21st Century Wire says…
Here’s an unusual, but extremely thought-provoking political take on the events of last week in Charlottesville in the context of America, and western society as a whole.
What you are about to read will be considered very controversial by many people. This is an uncomfortable topic which generally no one enjoys talking about. Many readers may not want to hear it. You may not want to hear it either. It’s a caustic conversation for sure. You might think the author is being over-dramatic, or maybe you won’t But it’s a discussion which at least half of America wants to have.
The publication, The Blaze, touts itself as ‘Christian conservative’ and regularly exaggerate and politicizes its content, and frequently applies a moralistic or evangelical spin to it. For those reasons, it would be convenient for some to simply dismiss the article below because of its source. However, the fundamental comparison presented should be seriously considered and really should be discussed more in mainstream forums. In 2017, any challenging commentary regarding the topic of abortion is fiercely opposed by ‘progressive’ gatekeepers, and women’s rights activists who will often cite the 1973 US Supreme Court decision of Roe vs Wade as a cue to end any debate on the issue. This subject is also suppressed in most public and academic forums – and it’s strictly off-limits in the liberal mainstream corporate media. But society cannot continually sweep this under the rug – America has to have this conversation, because it goes to the heart of the question. What kind of society do we live in…?
This post was published at 21st Century Wire on AUGUST 17, 2017.
Let me say this just one more time:
That someone is a Neo-Nazi, a White Supremacist, KKK member or racist does not render them bereft of the First Amendment. Just as being a member of BLM or the Antifa does not render them bereft of the First Amendment.
It is not acceptable, legal or excusable to meet speech by any such person with violence.
To suggest, state, or advocate that such is the case, or to promote the premise that violence is an appropriate remedy for speech you find vile and outrageous is to declare civil war, because there are others who will likely find your speech vile and outrageous and by your statement you have made the claim that just punishment for speech you deem vile is to be found at the hands of a mob.
The press and now lawmakers are openly advocating for the complete breakdown of civil society — they are stating by the droves that violence in response to mere speech that one finds offensive yet has the protection of the First Amendment is not only worthy of said violence the person uttering same is not worthy of having their assailants prosecuted or the protection and investigation of the police forces to interdict violence intended for or served upon them.
These people are explicitly refusing to call on the carpet Governor McAuliffe and everyone in the chain of command from the Charlottesville PD upward who were involved in any way in intentionally funneling opposing protesters into each other, knowing that some of them were armed and then allowed said PD to sit back and withdraw when violence occurred.
This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2017-08-15.
There are two points I want to hammer home in today’s piece. First, we all need to accept that Donald Trump is not some sort of crazy aberration in U. S. politics, but rather basically just the ghastly continuation of the authoritarianism and militarism which has characterized our insane society since we experienced a civilization-wide mental breakdown following the attacks of 9/11.
I’ve written about this ongoing cultural insanity on many occasions, but most passionately in my 2013 piece, How I Remember September 11, 2001:
In the days following the collapse, all I wanted was for the towers to be rebuilt just like before. I wanted the skyline back to what I had know since the day I came into this earth at a New York City hospital to be restored exactly as I had always known it. Career-wise, I felt I should leave Wall Street. I thought about going back to graduate school for political science, or maybe even join the newly created Department of Homeland Security (yes, the irony is not lost on me). I read a lengthy tome on Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda. I was an emotional and psychological mess, and it was when I was in this state of heightened distress that my own government and the military-industrial complex took advantage of me.
This post was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg on Aug 15, 2017.
As my readers know, I’ve reported on a number of scandals concerning the toxicity of medical drugs, including shocking death numbers in the US.
These scandals are open leaks from inside the National Security State.
If you visit Wikileaks, how many purely medical documents do you find posted?
How many damaging leaks exposing the crimes of the medical cartel do you find?
Very, very few.
Where are the medical insiders who are liberating and passing along incriminating documentary evidence?
The medical sphere, for various reasons, is far better protected than any other segment of society.
For the hundredth time, let me cite Dr. Barbara Starfield’s stunning review, ‘Is US health really the best in the world?’ published on July 26, 2000, in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Starfield, at the time, was working as a highly respected public health expert, at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.
She concluded that the US medical system kills 225,000 Americans a year.
This post was published at Jon Rappoport on August 14, 2017.
Enter ‘outrageous drug prices’ into Google and you will receive plenty of examples. As reported here, Marathon Pharmaceuticals planned to charge $89,000 per year for its Emflaza brand of the corticosteroid deflazacort. Deflazacort was introduced in 1969 and is available outside the U. S. for less than $2 per tablet. US patients with muscular dystrophy have been obtaining the drug for around $1,500 per year from foreign sources.
