This election season is so much fun because Donald Trump keeps enraging all the right people – and his timing is perfect. Just as the Republican convention was at its height, with his running mate up there on the podium perorating about the alleged threat of Vladimir Putin, along comes Donald with an interview in the New York Times that has the War Party yelling and screaming bloody murder. The head of NATO; the foreign policy pundits; even some alleged “non-interventionists” – they’re all aghast that Trump is questioning the supposedly sacred tripwires that commit us to going to war if Lower Slobbovia invades Upper Slobbovia.
It started with this article, in which Trump’s views on NATO, the Turkey coup, and other matters were summarized, but it caused such a commotion that the Times published the entire interview, and it is really a sight to see – good news for us anti-interventionists, and very bad news for the internationalists, i.e. the entire foreign policy Establishment.
It starts off with Times reporter David Sanger trying to bait him into attacking Paul Ryan, who, he says, “presented a much more traditional Republican, engaged internationalist view of the world.” Sanger reminds him of his previous comments on NATO: that our shiftless “allies” need to start paying their fair share of the costs of the alliance. Sanger adds in Korea and Japan, and ask: what if they won’t pay? What then?
Trump’s answer is vintage Trump: “Then yes, I would be absolutely prepared to tell those countries, ‘Congratulations, you will be defending yourself.’”
He is challenged by Sanger – who asks most of the questions, by the way – who avers that our system of alliances is in our interests as well, because of “trade.”
Does Sanger imagine Russia going to somehow stop trans-Atlantic commerce? It isn’t clear, but Trump comes back at him by saying it’s “a mutual interest” – in which our NATO allies are not doing their part. Stopped in his tracks – because even President Obama, as well as traditional Republicans like Robert Gates, have complained that our allies aren’t paying – Sanger reverts to the default interventionist argument:
“Even if they didn’t pay a cent toward it, many have believed that the way we’ve kept our postwar leadership since World War II has been our ability to project power around the world. That’s why we got this many diplomats …”
Trump’s answer is perfect:
“How is it helping us? How has it helped us? We have massive trade deficits. I could see that, if instead of having a trade deficit worldwide of $800 billion, we had a trade positive of $100 billion, $200 billion, $800 billion. So how has it helped us?”
Here Trump has stumbled on the dirty little secret of the post-World War II security architecture so beloved by our elites: for the privilege of paying for their defense, and in effect militarily occupying our allies-cum-satellites, we allow them to flood our markets with tariff-free goods, while they wall off their markets with trade barriers and subsidies. As the Old Right economist and prophet of empire Garet Garrett put it at the dawn of the cold war, it’s a peculiar sort of empire in which “everything goes out and nothing comes in.”
It’s really quite interesting to see Sanger take on the role of the defender of our role as “the indispensable nation” – although to be fair, it’s his job to challenge the candidate – and see how Trump argues in favor of a new policy, one that recognizes the limits of power. In their discussion of the US presence in South Korea, Sanger argues that this has prevented war, but Trump avers that it has only led to the radicalization – and nuclearization – of the North, and heightened the prospect of a really catastrophic conflict, one in which the 28,000 American troops stationed in the South would be instantly incinerated. And Trump goes further, opining that if we hadn’t intervened and stationed our troops there to begin with, things might’ve turned out differently:
“Maybe you would have had a unified Korea. Who knows what would have happened? In the meantime, what have we done? So we’ve kept peace, but in the meantime, we’ve let North Korea get stronger and stronger and more nuclear and more nuclear, and you are really saying, ‘Well, how is that a good thing?’”
The fact is that the Koreans were getting closer to unity and resolving their own problems back during the Bush administration, but the neocons stepped in and scotched what was a hopeful process of reconciliation and reunification. I wrote about that here and here.
And here Trump lets it rip with a reiteration of his essential point:
“I’m only saying this. We’re spending money, and if you’re talking about trade, we’re losing a tremendous amount of money, according to many stats, $800 billion a year on trade. So we are spending a fortune on military in order to lose $800 billion. That doesn’t sound like it’s smart to me. Just so you understand, though, totally on the record, this is not 40 years ago. We are not the same country and the world is not the same world. Our country owes right now $19 trillion, going to $21 trillion very quickly because of the omnibus budget that was passed, which is incredible. We don’t have the luxury of doing what we used to do; we don’t have the luxury, and it is a luxury. We need other people to reimburse us much more substantially than they are giving right now because [they] are only paying for a fraction of the cost.”
Sanger, defeated, can only point to the logical conclusion of Trump’s foreign policy: “Or to take on the burden themselves.” Trump is ready for him:
“In a deal, you always have to be prepared to walk. Hillary Clinton has said, ‘We will never, ever walk.” That’s a wonderful phrase, but unfortunately, if I were on Saudi Arabia’s side, Germany, Japan, South Korea and others, I would say, “Oh, they’re never leaving, so what do we have to pay them for?’ Does that make sense to you, David?”
Sanger is forced to concede: “It does, but …” and he falls back on the far-fetched question of how will we defend the United States – as if there’s going to be an attack on the continental US. Trump comes back at him with the rather obvious fact that we can always deploy from the US – “and it would be a lot less expense.”
September 1961. Geneva, Switzerland. A Turkish classmate of mine named Turgut burst into my room, crying, ‘those bastards just hanged my father!’
The ‘bastards’ in question were Turkey’s generals. They had overthrown the civilian government of Adnan Menderes and hanged my friend’s father. Since, then, the mighty Turkish armed forces has tried to overthrow the government about every ten years.
Last weekend’s military coup in Turkey was the fifth coup since the 1960’s. Many had believed the mighty, 610,000-man Turkish armed forces, backed by 379,000 trained reserves, NATO’s second largest forces after the US, had finally been driven back to its barracks by the popular democratic AK party government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
So it seemed until last Friday when tanks seized the two Bosphorus bridges in Istanbul, and attacks were staged against key targets, like TV stations, the intelligence HQ, and government buildings. Five very senior generals and 25 colonels were reportedly at the core of the uprising.
Furthermore, the coup reminded the world that the US keeps 50-60 B-61 thermonuclear bombs at Incirlik. These H-bombs could have fallen into the hands of the rebels. What purpose do these Cold War antiques serve today?
Back to the coup. It was not just the work of the Gulenists, as Turkey’s government claims. There’s a whole other aspect to the coup: the hard right, Europeanized secularists who regard 1930’s Islam-hating military dictator, Kemal Ataturk, as a demi-god and state religion. They joined the army generals in overthrowing Turkey’s past governments, keeping the nation unstable, chaotic and afflicted by financial crises.
Last weekend’s coup was a joint effort by the secular old guard and the Gulenists to reverse history. Unable to defeat the wildly popular Erdogan at the polls, they keep resorting to violence.
Two previous plots to overthrow Erdogan, known as Ergonikon and then Sledgehammer, nearly succeeded. Turkey’s judiciary, academia, media were riddled with Gulenists and rightist secularists. Generals involved in these plots were exonerated by courts. The government ended up in a 40-year ongoing civil war within its own ranks. That’s why nearly 60,000 anti-government officers and civilians are being purged. A third of all generals are being fired or retired.
The west’s response to the crisis was disgraceful.
