MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Tulsi Gabbard’

Tulsi Gabbard: Don’t Bring the ‘War on Terror’ Home | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on January 30, 2021

letter signed by 10 progressive House Democrats, including Representatives Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, and Ro Khanna, calls on leadership to “reject reactionary demands to further erode the rights and liberties of the American people.”

“So, when you look at their process as they’re building this profile of a potential ‘extremist,’ what are we talking about?” she asked. “Are we talking about evangelical Christians? Somebody who is pro-life? Libertarians? People who attended a Trump rally?”

The answer is YES.

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/tulsi-gabbard-dont-bring-the-war-on-terror-home/

by Brad Polumbo

The January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol shocked the nation. Now, as so often occurs in the wake of tragedy, some Washington politicians are using the opportunity to push for an expansion of their power—hoping Americans are too shell-shocked to object.

A bipartisan group in Congress has introduced the so-called “Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act Of 2021.” It would expand the surveillance and police powers of the national security state in the name of combatting dangerous extremism.

“America must be vigilant to combat those radicalized to violence, and the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act gives our government the tools to identify, monitor and thwart their illegal activities,” Congressman Brad Schneider, one of the bill’s lead sponsors, said. “Combatting the threat of domestic terrorism and white supremacy is not a Democratic or Republican issue, not left versus right or urban versus rural. Domestic Terrorism is an American issue, a serious threat that we can and must address together.”

We all surely agree that true domestic terrorism is reprehensible. But many progressive lawmakers are speaking out against the hasty push to expand government power and warning of the threat it poses to civil liberties. They warn these powers will undoubtedly be used against many more people and disfavored groups than just violent radicals like those who attacked the Capitol.

Former Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, a progressive Democrat, called this push “so dangerous” in a Fox News interview.

“We don’t have to guess about where this goes or where it ends,” Gabbard argues, “When you have people like former CIA Director John Brennan openly talking about how he’s spoken with appointees and nominees in the Biden administration who are already starting to look across our country for these types of movements… that in his words make up this ‘unholy alliance’ of ‘religious extremists,’ ‘racists,’ ‘bigots’ … even ‘libertarians.’”

.@joebiden Your leadership is needed now to denounce those like John Brennan & Rep Schiff who are advocating for targeting half the country as potential domestic terrorists. Truly unite the American people around our Constitution & the rights that are endowed to us by our Creator pic.twitter.com/OpemBm4biS

— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) January 24, 2021

.@JohnBrennan: Biden intel community “are moving in laser-like fashion to try to uncover as much as they can about” the pro-Trump “insurgency” that harbors “religious extremists, authoritarians, fascists, bigots, racists, nativists, even libertarians” pic.twitter.com/SjVXWhPhR8

— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) January 20, 2021

“So, when you look at their process as they’re building this profile of a potential ‘extremist,’ what are we talking about?” she asked. “Are we talking about evangelical Christians? Somebody who is pro-life? Libertarians? People who attended a Trump rally?”

“[This would] lead to a very dangerous undermining of our civil liberties… and a targeting of almost half the country,” Gabbard concluded.

The concern is that government powers authorized ostensibly for use against “domestic terrorists” would wind up being wielded against much broader swaths of society.

letter signed by 10 progressive House Democrats, including Representatives Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, and Ro Khanna, calls on leadership to “reject reactionary demands to further erode the rights and liberties of the American people.”

I’m leading the call for national security powers to not be expanded in light of the attack on our nation’s Capitol that occurred two weeks ago, as such measures often lead to the erosion of Americans’ civil liberties. pic.twitter.com/K6IHTPQzne

— Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (@RepRashida) January 19, 2021

“History is littered with examples of initiatives sold as being necessary to fight extremism that quickly devolve into tools used for the mass violation of the human and civil rights of the American people,” the letter warns.

There is simply no need to expand the government’s police powers. According to New York University’s law school, “existing statutes have long provided substantial authority for the federal government to investigate and prosecute acts of domestic terrorism.”

Indeed, at least 150 people have been charged with crimes related to the attack on the Capitol. The government already has vast powers to surveil, pursue, and prosecute Americans who commit crimes or plot violence. After all, law enforcement already knew from intelligence that the planned demonstration at the Capitol could turn violent. Their failure to adequately prepare for it was not due to a lack of information or authority.

Some might wonder, well, how could it hurt to give them more tools? Better safe than sorry, right?

This is an understandable impulse but deeply naive as a permanent conclusion. There’s good reason to think that “domestic terrorism” government powers would wind up targeting many Americans—because we’ve seen the same dynamic play out before, time and time again.

Passed in the wake of the tragic 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Patriot Act gave the federal government enormous surveillance powers.

For example, it authorized “sneak and peek” searches, allowing government officials to search someone’s home or office, take pictures, and even sometimes confiscate property, yet only inform them after-the-fact. According to the ACLU, 76 percent of sneak-and-peak searches have occurred in drug enforcement cases, with less than 1 percent actually happening in terrorism-related-cases.

The Patriot Act also created a new pathway for FBI agents to access Americans’ personal information, such as phone records, computer records, credit history, and banking information. Per the ACLU, of the 192,500 such records examinations the FBI made from 2003 to 2006, only one led to a terrorism conviction. (And the ACLU says that conviction would have been obtained without Patriot Act.)

