introduced bills this week to abolish the so-called “internet kill switch”—a sweeping emergency executive authority over communications technology that predates World War II.

“No president from either party should have the sole power to shut down or take control of the internet or any other of our communication channels during an emergency,” Paul argued in a statement announcing the Unplug the Internet Kill Switch Act.

The bill aims to revoke Section 706 of the Communications Act of 1934. When that law was passed, there was no internet. But the broad language included in Section 706 means that it could be invoked today to give a president “nearly unchallenged authority to restrict access to the internet, conduct email surveillance, control computer systems, and cell phones,” Gabbard explained in her statement on the bill.

It’s even worse than that. As Michael Socolow wrote in Reason last year, the law is so broad that it effectively gives the president the ability to commandeer any electronic device that emits radiofrequency transmissions. These days, Socolow noted, that includes “everything from your implanted heart device to the blow dryer for your hair. It includes your electric exercise equipment, any smart device (such as a digital washing machine), and your laptop—basically everything in your house that has electricity running through it.”

Since the United States is technically engaged in 35 ongoing “national emergencies“—thanks in large part to an executive branch that has stripped those words of their meaning—we should probably be grateful that President Donald Trump hasn’t yet reached for this power. He’s already invoked Cold War–era laws to impose greater executive control over global commerce in the name of “national security” and has declared illegal immigration to be a national emergency as a political maneuver to redirect funding for a border wall.

Like many presidents before him, Trump seems willing to use whatever powers Congress has foolishly granted to the executive branch to the fullest extent. Congress should claw back what it can.

“With so many Americans relying on the internet to do everything from online banking to telehealth to education, it’s essential that federal law reflect today’s digital world, not the analog world of World War II,” Carl Szabo, general counsel for NetChoice, a nonprofit that advocates for a free and open internet, tells Reason.

How much the federal government could actually do to shut down the internet remains a subject of debate. The very nature of the net—a diffuse network of interconnected computers and servers—makes it virtually impossible for the government to flip a literal on/off switch or push a stereotypical big red button to cut off all Americans.

 

But the Department of Homeland Security does have protocols for shutting down wireless networks during an emergency, which the agency argues could be used to stop a terrorist from detonating a remote bomb. Given that authoritarian leaders in other countries have shut down wide swaths of internet access during periods of unrest, it’s not unfathomable that something similar could happen here.

“When governments around the world turn off internet access, they do significant harm to their national economies and their citizens’ civil rights,” Massie noted in a statement.

In the midst of an election season in which partisan lines have grown more rigid than ever and when neither major political party seems all that interested in pro-freedom policies, this team-up of libertarian-friendly lawmakers is a little heartwarming. Gabbard, Massie, Paul, and Wyden may not find many allies in Congress on this issue—and, indeed, they don’t always agree with one another—but this is one of those issues that might not seem to matter much until suddenly it really does. It’s better not to wait for that moment.

“The internet,” Wyden declared in a statement, “is far too essential to nearly every part of our democratic system—everything from work, to school and free speech—for any president to have unilateral power to turn it off.”

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At the RNC, Rand Paul Is Right About the Need To End Wars, but Trump Hasn’t Ended Any – Reason.com

Posted by M. C. on September 4, 2020

Trump even vetoed a bill that would stop him from military action in Iran without congressional approval.

https://reason.com/2020/08/25/at-the-rnc-rand-paul-is-right-about-the-need-to-end-war-but-trump-hasnt-ended-any/

Tonight Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) spoke on behalf of President Donald Trump’s reelection. His remarks were heavily influenced by Paul’s own longstanding positions against excessive foreign military interventions, but only loosely tied to Trump’s actual record.

“I flew with him to Dover Air Force Base to honor two soldiers whose remains were coming home from Afghanistan,” Paul said. “I will never forget that evening. I can tell you the president not only felt the pain of these families but the president is committed to ending this war.

“President Trump is the first president in a generation to seek to end war rather than start one. He intends to end the war in Afghanistan. He is bringing our men and women home.”

You all may remember that Barack Obama ran for president also promising to end our overseas wars, and it did not happen.

As we approach the end of Trump’s first term, we cannot help but notice that the president has not, in fact, ended any wars and has in fact risked escalation of military engagement between the United States and Iran when he approved the drone-strike assassination of an Iranian general.

It’s true that Trump is promising to bring thousands of troops home from Afghanistan, and that’s wonderful, assuming it all happens and he completes the pullout. The Trump administration is, in reality, resisting any and all attempts by Congress to rescind the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) that previously gave President George W. Bush permission to wage war against Al Qaeda in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In his speech, Paul railed against Biden for supporting this war. But when Congress, in a rare act of bipartisanship, passed a resolution stopping the president in engaging in any further military action against Iran without congressional approval, Trump vetoed it. Paul voted for this resolution and has consistently voted to rescind the AUMF.

