Category Archives: Government

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Was Predictable, by Jose Nino

Regardless of who’s spouting socialism, its unworkable, tyranical, antithetical to human life fundamentals never change. From José Niño at mises.org:

After pulling off a major upset in the Democratic Primary for New York’s 14th congressional district, 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is now being touted as the new face of the Democratic Party.

Ocasio’s victory has rejuvenated the Democratic Party and liberals naitionwide. For many on the Left, Ocasio’s recent victory is a breath of fresh air after putting up with Hilary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign in 2016.

Beyond the typical R vs. D analysis that continues to grab headlines, what is most troubling about Ocasio’s meteoric rise to political fame is her complete disregard for basic economics.

A brief look at her platform is enough to realize that the ideas of socialism are alive and well in American politics.

Her platform is centered on the following policy planks:

  • Medicare for all
  • Free public university
  • Universal jobs guarantee
  • Housing as a human right

The common denominator of all her proposals is the amount of faith placed in the State to conduct private affairs. Channeling the spirit of failed presidential candidate Bernie Sanders , Ocasio describes her program as democratic socialism .

White-Washing Socialism

Leftists have tried their best to re-brand and obfuscate socialism to make it palatable to the misinformed masses.

No matter how many times socialist experiments have failed—from the Soviet Union to present-day Venezuela —many naïve leftists continue their never-ending goose chase for a socialist experiment that works.

The casual mention of socialism in political discourse is troubling.

When countries like Venezuela are crumbling before our very eyes it is astounding that many elected officials continue to flirt with the idea of implementing socialism.

In the Left’s imagination, Scandinavia is the silver bullet to the capitalist model.

This tired trope ignores several crucial details about the Nordic countries’ prosperity:

1. They are among the freest economies in the world (which admittedly may not be saying much), according to various economic freedom indices. At worst, they are mixed economies.

2. As highlighted in works like Scandinavian Unexceptionalism, Nordic countries first became rich through capitalism well before the welfare state was established.

Facts notwithstanding, the political Left continues to doze off into economic lala land and relies on raw emotion to draw conclusions on political economy.

To continue reading: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Was Predictable

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“Truth Was Irrelevant” WSJ Asks: Was Brennan’s Action The Real “Treason”? by Kimberley Strassel

John Brennan’s actions as the ringleader of the intelligence agency jihad against President Trump deserves much investigation than its received…and potentially prosecution. From Kimberley Strassel at the Wall Street Journal via zerohedge.com:

The Wall Street Journal continues to counter  the  liberal mainstream media’s Trump Derangement Syndrome, dropping uncomfortable truth-bombs and refusing to back off its intense pressure to get to the truth and hold those responsible, accountable (in a forum that is hard for the establishment to shrug off as ‘Alt-Right’ or ‘Nazi’ or be ‘punished’ by search- and social-media-giants).

And once again Kimberley Strassel – who by now has become the focus of social media attacks for her truth-seeking reporting – does it again this morning, as she points out – after his ‘treasonous’ outbursts, that Obama’s CIA Director John Brennan acknowledges that it was him egging on the FBI’s probe of Trump and Russia.

Via The Wall Street Journal,

The Trump-Russia sleuthers have been back in the news, again giving Americans cause to doubt their claims of nonpartisanship. Last week it was Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Peter Strzok testifying to Congress that he harbored no bias against a president he still describes as “horrible” and “disgusting.” This week it was former FBI Director Jim Comey tweet-lecturing Americans on their duty to vote Democratic in November.

But the man who deserves a belated bit of scrutiny is former Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan. He’s accused President Trump of “venality, moral turpitude and political corruption,” and berated GOP investigations of the FBI. This week he claimed on Twitter that Mr. Trump’s press conference in Helsinki was “nothing short of treasonous.” This is rough stuff, even for an Obama partisan.

That’s what Mr. Brennan is—a partisan—and it is why his role in the 2016 scandal is in some ways more concerning than the FBI’s. Mr. Comey stands accused of flouting the rules, breaking the chain of command, abusing investigatory powers. Yet it seems far likelier that the FBI’s Trump investigation was a function of arrogance and overconfidence than some partisan plot. No such case can be made for Mr. Brennan. Before his nomination as CIA director, he served as a close Obama adviser. And the record shows he went on to use his position—as head of the most powerful spy agency in the world—to assist Hillary Clinton’s campaign (and keep his job).

To continue reading: “Truth Was Irrelevant” WSJ Asks: Was Brennan’s Action The Real “Treason”?

Big Brother Surveillance Begins: Cuomo Unveils Facial Scanning At New York Toll Plazas, from The Burning Platform

Big Brother is watching you, and he’s got facial recognition technology. From theburningplatform.com:

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo revealed on Friday that facial recognition cameras installed at bridge and tunnel toll plazas across New York City are scanning every driver’s face and feeding them into a massive database designed to catch suspected criminals.