Instead of immediately supporting Turkey’s besieged democratic government, Washington, London, Paris and Ottawa all issued only lukewarm, half-hearted support. President Erdogan is not liked, particularly by the US. He is a Muslim, too independent-minded, insufficiently response to American demands in spite of his support for the anti-ISIS war in Syria and Iraq. Perhaps worst of all, Erdogan is sometimes critical of Israel over its repression of the Palestinians.
As a result, leading US neocon papers, like the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and NY Times drip with venom over Erdogan. CNN’s coverage of the coup was astoundingly biased and nasty, worthy of the old Pravda. The anti-Erdogan neocons began spreading the ludicrous canard that the coup was a false-flag operation staged by the Turkish leader himself. It was the real thing. Even Turkey’s opposition parties sided with Erdogan’s AK.
Erdogan is hardly perfect. He is often too authoritarian and made a mess in Syria. But his triumph in protecting Turkey’s hard-won democracy should be lauded and strongly supported by his NATO allies, starting with the US – which was quick to support the brutal military coup in Egypt. Time for Washington to come clean on its murky links to Gulen.
How far will they go to destroy this country? Liberals and globalists are already plotting several moves ahead.
If Donald Trump beats Hillary, they are already contemplating a Plan B.
In a op-ed, L.A. Times. writer James Kirchick dangles the ambiguous but ominous threat, “If Trump wins, a coup isn’t impossible here in the U.S.”
It basically hints that a military overthrow of a Trump Presidency might be coming in the future, and would then be justified by horrific dictatorial acts that hordes of screaming leftists have been warning about all this time:
From the L.A. Times:
Americans viewing the recent failed coup attempt in Turkey as some exotic foreign news story — the latest, violent yet hardly unusual political development to occur in a region constantly beset by turmoil — should pause to consider that the prospect of similar instability would not be unfathomable in this country if Donald Trump were to win the presidency.
Naturally, in this scenario, Trump would be quick to commit war crimes (as Kirchick and many others see it).
What if his presidency is so dangerously unconstitutional and misguided that a military intervention will be necessary to take the country back?
In their quest to stop Trump at all costs, many of his opponents are already prepared to take things that far. That is telling, and very chilling indeed.
Throughout the campaign, Trump has repeatedly bragged about ordering soldiers to commit war crimes, and has dismissed the possibility that he would face any resistance. “They won’t refuse,” he told Fox News’ Bret Baierearlier this year. “They’re not gonna refuse me. Believe me.” When Baier insisted that such orders are “illegal,” Trump replied, “I’m a leader. I’ve always been a leader. I’ve never had any problem leading people. If I say do it, they’re going to do it.”
Try to imagine, then, a situation in which Trump commanded our military to do something stupid, illegal or irrational.
If this scenario sounds implausible, consider that Trump has normalized so many once-outrageous things — from open racism to blatant lying. Needless to say, such dystopian situations are unimaginable under a President Hillary Clinton, who, whatever her faults, would never contemplate ordering a bombing run or — heaven forbid — a nuclear strike on a country just because its leader slighted her small hands at a summit. Rubio might detest her, but he cannot honestly say that Clinton, a former secretary of State, should not be trusted with the nation’s nuclear codes.
Trump is not only patently unfit to be president, but a danger to America and the world. Voters must stop him before the military has to.
The veiled threat can’t be dismissed just because it is misguided or vague.
Should Donald Trump take it as a threat? Is his life in danger?
What happens if voters don’t make the choice these people think is the right one?
Glenn Beck was suspended from air for a week for allow a guest to make similar comments that hinted at ‘taking Trump out.’
Discussing a potential Donald Trump presidency, Thor lamented that impeachment would likely be off the table.
“If Congress won’t remove him from office, what patriot will step up and do that if, if, he oversteps his mandate as president, his constitutional-granted authority, I should say, as president,” Thor said. “If he oversteps that, how do we get him out of office? And I don’t think there is a legal means available. I think it will be a terrible, terrible position the American people will be in to get Trump out of office because you won’t be able to do it through Congress.”
There is a very real and very potent anger fomenting across our country. Though there are good reasons for it, most of it is misdirected, and 2016 has proven to be open season for attacks of all kind against Trump and his supporters.
Violence has trailed his campaign as passionate leftists stop at nothing to defy his controversial policies on immigration and the rest of it.
The rule of law is slipping away, and certain sectors of the establishment love the chaos is will bring.
Reprinted with permission from SHTFplan.com.
Anyone with a modicum of cleverness can come up with the list of 50 ways to do this or 50 ways to do that. The problem, as I see it, is many of these lists are a rehash of another list with the author having little or no first-hand experience with each of the listed items. Not that it is devious or wrong, but there has to be a better way.
Something I like to do is to ask real people how they manage situations and use things. I couple that with my own knowledge and experience and viola! We have a better way!
When I wrote about 5 Oddball Uses for Duct Tape, I was curious to learn about some other oddball uses of duct tape. Backdoor Survival readers came out of the woodwork to respond!
And so today, I share with you 23 brilliant uses of duct tape, gathered from your own, proven testimonials.
Temporarily connect tail light cover to car after backing into mailbox.
9. Replace Broken Cap
I used duct tape to make a replacement cap on bottle of contact lens solution.
10. Repair Strap on Handbag
The rubber coating on my Ameribag shoulder bag strap ripped and duct tape fixed it so it no longer hurts my hand when I pick it up.
“Never trust a criminal … until you have to,” is the official motto of The Blacklist, the American crime-thriller television series that premiered on NBC on September 23, 2013. But the real lesson of The Blacklist is “never trust the government … even if you have to.” Not many shows are both anti-state in their narrative and enjoyable at the same time. The Blacklist, however, deserves to be watched. If there is one show that takes the government for what it is, i.e., a “bandit gang” as Rothbard called it, it would be The Blacklist.
The Blacklist is the story of an international criminal, Raymond Reddington, who decides, for mysterious reasons, to work with the FBI. In exchange for valuable information, the FBI lets him conduct his business freely. Hence, the question is does Reddington work for the government or is it the other way around. Reddington says it explicitly in Season 1, Episode 2: “The FBI works for me now.”
It is true that, after three seasons, we still don’t know much about Reddington. As he says in Season 1, Episode 1, “Everything about me is a lie.” to do immoral deeds. As Connolly, the attorney general in the show, says: “I never had any principles — that’s why I am on a rocket to the top.” Another instance of selection of the worst happens in Season 1 when an FBI agent wants to discover a dark truth. Her chief just answers “You should just take care of your career.” Comply and climb the ladder, do not and you will occupy an irrelevant job for the rest of your life, such are often the alternatives when it comes to the government.
But the dehumanization by the state machine goes a lot further. The government always tries to contrast the “good” with the “bad” guys so that bureaucrats feel no remorse when they violate their victims’ rights. During Episode 11 of Season 1, for instance, the government investigates the attack on a black site on smoking out a mole. A discussion between the investigator and an FBI Agent goes as follows:
Investigator: “According to the report from your therapist, you feel guilty about what happened during the raid.”
Agent: “Of course I do, I shot a man. I thought what I said in therapy was confidential.”
Investigator: “You shot a terrorist, why would you feel guilty about that?”