And despite Paul’s attempts to insist tonight that Biden and the Democrats will continue overseas wars or start new ones, the congressional record shows that in reality, Democrats have been joining with Paul, agreeing with him in votes to bring the troops back home. It’s actually the White House and hawks within the Republican Party who have really been standing in the way.

Now both the Democratic Party 2020 platform and Trump’s 50-point plan for his second term promise, yet again, to end the wars and bring the troops home. For those who truly oppose foreign military intervention, the appropriate way to look at Trump’s first term is not unlike Obama’s. This promise has not been kept.

Watch more about Trump’s failed promises to end war:

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The anti-war wing of both parties is dead

Posted by M. C. on August 21, 2020

Each candidate has duly recited his lines about ending endless wars and can truthfully point to his opponent’s failure to do likewise. And whoever takes office in January can continue exactly that failure, probably without much political consequence. He can deplore his bombs and drop them too. Americans will remain preoccupied with more immediate domestic concerns; Washington will stay stuck in its interventionist consensus; and those endless wars will live up to their name.

https://news.yahoo.com/anti-war-wing-both-parties-195532097.html

Bonnie Kristian

Elect Joe Biden, former (Republican) Secretary of State Colin Powell said in his Democratic National Convention appearance Tuesday night, and he’ll “restore America’s leadership in the world.”

Powell’s comments were followed by a video touting Biden’s friendship with the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), another heavyweight GOP hawk. Meanwhile, there’s a pro-Biden super PAC of George W. Bush administration alumni, and Biden has racked up support from a who’s who of neoconservatives (Bill Kristol, Max Boot, David Frum, Jennifer Rubin), as commentators left and right have observed.

These alignments highlight an increasingly undeniable fact of American politics in 2020: The anti-war wing of both major parties is dead. Your presidential choice is between war and war. There’s no faction of Republicans or Democrats which combines real power with a durable, principled interest in turning American foreign policy away from global empire.

That’s not to say no one in major-party politics diverges from Washington’s standard-issue military interventionism. There’s Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) challenging Trump administration officials in Senate hearings and seeking to counter Trump’s more hawkish influences on the links. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) has pushed for the U.S. to exit Yemen’s civil war and has slammed the administration’s January dalliance with executive warfare against Iran. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) tries every year to rein in abuses of the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force in Iraq, and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) has spent decades in lonely opposition to military adventurism. As a Democratic presidential candidate this past year, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was more interested in peace than the party establishment which has now twice rejected him as their standard-bearer.

I don’t mean to discount the good work of these and other comparatively anti-war legislators. It is not without effect. There’s some evidence, for example, that Paul steered Trump toward decreasing the U.S. military footprint in Syria. But neither should their ability to retain office confuse us into thinking they have more control over American foreign policy than they do.

The reality is these officials and anyone who agrees with them have little meaningful power on this issue — occasional influence, perhaps, but certainly not power than can be reliably wielded. Paul’s golf course chats with Trump may eke a win from time to time, but this is a lucky backchannel that can be dammed at any moment. It has no formal, institutional authority. This week’s handwringing at Foreign Policy about the supposed ascendancy of “isolationism” on left and right alike is absurd, the foreign policy version of Tucker Carlson’s bizarre claim of libertarian dominance of Washington. The main voices advocating greater restraint in American foreign affairs are not isolationist, and though they kick up quite a ruckus, they have little to no say over actual policy direction. How can anyone look at half a dozen wars and think we have an isolationism problem?

The Trump vs. Biden race only underlines this state of affairs. Neither will give us a foreign policy that can even plausibly be caricatured as isolationism, Trump’s inane protectionism notwithstanding.

The president pays occasional lip service to ending “endless wars” and prioritizing diplomacy (“the greatest deals,” in his parlance), but his better impulses are constantly overcome by his selfishness, short attention span, stupid militarism, and choice of counsel like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Trump has brought us closer to open conflict with China, squandered his chance for productive negotiations with North Korea, exacerbated tensions with Iran, and repeatedly recommitted to enabling Saudi war crimes. What few good foreign policy ideas he hits upon are almost always happenstance byproducts of service to his own political fortunes. He has yet to end a single war.

Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris, are more conventional liberal interventionists than Trump, but the crucial assumption of intervention is same. There are a few points for war critics to like here, including Biden’s vehement opposition to the Obama-era surge in Afghanistan, Harris’s objection to U.S. involvement in Yemen, and their plan to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal. Biden pledges he’ll “end the forever wars in Afghanistan and the Middle East,” but, like Trump, lacks a specific plan to do so. Biden has no apparent interest in Pentagon cuts, has hired some markedly hawkish advisers (are all those neocons going to stick around, too?), and is trying to out-hawk Trump on China. Certainly with Biden we can expect more multilateral diplomacy and fewer reckless tweets, but there’s little reason to think he’ll break the broader foreign policy patterns of the past 20 years.

From a purely political perspective, what’s curious about all this is the mutual foregoing of potential electoral gain. Restraint rhetoric is consistently popular — our last three presidents all campaigned on it to some degree — and public opinion is on a years-long trend toward wanting a smaller U.S. military role abroad, one more tailored to defending U.S. interests, narrowly conceived. You’d think one party or the other would espy an opportunity here.

Or perhaps both already have. Each candidate has duly recited his lines about ending endless wars and can truthfully point to his opponent’s failure to do likewise. And whoever takes office in January can continue exactly that failure, probably without much political consequence. He can deplore his bombs and drop them too. Americans will remain preoccupied with more immediate domestic concerns; Washington will stay stuck in its interventionist consensus; and those endless wars will live up to their name.

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History is on Edward Snowden’s side: Now it’s time to give him a full pardon | TheHill

Posted by M. C. on August 20, 2020

Discussing recent events in an April 2020 interview with journalist and constitutional lawyer Glenn Greenwald, Snowden warned, “Now, the only thing we have left — our rights, our ideals, our values as people — that’s what they’re coming for now, that’s what they’re asking us to give up, that’s what they’re wanting to change.

https://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/politics/512587-history-is-on-edward-snowdens-side-now-its-time-to-give-him-a

By Cliff Maloney, Opinion Contributor

It’s been seven years since Edward Snowden rocked the world, and in America the ground is shaking once again.

In a promising turn of events, headlines have seen an unprecedented outpouring of support for Snowden from high-ranking American officials. In a press conference Saturday, President Trump stated that he is “going to take a look at [Snowden’s case] very strongly.” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and two sitting members of Congress, Reps. Justin Amash (L-Mich.) and Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), have also taken to Twitter to support the whistleblower. Equally encouraging is how swiftly all of this has drawn the ire of Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.); in my own experience, when you’ve angered someone with the surname Cheney, you’ve probably done something right.

It is an addictive tendency in politics to feel a sense of history about what it is one is fighting for. Everyone wants to believe that their heroes from ages past are smiling down on them while simultaneously rolling in their graves at the sight of whatever the opposition is doing. But the fact of the matter is that the vast network of scandal-ridden government agencies, clandestine secret courts, and diabolically unconstitutional statutes trying to destroy Snowden hails from a particularly dark, shameful chapter of America’s past.

Snowden stands accused of violating the Espionage Act of 1917, championed by then-President Woodrow Wilson. Passed just two months after America’s entrance into World War I, the law sought to silence criticism of the war effort and crush dissent within the ranks of the armed forces. In his State of the Union address just two years earlier, Wilson begged Congress to pass it, declaring, “Such creatures of passion, disloyalty, and anarchy must be crushed out… they are infinitely malignant, and the hand of our power should close over them at once.”

Now the law has withstood over a century of criticism and legal challenges from civil liberties advocates, and the misery it has inflicted on countless Americans has proven painfully obvious. In 1918, antiwar activist Charles Schenck was arrested for distributing flyers encouraging men to resist the draft. That same year, socialist Eugene V. Debs was sentenced to ten years in prison, deprived of his citizenship, and disenfranchised for life over nothing more than a speech he made criticizing the war. In January 1919, however, the Supreme Court dealt a devastating blow to freedom of speech by concluding that neither’s arrest constituted a violation of the First Amendment.

And these are far from the only people to have been victimized by the very law being used to terrorize Snowden today. A search for just a few of the more well-known cases will yield the stories of journalist Victor L. Berger, activists Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman, former U.S. Army soldier Chelsea Manning, and former Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) employee Henry Kyle Frese.

Discussing recent events in an April 2020 interview with journalist and constitutional lawyer Glenn Greenwald, Snowden warned, “Now, the only thing we have left — our rights, our ideals, our values as people — that’s what they’re coming for now, that’s what they’re asking us to give up, that’s what they’re wanting to change. And remember that, from the perspective of a free society, a virus is a serious problem… but the destruction of our rights is fatal — that’s permanent.” With so much confusion and uncertainty about the future of liberty in America, there has hardly been a more fitting moment for our leaders to stand with freedom by denouncing the ever-expanding reach of the surveillance state.

