Americans are not free, not even close. From Jacob G. Hornberger at fff.org:
The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, were a watershed event for the United States, not only because of the large death toll and property destruction but, more important, because they spelled the death knell for American liberty.
Americans had already lost a large portion of their freedom when the federal government was converted into what is called a “welfare state,” a governmental system that is based on the concept of mandatory charity. Examples of mandatory-charity programs include Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, farm subsidies, education grants, corporate bailouts, foreign aid, and every other program by which the government takes money from people to whom it belongs and gives it to people to whom it does not belong.
There is no way to reconcile a system of mandatory charity with the principles of a free society. A genuinely free society is one in which people are free to keep everything they earn and decide for themselves what to do with their own money. An unfree society is one in which the government mandates that people be good and caring to others.
Posted in Civil Liberties, Collapse, Government, Intelligence, Law, Military, Politics, Privacy, Surveillance, Taxes, Technology
Tagged Bill of Rights, CIA, Due Process, Freedom, Military establishment, NSA, Pentagon, War on Drugs
Government does its best to keep the poor poor. From Mark Nestmann at nestmann.com:
Should you have to pay thousands of dollars before you can legally work? Or be imprisoned because you don’t have the money to pay a fine?
Economic liberty – the right to support yourself without needless government interference – is a bedrock principle of what was once called the “American Dream.” And debtor’s prisons were supposedly abolished in a federal lawCongress passed in 1833.
But if you’re poor, economic liberty can seem more illusory than real. A case in point is the war many states are fighting against natural hair braiding – a beauty practice popular with African-American women. This type of braiding doesn’t require dyes, coloring agents or any chemicals at all. It’s much safer than bleaching hair or giving manicures.
Pink Floyd’s groundbreaking, blockbuster album, The Dark Side of the Moon, had much to say about contemporary conditions…46 years ago! From Jim Quinn at theburningplatform:
And if the cloud bursts thunder in your ear
You shout and no one seems to hear
And if the band you’re in starts playing different tunes
I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon
Brain Damage, Pink Floyd
And if the dam breaks open many years too soon
And if there is no room upon the hill
And if your head explodes with dark forebodings too
I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon
Brain Damage, Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd’s 1973 Dark Side of the Moon album is considered one of the greatest albums of all-time. It stayed on the Billboard 200 charts for 937 weeks. Roger Waters concept was for an album that dealt with things that “make people mad”. The Dark Side of the Moon’s themes include war, conflict, greed, the passage of time, death, and insanity, the latter inspired in part by former band member Syd Barrett’s worsening mental state.
The five tracks on each side reflect various stages of human life, beginning and ending with a heartbeat, exploring the nature of the human experience, and empathy. The themes of this album are timeless and are as germane today as they were forty-six years ago, if not more relevant. The country and world are awash in conflict, driven by the greed of evil men. Decent, law abiding, hard-working, critical thinking Americans see the world going insane as the passage of time leads towards the death of an American empire.
Posted in Capitalism, Collapse, Crime, Cronyism, Culture, Debt, Economy, Entertainment, Financial markets, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Imperialism, Military, Money, Morality, Politics, Society, Taxes, Technology, War
Tagged Pink Floyd, The Dark Side of the Moon
Governments are broke, and they’re only going to get more and more rapacious. From Jeff Thomas at internationalman.com:
International Man: Before 1913 there was no income tax, and the United States was a much freer country. Initially, the government sold the federal income tax to the American people as something only the rich would have to pay.
Jeff Thomas: Yes, exactly. It always begins this way. The average person is always happy to see the rich taken down a peg, so this makes the introduction of the concept of theft by the government more palatable. Once people have gotten used to the concept and accept it as being perfectly reasonable, then it’s time to begin to drop the bar as to who “the rich” are. Ultimately, the middle class are always the real target.
Posted in banking, Business, Collapse, Debt, Economics, Economy, Governments, Investing, Politics, Taxes
Tagged Income tax, Property taxes, Tax havens
California has only its Democrats to blame for its housing woes. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
When historians look back on contemporary California, one thing they’ll be bound to make note of is that the state’s developers bet on the wrong model.
Endless, suburban sprawl is coming back to haunt California in ways both major and minor. In densely populated communities across the state, traffic is horrible thanks to underdeveloped public transportation (this is especially true in LA). Most residents have accepted that deadly, devastating wildfires are just part of the deal now – bound to recur endlessly until the state’s population shrinks to the point that it no longer intermingles with the state’s vast swaths of woodland.
But it’s not just the apocalyptic images of fiery doom that have some of the state’s residents rethinking their decision to settle in California. The wildfires have had all kinds of ancillary effects: In parts of the state, PG&E is essentially shutting down large portions of the power grid in disruptive distributed blackouts intended to lower the fire risk.
California is falling apart and there’s no conceivable way the collapse can be blamed on Republicans. From Victor Davis Hansonat foxnews.com:
More than 2 million Californians were recently left without power after the state’s largest utility, Pacific Gas and Electric — which filed for bankruptcy earlier this year — preemptively shut down transmission lines in fear that they might spark fires during periods of high autumn winds.
Consumers blame the state for not cleaning up dead trees and brush, along with the utility companies for not updating their ossified equipment. The power companies in turn fault the state for so over-regulating utilities that they had no resources to modernize their grids.
Californians know that having tens of thousands of homeless in their major cities is untenable. In some places, municipal sidewalks have become open sewers of garbage, used needles, rodents and infectious diseases. Yet no one dares question progressive orthodoxy by enforcing drug and vagrancy laws, moving the homeless out of cities to suburban or rural facilities, or increasing the number of mental hospitals.
No matter who gets elected government just gets bigger, and it’s a global phenomenon. From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:
Federal spending and federal taxation in the United States set new records in 2019. And the federal budget deficit swelled to more than a trillion dollars. Europe is in the middle of an enormous spending binge. But apparently hard-core laissez-faire libertarian purists have taken over the world’s governments.
At least, that’s the case in the minds of many leftists and conservatives who have convinced themselves that “market fundamentalists” have conquered the world’s institutions, and have enacted a global regime of near-zero taxation, free trade, and almost totally unregulated markets.
We hear this over an over again when everyone from The Pope to Bernie Sanders claims “neoliberalism” — a term used to “denote… a radical, far-reaching application of free-market economics unprecedented in speed, scope, or ambition” — has forged the world into a paradise for radical libertarians.