All of this doesn’t even touch on the way post-Patriot-Act mass surveillance caught up millions of innocent Americans, as exposed by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

There’s plenty of precedent that suggests these abuses can be explicitly political, too.

“Government agencies—including the FBI and the Department of Defense—have conducted their own spying on innocent and law-abiding Americans,” the ACLU reports. “Through the Freedom of Information Act, the ACLU learned the FBI had been consistently monitoring peaceful groups such Quakers, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Greenpeace, the Arab American Anti-Defamation Committee and, indeed, the ACLU itself.”

We might give the government vast new powers to fight “domestic terrorism.” But it’s inevitable that these same powers will eventually be used against millions of Americans who have nothing to do with such extremism.

There’s a lesson here that extends beyond the specific debate over surveillance powers and the War on Terror. In times of crisis and emergency, enterprising politicians will always seek to exploit the situation to expand their own power. Too often, scared citizens go along with these power grabs.

This is the danger economist Robert Higgs identified in his seminal work Crisis and Leviathan as “the Ratchet Effect.”

Higgs showed how throughout history, crises have been used to excuse government power grabs. After each crisis, the government lets go of some of the power, but never all of it. As a result, the federal government’s power (the Leviathan) has “ratcheted up,” crisis after crisis, throughout the last hundred years.

Progressives, conservatives, and libertarians alike must stand firm against the latest push to infringe on civil liberties in the name of combating “domestic terror.” Otherwise, sweeping powers granted amid crisis will undoubtedly be used against millions of Americans who did nothing wrong on January 6.

This article was originally featured at the Foundation for Economic Education

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Tulsi Gabbard: Democrats Trying To Turn America Into Police State

Posted by M. C. on January 28, 2021

Dems joinng the crowd.

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

As the Republic Dies the Next Generation Must Rise

Posted by M. C. on December 24, 2020

Trump, however, doesn’t represent the future of America. He’s weighed down with the mythology of an America that never really existed.

That mythology, however, is something worth building on not allowing Obama and The Vandals to tear down. I believe Gabbard understands this.

I also believe at least 75 million Americans understand this.

For the American people to not be frog-marched into the dystopian nightmare of Klaus Schwab’s dreams it will be the revealed character of the Gabbards, Massies and Pauls to lead once the violence reaches a crescendo.

https://tomluongo.me/2020/12/16/republic-dies-next-generation-must-rise-gabbard-paul/

Author: Tom Luongo

The first rule of screenwriting, or in fact any fiction writing, is, “Conflict doesn’t create character, it reveals it.” People are who they are and we only find out what they are made of when tested to their limit.

This is the essence of all good storytelling — create characters who rise to be role models for us as we navigate our way through a Universe hostile to our very existence.

While I hesitate to ascribe such noble ideas as ‘character’ to any politician there are a few out there who have shown great potential. I’ve written about all of them at various times in the past few years.

Matteo Salvini in Italy, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Russian President Vladmir Putin, Nigel Farage in the UK and even a flawed figure like Donald Trump are all examples of men who history will remember as having stood up when needed.

At times each of them tried to move heaven and earth to stop the degradation of society, culture and the human condition in the face of an implacable enemy – communist ideologues bent on forcing humanity into submission to their will.

But with the Supreme Court abdicating its primary responsibility under the Constitution last week citing itself in an unconstitutional ruling from 1925 (H/T Martin Armstrong for this) means it is over for Trump and the U.S. to stop the final transformation of the U.S. into an oligarchy in reality if not in spirit.

There is no mechanism for states to redress grievances of any import now. What was left of the compact between equal sovereign states died with a whimper in the halls of the SCOTUS and to thunderous applause by the BlueCheckMarked Sneetches on Twitter.

This means that a stolen election will in all probability stand up come Inauguration Day. The entrenched oligarchy has won this round.

Fine. But it doesn’t mean the efforts of the men I just listed will have been in vain. In fact, quite the opposite.

Because what it has done is revealed the character of everyone involved. What they do next now that they have the power they’ve always craved to transform America will determine what people who have principles other than raw power will do.

We’re beginning to see that response form up. This election isn’t over but the positioning for the future a post-republic America has already begun.

🌺

Since election day Tulsi Gabbard, a tweener between Gen-X and a Millennial, has been a non-stop source of, admittedly, Quixotic bills to put paid her insurgent campaign in the Democratic primaries as someone interested in fixing real foundational problems with the country and the bipartisan corruption in Washington.

She continues to reach across party lines introducing legislation which form the basis for a populist election strategy targeting the 2022 and 2024 elections.

From whistleblower protection to repealing Section 230 of the CDA to the bill in the tweet above co-sponsored with libertarian Thomas Massie, Gabbard is an example of what the future holds for the political future once this meta-stable, oligarchic rule-by-men period of America is over.

It’s clear that Gabbard wants no part of being a part of the Democratic Party that’s in power now. That’s why she didn’t run for re-election and I suspect these moves are all laying the groundwork for a return to politics in 2024 as an independent or Sanders-like outsider.

I’ve been writing for years now that our problems stem from an unwillingness of the older generations of politicians to give up power. If anything, they persist because they are owned by the forces that put them there in the first place to pull off this betrayal of the people that has been in the works for decades.

And they will stay in place until they are no longer needed. Just ask Diane Feinstein who is now being sacrificed to make way for the transition team to finish the job she started.