Agent: “Because he is human!”
Later, the investigators — or, in other words, bureaucrats who are trained in missing the point — think the FBI agent in question is the mole. It is thanks only to the expertise and protection of Reddington, who conducted is an own investigation, that the FBI agent is cleared of suspicion. What is striking in The Blacklist is that even good people are forced to be bad if they want to save their skin, or even if they want to do something good.
Unlike the state, Red Reddington is highly efficient in his business operations. He even has better intelligence than the omnipotent surveillance state. As a good libertarian mafioso, he criticizes government waste and the inefficiency of the government intelligence services:
Do you have any idea how much the US government spent on signal intelligence in the past year? […] Your country has become a nation of eavesdroppers. Frequency domain triangulation, satellites, crypto … whatever! You forgot that what matters most is human intelligence. Alliances, relationships, seductions.
Not only does Reddington have much more style than do dull bureaucrats, not only does he speak impeccable French — to which I can testify — and has a good knowledge of French wines, but he also beats the government in everything he does. Season 2, Episode 2, Reddington even escapes with great panache from a restaurant surrounded by the police and the FBI.
By following his own interests, Reddington serves the public good by eliminating the corrupt public criminals who infect the government machine. Some might argue that Reddington became rich thanks to the Don Corleone theory of trade — i.e., by making offers one cannot refuse. This is not, however, how Reddington is proceeding. He does not make threats except in order to protect his property. Reddington is rich because he is the best at what he does. The state, on the other hand, is the institution which uses the Don Corleone theory of trade systematically to insure its supremacy. The state doctrine is simple “everything belongs to you what is not yet mine.” Oppositely, Reddington’s doctrine is “Let’s make a deal.”
Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.
The Western public doesn’t know it, but Washington and its European vassals are convincing Russia that they are preparing to attack. Eric Zuesse reports on a German newspaper leak of a Bundeswehr decision to declare Russia to be an enemy nation of Germany. This is the interpretation that some Russian politicians themselves have put on the NATO military bases that Washington is establishing on Russia’s borders.
Washington might intend the military buildup as pressure on President Putin to reduce Russian opposition to Washington’s unilateralism. However, it reminds some outspoken Russians such as Vladimir Zhirinovsky of Hitler’s troops on Russia’s border in 1941.
Zhirinovsky is the founder and leader of Russia’s Liberal Democratic Party and a vice chairman of the Russian parliament. In a confrontation with the editor of a German newspaper, Zhirinovsky tells him that German troops again on Russia’s border will provoke a preventive strike after which nothing will remain of German and NATO troops. “The more NATO soldiers in your territory, the faster you are going to die. To the last man. Remove NATO from your territory!”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has expressed his frustration with Washington’s reliance on force and coercion instead of diplomacy. It is reckless for Washington to convince Russia that diplomacy is a dead end without promise. When the Russians reach that conclusion, force will confront force.
Indeed Zhirinovsky has already reached that point and perhaps Vladimir Putin also. As I reported, Putin recently dressed down Western presstitutes for their role in fomenting nuclear war. See also here. Putin has made it clear that Russia will not accept US missile bases in Poland and Romania. He has informed Washington and the imbecilic Polish and Romanian governments. However, as Putin observed, “they don’t hear.”
The inability to hear means that Washington’s arrogance has made Washington too stupid to take seriously Putin’s warning. If Washington persists, it will provoke the preventive strike that Zhirinovsky told the German editor the Merkel regime was inviting.
Americans need to wake up to the dangerous situation that Washington has created, but I doubt they will. Most wars happen without the public’s knowledge until they happen. The main function of the American left-wing is to serve as a bogyman with which to scare conservatives about the country’s loss of morals, and the main function of conservatives is to create fear and hysteria about immigrants, Muslims, and Russians. There is no sign that Congress is aware of approaching Armageddon, and the media consists of propaganda.
I and a few others try to alert people to the real threats that they face, but our voices are not loud enough. Not even Vladimir Putin’s voice is loud enough. It looks like the West won’t hear until “there remains nothing at all of the German and NATO troops,” and of Poland and Romania and the rest of us.
Good, sharp kitchen knives can seriously enhance your cooking prowess. But if you’ve purchased a starter set of blades and have no idea which ones are designed for what task, this handy primer by English knife manufacturing company Robert Welch provides amateur chefs with an easy overview. It lists the names of each cutting tool, briefly explains its purpose and tells you how it’s used. Even if you don’t end up slicing and dicing your way to the top of the culinary world, at least your friends and family will no longer mock you trying to chop vegetables with a filleting knife.
Reprinted from Mental Floss.
Are you smart at advanced Geography? Take this unofficial test to see if you have what it takes to become a Geography Master. Geography is where you are and where everyone else in the world is and how they are all different.
If you don’t know much about it, it’s always fun encouraging people to learn about it, there are already too much people that don’t know where to find their country on a map so try to look like the smart one. There are many different branches of Geography: teacher, cartography, human geography, physical geography, and computer map drawing.
Reprinted from GoToQuiz.com.
Our youngest son Dan, born in 1987, claims socialism is good. Like many other people in his Millennial Generation born 1982-2004, despite growing up in a home with libertarian parents, he backed Bernie Sanders and thinks socialism works. A case in point, he argues: “Look at Sweden. It works there!” My wife and I have tried to dispel this notion and other collectivist views he holds since he attended and graduated from college, without effect.
When I learned that Tom DiLorenzo had written a new book titled The Problem with Socialism, for release on July 18, 2016 I pre-ordered a copy on Amazon. Sure enough, on Monday morning July 18 UPS delivered it to my door. I read it at once.
In this relatively short book, in a clear, engaging, and concise fashion, Professor DiLorenzo explains what socialism is and why it doesn’t ever work. One quickly sees that he has put the same care into writing The Problem with Socialism as he has done with his other, longer books, notably The Real Lincoln, Hamilton’s Curse, Lincoln Unmasked, and How Capitalism Saved America.
“Somebody is going to die tonight,” a visibly agitated Anthony Lord told a close friend on July 16, 2015. Lord, a resident of Benedicta, Maine, was a registered sex offender who displayed symptoms of violent derangement. His anger had been kindled by a voice mail message from the Maine State Police reporting that a woman named Brittany Irish had accused him of sexually assaulting her, and asking him to visit a local barracks to be interviewed about the matter.
Lord’s entirely plausible threat was reported to Jaime Irish, Brittany’s brother. His frantic phone call to Brittany interrupted a conversation in her home with two Maine state troopers. They were discussing both Irish’s sexual assault complaint and her report that the barn at her parents’ home had been set on fire – most likely by Lord, who knew the family well.
Brittany’s initial relief at the presence of two officers sworn to “serve and protect” she was quickly transmuted into incredulity when the troopers refused a request to deploy officers to watch her and her two small children (who were visiting relatives at another location). Protecting a rape victim and her family against a credible murder threat from an assailant who was also suspected of carrying out a retaliatory arson attack was not a priority worthy of the man-hours it would entail.
Frantically grasping for whatever reassurance they could get, Brittany and her mother, Kimberly, asked if the police could leave a marked vehicle parked outside the home as a bluff. Even that was seen as an unacceptable expenditure of precious department resources that could be used for more important undertakings, such as traffic enforcement. Indifferently assuring Brittany that they would “keep an eye on the situation,” the troopers drove away.