As the curtains of tyranny close tighter, giving Edward Snowden the full pardon he deserves would provide this much-needed glimmer of hope for privacy in America.

Cliff Maloney is the president of Young Americans for Liberty (YAL).

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Senator Rand Paul Proposes National Ban on No-Knock Police Raids | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on June 20, 2020

Across the country—largely due to the failed drug war—police conduct more than 20,000 no-knock raids a year.

Breonna was murdered during one of them. Countless others are beaten, terrorized, and killed as well, and just like Breonna, cops often act on bad information.

“In theory, no-knock raids are supposed to be used in only the most dangerous situations … In reality, though, no-knock raids are a common tactic, even in less-than-dangerous circumstances,” Vox wrote in an revealing investigation in 2015. Case in point, Breonna Taylor.

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/senator-rand-paul-proposes-national-ban-on-no-knock-police-raids/

by

On Thursday, in a historical move, all 26 members of the Louisville, Kentucky Metro Council voted to pass a ban on no-knock warrants, a measure known as “Breonna’s Law.” The law was named after the former EMT who was gunned down as she slept in her bed by cops raiding the wrong home. The move still needs to be approved by the mayor, but it is revolutionary in precedent.

Image1“This is one of many critical steps on police reform that we’ve taken to create a more peaceful, just, compassionate and equitable community,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said, vowing to sign the bill “soon as it hits my desk.”

While this move is certainly noteworthy and will lead to a massive shift in law enforcement procedure that will undoubtedly save lives, it is reserved solely for the people of Louisville, Kentucky.

So, after this move, Sen. Rand Paul (R) Kentucky, proposed to make this a nationwide ban in one of the most unprecedented anti-police state moves we’ve ever seen.

“After talking with Breonna Taylor’s family, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s long past time to get rid of no-knock warrants. This bill will effectively end no-knock raids in the United States,” Paul said.

As Axios reports, Paul introduced a bill on Thursday that would prohibit federal law enforcement and local police that receive federal funding from entering homes without warning through a “no-knock” warrant, which was reportedly obtained by the officers that shot Louisville resident Breonna Taylor in her home on March 13.

Why it matters: In the wake of nationwide protests against the killing of George Floyd, there’s now a bipartisan consensus that police reform is necessary.

  • Senate Republicans led by Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) are planning a package that would require states to provide data on the use of no-knock warrants, but Paul’s proposal goes even further.
  • House Democrats, meanwhile, have proposed their own bill that would reform police training, make lynching a federal crime, and ban chokeholds and the use of no-knock warrants in drug cases.

As many have pointed out, however, the bill proposed by Democrats is full of questionable language which could end up hindering the already difficult process of seeking transparency in policing. Rand Paul’s proposal we be far more effective at curbing police violence.

Image1 (1)The idea of ceasing the use of no-knock raids is revolutionary when it comes to policing in the United States and its importance cannot be overstated.

Across the country—largely due to the failed drug war—police conduct more than 20,000 no-knock raids a year.

Breonna was murdered during one of them. Countless others are beaten, terrorized, and killed as well, and just like Breonna, cops often act on bad information.

“In theory, no-knock raids are supposed to be used in only the most dangerous situations … In reality, though, no-knock raids are a common tactic, even in less-than-dangerous circumstances,” Vox wrote in an revealing investigation in 2015. Case in point, Breonna Taylor.

A whopping 79 percent of these raids — like the one used to murder Dennis and Rhogena Tuttle in Houston, TX in 2019 — are for search warrants only, mostly for drugs. Just seven percent of no-knock raids are for crisis situations like hostages, barricaded suspects, or active shooters, according to an investigation by the ACLU.

What’s more, the study by the ACLU found that in 36 percent of SWAT deployments for drug searches, and possibly in as many as 65 percent of such deployments, no contraband of any sort was found.

Not only do these raids appear to be mostly unproductive, but they are often carried out on entirely innocent people based on lies, wrong information, or corruption, laying waste to the rights—and lives—of unsuspecting men, women, children, and their pets.

As we’ve seen in the case of Roderick Talley, drug task forces routinely conspire together to raid the homes of innocent people as a means of justifying themselves.

Cops have been routinely caught planting evidence, lying on warrants, and raiding wrong homes, and when we attempt to question this madness, we’re accused of hating cops.

Raiding homes with no-knock warrants was proven so horrifyingly ineffective last year in Houston with the murder Dennis and Rhogena Tuttle, that Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo vowed to end them.

However, unlike the aforementioned bans at the federal and city level, this was the chief simply promising not to do them.