I always saw Trump as Gen-X’s moment to pull a Ronald Reagan and say, “Mr. Trump, tear down this Swamp!” but the real story is that Gen-X is allowing Obama to do that tearing down and hand what’s left back to the old monied elites.

The fight now is between the cross-currents within Gen-X. Equal parts commie and libertarian the one uniting principle is a desire to reform the old order.

It is my read that people like Gabbard, Massie, Sen. Rand Paul and a few others see the problem. Gabbard’s a leftist, but she’s no doctrinaire commie. That makes her and interesting pivot figure around which a coalition to retake control or build back better the U.S. can be formed. This will be necessary once Obama’s incoming crew of vandals overreaches and are thrown out on their asses.

Regardless of the outcome in the coming months and years the changing of the guard is close at hand. Post-Trump America will look very different than pre-Trump. Trump was the apotheosis of the Boomers.

His legacy will be forcing the Deep State into the open, bringing the fight against them out of the shadows.

Trump, however, doesn’t represent the future of America. He’s weighed down with the mythology of an America that never really existed.

That mythology, however, is something worth building on not allowing Obama and The Vandals to tear down. I believe Gabbard understands this.

I also believe at least 75 million Americans understand this.

For the American people to not be frog-marched into the dystopian nightmare of Klaus Schwab’s dreams it will be the revealed character of the Gabbards, Massies and Pauls to lead once the violence reaches a crescendo.

Make no mistake, there will be violence. It is inevitable because the people who voted for Trump will not be placated with UBI or settle down as their voices are silenced.

The fraudsters will forever be looking over their shoulders, lashing out at minor opposition as traitors who need to be put down.

Here we are presented with a staged picture with three white privilege guys straight out of central casting for the latest Obama-produced ‘documentary’ on equality coming to Netflix in the spring.

This is your “Unity” agenda from the most statist of state house organs, NPR, the echo chamber of choice for the low-information ‘informed’ shitlib. This is the face of the Biden/Harris administration.

This is just the beginning of what we can look forward to when the GOP loses both seats in the Georgia run-off and the Democrats, despite historically-low support and engagement with actual voters, run the table.

Once ensconced they will persecute their political enemies in ways only Alex Jones has contemplated to this point. And it will be this escalation that will reveal the quality of the character of these next-generation politicians.

They will have the choice, leader of men or cowards. The republic we’ve known is dead. Maybe that’s a good thing. But what comes after won’t be up to the people who just destroyed it. That job is the next generation’s job. Their moment is coming in the next couple of years. They will have to be ready.

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Proposed Reform To US Espionage Act Would Create Public Interest Defense – The Dissenter

Posted by M. C. on October 12, 2020

Public Interest defense. Supported by Tulsi gabbard.

DOA

https://dissenter.substack.com/p/proposed-reform-to-us-espionage-act

Kevin Gosztola

Legislation proposed in Congress would amend the United States Espionage Act and create a public interest defense for those prosecuted under the law.

“‘A defendant charged with an offense under section 793 or 798 [in the U.S. legal code] shall be permitted to testify about their purpose for engaging in the prohibited conduct,” according to a draft of the bill Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard introduced.

Such a reform would make it possible for whistleblowers like Edward Snowden, Reality Winner, Terry Albury, and Daniel Hale to inform the public why they disclosed information without authorization to the press.

The legislation called the Protect Brave Whistleblowers Act is supported by Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg.

“If this long-overdue revision of the 1917 Espionage Act had been law half a century ago, I myself could have had a fair trial for releasing the Pentagon Papers in 1971: justice under law unavailable to me and to every other national security whistleblower indicted and prosecuted since then,” Ellsberg declared.

Defending Rights And Dissent (DRD), a group committed to the freedom of political expression, backs the legislation as well.

According to DRD policy director Chip Gibbons, there have only ever been three proposals for reforming the 1917 law for the better.

In fact, this bill is the second Espionage Act reform legislation to be proposed in Congress this year, but the previous proposal introduced in March by Oregon Senator Ron Wyden and California Representative Ro Khanna included no public interest defense for whistleblowers.

A bill summary stated, “Every single person convicted to date under the Espionage Act would still have been convicted had this bill been law at the time they were prosecuted.”

The Protect Brave Whistleblowers Act would change the law so prosecutors had to prove someone had a “specific intent” to injure or help an “enemy” or foreign nation through their disclosures.

Currently, the Justice Department only has to show someone had “reason to believe” they would injure the country or help a foreign power.

When material is classified, prosecutors invoke a government employee or contractor’s training and the non-disclosure agreement they sign when obtaining their security clearance. This is typically enough in a U.S. federal court for prosecutors to win a conviction.

One additional change would remove the vagueness of “national defense” information, and it make it so prosecutors must prove material was properly classified if copied, taken, or obtained and disclosed without authorization.

Both of the proposed bills would address a part of the Espionage Act—798 in the U.S. code—that applies to “communications intelligence” and undermines oversight of surveillance, including programs that violate the rights of Americans.

If amended, it would expand who could receive “communications intelligence” information to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), and inspector generals to help them investigate privacy abuses.

It is currently only permissible to share classified information related to “communications intelligence” with senators or representatives in Congress, or a joint congressional committee.

As noted, government employees or contractors prosecuted under the Espionage Act would be allowed an “affirmative defense” under the Protect Brave Whistleblowers Act that they engaged in the “prohibited conduct for purpose of disclosing to the public” violations of laws, rules or regulations, or to expose “gross mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety.”