The fire that destroyed the Irish family’s barn was not the beginning of Lord’s depredations. A few hours earlier he broke into the home of a Silver Ridge man named Kary Mayo, beat him, tied him to a chair, and stole his guns and a pickup truck.
Early the following morning, Lord shot his way into the Irish home, killing Brittany’s boyfriend Kyle Hewitt and wounding her mother, who suffers from multiple sclerosis. Brittany, who suffered a superficial gunshot wound to her arm, exited through a bathroom window and tried to escape, but she was chased down by Lord. When a 60-year-old local resident named Carlton Eddy happened by in a truck, Lord flagged him down — then shot the driver and stole his vehicle. After strangling her into submission, Lord tied the victim up with a seatbelt and sped away.
For reasons yet to be explained, Lord drove to a nearby lumber yard, where he shot two more men – Clayton McCarthy, who survived, and Kevin Tozier, who did not. As he drove away from the scene, Brittany pleaded with him to take her to the home of his uncle Carl, who was a mutual acquaintance. That Lord did so is another mystifying decision on his part. Displaying a flat affect and saying not a word about his actions, Lord “unloaded the gun like it was something that he was bound and determined to do,” his uncle later recalled.
Shortly thereafter, fourteen police vehicles surrounded the home and took Lord into custody. It is important to recognize that the police didn’t actually arrest the offender: That was accomplished by the victim and the suspect’s uncle. There was no official competence displayed in clearing this case and just as little valor. All of the risks were borne by the victims, at fatal expense to two of them. Once the danger had abated, the police were eager to take credit for delivering the suspect into the care of the criminal “justice” system.
It is a long-established principle that police officers and the agencies employing them face no specific or institutional liability when they fail to protect individuals from acts of criminal violence. Brittany Irish’s ordeal resembles that of the victims in the pivotal 1981 decision Warren v. District of Columbia in which the D.C Court of Appeals ruled that it is a “fundamental principle of American law that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen.” (Emphasis added.)
In the earlier case, two women contacted police to report an assault on a mutual friend. Officers were dispatched to the address, but – in the interest of that holiest of all considerations, officer safety — declined to enter the apartment building. The desperate women called again, and this time, the department didn’t even bother to respond. Acting in the misplaced hope that help was nigh upon arrival, the women opened an apartment window and called out for assistance. This alerted the assailants, who abducted the women at knifepoint.
“For the next fourteen hours,” the court recounts in a clinical summary, “the women were held captive, raped, robbed, beaten, forced to commit sexual acts upon each other, and made to submit to the sexual demands” of their captors.
The victims were not entitled to civil redress, the court insisted, because “The duty to provide public services is owed to the public at large, and, absent a special relationship between the police and an individual, no specific legal duty exists.”
Brittany Irish’s case differs from the one described in that ruling in two significant ways. First, Andrew Lord not only shot, tortured, and sexually assaulted her, he assaulted several other people and murdered two victims after the police had been given detailed, specific advance warning regarding what was about to transpire – and they were in a position to help, but simply could not be bothered to do so.
Secondly, and most importantly, “We contend that the Maine State Police had established a `special relationship’ with Brittany,” attorney Dave Van Dyke told Pro Libertate. “In addition, it is clear that she was seriously harmed as a result of what the case law calls `State-created danger.’”
By contacting Lord and informing him of the sexual assault complaint, and then refusing to provide protection to Brittany, the State Police “acted to increase the threat which existed to Plaintiffs beyond that which otherwise existed,” the lawsuit contends. “Defendants made an implicit and/or express promise to protect Plaintiffs, Plaintiffs relied upon such promise, Defendants failed to fulfill such promise and Plaintiffs were injured thereby, such unfulfilled promise creating a special duty” to protect Brittany and her family.
It should be pointed out that the conflict that led to Lord’s murder rampage had existed for several years, and Brittany had obtained two restraining orders against him. Following the initial July 14, 2015, sexual assault, Brittany received no assistance whatsoever from the police. She went to a hospital to undergo a rape kit examination; she carefully preserved the clothes she had been wearing as evidence. When she reported the rape on July 15, she was told by the State Police to come in the following morning and file a written complaint.
A few hours after the assault, Brittany had received a text message from Lord asking her to meet him to “talk about what had happened.” This prompted her to suggest to the police that she meet him and elicit a recorded confession from him – if an officer would maintain a discreet distance to ensure her safety.
“That’s not the way we do it,” an officer explained to her. The preferred approach in such situations, apparently, is to inform a registered violent sex offender with psychotic tendencies that he had been accused of rape, and suggest that he volunteer to talk about it with the police at his leisure.
After enduring the second rape and witnessing two murders, Brittany delivered the offender to the State Police. The department held a press conference to express perfunctory condolences to the people whom they had failed to protect –and then slammed down the portcullis to prevent critical scrutiny of its actions.
“We made an FOIA request for the official reports and other documents on this case,” Van Dyke told me. “It was denied on the grounds that they are part of an `ongoing investigation.’” Lord’s trial isn’t scheduled until August of 2017, which would give the State Police more than a year to keep those documents from the public. Accordingly, “we decided to file suit and get the documents through discovery,” Van Dyke explained. He is guardedly optimistic that Brittany’s case is strong enough to overcome “the cottage industry in `qualified immunity’” that constantly devises ever more elaborate rationales for failing to hold police officers accountable for their actions – and their derelictions.
If Brittany Irish had been pulled over by a state trooper who demanded to search her vehicle and person for drugs or cash, she would have been under a state-prescribed duty to submit. This is the kind of “general public service” the police are expected to provide – or, more accurately, to inflict. She cannot opt-out of that “service” without being arrested and possibly killed by those providing it. Those same agents of state-authorized violence, however, opted out of helping Brittany when she and her family needed protection.
Over the past century, the state’s “justice” system has created a lengthy series of judicial precedents intended to discourage “self-help” on the part of people experiencing, or threatened by, criminal violence – whether official or private. Self-help was the only kind available to Brittany and her family, and it proved unavailing when the Maine State Police actively collaborated with a deranged man who tore a bloody swath through two counties.
One day after Ted Cruz refused to endorse Donald Trump in a speech that has since been defined as a historic, once-in-a-generation event, and yet one which supposedly Trump had vetted in advance, Donald Trump went on the war path against Cruz.
At a convention farewell event in Cleveland with running mate Mike Pence, Trump said he doesn’t want Cruz’s endorsement, blamed the Texas senator for making their wives fair political game, and said he had nothing to do with a conspiracy theory he promoted in the primary, that Cruz’s father had been seen with President John F. Kennedy’s assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.
Trump tore into his primary rival on Friday morning, saying he would not accept the Texas senator’s endorsement and threatening to fund a Senate challenger against Cruz.
“If he gives it, I will not accept it,” Trump said at a Friday morning press conference in Cleveland. “He’ll come and endorse in the next little while because he has no choice,” Trump added. “I don’t want his endorsement. Ted, stay home, relax, enjoy yourself.