This pricing behavior cannot occur in a free market. In a free or unhampered market, if Marathon tried to charge $89,000 for a year’s supply of deflazacort, they would realize zero sales. There are at least 169 generic manufacturers of at least 300 brands of deflazacort. One or more competitors of Marathon would gladly supply the drug for a lower price. In a situation with robust competition, the price will move toward the minimal cost of production plus transport over time. Marathon can make its pricing decision, and expect to realize sales, because a government agency gave Marathon monopoly privilege to sell deflazacort in the United States.
The debate over whether drug patents are beneficial to society is outside the scope of this discussion. Proponents of monopoly privilege for pharmaceuticals must admit, however, that the monopoly privilege enables the outrageous prices. In the case of Emflaza, Marathon did not develop a new drug. Deflazacort has been in use since 1969. The FDA awarded monopoly privilege to Marathon Pharmaceuticals for acquiring old clinical trial data and performing some additional analyses.
This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on August 13, 2017.
The political violence in Charlottesville yesterday was as predictable as it was futile. One person was killed and dozens badly injured, marking a new low in the political and cultural wars that are as heated as any time since in America since the 1960s.
This relentless politicization of American culture has eroded goodwill and inflamed the worst impulses in society. Antifa and the alt-right may represent simple-minded expressions of hatred and fear, but both groups are animated entirely by politics: the perception that others can impose their will on us politically. The only lasting solution to political violence is to make politics matter less.
We’ve allowed politics to invade every aspect of American life, from religion and family life to sex and sexuality, from bathrooms to ball fields to the workplace. But what has it gotten us besides identity politics on steroids? The ‘personal is political’ is hardly the rallying cry of a free and confident nation. Even as we enjoy historically unparalleled material prosperity, we are dispirited by the 2016 election hangover and looking for scapegoats to explain the American malaise.
It’s easy to decry Antifa and its violent leftwing rhetoric. It’s easy to decry the alt-Right, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and fascists. It’s more important to understand them as exemplars of a new political age. Progressives demanded permanent revolution; conservatives responded by becoming permanent reactionaries. And the media bias (overwhelmingly anti-right) makes things worse: one ‘side’ becomes convinced of its moral superiority, while the other becomes convinced the fix is in.
This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on August 13, 2017.
While President Trump is more than willing to tweet or comment ad hoc his feelings about any of several crucial geopolitical hotspots, the Chinese prefer the more subtle approach. With their India border tensions, officials pen ‘threatening’ articles; but with North Korea, it appears the government prefers a well known mouthpiece – The China Global Times – to send a message to America – simply put, back off the rhetoric before this goes pear-shaped because North Korea has nothing to lose…
US President Donald Trump on Tuesday gave a harsh warning to North Korea that if it makes more threats to the US, “they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.” A few hours later, Pyongyang responded by saying that it is examining its operational plans for attacking Guam. US B-1B bombers flew over the Korean Peninsula from Anderson Air Force Base on Guam. This is the latest escalation of the war of words between Washington and Pyongyang. The US can’t usually gain the upper hand in this war of words, as Pyongyang chooses whatever wording it likes, and what Washington says may not be heard by North Korean society. But US opinion has paid great attention to everything North Korea says.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 10, 2017.
Today’s post should be read as Part 3 of my ongoing series about the now infamous Google memo, and what it tells us about where our society is headed if a minority of extremely wealthy and powerful technocratic billionaires are permitted to fully socially engineer our culture to fit their ideological vision using coercion, force and manipulation. For some context, read Part 1 and Part 2.
I struggled with the title of this piece, because ever since the 2016 election, usage of the term ‘deep state’ has become overly associated with Trump cheerleaders. I’m not referring to people who voted for Trump, whom I can both understand and respect, I’m talking about the Trump cultists. Like most people who mindlessly and enthusiastically attach themselves to political figures, they tend to be either morons or opportunists.
Nevertheless, just because the term has been somewhat tainted doesn’t mean I deny the existence of a ‘deep state’ or ‘shadow government.’ The existence of networks of unelected powerful people who formulate and push policy behind the scenes and then get captured members of Congress to vote on it is pretty much undeniable. I don’t believe that the ‘deep state’ is a monolithic entity by any means, but what seems to unite these various people and institutions is an almost religious belief in U. S. imperial dominance, as well as the idea that this empire should be largely governed by an unaccountable oligarchy of billionaires and assorted technocrats. We see the results of this worldview all around us with endless wars, an unconstitutional domestic surveillance state and the destruction of the middle class. These are the fruits of deep state ideology, and a clear reason why it should be dismantled and replaced by genuine governance by the people before they lead the U. S. to total disaster.
This post was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg on Aug 9, 2017.