Someone like WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, a publisher who faces an unprecedented prosecution under the Espionage Act, would theoretically be better off under the Protect Brave Whistleblowers Act. They would be able to outline for a judge or jury why they published information that was obtained by a source.

However, the Espionage Act Reform bill appears to do more to prohibit the Justice Department from prosecuting journalists. It specifically ensures “only personnel with security clearances can be prosecuted for improperly revealing classified information” and aims to protect the rights of members of the press that “solicit, obtain, or publish government secrets.”

“When brave whistleblowers come forward to expose wrongdoing within our government, they must have the confidence that they, and the press who publishes this information, will be protected from government retaliation,” stated Gabbard.

“People like Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, among others, acted in the public interest to expose information that impacted the American people. They are being persecuted for doing so, and under current law, are legally unable to defend themselves in court because they are prohibited from speaking about their intent for disclosing information.”

“All charges against them and extradition efforts should be dropped. We must ensure that whistleblowers charged under the Espionage Act are treated fairly under our judicial system and able to mount a just, legal defense,” Gabbard concluded.

There is a difference between what Snowden and Assange did. One person is a source, the other is a journalist. Yet, under the Espionage Act, there is no meaningful difference in the eyes of the Justice Department.

A war on leaks was mounted by President Barack Obama, and it resulted in more prosecutions under the Espionage Act than all previous presidential administrations combined.

President Donald Trump has intensified sustained attacks on whistleblowers, who bring scrutiny to government, and the impact has fueled a chilling effect against journalists.

Since Trump was elected, the Justice Department has prosecuted Daniel Hale, alleged drone whistleblower, Joshua Schulte, who was accused of being the “Vault 7” materials leaker, Terry Albury, an FBI whistleblower, who pled guilty and was sentenced to prison, and Reality Winner, an NSA whistleblower who pled guilty and was sentenced to prison.

The Trump administration crossed a line the Obama administration would not and charged Assange with 18 offenses—17 of which accuse him of violating the Espionage Act.

The indictment specifically criminalized Assange and WikiLeaks for seeking, obtaining, and disseminating classified information from the U.S. government.

Altogether, the Protect Brave Whistleblowers Act and the Espionage Act Reform Act reflect growing opposition to a government that uses this law to bludgeon truth-tellers and destroy their lives when they seek to expose corrupt or questionable acts on the part of officials.

Photo from former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s office and in the public domain

***Thank you for the support you showed while I covered Assange’s extradition trial. You helped my coverage reach a broader audience, and it was widely praised.

Several of you signed up for The Dissenter newsletter as paid subscribers, and this was the first of many exclusive reports you will receive each week.

—Kevin Gosztola

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

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.”

Be seeing you

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Foreign Policy We Need | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on August 7, 2020

Trump has shown that conservatives aren’t necessarily eager to go to war, even if they remain entirely too trusting of Republican presidents who want to take them there—including the current occupant of the Oval Office under the wrong set of circumstances. That is a good first step, but it is far from sufficient. Conservative restrainers must stop being passive observers in a foreign policy debate Trump and their libertarian allies have already joined. It’s well past time for a conservative foreign policy of peace. 

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/time-for-all-conservatives-to-make-peace-with-the-antiwar-mission/

Restrainers on the right must stop being passive observers in a debate Trump and their libertarian allies have already joined.

Sen. Rand Paul (Gage Skidmore), President Trump (U.S. Coast Guard) and Rep. Matt Gaetz (Gage Skidmore)

Four years after the once unthinkable election of a Republican president who called the Iraq war a “mistake,” America still needs a genuinely conservative foreign policy of realism and restraint.

Hegemonists and hyper-interventionists are being challenged for the first time in two decades, perhaps as never before in the post-Cold War era. The folly of their never-ending, no-win wars is evident to voters, prime-time cable news hosts, diplomats, academics, even the veterans and active-duty soldiers who have fought in them. A new generation of conservative thought leaders is coming of age that turns the thinking that prevailed under George W. Bush on its head, yet the Right is still underrepresented in the fight against the hawkish dead consensus and the GOP’s governing class lags well behind.

There is a progressive critique of U.S. foreign policy that is gaining adherents, even if the Democratic Party nominated a conventional liberal hawk to challenge Donald Trump for president of the United States. Joe Biden represents the death rattle of the fading New Democrat politics of the 1990s, with its ever-present fear of being seen as less ready to go to war than the Republicans, a cry of electoral desperation and a reluctance to go into a competitive general election with an overtly socialist standard-bearer. Biden is himself responsive to trends within his party, including on matters of war and peace, even if he is too likely to appoint to critical national security positions the same set of officials who ruined Barack Obama’s foreign policy. Bernie Sanders’s team of relative realists is more likely to be the party’s future.

But there are millions of Americans for whom the progressivism of 2020 does not even claim to speak. Tulsi Gabbard’s fate—she won some delegates in American Samoa, and was kept off the debate stage as voting drew closer—shows that the modern Democratic Party prioritizes wokeness over war. Left-Right “transpartisan” coalitions can accomplish important things together, as the congressional resolution demanding an end to the war in Yemen shows. They have also become inherently unstable under Trump, who is an asset to making antiwar arguments to conservatives but anathema to liberals.