“Honestly, he should have done it, because nobody cares, and he would have been in better shape four years from now — I don’t see him winning anyway frankly, but if he did it’s fine. Although maybe I’ll set up a Super PAC if he decides to run,” he added. Turning to his running mate, he said, “Are you allowed to set up a super-PAC, Mike, if you are the president, to fight somebody?”
According to Bloomberg,the move renews questions about whether Trump will follow a more traditional playbook in the general election against presumptiveDemocratic nominee Hillary Clinton, or hang onto grievances from a bitter Republican primary campaign.denied that it was his father… I had nothing to do with it,” Trump said. Referring to the tabloid magazine’s past coverage of the O.J. Simpson and John Edwards stories, he said, “This was a magazine that frankly in many respects should be very respected. They got O.J., they got Edwards.”
Of Cruz’s attempts to distance himself from the group’s ads, Trump said, “Folks, a lot of us are political people, right, we’re not babies. His people were on the PAC.” He added, “Now probably you could trace it down with e-mails but they’re pretty smart.”
Trump said Cruz’s speech might have hurt his future political ambitions.
“Somebody got booed out of the place by thousands and thousands of people,” Trump said. “Honestly, he may have ruined his political career.”
Reprinted with permission from Zero Hedge.
A friend of mine, Steve, recently asked me, “What is the best way to deal with rashes from poison ivy?” I told him that the best way is to stay out of the poison ivy. Not only was he not satisfied with my answer, but also he asked me to do an article on skin rashes and such. Readers, this one goes out as a dedication to Steve, and if you guys and gals can’t take the initial advice I gave to him, perhaps this information will help you in your hiking and backpacking adventures!
The topic of discussion for this article is hives, and we will present some facts about hives and some measures that may help those afflicted by them. Hives are known in medical terminology as urticaria. Defined as such, urticaria consists of multiple, swollen, raised areas of the skin that itch for up to 24 hours, caused by allergens and the body’s immunoglobulin response to those actions. Hives can strike anyone, for multiple causes and reasons. To really understand how hives work, we have to understand the body’s histamine response.
Understanding How Hives Occur
Histamine itself is a substance that is made from an amino acid, and it causes enlargement of blood vessels and a marked rise in the digestive acid production in the stomach, along with mucous production and bronchial constriction. Histamine is released from mast cells that are large cells that serve to produce inflammatory responses that are governed by immunoglobulin E. The mast cells and their mediators produce what is known as a type I hypersensitivity reaction (also known as an immediate hypersensitivity reaction) that lead to the sign symptom of hives. Poison ivy (in my friend, Steve’s case) is one of the causes for a type I reaction.
“Feel the freedom!” That’s the mission statement from the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR), a not-for-profit group based in Kissimmee, Florida. For more than 85 years, the AANR has helped hundreds of thousands of nudists find like minds and safe spaces for wholesome, clothes-free fun.
Those curious about nudist gatherings might wonder how social interactions differ when one or both parties are unencumbered by clothing. To find out, we asked Carolyn Hawkins, the public relations coordinator for the AANR and a frequent presence at Kissimmee’s Cypress Cove Nudist Resort. Here are a few things to keep in mind should you ever find yourself on “nakation.”
1. YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO KEEP YOUR CLOTHES ON.
4. FOOTWEAR IS WELCOME.
Because Florida is populated by fire ants, Hawkins says she frequently runs into nudists who sport shoes or sandals on an otherwise naked body: “There are also little sticks and things like that on the beach.” Hats and jewelry are also common.
5. THEY EAT IN THE NUDE.
While this sounds like it might be hazardous when ordering hot soups, Hawkins says most resorts welcome nude diners (provided you bring that aforementioned towel). Some patrons might find a dining area chilly and wear something light to avoid feeling cold. And while most servers are nudists themselves, they remain dressed while on duty.
The self-righteousness and smugness of Ted Cruz in refusing to endorse Donald Trump, then walking off stage in Cleveland, smirking amidst the boos, takes the mind back in time.
At the Cow Palace in San Francisco in July of 1964, Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, having been defeated by Barry Goldwater, took the podium to introduce a platform plank denouncing “extremism.”
Implication: Goldwater’s campaign is saturated with extremists.
Purpose: Advertise Rocky’s superior morality.
Smug and self-righteous, Rocky brayed at the curses and insults, “It’s a free country, ladies, and gentlemen.”
They were like football coaches who still swore by the single-wing offense, after George Halas’ Chicago Bears, the “Monsters of the Midway,” used the T-formation to score 11 touchdowns and beat the Washington Redskins in the 1940 NFL championship game, 73-0.
What paralyzed the Republicans of a generation ago? What blinded them from seeing and blocked them from acting on the new realities?
Ideology, political correctness, a reflexive recoil against new thinking, and an innate inability to adapt.
The ideology was a belief in free trade that borders on the cultic, though free trade had been rejected by America’s greatest leaders: Washington, Madison, Hamilton, Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt.
The political correctness stemmed from a fear of being called racist and xenophobic so paralyzing, so overpowering, that some Republicans would ship the entire Third World over here, rather than have it thought they would ever consider the race, ethnicity or religion of those repopulating America.
The inability to adapt was seen when our Cold War adversary extended a hand in friendship, and the War Party slapped it away. Rather than shed Cold War alliances and rebuild our country, we looked around for new commitments, new allies, new wars to fight to “end tyranny in our world.”
These wars had less to do with threats to vital interests, than with providing now-obsolete Cold Warriors with arguments to maintain their claims on national resources and attention, not to mention their lifestyles and jobs.
With Trump’s triumph, the day of reckoning has arrived.
The new GOP is not going to be the party of open borders, free trade globalism or reflexive interventionism.
The weeping and gnashing of teeth are justified.
For these self-righteous folks are all getting eviction notices. They are being dispossessed of their home.
The following statement of support for Donald Trump is intended to counteract the dishonest presentation of this promising presidential candidate as someone whose followers are illiterate or, in the words of Ted Cruz, “badly informed.” Those who have attached their signatures to this statement are accredited scholars, mostly with Ph.D. s, who are endorsing Donald Trump as a credible candidate for the presidency and as the only barrier now standing between us and (Heaven forfend!) the election of Hillary Clinton. It is our hope that the appearance of this statement on a respected website will generate signatures from other scholars and that our statement of support can then be placed in the national press. We are fully aware that signing this statement will not bring the signatory the same professional rewards as speaking at a conference on why Trump is a “fascist” or on why he reminds one of the late German Fuhrer. Expressing support for the Republican presidential candidate undoubtedly requires more courage, particularly for someone in the academic profession. But we trust that there are lots of gutsy scholars who read this website and who will be eager to append their signatures to our statement.
Paul Gottfried and Walter E. Block
We the undersigned scholars hereby express our support for the presidential bid of Donald J. Trump. Contrary to a fiction invented and disseminated by both the mainstream media and the Republican Party establishment, Trump supporters are by no means limited to the badly educated and ill-informed. We feature numerous academics and other professionals, who share Trump’s vision of “making American great again.” Our group is vitally concerned about reversing the direction in which this country has been moving for decades under Republican and Democratic administrations alike. That is, we want to move away from harming our economically strained middle and working classes. We reject their pattern of stifling freedom of thought and speech that is being imposed by government agencies as well as by the media and our universities in the name of an increasingly restrictive political correctness. Moreover, we respect Trump as the law and order presidential candidate, who is dedicated to making our borders and our streets safe. Instead of blaming such scapegoats of the Left as white Christian bigotry and gun owners for our increasing lawlessness and terrorist attacks, Trump places responsibility for the breakdown of our safety where it belongs, on Muslim extremists and violent criminals.