As we reported at the time, in a move TFTP has never seen, the Houston police department is claiming they are taking steps to prevent future scenarios like this from happening—by ceasing the use of no-knock raids.

“The no-knock warrants are going to go away like leaded gasoline in this city,” Acevedo said during a heated town hall meeting on Monday.

“I’m 99.9 percent sure we won’t be using them,” he continued.

Hopefully, this bill receives the bipartisan support it needs to pass and end this violent and destructive practice. It will take us one step closer to one of the most important solutions to ending police brutality, by chipping away at the war on drugs.

 

This article was originally featured at The Free Thought Project

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EconomicPolicyJournal.com: WAKE-UP, Donald! Your Malpracticing Doctors Are The Real Killers

Posted by M. C. on May 17, 2020

https://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2020/05/wake-up-donald-your-malpracticing.html

By David Stockman

If you don’t think the fix is in, please take note of the big news of the morning. Namely, that the allegedly ultra-busy Dr. Fauci had time last evening to ping Sheryl Gay Stolberg, correspondent for the “failing New York Times”, in order to dump a VLCC size tanker- load of cold water on the urgent need to end Lockdown Nation, now.

In a nanosecond, of course, Stolberg was on Twitter and on-line with Fauci’s stern admonition to the restless natives of Flyover America to shut-up and stay put. That way the entire MSM had plenty of time to crank-up a feverish barrage of messaging during Fauci’s actual Senate appearance as to how Red State governors are jumping the gun and putting life and limp in danger throughout the country:

“The major message that I wish to convey to the Senate HLP committee tomorrow is the danger of trying to open the country prematurely,” Fauci wrote in the email, which Stolberg posted on Twitter.

“If we skip over the checkpoints in the guidelines to: ‘Open America Again,’ then we risk the danger of multiple outbreaks throughout the country. This will not only result in needless suffering and death, but would actually set us back on our quest to return to normal,” wrote Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

For god’s sake, WAKE UP, Donald!

The mad doctor’s plot against you (and the American people) is being played out right in public by a camarilla of wanna be public health rulers and their compliant media megaphones, who presume to control all that moves and all that stands still in America.

But for crying out loud, where does this supercilious old geezer come up with “needless suffering and death” if American workers, students, shoppers and consumers are let out of house arrest?

Were not Friday’s catastrophic employment numbers a sufficient wake-up call?

The chart below shows 70 years of monthly change in total US employment. How damn stupid does someone have to be to not recognize that Lockdown Nation has caused the US economy to plunge into such unfathomably deep waters that they have never before even been imagined.

The deepest monthly drop we can find over seven decades is the 1.2 million job loss at the very darkest bottom of the Great Recession in January 2009. But what the Donald’s malpracticing doctors triggered last month was 19X deeper at 22. 4 million.

And they caused this to happen in the context of a wizened business cycle that is off-the- charts 130 months old, and barnacled with debt, malinvestment and speculative excess like never before.

For instance, the current $75 trillion of debt weighing down the US economy is up from an already crushing $52 trillion on the eve of the 2008 finical crisis, and now the butcher’s bill is coming due.

Source: Guggenheim Investments, Haver Analytics. Data as of 12.31.2019.

So what Fauci and the Virus Patrol have decided to stop dead in the water is a badly crippled, hand-to-mouth economy in which the overwhelming share of households and small businesses have no material rainy day funds, no cash reserves and no balance sheet resilience.

In medical terms, the US economy has virtually no antibodies to fight back. Infect it with a massive, sudden loss of incomes and cash flow and you are virtually inviting a pandemic of cancelled orders, ballooning payables, missed rents, credit delinquencies and soaring defaults that will surely ravage America’s body economic in the weeks and months ahead.

So, perforce, we must ask again, for what?

But at least at today’s Senate hearing, the one man in Washington who still has his head screwed on right, Senator Rand Paul, put it right in Fauci semi-quarantined face.

In a word, said the intrepid Senator from Kentucky, where’s the Bubonic Plague?

“The history of this when we look back will be wrong prediction after wrong prediction after wrong prediction…

As much as I respect you, Dr. Fauci, I don’t think you’re the end all, I don’t think you’re the one person that gets to make a decision,” said Paul – who added that we need to “observe with an open eye what happened in Sweden, where the kids kept going to school.”

“The mortality per capita in Sweden is actually less than France, less than Italy, less than Spain, less than Belgium, less than the Netherlands, about the same as Switzerland. But basically I don’t think there’s anybody arguing that what happened in Sweden is an unacceptable result. I think people are intrigued by it, and we should be.”