In the modern legal system, the victim of the crime gets punished twice. In the case of a robbery, for example, the victim gets robbed by the thief and then, if the criminal is actually arrested and imprisoned, the victim gets robbed again by the government to fund the incarceration. This makes the case for a prison industry suspect in a free market legal system. But many libertarians make the case that in a libertarian society, free market prisons would emerge. As with so many things, history is able to offer some insights into the issue.
For most of Anglo-Saxon history, prisons were largely absent from the criminal justice system. The establishment and expansion of prison as a way of punishing criminals came about only as the government encroached further and further into the court system.
After the Norman Conquest of 1066, Anglo-Saxon common law became absorbed into royal law over the course of many centuries. Even as the legal system became more government-controlled, though, punishments for most of English history continued to be restitution-based, rather than punitive. Just as in libertarian legal theory, if a person violated the common law – which typically only ever meant a violation of a person or property – the victim would bring suit against the aggressor, a trial would be quickly conducted, and the culprit would pay restitution to the victim to compensate for the damage caused. Similarly, contracts would govern disputes over wills or between merchants. The use of prisons was limited to holding people awaiting their trial, and since punishments were based on restitution, the incentive for a speedy trial was built into the system.
This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on August 8, 2017.
Is Venezuela’s 2017 transformation symptomatic of the growing global polarization? And does it show how the collapse of globalism is resulting in the re-emergence of a range of governmental forms which no longer even need to acknowledge ‘Western-style’ democracy?
Are we seeing the revival of a bloc of pre-Westphalian nation-states with major power support?
That is, societies which are not based on the balanced, nation-state concept which evolved from the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. Westphalian-style states have come to mean nation-states which married entire societies and leaderships to their geography and were imbued with legitimacy because of the relationships – tacit, historical, or electoral – between the societies and their governance. In shorthand terms: Westphalianism implies sovereignty underpinned by legitimacy. The term ‘pre-Westphalian’, used here for the first time, implies a form of despotism (control of a population without its consent); a lack of the rule of laws agreed by the society, and therefore a lack of structure (and therefore sovereignty) as recognized by its own population.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 7, 2017.
Throughout history, until about the middle of the 18th century, mass poverty was nearly everywhere the normal condition of man. Then capital accumulation and a series of major inventions ushered in the Industrial Revolution. In spite of occasional setbacks, economic progress became accelerative. Today, in the United States, in Canada, in nearly all of Europe, in Australia, New Zealand, and Japan, mass poverty has been practically eliminated. It has either been conquered or is in process of being conquered by a progressive capitalism. Mass poverty is still found in most of Latin America, most of Asia, and most of Africa.
Yet even the United States, the most affluent of all countries, continues to be plagued by “pockets” of poverty and by individual poverty.
Temporary pockets of poverty, or of distress, are an almost necessary result of a free competitive enterprise system. In such a system some firms and industries are growing or being born, others are shrinking or dying; and many entrepreneurs and workers in the dying industries are unwilling or unable to change their residence or their occupation. Pockets of poverty may be the result of a failure to meet domestic or foreign competition, of a shrinkage or disappearance of demand for some product, of mines or wells that have been exhausted, of land that has become a dust bowl, and of droughts, floods, earthquakes, and other natural disasters. There is no way of preventing most of these contingencies, and no all encompassing cure for them. Each is likely to call for its own special measures of alleviation or adjustment. Whatever general measures may be advisable can best be considered as part of the broader problem of individual poverty.
This problem is nearly always referred to by socialists as “the paradox of poverty in the midst of plenty.” The implication of the phrase is not only that such poverty is inexcusable, but that its existence must be the fault of those who have the “plenty.” We are most likely to see the problem clearly, however, if we stop blaming “society” in advance and seek an unemotional analysis.
This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on July 27, 2017.
The idea that all endeavors can be distilled down to statistics has put us in the Over-Quantification Box.
Correspondent Chad D. recently submitted a thought-provoking commentary on the Over-Quantification of Life: “I think you could constructively explore the over-QUANTIFICATION of the US. Or we could call it the Wal-Martization of the US. The only that that counts is a number (i.e. price, sales, clients, patients, tickets, arrests, convictions, fines, sex partners, scores, averages, etc.). What is missing is quality. I think you’ve mentioned something similar before talking about junk products with a short lifespan, but this way of doing things pervades our society. I would argue that in nearly every area of society, quantity rather than quality rules the day. In the Criminal Justice system, officers and their immediate supervisors are evaluated based on how many tickets/arrests are made and/or how many complaints are answered. Prosecutors are judged by how many defendants go to jail. Judges are judged by how many cases they clear and how many cases are on their docket. Prisons want more prisoners. Legislators are rated on how many laws they passed. I remember Ron Paul was castigated for not passing many if any laws while in office. I could go on with banking, investing, medicine, education, sports, farming, etc. Quality has been left in the dust by the system. The quality that remains is due to the good people who are still in the system. I don’t know what really drives this phenomena, but I would say that usury is part of it. Usury demands that the system go ever faster to ‘produce’ more and more to feed its ever hungry stomach.