Finally, we see Donald Trump as a leader who will give a new direction to American foreign policy. Neither an isolationist nor an ideological crusader, he will base his dealings with other nations firmly on American interests. He is searching for a path in international relations that advances those interests without involving us in playing policemen to the entire world or confusing statecraft with imposing a global democratic agenda. In this respect, Trump emphatically distinguishes himself from recent Republican presidential candidates and from the utterly ineffective Democratic administration of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Both forces of opposition to Trump have been badly misguided. Whereas establishment Republicans have tried to make the rest of the world conform to their preferred notions of democracy, their Democratic opponents have not dealt competently with either international relations or domestic social disorder.
We believe Donald Trump will offer an alternative to the failed approach to foreign relations of our last two presidents.
Walter E. Block , Loyola University, New Orleans, Ph.D., Columbia University
Paul Gottfried, Elizabethtown College, Raffensperger Professor of Humanities Emeritus, Ph.D., Yale University
Darren Beatty, Ph.D., Duke University
Boyd Cathy, North Carolina State Archives, Ph.D., University of Navarra
Marshall DeRosa, Florida Atlantic University, Ph.D., University of Houston
Jack Kerwick, Rowan College (Burlington County, New Jersey), Ph.D., Temple university
Donald W. Miller, professor of surgery emeritus, Seattle Swedish Medical Center
Ralph Raico, SUNY Buffalo, Ph.D., University of Chicago
Clyde Wilson, University of South Carolina, PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
If you are willing to have your name added to this list, please drop a note to Paul Gottfried at email@example.com and give us your scholarly affiliation, along the lines of the other signatories.
And yes, it is a problem.
Whether you are a “law and order” type or otherwise. In fact, especially if you are a “law and order” type. Because, simply put, cops are not subject to the same law and order as the rest of us – and that is a problem.
For them as much as us.
For them, because it has created an arrogance – a recklessness – that encourages the extra-legal excesses that we’re seeing on video almost every day (these videos probably capturing only a small slice of what actually goes on every day).
For us, because we are increasingly threatened by these excesses.
It is worrisome and very dangerous – for everyone.
They fear and loathe us and we return the sentiment, with predictable results.
They escalate, making retaliation as inevitable as fall coming after summer.
This is not to condone much less encourage but rather to explain. And – hopefully – fix.
People – not just “blacks” – are angry. With cause. It is not good.
How to dial it back?
One simple measure would be to apply the law equally to everyone. Especially to law enforcement. It is madness that this is currently not the case.
An example of which is this video, which shows the final moments of a chase. The man surrenders. He gets on his knees, then on the ground. He is totally submitting and obeying at this point; there is no Threat to Officer Safety. But two officers beat the man regardless while other officers stand and watch and do not arrest the officers perpetrating a physical assault in broad daylight. This was – as the ancient saying had it – a Kodak Moment.
Actually, a video moment.
Were it not for the video, the two cops administering the beatdown would probably never have been charged (as they subsequently were, no doubt with great reluctance by a DA who had no choice because of the video, which was shown on live TV). But that is not the take-home point. The take-home point is that if you or I had rained punches on some other person in plain view of a cop, we’d have been immediately arrested and handcuffed and taken to jail.
A friend in Frankfurt emailed me on July 19th:
It is sheer madness what is happening here… The noose is tightening and yet—it is still only the beginning… What took place in some dull regional express close to Würzburg, a town in Franconia in the middle of Germany, was—in some respect—like a watershed event—just like the mass sexual assaults in Cologne on New Year’s Eve.
The mantra from above is still “Islam belongs to Germany” or “We will make it (in regards to the Refugee Crisis)” but there are fewer and fewer people buying it—which does NOT mean that more people are getting it—but I will come to this later.
We now know that in Cologne alone (!) there were about 1,200 women (in one night) sexually harassed, abused and, in some cases, raped.
At the moment there is no weekend when there aren’t news about some refugees sexually harassing women or girls at a festival (it is a festival season).
Also, you can find news about refugees harassing women and children (and sometimes raping them) in public swimming pools on a weekly or even daily basis.
Sales of pepper sprays and guns are booming everywhere. If there were only these things, the rage might be controllable, but Würzburg was of a different quality. For the first time, a refugee didn’t kill another refugee (when this happened before, Neo-Nazis were blamed, then—just as was the case with most of the “burning refugee centers”—the police later found that a refugee was responsible).
When children were robbed by refugees, Germans were told to send their children to school by a different route.
Germans were told to stop swimming nude in a lake—because a refugee center was erected nearby.
Last year, Germans were told the refugees would contribute so mightily and extraordinarily to the German economy—so what have been the news recently?
Well—the big German corporations, the 30 members of the DAX (the stock market index), that so proudly announced last year they would hire lots of refugees—they have indeed hired refugees. Fifty-four, to be exact (50 of them went to the Deutsche Post, as mailmen. Ah—if Charles Bukowski only knew…).
Only recently, a branch of the German Arbeitsagentur (the office for the unemployed) in Dortmund had another success story:
This branch was created last year and staffed with 36 employees (all paid with tax money) with the sole purpose of bringing 2,200 refugees in Dortmund, those who were able to work, into the workforce.
And the news was: After nine months of intensive work the Arbeitsagentur has succeeded to get … ten (!) refugees working! Hurrah! Well, they had the decency to add that it’s only a start—but an encouraging one.
The list is endless…. but to come back to the incident in Würzburg:
A refugee, supposedly from Afghanistan and 17-years-old, decided to start his own jihad and tried to take out a few infidels. Oddly enough, he started with a family from Hong Kong on the train, whom he attacked with the brave shout “Allah Akbar” and a knife and an axe. After severely wounding two of them, he jumped off the train.
(I wonder if this will boost tourism from Hong Kong).
Then he met some old ladies who were walking their little dogs and with the shout “I will kill you, sluts!” he also wounded one (perhaps fatally) before being shot by the police.
Now—as I said, THIS is a new quality.
I can almost feel the anger and rage in Germany getting stronger.
The rage in some refugees is also rising, which is logical.
There are no jobs for them.
There are no houses for them.
There are no women for them.
So—jihad is an option, if you are bored and all these kuffar give you nothing but €352 a month or less, and you have to sleep with six others in a tightly packed room—and there is just nothing to do!
And you wander around and there are all those women in shorts, etc.—but they are not for you.
No wonder, some get frustrated.
Slowly, silently, the German police admits there might be a teensy-weensy bit of a problem here—mind you, we still don’t know the whereabouts of between 150 to 500 thousand refugees who just disappeared…
Nobody knows how many jihadists are here. Nobody. Could be a few dozen. Or hundreds. Or thousands.