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“When it reads that license plate, it reads it for scofflaws . . . [but] the toll is almost the least significant contribution that this electronic equipment can actually perform,” Cuomo said at a press conference outside the Queens Midtown Tunnel.

We are now moving to facial-recognition technology, which takes it to a whole new level, where it can see the face of the person in the car and run that technology against databases… Because many times a person will turn their head when they see a security camera, so they are now experimenting with technology that just identifies a person by their ear, believe it or not,” he continued.

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The technology is currently in use at the RFK/Triborough Bridge, and was switched on at the Queens Midtown and Brooklyn-Battery tunnels on Friday, according to the Governor’s office.

It will also eventually come to at least two of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s six other spans — the Throgs Neck and Whitestone bridges — and down the road will be added at all area airports, Cuomo’s office confirmed.

A request for proposals from contractors previously published by the online news outlet Vocativ says the tech is slated for all seven of the city’s toll bridges in addition to the two tunnels. –NY Post

The Governor’s office wouldn’t say when forthcoming cameras will be activated, which databases will be used to compare photos, or who will have access to the data, however Cuomo said that license plates which are already scanned at the plazas are currently checked “for warrants, suspected felons, parole violators, terrorist suspects.”

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The data is then fed to NYPD cars stationed at crossings within five seconds.

“It’s a phenomenal security device,” he said.

To continue reading: Big Brother Surveillance Begins: Cuomo Unveils Facial Scanning At New York Toll Plazas

“Democratic Institutions?” – 10 Lessons From History That Will Destroy Your Trust In The CIA, by Tyler Durden

If you still have any trust in the CIA, read this article so that it can be destroyed. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

A somewhat recently declassified CIA memo unearthed by the FOIA collective MuckRock shows that in the midst of the historic Church Committee hearings which attempted to bring various shocking and illegal US intelligence practices and operations to public light, the National Security Council considered the move for strong Congressional oversight a “personal holocaust” that could result in Americans losing faith in the CIA and intelligence officials. 

MuckRock, drawing lessons from this historical CIA archived memo, rightly observes that it “reveals how hostile the Intelligence Community could be to the concept of oversight.”

In a ‘straight from the horse’s mouth’ moment, the “eyes only” classified memo demonstrates in stunning clarity that a top concern for the agency has always fundamentally been fear of exposure over its “illegal and improper activities”.

As the MuckRock report explains: “Decades before Donald Trump infamously compared the CIA to Nazi Germany, the National Security Council made its own allusion to the Holocaust – the difference was that in the NSC’s version, it was CIA that was cast as the potential victim of a ‘Final Solution’ that might be imposed by Congress in response to the exposure of the Agency’s illegal and improper activities.”

And this is true and essential to remember now more than ever given intelligence officials’ increased role in setting the agenda of national debate through their close and longtime acknowledged ties to the mainstream media.

With a continuing avalanche of unverified and unproven assertions inundating the American and Western public from every corner of Washington’s deeply rooted intelligence establishment, we think it necessary to pause and reflect on the many reasons to remain skeptical of the claims and allegations coming from US officials.

To continue reading: “Democratic Institutions?” – 10 Lessons From History That Will Destroy Your Trust In The CIA

Opinion: One FBI text message in Russia probe that should alarm every American, by John Solomon

Two days after Robert Mueller launched his probe, one of his chief investigators, Peter Strzok, admitted there was nothing to probe. From John Solomon at thehill.com:

Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, the reported FBI lovebirds, are the poster children for the next “Don’t Text and Investigate” public service ads airing soon at an FBI office near you.

Their extraordinary texting affair on their government phones has given the FBI a black eye, laying bare a raw political bias brought into the workplace that agents are supposed to check at the door when they strap on their guns and badges.

It is no longer in dispute that they held animus for Donald Trump, who was a subject of their Russia probe, or that they openly discussed using the powers of their office to “stop” Trumpfrom becoming president. The only question is whether any official acts they took in the Russia collusion probe were driven by those sentiments.

The Justice Department’s inspector general is endeavoring to answer that question.

For any American who wants an answer sooner, there are just five words, among the thousands of suggestive texts Page and Strzok exchanged, that you should read.

That passage was transmitted on May 19, 2017. “There’s no big there there,” Strzok texted.

The date of the text long has intrigued investigators: It is two days after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein named special counsel Robert Mueller to oversee an investigation into alleged collusion between Trump and the Russia campaign.

Since the text was turned over to Congress, investigators wondered whether it referred to the evidence against the Trump campaign.

This month, they finally got the chance to ask. Strzok declined to say — but Page, during a closed-door interview with lawmakers, confirmed in the most pained and contorted way that the message in fact referred to the quality of the Russia case, according to multiple eyewitnesses.

The admission is deeply consequential. It means Rosenstein unleashed the most awesome powers of a special counsel to investigate an allegation that the key FBI officials, driving the investigation for 10 months beforehand, did not think was “there.”