“I don’t think any of us are certain when we do all these modelings – there have been more people wrong with modeling than right. We’re opening up a lot of economies around the US, and I hope that people who are predicting doom and gloom and saying ‘oh, we can’t do this, there’s going to be a surge’ – will admit when there isn’t a surge.”

Bravo!

Yet with what mendacious malarkey did Fauci counter Senator Paul’s truth?

Why, with an absolute red herring about an ultra-rare childhood disease called Kawasaki Syndrome, which been around since 1968 and that has been mooted as potentially present in a handful of Covid cases in, well, New York (where else?).

Said Fauci,

For example, right now children presenting with COVID-19 who actually have a very strange inflammatory syndrome, very similar to Kawasaki syndrome. I think we better be careful that we are not cavalier in thinking that children are not immune to the deleterious effects.

Oh, really? Read the rest of this entry »

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Fauci’s Song and Dance – American Thinker

Posted by M. C. on May 15, 2020

To Dr. Fauci the U.S. is one big clinical trial and we are lab rats in his experiment. As America dies from bureaucratic asphyxiation, it’s time we got a second opinion

We are trapped in this suicidal national lockdown because Fauci relied on and believed a report from the same doofus who in 2005 predicted that as many as 200 million people would die from the bird flu and in 2009 that British deaths from the swine flu would number 500,000 annually. Deaths numbered 500.

https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2020/05/faucis_song_and_dance.html

Daniel John Sobieski

Dr. Anthony Fauci has never been muzzled by President Trump, as the lamestream media often charged, but maybe he should have been and should be still. Before his tour de farce before the Senate Health Committee, the shy, modest, and unassuming Dr. Fauci emailed a New York Times reporter with a preview of his testimony,  an apocalypse now prediction if we don’t hang on to and follow his sage and expert advice:

Dr. Anthony Fauci emailed New York Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg Monday night with a preview of his message for a Senate hearing on Tuesday in which he warns of “needless suffering and death” if the country opens “prematurely” from the COVID-19 Chinese coronavirus lockdowns…

Stolberg posted Fauci’s message to Twitter:

“The major message that I wish to convey to the Senate HLP committee tomorrow is the danger of trying to open the country prematurely. If we skip over the checkpoints in the guidelines to: ‘Open America Again,’ then we risk the danger of multiple outbreaks throughout the country. This will not only result in needless suffering and death, but would actually set us back on our quest to return to normal.”

Or we could just sit here and wait for a vaccine that may or may not come and may or may not work while our economy atrophies and people turn to drugs, alcohol, child abuse, domestic violence and even suicide as their nest eggs dreams, livelihoods evaporates. Many would argue, and I count myself among them, that Fauci’s consistently wrong advice using consistently wrong computer models has led to needless suffering and death.

Tucker Carlson on his Fox News show recently asked Dr. Marty Makary, professor of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. what he thought of Fauci’s performance thus far and his assessment was not good:

He’s a good laboratory virologist. But you know, in terms of preparing this country, he missed it…

For two months from January 15th when we had our first case confirmed walking around in the United States on U.S. oil until March 15th, with the country latching on to every word he says, he never once prepared this country with anything beyond simple hygiene and basic virology lessons.

He went on the media every day, on every show. Never once did we hear, let’s get ready with more PPE. Let’s build up our stockpiles. Let’s stop nonessential travel. Let’s get more swabs. Let’s build up capacity with reagents and testing.

So, that was a big miss, and I don’t know whether or not to blame him because we all make mistakes, or the entire country putting their faith and stock in one doctor.

Ouch.  His pronouncements have been dangerously and consistently inaccurate, as when he asserted that the coronavirus was nothing to worry about and we should just get on with our lives. As The Hill reported on January 26::

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said Sunday the American public shouldn’t worry about the coronavirus outbreak in China.

“It’s a very, very low risk to the United States,” Fauci said during an interview with radio show host John Catsimatidis.

“But it’s something that we as public health officials need to take very seriously… It isn’t something the American public needs to worry about or be frightened about.”

Or how about his sage advice on masks and the now-you-need-them now-you-don’t flip-flop on CBS’ “60 Minutes” on March 8:

When it comes to preventing coronavirus, public health officials have been clear: Healthy people do not need to wear a face mask to protect themselves from COVID-19.

“There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask,” infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci told 60 Minutes. 

While masks may block some droplets, Fauci said, they do not provide the level of protection people think they do. Wearing a mask may also have unintended consequences: People who wear masks tend to touch their face more often to adjust them, which can spread germs from their hands.