This young man on the Würzburg train came last July. He was granted asylum this March. Last two months, he lived with a family. He had a job (or was in training, rather) at a bakery. There were no signs of radicalization. Soooo…
The media is busy telling us: Well… he radicalized himself only days before the attack. I wonder if they realize this message is not quite reassuring…
So the gap is rising ever more. Everybody has some story to tell:
My brother lives in Munich. Last year, his wife was very pro-refugee. In a neighboring suburb a few weeks ago, a woman heard the doorbell at 10PM. Assuming it was a friend (this is Bavarian bourgeoisie, so they’ve always felt safe, at least until recently…), she opened the door—and was greeted (and then raped) by two refugees. That made my brother’s wife rethink (they have two small children).
My sister in Münster has armed herself with pepper spray.
Colleagues don’t let their children go alone to school anymore because there are refugees nearby.
A guy in East Germany tells me people are secretly arming themselves.
Hate grows, as does mistrust and anxiety. Some weeks ago in Hanover, a young Muslim girl (15-years-old) rammed a knife into the throat of a female policeman (who was just standing there—the attack came out of nowhere).
Then people hear about public swimming pools, about festivals—they hear about the same things in Sweden—then what happened in France—Nice, or the policeman and his wife who were stabbed to death in Magnanville (while their 3-year-old-son was watching).
The latest incident was a woman in France who got stabbed by a guy from Morocco—they had quarreled because the Moroccan guy thought the woman’s daughters were not properly dressed—so he stabbed her and her three daughters, the youngest only eight-years-old. And so on, and so on…
Now—of course, there are also Germans doing nasty things—murdering, raping etc. But these things have a new quality to them.
For many years the statistics of the German police had shown that migrants are waaaay overrepresented in crime—rapes, robberies, burglaries, violence etc. The rates for migrants were everywhere double or triple those for the general population (and the funny thing is, the gap would have been even wider if Germans with a migrant background—Turks who have German passports, etc.—were included. Of course, this was not done (it would be racist, you know).
And the blame was and is still on the Germans—that they didn’t provide enough opportunities for integration towards the poor Muslim migrants (funnily enough, we don’t have these problems with Vietnamese or Hindu migrants… but again, these are racist thoughts…).
So the migrants were and are told that it is the Germans’ fault if they don’t get a job. Some of them believe it. Also, some or even many seem to believe that Germans are a bunch of racist swine.
I once met a Greek woman who complained loudly to me that Germans were so racist. I asked her what her experiences were—and she said that a friend of her had been approached by a German on a train and that he (hacked her to death? No, not quite) had said to her: there are too many of you in Germany.
Wasn’t that racism?
I asked if her children were ever harassed by Turkish children in school (Turks and Greeks don’t get along too well)—yes, of course—Turkish children had harassed and even beaten up her boys.
Now Linh—the really funny thing was, it didn’t occur to her that this was more racist (that her boys were beaten up by Turks just because they were Greeks) than the incident on the train.
Racism was something only Germans showed.
I heard similar things from others.
So all in all—a perfect example of mind manipulation.
AND this also shows now so brilliantly—because—as I said, the mood gets worse (just on the eve of the next financial crisis—perfect timing)—even in the German leftist newspaper Die Zeit (absolutely pro-refugee) you now find commentaries from people who say that they have just had enough of this lousy leftist whining…
Because again, we are told from German politicians about the incident in Würzburg that
- This had nothing to do with Islam or the refugee crisis
- That the police shouldn’t have killed the poor axe-wielding boy (German police officers are rather reluctant to use their guns, but if someone runs towards them with an axe, I think it is understandable that they shoot)
- That the young man radicalized himself just recently—and therefore that
- It was no sign of a strengthening of ISIS in Germany etc.
My father remembers the 70s (I don’t—too young) when 40 members of the Rote Armee Fraktion RAF (the left terror group of Baader-Meinhof and the likes) were able to hold German society in fear and sometimes in a state close to hysteria. Now—with… 100? 1000? ISIS members—you can imagine how the mood will change when ISIS does its first crucifixion here…).
All the more, since some gruesome details from the Paris attacks are now leaking out—that the terrorists at the Paris discotheque in November 2015 not only killed the young folks there… but they tore off limbs, cut off genitals, stuffed them in the mouths of the men, cut out eyes etc… Ah—a holy war excuses everything—even becoming a monster, it seems.
But to come to the point: As I said, Germans are getting more and more fed up with the official litany—BUT: They don’t see the real picture. They still believe that the ones who created this situation will be the ones who will deliver the solution! That is the sad part of it.
All these things will be used as an excuse to install the perfect police state (and it will be perfect). We need to protect you from terrorists—so give us your freedom, open your bank account, let us abolish money and install a digital currency, accept new taxes (and ghettos in your cities). Work harder and for less money, consume and be a good citizen—and most importantly: Have fear! Always have fear!
Now—I don’t want to leave with the impression that all refugees are just no-goods—criminals, murderers etc. They are not. The vast majority are normal people who just want to lead a normal life—and not one that is forced upon them while their countries are demolished, raped and plundered by the West (that is, the US of A).
BUT—they are just tools in a game. Pawns. Just as we are.
And this leads to no good if the circumstances here resemble Iraq’s. Or just Kenya. And that is the direction we are headed. People with totally different cultural and ideological roots from ours will cling with force to what they know. If they are encouraged to do so (and they are). Assimilation is a crime against humanity, as a Turkish politician once said (who recently had a tough time because some of his generals wanted to get rid of him). So they stay with their own folks. No integration. No assimilation. But ghettos—their mindset becomes even more rigid—some of them will start to despise the majority, whom they don’t understand and don’t want to understand—and sometimes they will commit violence against the hated or despised kuffar (who have no decency—no respect etc.).
I mean—it is funny—in all German travel guides—when it comes to Muslim countries, you find things like: If you are a woman, don’t wear a skirt! Under no circumstances be topless on a beach! Don’t look men in the eye—it is an invitation to sex! Etc. Are the ones who wrote this only hardcore racists? And now hundreds of thousands of people from these countries come here—what do we expect? They mistake our hospitality for weakness. And they (some of them at least) will turn to extremism.
A famous German journalist (one of the old school—Peter Scholl-Latour) once said prophetically: If you let Calcutta come here, you change this to Calcutta.
And he was right. A minority of the refugees consists of terrorists, murderers, rapists etc. They could only come here because the borders were kept open. Just on the eve of the Greater Depression (with all the distrust between the various groups and subgroups), they will make sure that German citizens will fight among themselves in countless battles and skirmishes.
Germans against migrants, Turks against Kurds, Sunni against Shia, Yazidis against Salafists etc. The rich will have their gated communities, the rest will have to deal with a much tougher life in ghettos and suburbs. And life will still go on… I was once in Nigeria. Though you can make money and do business there, life is not too pleasant for the majority of Nigerians…
That is where we are headed. German society will be so fragmented and there will be such turmoil and violence, the majority will accept every solution from above…
Still—if in the end, it all plays out as planned—I don’t know. There still is something called destiny. And this may be—in the end—the stronger factor. Even against those in the shadows.
In the meantime, we have to carry on with our normal life. And try to stay human. That is a tough thing to do, these days—but it is possible.
And will remain possible.