This post was published at Charles Hugh Smith on TUESDAY, JULY 18, 2017.
21st Century Wire says…
You know that western society is approaching its final hour when animal rights activists start advocating individual animals to be able to sue humans in courts. That’s exactly what has happened in the US.
We can trace some of this line of thinking back to Cass Sunstein, the radical, liberal progressive technocrat and chief advisor to President Barack Obama (as well as the husband of disastrous UN Ambassador Samantha Power). According to his own writing and public declarations, Sunstein believes that activists should be able to bring a lawsuit on behalf of an animal in US courts. In his 2004 book Animal Rights: Current Debates and New Directions, Sunstein remarked:
This post was published at 21st Century Wire on JULY 17, 2017.
Socialists are rarely mentally capable of claiming responsibility for their own actions; which is why the ideology appeals to the weakest members of society. Jane Sanders, the wife of socialist Bernie Sanders, is proving this in a bold way; crying ‘sexism’ as a reason for investigations into her alleged bank fraud.
‘I find it incredibly sexist that basically, he’s going after my husband by destroying my reputation, and that’s not OK,’ Jane Sanders told The Boston Globe of the man responsible for an FBI investigation into the allegations she fraudulently obtained a loan for the Vermont college she once oversaw. All because of Sanders political ideology, however, this story is one that’s being hidden away as the mainstream media keeps peddling back to attempts to turn Russia into an enemy.
This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on JULY 17, 2017.
The following article is based on Francesca Totolo’s research published on lucadonadel.it.
Open Borders, Media Censorship
Why is there a migrant crisis in the Mediterranean? Why are NGOs involved? Because there is an extensive network of open borders activists and organizations behind it; many of them are directly funded by or cooperated with George Soros’ Open Society. Is it illegal? Not really. Political activism is an essential part of democratic societies. However, sometimes it goes too far, or the promoted causes prove to be either unrealistic or unsustainable.
The network of the ‘immigration lobby” in Italy is made up of International NGOs financed by the Open Society Foundation (green), Italian NGOs financed by OSF (blue), and organizations with shared projects with OSF (purple).
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 17, 2017.
The term Dark Web is evocative. It conjures up images of hitmen, illegal drugs, and pedophilia. One imagines a place where the dark side of human nature flourishes away from the eyes – and laws – of society at large.
Today’s infographic, from Cartwright King Solicitors, cuts through the mystique and provides an entertaining and practical overview of the Deep Web and the Dark Web.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 14, 2017.
This post was published at World Alternative Media
And when we mark the progress already accomplished in that direction, in spite of and against the State, which tries by all means to maintain its supremacy of recent origin; when we see how voluntary societies invade everything and are only impeded in their development by the State, we are forced to recognize a powerful tendency, a latent force in modern society.
– Peter Kropotkin
Before I get started, I want to emphasize that while the ideas in this three-part series focus on the U. S. and its particular structure of governance, the basic concepts can and should be applied throughout the world. If I believe in anything at all, it’s the idea that concentrations of power, whether government or corporate, represent the greatest threat to human freedom and liberty and this must be understood and resisted by all of us. Ok, so let’s get started.
Although many crucial functions are centralized, the U. S. still provides its citizens with various ways to exercise local power and we’ve already started to see a resurgence of such efforts across the nation. Whether or not we agree with the various state proposals out there trying to shake things up, we should all encourage the efforts. We all win from local populations experimenting with different ideas. Some will fail spectacularly, while others will pave the way for more reasonable policies across the nation.
This post was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg on Jul 12, 2017.
A free society can only sustain itself with the help of one simple rule. You can hold any religious or political belief, unless that belief imposes on the rights of others. If exercising your beliefs causes physical or financial harm to innocent people, then it’s not compatible with a free society.
Unfortunately, countries in the Western world are increasingly abandoning that rule. In nations like Canada, it appears that people belonging to certain religions have more rights than others, and can use their religious beliefs as an excuse to bully people they don’t like.
That’s what one landlord named John Alabi learned when he was recently hauled before Canada’s Human Rights Commission, where he was grilled for offending the sensibilities of two Muslim tenants.
His sins? John Alabi refused to remove his shoes when showing the bedroom where the couple prayed and while he always gave them the mandated 24-hour notice before showings, he didn’t always provide the five-minute heads-up they’d requested to ensure the wife was modestly dressed and they weren’t in the midst of their five daily prayers.
This post was published at shtfplan on July 11th, 2017.