There has also been considerable resistance to the neoconservative hegemony that dominates Republican foreign policy thinking, making it possible once again to vote in good conscience for a GOP presidential candidate without the reservation that the installation of a center-right commander-in-chief will inevitably lead to a repeat of the Iraq war or worse. But much of this pushback, welcome as it is, comes from libertarians. The American political coalition that is more skeptical of statism, and has been since at least Ronald Reagan if not Barry Goldwater, needs to be reminded that war is as likely to end in failure or produce unintended consequences as any other government program. Too often, Republicans treat the Pentagon as an honorary member of the private sector and exempt its endeavors from the scrutiny they would apply to bureaucrats of any other stripe. But federal employees actually do a better job of delivering the mail than delivering democracy to the Middle East.

Libertarians have done yeoman’s work in turning the neocon foreign policy monologue of the 2000s into a real dialogue. Especially invaluable has been the contributions of two families, the Pauls and the Koch brothers. When the history of early 21st century conservatism is written, their names will be at least as important as the Kristols and Podhoretzs. But at the present time, libertarianism does not appear to be a governing philosophy that can win a national election and therefore seriously contest for control of U.S. foreign policy. The younger generation of conservatives who reject interventionism run amok should not be forced to choose between prudence in immigraton policy or foreign affairs, an endless repetition of a Reagan economic program better suited to the 1980s than 2021, or going abroad in search of monsters to destroy in pursuit of imaginary WMD and equally fictitious democratist fantasies, based on ideas that were terrible then and now, this time covered in a veneer of focus-grouped populism.

Yet the new national conservatism has produced exactly one reliable populist Republican politician who has shown a willingness to vote according to Trump’s foreign policy campaign promises when the going gets tough: Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida. The foreign policy of Sen. Josh Hawley remains a work in progress, though a potentially promising one; Sens. Tom Cotton and Marco Rubio remain as hawkish as ever, however Trumpian they have become on other issues. Rep. Walter Jones, who arrived at antiwar conservatism from a non-libertarian starting point, is dead. Rep. Jimmy Duncan is retired. This is a smaller group than the handful of libertarian Republicans standing athwart the neocon war machine yelling stop.

♦♦♦

Trump himself bears a great deal of responsibility for this unmet challenge. He has largely delivered the foreign policy of second-term George W. Bush, an improvement only over the first-term variety, though he seems a great deal less pleased about it. He has cycled through defense secretaries and national security advisors, but the endless wars have not yet come to an end. The most important former Trump official and ally who has moved in the right direction on foreign policy is Jeff Sessions; the president is actively campaigning against his return to the Senate. He has not started any new wars, but he has risked escalating some old ones—and, most dangerously, fanned the flames of tension with Iran.

That doesn’t mean Trump’s better instincts on foreign policy have been meaningless. Without them, the Qasem Soleimani killing earlier this year could have easily metastasized into a full-fledged Iraq-style war with Iran. He would not have sacked John Bolton, whom he should never have hired in the first place. He has kept the debate over the U.S. presence in Afghanistan and Syria from fading into the background as falling bombs become ambient noise. He has eroded ISIS’s gains without massive new deployments to the Middle East and has stopped short of fighting every side of the Syrian civil war. Trump has also laid bare many of the leftist assumptions that undergird contemporary neoconservatism and sent prominent neocons, whose muggings by reality had apparently worn off, back to their ancestral homes in the Democratic Party.

What Trump hasn’t done is implement a new foreign policy that differs sufficiently from that which gave us the tragedies of Iraq and Libya or create a new talent pool of qualified federal officials who could help a future Republican president do so. With the possible exception of Gaetz, he has not even put the Republicans most aligned with his preferred foreign policy in the best position to succeed him. What does it profit us to move some troops around in northern Syria only to wind up at war in Iran, or to lose Jennifer Rubin as an intermittently conservative blogger at the Washington Post only to gain a President Nikki Haley?

Trump’s biggest positive contribution, like that of TAC founding editor Pat Buchanan before him, is to demonstrate that there is a real constituency for a different policy within the Republican electorate. To be sure, some of it had to do with their credibility with grassroots conservatives and GOP-aligned demographics. It was difficult to caricature Trump or Buchanan, like Jim Webb across the aisle, as uninterested in American national security or interests. They were not, hysteria about Russia or Iraq notwithstanding, “unpatriotic conservatives” in the eyes of rank-and-file Republicans. They were seen as unimpeachably pro-American.

As antiwar conservative Fox News host Tucker Carlson explained it in another context, the American people do care if the president keeps them safe. “You can regularly say embarrassing things on television,” he said. “You can hire Omarosa to work at the White House. All of that will be forgiven if you protect your people. But if you don’t protect them—or, worse, if you seem like you can’t be bothered to protect them—then you’re done. It’s over. People will not forgive weakness.” Trump in 2016, like Buchanan in 1996, passed that test in Republicans’ eyes in a way that a liberal George McGovern and most libertarians never could. Ergo Trump sits in the Oval Office while McGovern lost 49 states and the Libertarian Party has never won more than 3.3 percent of the national popular vote.

But it wasn’t just the messenger. The message was a fundamentally conservative one, even if not the stereotypical saber-rattling Republican argumentation. The United States is a great country, but not an embryonic United Nations.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Get Russian – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on May 6, 2020

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2020/05/01/get-russian/

Dissent is Russian, or haven’t you heard?