[Classic: January 21, 1996] – Bill Clinton is a New Democrat again. Having tarred the Republicans as extremists, he is filching their themes, thereby displaying one of his defining qualities: an utter incapacity for embarrassment.
Maybe he doesn’t know the meaning of self-contradiction. Or maybe it’s his guiding principle. You have to catch your breath at his audacity. For sheer quick-change conviction and philosophical acrobatics, we shall not look upon his like again.
Mr. Clinton assures us that the era of big government is over, and proceeds to unroll an agenda of dozens of programs that didn’t occur to Lyndon Johnson. You’d think nobody would be gullible enough to believe him, but he shares H. L. Mencken’s opinion of the American public, except that he doesn’t complain about it. No, he turns it to his advantage.
Even the skeptical sages of the media fall for him. They describe his myriad State-of-the-Union proposals as “conservative” because he talks about crime, morality, and the family, all of which he treats as proper concerns of the federal government. Few point out that a new batch of programs is hard to square with his professed concern for cutting the federal deficit.
Operating on the practical assumption that the American public is stupid, Mr. Clinton has risen to the highest office in the land. If he thinks 51 percent of the public will believe that cows are reptiles, you may count on him to say that cows are reptiles.
The key to Mr. Clinton is that it wouldn’t bother him a bit that he was insulting the intelligence of the other 49 percent. He is amazingly, brazenly sucker-oriented. Had he delivered the Checkers speech, he wouldn’t have done it in the stiff Nixonian manner; he would have done it with moist eyes and an operatic throb in his voice, while holding up a picture of the dog, preferably in a body cast.
The wonder is that he stands a good chance of reelection, even though he has betrayed nearly everyone at some time or other. Perhaps his supreme feat occurred during the recent budget negotiations, when bitter Republican enemies, who didn’t trust him going in, came out feeling double-crossed by him.
Needless to say, such fluidity creates its own opportunities. This is the golden age of the con man. He is no longer a marginal figure staying on the move to keep one step ahead of the law. In the absence of stable principles – the Decalogue, Ciceronian natural law, the code of the gentleman – the con man himself makes the law.
Richard Nixon got a bad reputation because in his day lying was still lying since it was still believed that there was such a thing as objective truth. We are now in a post-Nixon phase of history, and what used to be called demagoguery is now called marketing. If enough people believe or “accept” an assertion, it is thereby “validated.”
Virtues have become subjective “values.” Nobody can say when life begins. Nobody can even say what Shakespeare means: literary texts, the bright new critics tell us, are “radically unstable” and have no inherent meaning, let alone truth. The Constitution is a “living document” whose historical meaning is irrelevant to today’s jurisprudence. The government can be “reinvented.”
Does he tell the truth? Never mind that. How do the control groups react? What do the polls say? The truth may be unknowable, but power is still measurable. Power, in one form or another, is all that’s left.
Mr. Clinton grasps the rules of power in today’s Washington like nobody else, and he has thrown himself into the game with headlong enthusiasm. He appears to have understood and used the rules in Arkansas with equally quick apprehension.
Shakespeare’s Richard III, the hunchbacked murderer, delights in his own evil; he is wittily fascinated by the contrast between his ruthless inner self and his pious outward appearances. Yet that inner self still exists, and he finally suffers nightmares of guilt.
But Mr. Clinton hardly exists apart from his kaleidoscopic appearances. He feels no guilt because he has no inner self that can feel compromised.
A chameleon has no true colors.
This is one of 82 essays in Joe Sobran’s collection of his writing on the President Clinton years, titled Hustler: The Clinton Legacy, which FGF Books hopes to republish soon.
Reprinted with permission from Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation.
In the United States, throughout Europe, and all around the world, the public is clamoring for imaginative solutions and new leaders to meet the challenges of our global society. Increasingly voters are rejecting old, tired and misapplied 20th-century solutions to the real, important and pressing issues of the 21st century.
Whether or not you agree with Donald Trump, it is painfully obvious he has some fresh, imaginative and futuristic visions, possibly inspired by his and others famous television programming. He is willing to explore strange new ideas, to breathe new life into the Republican Party and the civilization it created, and to boldly go where no politician has gone before.
During the ongoing 2016 Republican National Convention Donald Trump “…explicitly raised new questions about his commitment to automatically defend NATO allies if they are attacked, saying he would first look at their contributions to the alliance“.
By initiating a political and public discussion of a possible US exception to, or exit from, the NATO Military and Political alliance Trump is getting the national and international attention he craves. More importantly, he is providing a great public service by opening up the heretofore closed Overton window of mainstream media discourse regarding NATO failings and abuses.
There are many closed minds that will try to readily and quickly dismiss any change in the US commitment to NATO as impractical and impossible. However, a closer look at the construction and mechanics of NATO will provide a plethora of viable options for redefining the US participation in NATO. Of particular interest is the NATO Partnership for Peace (PfP) program.
It has already been pointed out that a country can enjoy domestic peace only when a democratic constitution provides the guarantee that the adjustment of the government to the will of the citizens can take place without friction. Nothing else is required than the consistent application of the same principle in order to assure international peace as well.
The liberals of an earlier age thought that the peoples of the world were peaceable by nature and that only monarchs desire war in order to increase their power and wealth by the conquest of provinces. They believed, therefore, that to assure lasting peace it was sufficient to replace the rule of dynastic princes by governments dependent on the people. If a democratic republic finds that its existing boundaries, as shaped by the course of history before the transition to liberalism, no longer correspond to the political wishes of the people, they must be peacefully changed to conform to the results of a plebiscite expressing the people’s will. It must always be possible to shift the boundaries of the state if the will of the inhabitants of an area to attach themselves to a state other than the one to which they presently belong has made itself clearly known, In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Russian Czars incorporated into their empire large areas whose population had never felt the desire to belong to the Russian state. Even if the Russian Empire had adopted a completely democratic constitution, the wishes of theHowever, the right of self-determination of which we speak is not the right of self-determination of nations, but rather the right of self-determination of the inhabitants of every territory large enough to form an independent administrative unit. If it were in any way possible to grant this right of self-determination to every individual person, it would have to be done. This is impracticable only because of compelling technical considerations, which make it necessary that a region be governed as a single administrative unit and that the right of self-determination be restricted to the will of the majority of the inhabitants of areas large enough to count as territorial units in the administration of the country.
So far as the right of self-determination was given effect at all, and wherever it would have been permitted to take effect, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, it led or would have led to the formation of states composed of a single nationality (i.e., people speaking the same language) and to the dissolution of states composed of several nationalities, but only as a consequence of the free choice of those entitled to participate in the plebiscite. The formation of states comprising all the members of a national group was the result of the exercise of the right of self-determination, not its purpose. If some members of a nation feel happier politically independent than as a part of a state composed of all the members of the same linguistic group, one may, of course, attempt to change their political ideas by persuasion in order to win them over to the principle of nationality, according to which all members of the same linguistic group should form a single, independent state. If, however, one seeks to determine their political fate against their will by appealing to an alleged higher right of the nation, one violates the right of self-determination no less effectively than by practicing any other form of oppression. A partition of Switzerland among Germany, France, and Italy, even if it were performed exactly according to linguistic boundaries, would be just as gross a violation of the right of self-determination as was the partition of Poland.
Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.