By the time of the text and Mueller’s appointment, the FBI’s best counterintelligence agents had had plenty of time to dig. They knowingly used a dossier funded by Hillary Clinton’s campaign — which contained uncorroborated allegations — to persuade the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court to issue a warrant to monitor Trump campaign adviser Carter Page (no relation to Lisa Page).

To continue reading: Opinion: One FBI text message in Russia probe that should alarm every American

The New Handmaids of the Warfare State – Dems and the Liberal Media, by David Stockman

Once upon a time prominent Democrats and liberals almost reflexively opposed the military and the intelligence agencies. No more, now they are some of their biggest supporters. From David Stockman at antiwar.com:

If you want to know why America is going to hell in a fiscal hand basket, it’s because the last vestige of opposition to the Warfare State and the fiscal muggings of the military/industry/intelligence complex has utterly evaporated.

We are referring, of course, to the delirious Russophobia that has overtaken the Dems and the liberal media since they had the daylights shocked out of them by the 2016 election – a state of mental derangement that has degenerated into downright hysteria since the Helsinki Summit.

It had already been the case that anti-Russian policy actions (e.g. sanctions) pass through the Congress with bipartisan greased lightening, and defense appropriations had exploded to the highest level in postwar history in real terms.

In fact, the $716 billion just approved for FY 2019 compared to a constant dollar level of just $550 billion (2018$) in FY 1990 – the final year before the Soviet Union with its 55,000 tanks and 9,000 nuclear warheads slithered off the pages of history.

So we are already spending 30% more than at the peak of the Cold War, but you haven’t seen nothing yet. Not now that Rachel Maddow and Anderson Cooper have become rabid war hawks, virtually begging for military confrontation with Russia and its pipsqueak economy and pint-sized military.

As we keep mentioning, the GDP of the NATO-29 is $36 trillion, and that is 26Xthat of Russia. Likewise, when you add the NATO-28’s military spending of $280 billion to Washington’s humungous defense budget, the total is nigh on to $1 trillion per year – or 16X Russia’s entire military expenditure of $61 billion per annum.

We emphasize this massive imbalance of economic resources and military might as between NATO and Russia because it is the very reason why the bellicosity and fiscal largesse from Capitol Hill won’t diminish any time soon. That is to say, the Imperial City politicians are in a full frontal bully mode because they believe (not unreasonably) that the can huff, puff and spend with relative impunity.

This is not at all like the days of the real cold war in the 1960s and 1970s when America actually did face a deadly dangerous enemy; and when it was also evident to most rational people that rash provocations could be fatal and that the Cold War was something to be vigilantly endured, not won.

To continue reading: The New Handmaids of the Warfare State – Dems and the Liberal Media

The Establishment Strikes Back, by Philip M. Giraldi

Philip Giraldi pokes holes in Mueller’s latest indictment of 12 Russian GRU officers. From Giraldi at strategic-culture.org:

There are a number of elements in the recent release of an indictment of twelve named alleged Russian military intelligence GRU officers by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein looking into possible ties between Moscow and the Trump Administration that I find either implausible or even incoherent. But before considering that, it is necessary to consider the context of the announcement.

The Department of Justice, which had, based on evidence already revealed, actually interfered in the 2016 election more that Moscow could possibly have done, continued in that proud tradition by releasing the indictment three days before President Donald Trump was due to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Helsinki Summit between the two leaders was critically important to anyone interested in preserving the planet Earth as we know it and there was no reason at all to release a non-time sensitive document that was clearly intended to cast a shadow over the proceedings. In fact, the surfacing of the indictment might easily be explained as a deliberate attempt by a politicized Justice Department and Special Counsel Robert Mueller to torpedo President Trump over concerns that he might actually come to some understanding with Putin.

The 30-page long indictment is full of painstaking details about alleged Russian involvement but it makes numerous assertions that the reader is required to accept on faith because there is little or no evidence provided to back up the claims and the claims themselves could be false trails set up by any number of hostile intelligence services to implicate Moscow. From an intelligence officer’s point of view, there are even some significant areas where operational implausibility completely undermines the case being made.

The indictment identifies by name and position the twelve alleged GRU officers who “knowingly and intentionally conspired with each other, and with persons known and unknown to the Grand Jury (collectively the ‘Conspirators’), to gain unauthorized access (to ‘hack’) into the computers of US persons and entities involved in the 2016 US presidential election, steal documents from those computers, and stage releases of the stolen documents to interfere with the 2016 US presidential election.”

All twelve alleged GRU officers are described in detail, together with the cover mechanisms they reportedly used and the targets they pursued. But they are all in Russia and there is virtually no chance that they will be extradited to stand trial in Washington, which was certainly understood when the indictment was prepared. That means the “facts” as stated in the document will never be subjected to the normal judicial review process or discovery that takes place whenever someone is accused of a crime, which in turn means that information contained in the indictment will never be challenged.

To continue reading: The Establishment Strikes Back