Dissent is Russian.

Peace activism is Russian.

Exposing war crimes is Russian.

Inconveniencing Democrats is Russian.

Tara Reade? Russian.

Julian Assange? Russian.

Jill Stein? Russian.

Tulsi Gabbard? Russian.

Russia? You bet your sweet ass that’s Russian.

Conspiracy theories are Russian.

Alternative media are Russian.

It’s Russian to ask questions.

It’s Russian to reveal objective facts.

It’s Russian to tell the truth.

Truth is Russian in an empire of lies.

If truth is Russian, I don’t want to be Australian.

If truth is Russian, you can call me Svetlana.

If truth is Russian, then I will ascend to the clouds

by climbing a Tolstoy novel,

kicking my feet out in front of me

with my bum low to the ground

balancing a bottle of vodka atop a fur hat

whilst shouting “Stallone was the bad guy in Rocky IV

until my voice is hoarse.

If truth is Russian, then let’s all get Russian.

Get as Russian as possible.

Get aggressively Russian.

Get offensively Russian.

Get Russianly Russian.

Get so Russian it hurts.

Get so Russian they write Palmer Report articles about you.

Get so Russian that Rachel Maddow spits your name like it’s poison.

Get so Russian that Putin calls you and says tone it down.

Get so Russian that Khabib Nurmagomedov has nightmares about fighting you.

Camus said “The only way to deal with an unfree world

is to become so absolutely Russian

that your very existence is an act of rebellion,”

or something like that.

So get Russian, baby.

Fold your arms and get low on the dance floor.

Get low, shorty,

get low, low, low.

Get low,

get low,

and get Russian.

_________________________

_________________________

_________________________

_________________________

_________________________

_________________________

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.

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Can Bernie and Tulsi Survive Hillary’s ‘Urge’ to Save the DNC? — Strategic Culture

Posted by M. C. on February 3, 2020

This is Bernie’s last kick at the can. He’s already gotten the gold watch from the DNC in 2016, living the high life only a high member of the Politburo can.

Gabbard has burned all the bridges within the DNC she can, almost gleefully. That makes her a person of integrity, of authenticity, in a U.S. political wasteland of charlatans, reality show hucksters and outright thieves.

The quicker she climbs out of the basement in Pelosi’s House, the better off she’ll be.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/02/01/can-bernie-and-tulsi-survive-hillarys-urge-to-save-the-dnc/

Tom Luongo

For months now I’ve been convinced that Hillary Clinton will be entering the fray that is the Democratic Party primary season. The affair to date has been a nothing short of high comedy.

Recent events have me more convinced than ever that she will be returning, like some zombie whose head we forgot to cut off, to haunt voters one more time this fall.

After the beginning of an obvious (and planned) PR campaign last week with the release of a big campaign ad documentary on Netflix and a big splash in the Hollywood Reporter Hillary finally stopped being coy. And she announced this week that she now ‘has the urge’ to run again against Donald Trump.

Save us, please, from Hillary’s urges…. Shudder.

And she did so making sure that everyone knew what she thought of the real front-runner for the nomination, Bernie Sanders.

As various anointed ones have dropped out of the race – Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Robert O’Rourke – others have faltered despite huge ad spends while the media and pollsters do their level best to convince us all that Joe Biden’s a serious candidate to take on Donald Trump this fall.

In fact, the only reason Biden is still in the race is to make the impeachment theater going on right now seem relevant and cogent. But, like Biden himself, it is neither.

Then again neither is Hillary, but never underestimate this woman’s narcissistic solipsism.

If you look back on the race to date it’s clear that most of the people running are there to try and distract voters away from the two candidates that resonate most with voters, Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard.

Yes, Gabbard is polling low but if you look at poll numbers versus money spent and/or raised to this point, she’s clearly got cache and the ability to build a real following. And as the field shrinks those distractions become irrelevant. Her poll numbers are rising the more the field winnows.

Neither of them is acceptable in any way to the DNC. They are outsiders within their party. I’m no fan of Bernie Sanders. In fact, I think he’s a terrible candidate — because, you know, commie! — but that’s not the point of this article.

Bernie is surging in the early states and panic is setting in with the DNC. And they must have a plan to stop him from running away with the nomination otherwise we could have two outsiders headlining this fall’s reality show.

And that plan starts with the impeachment and potential removal of Donald Trump.

The impeachment is a distraction for Trump but it is a real problem for the Senators running for the Democratic nomination. They have to spend all day listening to Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler lie while they could be out campaigning and raising money.

This hurts Bernie the most because Bernie is the one who will get zero help from the DNC’s big donors. None of them are behind him and with good reason. He’s hostile to most of them (and most of us as well, but that’s a different article).

Of the people running for President as Democrats the only person less acceptable to Wall St. than Elizabeth Warren is Bernie Sanders. Warren’s entire campaign has been designed to push Bernie farther left by out-lefting him at every turn. Bernie says 70% top marginal tax rate, Warren says 77%. Bernie wants debt restructuring? Warren says forgive all student loan debt.

Her job is to make Bernie as unacceptable to mainstream U.S. voters as possible. Unfortunately, that makes Bernie more and more acceptable to a lot of people voting in the Democratic primaries. And this Catch-22 is beginning to show up in the polls for Iowa and New Hampshire.