Coronavirus was nothing to worry about. There was no need to wear face masks. Fauci has been the Pied Piper of economic and medical misinformation. After he changed his mind and decided that we needed to shut down the world’s greatest and booming economy, he did so on the basis of bogus models.

First Fauci and Birx used the discredited Ferguson model to persuade Trump to lock down the economy. A New York Times reporter wrote on how apocalyptic nonsense from researcher Neil Ferguson and the Imperial College was used to dupe the White House Coronavirus Task Force and influence President Trump to accept Fauci’s draconian lockdown:

Sweeping new federal recommendations announced on Monday for Americans to sharply limit their activities appeared to draw on a dire scientific report warning that, without action by the government and individuals to slow the spread of coronavirus and suppress new cases, 2.2 million people in the United States could die.

To curb the epidemic, there would need to be drastic restrictions on work, school and social gatherings for periods of time until a vaccine was available, which could take 18 months, according to the report, compiled by British researchers…

…Asked at a news conference with President Trump about what had led to the change in thinking by a White House task force, Dr. Deborah Birx, one of the task force leaders, said new information had come from a model developed in Britain.

We are trapped in this suicidal national lockdown because Fauci relied on and believed a report from the same doofus who in 2005 predicted that as many as 200 million people would die from the bird flu and in 2009 that British deaths from the swine flu would number 500,000 annually. Deaths numbered 500.

Even Fauci must have realized the absurdities of such numbers, for he soon turned to another model from the University of Washington. But that model’s projections on cases and deaths changed enormously and frequently as new data came in, making accurate projections unreliable. Even Fauci noted:

“As we’re getting more data and seeing the positive of effect of mitigation, those numbers are going to be downgraded, as you’ve said,” Dr. Fauci said on Fox News. “I don’t know exactly what the numbers are going to be, but right now it looks like it’s going to be less than the original projection.”

In an article in the Washington Post quoting Dr. Fauci on computer models, he said

…there are too many variables at play in the pandemic to make the models reliable: “I’ve looked at all the models. I’ve spent a lot of time on the models. They don’t tell you anything. You can’t really rely upon models.”

Who elected Dr. Fauci President? Fauci keeps moving the goalposts. First COVID was not a threat. Then it was. We didn’t need masks. Then we did. This is Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown.  Now he tells us we have to wait for a vaccine for his permission to educate our children, worship our God, or visit our doctor?

Home of the brave and land of the free? Thanks to Fauci, we empty our jails so we have room for nail and hair salon owners wanting to feed their children. Fauci warns of needless suffering and death from a premature reopening of the economy he shut down. We are already miserable and dying.

We are dying from conditions not being treated because the hospitals and doctors are limited to so-called essential treatments and services. We are dying from suicide and depression and hopelessness in an atrophied economy. We are dying from vanished nest eggs, retirement plans, and dreams. We are dying from jobs that will never come back and businesses that will never reopen

We are dying in an economy whose upward curve your advice has flattened. You have destroyed the American dream almost singlehandedly and done what no foreign adversary ever could — brought America to its knees.

Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul rightly took Dr. Fauci apart for his apocalyptic Senate testimony:

“If we keep kids out of school for another year, what’s going to happen is the poor and underprivileged kids who don’t have a parent that’s able to teach them at home are not going to learn for a full year,” Paul said.

Paul rebuked Fauci, saying: “I don’t think you’re the end-all. I don’t think you’re the one person who gets to make a decision. We can listen to your advice, but there are people on the other side saying there’s not going to be a surge and that we can safely open the economy.”

I don’t think he’s the end-all either. To Dr. Fauci the U.S. is one big clinical trial and we are lab rats in his experiment. As America dies from bureaucratic asphyxiation, it’s time we got a second opinion

 

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Rand Paul Proves Once Again He Is Too Good For Us, As He Upsets All the Right People

Posted by M. C. on March 22, 2020

Paul’s amendment, according to NBC News reporter Julie Tsirkin, was officially summarized as: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to require a social security number for the purposes of the child tax credit, to provide the President the authority to transfer funds as necessary and to terminate United States military operations and reconstruction activities in Afghanistan.

https://www.theadvocates.org/2020/03/rand-paul-proves-once-again-he-is-too-good-for-us-as-he-upsets-all-the-right-people/

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is notorious for being a principled voice for limited constitutional government. Even better, he amuses us with how swiftly he induces tantrums among the political establishment’s flunkies.

Aside from President Donald Trump, it’s Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who is usually the face of evil for liberals. But on Tuesday night, an NBC News story, based on two anonymous McConnell-linked sources, redirected the ire squarely on Paul.

What did the libertarian ophthalmologist-turned-politician do to deserve this? He did his job.

Paul proposed an amendment to the coronavirus bill being rushed through the Senate after passing the House 363-40. For those keeping track, libertarian-leaning Republican Thomas Massie didn’t vote, and libertarian-leaning Independent Congressman Justin Amash voted present.

Paul’s amendment, according to NBC News reporter Julie Tsirkin, was officially summarized as: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to require a social security number for the purposes of the child tax credit, to provide the President the authority to transfer funds as necessary and to terminate United States military operations and reconstruction activities in Afghanistan.

Twitter is littered with righteous indignation constantly, but Tuesday night, it was mostly directed at Paul. And it was mostly thanks to the NBC News story poorly co-written by Tsirkin.

Before getting into the catty tone of the article, let’s consider the actual concerns people have with Paul’s amendment.

First, isn’t there a national emergency going on? Now isn’t the time for nitpicking what’s legal under the Constitution or how Congress appropriates funds. There’s no time for delay, we’re led to believe.

The answer to this critique is short, because there simply is no delay in voting beyond a few minutes just because an amendment is proposed. All of this drama is just political theatre, with McConnell aides directing the show.

Second, and perhaps more reasonably, it may be asked what the war in Afghanistan has to do with this coronavirus. That almost begs the question though. Why is Congress leaping to this hot new political commodity known as a coronavirus when they’ve skirted their true duties for so long?

Beyond the deadly Afghanistan misadventure being a drain on financial resources, it’s worth investigating how human resources are wasting away, mired down in that desert. In Syria, most of the U.S. troops are from the South Carolina National Guard. Might be nice to have them here!

Here Paul is doing the job all the other senators are supposed to be doing. Unfortunately for him, it doesn’t fit into the narrative most comfortable for the political and media elites.

As a result, we end up with junior high school level journalism weaponized against patriotic dissent.

“Paul is notorious for forcing votes on amendments he knows will not pass,” the NBC News story goes.

It concluded in a similar fashion: “He even briefly caused the government to shut down in 2018, using a procedural tactic to block the Senate from meeting the deadline to keep the government open because he objected to the price tag.”

Both of these statements are lies, though the authors probably believe them. It’s a sure sign of the deep divisions in the country.

Whether it’s the 9/11 Victims bill, the Ukrainegate impeachment failure, or foreign aid, Paul consistently upsets the right people by doing the right thing. This doesn’t mean Paul is perfect, but it does mean Americans should appreciate his special role in Washington, DC.

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Rand Paul Blocks DOD Authorization Until September - News ...

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Rand Paul rails against ‘weak sauce’ surveillance deal: ‘Big disappointment’ | TheHill

Posted by M. C. on March 11, 2020

There is Paul and Lee. The rest are war whores.

https://thehill.com/policy/national-security/486930-rand-paul-rails-against-weak-sauce-surveillance-deal-big

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) knocked a last-minute deal in the House to reauthorize expiring intelligence programs, saying its reforms to the court created by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) fall short.

“The ‘Deal’ on FISA is weak sauce diluted [and] made impotent by A.G. Barr. None of the reforms prevent secret FISA court from abusing the rights of Americans. None of the reforms prevent a President of either party from a politically motivated investigation. Big Disappointment!” Paul tweeted early Tuesday evening.

His comments come after House lawmakers announced on Tuesday that they had struck an agreement ahead of the March 15 deadline for expiring provisions in the USA Freedom Act, a 2015 law that overhauled the country’s intelligence programs.

The agreement includes more privacy protections and transparency in the FISA court process, including requiring legal representation for an individual targeted if the government’s application “presents exceptional concerns about the First Amendment rights of U.S. persons.”

It also bolsters penalties for those who abuse the FISA court.
But Paul, a long-time critic of the FISA court, wants language that would prohibit a FISA warrant being used against an American citizen, and prohibit FISA information from being used against an American in domestic court.
The House deal was largely negotiated without the input of senators, a potential curveball in its chances of passing the Senate this week. It is expected to go to the House floor for a vote Wednesday.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who has also advocated for changes to FISA, told reporters shortly after the deal was announced that he was still reviewing it.

“Based on earlier drafts of it I don’t like it at all,” he said.

Because of the tight time frame to get legislation through Congress, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is going to need consent from every senator to speed up consideration of the bill.
That could give leverage to senators like Paul and Lee to try to push through changes or force a lapse of the expiring USA Freedom provisions.
Paul previously used the Senate’s procedural tools to force a brief lapse of the post-9/11 Patriot Act.
A spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a question on Tuesday night about what his tweet means for his willingness to let the House deal move quickly through the Senate.
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