Then there’s the serious money behind Pete Buttigieg trying to create slightly gayer version of Barack Obama. Again, he’s just another distraction to suck support away from Sanders and keep the field relatively close and the odds of an uncommitted primary season high.

Because the goal is to get to a brokered convention this summer. So, the impeachment was slowed down to hurt Sanders, Warren and Amy Klobuchar and help give Biden the bump he needs to get some momentum coming into Iowa.

It’s not working.

But I also don’t think it’s going to matter. If you keep watching the headlines the attack dogs are out in full to discredit and hurt Sanders. They know he’s a real force to be reckoned with. And worse, his attack dog, Gabbard, has been muzzled by keeping her off the debate stage so she can’t take anyone else out, like she roasted that pig Kamala Harris last summer.

But I truly feel the DNC is looking to steal the nomination again from Sanders. And the impeachment of Trump continues to somehow, against all odds, get worse for him, even though his party is supposed to be in charge of the proceedings.

I told everyone back in September when Nancy Pelosi announced she was going through with the impeachment process that this was all about getting rid of Trump. But it was in October when Hillary went after Tulsi Gabbard that  Gabbard’s response was beyond epic and I wrote about it then.

Gabbard throws down the gauntlet here outing Hillary as the mastermind behind the DNC strategy of allowing the current crop of future losers to fall all over themselves to alienate as many centrist voters as possible.

This paves the way for Hillary to swoop in on her broom, pointed hat in hand, and declare herself the savior of the Democratic Party’s chances to defeat Donald Trump next November.

So, Hillary’s running, the DNC is trying to stop Bernie and Tulsi Gabbard is still an also-ran in New Hampshire and Iowa, polling between 5% and 7%. So what?

Well, I feel at this point it’s been game-planned by Gabbard and Sanders that they know what’s coming. I felt the endorsement from Joe Rogan of Sanders was timed to distract from Hillary’s attack on Bernie in that Hollywood Reporter piece.

Rogan is far more influential than the dead tree media Hillary’s publicist works with. And her attack dogs were out in full to attack Rogan and smear Sanders with their typical guilt-by-association nonsense.

I don’t tweet much folks, but this one gets to the truth of what’s going on in the murk and slime of Democratic Party politics.

Sanders and Gabbard know the DNC is out to destroy him. And the question then becomes what’s next?

What do they do to combat this? Gabbard is not running for re-election in Hawaii. She says she’s committed to running for President. I don’t think she’s getting the nomination and, frankly, I don’t think she is either.

She just filed a defamation of character lawsuit against Hillary for the smears Hillary threw around I linked to above. She puts financial pressure on Hillary knowing that the Clintons couldn’t drum up support and dollars last year during their expensive speaking tour no one went to.

Gabbard denies any kind of third party run, getting the Ron Paul treatment from the media. But, she’s a very acceptable person to a lot of disaffected Trump voters like myself. She speaks to them and can help carry Bernie as his running mate if he somehow makes it through the convention to be the Democratic nominee.

So, yes, Gabbard isn’t running for re-election because she’s running as Sanders’ Vice-Presidential candidate.

And it may not be for the Democratic party in the end. That’s the part you have to factor in here.

Game-planning this out, these two are running a real insurgency within the DNC to either get the nomination or split off and run as Independents. This is Bernie’s last kick at the can. He’s already gotten the gold watch from the DNC in 2016, living the high life only a high member of the Politburo can.

Gabbard has burned all the bridges within the DNC she can, almost gleefully. That makes her a person of integrity, of authenticity, in a U.S. political wasteland of charlatans, reality show hucksters and outright thieves.

The quicker she climbs out of the basement in Pelosi’s House, the better off she’ll be.

I don’t put it past either of these people to think that preventing Hillary from regaining control of the Democrats and spoiling her return is the best outcome for America, even if it re-elects Donald Trump.

But, if Trump is removed to make way for Hillary, then the Race to 270 electoral votes becomes a non-binary affair.

© 2010 – 2020 | Strategic Culture Foundation | Republishing is welcomed with reference to Strategic Culture online journal www.strategic-culture.org.

Be seeing you

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Keeping It Unreal | The Blog of Author Donald Jeffries The American Love Affair With War

Posted by M. C. on January 9, 2020

H.L. Mencken defined it perfectly nearly a century ago when he said, “the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.”

https://donaldjeffries.wordpress.com/

 

Donald Trump’s recent assassination of Iranian Maj. General Qassem Soleimani was not an exceptional act of madness by a deranged president. It was instead the continuation of a long, unfortunate American tradition. Military aggressiveness has been a feature of U.S. foreign policy for a very long time.

As I detail in my book Crimes and Cover-Ups in American Politics: 1776-1963, Americans love to portray themselves as the “greatest,” the “good guys” in each of their nearly continuous foreign skirmishes. While it certainly appears to any disinterested observer that we are the initiator in most, if not all, of these conflicts, the official mantra is that we are never at fault. We are only defending ourselves, even if the opponent is smaller and weaker to a laughable degree, as it usually is.

Abraham Lincoln set so many horrific precedents, and his manipulation of events that resulted in the South technically firing the first shot at Fort Sumter, paved the way for false flags like “Remember the Maine” in 1898, the sinking of the Lusitania  which “forced” us to enter World War I, the “sneak” attack on Pearl Harbor, the Gulf of Tonkin incident which is now universally acknowledged to have never happened, the “weapons of mass destruction” lie under Dubya Bush, and many other less obvious ones.

Each time one of these false flags occurred, or stories demonizing the latest flavor of the month in some far-flung land appeared in our state-run media, the overwhelming majority of the American people swallowed the propaganda. H.L. Mencken defined it perfectly nearly a century ago when he said, “the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.”

In just the past few decades, this “endless series of hobgoblins” has included Fidel Castro, Daniel Ortega, Manuel Noriega, Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi,  Slobodan Milosevic, Osama Bin Laden, Kim Jong-un, Bashar al-Assad, Vladimir Putin, and now Qassem Soleimani. Soleimani was that rarity; a bogeyman who literally came out of nowhere to be suddenly categorized as one of the world’s most dangerous characters. Who had even heard of him before he was assassinated by our forces? And how did he cause the “hundreds” of deaths of Americans which are now routinely attributed to him? Hundreds of Americans were killed in Iran by this guy? Are there even hundreds of Americans in Iran presently?

And, like all modern bogeymen, Soleimani has been described as a “bully.” Alex Jones, now a pathetic shell of what he once was, declared that we couldn’t keep letting Iran “push us around.” Exactly how has Iran ever “pushed us around?” And how do you describe an officer with a military that is only a fraction of ours, in size and power, as a “bully?” That is like Mike Tyson assaulting a kindergartner, claiming they “started it,” and thereafter castigating him as a “bully.”

We definitely “started it” with Iran with the 1953 overthrow of their democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh…

Our founders never intended for America to have a standing army. They certainly never envisioned a monstrosity like the military industrial complex and its nefarious intelligence agencies. But the public doesn’t seem to mind. Give them the pomp of a good flyover or cannon blast. Watch them tear up at staged reunions between soldiers and their young children. They used to call it bread and circuses.

There are no voices for peace with a large public platform, unless you count Tulsi Gabbard, who has her own questionable baggage. But there are millions willing to beat the war drums when ordered to do so. Mark Twain, who said so many memorable things, noted that “God created war so that Americans would learn geography.” So perhaps it does serve a constructive purpose, although Americans still seem woefully ignorant about geography (and pretty much everything else).

Sun Tzu, who wrote The Art of War, is still quoted widely by our sociopathic leaders in business and government. John F. Kennedy’s timeless 1963 commencement address at American University, where he advocated for peace as no other American president ever has, was probably the final nail in his coffin, on the other hand.

John Quincy Adams spoke for virtually every American leader during the revolutionary era when he said, “America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy.” Our leaders have constructed a foreign policy that does nothing else.

Be seeing you

The Articles of Confederation and State Sovereignty - The ...

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Progressive journalist: MSNBC doesn’t try to hide ‘contempt’ towards Gabbard | TheHill

Posted by M. C. on November 27, 2019

“Fundamentally they’re beholden to whatever the market incentives are and right now it’s within their market interests to depict Tulsi as an infiltrator, as a Trojan horse in the Democratic Party and not deal on the substance with what she’s saying which is why over and over again they tar her as a Russian plant essentially,” Tracey told Hill.TV.

Follow the money (Soros)

https://thehill.com/hilltv/rising/472056-progressive-journalist-msnbc-doesnt-try-to-hide-contempt-towards-gabbard

Progressive journalist Michael Tracey claimed Tuesday that MSNBC is has dropped all pretenses for their “contempt” towards Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii).

The political news contributor said the left-leaning network has treated her fellow 2020 Democratic candidates, including businessman Andrew Yang and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) unfairly, but he argued that with Gabbard it, “crosses a certain threshold.”

“Fundamentally they’re beholden to whatever the market incentives are and right now it’s within their market interests to depict Tulsi as an infiltrator, as a Trojan horse in the Democratic Party and not deal on the substance with what she’s saying which is why over and over again they tar her as a Russian plant essentially,” Tracey told Hill.TV.

“There’s nobody who can really offer any kind countervailing view because it’s just not economically advantageous for them at this point,” he added.

MSNBC didn’t immediately return Hill.TV’s request for comment.

Tracey pointed to a fiery exchange between Gabbard and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) during last week’s 2020 primary debate as a prime example.

During the debate, Harris accused Gabbard of being a conservative media darling and consistently going on Fox News to bash President Obama during his tenure.

“I think that it’s unfortunate that we have someone on this stage who is attempting to be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States, who, during the Obama administration, spent four years full-time on Fox News criticizing President Obama,” Harris said.

Gabbard dismissed the criticism, calling it “ridiculous.”

The California senator also hit Gabbard over her meeting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who U.S. officials have accused of being a war criminal. Harris concluded her attack by saying that Democrats need a candidate who can take on President Trump as well as “bring the party and the nation together.”

The back-and-forth came after Gabbard criticized the Democratic Party of fashioning outdated foreign policies “represented “by Hillary Clinton and others’ foreign policy.”

“Our Democratic Party unfortunately is not the party that is of, by and for the people. It is a party that has been and continues to be influenced by the foreign policy establishment in Washington, represented by Hillary Clinton and others’ foreign policy, by the military industrial complex and other greedy, corporate interests,” she said.

Leading up to the fifth Democratic debate, Gabbard engaged in a weeks-long feud with Clinton after the former Democratic presidential nominee said the Hawaii lawmaker was “the favorite of the Russians.”

—Tess Bonn

news_presstitutes

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »